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Prince Charles’s school days


Le public school, che a dispetto del nome sono istituti prestigiosi e privati, in passato hanno causato non pochi danni a chi le frequentava: l’infanzia negata, atti di nonnismo e bullismo che non risparmiavano nessuno, reali compresi. Un ex allievo di Gordonstoun ci racconta cosa accadeva ai tempi in cui il Principe Carlo frequentava l’illustre scuola... By Mark Worden - LANGUAGE LEVEL C1 (ADVANCED)

Federico Torti (Standard British accent)

So Prince Charles went to my school (Gordonstoun in Scotland – ed) back in, I think, the ‘70s or ‘60s, and he didn’t really enjoy his time there initially. That’s because public schools, I guess, at the time were completely different than they are now: yeah, they were, and that’s mainly because there was a sort of system of oppression from the sort of the higher years, I guess, into forcing you to do, you know, essentially cheap labour, I don’t know, just forcing you to do really like terrible tasks, like... not terrible but just.. I don’t know, cleaning someone’s shoes... cleaning someone’s shoes or something like that, and going to get, you know, the food for the house, and throwing away the bins... like the rubbish bins and stuff, so.  And he was... he was bullied. I guess that’s because of the sort of intrinsic sort of differences that existed between him and other people at the school. And, you know, he was a noble(man), and some people there were, you know, fishermen or farmers, and, you know, there was a pretty big difference, obviously, between them, so sometimes class wars happen, I guess! But, no, it’s completely changed, as in you probably do feel a bit of this hierarchy when you’re in Year Nine, but it doesn’t go to the same extent that it would have been back in... back in the days. And it’s definitely a growing experience, and people... there’s way too much (political) correctness nowadays on not... there not being a hierarchy, but I think it is a way to be able to grow to respect your elders, and so that’s what I’ve learnt, when I was there.

(Federico Torti, who was recently a pupil at Gordonstoun, was talking to Mark Worden)

Listen to our interview with author and therapist Nick Duffell, who discusses “boarding school survivors” in the September issue of Speak Up (click here)


SPEAK UP EXPLAINS

Year Nine è l’anno scolastico frequentato all’eta di 13 anni. Siccome corrisponde al primo anno di public school, i ragazzi di Year Nine sono “i nuovi arrivati” e vengono considerati inferiori da tutti gli altri.

Fishermen or farmers pescatori o contadini. Gordonstoun offre borse di studio ai figli dei pescatori, mentre farmers (i proprietari terrieri) tendono ad essere abbastanza benestanti. In inglese c’è una differenza tra il farmer (il proprietario) e il farm labourer che lavora per lui.