Bar Paa


Bar Paa
by Parchin

I knew the boiling and freezing points of water, but was petrified of speaking. I was unable to shift my glance away from the wooden ruler, held so firmly by the woman who would not hesitate to strike my shoulder with it. Looking back, I don’t understand why we never became accustomed to the fear that was imbued into us since grade one. No matter how many years our schooling lasted, we remained a children abused and traumatized.

Once, in 3rd grade, I raised my shaking hand to ask a question which at the time seemed courageous and heroic. I had been taught about the taboos that were to remain unspoken in school, but as a contumacious participant in the school’s revolutionary crew, felt obliged to stand tall for my fellow classmates and object to the teacher’s methods of information projection. The subject was grammar, and my objection was the institution’s use of fear and punishment instead of encouragement and rewards for creating incentives for student participation: “Do you ever cry at night for hitting us with your ruler? Does the principal hit you when you can’t answer our questions?” I missed two weeks of school and rewrote every word from the 36 lessons in our grammar book and filled an 80 page notebook with “I apologize for being deviant and rude. I pray that Allah forgives me.” Of course, the grammar teacher found cockroaches in her lunch pack and was forced to peel the gum from her chair everyday before sitting down, but I never allowed myself to speak up. There was little they could do about behavior like this, but our hearts were pounding whenever a member of the faculty and staff walked by.

By high school, I had learned that direct questioning and confrontation was out of the question, and rebellion could be practiced in other forms; solving the problems before the teacher had a chance to truly figure them out was exhilarating, but salt on the pastries headed for the teacher’s lounge never failed either.


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more from Parchin

That is indeed my 3rd grade class

by Parchin on

I have been unable to spot myself due to the bad quality, or I might have been hiding somewhere doing something horrible. As a matter of fact, I think I might have been stealing chalk from the office to grind. I used the powder for when a teacher was being unbearable.

 I love the stories being shared, thank you very much.

acopier101, I'm confused, I supposed I shall email you.


How can you tell who is who in the picture?

by Faramarz on

Thanks for the story Parchin.

In 3rd grade, in addition to all the punishments that you described, we had to go to the front of the class, face the wall, hold the garbage can on our heads and lift a leg!

That sure provided entertainment for the rest of the class!

Niki Tehranchi

Open handed slap

by Niki Tehranchi on

In my elementary school, the teachers would simply use open handed slap on your face or twisting your ears til it turned beet red.  There was also the humiliation of being yelled at and sent to the dunce's corner.  Once, a teacher lifted a classmate by the ear all the way up from his sitting down position on his chair into the air!  Even though the boy was a bully who harassed me daily, I couldn't help but feel sorry for him.  Many years later, that boy committed suicide with a shotgun at the age of sixteen.  But I digress... 

I was definitely terrified of corporal punishment and I think it played a big part in me being very studious and trying to stay out of trouble.  But it affected me quite badly emotionally and I am glad that today, in the part of the world I live in, corporal punishment is illegal.  By the way, all the events I described did not happen in Iran but in France, of all places!!!


You know how you learned that direct question and confrontation

by acopier101 on

was out of the question, and rebellion could be practiced in other forms; well that's how I've learned to act in  I know it's childish, but that's how some people behave in this place, like your teacher, so if you fall in thier traps, like you just fell in mine, they'll hit you with a ruler, and make you appologize, even when you don't want to.  So, that's what I meant by better get yourself ready.  You might have to learn jang'e cheriki tactics to stay alive in this place.

If you'd like a different kind of an avatar to differential youself from others, click on my 'Contact' button and we'll talk about it, and about my gender too, otherwise good luck with your better-than-your-teacher blogs. 


You talking to me?

by Anonymouse on

Putting pencils between fingers happened in girls schools, my cousin told me.  The keychain was in boys school. 

Everything is sacred.

Maryam Hojjat

Teaching blind submision from childhood

by Maryam Hojjat on

 is a delibrate practice in authoritarian and dictatorship society.  This is the reason it took us more than 30 years to uprise against criminal akhoonds such as Khomieni & Khamenee.  In Pahlavi's regime things were not better in this respect.  I grew up during Shahs' ruling and I was very submissive not only in school but at home as well.  It is very sad reality that in such culture parents also think it is good to be submissive. 

Access to internet & satelite TV has helped new generation to be open minded regarding their rights as human being.



I'm assuming you are a boy!

by Parchin on

Because things like that did not happen in the girls' schools.

What do you mean?! What should I get myself ready for?!


Your last paragraph is exactly how I feel and act towards this

by acopier101 on

place.  Better get yourself ready.


Those rulers were supposed to make us STRONG!

by Anonymouse on

They used ruler because that was the easiest thing to use!  Some teachers used pencils and would put your fingers around them and squeeze your fingers.  Ouch! 

My math teacher would use his long key chain and twist it around and would hit the students who had not done their home work.  That one didn't hurt as much and it was funny.  Once he got so mad that he whipped his chain left and right and as hard as he could and the student just used his arms and elbows trying to deflect it and we couldn't wipe the smirk off our lips!

In just about every class one student would get mad and say something.  In one of our classes one of the bigger guys in our class got into an actual fist fight with the teacher and had so much trouble later. 

Everything is sacred.