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Boarding Schools

By Anonymous 7324 in Culture
Sat Dec 16, 2000 at 05:02:08 PM EST
Tags: etc (all tags)

That other site just ran the 6th part of the Hellmouth book in electronic form. True to form, Malda has put it as a footnote to a Slashback, where noone will ever even read it. Yet the story was, and still is important, and many would add valuable information and ideas, if only they remembered that the story exists.

I've written a reply on Slashdot, about the feasibility of private boarding high schools as an escape, but no one there is reading, because no one knows about it. It's below, and I'd love to hear about other people's experiences with boarding school, and whether they'd recommend it, and what financial assistance they received, if any.

From Comment #9, about solutions to the whole problem: Boarding school, of course, with 100-base-T in every room. Please don't crash down on me with the logistical problems, I'm daydreaming.

You're not daydreaming. It's a possiblity, and an opportunity that most don't realize are open to them. It's true that the lesser boarding schools will be unlikely to offer you any sort of financial assistance (money probably being the biggest 'logicstical' problem that I can think off, and likely what he was talking about), but the better ones sure can.

It's true that the 'better' ones with the money are far, and few in between, but if you're good enough (at whatever...) to become an outcast, you definitely have a shot into these schools. A personal experience:

I went to public high school in South California in a lower-middle-class neighborhood for the first two years. Some physical abuse, although by keeping a low profile, it was mostly avoided. But it still sucked. I had my P.E. locker broken into repeatedly (good locks don't do jack shit, as any high school gangbanger would testify), and my regular locker broken into once. (After which I carried all my books in a huge bag on my person, but whatever...)

All of this changed when my dad was talking to an old friend of his, and the guy mentioned that he'd just sent his daughter to boarding school. Now, this guy isn't hugely well-to-do either, and we all knew that boarding school was expensive. Really expensive. It turns out, that she had gotten a scholarship from the school, that covered most everything.

This daughter of hers -- not to say that she wasn't a good student, but she wasn't outstanding. Nonetheless, she went to Blair Academy on a decent scholarship, went to Smith, got sick of it, switched to UPenn, and is now out, and being fought over by Goldman Sachs and Merill Lynch, etc. etc.

After my parents heard this (and they knew that high school sucked, but didn't really understand how much) decided to let me apply to private schools, hoping for a scholarship. (Seeing as how I could not have gone by myself either, considering our family's financial situation).

I applied to Thatcher, Blair, and Exeter.

Surprisingly, though all three accepted me, but only Exeter (arguably the best out of the three, but only IMHO, of course) gave me any money -- but they gave me quite a bit.

The general breakdown is as follows:
$24,000 total tuition at Exeter every year (room, board, tuition, all food)
- $20,000 endowed scholarship
- $1,000 loan, ($25 interest per quarter)
= $1,000 out of <pocket a year.
Pretty generous of them, I think.

Exeter was great -- absolutely no harassment of any kind, most _everyone_ was nice, we has 100-Base-T, though it was hampered, and the classes were great. Compared to public schools, this was like night and day.

I'm hoping that maybe someone out there is reading this right now, and will ask their parents about applying. The cost for applying can be waived very easily, and the only formality is an "SSAT" test for 10th graders and below. (11th, 12th grade applicants submit PSAT and SAT scores, mostly). Interviews can be done by alums in the local area, so there is no flying out to the school, although you can certainly do that as well if you so choose ... (I did alum interviews).


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


How much money did your boarding school give you?
o I didn't go to boarding school. 89%
o None 7%
o 20 percent or less 0%
o 20 - 40 percent 0%
o 40 - 60 percent 0%
o 60 - 80 percent 0%
o 80 percent or more 1%

Votes: 105
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Slashdot
o That other site
o 6th part of the Hellmouth book
o Blair Academy
o Thatcher
o Blair
o Exeter.
o Also by Anonymous 7324

Display: Sort:
Boarding Schools | 53 comments (34 topical, 19 editorial, 1 hidden)
In the UK (3.20 / 5) (#2)
by Phage on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 12:46:38 AM EST

I went to a boarding school in the UK, and have to agree that it represented a huge improvement in environment.
Unfortunately, when I was there, IT was completely unheard of as a subject. We learned Englist Lit. and Latin.
Accordingly, I will be getting my kids to sit the ACER exams here in Australia for their chance to obtain a scholarship and an introduction to a broader world.

