It’s only my second visit to Ojai, CA and it seems like it’s a beautiful place to live. Each time I have come it’s to pay a visit to my husband’s high school, The Thacher School. Both times we stayed at the Blue Iguana Inn which is a really nice property complete with quaint rooms and suites, pool, hot tub, and free breakfast. A must for my husband. They had some of the best little chocolate mini muffins but the milk wasn’t that great. The kids didn’t like it but the lovely staff made up for it. Oh, and given that orange trees were everywhere, the orange juice was probably the freshest you’ll ever get.
The kids know all about their Dad’s boarding school. They have worn newborn t-shirts, hats and I had hoped to get them orange Thacher sweatshirts but the store was closed that day. Can you believe that with the store closed, the store clerk left a note saying you could take what you wanted and pay for it later? That already says a lot about the school.
The kids see his name forever etched on the walls as School Chairman in 1994 and first recipient of the Thacher Cup given for community service. He had a speed bump added, you know. Those things are necessary but very annoying.
Now I understand why he gets roweled up when I say there are closer boarding schools to NY the kids can attend. It’s because of legacy. His legacy.
The folks there are very nice and come from every part of the country. I’m sure they come from other parts of the world but I haven’t met any this go round. I have managed to meet folks from my home state, Ohio, and even met an alum from Toledo.
With boarding school a part of our family history, it’s part of a regular conversation in our home. I went to the public school zoned for my neighborhood so my experience with the hardest part of adolescence sucked at times. My husband’s experience was caring for his horse Sierra during his freshman year, attending school resembling a country club for the smartest teens in the country, campaigning for School Chairman and winning. He wore a suit at least 4 times each week to dinner.
Let me back up a bit. He wasn’t raised in a wealthy family. He grew up in Gary, Indiana where he went to elementary school and played with the local Boys Club kids where many of them grew up to be gang members. At 14, he wanted a better life and better education. He sought out the opportunity after hearing a presentation at his middle school. With the support of his single mother, he took the entrance exam offered by A Better Chance in Chicago and received offers to at least five schools.
His experience was amazing. I hate to admit it but I see the benefits of attending boarding school. Not only do you receive a solid education with small classes, but the life experiences and opportunities can set you up for the rest of your life if you truly take advantage of all it has to offer.
If you think you can’t afford it, think of how you can’t afford to pass it up. Find programs that may pay for your child’s education like A Better Chance, Oliver’s Scholars and other similar programs, or even call the school to see if full or partial scholarships are available.
Yes, it will be hard to send your babies away but don’t look at it that way. Look at it as you sending your baby into a brighter future filled with amazing opportunities. Will I be able to do it if or when the time comes? I really don’t know.
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