In Bend, Not Break, Fu Ping mentioned "study sessions" as frequent daily activities during the Cultural Revolution years. On Page 45:
Our time was occupied by study sessions, in which we did nothing but recite slogans from Mao's Little Red Book, and struggle sessions, in which we denounced ourselves and ate bitter meals. Otherwise we had most of our times free.On Pages 79-80:
I had discovered that "broken shoes" was a label customarily given to prostitutes and promiscuous women. Teasing me with it seemed to be some children's favorite form of entertainment. One of our leaders, Ms. Lu, rearranged the study sessions to move a few of the boys who'd bullied me the most to a different class. But for some reason, Zhang stayed seated at the desk next to mine, tormenting me daily.On Page 88-92:
After that Zhang's taunting remarks grew less frequent and less hurtful. She asked me to complete other assignments for her over the coming months.
I had recently been assigned to a job at a nearby factory, and the next morning I rose early to walk to work. Hong went to a study session with kids her own age.On Page 267, when a former classmate contacted her for a "middle school reunion":
For the next several days, we followed the same pattern. In the morning, I would go to my factory job and Hong would go to her study session.
It was Winston, a leader of my study group and the son of a high-ranking Red Army officer...He was pulling together a reunion of our study group as we were before we had all gone different ways at the end of the Cultural Revolution, and he wanted me to come to Nanjing to join in...
"So you call that a middle school reunion?" I asked with a hint of sarcasm.
Winston chuckled. "What else would you call it?"The Debunking:
Thirty years to the day since our study group had last sung "The East Is Red," i walked into a Nanjing restaurant for a gathering of former red leaders and black elements -- the abused and their abusers...
From her own description, we can gather the following facts about these "study sessions" and "study group":
- They are daily activities with formal schedules
- They are organized into age-appropriate groups
- Kids in the session have strict seat assignments
- There are adult "leaders" who could rearrange seating and even assign kids to different "classes".
- "Red" and "black" kids are attending the same sessions or groups together.