Dear Mrs. Dashwood, we need to talk about Margaret.
I want to assure you that here at the Devonshire School For Young Ladies, we hold the highest aspirations and expectations for all our young pupils. And frankly Mrs. Dashwood, we do not take kindly to certain aspects of your youngest daughter’s disposition.
For instance, she attempted to turn physical education hour into a “pirate duel” with another student. She threatened them with something called “swabbing”? Mrs. Dashwood, once we figure out what that is, Margaret will be punished. We do not appreciate her derailing lessons with fanciful tales of imaginary trips to China.
Additionally, she truly loathes going on school walks and says she walks too much at home. Walks too much!? What nonsense! As I’m sure you know, walking is SO beneficial to a young lady’s health and figure. When we do get her out onto the campus grounds, she complains incessantly about the possibility of rain. (And it usually does rain, but we remind her that this is England, after all, and she can hardly expect anything less.)
We have also noticed that she prefers geography class to all other instruction. She even goes so far as to bring in her own texts. Mrs. Dashwood, of course we are pleased whenever a student takes a keen interest in a subject, but please ask your daughter to leave her giant atlas at home.
(Her French is also atrocious, by the way.)
Additionally, there is something far more troubling to report. It seems your daughter Margaret has taken to teaching our other young ladies sword fighting. One of our instructors nearly fainted dead away when she caught them dueling on the lawn! Mrs. Dashwood, I must ask, who has been teaching your daughter to swordfight?!
If Margaret cannot abide by the rules of the school, we will ask her to leave and you can take her schooling into your own hands.
Thank you so much for your letter regarding Margaret.
She and I have discussed the issues you’ve raised, and from now on, Margaret will endeavor to be more covert in her recruitment of other young ladies for the cause.
Best wishes for a happy and prosperous new school year,
Dear Mrs. Dashwood,
Recruitment? What do you mean? What cause!? I am honestly quite worried about your response. Margaret needs swift and decisive disciplinary action from the adult figures in her life!
I trust you agree with me,
It’s recruitment for the feminist revolution, obviously. We need more soldiers.
Dear Mrs. Dashwood, I find myself at a loss for words. What is this talk of soldiers? And please do not send Margaret to school with any more pamphlets about the “righteous path of communism” or any material about unionizing for students rights. It has caused quite a commotion on campus. She says she got it from you?
Additionally, we’ve banned Mao’s Little Red Book from the classroom, and Margaret can collect her copy from my office at the end of the school year.
Thank you for your assistance in helping to keep our classrooms dedicated to the glory of British Capitalism and Industry.
Message received. Stop.
Dear Mrs. Dashwood,
I must say, I find your responses intriguing to say the least and honestly, quite frustrating! Do you have no idea of what Margaret is like at school? Everything is pirates this or adventures that! Why can’t she just sit down and work on her needlepoint like the rest of our fine young ladies? Please, come see us so we might discuss this in person.
Sincerely, Iva Stikinthbut
Dear Mrs. Dashwood, having received no reply to last week’s entreaty for you to come and see me, I will ask you again to please come to my office at your earliest convenience.
And if not convenient, come anyway.
No I really don’t think that’s necessary. We’re fine.
Go away now, thanks.
Dear Mrs. Dashwood,
It has come to our attention that Margaret has not been delivering our urgent letters regarding her education to you, and instead has been writing replies under your name.
We will see you Wednesday next at 1 o’clock for a parent teacher meeting. Please have Margaret return this letter with your signature.
…Oh dear, not again.
Post script: Hey! Today is the 23rd anniversary of the movie’s release date! Happy birthday, Sense & Sensibility!