Witch Week

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Tue Nov 11 08:05:51 EST 2003

Ven wrote:

>And don't forget the stuff about the Real boys
>and girls as aopposed to Nan and her ilk!

I think that's one of those standard and puzzling
things.  Nobody knows how somebody qualifies as
one of the "in crowd" at a school, exactly.  It
doesn't seem to have anything to do with anything
about them that can be seen objectively, money or
clothes or brains or sporting ability or obvious
markers, it's just something that everyone *knows*
in some mysterious way.  People arrive as new
pupils and are instantly "in", or they arrive and
have no friends for weeks or whole terms, and it's
impossible to see why.  I've not been a teacher,
but those I've talked with about this say that it
is clearly visible and entirely impossible to do
anything about.

DWJ's books give the ones who fail that invisible
and incomprehensible test a warm feeling of not
being the outsiders really, but the ones who *do*
understand.  Only she doesn't do it the easy way,
her characters still have to think about what
they are doing and they don't automatically get
things right.  It's an amazing feat, when I look
at it that way.


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