A TiMe Of WaR : tO mY cHiLd In ExIlE (3)

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Last, but not least in our series on war children, here is a letter that Anne-Marie sent to her children, who were sent away in a rush. Enjoy 🙂

My beloved children,

I thought I’d write you a few words because during your evacuation I was focused on the preparation of your journey that I didn’t have time. I hope that the sandwiches, apples and chocolate were enough to feed you. You forgot your small bag for washing things and clothes in your bedroom! I suppose the labels pinned on your coats with your name, home address, school and the host family’s address were very helpful in avoiding mistakes. I hope you will not have to use the gas mask given to you by the government.

As you know it has become too dangerous to live in London which has been the target of the German Air Force, the Luftwaffe, since September. The air force flies over every night and drops bombs. And I have to tell you that London is really not a place for children at this sad moment. Life is quite difficult. At the moment, the biggest nuisance is that we’re unable to get a bath, to haircut or to visit your grandparents without being disturbed by the raids. Nearly all the main-line and suburban stations are closed. Your school has been destroyed. But you must not worry about me and your father, my sweet children. We are alright and think a lot about you!

Your host family owns a farm in Dartmeet, Davon where raids are less likely to happen. Your cousins went to Cornwall but unfortunately they have had to split. The neighbors’ children went to Canada. It is so far away!

I hope that you will return home after a few weeks, but get ready to stay as long as London is not be safe. Enjoy the country and life on a farm. You can watch cows and understand where milk comes from, and see carrots growing in fields and eaten by wild rabbits! I am sure you will make local friends and show them that the ‘townies’ are interesting to know!

I look forward to your next letter. Dad and I are proud of you and send to you our love.

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A TiMe Of WaR : tO mY cHiLd In ExIlE (2)

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Today, we continue our series about the Battle of Britain, with a dialogue from Mireille to “her evacuated child”. It’s getting emotional … Enjoy !

“Hi, sugar, how was your night   ? I need you to be fit form for your travel 

– Good morning Mum, I haven’t slept very well. Actually it was quite a  nightmare  I dreamed that a  bomb destroyed our house and I wasn’t able to find you . I’m not sure I want to go to my cousins anymore. I’m too afraid   to leave you alone in London.

– I understand why you are so upset, but it’s quite impossible for you to stay in London any longer. : Your school doesn’t work anymore, the groceries shops are nearly empty, and it’s difficult to have anything else than potatoes. With your aunt Emily and your cousins, you’ll have quiet nights, good food and the village’s school is so nice. I have to remain here  because they need me in the  hospital , but as soon as I can I’ll go  to Emily’s.

– Yes, but who is going to help you if a bomb hurts you?

– I promise I’ll be very cautious, and I’ll be with you at Xmas Time. So you’ll be able to take care of me… Come on kid , it’s time to go to the train station !” 

A TiMe Of WaR : tO mY cHiLd In ExIlE

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Hello friends and students and strangers 🙂

These days, we’ve been talking about Elizabeth II, getting to know her life. Part of it involves talking about the Battle of Britain (or the “Blitz”), an episode of WWII.

Here is something to refresh your memory, if need be 🙂
(Don’t forget to add the subtitles, if it goes too fast for you !)

As you probably saw in the video, many children were evacuated from London at the time of the Blitz. They found shelter in the countryside, away from the bombings, but also from their parents.

Part of the students’ work involved writing a conversation / letter from a parent to his/her child, explaining the reasons of this “exile”. As always, they have labored hard, and the result is worth sharing.

Today, I present you Véronique’s letter 🙂

The scene takes place at the Birkins’. Mr. and Ms. Birkin are telling their daughter, Ann, that she will be evacuated.

Ann, darling, we have to tell you something, come here, and take a seat. We’re going through dark days here in London, as in the whole country because of this war. Life here is very dangerous, every night the town is bombed and every night, lots of people are killed. We fear for you, and we want to protect you. That’s why we have decided you should be evacuated with others children.

 – But you say that life is dangerous in the whole country, I don’t want to leave you, I don’t understand why I have to be evacuated, and not you ?

– Life in the countryside is less dangerous, you have to go there. We, parents, have responsibilities. First, we must take care of you, children, you are the future of Great Britain. And because we love you more than anything else in the world, never forget that, we want you to trust us, and to go there.

– We would rather be with you but we have to stay here. It’s our duty to help people. We have so many things to do to help our country, to protect freedom. We have to relieve elderly people, to assist everywhere we are useful. Some people are injured, they need us. We are committed to help our country, showing we are united.- Tell me, when do I have to leave ? I’m so sad to go far from you, I’m afraid, but I want to show you that you can be proud of me. How will I hear from you ? How long will it be before I see you again ?

