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Inter V
http://www.the-cbb.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6403

Author:  andydaly [ Mon Aug 10, 2009 12:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Inter V

My apologies if this has come up before, but I can't see it in any of the archived threads.

When Kathie Ferrars joins the staff, she is placed in charge of Inter V, a new form which is described as an experiment. It is acknowledged (by one of the girls, so presumably the head mistress and management would be even more aware) that it is a difficult form to manage, given the wide range of ages and ability levels, together with the fact that the girls have very recently been Middles, who are legendary for their bad behaviour. Also, several of them have a history of poor work or disruptive behaviour.

I've no experience of teaching, but from the lay person's perspective, it seems rather unfair to place a new teacher as form mistress to Inter V. Even given the amount of support she would have received from other members of staff (and the CS is portrayed as an unusually supportive workplace) it still seems like a lot of pressure to put on a teacher who is not only just out of college, but also, unusually, not a past-pupil and so unfamiliar with the school's general ethos and mores.

I know there's lots of teachers on the forum so I was wondering if, in their experience, this would go on in schools in RL, or if it is just an unusual situation and a plot device? If it has come up before, would someone mind posting the link if they have a second?

Thanks!

AD.

Author:  Mel [ Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

I would agree that it is a lot to ask of a new teacher because it is a new venture and the staff themselves would be unsure as to how it was going to work. It does seem a crazy idea dreamed up by EBD. How can the twelve year old Maynards be 'beyond' Middle school work?
They may be very good at languages but could not possibly have actually covered the work in, say, Geography, History and Science after being bumped up the school so quickly. It would mean they had covered half the Tudor period by moving up a form, straight into half way through the Stuarts! I am assuming that CS History would be a century/era per year. Socially it would be a disaster mixing older girls like Yseult with younger ones.

Author:  RachelD [ Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

When NQTs (new teachers who have just finished training) join our school, they very purposefully are not given the trickiest classes/choicest individuals.

Inter V must have been really difficult and they don't seem to have that many specialist teachers.

Author:  Alison H [ Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

I assume that EBD had decided, whilst writing Problem, that it was time to start switching the focus from Mary-Lou's Gang to the triplets, and realised that she'd got herself in a mess - because she hadn't wanted to wait any longer to take the school back to Switzerland and hadn't wanted to leave the Maynards behind, the triplets'd ended up in a form with girls much older then themselves, and she must have realised that at the rate they were going they'd be leaving school at about 15 and that she'd have to introduce an extra form! I don't know why she didn't just make the cut-off age for Switzerland 10 rather than 12 in the first place - maybe parents would have been reluctant to send girls of 10 abroad, but it was never a problem in the Tyrol books.

I can see how the problem of someone like Yseult might arise, though. If a girl is "new" to a school at the age of 16, and because her previous education has been poor is unable to cope with the work of girls her own age or even girls a couple of years younger, what do you do about it? There's only so much "extra coaching" you can ask the mistresses to do, even at the CS.

I agree that it was ridiculous to dump an experimental form, containing several girls with a history of bad behaviour, on a mistress who was not only new to the school but was also in her first teaching job, though.

Author:  JB [ Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

Like Alison, I can see why EBD needed Inter V to bring the triplets to the fore of the story. As she says herself, through one of the characters "you can't have girls of 12 in the fifth form." I agree that it would have been so much simpler to have changed that age limit to 10 and allow for plenty of stories with the triplets in the fourth form.

I do think it was unfair to put a new teacher in this role. Someone who already had experience of the school's way of teaching would have surely fared better with all the other problems - precociously bright 12 year olds (who are in other ways young for their age), "problem" middles and a 16 year old whose work wasn't even up to this level (but has a fairly mature outlook).

Inter V wasn't really thought through. It's explained that it's for pupils who aren't quite ready for the advanced work of the senior school (and why has that suddenly become a problem?) but then almost everyone seems to spend a year there. The previous year's VB included Barbara Chester (at least) who had skipped Upper IVA.

The whole form and streaming at the CS is inconsistent. At times, there doesn't seem to be streaming ie when girls progress from Upper IVb to Upper IVa, then to Vb. Then you have girls such as the Ozanne twins and Emerence Hope who we're told won't get any further up the school. Did they learn the same things over and over again when they weren't moved up?

Author:  Jennie [ Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

Very few schools that I know and have taught in use NQTs as form tutors. Generally, they are used as deputies and floaters within a year group in their first year of teaching.

