When I contacted Foreign Affairs about the desks and the tradition I got this response:
It is wrong to write on the desks, and it has nothing to do with any tradition.
I’ve forwarded your two emails to Ms. Wu, and she has talked about it with the related administrator. About the photos you sent me in previous email, we were told that these desks were sorted out from old classrooms, the writings were there before the classroom was painted. But they’re going to erase them from the desks.
You are completely right. It is every teacher’s responsibility to stop this bad habit and educate the students involved. All students should be told to keep their classrooms clean and tidy. Thank you for helping us supervise and correct this behavior.
I don’t doubt my friend’s explanation about Mr. Xun’s writing, I just think China’s moved past this and that most people realize that it’s nice to have a clean, well kept work environment.
If you want to doodle, get some paper.