Letters from the dorm: Age brings many changes

Letters from the dorm: Age brings many changes

Work at boarding school can be hard. This past week alone, I've had to write five 2,000-word essays and complete two four-hour maths tasks. Back in the old days of 2009, when I first came to Winchester College, life was easy. I'd finish my work in 10 minutes, then annoy the older students on duty for the rest of our allocated homework time (or "toytime", as it's called at Winchester). As the years passed by, I, along with everybody else in my grade, was gradually given more and more work. Now that I'm a "senior" at school, a strange role reversal has occurred.

As someone in charge of toytime, I now find myself in the frustrating situation whereby the first and second year students annoy me. So here I am, with heaps of work, unable to do any of it because some first year students want me to help them solve some mind-numbingly easy maths questions. It's annoying because they really shouldn't need any help. But, of course, being a model citizen, I do end up helping them, but not without some complaints.

So here I am, ranting like an old man about the "lack of respect these days". One might ask "What's the point of going to boarding school if you're just going to spend all your time dealing with junior students?" There are two answers to this question. The first is the existence of something called a "Sergeant's", which we can award at will to any misbehaving students. Those "jokers" have to wake up in the wee hours of the morning, put on a full uniform, and take a 15-minute walk to Porter's Lodge, where they have to sign their names on a registration list.

Bear in mind that in Britain, it often gets very cold and wet, which causes more headaches for those unlucky enough to be punished the previous night.

The second reason is that the quality of education one receives at a private school like Winchester is a lot better than at many other institutions due to its structured, well-rounded nature.


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