Author:  Cosimo's Jackal [ Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

Since I've been reading this board and realised that it was EBD rather than me who was confused about people's relative ages in relation to one another, I couldn't help wondering why she didn't just look the other way, whistle innocently, and artificially 'age' the triplets a bit, or, more straightforwardly, just skip ahead a year for the next book - doesn't she leave quite a few gaps earlier on in the series without it being any big deal - she could have come up with some way to retain Mary-Lou, if necessary, I suppose? Rather than having to reinvent the wheel with a new form. Which does always sound a bit transparently as if it's entirely for the triplets' benefit, with a few token noises made about there also being other girls who would benefit from a more intermediate year...

And yes, poor Kathie - completely unfair on a very new teacher, and I would have said bad RL practice.

Author:  JB [ Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

Cosimo's Jackal wrote:

Quote:
I couldn't help wondering why she didn't just look the other way, whistle innocently, and artificially 'age' the triplets a bit


I love this concept. :lol:

I think they do age a little too much in the gap before Three Goes so they're old enough to start at the school proper. They could easily have gained another year in Canada.

Author:  Tor [ Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

and blame the time difference or the fact that girls 'grow up faster' the other sie of the pond .... why not?!

Author:  JB [ Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

There's definitely a drabble here - Joey returns with triplets of varying ages. Margot would be the oldest because she was in Canada for a year longer and she was the most mature in some ways.

Author:  Alison H [ Mon Aug 10, 2009 3:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

I totally agree, Cosimo's Jackal! Sybil loses a few years and then gains them again :roll: , so the triplets could certainly have "aged" a year or two, to get round the problem of them being seniors when they were 12. EBD seemed to tie herself in knots with this problem, which is very odd considering that it never seemed to bother her with anyone else's age, not to mention the many changing surnames!

Author:  ChubbyMonkey [ Mon Aug 10, 2009 6:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

Just to play Devil's Advocate :devil: perhaps the CS chose a new teacher purposefully, as the "problem" girls would be unsure of a new teacher and might be wary of misbehaving. Also because all of the old staff had found their niches, so to move them around might disgruntle them.

I must say that it's an unexpected pleasure to see EBD caring about ages for once, we shouldn't complain!

Author:  Kadi [ Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

I sometimes wish EBD did have gaps in the later part of the series like she did at the begining. Then the triplets could be in the right form for their age. It always irked me. Con, for example, didn't seem the type to easily wiz through the forms at the rate she did.

Author:  claire [ Tue Aug 11, 2009 1:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

It always got me when Margot gets told off and told it's disgraceful that she's in a form with girls her own age as Len is two years ahead

Author:  Alex [ Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

You are forgetting that regardless of the difficulty of the form, the CS only employs Naturally Brilliant Teachers, handpicked by Hilda and/or Nell.

Author:  Nightwing [ Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

I never understood the form system at the CS at the best of times! Sometimes the girl seem to pass through every single class (LIVb to LIVa to UIVb to UIVa), and other times they skip whole years; sometimes a remove means being in the top place in your class, but at other times your whole form moves up. Presumable EBD's own forgetfulness was part of the reason for the haphazard approach, but I find the only way I can cope with it is by ignoring it completely!

I actually like the idea of Inter V (which I always pronounce in my head as Inter Vee, by the way) but it just has poor execution - how on Earth did the triplets end up in the same form as Jo Scott, who's a sensible and hard-working type? And as someone else said, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for Con to be in as high a form as Len; we're told that Margot works in bursts, whereas Con is a hard worker when she isn't daydreaming - doesn't that amount to the same thing?

Author:  Newiegirl [ Wed Aug 12, 2009 3:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

I think in some ways it might be good to bring in an outsider who has no preconceptions about particular people being 'imps of the first order'. I always felt a bit sorry for girls who got labelled early on in their school careers as it seemed to stick.

I found the form system very confusing too. At my school, very gifted children might be skipped ahead a year (it only happened once and ended in disaster), and the occasional child might be held back a year, but otherwise everybody moved up as a body - how did CS girls cover the syllabus if they just missed entire terms?

The Ozanne twins were particularly confusing - it appeared they never got any higher than, what was it, IVA or something? I recall people occasionally commenting on it but I don't remember anyone being downright shocked that these two had apparently sat in the same form for three years or so without any improvment.

