My time at boarding school, a short story by mark68. Date added: 2011-12-03. Times viewed: 1555.
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My time at boarding school
I went to probably the strictest boarding school in the UK at the time. It was in Plymouth. I had an entrance test and was offered a place based on that and the fact that I had been an alter boy since the age of seven, it was of course a catholic boarding school, run by God’s SAS, The Christian Brothers. It was a tough regime but in all honesty not bad at all; but by today’s standards they would all be behind bars :)
I would go off with a cheque for £3 for six weeks, which was fifty pence a week, I would have little in the way of tuck and the cheapest quality clothes that could be bought in various sales. I studied there until I was fifteen when the school merged with another school and I didn’t adjust very well and was asked to leave. I don’t have a photo from those four years, in fact in those four years I didn’t get a school photo at all. I left school a year later without any qualifications.
During the Second World War the school was relocated to Sir Walter Rayleigh’s house, he of potato and tobacco fame. He was also the governor of Virginia and set up the first colony in the New World at Roanoke Island off the coast of Virginia, funnily enough my mother’s house is Virginia Cottage and when I studied to become a teacher at the University of Greenwich in 2002 it happened to be where Queen Elizabeth the First was born. Plymouth was also known for the Mayflower and Francis Drake. Interestingly the town where I was born had extensive trading links with The New World at this time, the fifteen hundreds.
The best thing I ever had as a child was my uncle’s hand painted bike when I was ten. I still had that bike when I was fifteen and started work. I then bought a bike from a friend’s brother.
A funny thing about becoming an alter boy at seven years old, all my primary education in a catholic school and four years in a catholic secondary boarding, i had a few uncanny experiences, the first time I went to Lourdes was about a month before John Paul 11 first visit when I was at catholic boarding school in the early eighties. The next time I went to Lourdes was a few years ago and just by chance it was the day before John Paul 11 second visit about twenty years between the two visits for both of us:) Another notable incident was that day the Holy Father died it was my birthday and I was at the chapel of the Miraculous Medallion in Rue De Bac Paris, he wore the motif of the Miraculous Medallion on his robes, I went out and bought his books the next day; what a life he had in history! I also taught in many catholic schools in Asia and a catholic university.
I was a lapsed catholic for about fifteen years but it remained very much what I was at a fundamental level.
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