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 Post subject: Re: Worst/Best Staff Across the Series
PostPosted: 11 Oct 2020, 17:39 
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The one that gets me is Len making a special trip to the shop in Briesau just to buy some toothpaste, rather than just ask Con or Margot if she could use a bit of theirs until they next go to the shops! They're on holiday, not at school.

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 Post subject: Re: Worst/Best Staff Across the Series
PostPosted: 11 Oct 2020, 18:32 
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Maybe she dislikes their toothpaste flavour?

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 Post subject: Re: Worst/Best Staff Across the Series
PostPosted: 11 Oct 2020, 19:59 
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Was there a lot of choice then? My firs memories of toothpaste in the early 1960s was a kind of powdery paste in a tin.


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 Post subject: Re: Worst/Best Staff Across the Series
PostPosted: 11 Oct 2020, 20:11 
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Well there was Punch and Judy fruit-flavoured toothpaste... :D

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 Post subject: Re: Worst/Best Staff Across the Series
PostPosted: 11 Oct 2020, 20:39 
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That was still going in the '80s :lol: . The whole thing is just a plot device to get Len out of the house, admittedly, but the argument that she's going to the shops because her toothpaste has run out is a bit feeble - saying they'd run out of milk would have made more sense! And it does make it sound as if Len slavishly follows school rules even when not at school.

Nancy Wilmot, who was in the WRNS, is someone you'd think wouldn't be institutionalised, but I think she's the one who insists that they need to find an Old Girl as a sub for Kathie - which is particularly silly as Kathie herself is not an Old Girl.

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 Post subject: Re: Worst/Best Staff Across the Series
PostPosted: 12 Oct 2020, 04:45 
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With the toothpaste, I think maybe it was a situation where you rubbed your toothbrush into the cake in the tin - in that case, sharing would be unhygienic. Although I suspect that Len *did* slavishly follow school rules even in the holidays.

I get the general sense that the CS was supposed to be so amazing that no-one reasonable would want to leave, unless it was to get married (which outranked having a career, at least for women). And their methods for doing things (like arranging linens) was equally superior.

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 Post subject: Re: Worst/Best Staff Across the Series
PostPosted: 12 Oct 2020, 10:21 
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Doesn't Len specifically describe a tube of toothpaste bursting when she stepped on it, rather than a tin?

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 Post subject: Re: Worst/Best Staff Across the Series
PostPosted: 12 Oct 2020, 12:34 
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Not sure if Len, but one of the girls in Tom left her toothpaste tube lying on the ground and someone, possibly Matey, stepped on it.


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 Post subject: Re: Worst/Best Staff Across the Series
PostPosted: 12 Oct 2020, 21:09 
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I can never quite believe how they're so sure of themselves when they say (Len and Mary-Lou for example) 'Oh, I'm going to Oxford', as if it's a done deal. Was university entrance different back then? There's no 'I'm applying for', it's all certainty, as if of course they'll get a place.

And why do they only go to Oxford? What's wrong with Cambridge or other universities?!

Teaching must be pretty wide ranging in quality if they educate girls for Oxford and the Sorbonne, AND those for finishing school or secretarial college, PT college and so on, and those who aren't going to work at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Worst/Best Staff Across the Series
PostPosted: 12 Oct 2020, 22:57 
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Jack Maynard talks about Roger Richardson "putting his name down" for university :lol: .

I don't think UCCA forms came in until the mid-1960s, but, before then, you had to apply to individual universities - entrance wasn't as competitive as it is now, because fewer people went, but you certainly couldn't just decide you wanted to go to a particular institution and have a place for the asking :roll: . Considering that EBD had been a teacher herself, she seems to have been strangely out of touch with the system.

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 Post subject: Re: Worst/Best Staff Across the Series
PostPosted: 12 Oct 2020, 23:03 
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Bobcat wrote:

And why do they only go to Oxford? What's wrong with Cambridge or other universities?!


Perhaps the school had got used to preparing girls for Oxford because Cambridge did not award women full degree status until 1948 although they were allowed to attend lectures.