Author:  Alison H [ Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

Newiegirl wrote:
I think in some ways it might be good to bring in an outsider who has no preconceptions about particular people being 'imps of the first order'. I always felt a bit sorry for girls who got labelled early on in their school careers as it seemed to stick.



That's a really good point. Unfortunately, but probably inevitably, the "troublemaker" label sticking is something that happens in a lot of schools.

Author:  Josette [ Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

Nightwing - I always assumed that the a/b divisions of Upper and Lower IV, etc, were just ability-related streams of the same age-group - at least until I read Challenge for the first time, recently - surely the Fourth Form in Tyrol didn't have a four-year age range?
But then, in Challenge at least, it does appear that they ago through all the forms one by one. Then Inter V appears mysteriously to have added another extra year! By my reckoning this means you'd have to be about 9 when you entered Lower IVb - how young would you have to be to be a Junior??

Author:  Squirrel [ Sat Aug 22, 2009 8:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

Josette wrote:
But then, in Challenge at least, it does appear that they ago through all the forms one by one. Then Inter V appears mysteriously to have added another extra year! By my reckoning this means you'd have to be about 9 when you entered Lower IVb - how young would you have to be to be a Junior??


I think that's where the magically expanding age range comes in well. You see - the girls go up through all these years, and still somehow manage to both start it at the right age (otherwise you'd start getting terrible 'middle' style behaviour from the seniors - how on earth Len, Con and Margot avoided some of that when they became seniors I'll never know. Now the problems they did face at that point become more understandable!) and finish it at the right age. And no need for EBD to worry about it.

I've always found it helps just to accept that what happens in the stories is what happens, and that EBD's ideas as to age and how long the girls have been at the school is correct.

Author:  Alison H [ Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

IIRC, the problem started in Changes, when the Maynards and the Russells arrived back from Canada mid-term and the forms which were appropriate for the triplets' age were full up so Len and Con were put in forms with older girls. I think Len was moved down to Con's form in Barbara, but even then they weren't in the "right" form for their age.

Part of me is quite impressed that Hilda, Nell and Rosalie, who must have been very annoyed about having extra pupils dumped on them mid-term when the school was full to capacity anyway (and absolutely furious with Joey after she opened her mouth and told all the staff about the proposed move to Switzerland, when that should have come from either Madge or Hilda!), refused to break the in-house rules about the maximum number of girls in a form or to move someone else to a different form to make room for the Maynards.

However, it wasn't the girls' fault, and it was very unfair on Len and Con, and also on Margot, who did end up in the right form for her age but was made to feel that that meant there was something wrong with her. Surely they could have squeezed in a couple of extra desks and chairs? Or would that have been unfair on the rest of the form? They always seemed willing to make exceptions to rules elsewhere, e.g. taking Naomi Elton when they'd said that they wouldn't take any new girls over 16, or taking assorted people on in the summer term when they'd said that they weren't going to.

Author:  Cosimo's Jackal [ Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

Alison H wrote:
Part of me is quite impressed that Hilda, Nell and Rosalie [...] refused to break the in-house rules about the maximum number of girls in a form or to move someone else to a different form to make room for the Maynards.


Yes, but then on the other hand it seems even more arbitrary that having broken all kinds of rules for the triplets in any case - like the age requirement to come to Switzerland - they then don't bend the rules a little bit to put them in forms appropriate to their age...?

Although I've always found EBD a bit contradictory on form-related things anyway - on the one hand, there's lots of freakishly exact calculation about the average form age down to months, and where an individual girl's age fits into that, but on the other, you seem to be moved up or kept down according to your ability level, which would surely make nonsense of the average age calculation, if it's strictly adhered to. (And what about those girls like Emerence Hope, who we're told everyone agrees will never make it any further up the school, no matter how old she is...?)

I'm also a bit dubious as to how it is everyone agrees that Margot is brilliantly clever but never bothers to work before she does actually buckle down in her later years? I think it's unhelpful to categorise a child on the strength of anything other than actual achievement, rather than blaming her for not achieving things that say perhaps more about your expectations than her abilities? And perhaps about comparisons with her sisters who are unusually high achievers? Would anyone have decided Margot must be clever but lazy if it wasn't for Len and Con two forms ahead? If she were a singleton, wouldn't she just have been seen as a girl of average ability who is in the right form for her age?

