Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Linton Hall Military School from an adult point of view

My first post was about my memories ... what I remembered as a child.

I just want to reflect a little on what I feel that Linton Hall Military School gave me (or failed to give me) after I left.

There's a cliche that children need two things: roots and wings. Wings is the preparation for adulthood, which involves many things (academic, social, and practical skills, for example) but also self-responsibility. I believe that it's important to children to be given the opportunity of making small mistakes and learning from them. This becomes more important as children get older. For example, a two year old might be told to stay away from matches because a parent says so, or in order to avoid getting a smack in the butt. An older child can and should know why he should not play with matches -- at least not indoors, and not near flammable substances such as dry leaves.

I think only by having an allowance does a child learn to manage money, to save and spend it wisely. Likewise, by having his own room and having the autonomy to hang or not hang his clothes to learn that it's not wise to throw clothes and other items on the floor because they get dirty, wrinkled, damaged, lost and so on. If you need to ask for permission before spending your allowance or if you are told precisely how to fold your clothes and make your bed, your room might look very neat, but you aren't really learning self responsibility.

I've known college students who didn't learn this and had so many clothes strewn across the floor that it was hard to see what color the carpet was. I've also known adults unable to manage money -- much less credit -- and who ended up paying $38 for a cup of coffee as a result. That's not a typo; $3 for the coffee plus $35 bank overdraft fee for using a debit card to pay for the coffee when their checking account was overdrawn.

By having every aspect of my life micromanaged at Linton Hall Military School, I do not feel that Linton Hall prepared me for having the self-responsibility that others had when entering high school. You know, count of 30 to brush your teeth and wash your face, count of 30 to get dressed, count of 30 to make your bed in a very precise way. Great preparation for going into an institution such as the military, prison, insane asylum or monastery, but not for learning self responsibility.

I wonder what it was like for those who spent the majority of their childhood there, from grades 3 to 8 and how well they were able to adjust to life outside Linton Hall Military School.

Copyright 2010 "L.H. Cadet"
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This blog is NOT affiliated with Linton Hall Military School. The opinions contained are those of the author.

4 comments:

  1. I went to Linton Hall in 5th grade, a suffering experience. The arrogance of abusive nuns and the all powerful Bill who liked to pull out the short hair even with my ears. The near existence of starvation and suffer signs that placed an environment of distrust and general contempt for the powerful taught me a sense of fair play and compassion that lives inside me today & forever. I also learned the most powerful virtue that one human being can convey on another, kindness. Kindness was so lacking and flowed from me in a very controlled and metered fashion while there in school that I can't bear to see a child suffer in any way. I wonder who else went there and where they are today. My best friend was Asmundo and I never saw him again after that dreadful year. I did see the almighty Sister Mary David on her death bed, still consumed with her own self importance and paid my last respect to her in Richmond, VA years later... it was the right thing to do and showed her kindness even though she spread misery to so many children and thought she was doing the right thing in the eyes of GOD. What an ironic situation of a life spent that had the power to make life better for so many children and never did. I wonder how many institutions exist today like Linton Hall that deserve to be closed. Face it, if it were such a great place, our memories would be found, but mine are not! That God I only served 1 year.
    Robert Davis rdavisinva@yahoo.com

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  2. Wow, I almost forgot how the Nun's relished in grabbing kids hair and yanking with all their might. So, did Bill teach that to the Nun's or vise versa? Every time I mention to someone about the "Catholic Military School" they always flinch. I don't recall any of the Nun's names, but I always wondered what they did in that little room in the front of the dorm.

    Funny how Robert refers to "serving 1 year" makes it sound like prison don't it! lol

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Hey guys, I went there for 5 years, and, it was terrible, and lol, I visited Splintersville frequently, and marched off demerits every play day.

    But, I just don't remember the same stuff so many of you write.

    And, I find it sickning that the L inton Hall C adet is so obsessed with hiding his name.

    It's as though he thinks people long passes are still looking for him.

    In essence the Nuns are still the monsters under his bed.

    He writes like he's still a child.

    I never remember being hungry, or think I was abused, again, though I got spanked all the time.

    Even with a gun strap.

    Remember holding rifles out in the the crucifixion position?

    I wrote a piece years ago about my experience there titled "Linton Hall Whiners," in case anyone cares.

    From a kids perspective, it was horrible, but, goodness it was a Catholic Military School in the 60-70's.

    We should be mad at our parents for sending us there, not the Nuns and Max for being as advertised.

    Sister Mary David beat the heck out of my backside a lot, but, she also spent her time tutoring me in reading in the evenings.

    I'll reserve my views about the rest of you, especially those man enough to use their names.

    But, The Linton Hall C adet is a flat out coward and sissy.

    And, lol, I'm proud to attach my name to my comments.

    Those that criticize the dead from behind a curtain are despicable people.

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