Reading backwards: the true hallmark of a complete education
Thank you, Shanghaiist for letting us know what's going on in certain Chinese education circles.
The principal of the 150-student Henan Child Prodigy School (æ²³å—ç¥žç«¥å¦æ ¡), Zhang Xuexin (å¼ å¦æ–°) says he has devised a revolutionary method of training the right brain of children to make them child prodigies. His students can not only memorise their textbooks and ancient poetry, they can actually recite them backwards. Throughout the school and around classrooms, one sees banners such as "China's first school that teaches education of the total brain" (ä¸å›½ç¬¬ä¸€æ‰€å…¨è„‘æ•™è‚²å¦æ ¡), "Today's child prodigy, tomorrow's talent" (ä»Šæ—¥ä¸œæ–¹ç¥žç«¥ï¼Œæ˜Žæ—¥ä¸–çºªå¤©æ‰) and "I am a child prodigy, I am a memory expert" (æˆ‘æ˜¯ç¥žç«¥ï¼Œæˆ‘æ˜¯è®°å¿†å¤©æ‰).
My only question is--recited backwards phoenetically, or just sequentially? I was always of the phonetically school: being backwards at the most elemental level seemed superior. If only this had been my school growing up; my backwards recitations and signatures ("Ykceb") were always greeted with barely contained annoyance. And encouragements to try out for whatever regional poor man's Star Search happening to be begging for talent. Doing things backwards seemed like just another fun supplement (e.g. Opposite Day) to an intensely regimented schooling. Anyone else go through a retrograde phase?