Thursday Thought: Fag!


My recent article about Oliver Sacks took me back to my days at Oxford, and that took me further back to my days at boarding school. The result? A “Memoir While memory Lasts” about amazing experiences.

What was the point of the weird traditions, the regimentation, the hierarchies, the pettifogging rules, the code of privilege and punishment? We certainly enjoyed a magnificent education that enriched our lives to an extraordinary degree. But beyond the scholars and the academics and the scientists, the great public schools set out to train leaders, rulers of empire, explorers, statesmen, military officers, public servants, business executives, entertainers, sportsmen, community leaders. Before we became leaders we were taught to become followers and to serve; when we became leaders we had already learned to exercise authority with responsibility.

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