Blake Thompson daht Net

Like I was saying....

Boarding Schools?

I’m reading a book right now that is centered around an elite boarding school in the Northeast. From my knowledge (that is all from pop culture) it seems stereotypical. Mostly wealthy kids. Lots of sweaters, khaki pants/skirts, uniforms, lots of sports that are different from the South (squash, crew, field hockey, lacrosse, etc.), rebellion, lots of drama, old buildings with lots of wood and cool architecture,and good story lines for movies.

Sometimes I wonder if I would have ever liked going to a boarding school. I mean, if money were no issue. Some of these boarding schools have tuition for one year that probably rivals what my 4.5 years of college cost.  Part of it seems really cool. In some ways almost like going away to college as a 9th grader. I mean, think of some of the movies. Dead Poets Society, Toy Solidiers, School Ties, Rushmore, The Emporor’s Club, X Men, Harry Potter, Taps. And books like Jane Eyre, A Catcher In The Rye, and A Separate Peace.

Would I have enjoyed that? I know it would have been completely different from anything like Amory High School. I think I could have gone one of two directions (at least). But I could have been the guy who ended up being very quiet and just tried to take everything in, or I could have been the one who everyone knew because he talked too much a lot. It seems that there’s various moral pathways to choose too. Lots of opportunities for “new” experiences. Part of me looks back and thinks I would have really enjoyed the experience of being away and on my own like that.

But then I think to my own kids. What if they wanted to and somehow had an opportunity to go? Would I want my 14 year old daughter or son moving out of my home to live at least a day’s drive away for a semester at a time? Would I be willing to give away the responsibility of continuing to shape them and mature them in our own family ideals and beliefs? Give it away to strangers? That’s a heavy question. One I’m sure my wife would say “Heck no!”.

I’d say I think that I could handle going away to a school like that, but not sure I’d want my own kids to handle it. Plus, as a parent, I’d be giving up some fantastic years of sharing life together (even though I’d miss out on a lot of the teen drama.) And them sharing life w/ each other too.

So…if you’ve read this far: Would you have gone to a full time boarding school if you could? AND Would you consider sending your own children if they could attend?

Tell me here.

7 Comments

  1. Ooooh, good question. I think I could have done it. I think I would’ve liked it, but I definitely would be hesitant about sending my kids. Is that fair? Not sure, but I think there’s something intriguing about the boarding school idea.

    Love the new look, by the way.

  2. My parents threatened to send me to boarding school, and I spent the next six months removing literature from any school from the mailbox before my parents could get their hands on it and send me away; I wanted to graduate high school with my friends at home. After being told I could attend the college / university of my choice, I looked forward to life at UCBerkeley. That choice was promptly axed by my dad who, to my surprise, was fully aware of what was going on at Berkeley during the early 70’s. I suppose he would have prederred I was educated at his alma mater, the #2 party school in the nation!

  3. i think i would’ve liked it from an independence perspective, and maybe from a straight schooling perspective as well… I graduated from HS early, which i wouldn’t have been able to do at a boarding school. But I don’t think i would do it…

    and no, i wouldn’t send my kids off. You said it yourself, am i willing to lose the years where I could still shape their life? no…

    of course if form holds true, that will be their rebellious years and i won’t be doing much shaping anyway

  4. I forgot to answer part two. No, I definitely wouldn’t send my child to boarding school. I sometimes question my decision to keep my son home when, at age 14, he was offered summer classes at Duke, but I just didn’t think he was ready to be several states away for the entire summer. I knew I wasn’t ready.

  5. I think I fall in with everyone else. I would like to do it myself for the thrill. But don’t feel like I’d want to send my own kids. Maybe that’s selfish or hypocritical. But honest. I asked my wife and she said, “No way!” She didn’t even want to think about “paying $$ to send my kids somewhere so someone else can raise them fulltime.”

    g: Did your son ever know about that opportunity?

  6. I’m with your wife: “heck no!”
    I have a good friend who went to boarding school and he says ‘it’s not all Harry Potter, believe you me!’

  7. Blake

    10/06/2008 at 8:37 am

    Tara: The more I read in this book, the more I know I’d want to have my kids with me during their high school years. Of course there’s no way to assure that they’ll be perfect and always make the right choice every time. But there’s probably a lot to be said for the nearness and relationship between parent and child that can begin to fracture if they’re not around.

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