I don't find Heathens to be sexy, as a general rule.
This is something I would like to hear about . . . (3.40 / 5) (#3)
by discoflamingo13 on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 12:51:34 AM EST

I was in no position to go to a boarding school (money, parents, location, etc.), but mostly because I never knew it was an option. How have those who went to a boarding school enjoyed their experiences? Can anyone compare them to public high school? Are they similar to the World College abroad? Is there a good equivalent in other countries? An enquiring mind wants to know . . .

The more I watch, the more I learn ---
If you set yourself on fire, the world will pay to watch you burn.
--- Course of Empire

well here's mine (4.33 / 3) (#21)
by the_idoru on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 10:02:12 AM EST

i went to boarding school for my last 3 years of high school. now, i didnt go to one of these big namers that are being bandied around above, but it was a small private school whose boarding population was about 3/4 of its total enrollment.

i enjoyed it. the small size made for classrooms rarely larger than 12. you knew who everyone was; if you didnt know them well, you at least knew their name. but i think most-importantly was that the focus on education was paramount. and that was in everyone's eyes, not just the teachers and parents. the kids knew that they were there to learn and wanted to. and that makes a huge difference overall. while the name of my school certainly didnt help me get into any high-power colleges, i do know that im much better off having gone there and been exposed to that environment (ive always been avid that a strong educational foundation in the basics like algebra and writing are invaluable to success in higher-ed subjects).

the experience was certainly different than public school, and not for everyone. many people enjoy the anonymity of a large school. not everyone can cope with leaving home so early (which i witnessed first hand at my school). and the more laid-back atmosphere of a large school makes for more time to figure out what you like to do in your free time and allows you to do it (i.e.: ofthen not as much schoolwork or strict rules).

the author does make a good point, though. private and boarding schools are not necessarily inaccessable to everyone. financial concerns (which tend to be the biggest ones) can often be alleviated. the most important thing, as you stated, is knowing that these options exist.
[ Parent ]

Nationalist! (1.62 / 43) (#4)
by Signal 11 on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 12:52:47 AM EST

I'm sick of all these stories about the UK and Europe. Europeans seem to believe they are at the center of the world. How does this affect me? It doesn't, I don't live there! What next, articles submitted in french?

People, submit stories that aren't so europe-centric - there's alot of us out here who don't live in Europe.

Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.

Ummm (2.25 / 12) (#5)
by Anonymous 7324 on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 12:55:40 AM EST

I will note, for the record, that the schools in question are in the U.S. Please try a few links first, next time.

[ Parent ]
Ngggh. (1.13 / 23) (#6)
by Signal 11 on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 12:57:20 AM EST


Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
[ Parent ]
Now the Boot is on the other foot ! (2.36 / 11) (#9)
by Phage on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 01:01:34 AM EST

If you read the other comments you will see that I mentioned the Australian equivalent that will alow kids to obtain scholarships to selective schools.Interested kids down here should mention this to their parents/teachers/interested parties.
It has always seemed to me that the US felt that they were at the centre of the world

Don't complain because the US for once is not the centre of attention...

I don't find Heathens to be sexy, as a general rule.
[ Parent ]

Why not French? (2.25 / 8) (#14)
by vrai on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 03:27:14 AM EST

... and I don't live in the US, yet we get hundreds of stories that are only of interest to Americans (such as this one). However, rather than whinge about it I simply don't read them (shocking I know).

The internet is global ... get used to it.

[ Parent ]
Unfair Rating Alert! (1.00 / 5) (#50)
by unfair_rating_alert! on Sun Dec 17, 2000 at 06:26:16 PM EST

Sure, Signal 11 trolled and this poster bit the bait. But does he deserve a 1.33 rating for misunderstanding a trick post by a master troller? Honestly, by unfair_rating_alert!'s perspective, Signal 11 has the right rating (now 1.43) and this poor K5 contributor simply gave an honest response. Should people be penalized for walking blind into a trick? Would you punish someone for tripping over a hidden wire, or would you punish the trickster?

