My second grade class, almost 50 years ago
I found a photograph of my second grade classroom with students in dark uniforms, mostly devoid of smiles, with sad and serious faces. It is a depressing moment in time that speaks volumes of the strict disciplinarian code enforced in communist schools.
Children had to stand when called upon to speak, or when asked a question. If they took notes, hands were busy writing. When asked to pay attention to the teacher, they had to keep their hands behind their backs in a very uncomfortable, back-numbing position, leaning against the wooden bench behind. If anybody entered the classroom, the entire student body had to stand and greet them according to rank. The word ‘comrade’ teacher or professor, followed by name, was required to be used at all times.
Modesty and protection of the honor of the classroom, of the school, of the communist party had to be a very important goal of learning. Nobody was allowed to use hateful and insulting language, to exhibit nationalism, superstition, religiousness, or mysticism. If anybody failed in the subject of school discipline, the entire student body was to rebuke that student and take a stance against the offender. Parents were called at school, reprimanded, and embarrassed in front of all the other parents present as inadequate members of the socialist society. Continue reading