Monday, 12 October 2009

Monday randomness

I sometimes get a sneaking suspicion that Blogger's word verification displays are created by taking a dictionary of truly rude phases and scrambling them ever so slightly so they're still vaguely recognisable, but not so offensive. Seriously... the ones I get are always like two letters away from being plain disgraceful.

Randomness aside (not really), thanks for all the comments on the previous post about lurking. I found them fascinating. Just to clear things up: I do not dislike lurkers (how can I dislike you when I don't know who you are?) - it's just really awesome when people de-lurk because I discover someone new who cares enough to read this bizarre blog.

I think I started on this train of thought because I discovered the other day that my dad has been reading my posts occasionally (and lurking) over the past few weeks. This immediately made me want to check my spelling and grammar on every update. He's really interested by the whole concept of blogging and keeps asking me how things work. He asked about Twitter too. I explained as best as I could (not being a Tweeter myself). I think I shall have to take him into the back-end of Blogger to show him how things are done, because for someone who works with words all day long, I'm not very good at explaining things. But it's nice to be able to teach my dad something for a chnage, seeing I regard him as my walking encyclopaedia.

I realised again while my folks have been in Russia how much I adore them. It hasn't always been like that. We weren't particularly close when I was younger and used to have quite a stormy relationship. I've always been fiercely independent and I think I felt the need to prove that I could do things without them. But things started to change when they moved away and I went into boarding school for grade 11 and grade 12 (my choice). I began, albeit very slowly, to appreciate them more and be grateful for all they do for me, which is a helluva lot.

Since we've been living in Jozi, only half an hour's drive from them, I've come to relish spending more time with them and being closer as a family. I've really, really missed them while they've been away. And I love that we're finally in a great place in our relationship now that I'm "all grown up" (haha! whatever) and that we can do Sunday lunch together without tempers flaring or someone sulking (that was usually me as a teenager).

The fact that I started to understand what family is all about when I started boarding school (which I loved) has made me think that if I ever do spawn children, I would probably consider sending them to boarding school for the last few years of high school. Not from a young age (TSC was a boarder from age six, which I think is way too young), but just for grades 10 through to 12. Maybe.

I've had many discussions about this with friends who disagree with me (most of whom didn't go to boarding school). Now I don't believe that a parent should ever abdicate responsibility to a school for teaching children discipline, obedience and all that other good stuff, but I do think boarding school helped me to learn a few important lessons: that I wasn't the centre of the universe, that sometimes you have to do things you don't want to do (like washing your own sheets and shining your school shoes) and also to appreciate my family and the time I have with them. I also had to learn how to live with people I didn't particularly get on with and I made some incredible friends.

I have friends who feel the same way and other mates who went to boarding school and hated it. I think a lot depends on personality and all that jazz. But boarding schools are really common in South Africa and while any hypothetical kids I may one day birth are looking very unlikely at present, should they one day exist, as far as I can imagine now, boarding will definitely be an option.

Or maybe I'll read back on this in 20-odd years time and laugh at myself. Who knows ;-)

K, enough brain farting for a Monday morning. Need some muesli. Bye.


Louisa said...

You know I had a fairly stormy relationshit with my parents too when I was growing up (all good now though). They gave us a choice if we wanted to go or not. My dad was in boarding school from grade 1 right through university and my mom never experienced it.

I liked the idea of getting away a bit so much that I refused to go to high school unless they sent me to boarding school, my brother didn't want to go at all and went to normal days only high school closer to home.

I guess I'll have to wait and see what kind of kid squishy will be - maybe I'll also give her the choice to do it if she wants to. I had the time of my life there...truth be told I ran a bit wild without constant supervision. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I am a proud boarder and I agree with you COMPLETELY! I think boarding school teaches independence as well as prepares one for when its complete independence (because boarding school isn't quite independence yet). And you learn lots of things in boarding school.

I only realised my parents were not gods in grade ten- it was so weird, I cried in my room in boarding school. But I learned to appreciate the little things like mom not letting me leave the house without a jersey when it was going to be cold. And I learned to appreciate everything it takes to be a parent.

Hence why I am also hesitant to make little humans of my own one day. Hesitant more like I want them but I don't. Its weird.

I thoroughly enjoyed boarding school and started in Grade eight (standard six) and I remember dreading the day I would leave, up until the day I left. I had a great time in Waterloo House.

LOL. I never noticed the verification words much hey. But its a good point- mine right now is pussis
there are so many words in that.

Oooh your dad reads your blog?! I'm already frightened to have my dad on Facebook because of what my friends say. But I suppose there will come a day...

Damaria Senne said...

Had a stormy relationship with my mother when I was younger, because she was overprotective. I wanted to attend boarding school, mostly so I could get some breathing room, she wouldn't hear of it. Had to practically had to run away from home to attend university when I was 17, and my father accompanied me to my first job interview in Joburg. Extreme I know, but as a result, I think a bit of independence for kids is a very good thing.

po said...

I always wished I could go to boarding school cos things were pretty stormy at home. They often used to threaten me with boarding school when we were fighting, and I was like PLEASE SEND ME!!!! But I think your reasoning sounds pretty good, so ja I think boarding school could be a good idea for a few years.

Shania said...

Oh my! I couldn't imagine sending Silas away at 6 years old. At 16, however, it'll probably sound like a wonderful idea!

Miss Caught Up said...

Isn't it funny how distance can bring family together? I had a close relationship with my family, especially with my father. My relationship with him actually worsened when I moved away to attend a University. However, when I finally moved 5 hours away (haha) and with the help of my mother, it corrected itself and made us closer. My father just couldn't come to terms that his little girl was growing up...
Ce la vie :)

Jeanette said...

I'm not sure about the boarding issue, I think I'll let the kids decide if they want to do it in High School - I'd miss them far too much

Helen said...

I always secretly wanted to go to boarding school. My family isn't very close - just the usual mess-with-me-and-incur-the-wrath-of-the-entire-clan kind of closeness. I thnk once I move out (if that ever happens at this rate) it might improve. It definitely made me uch closer to my brother when he left the country for a year!

as for children... the idea of having kids horrifies me, but if (IF) that ever happens I will probably send them to boarding school as I will probably continue working weird hours and being away a lot.

I agree on the word verification byt he way, the words are getting more and more bizarre and slightly dodgy every day! said...

i also enjoyed boarding school - i think learning to be independent swung the balance in my relationship with my parents.

Anonymous said...

For parents who cannot afford a boarding school and want to teach children discipline, they may want to look in to a child behavior modification program.