---- Begin Canned Text ----

This comment was provided by unfair_rating_alert!, a troll account created strictly to look for intelligent comments unfairly rated below 2.00. Many readers may not agree with the content of the previous post, however, this account holder believes that most fair users should find that it didn't deserve such a low rating.

The purpose of this account is strictly to discern and then publicly show bias within the rating system in order to affect change by the general readership. Therefore, this account will not post topical or editorial content, rebuttals, story submissions, rate comments, or vote on story submissions. Readers are encouraged to reconsider a rating and act according to their conscience.

While the comment to which this unfair_rating_alert! refers remains blatently unfair, Trusted Users are encouraged to rate this unfair_ratintg_alert! up above a 1.00 if found hidden. Regular users are encouraged to leave the unfair_rating_alert! unrated if at all possible, or rate it below 2.00 if found above that threshold. The natural rating for this comment should be unrated or 1.00 as it offers no substance relevant to the story or thread in which it resides. Once the unfairly rated comment, to which this article is in reply, achieves a reasonably fair rating, then Trusted Users are requested to hide this unfair_rating_alert! so as to clean up the clutter.

---- End Canned Text ----

[ Parent ]

Both. (3.00 / 2) (#52)
by anonymoushero on Mon Dec 18, 2000 at 08:17:14 PM EST

Both should get whacked, the dummy for not reading/thinking, and the troll for giving people an excuse for showing their ignorance (and immediately flaming).

And you my friend should be posting in the red/editorial -- too bad I can't figure out how to do it, but that's where comment rating discussions really should take place.

-- Ender, Duke_of_URL

[ Parent ]
Good troll (2.36 / 11) (#18)
by efarq on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 05:39:02 AM EST

Impressive. You managed to fool three people into thinking that you were serious. Well done.

[ Parent ]
Troll? (2.16 / 6) (#48)
by shonson on Sun Dec 17, 2000 at 08:35:28 AM EST

Do you ever stop trolling, Im in Australia, and found this article interesting, at least it was productive, not some useless bitch by you. Since when has the US been the centre of the world, face it, your country isn't the superiour nation.
-- Steven in #kuro5hin
[ Parent ]
c'est possible (4.00 / 1) (#53)
by mircrypt on Tue Dec 19, 2000 at 01:58:31 PM EST

Si tu n'as pas aucun idee qu'il y un monde autour des Etats-Unis, et que l'Amerique n'exhibite pas la culture du monde vous devriez essayer de sortir de tien maison et decouvrier que tu rien de raison pour continuer avec ton attitude en merdant!
"Experience is not what happens to you; it is what you do with what happens to you". - Aldus Huxley -
[ Parent ]
The other site's collective... (3.80 / 5) (#8)
by kjeldar on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 01:00:58 AM EST

You know, I find it a little sickening that the other site's readership have prevented Voices from the Hellmouth from being read by as wide an audience as it could have been. Voices needs to get out there and be read by members of the non-technical community, and /.'s readership's rallying cry of "But, Malda, you said that comments are owned by the poster!" has prevented it from happening.

IM*O, as always. I'd be interested to hear other people's thoughts on this.

I'll agree to that (4.33 / 3) (#13)
by Elendale on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 02:25:48 AM EST

AFAIK, it was the trolls (big fans of Katz, actually) who started the whole hypocrite thing. Also, IIRC when the /. crew asked if anyone didn't want their comments being in the book (again, this is 'use my comment in your book as it is now' agreement) only one person said no and that person had not posted a comment that was being used.

My biggest beef with Katz is that he's talking to the wrong people- the geeks, the goths, the gays, the racial minorities all know (in varying degrees) the things that Katz rambles on about- he needs to talk to the majority and that is exactly what /. prevented him from doing. True he's shown up on public radio a few times and generally done more than 'your average geek' (or at least, more than i) have done. Its ironic that the /. people destroyed one of the best (IMHO) eye-openers for 'joe average folk' that we've had in a while (witholding the events that prompted it, of course). How ironic indeed.

