Quackers outside my elegant guest house at Woodberry Forest School
Quackers outside my elegant guest house at Woodberry Forest School

Woodberry Forest School, Virginia

400 schoolboys and 70 staff made up my largest audience to date when I gave a presentation at Woodberry Forest School on Monday night.

If it had been 400 boys from an inner city school this might have been a rather scary prospect, this might have been scary. But Woodberry is as far removed from inner city as… an ocean rower is from shore.

At dinner the boy sitting next to me called me “Ma’am”, which made me feel about 80 years old, or like the Queen (which come to think of it is the same thing), but apparently I am now in the South and it is quite normal to call any woman “Ma’am” if she’s older than your sister. Once I stopped taking the Ma’am-ing as any reflection on my age, I rather got to like it as a bit of good old-fashioned Southern courtesy.

My presentation after dinner seemed to be very well received. I was very flattered to hear it described as “awesome” by the first of the gaggle of teenagers that appeared onstage afterwards to ask me more questions.

Aw shucks….

Huge thanks to all the boys and staff at Woodberry Forest School for their warm welcome – with special thanks to Matt Boesen, Deb Caughran and Abigail James for setting up the arrangements.

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