Q: Questions: A Queen’s Quest for Clarté

Just like every man is a King in one way or other, every woman is a Queen in her own right.

Upon hearing the word Queen, images of a ruler, a royal palace, beaux jardins, élégante dresses and jewelry…well, images of anything political, nice, propre, and expensive come to mind.

According to the Oxford-English Dictionary (OED), a queen is “the female ruler of an independent state, especially one who inherits the position by right of birth;” however, there’s another definition that the OED boasts: A queen is “a man’s wife or girlfriend.” But, can a queen also be a femme, or woman, indépendante? Yes! A femme is in charge of her own household (in all senses of the word) thus she’s a queen.

But, being Kings and Queens does not give us the ‘all-knowing wizard’ title. We are human, after all. So, naturellement, we pose questions. But, what sorts of questions will be the focus of this post? Questions of la vie.

We are living in the 21st century. We, as humans, have experienced a lot…From that first flicker of light to électricité to chemical warfare. One would think that we would have learned something about how to live together peacefully…Especially since we are Kings and Queens of not only the things we have, but also of us (our bodies). Living in paix (peace) would enable us to take care of our bodies (and, not to mention, the things we own).

After the latest terrorist attacks on Paris (See: Peace for Paris) and then on San Bernadino, California, I began to wonder: Have we learned nothing from our past?

On the one hand, I suppose that some would answer, “Oui.” The terroristes who destroyed the Twin Towers in New York City were not originals when they formed their plan. Think of the Kamikaze pilots during WWII. One could go so far as to say that the more recent suicide attacks have been learned from the suicide attacks of the past. In addition to using suicide as a form of warfare, people in the 21st century have pulled the “religion” excuse to attack others. Using ‘religion‘ as a raison for war is not original, either: Think of the Crusades. Letting différences get in the way of friendships is also a thing of the past that, unfortunately, didn’t stay there.

On the other hand, some I would answer, “Non,” we have learned nothing from the past. What is to be learned from the actions of the Kamikaze pilots? Certainement, we’ve learned that it is NOT a great weapon of war. What happened to their familles after the deaths of these pilots? Did Japon win the war as a result of this type of warfare?

Again, the same questions arise when discussing the Crusades. Does Israël still belong to Europe like it did after the First Crusade? Were the Musulmans contents with the Catholic church afterwords? Did they not retaliate and then push out the Européans? If anything, we should have learned that religion should not be used as an excuse for war. Who gave humans the right to judge each other anyway? Normalement, the judging should be left to God.

I am on a quest for clarté, or clarity, to this question: Why have we learned nothing about how to live together in paix, or peace? How can we learn to live together peacefully? I don’t know if I’ll ever find clarté, but I continue to hold some hope, though it’s very hard to hold onto this hope when terrorisme continue

This is part of a blogging challenge: Topics ranging from A-Z. You can follow my challenge by clicking on the links below:

A: Adulthood: The Age of Absolute Ambiguïté 

B: Bilingue: La Vie is Better Being Bilingual

C: Christianisme: Combing the Cliffs of Clarté.

D: Death: Dealing with the Décès of My Dad

E: Éducation: The Endeavor of Easing into French Écoles

F: Food: Fancy or Faulty in France?

G: Going: Going Going Gone!

H: Home: My Heart Has Two Harbors

I: Interests: Intelligent, Insightful, Incredible!

J: Joy: La Jalousie is Overcome by La Joie

K: Khimar: Kind and Kooky Knitted Clothing Traditions

L: Lesson Plans: Leading the “Little Ones” into Language through Laughable Leçons

M: Musique: The Many Musicians Making Love on the Streets of Aix

N: Naughty or Nice?: Not Only Noticing the Différences, But Also the Similarités Between France and the U.S.

O: Obéi: Only Open to Obeying the Rules of the Road in…

P: PACS: Passionate Partners Pledging L’amour

Q: Questions: A Queen’s Quest for Clarté

R: Raisons: Riding on the Pony of Real Reasons (to Take the A-Z Challenge)

S: Study Abroad: Smiles and Sadness Set the Scène

T: Travel: Time to Hit the Trail!

U: Under the Influence: An Ugly Upward Climb Until Reaching the Summit

V: Vulgarité: Venturing out into the Vast and Voluptuous World of Cultural Différences

W: Walking: The Wise and Watchful Médiéval Wanderer

X: Xenial: A Xenodochial but not Xenophobic Host in France


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. ♦