Many people do not hold sympathy in their hearts for the gunmen of Columbine, but i do. I feel sorry for them because while they killed their classmates their classmates killed them as well. I have sympathy because, under different circumstance- lets say i was treated worse than i was, or that my parents didn't care as much about me- it might have been me. I doubt it now, but that's the 'been there, done that' Elendale talking- not the one who was tortured in school. Lets also not forget the parents of those killed- not excluding the gunmen- who are suffering probably today and probably tomorrow because of these acts. This is the result of schools today, and it needs to be fixed. Problem is, it seems there's some kind of mass amnesia- when you leave high shcool its just like a bad dream you ignore when you awake. Things like the Voices From The Hellmouth would be a very good thing to be able to point to or to have sitting on your table when you have guests. Its a shame /. trolling and immaturity got the better of it. Its also one of the reasons i'm here instead of there.

-Elendale (you asked, i'm just tangental)

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.

[ Parent ]
copyrights (none / 0) (#47)
by Delirium on Sun Dec 17, 2000 at 03:39:03 AM EST

FWIW I don't think the comments should be used without permission either. If you want to be able to republish someone's comments in a commercial book, then have a license to that effect (as technocrat.net does). If you claim "all comments are owned by the poster" then I don't see how you have room to complain when people take you up on that claim. Slashdot should've contacted the posters (they have valid email addresses for all logged-in posters) and asked for their permission to reuse their comments in a commerically published book. They can't just *assume* that permission when they've explicitly disclaimed any such rights. For a site so dedicated to the rhetoric surrounding Free Software /.'s editors often seem pretty lax about copyright matters in their own undertakings (in addition to the fact that CmdrTaco steadfastly refuses to run the Slash development in open-source fashion, only grudgingly releasing source and not accepting patches).

[ Parent ]
boarding school questions (4.33 / 3) (#11)
by phunbalanced on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 02:06:00 AM EST

If you have any questions regarding boarding school... I'ld be happy to answer them.

I attended Deerfield Academy for three years. While not as well heard of as Exeter and all... it was quite a school. From what I've heard, Deerfield and Exeter vied for the #1 ranking school. But that's neither here nor there, and I'm not sure if that was supposed to apply to boarding schools or all schools... etc...

Deerfield, was my top choice, but I had originally applied to Andover, Choate, and Hotchkiss as well (nope, not exeter :)

My take on all of it was that, just like anywhere else, you have to make the best of your situation. Take advantage of opportunities you run across while there. The first point being made, because boarding school (at least to me) epitomized the jock / cool vs. smart / nerdy stereotypes, even though a lot of us fell squarely in the middle. Not to mention the money that mommy and daddy would throw at some of those kids. The second point, being that while, in boarding school, there's lots of fun to be had, there are sooo many opportunities for strange things in boarding school. I suppose the reason is they feel some responsibility to entertain you. Whatever the reason, there are some great lectures, etc.. and it's a very good step before college (or in my case, a lack there of).

Well, good luck, and I apologize if I lost coherency here and there, I'm very sleepy.

Not all good... (4.50 / 4) (#16)
by titus-g on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 04:34:58 AM EST

My wife went to a boarding school in the UK, and went through some serious persecution from another student there, pretty much treated like a slave, and also force fed (when she returned home she was actually had to go into hospital for a while because she had put on so much weight so fast).

One real problem is that you don't go home at the end of the day (in her case it was once a year at most, she's from Malaysia) so if you have problems you are stuck with them. And even if you call home then there's a fair chance your parents will just think it's overreacting/homesickness...

For a lot of people it may be a change for the better, but I don't see it as a miracle cure.