Author:  JayB [ Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

I don't really see why Con is so far ahead of her age group either. She's not presented as especially clever all round. She's very good at English, and interested in history, but she really struggles with maths, and sometimes suffers from poor concentration.

I assume it was their language skills, having learned to speak French and German from their earliest years, that gave the triplets their advantage and put them ahead of other girls in their age group. And whereas perhaps Len (being good at languages and a slogger all round) and Con (being interested in language) also worked at the grammar, Margot, while able to speak fluently, perhaps slacked at the grammar, and that let her down in her written work in French and German and in other subjects which required essay writing.

Author:  Cosimo's Jackal [ Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

JayB wrote:
I assume it was their language skills, having learned to speak French and German from their earliest years, that gave the triplets their advantage and put them ahead of other girls in their age group. And whereas perhaps Len (being good at languages and a slogger all round) and Con (being interested in language) also worked at the grammar, Margot, while able to speak fluently, perhaps slacked at the grammar, and that let her down in her written work in French and German and in other subjects which required essay writing.


That never really occurred to me before, but of course there must have been girls who were really held back by the trilingual requirements. It must have been very frustrating as a pupil to have a favourite subject at which you excel in one or even two languages, but where your German, say, keeps letting you down and damaging your marks overall. Must have been frustrating as a teacher too - to see Margot, for argument's sake, excelling at history in English and French, but doing very badly on German days, or when German prep was required.

Author:  ChubbyMonkey [ Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

Ah, but you're all forgetting that at the CS you can pick them up in no time at all - literally!

I think, and I hate being unable to come up with my own arguments, but the most plausible reason for me is just that EBD needed to keep the trips in the series but could feel the pressure - maybe from her publishers? - to move the school on again. She didn't want to drag the junior school out there, and it would have been unrealistic to expect it, I agree with her on that, but she couldn't leave the trips behind/ move them out just for the holidays.

Author:  Alison H [ Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

I think EBD herself was keen to move the school back to Central Europe. In Three Go, which is the first mainstream book set after the War, there's a lot of talk about moving back to Tyrol. Even in Rescue, which is set during the War, Joey talks about whether or not she and Jack will move back to Tyrol "when" rather than "if" the school goes back there. I would think that she just waited for a few years after the War in the hope that the political situation in Austria would be settled, got fed up of waiting and decided to move the school back to Central Europe anyway, just to Switzerland instead.

I totally agree about her wanting to keep the Maynards around, though. What I don't understand is why she didn't just move the juniors to Switzerland too. Maybe it's realistic that their parents wouldn't've wanted to send such young girls abroad, but you could say the same about the juniors in Tyrol days.

It's a shame that, between being in Canada and then being put into "older" forms, the triplets miss out on part of their time as "top juniors". Being in Upper II and Lower III sounds like such fun in Three Go - running around playing tag at break, and having titles like "Mistress of the Inkwells" or "High Duster of the Blackboard" :D .

Author:  JB [ Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

Alison H wrote:

Quote:
I totally agree about her wanting to keep the Maynards around, though. What I don't understand is why she didn't just move the juniors to Switzerland too. Maybe it's realistic that their parents wouldn't've wanted to send such young girls abroad, but you could say the same about the juniors in Tyrol days.


I don't understand that either. The difference to Tyrol perhaps, is that the school isn't expecting its pupils to come from Switzerland whereas in Austria, a number of the younger pupils are local.

The second and third forms sound fun in Highland Twins and Lavender, when Bride, etc are juniors/junior middles.

Author:  ChubbyMonkey [ Mon Aug 24, 2009 4:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

I always like seeing the books with the juniors in. For one thing the inevitable reason that makes X get up a hate at Y always seems so much more plausible when they're Juniors and you expect that sort of thing.

I think that another difference would be in Tirol a lot of the Juniors had elder sisters, and to a certain extent there was more of an element of choice. If the CS announced they were moving the entire thing to Switzerland, they would probably lose a lot of pupils, either whose parents didn't want them going out or - a la Tom Gay - couldn't afford it.

Author:  Alison H [ Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

I'm surprised that Madge didn't do some sort of consultation exercise before deciding to move the school to Switzerland. Presumably there was no note in the prospectus (which no-one ever read anyway) saying "Please be aware that we intend to move the school to Central Europe as soon as it becomes practical" :roll: - what if a huge majority of parents had decided that they either didn't want to send their daughters abroad or were unwilling/unable to meet the extra cost? & surely the parents should have been given chance to speak to the girls about it before Hilda told the girls in assembly :roll: .

