One of the things I love about spending one-on-one time with Keeley is the little things she comes out with. Like yesterday.
Her school went on a weeks' camp in the bush last week. Since it's done as part of the Army Cadets program, it's proper camping. The kids set up their own hoochies, carry their own gear, cook their food, no showers, etc.
The highlight of the week is at the end of the camp, when each of the platoons creates a War Cry and performs it in front of all the other cadets.
It's an intense competition with the teachers & instructors judging the War Cries and the winners gaining a lot of prestige over their rivals.
The girls in Keeley's Platoon spent two days coming up with the words while they were marching, kayaking and canyoning. Once they hit final camp, they then spent an evening crafting the moves to complement the music and words.
One of Keeley’s friends, Issy, is new to the school and was a little concerned about how she should behave. The school (TAS) was a boys’ school until 3 years ago and still retains a lot of the boys school behaviours. It's one of the reasons the girls & I love the school.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and possibly upset a few people, but from what I can see, teenage boys have way more fun than teenage girls.
That’s a vast generalisation, I know. But as a whole, teenage boys don’t take themselves anywhere near as seriously as teenage girls.
Particularly not when a group of them get together.
When a group of teenage girls get together, they bitch and moan and backstab.
Boys just play footie and wrestle and shout abuse at each other.
TAS has managed to retain that boy-ish quality with the result that the girls at the school do a lot less bitching, and enjoy themselves a lot more, than they do at all girls’ schools.
Like I say, it’s just my opinion.
Back to the story. As the girls’ were about to perform their war cry, Issy sidled up to Keeley and quietly asked her how she should behave. Should she be restrained and try not to make a fool of herself, like she would at her old school? Or should she really go for it and go all out, throwing restraint to the wind and giving it her all, no matter what?
Passionately, Keeley continued with her story. “So, Mum, I said to Issy, “This is TAS, you’ve got to just go for it! We’ll get marked down if you don’t. It’s the opposite to your old school: people will make fun of you if you don’t give it your all”.
And Mum, it was so great to watch, Issy was like a little Pistachio! You know, kind of closed up with only a little bit of the lovely green nut inside showing and then she burst open in all her glory! It was great!”
Me [giggling and laughing]: “A pistachio? Not a rose?”
The light dawned in Keeley's eyes. “Oh, I knew there was a way to say that but I couldn’t remember it! Rose, not pistachio, she opened up like a rose!”
I dunno, personally I quite like the pistachio analogy, it has way more character.