--"Essentially madness is like charity, it begins at home" --

diversity (3.00 / 2) (#17)
by Delirium on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 05:35:44 AM EST

While I'm not going to argue that boarding schools fully deserve the elitist stereotypes they often have, there is something to be said for more diverse environments. I went to a rather large public high school and most of my classes were very good (I took almost exclusively AP classes, especially the last two years). While a boarding school's classes might have been somewhat superior academically, I do feel that I benefitted from the diverse environment of being able to interact with the other kids who were around - not just the limited set of kids taking all the AP classes with me. Some of the most interesting people I've met are people who would struggle to graduate from even a community college, but are amazing at other things (songwriting, painting, skateboarding, singing, and a variety of other things). These types of people obviously wouldn't be around at a prestigious and difficult-to-get-into boarding school. FWIW this is also one of the reasons I'm considering transfering from a small but prestigious college to a fairly good state school.

And on an unrelated topic, 100Base-T ethernet is really not that high of a priority. Sure, it's nice, and I like having it now, but you can get most of the same stuff accomplished on a 56.6 kbps modem, just slower. Unless you're a warez fiend of course.

56K vs broadband: Quantitative or Qualitative? (2.00 / 3) (#26)
by _Quinn on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 01:08:57 PM EST

   This is actually a topic that's been kicking around in my head for a while... are broadband and 56K connections qualitatively different? (That is, do they effect how you use the net, rather than how quickly?) I'm leaning toward yes (and writing an article about why), but I haven't nailed down if always-on is more important than a wide pipe. Having never used DSL, I lack a useful perspective on that question. You may see more on this later :)

Reality Maintenance Group, Silver City Construction Co., Ltd.
[ Parent ]
Broadband makes the net more useful (2.50 / 2) (#38)
by Phaser777 on Sat Dec 16, 2000 at 03:16:49 AM EST

I think having broadband over 56K does affect how you use the net. When I was on a modem, pretty much all I could do was read web pages and download a few files slowly. And with only 1 phone line, I couldn't be on 24/7. Since I got cable, I tend to download more music (mp3.com) and download and test more software. Playing games at a decent pingrate is nice too. Basicly, I'm not limited to pictures and text anymore.

I personally think always-on is more important than high bandwidth, but since those two generally seem to go together with DSL and cable lines, so is it really that important to find out which is more important?
My business plan:
Obtain the patents for something (the more obvious and general the better)
Wait until someone else adopts the idea and becomes rich off it.
Sue them.
[ Parent ]
not really IMO (2.50 / 2) (#40)
by Delirium on Sat Dec 16, 2000 at 04:15:00 AM EST

I don't really think broadband and 56k are that different. I have a 10BaseT connection at school and a 56k connection at home, and I use the internet for pretty much the same things - reading webpages, email, playing Starcraft - in both cases. Sure, on the 10BaseT I can download mp3s faster, but on the 56k I just find a good server with lots of mp3s and queue them overnight and end up getting the same mp3s. The only other thing you can't really do on a 56k is watch streaming video, which I've never really done much of anyway - I prefer downloadable video, which I can download on my 56k perfectly well by just queuing it overnight again.

[ Parent ]
Free Software (2.50 / 2) (#46)
by emptyshell on Sat Dec 16, 2000 at 09:08:47 PM EST

Having a fast connection makes surfing more pleasurable in general, but the real advantage I've found is that it makes free software so much more accessible. When I want to play with a new toy, I can just grab the latest version. Suddenly, OS installs over the internet work great. I've had excellent experiences installing Debian and OpenBSD straight off the net. So much of the open source world requires a network connection, that I'm going to be reluctant to ever go back to 56K.

[ Parent ]
server (2.00 / 2) (#49)
by kubalaa on Sun Dec 17, 2000 at 03:55:50 PM EST

This is by far the biggest advantage of broadband. I think people without always-on and the ability to run their own servers don't know what they're missing. I can have access to my computer from anywhere via ssh, painlessly host my own website and ftp servers, and I'm setting up a mail server over Christmas. DynDNS and the like mean you can have a free "static" address.