Author:  Cosimo's Jackal [ Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

That sounds a bit too democratic and parent-involving for the CS, which never seems to have the slightest sense of accountability to the parents of the pupils! Yes, in any realistic world, the school would have had to think very carefully about moving to Switzerland (or probably even about moving to St Briavel's, which gets cut off in bad weather, and is a long way from a hospital - is there even a resident medic on the island? - in view of fragile pupils...) But I think EBD is indulging in fantasy here - the School That Can Do No Wrong and will always be over-subscribed - whereas she's being more realistic with St Scholastika's, where parents remove girls after near-death incidents etc, or possibly just decide they don't like them being so far away from the UK.

Imagine the CS with a vocal parents' committee that argued it had every right to have a say in the running of the school! Or maybe it's just that 'parents' to the CS means 'Madge, Jem, Jack and Joey', who are pretty much school authorities as well as having children there... Presumably they would talk down any opposition...

Author:  mohini [ Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

I also wondered about the junior form.
Agreed that parents living in England would not allow small girls to go to Europe.But surely there would be children of locals living near school and who would have loved to join the school as they did in Tirol days.
And if exception was made for Jo why not for other girls whose parents must have been willing to send the girls in Switzerland?
There must have been girls with elder sisters who went to CS.

Author:  Mel [ Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

The move to Switzerlans was an incredible rush, with the girls being told in the Summer Term. I would have thought it would have taken at least a year to find a suitable property and convert it into a school. It's hard to imagine a hotel becoming a school with large classrooms, rows of bath cubicles etc in a few weeks!

Author:  Emma A [ Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

Cosimo's Jackal wrote:
Imagine the CS with a vocal parents' committee that argued it had every right to have a say in the running of the school! Or maybe it's just that 'parents' to the CS means 'Madge, Jem, Jack and Joey', who are pretty much school authorities as well as having children there... Presumably they would talk down any opposition...

Hmm, drabble fodder, anyone? :twisted:

Author:  Alison H [ Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

My sister and I went to an ordinary day school so the situation's not really comparable, but even so I'm just trying to imagine my parents' faces if they got a letter in the post informing them that as of next year the school would be moving to Switzerland :roll: !

I feel sorry for the staff too, especially as Joey blurted out the news in the staffroom rather than an official announcement being made by Madge or Hilda. It's enough of a shock if your employers announce that the company is moving to new offices a few miles away - imagine someone turning up in your workplace and announcing that you were being relocated to another country. Presumably the staff were given the option of going to the Carnbach branch if they didn't want to move abroad for personal reasons, e.g. not wanting to be so far from relatives, but it's amazing that Pam Slater seems to've been the only one who left.

Author:  Joey [ Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

Not only is Pam the only one who left, but I at least got the distinct impression that EBD didn't think much of her for leaving. How dare she be ambitious and want to be a Head? Surely working at the CS is the acme of any teacher's life!

Author:  Cosimo's Jackal [ Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

Alison H wrote:
I'm just trying to imagine my parents' faces if they got a letter in the post informing them that as of next year the school would be moving to Switzerland :roll: !


Absolutely. And 'PS. We're going to entirely change the uniform at the same time as you will have to factor in new winter gear and equipment and much higher travel costs, AND we're then going to change the new uniform all over again in a few years, just because tunics are looking old-fashioned!'

Also, would the school fees have had to be raised when the move to Switzerland happened to cover a higher cost of living etc?

I always wonder about what it felt to be a girl over 12 'left behind' at the Carnbach branch. We re-encounter Doris Someone, one of the Gang, a few years later when she's finally allowed to come out to Switzerland, but she never talks about what it must have been like to stay behind in what seems to be considered by everyone to be a second best option (unless you are a Junior). I wonder how many girls of Doris's age and older actually stayed, and whether it felt rather like being abandoned while the majority of your beloved school, staff and pupils, moved its main centre of operations elsewhere? I could certainly imagine it would have caused some tension between girls who desperately wanted to go, and parents who thought it was too far away or expensive. Assuming, that is, the Carnbach branch fees were lower...? I know we always think of the CS as a continental European school which was planning to return asap, but surely there were parents who sent their girls to the UK CS in the assumption it would stay on there?

