A lot of it comes from having been sent away to board at a young age,
although people who were only day pupils have it as well because it can be
picked up from your peers.
I noticed that. The friends who spent time away at boarding schools or in
preparatory schools had a completely different view of college than the
one's that had gone to public school. Also a vastly different education in
some cases...many had read books or done things others hadn't.
Not sure what it is like in the UK? But not all public schools are created
equal here. Some are much better than others, and where you go is defined
by where you live.
My mother had a bit of a prejudice against private schools (she'd been a
speech therapist and done the school circuit in Chicago), and you had to
test well to get in. (My brother and I tested horribly on those
computerized tests -- we were both dyslexic.) The public schools in
Chester County, Pennsylvania -- which is more rural (big back yards, our
backyard had almost a forest, creeks, a forest in front, and lower to
middle class, basically horse country, had horrific public schools. The
worst in the country -- they were ranked at the bottom. We moved to Johnson
County, Kansas when I was in the 5th grade -- and Johnson County has the
top schools in the country and is suburban, less rural, lower to upper
middle to wealthy.
The difference in education was night and day. I went from studying the
American Revolutionary War and Civil War for the 15th time to studying the
Ancient Greeks, Hebrews and Egypt. I went from doing rudimentary math to
algebra. We went from science being a field trip on how to make cider and
donuts, to experiments.
The library was also different -- I went from reading Nancy Drew to reading
Tolkien and CS Lewis.
So location has a lot to do with it. More rural areas in the US don't have
the educational advantages that more suburban and urban areas often do.
However, if you ever see The Wire or Waiting for Superman - the public
schools in the urban areas are a mixed bag -- and many go to private, safer
and a better education.
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