Friday, April 10, 2009

Differences in American and Hungarian high schools

A couple days ago I was walking down the halls of my school and looking at the tablós. For those outside Hungary: a tabló is a like a big poster, containing all the pictures of the members of the graduating class, plus their teachers. They usually have either a nice background design, or some graphic incorporating the pictures (click here for some examples). These are assembled by a professional photograper or printer (or maybe there are professional tabló-makers?) in the spring and displayed someone in the city all summer - last year all of Varga's tablós were in the windows of the cultural center. Then, when the graduating class has left town and everyone's focussing on the new year, the tablós are dragged back to the school, where they linger in dusty storage for a few months until they find a place on Varga's already-jam-packed school walls.

Which brings me back to me, wandering the halls and staring at the old tablós. It struck me that we don't have tablós in American, but we do have something similar, yearbooks. When I went to write this epiphany down, the following list spilled out:

Anything I missed? Add it in the comments. Also, here is a complete list (not my creation) of cultural differences.

Does anyone know how to make blogger make a table? Mine failed...

ps, two days later - ha ha, I just now noticed that on this of all posts, wherein I actually ask two questions that a loyal reader might chance to answer in the comments, I somehow managed to disable the comments. I'm a genius. Anyway, they're back on, I hope.


laopan said...

America: cheating is a big issue. The parents of a student caught cheating are notified, and the cheater might be expelled from school.

Hungary: cheating is a sport, a game between the students and the teacher. A student caught cheating will fail that exam (or even just be given a blank paper to start over again), but he will not be expelled and the parents will probably never know.

laopan said...

Ten years ago, when we were discussing our upcoming érettségi in the hot water pool of the since-closed Damjanich with my friends, two 80 years old men asked us about the ways students cheat nowadays, and told us how they cheated in their youth. It turned out we didn't have anything new to teach them, except for some tricks made possible by technological advances. It's a time-honoured tradition.