One of the residual benefits of attending a boarding school in the 1960’s is that you had to learn to organize and manage your time. Our days were completely ruled by the clock. We had specific chores and/or activities that we were expected to complete within certain time periods. It’s been fifty-eight years since I graduated from high school, so my recollection of the exact time allotments may not be completely accurate; however, I think you will understand how time dominated my days based on the illustration below.
7:00 am Wake up
7:00-7:45 am Shower, dress, prepare dormitory room for the daily inspection
7:45-8:00 am Go to dining hall and take your assigned seat
8:00- 8:20 am Breakfast
8:20-8:45 am. Go to homeroom, collect text books and go to your 1st period classroom
8:45- 9:30 am First period class
9:40-10:25 am Second period class
10:35-11:20 am Third period class
11:30-11:50 am Lunch
12:00-12:45 pm Fourth period class
12:55-1:40 pm Fifth period class
1:45-2:30 pm Sixth period class
2:40-4:00 pm Gym and /or team practices
4:00-5:30 pm Free time
5:40-6:00 pm Dinner
6:10-6:40 pm Mandatory chapel
7:00-9:00 pm Study hall
10:00 pm Lights out
With so little flexibility, I quickly learned to organize my time. For instance, before I showered or brushed my teeth in the morning, I would make my bed (with the required hospital corners) and straighten the top of my dresser and desk in preparation for the daily inspections conducted by one of the housemothers. Failure to pass inspections resulted in students being given demerits which when totaling a certain amount, would take away the few privileges we had.
To this day, I never leave my house with an unmade bed or with clothes or towels strewn around the room. Everything has its place. At school we wore uniforms so keeping our closets tidy was not difficult. Now that I have more clothing, I still arrange my closet so that all the hangars are facing in the same direction and my clothes are sorted by types and colors – slacks, blouses, tee shirts, sweaters, long dresses, skirts etc. That configuration makes it easy to quickly find any outfit I seek.
I carry my organized approach to life to other aspects of my daily living. I always alphabetize my spices and make my grocery list to correspond with the store’s aisles, so I don’t have to waste time doubling back to pick up an item.
The twins, Darcy and Danielle, in Despicable Lies were subjected to the same sort of time constraints as I have described above and they learned the same appreciation for organization while living in The Brandywine School for Girls.
EXCERPT Darcy…Page 221 “The habits she learned at Brandywine stayed with her to this day and were the reason she was so successful as a Realtor and a writer. No detail slipped past her. She made notes and wrote lists and kept numerous files. They were her security blanket.
Darcy’s sense of organization carried over into every aspect of her life. She made her grocery list according to what aisle the food was on, so she never had to double back. Her Christmas shopping was always completed and wrapped by Halloween, and her taxes were sent off to the IRS every April first. The only thing she had not been able to organize to her satisfaction was her relationship with her sister…”
Organization and time management are good things as long as you remain in control of them. I do appreciate the lessons learned in boarding school about them…So do Darcy and Danielle.
Until my next inspiration…ciao