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.