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 Post subject: Re: Mary Lou and Archaeology
PostPosted: 19 Jun 2017, 18:27 
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cestina wrote:
What is an SAHM please?

Just googled it. Stay At Home Mum


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 Post subject: Re: Mary Lou and Archaeology
PostPosted: 19 Jun 2017, 19:53 
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Aha....

Miss_maeve have you come across the wonderful free on line courses ran by bodies like future learn or the University of Derby and many others?

Fraujackson and I are addicts and even if they may not lead to an actual qualification they can provide an excellent stepping stone for later....

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 Post subject: Re: Mary Lou and Archaeology
PostPosted: 19 Jun 2017, 22:56 
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MaryR wrote:
A large majority of teenagers have no idea what they want to do when they leave school

I still don't know what I want to do and I left school 15 years ago. I knew what I didn't want to do - any of the jobs people I knew had, whether it was reaching, retail work or driving a train. But I didn't know what else was out there. I was lucky that uni was an option for me, unlike my parents, and I just fell into chemistry because I enjoyed it a bit, could do it and could see that it might lead to a job away from teaching (unlike my other option of classics which I enjoyed more at school). I managed to get through my degree quite well without ever really finding a passion for the subject, drifted into doing a PhD (graduating in 2008 didn't leave many options for jobs) and then managed to get a job which I enjoy but which I sometimes feel intimidated​ by. Especially working with people who have a passion for the subject and therefore a much deeper knowledge of it. I never got how someone could pick a job at 15 or younger and stick with it. And the careers chosen by some of the girls in the chalet school have quite a lot of training and then a lot of work to get established in the career. How likely is it that most of them would actually get that far before marrying and having children?


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 Post subject: Re: Mary Lou and Archaeology
PostPosted: 20 Jun 2017, 01:03 
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cestina wrote:
What is an SAHM please?


Stay at Home Mother

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 Post subject: Re: Mary Lou and Archaeology
PostPosted: 20 Jun 2017, 11:29 
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The girls we see following their dreams tend to be the musical ones - Margia, Jacynth and Nina and of course the teachers. Eustacia, who should be a Prof at Oxford ends up living with Jo doing - what? So many marry young so have not had time to get far in their careers. I wonder what EBD would have thought of modern women who combined marriage with careers, chose when to have babies and how many. And how about house-husbands?


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 Post subject: Re: Mary Lou and Archaeology
PostPosted: 21 Jun 2017, 01:16 
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I think there is an undercurrent of thought that for a woman to deliberately choose to prioritize a career over marriage and family required either a religious vocation (like Robin), or obsessive brilliance/genius (the musical girls). Or obsessive devotion to Joey (like Anna). Characters like Julie Lucy are shown quickly jettisoning their law ambitions for being the wife of a housemaster without a second thought.

I do get the impression that for EBD, having a strong, masterful doctor sweep her away from teaching to take care of her was a bit of a fantasy, which I can kind of understand. I'm not sure she'd necessarily have liked the reality of being ordered around by a masterful doctor-type, while looking after the home, though.

I think, though, a lot of it was the reality of the day. Women of the CS class were expected to quit their jobs, generally on marriage and definitely on having kids. Even if they wanted to, they couldn't reliably put off childbearing after marriage, and things like daycare weren't well established. The husband's career was expected to support the family, so the wife needed to follow him as he pursued it, and in some cases was expected to be an (unpaid) part of his job.

Stacie, though, was still a professor at Oxford, even though she was living in a wing of Freudesheim and teaching maths and Latin at the CS. So I don't think EBD had a great idea of how being a professor actually worked. You can't randomly live where you like while being a professor (barring an occasional sabbatical year), and a small town in the Swiss Alps would hardly have the resources needed for Stacie to do her research.

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 Post subject: Re: Mary Lou and Archaeology
PostPosted: 21 Jun 2017, 06:08 
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jennifer wrote:
Characters like Julie Lucy are shown quickly jettisoning their law ambitions for being the wife of a housemaster without a second thought.


She's not the only one. Daisy was clearly well on the way to a brilliant medical career.

Quote:
I do get the impression that for EBD, having a strong, masterful doctor sweep her away from teaching to take care of her was a bit of a fantasy,


Oh definitely - Joey's life WAS her fantasy life. Masterful wealthy husband, large family, help to look after said large family, lots of friends AND a writing career to boot. But the reality, as you say, is a very different proposition.

I wonder at what point masterful becomes abuse? To me, even dosing his wife without her knowledge is abusive.

