I am thy Lord, Diriga, the Class Master  

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I recently discovered a new and interesting blog. I'll present an enlightening article.

oanamariaLE:Before presenting this little pearl, let me explain what “diriginte” – fem: “diriginta”, colloquially abbreviated as “diriga” (fem) and “dirigu’” (masc) – means. While in the most Western school systems that I know about there is only one (or a few) counselors for the entire school, known as career counselor, school counselor or psychological counselor, in the Romanian system I grew up with (possibly changed in the meantime), there was no such thing, but rather each teacher was expected to take one class under their wing. In this (Romanian / Communist) system, students spend their whole day in one class (except for some specialized labs, such as Chemistry or Biology, where occasionally the whole class travels to that location) and teachers travel to different classes throughout the day. In the Western system, teachers may keep ownership of the classroom (the actual, physical space) and different students travel to wherever the course is held. This is necessary because in a Western high school students have more freedom in picking their courses, as long as they fulfill some minimum requirements, and as such everybody has a different timetable, which they usually affix to the door of their own locker, somewhere in the hallway. In contrast, in the Romanian communist system, students had their own class and their desk or “banca” had a small space where they could put their backpack, books or notebooks. The “diriginte”, which may be translated with “class master”, “guidance teacher”, or “head teacher”, is thus responsible with the supervision and guidance of that particular class and may “motivate” “absences”.

The absence is a red mark placed in the class catalogue indicating that the student was not present. Each teacher would start the class by calling each name from the class catalogue, to which students were supposed to stand up and say “present”, but in later years raising the hand was sufficient. Absences would be “motivated” with a letter from a parent or a medical certificate from a doctor. A “diriginte” had one hour per week set aside for such administrative issues which would take place in class. Such hours were usually scheduled at the end of the day and would seldom go to the very end, as the “diriga” would let students go early.

Let’s first read it (slightly corrected Google translation, ; original – link in Sources).

During the English private lesson I give my neighbour above, who is in 5th grade, my gaze falls on her PA days notebook. I open it, curious to see if today they still do the same boring shit. The surprise is bigger than I expected. No lessons, just rules. Page after page of rules that sounded like this: 1. We can not run 2. We can not drink water from the fountain, 3. We can not touch chestnuts. That's too much. Can’t hold it in any more and burst:

- How the hell are you not allowed to touch the chestnuts? WHY?

The little girl answers serenely: - Well, some boys were playing with chestnuts and threw them into the wall in the school yard and it became dirty. And it annoyed the class mistress [a designated teacher, “diriginta”, or, in short, “Diriga” in Romanian] and she said, "THAT’S ENOUGH! STARTING TODAY YOU MUST NOT TOUCH CHESTNUTS!"

- And you’re really not running?

- Yes we do when we play, but if DIRIGa sees us, she yells at us: "Rule number one!"

- Aha ... Superb. And why are you not allowed to drink water from the fountain? That’s why it’s placed there, so that you do not have to buy water from the store!

- Oh, well, some boys played last summer water games and badly got a girl wet and she caught a cold and then DIRIGA said, 'ENOUGH, Nobody drinks any more water from the fountain! "

- Of course! I find it normal indeed.

I continue reading, more bemused. 4. We can not go into other classes. 5. We can not go upstairs.

- Why would that be?

- Because a classmate fought a boy in a classroom upstairs.

- And you really respect that?

- Yes, sometimes I get close to that stairs and pretend I put my foot on it and say, "Oh-oh! I could climb upstairs! If I take one more step, I reach the staaaaairs! "

We laugh, we joke, to get the rule number 10: We can not touch any colleague.

- Come on, man, what does this mean?!

- Well, you know, rule number four is that we are not allowed to enter into other classes. And I passed the door of another class and a colleague of mine wanted to make a joke to push me in that class, to break the rules so that I get reprimanded by Diriga. And I predictably opposed him as much as I could, so he pushed me too hard and we fell both in that class and got bruised. We were rebuked by DIRIGa super hard and then she said, "THAT’S ENOUGH, YOU CAN NO LONGER TOUCH ANY CLASSMATE, IF YOU DON’T KNOW CIVILIZED BEHAVIOUR" I'm sometimes joking when I take my desk colleague's hand, "Oooo- oh! Rule number 10! "

- ...

- Oh, this week we were not allowed to get out of class at all, but we gave her a nice gift for her birthday and now she allows us.

Why does this fascinate me? Two reasons.

First, there is research claiming that children today not only that don’t really want to go outside and play anymore, but when they do, are hardly allowed to do anything. They grow up in an environment excessively sanitized, artificial and demented.

Secondly, this parallels perfectly the security theater I mentioned in Rimaru:

daca ajungem intr-un concurs de imaginatie cu teroristii, nu-l putem castiga (i.e., hai sa ne gandim ce-ar putea face teroristii si apoi sa interzicem, sau daca un terorist poate face un explozibil lichid, hai sa interzicem toate lichidele)

or, in English,

we cannot win an imagination war with the terrorists – i.e., let’s guess what they might do then outlaw it

Direct quote from Schneier:

Our current response to terrorism is a form of "magical thinking." It relies on the idea that we can somehow make ourselves safer by protecting against what the terrorists happened to do last time.

LE: There's a 3rd point, namely that kids learn they can live normally only by bribing the Guardians. In related news, a woman falls off a balcony in NYC, then citizens are forbidden to use their balconies.

“Think about the children” has never sounded more hollow.

Sources / More info: fuck.the.system

Thank you for reading (mulţam fain pentru cetire)! Publicat Friday, August 02, 2013 . Similar articles under the following categories (poţi găsi articole similare sub următoarele categorii): (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe) . Dacă ţi-a plăcut articolul, PinIt-uieste-l, ReddIt-eaza-l, stumble-uieste-l altora, trimite-l pe WhatsApp yMess şi consideră abonarea la fluxul RSS sau prin email. Ma poti de asemenea gasi pe Google. Trackback poateputea fi trimis prin URL-ul de sub Comentarii.
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