Thursday, November 12


I watch a bit of the movie 'Hoodwinked' which the kids absorb on 'movie night.'  It's awful - nouveau animation, loud music, awful plot, silly charters.  I point this out and Madeleine, eyes glued to the set: "It is a kids movie, Dad. You don't understand it."  And I suppose, indeed, she is right.

Sonnet and I visit the Hampton School in Surrey this afternoon. Eitan will sit his exams in Year-6 while we are a year or so ahead of the curve, reviewing state and public schools for his secondary education (the equivalent of Jr and High School in the US). Madeleine will begin next year.  Hampton was founded in 1552 and remains steadfastly all-boys, though there is a neigbhoring sister school where, I am sure, the hormones make a bee-line.  The Head Master leads a presentation equal to anything I saw at the Columbia Business School (though without cheese nor $200K signing bonuses).  The school's data speaks for itself: around 77% of the boys scored  "A" on their GCSEs while the national average (including girls, boosting the rate)  20% (GCSEs BTW are part of the National Qualifications Framework. A GCSE at grades D–G is a Level 1 qualification, while a GCSE at grades A–C is a Level 2 qualification. An A is an exceptional outcome).  This makes Hampton School one of the top ten secondaries in Britain.

Of great interest to our house: football popular and Hampton won the Indpendent School's Cup in 1999 and 2007 and reached the final in 2005 and 2009.

Any wayssss .. Sonnet and I impressed by the lads who are tall, purposely disheveled, handsome, friendly .. I can see Eitan here but who knows? For his part, Eitan aware of the Hampton School since many of his school pals want to go here (or at least, their parents want them to go here).  Stay tuned.

Sonnet and I discuss the differences of Hampton  vs. her Anchorage high school Steller or my Berkeley High School.  There is no doubt a top British public school (ie, private) opportunities enormous especially here in or around London.  Beyond tradition and all that, these boys travel. They visit or do exchanges around the world in places like Uruguay and Malowi - 27 countries in all last year.  The cricket club was in South Africa and will tour India this year.  Wow. I got a good education at BHS and was lucky or motivated to spend a year in Geneva but this unusual - my parents made it so.  Here, anything can be done. And why not? As a teacher says today: "We should set the example. We live in the fourth wealthiest country in the world and ours one of the ten best secondary schools."  And there you have it.

Eitan: "You have an extraordinary ability to remember every bad thing that has happened to you."
Madeleine: "Eitan - that is the nicest thing you have ever said to me!"