It's a ticket to a real voice online. You get to be part of the Internet on a new level. Doing simple administration isn't as hard as one might think, and you learn useful things while doing it. Just so this is remotely on-topic, I think that the voice a server gives you can do a lot towards bringing ostracized geeks together. The internet is touted as a democratic forum for content where anybody can put up a page, but it occurs to me that people with the know-how to do more stuff (i.e. set up servers) have greater control and thus more influence over the direction online culture flows. Hope for geeks yet?

[ Parent ]

My opinion of this whole thing (3.86 / 23) (#19)
by rusty on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 09:49:39 AM EST

...is that it has no place here. I don't want to read "Slashdot re-posts" (that is, your comment from /. that didn't get enough attention there), or recycled Katz-ishness (c.f. Voices From a Slashmouth), or, frankly, any more about high-school. The first two I feel very strongly about. The last one, well, just my preference.

Please don't bring Katz here. It's already led to trolling, and there will be more. The man, and all associated with him, are the death of rational discourse. See also Stating the Obvious: The Katzdot Effect for why people hate the man so strongly, and why we should please, oh please god, avoid re-posting Katz stuff here.

Not the real rusty

The good thing about K5 .. (4.75 / 4) (#37)
by Eloquence on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 11:26:40 PM EST

.. is that it isn't Slashdot. There's simply no point to trolling on K5, and that's the reason we have less trolls. I don't agree with the doomsayers who predict the end of K5 as the number of users increases. If they were right, we already would have a dozen trolls per day or so. Some reasons we have not:

  • No anonymous cowards. As much as I like anonymity, some sort of authentication (which does not have to reveal the identity) has always strengthened discourse in public forums and leveraged it above the toilet wall standard.
  • Moderation by everyone. The likeliness of unfair moderation is reduced, the feeling (however justified) to be unfairly treated is reduced as well. If the number of ratings was shown on each comment, this would work even better.
  • Trusted users. The whole concept is quite powerful, although it is not perfect yet (we may get a "Mojo whoring" meme sooner or later because high rating posts tend to be those in line with the majority view).
  • "First p0st"s don't make sense because of queue.
  • On Slashdot, when a story is archived, you can't set the threshold anymore, so you see many trolls who haven't been downmodded; so trolls on Slashdot have the motivation to be visibly archived in all eternity.
  • You, Inoshiro and the rest of the people behind K5. You have always shown that you care about this site, participated in the discussions, been available for chat, made important announcements etc. - not like many of the Slashdot editors who seem to perceive it as unprofessional to explain their actions openly.
  • No labels. Some have asked for labels for moderating down comments, but labels are a form of encouragement. A troll likels to be labeled a troll, that gives him attention.
  • The usership of K5. Many of us invest a lot of time in this site, and we'd rather not see it go to hell.

I'm writing this because I think you're worried too much about trollfests. We don't have to fear large numbers of trolls, more the individual, dedicated ones, but I think these are getting demotivated fast. There have been some Sig 11 haters, but they seem to get tired as each of their flame gets nulled quite quickly.

Don't worry about Katz, even if you don't like him. This isn't Slashdot, and we deal with things differently. There may be some discussions that are polarized (like Guns & OSes or the copyright discussions, and the few discussions on the election), but we won't have trollfests. A polarized discussion is not necessarily bad, it helps us see & explain our differences, test our arguments and sharpen our rhetoric.
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

Thank you. (3.00 / 2) (#41)
by rusty on Sat Dec 16, 2000 at 10:01:09 AM EST

Sometimes I worry too much. Thank you for that, I feel much better now. :-)

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Abandonment... (3.66 / 6) (#20)
by Luke Scharf on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 10:00:28 AM EST

When I was about to make the transition to high school, my mother found this private boarding school that she thought would be good for me. I was offered a free ride there. It was a very artsy place, but that's an entirely different issue.

My father decided that I shouldn't go. One of his good friends had gone to such a school - his friend was basically abandoned by his parents who preferred to write the school a check rathern than to raise their kid. My dad wanted to make sure that I didn't suffer that fate.

