Peace for Paris

The sun was shining a happy, bright smile through the small window in the door, but the mood in the room was anything but. As I glanced around the room at the 20 or so porcelaine faces, making eye contact with puppy dog eyes, I knew we wouldn’t be having “English time” today. And, this time, that was OK.

I work in a lycée (high school) that has a Musulmane student population of 90%. For this very reason, there were several teachers who didn’t know what to expect in a discussion on the events that unraveled on Friday, Novembre 13.

In my English Literature classe, the students had “we need to talk about this” written all over their faces. And, I’m glad we did. It was intéressent to discover what Musulmane means to them. The entire classe strongly agreed that those who participated in the murders on Friday, Novembre 13, were not really Musulmane. I was so satisfied with how the students tackled the discussion that I left the school with a feeling of satisfaction: They are the next génération to govern the world…Thank God!

After the murders on Friday, I really began to lose faith in humanité. We, as humans, have come so far – we started out as neanderthals and now we have moving pictures, we can communicate with one another through various technological outlets, and we can travel long distances quickly. Yet, we’ve come to a stand-still. All we have to show for this humanité is hatred, control, manipulation, and mass murder? What is wrong with people? Are we, as humans, bored now because we have “too much”? It’s really depressing. Thankfully, my students have been able to restore at least some portion of my faith.

This article offers a great explanation of the Peace in Paris image that has become a symbol of unité throughout France, social media, and the world. My students questoined why the Tour Eiffel was used. They are still so innocent: They didn’t know that the world views France as the Tour Eiffel. They all laughed when the professeur joked, “Would you rather see Notre Dame de la Garde? Or, the Vieux Port?” For my students, France is so much more than the Tour Eiffel…and even more than any monument in Marseille. They are proud to identifier as French even if they have a heritage that started elsewhere. They built their lives in France – they were born here, they are French. They refuse to let terroristes take over their country. Now, all the future génération needs to do is figure out how to approach the problem and then to fix it. To them, I say, “Bonne chance.”

This is my city coming together to show support…even though we are 8 hours – driving – away from paris, we were all touched. ♦


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