Spend more than half the day at a ‘Blue Sky’ thinking meeting for the Council of Glenalmond College. Added interest came from the fact that was being filmed by Saltire Films as part of the ‘fly on the wall’ documentary which they are preparing on the life of the College. This meant that I had to remain in ‘media mode’ for the whole morning – listening intently to everything anybody else said, remembering not to scratch myself, making at least one devastatingly ‘on message’ intervention, refraining from dealing with correspondence, writing sermons, etc. I still find the whole thing fascinating – since I carry the recent memory of being Chair of Governors at a Junior High School in Portadown. The budget was one seventh of that at Glenalmond and, while the majority of parents were totally supportive of the school, there was a minority who made it almost unmanageable. Our children passed through that system and Portadown College to follow – and it did them proud. But this is somewhat different. You may have noticed recent reports which suggested that children from socially and economically deprived backgrounds who were sent to independent boarding schools in some cases thrived – the strong culture of order and discipline and the constant presence of highly committed adults … I can understand that – having been given the most stimulating intellectual workout in a while by one of the staff over lunch – creative writing, theology, sociology, politics … all in one. But, sadly, I couldn’t afford to send myself there.
That’s nice. Old money probably means well devalued. Yes, the old alma mater which I have never visited since I shook the dust off in 1967. Carson – are you sure? Wilde – Yes. They kept removing him and re-instating him. Samuel Beckett, Henry Francis Lyte, Sam Poyntz, Walton and Adrian Empey, Desmond Boal, Harry West – not in any particular order, you understand.
Ah, David, you might not have the cash, but you have the cachet. The old Passat marks you out as definitely being old money, and coming from an alma mater that numbers Wilde and Carson amongst its alumnae, you’d be able to bluff your way halfway through the school year before anyone realized there would be no cheque forthcoming to pay the fees.
Of course, you could certainly afford it if you worked in such an institution, +David!
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