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School Traditions

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I had no idea the first day of school in Russia is such a big celebration, with flowers and festivities. I never noticed before, but I see a lot of photos from my Russian friends on Facebook, with boys and girls dressed up and bright flowers in their arms. It's a beautiful tradition! Personally I always hated school, at every level. This is a strange statement for someone like me who has spent half of my life in some type of educational institution - 2 years of preschool, 12 years to get a high school diploma, 4 years for my university degree in English/Writing and then another 5 years to get my doctorate in law. Total = over 20 years!!

In the U.S., we don't have such a big celebration for the first day of school. I think it's completely different, though each parent still posts photos of their kids with their backpacks and books. My nephew started second grade yesterday, and I watched him get on the school bus. I never once had the urge to have a child, or carry such a huge responsibility for another human. I look at my sister, working full time, constantly running from place to place with my nephew. One day it's karate lessons, the next soccer practice, a friend's birthday party....the list is endless. Sometimes I look at her and feel relieved that I have absoultely no responsibility. Not for a child, or a husband, only myself and family. Free to do as I wish, when I want. It sounds selfish to many, but this is the reality in which I live and I have never wanted it any other way.

A few photos from my nephew's first day of school yesterday. In the U.S., most kids take a bus to school. It's my understanding that school buses are basically nonexistent in Russia, but maybe I'm wrong? It seems like a lot of Russian school children wear a standard uniform, but in the U.S. such uniforms are usually only worn at private or religious schools. I'm completely opposed to uniforms because I've always viewed clothes and the manner in which a person dresses as a form of expression and individuality. When everyone looks the same, the landscape becomes boring! At the same time, I understand that uniforms eliminate a lot of peer pressure and bullying to look a certain way, or wear a certain brand, and there's certainly some value in that.
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In my youth, I dreamed of being a teacher. I even practiced with my sister and cousins, barking commands at them on my chalkboard, trying to teach them spelling and math. Of course, they were bad students and didn't obey, no matter how hard I tried. :) Here's photographic evidence of my early career dreams, with my younger sister sitting as an uninterested pupil. My career path was altered when I served as a substitute teacher in a middle school and encountered wild teenage boys! I didn't have the patience to deal with unruly children, despite my desire to imbue them with the powerful gift of knowledge.

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I wish all the Russian school children a successful, prosperous and educational school year! :)

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How about you? Did you like school? Are there any other interesting Russian school traditions? Tell me. :) I think next time I visit the country, it would be great to visit a school and meet some of the young children who will shape Russia's future, hopefully for the better.


Comments

africanstranger
Sep. 1st, 2015 03:20 pm (UTC)
Heh! Do you really believe that those children feel happy? It is a soviet celebration which came to us through the years. Try to come at the 1 september without flowers. It is an obligation, but not a celebration:) You are so naive:)) Have you ever been inside the soviet school? It looks like a prison. Dim lights, awful wall paint, stinky toilets and teachers' dictatorship... You would love your US school very much if you had a chance to learn into our school even for a month:))

PS: Sorry for my English:)
peacetraveler22
Sep. 1st, 2015 03:24 pm (UTC)
Well, these kids are not in Soviet schools. They live in modern Russia, and based on what readers tell me, education is different now than during Soviet times. I love flowers, and will be happy to receive them on any occasion. :) I've never been inside a Russian school. It's necessary to visit one on my next journey.
(Deleted comment)
peacetraveler22
Sep. 1st, 2015 07:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks. This was my misunderstanding. I thought that parents gave the flowers to children to celebrate their first day of the new school year. I didn't know the flowers were for the teachers. So, my readers have taught me something new. :)
creaze
Sep. 2nd, 2015 05:13 am (UTC)

my_livia
Sep. 10th, 2015 12:09 pm (UTC)
ну конечно))) кому как, а по мне так было очень весело и классно идти на 1 сентября))))
africanstranger
Sep. 12th, 2015 10:48 am (UTC)
Знаете, у меня в школе был один особенно одаренный заслуженный учитель. Его любимая фраза была "ты что? дурачок?". Он был географом, и если ты опаздывал на урок, то он требовал чтобы ты стоя у двери рассказал ему новость из области геополитики. Если сказать было нечего, то садиться сразу на место было нельзя, но зато можно было простоять у двери половину урока. Унизительно и отвратительно. Еще он обожал кидаться мелом в учеников... Да много чего можно вспомнить. Но мне этих трех действий достаточно для того, чтобы расценивать его как старого полоумного мудака с психическими проблемами и признаками старческой деменции. Не знаю считаете ли вы это нормой, но вот, что можно прочитать о нем на школьных форумах - "... умнейший человек с невероятным чувством юмора. Мы его боготворили. И одновременно – боялись панически: за острый язык и мгновенную реакцию на наши глупости. И очень хотели выглядеть в его глазах знающими и умными. Вот не знаю, удавалось ли…"
Лишь единицы придерживаются моей точки зрения, а большинство, к сожалению вот так... Чем больше их унижают, тем больше они боготворят своего "повелителя", прямо восторгаются и пускают ностальгическую слезу. В советском человеке заложен рабский менталитет. Ни один ученик американской школы не позволил бы такое с собой делать.
Потому ваше удовольствие, которое вы испытывали идя в школу не является для меня чем-то объективным. Либо вы раб как и большинство людей и потому даже не понимаете, что наши школы изначально были спроектированы, чтобы подавить человеческую личность и причесать всех под одну гребенку. Вы просто не чувствуете дискомфорта от унижения, потому что это норма вашей жизни. Либо вариант второй - вы учились в элитной школе) Тогда ваш комментарий опять же не имеет особого смысла.

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