Cheers,
Joyce

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 Post subject: Re: Mary Lou and Archaeology
PostPosted: 21 Jun 2017, 11:05 
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miss_maeve wrote:
I never really knew what I wanted to do, and so my mum shoehorned me into retail work. Her reason for that was that she didn't think I'd enjoy office work enough. As a result of that, I've spent most of my working life doing a job I detest, for a pathetic wage that has not enabled me to save up very much money.

I'd honestly rather have had a job I didn't like that at least paid me a little more!

Only now, in my early forties, have I finally realised what I would like to do. Sadly I'm not able to do much with it for the next couple of years, as I am now a SAHM - I can't just dodge off to college or uni to pick up the qualifications I need.


My sister just completed a 4 year teaching degree with 4 children. I know it wasn't easy and I don't know if its possible to study at Uni as a mature age student, the way it is here in Australia. I hope you can find a way.

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 Post subject: Re: Mary Lou and Archaeology
PostPosted: 21 Jun 2017, 13:12 
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My friend got married in the final year of her fisrt degree (in pharmacology) and had her fifth daughter just after finishing her PhD, about ten years later. She had a fairly hard time managing everything, but she did it!

To be fair, her husband (who is a rabbi and teacher) only worked part time while she was studying, so he was able to spend more time looking after the children. They decided that as she was likely to earn a lot more, it made more sense for her to push ahead with her education while he spent time at home. Since she finished her Phd (and got a very good job), he has completed his MA, and is beginning to think about a doctorate - their current attitude is that he needs to finish that before their eldest daughter starts university, in four or five years time!

It is a great arrangement, and took a lot of work and co-operation from both of them - but can you imagine EBD ever considering a similar scenario?!

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 Post subject: Re: Mary Lou and Archaeology
PostPosted: 22 Jun 2017, 13:32 
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jennifer wrote:
I think there is an undercurrent of thought that for a woman to deliberately choose to prioritize a career over marriage and family required either a religious vocation (like Robin), or obsessive brilliance/genius (the musical girls). Or obsessive devotion to Joey (like Anna). Characters like Julie Lucy are shown quickly jettisoning their law ambitions for being the wife of a housemaster without a second thought. I do get the impression that for EBD, having a strong, masterful doctor sweep her away from teaching to take care of her was a bit of a fantasy, which I can kind of understand. I'm not sure she'd necessarily have liked the reality of being ordered around by a masterful doctor-type, while looking after the home, though



It also seemed to be acceptable in the case of teachers such as Bill or Hilda, while Simone and Gilllian were 'too dear and sweet etc etc'.

Rosalie Dene was also given a career and there was absolutely no hint that she was settling for second best and would secretly have liked a husband and children. Yet in 'Barbara' she was seen wondering why Beth Chester wasn't married given how pretty she was. Did that mean she had resigned herself long ago to a single life because she wasn't pretty enough to attract a man?

And talking of Beth, what happened to her aspirations to train to be a gardener? In the earlier Armishire books that was shown to be a real passion for her. But then she somehow ended up being a nanny for Jo.


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 Post subject: Re: Mary Lou and Archaeology
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2017, 00:10 
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I think the "dear and sweet" thing was just a phrase EBD trotted out. I hope so anyway considering EBD was a schoolteacher herself. I don't actually think Simone did fit this phrase as she was too much her own person.

It may also have been EBD's secret dream to be swept of her feet by a dishy doctor but I wonder would she have liked it in reality?


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 Post subject: Re: Mary Lou and Archaeology
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2017, 03:54 
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Vintagejazz wrote:
Rosalie Dene was also given a career and there was absolutely no hint that she was settling for second best and would secretly have liked a husband and children. Yet in 'Barbara' she was seen wondering why Beth Chester wasn't married given how pretty she was. Did that mean she had resigned herself long ago to a single life because she wasn't pretty enough to attract a man?


Joey comes right out and asks about it Rosalie one day and she replies that she's perfectly happy with her life. So why change it? As for being pretty enough, one hopes that you look for more in a wife or indeed a husband, than good looks :D

Audrey25 wrote:
It may also have been EBD's secret dream to be swept of her feet by a dishy doctor but I wonder would she have liked it in reality?


Perhaps it's best that she didn't. She clearly had written out her fantasy life with the Jack/Joey relationship which no man would possibly live up to, so she was bound to be disappointed.

