Boarding School Scrapbook Scenes

NSW gates copy


Harboured from harm by high stone walls,

unacademic and sports-coach never called;

– spartan-lunches schooled us in justice,

Quaker-soaked silence this rebel trusted.


O sweet those three special girls adored,

shoe-skidded those waxed parquet floors;

readily I joined rowdy-night pillow fights,

unsanctioned walks in early-dawn light.


Long-anticipated each supper dance,

psychedelic strobes, surreptitious glances;

late-sixties student, born to be wild:

underground sounds, flower child.


Art, English and Music held appeal,

nothing else needed, my Achilles Heel;

grateful for many issued detentions,

bullies long-gone, names I won’t mention.


School report true: my existence “aimless”

my challenging conduct, far from blameless;

this academic failure, sometime class clown –

still missed old school – farewell Newtown…

leslie and louis 4

photos: Dora Kazmierak

2 thoughts on “Boarding School Scrapbook Scenes

  1. Thank you Louis! Your reflections seem to be very similar to mine although your memory for detail is far greater. It is the details you describe that bring me back to foundational experiences. I look forward to reading more and any compilation of image or spoken word!

    My second year as a boarder, 10 years old, was in Long Dorm, fittingly over the junior school. I was so happy to be back, my bed rug tucked over the bed and my tuck box filled with peanut butter and crackers. Theresa cried under her rug and I felt torn between empathy and desire to comfort and a repulsion that aligned me with other “courageous” girls. My memory of first night back was my weakness, not a homesickness, but forfitting my conscience to fit in. Newtown allowed me to discover myself in all my frailties. So glad that sports and academics did not consume that process!


    • You also have wonderful memories. If you haven’t tried, you should write down your account at NSW. Should you need any writing help, I offer myself. I started writing in NSW, starting March 1972 and I kept at it until March 2017. Long story for another day:)

      You started boarding early early. By personal choice? If ever you want to try writing your memoir let me know: is my email. (i don’t cope well with FB small message boxes)

      Thanks for reading and responding. Look out for FIRST NIGHT LIGHTS OUT on NSW FB soon…In the next few days


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