Invaluable Lessons from Boarding School
Most people my age went to boarding school if they could afford it, because those were the better schools. They were probably mission schools, and it was preferred that your child went to school in a different ‘shags’ from yours. I was thus sent to Central province for 9 solid years through primary and high school. Lessons learned include:
» You stop being a cry baby – after the first week at school, you realize that you need to start fighting back the bullies. Unfortunately, your new uniform, blankets, shoes, socks, and all the essentials needed are gone. You pray that you’re not the last one to report to school, so you can stop being a target. And send off an emergency letter home for new supplies.
» You learn to do chores– have you ever wanted to teach your kid chores around the house, and it seems an impossible task? All you have to do is send them off to boarding school. In record time, they will learn to make beds, clean the floor, mow the lawn, clear farmland, haul stones from a quarry and much more. And no, it’s not child labor. They’re just working for their food.
» You learn to make friends – from day one, the weaker child is bullied as soon as their mom turns her back and heads home. Boarding school teaches you that you have to have social skills. Learning to be the king/queen of mchongoano will earn you maard points. You can silence that bully with a sentence. And he learns to be the chief orator, preparing him well in life.
» You learn to eat exotic foods – What better training that the diet from boarding school? Weevils are an acquired taste, they come floating in all sizes in your githeri. Ugali that is half cooked is also an acquired taste, and your intestine learns to extract the most nutrients from it. The only thing you’ll find in the best form is drinking water – never altered.
» You learn to keep time – each morning, the drill sergeant, aka matron/supervisor wakes you up with a shrill whistle, or whack of the cane if you oversleep. This guarantees that you learnt to be on time for all your jobs, lest you receive disciplinary action from your bosses. Your brain adjusts from an early age on waking up ten minutes before the clock goes off.
» You learn to interact with the opposite sex – nothing like an Irish nun watching you as you attend the drama festivals and other ‘funkies’. Her glare is good enough to drill through your brain and discard any cheeky thoughts you had. If that doesn’t work, the scattering of teachers in every suspicious corner and possible hideout diminish every chance you have to talk in privacy with the hot crush from your ‘brother’ school. This means that when you get to college you will continue with the aloof tendencies and ensure you don’t get into any trouble.
This is just a few of those that I carried on through life. My kid had better know where he/she is headed to… #nomercy