Author:  jmc [ Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

Dollie Edwards stayed behind as well but she was made head of Carnbach. And what happened to Ivy Norman. She came back into the series when the school was on the Island but I don't remember any reference to her in Switzerland.

The junior campus of the first school that I taught at moved campus to be nearer the senior campus. I wasn't told about the move until after I had accepted the job. It was a day school though. The amount of work involved in moving only a few suburbs was huge so the mind boggles at moving to a different country. I shudder to think of the cost. It is a wonder that the CS made any profit at all with all the different moves.

Author:  Emma A [ Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

By the time the school moved to Switzerland, it had been longer in the UK than it had been in Austria, hadn't it? I'd assume, if I was a parent who had sent my child there, that they wouldn't move outside the UK, if move they had to do.

Is it ever stated whether the Carnbach branch was a new building (i.e. one that the school hadn't occupied before)? It must have been expensive for the school to have bought and fitted out, essentially two new schools. I think I've only ever read Changes in pb - are the girls really only told in the summer term that they'll be in Switzerland in the autumn?

Author:  Cosimo's Jackal [ Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

Emma A wrote:
By the time the school moved to Switzerland, it had been longer in the UK than it had been in Austria, hadn't it? I'd assume, if I was a parent who had sent my child there, that they wouldn't move outside the UK, if move they had to do.


Now imagining the cover of the famous prospectus with a big skull and crossbones symbol and WARNING - WE MAY MOVE TO THE CONTINENT WITH LITTLE WARNING AT ANY MOMENT written under it :shock:

More seriously, I assume the prospectus would have had to say something about the school's likelihood of returning to its roots...? Although realistically, I would have said that would put off some parents who were considering sending their girls to the CS. After all, sending your child to a UK boarding school is a very different proposition to sending her abroad...?

Author:  cestina [ Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

It always seemed to me that EBD was just marking time until she could get the school back to Central Europe. She was clearly totally fascinated by the Austrian Tirol and I think the fact that she couldn't get the school back there and had to settle for Switzerland accounts, in part, for the far less satisfactory atmosphere of the Swiss books. I think it's a great shame she didn't relocate the school in an actual place and wonder why she chose not to, when the Austrian books are so well-grounded in the area.

Author:  JayB [ Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

Quote:
I think it's a great shame she didn't relocate the school in an actual place and wonder why she chose not to, when the Austrian books are so well-grounded in the area.

I think the difference is that she had actually been to the Tyrol (and Guernsey, I think) and of course lived in Herefordshire/Armishire. She'd never (as far as we know) been to Switzerland so couldn't draw on first hand experience when creating and describing the Swiss locations.

Though I wonder how realistically EBD would have been able to write about the Tyrol in the 1950s, if she had been able to take the School back there, when her one and only experience was in the early 1920s? At least with a Swiss setting she didn't have to worry about having to deal with the impact of the war.

Author:  Liz K [ Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

Emma A wrote:
Cosimo's Jackal wrote:
Imagine the CS with a vocal parents' committee that argued it had every right to have a say in the running of the school! Or maybe it's just that 'parents' to the CS means 'Madge, Jem, Jack and Joey', who are pretty much school authorities as well as having children there... Presumably they would talk down any opposition...

Hmm, drabble fodder, anyone? :twisted:


Oh definitely!

Author:  Catrin [ Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

I am rather inclined to think that, had I wished to send my daughter to a boarding school overseas, that is exactly what I would have done, and it does seem a bit unlikely that hundreds of families would think "well, the school's going, so she might as well . . ."
(this is of course assuming I have CS type unlimited funds - more realistically it will be the local comp!)

Author:  Alison H [ Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

I can imagine it causing a lot of hassle. Tom Gay was old enough and sensible enough to understand that her parents couldn't afford to send her abroad and that was that, but younger or less thoughtful girls might have been far less willing and able to accept that they couldn't to Switzerland with their friends. They weren't all trained to instant obedience :lol: .

Author:  Emma A [ Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

Alison H wrote:
I can imagine it causing a lot of hassle. Tom Gay was old enough and sensible enough to understand that her parents couldn't afford to send her abroad and that was that, but younger or less thoughtful girls might have been far less willing and able to accept that they couldn't to Switzerland with their friends. They weren't all trained to instant obedience :lol: .