Cheers,
Joyce

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 Post subject: Re: Mary Lou and Archaeology
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2017, 09:28 
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Since re-reading the CS books in the past few years, I have been rather uncomfortable with the notion, found on about every fourth page of the books, that girls or women have to be pretty. As a man, I have of course always noticed if a woman is particularly pretty, but I have never, as far as I know, thought 'she is not pretty' about someone. And as for the idea that a woman is not pretty enough to attract a man, well that's nonsense. Things I have found attractive about women include intelligence, sense of humour, smoking and swearing. This is why I've often thought that the adult Grizel would have been a top babe, regardless of looks.


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 Post subject: Re: Mary Lou and Archaeology
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2017, 09:37 
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It's only in the later books. The earlier books follow the literary convention that heroines are OK-looking but not beautiful - Gone With The Wind starts off by telling us that Scarlett O'Hara isn't beautiful, Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice is pretty but not a patch on Jane, Anne Shirley is OK-looking but nothing compared to Diana, Jo March isn't a patch on Meg, and we're told repeatedly that Jane Eyre is plain-looking. Madge is "good to look at" but not pretty, Jo has "something about her" which makes you look twice but isn't pretty, and Mary-Lou would only "pass with a shove" (until she suddenly becomes "very good-looking" later on). In the La Rochelle books, Anne and Elizabeth are pretty, but Janie, the heroine, is not.

By the mid-Swiss books, practically everyone, girls and staff alike, is stunningly beautiful!

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 Post subject: Re: Mary Lou and Archaeology
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2017, 09:52 
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Just to clarify my last post, I don't think prettiness is a main critieria in attracting someone or entering into a meaningful relationship. I was wondering if EBD thought that way, given the contradiction between Rosalie being contented to remain single, and her surprise that someone as pretty as Beth wasn't married.


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 Post subject: Re: Mary Lou and Archaeology
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2017, 10:12 
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No worries, Vintagejazz, it was the EBD, as Alison says, of the Swiss books who seems obsessed with being pretty!


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 Post subject: Re: Mary Lou and Archaeology
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2017, 10:15 
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Again, I think it changes. "Puckish-looking" Janie bags rich, handsome Julian. Jem is initially impressed by Madge's courage in rescuing Frau Berlin from the train fire, not by what she looks like. Then, later on, it's all about looks. When Eugen Courvoisier takes a shine to Biddy O'Ryan, Jack's comment is that Biddy is "a very pretty girl". And Rosalie wonders why Beth isn't married when she's "something quite choice" - which makes her sound like a slab of meat!

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 Post subject: Re: Mary Lou and Archaeology
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2017, 12:33 
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Quote:
I wonder what EBD would have thought of modern women who combined marriage with careers, chose when to have babies and how many.

The Bensons, the Barrases, the Gordons and the Carews are couples where both partners followed careers and (presumably) chose to limit their families.

In Melanie Lucas's case (another only child) it's her mother who has the career. I don't think we're told anything about her father, are we?

I don't think it's ever made clear whether Stacie has a teaching post at Oxford, or whether she just happens to live there because it's where her family home was. She could work on translations and literary criticism on the Platz, although she would need to access journals, reference materials, etc. I think she would feel the lack of contact with other scholars, though, having presumably been accustomed to it in Oxford, even if she didn't have a teaching role.


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 Post subject: Re: Mary Lou and Archaeology
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2017, 21:33 
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Despite the young Len's remarks to an innocent admirer and all the fuss about Sybil, EBD was obsessed by beauty. There are numerous examples of this right through the CS series.

Joey is very definitely not beautiful and even she expresses regret about this in one of the earliest books. Madge's beauty is described as "elusive" but it means more than the apparently more showy beauty of Mollie Bettany.

It is interesting that three of EBD's more beautiful characters - Sybil, Margot and Beth Chester - are each described as being the most beautiful member of her particular family but each is seen by EBD as being "wrong" in some respect. Sybil and Margot have character defects and Beth is unhappy. Naomi Elton also a great beauty is twisted in body and mind. Joyce Linton is hardly a wonderful example of niceness.

Other girls get away with being beautiful and nice/happy - Wanda and Marie, Robin, Peggy, Vi.

Maybe EBD was making the perfectly correct point that beauty is by no means the most important attribute and that it is better to be good and/or nice. She would maybe have got her point across better if she had shut up a little about looks.

It is in the La Rochelle books though that EBD almost goes of her head about the beauty of some of her characters most of whom were jawdroppingly lovely - Elizabeth and Anne, the older Heather Raphael plus a number of the Athertons and Willoughbys.

Was EBDs idea of beauty what most people would call very attractive?


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 Post subject: Re: Mary Lou and Archaeology
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2017, 22:28 
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Very few of the men are ever described as being good-looking, though ...

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