half-remembered slogans, again

October 20th, 2007

I was in the classroom in Teaching Building 1 for my last class yesterday morning, and glanced at the signs on either side of the blackboard. For some reason that particular room has two of these slogans that the management of Building 1 love so much. I wrote them in my notebook, but then left my notebook in the office, but I think I remember them correctly.

The first was:

为学莫�于尊师

Now this has me confused, perhaps because I only had my little dictionary in class. Looking at it again (and I’m pretty sure I’ve remembered it correctly) with my bigger, better dictionaries to help, I’m thinking it means something like “For learning there’s nothing more important than respecting the teacher”.  Am I right?

The second was:

��师问声好

Again, I’m pretty sure I’ve remembered that correctly. But such a simple slogan exhorting the students to greet the teacher? Why? Or is their some deeper meaning that I’m not getting, something that would make it’s pairing with the first slogan more obviously appropriate?

lzh tells me that that second slogan means nothing more than “Say hello to the teacher”,  and that when she was in school they even had a song about it (primary school, I assume) but then she added that it’s a kind of respect. Well, certainly it’s polite to greet your teacher, and I do make a point of greeting my students at the start of every class- partly as a ritual signal that it’s time to sit down, shut up and start studying, and partly to get the English versions these basic courtesies well and truly ingrained in them, but mostly just because it’s polite.  Anyway, it strikes me as an odd thing to have stuck up on the wall- do the students really need to be reminded of such basic courtesies in their native language and culture?

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