So, I went to a public high school and conquered the place. I wouldn't say I was "popular", but pretty much everyone who knew me respected me. Also, my dad, my stepmom, and I ran a computer sales and repair place which led directly into what I'm doing now. I think I'll graduate from $UNIVERSITY in the spring and come back for grad school. :-)

Pros and Cons of Private Schools (4.33 / 6) (#22)
by spaceghoti on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 11:01:38 AM EST

I went to a private school (not a boarding school, though) for a large part of my junior and high school years. Due to the fact that it was sponsored and run by my mother's church (we just won't go there, 'k?) it was fairly isolated and featured a targeted education toward religious matters. When I finally broke away and joined the public school, it was an incredible culture shock. No more standardized dress, no controls on speech and a huge diversity in interests and possibilities. While I believe the private school challenged and taught me far more than the public school did, the public school exposed me to a range of experiences I never would have touched otherwise.

My fiancee went to boarding school in Australia, Scots University, which is a Lutheran-based school. I'm finding that a lot of private schools have either a religious slant or funding, so it's something to bear in mind if you have a problem with having religion force-fed to you. She felt the uniform dress code helped to stifle a lot of the classism that results when some families can afford to clothe their children better than others, but the girls in her school still managed to enforce it by inspecting footwear. Anyone who wasn't wearing Nike or Adidas or Reebok was clearly inferior and treated as such.

Depending on the school and the size of the school, you can still find some stubborn pockets of insularity and discrimination. Boarding schools won't necessarily solve your problems of popularity and acceptance, it could just change the location. Some school administrations will try hard to help you out (certainly more than the overworked and overpopulated public schools), but you have no guarantees. It could change your life and it could aggravate the problem; it all depends on where you go and how you approach the situation.

"Humor. It is a difficult concept. It is not logical." -Saavik, ST: Wrath of Khan

My experience in a private school (5.00 / 2) (#24)
by limpdawg on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 11:53:54 AM EST

My experience with private schools is rather different than yours. I went to a private school for my high school in Wichita Kansas, and it was a lot different from your schools. I had more freedom than I would have had in a public school, there was no uniform, but there was a simple dress code. As for religion the school had a number of Christian teachers, but it also had athiests and they weren't ostracized, or made uncomfortable by others in any way.

In addition to classes we had to do community service 3 times a year. It was things like volunteering for places like Episcopal Social Services, or the zoo, or whatever else the teachers would arrange for their group. There was no classicism whatsoever as we had people ranging from those who lived in trailer parks to people with private jets being friends and getting along rather well, there were no cliques.

By contrast some of the public schools here have dress codes, they are a lot more limiting about speech, and there is violence (fighting).

[ Parent ]
Exeter (3.66 / 3) (#32)
by zkyice on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 03:28:26 PM EST

I go to Exeter right now - I'm a junior, and this is my first year. Depsite what might have been implied by the tone of my post a week or two ago, I really love it here. The overall improvements in classes, the other students, and life in general make things like the hampered internet access insignificant. I'm saying this as someone coming from an upper-middle-class public high school where I wasn't part of the popular crowd, but I wasn't an outsider either. Courses are the main reason why I came. The improvement for anyone in a worse situation than I was in is much greater. And, as the article says, don't let costs scare you off. More than a third of students here get financial aid.

Boarding Schools (2.50 / 2) (#45)
by xrayspx on Sat Dec 16, 2000 at 06:13:38 PM EST

I spent a lot of time around Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, NH. I went to public HS at Kingswood. My family couldn't afford to send me to Exeter, or Brewster for that matter, and I didn't really care. If I was unpopular in public school, I can't imagine I would have fit in much better with the preppies at those schools. I ended up dropping out of school and 7 years later I'm a sysadmin-consultant. We're still in an industry where the major selling point is WHAT and WHO you know, not the degrees you have or where you prepped. Although "where you prepped" would go a long way towards the "who you know" part I suppose. I don't usually regret my decision, except that I'd probably still be at MIT, or Cal or wherever I ended up. But hey, who wouldn't rather make money?
"I see one maggot, it all gets thrown away" -- My Wife
Boarding Schools | 53 comments (34 topical, 19 editorial, 1 hidden)
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