I started reading Bride Leads the CS yesterday (thanks, JB!), and even Bride is rather silly about Tom's very firm insistence that she can't afford to go to Welsen for a finishing year and that it isn't necessary, either, for what she wants to do (given that she wants to study for a degree, then go to theological college, and then be trained as a missionary, no wonder that Mr Gay can't afford a finishing year in Switzerland!).

Author:  Cosimo's Jackal [ Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

Is it significant at all that some of EBD's worst firebrands are from very wealthy families - Evvy, Cornelia, Emerence Hope? Or even that girl (is it Diana Skelton, or am I thinking of the wrong person?) whose father has a huge fortune from glue, who ends up being expelled with gambling debts? Isn't Zephyr Burthill's father very wealthy also?

Not that the Bettany/Russell/Maynards aren't very comfortably off by any standards, but I wondered whether EBD was making a point about it being bad to grow up with no sense of there being financial limits to what you can have, whether that's the makings of a Middles' jazz orchestra, someone else's cello, or the wherewithall to fly everywhere and to buy your best friend a valuable clock ...?

Also wondering, irreverently -- given Joey's tendency to talk cheerfully about how she and Jack are able to afford lots of children, because of all those hand-me-down ginghams and free school fees for the girls -- how the triplets might have dealt with some kind of truncation of their own wishes because their parents had earmarked the cash for more babies? 'Sorry, trips. Oxford's off - those quads we've been talking about are on the way!'

Only joking, as I know the triplets had family money coming to them anyway. But it would be interesting to see girls who were trained to instant obedience, but who weren't used to making do like Tom Gay, struggle with some parental financial situation which completely altered their own planned futures...? (I mean, one that didn't involve financial ruin, obviously.) There was an Antonia Forest discussion on livejournal a while ago that got very heated about whether the Marlow parents played fair with their children when Mrs Marlow spent the cash from a family tiara's sale on buying herself and one daughter expensive hunters, when the other children, some of whom are enthusiastic riders, had no mounts.

Supposing buying Die Blumen had wiped out out the Oxford fund?

Author:  Alison H [ Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

Sorry to go totally OT, but I thought it was really awful when the Marlows decided that they couldn't afford school fees for all the girls any more so they were going to pull Nicola out of Kingscote but let (her twin) Lawrie stay!

It'd've been interesting to see a CS girl having to cope with the very realistic situation of having to leave school or, as happens to Dimsie, scrap her further education plans (in the days before grants etc) because e.g. their dad was made redundant during an economic downturn. Or even, as is more common in EBD-land, a dodgy professional advisor did them out of their "private income" as happens to the Chesters.

I agree that she was making a point about girls who came from wealthy families - we're often told that Mr Lannis and Mr Flower never refused Evadne and Cornelia anything. The girls from the wealthiest families always seem to be only children too, but I'm not sure in which direction we should reason from cause to effect there :lol: :lol: .

Author:  Lottie [ Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

Alison H wrote:
Sorry to go totally OT, but I thought it was really awful when the Marlows decided that they couldn't afford school fees for all the girls any more so they were going to pull Nicola out of Kingscote but let (her twin) Lawrie stay!

Equally (or even more) off topic. Anne Digby had a similar situation in one of the later Trebzion books, when the twins, Naomi and Ruth, tied for one scholarship place - their parents couldn't afford the necessary extras to send both of them to the school, even with a generous gesture from the governors, and the girls tossed for who would go away to school, and who would stay at home and go to the local school.

Author:  abbeybufo [ Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

And the plot at the beginning of EJO's Abbey Girls turns on a scholarship awarded to one cousin [Joan], that she persuades the person offering it to give to the other cousin [Joy] ... a sacrifice remembered and/or mentioned at various times throughout the Abbey Series

Author:  Cosimo's Jackal [ Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

I was thinking that in some ways it would be easier to be brave and stoical if it was a situation like redundancy, parental illness or total financial collapse. But it would be a greyer area if it was a matter of your parents making some kind of financial decision that affected your education, and which you thought was unfair, or which looked like unfairness. Like, I don't know, if CS fees weren't free (if the CS shareholders somehow kicked up a fuss about the Russell/Bettany/Maynard clan's non-fees eating into profits!) and Joey and Jack decided that Len was going to have to be the triplet to leave the CS for a cheaper school, because she's responsible and will work well anywhere, whereas Con is dozy and Margot needs structure and is immature.

