And now for something completely different — just because I can. Hard to resist this story about a draconian set of rules at a high school in Hangzhou whose administration seems obsessed with public displays of affection. You have to read the entire China Daily article to appreciate this nonsense:
A sophomore at Hangzhou Changhe High School said female and male students are not allowed to show up on campus in pairs, Hangzhou-based Qianjiang Evening News reported Thursday.
The student also said there are two additional rules, which say that the distance between the sexes must be at least 50 centimeters while at school, and they cannot have meals with the opposite sex at the same table.
I wonder where they came up with that 50 centimeter number? Is there something those crazy kids could manage at a distance of, say, 40 centimeters, but not at 50? I know plenty of folks whose extremities are well over 80 centimeters, so these kids could get into a lot of trouble even with that limitation.
Hey. Get your minds out of the gutter. Eighty cm was a reference to arm length. That’s way too long for . . . well, for other kinds of appendages.
You know, it occurs to me that perhaps this 50 cm rule doesn’t go far enough, unless kids in Hanghzhou these days are all Lilliputian? My goodness. What are they feeding those poor wee bairns? The school might wish to review its nutrition program as well as campus morality.
But let’s not jump to conclusions. What does the school have to say about all this?
However, the school’s vice headmaster, surnamed Yuan, said there is only one ban on female and male students spending time alone, and that the other two bans are misunderstood by students.
Yuan added that the prohibition is just to prevent male and female students from having too much close contact.
Ah, this is all a big misunderstanding. There aren’t any special rules on eating together or being within 50 cm of each other. There’s just a blanket prohibition on “too much close contact.” Got it?
You have to admit that when male and female students get too close together, bad things can happen. Increased heart rate, blood pooling to certain extremities (yes, now I’m talking about those extremities), a rush of hormone production, hysterical blindness, nitrogen narcosis, scurvy and the vapors. It’s tragic, actually.
This school would do just as well in Texas as Zhejiang. Well, if they brought Jesus into the mix. You know, instead of “it’s bad for males and females to touch one another,” it would be “it’s bad for males and females to touch one another, because [we firmly believe] Jesus said so.” These kids all want a U.S. education these days – maybe the school could just pick up and move there. They’d have to give up teaching evolution too (probably just should just ditch the entire science curriculum), but it’s a small sacrifice. I bet all the local churches in Texas would chip in and give these kids abstinence jewelry to wear: promise rings, chastity belts, maybe iron maidens. You know, native dress.
I have to wonder what the kids think of all this, though. Must be frustrating, what with their raging hormones indirectly speaking truth to power on a daily basis:
“It is impossible to enforce the three prohibitions, and it’s normal to have meals with classmates,” said a male student surnamed Shen.
Then again, these kids are probably quite motivated to do the nasty, or at least hold each other’s hands, and unless they are put under a microscope and watched continuously (and that policy would create problems of its own, I suspect), they’re going to be able to get away with sub-50 cm behavior. You almost feel sorry for the administration; talk about a Sisyphean task.
I don’t want to leave you with a skewed view of all this, though. It’s not like these policies don’t have their supporters. Here’s one girl that seems to have her
political priorities in line:
However, a girl surnamed Shao said that the three prohibitions are reasonable and the purpose of the rules is to prevent young love.
I bet she gets a lot of attention from the boys.