There is a story, probably apocryphal, about a professor who entered a lecture theatre, looked around, saw only female students and announced "I see there is no one here" and left without delivering his lecture.

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 Post subject: Re: Worst/Best Staff Across the Series
PostPosted: 13 Oct 2020, 02:39 
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Oddly enough one of EBD's earliest books had a more realistic view of girls applying to university. In A Head Girl's difficulties, the seniors are concentrating hard on entrance exams, and Rosamund is studying very hard hoping to get a scholarship which will let her go. The CS girls rarely seem stressed about exams or applications - it's assumed that it's going to go well, without any significant extra work.

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 Post subject: Re: Worst/Best Staff Across the Series
PostPosted: 13 Oct 2020, 18:27 
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Bobcat wrote:
And why do they only go to Oxford? What's wrong with Cambridge or other universities?!



Birmingham is mentioned in other of EBD's books and London, Edinburgh and the Sorbonne are worthy of consideration by the CS girls.

Incidentally, Miss Bubb took Classics at Cambridge. Perhaps EBD knew, and disliked a Cambridge graduate.


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 Post subject: Re: Worst/Best Staff Across the Series
PostPosted: 13 Oct 2020, 19:25 
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I'm surprised about Cambridge because of Girton, I thought it was the first college to accept women.


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 Post subject: Re: Worst/Best Staff Across the Series
PostPosted: 13 Oct 2020, 21:17 
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Lotte wrote:
I'm surprised about Cambridge because of Girton, I thought it was the first college to accept women.

Oh yes, they accepted women but they were not allowed to receive a full degree. In fact Newnham College held an award ceremony in 1998, fifty years after women were first awarded a full degree, which was attended by women who had graduated prior to that date....

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 Post subject: Re: Worst/Best Staff Across the Series
PostPosted: 14 Oct 2020, 11:38 
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jennifer wrote:
The CS girls rarely seem stressed about exams or applications - it's assumed that it's going to go well, without any significant extra work.


In one of the Island books - can't recall which - doesn't Hilda take the girls doing exams to the cinema to give them a break and help them relax? So they must have been somewhat stressed!

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 Post subject: Re: Worst/Best Staff Across the Series
PostPosted: 14 Oct 2020, 17:16 
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cestina wrote:
Lotte wrote:
I'm surprised about Cambridge because of Girton, I thought it was the first college to accept women.

Oh yes, they accepted women but they were not allowed to receive a full degree. In fact Newnham College held an award ceremony in 1998, fifty years after women were first awarded a full degree, which was attended by women who had graduated prior to that date....

It is 100 years to the day since women gained the right to become full members of Oxford University and were awarded degrees for the first time.
https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1024820334702375


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 Post subject: Re: Worst/Best Staff Across the Series
PostPosted: 14 Oct 2020, 18:59 
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MaryR wrote:
jennifer wrote:
The CS girls rarely seem stressed about exams or applications - it's assumed that it's going to go well, without any significant extra work.


In one of the Island books - can't recall which - doesn't Hilda take the girls doing exams to the cinema to give them a break and help them relax? So they must have been somewhat stressed!

Doesn't something similar happen in a Swiss book? I think it's Coming of Age and Joey treating a group of girls who have exams coming up, to give them a break.


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 Post subject: Re: Worst/Best Staff Across the Series
PostPosted: 20 Oct 2020, 07:33 
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With teachers and their characteristics, Miss Wilson has "famed sarcasm".
Not every pupil likes that.

She can sound a bit scary as a teacher.

But in my experience, there were a couple of teachers like that in my school, who proved most liked by pupils in the end, and out of school

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 Post subject: Re: Worst/Best Staff Across the Series
PostPosted: 20 Oct 2020, 16:30 
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Oh yes, staff should have character, definitely. Many of mine seemed to be tartars or twits, and of the two, I preferred the tartars. Though I didn't agree with one of my favourites, who said it shouldn't matter whether you liked someone who taught you. And it's definitely difficult if a teacher really takes against you!


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