Thursday, September 8, 2011

Betty and Back to School...

It's been a crazy summer at Casa van der Stevejinck.  From early July  until YESTERDAY we've had extra family members...for one week we had thirteen people here.  Thirteen. 

I dropped off our last kid to go yesterday morning at around 6:30am. He was sharing a ride and a u-haul with his roommate - hopefully they made it okay (13-ish hour drive - I haven't heard from him yet).  I spent most of the day yesterday AND today cleaning and doing laundry - for the first time in nearly 3 months I feel like my house is clean and organized (just don't open the door to my sewing room - I haven't made it that far yet). I even turned out a few cupboards today.  Anywho...I got to thinking about the School in the World of Neels.  Here are my (admittedly) random thoughts:

1. No Neels heroine ever goes to uni. They do take nurses 'training', courses in computer or other office skills - that's about it.
2. Heroine's brothers may well go to Cambridge...but if they do, they may as well be ghosts for all the help/input they give the family. Very seldom (but it does happen) younger sisters go to school...there's that one where the sister is going to be a doctor...Anyone?
3. Younger siblings always need help with their maths.
4. Younger boy siblings usually go to boarding school.
5. Younger girl siblings usually go to day school.
6. Dutch children don't go to boarding school.
7. Hero's sisters sometimes go to uni.

I'm not quite sure where I'm going with this, just that I would like someone to come help my teenage son with his maths...someone besides me (I'm the type to tot up wildly inaccurate sums on the back of an envelope).  Anyone?


  1. Betty Barbara here--
    In Wish with the Candles Emma's older brother is a doctor(houseman?registrar?), and her younger sister Kitty is in med school. Emma wanted to be a doctor, but had to settle for nurse because dear old dad died with his finances in a mess and there was no money at the time. Emma is now helping defray Kitty's expenses.
    And I'm almost positive there's at least one more...but I could be wrong.
    Sorry I can't help with the math. I used to be fairly good at it (but that was back when dinosaurs roamed the earth), not so much.

  2. We, too, are back to school. BettyMegan started complaining day one with homework in 3 subjects including Anatomy. She's a 10th grader!
    Funniest homework question I ever heard just got asked of Prof. Vue de Plane by BM. 'Dad is cervical cancer in your neck?' His reply, "Um, No it's lower". Fortunately I was in the kitchen, overheard them, and gave her to straight dope. I imagine she's was studying neck bones!

  3. Wasn't the heroine of the one who was typing the book for the professor who died educated in Latin? It seems to me that she might actually have gone to Uni, but I could be totally in error... it's happened before.

  4. Betty Llana, That book was 'Polly' and I had to go through a few issue to remember - have almost no connection between title and content of all her books. I just start to think its all Bettyland and as the landscape does not change it is the enjoyment of the destination that counts, rather the details of the journey.
    Rather like Betty's seeming attitude towards higher education, the best end is RDDish marital utopia not any pesky academic concerns. Polly doesn't seem to have gone to Uni, though I may be wrong, she just learns languages from study with her father.
    I always cringe at another book where one of the secondary characters appears to be blithely lead by the RDD to conclude that she won't be a doctor when she could just as well be a doctors wife. Eh...?
    Betty AnHK

  5. Yes, I remember that too Betty AnHK, this particular RDD was leading our leading lady to assume that she just couldn't do nursing. I think the Great Betty may have been implying very early on that said RDD was going to marry her, but she was not to know this and I think to her credit she was a little insulted by it. Not enough, though.

  6. The RDDs often (always?) had medical degrees from both Leiden and Cambridge.

  7. There was one where the heroine had been planning on college and studying Old English, if I remember correctly. Old English and Anglo-Saxon. It was one of the dad-dies-unexpectedly and she beomes breadwinner ones. Or possibly an orphan, but I think breadwinner.

  8. Interesting discussions here. I do wonder the same about the heroines. Obviously BN wasn't against highly-educated women, as the nice other-woman Janet in Fate is Remarkable was also a doctor.