Sunday, November 29, 2015

Mao, I Do Believe

Last week a maintenance guy came into my room and placed a large sticker of the Chinese flag above my whiteboard and then left. I wasn't sure if everyone was getting one or if I was being singled out for subliminal balancing of my capitalist teachings, so I went around peeking in other classrooms. They all had them, too, so either we're all capitalist dogs or else there was another explanation.

My office-mate is only in my room a few times a week. He came in that day and I pointed out to him or new decoration. He said that it was so cold in the mornings this winter that the Monday morning Communist Party rally on the football pitch was being moved inside; students would attend in their homerooms and they needed a flag to salute, so that was why every room got a flag. A female colleague stopped by to listen, since information distribution is so terrible here.

I wasn't excited about the prospect of having to attend the Chicom rally. The rally is one of the things that makes me feel most uncomfortable here, where the fuzzy line between education and indoctrination isn't even given a cursory nod as it is ignored. My office-mate said, "It'll be okay. I used to attend Catholic school, and every Monday we started with prayers." Our female colleague, either due to excessive Catholicism or excessive anticommunism (or maybe both), jumped in with, "It is not the same f***ing thing!"

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