Archive for the ‘Hugo Grinebiter’s Schooldays’ Category

We Don’t Want No Cultivation

Ever since the invention of education, sensitive and idealistic individuals have lamented that it has been perverted for instrumental ends, and ought instead to be about “inner cultivation”. This simply won’t happen, for one key reason: primary and secondary education is paid for by parents, directly or though taxes. They have much financial and moral […]

Feminisation Of Education?

Some attention is now being paid to the possibility that boys are doing so much worse at school than girls, not because of the innately inferior mental abilities believed in by some varieties of radical feminist (enthusiastic biological determinists whenever it works in their favour), but because of the “feminisation” of the school system. That […]

Schoolchildren, Workers And Downtime

The father comes home from a hard day at work and enjoys his well-earned “downtime”. He is, however, distracted from his enjoyment by indignation that his son has come home from an equally hard day at school and is not doing his four hours of homework. Moreover, the son has school six days a week, […]

Slaves, Servants, Workers And Children

The mental architecture of anyone with authority seems to go more or less like this: being unwilling to recognise that your inferiors in power have legitimate interests different from your own, you are obliged to posit that their interests coincide with yours. Their remarkable reluctance to sacrifice themselves to the pursuit of your interests must […]

Why The British Have Such Knobbly Knees

Modern schoolchildren appear to be taught to warm up before sports, and to stretch out afterwards. This may be because they and/or their parents often now go to private fitness clubs, whose managers and instructors have no financial interest in people damaging themselves. I do not recall much of this from my school, which enforced […]

Decline And Fall In The Sock Department

The British exhortation, “Pull your socks up!” means roughly: get your act together, shape up. Its origin is probably the fact that school uniform usually involved long socks that came almost up to the knee. The consequence of this, and almost certainly the intention behind it, was that the socks slid back down towards the […]

Four Reasons For School Uniforms

The main official justification for the uniforms of the English public school was democratic equality, that the children – and the parents through their children – not be permitted to compete with one another in expensive clothes. It is hard to quarrel with this idea, especially as the end-state of the alternative is 13-year-olds selling […]

The Mindbusters

In primary school I was taught a little descant recorder; I probably wasn’t any good, but I certainly enjoyed it, and understood a little music. Then I transferred to a public school (private school to Americans). It was basically a boarding school that also took ‘day-boys’ like me, but we only came in at 11, […]

The Governors And Their Priorities

British public schools not run by the Catholics were organised with a headmaster reporting to a Board of Governors. As far as I know, these were not elected by anyone, but co-opted on the basis of the class system, whereby intelligence and probity are deemed to accompany titles, which is to say, old money. The […]


During the Cultural Revolution, I remember some conservative idiot pointing at a photograph of Chinese schoolchildren drilling with rifles, and pontificating about how this demonstrated that the Communists were militaristic monsters. And yet the Chinese schoolchildren drilled with wooden pretend-guns; at the same time, some British schoolchildren, those outside the state sector, were drilling with […]