The problem with Gronk’s ambition was the school streaming system. As an Outsider, he was automatically in the lower sets and excluded from the all-important Snobbier-Than-Thou course. Whilst he accepted Outsiders should generally be prohibited from this part of the curriculum, he thought exceptions should be made for outstanding candidates such as himself because he was not like the other Outsiders. He was aspirational and dreamed of the opportunity to learn snooty qualities.
The course focussed on elocution. Pupils practiced the art of lengthened vowels and the use of words to appear intelligent. The power of perception was limitless when looking down on others. With accents mastered, the children moved onto deportment because posture can only enhance impressions. The way a Poshey stands or walks will portray a self-assured look and an altogether magnificent person, according to the teachers. Skilled practitioners held their head high so as to elevate the nose.
Then came style, a crucial component of the overall effect. Girls were taught to wear flamboyant dresses or tailored skirts and blouses to attract admiration. Note should be taken of ladies in the Snook whose elegant look was accentuated by sumptuous pearls and luxurious fashion. Boys would give the right impression with high hair and polo shirts with upturned collars. Jumpers-over-the-shoulders and corduroy trousers also created the correct impression. Observing gentlemen around the Snook would reinforce sophisticated attire, which subtly blended tradition with a contemporary style. Flashy panache must be displayed at all times.
Etiquette remained an absolutely necessary further module. Good manners to one’s own sort were indispensable. Boys and girls alike should refrain from slouching or eating like a cow. Posheys must be treated with the courtesy and respect they deserve. The course was rounded off with pastimes. Ballet, opera and classical music were priority interests. And sports such as rowing, lacrosse and tennis helped to keep a person healthy, portray the correct image and mix with the right people.
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