One of the highlights in this year’s VK6 English class was to read Boy, an autobiography written by the world's best storyteller, Roald Dahl. The author describes childhood memories both joyous and painful, such as being a servant (fag) to older pupils and the discipline in boarding school, as well as funny and exciting moments growing up with his family.
Mr. Mynn, an Englishman who grew up in the same time period in the UK as Roald Dahl was a surprise guest in the VK6 English class. Mr. Mynn answered the class’ questions and described what his life was like in the UK as a pupil. The parallels between Roald Dahl’s and Mr. Mynn’s experience were striking. Mr. Mynn told of having to clean the older boy’s muddy shoes and being hit with a shoe, and he explained that it was the norm to hit the younger pupils. According to Mr. Mynn, cruelty, hierarchy and sports all played a significant role in UK boarding schools. It was nothing out of the ordinary for boys to undergo such experiences in boarding schools in England at the time in order to ensure discipline, order and readiness for war. Although some of these stories were quite shocking for us to hear, Mr. Mynn manged to keep the discussion both interesting and amusing.
There were a few moments when it felt as if we had the famous Roald Dahl right there in our classroom.