Sorry, wildly OT. Was just thinking around the financial implications of having a family as large as the Maynards - and Joey does more than once talk about it in terms of expense - and spaced so that having more children could have financial implications for the training etc of the eldest - and what it would have meant if the arrival of four male babies towards the end of the series had meant Margot couldn't read medicine, or something.

Whether the triplets would have started leaving leaflets about natural family planning lying about Freudesheim, or mentioning innocently that the San is adding to its many sidelines with a vasectomy expert... :shock:

Author:  Tor [ Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

WEll, if EBD had written such a thing in her later years I'd have said that Len would have stoically made the sacrifice (too fine a character a la OOAO), only to be given a reprieve either by the end of the story or a couple of books down the line.

Had EBD written such a story in the Tirol, early war years however, I think it would have gone quite differently, and probably involved (i) running away, perhaps by all three triplets and/or (ii) secret late night cramming of lessons or a plot to undermine the reasoning. It would then have ended well, somehow.

In the St Briavels years, it would be touch and go whether the poor girl got to make a fuss and be allowed to be righteously indigant, or packed off without a whimper and to approving nods all round.

Author:  ChubbyMonkey [ Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

I think it would be very difficult to be stoical about something like that, particularly if Con and Margot were staying, but I might consider Len the luckiest! To be able to escape the pressure, and having to be Joey's perfect daughter all of the time, would be fantastic, I would think!

But aren't the Trips and Steve paid for by Granny Maynard anyway?

Quite often we see the effects of the opposite scenario - someone coming into money a la Joan Baker. I agree it would be interesting to see the flip side of that!

Author:  Alison H [ Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

Joan gets it both ways - her dad wins the pools, but then the family soon go through the money so Joan has to leave school before getting to the VIth form (although I think she may already have been 18 by then - to get back to the original thread topic, she was one of the original Inter V people who were much older than the triplets). Joan takes a very calm view of this, puts in a lot of effort to improve her languages to give her a better chance of getting a good job and talks about helping to pay her sister's school fees, but of course EBD never gives her any credit for it!

Isn't there a girl in the St Clare's books - Pauline? - whose family are not well off but work their fingers to the bone so that they can afford the school fees? I think she pretends to come from a really posh background but then the others find out that she's lying. There must have been plenty of CS parents who made a lot of sacrifices so that they could afford to pay the fees, but that's another angle that's never really explored.

They can't all have had "private incomes" - many of them must've had to work very hard and give up things for themselves so that they could send their daughters there, but we never really see that.

Author:  Mel [ Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

I always wonder how Jacynth's Auntie managed to find the fees by knitting!

Author:  Nightwing [ Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

Perhaps she was knitting straw into gold...

Author:  JayB [ Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

Mel wrote:
I always wonder how Jacynth's Auntie managed to find the fees by knitting!


Although of course the cost would have been a lot less when Jacynth started at the CS. No overseas travel, no excursions, no winter sports kit, no fancy gentian blue tunics or dresses, just plain brown tunic and blazer and gingham dress that could be bought anywhere.

On the other hand, I have to wonder how Auntie managed to get the wool for her knitting in wartime. Did she get it on the black market? (Or was she actually running the black market in the NE and the knitting was just a cover story?)

Author:  Miriam [ Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

Also returning to the earlier part of the thread, I think the reason EBD may have been concerned about he triplets age, wasx becuase they had a birthdate. Every other character has an age, which fits or not in relation to other characters, and the group ages together. The trplets were clearly born in November 1939, and she can't get away from that fact. she knows haow long it is since the war sterted, asnd has to leave their age fitting in with that.

REferring to the later pdicussion on Len having to leave the CS, idoubt she would ever have left. The CS would have accpeted her a student/teacher, and covered her fees that way -a bit like the plan was with Juliet. I can see Len being excelent at private coaching of the younger girls, and taking the odd class. If she was freed from her official prefect duties she would have have had plenty of time for that and her own work, and it wouldn't even need to be made public - it would be clear clear that the CS staff were helping her to train for her future job.

Author:  MJKB [ Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

I agree with the comment above. I gave up at the very beginning trying to work out the formas and divisions and how they could possibly cover a syllabus with for a state examination with all the comings and goings.

Author:  LizzieC [ Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Inter V

JayB wrote:
On the other hand, I have to wonder how Auntie managed to get the wool for her knitting in wartime. Did she get it on the black market?


I always assumed that the people who Auntie was knitting for provided her with the wool for the pieces and she knitted to order, rather than knitting pieces which she then offered for sale.

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