Dear Ann, your school is organizing transportation of its pupils, and some teachers are volunteers to accompany their pupils. That’s why you will take train on Saturday, early in the morning. You will join Ms Kipling’s group. You won’t be alone, there will be thousands of children, and you will travel with your friends. We can’t tell you if we’ll be able to send you news, that’s why we’ll put letters in your suitcase. Then, you’ll bring our words with you, and we hope they will help you to remain the same positive and cheerful girl. You’ll stay far from us until we’ll be sure that you are completely safe here, in town. It might take weeks, maybe months … at the moment, we don’t know, unfortunately.

– I love you dad and mom, and I’ll do my best, and I’ll count each day before seeing you again, and I’ll pray for you and for my country.

Well done Véro !

oN sChOoL uNiFoRmS (3)

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Aujourd’hui, c’est le tour d’Anne-Marie de nous donner son avis. Encore un autre style 🙂


My opinion about school uniforms

I am the mother of two children who are now adults. But I have an experience about school uniform because my children were in the same catholic private high school in Marseille. I remember that they would wear a uniform when a special event was held: Christmas and Easter parties, award celebrations, end-of-year celebrations…They were very proud to wear their school uniform on these occasions despite its bad quality. The jacket was made of a rough fabric, and girls and boys wore black trousers and a white blouse or shirt. I think for them it was a way to show that they belonged to a community with good values.
However I don’t believe that a mandatory uniform prevents social discrimination. School is a way of socializing for children who hail from different social classes. At school pupils get the chance to discover and get to know others pupils that are very different from them. They have to deal with that and to open their mind to other life habits. This confrontation is not only necessary but also very useful to live together in a society. If the uniform is mandatory, the children don’t compare their clothes but they compare other items such as school supplies, schoolbags, shoes, watches, hair styles…as well as parents’ profession or cars, holiday resorts/destinations and so on… For me, the most important thing is to accept the differences between people.
In my opinion the right to wear clothes that/what we want to wear is an essential liberty, particularly in France, the country of secularism.

oN ScHoOl UnIfOrMs (2)

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Toujours sur le thème des uniformes, voici à présent le point de vue de Véro.
As usual, feel free to leave your comments, she (we all) would love your feedback !


If a debate on school uniform was held, I would find advantages for students and families.

First of all, the advantage of the uniform is decency. Everybody will agree. School policy usually states that pupils have to come to school in decent clothes. But being decent doesn’t mean the same thing for all of us.

Can we show our belly button, our underwear, can we wear torn clothes ? All these questions meet different opinions. School policy anticipates these scenarios, but there are a lot of situations which are not expected, and which can be the first step toward disagreements.

I remember a headline about a pupil who came to school with blue hair whereas the day before, she had blond or brown hair. The school forbade her to come in, and the parents were very surprised and angry with the school. Ok, school uniform will not resolve this problem, but it can give a picture of dissenting views.

Moreover, I think that a school uniform should be less expensive for families. Lots of teenagers are drawn by brands, buying new clothes even if they don’t need them. School uniform could cut down clothes consumption. On the other hand, teenagers may feel frustrated not to have a full dressing room, enabling them to impress their friends and others teenagers.

Teenagers may think they choose clothes that are different, but they all look alike and actually, follow the same dress code.

Then, a school uniform may meet this need, and may be a good way of relieving kids from “clothes stress”.

A school uniform could help pupils not to feel judge by the others and instead, focus on their attitude and work.

Wearing a school uniform could allow pupil to come in a new skin. They are not judged about their clothes, but they can also adopt another way of being, because a uniform inspires respect. Self-respect, and respect for others. We won’t have the same behaviour if we wear a uniform or basic clothes. First, because a uniform is fit for a good posture and also as when you wear a uniform, you are representing an organization or your school, and you belong in your place. A school uniform could increase pupil’s sense of pride in the school.

This said, I can tell about the flip side of the issue.

First, what about parent’s responsibility ? Why are parents unable to tell their children that they can’t go to school carelessly or with inappropriate clothes ? Do we need government help ?

If we erase the difference between pupils with school uniforms, aren’t we sheltering them from the future? Differences exist, and we have to deal with them.

What about teenager’s feelings ? Do they want to be identified as belonging to le lycée Raynouard, or Jeanne d’Arc, in Brignoles ? Sure, we’ll see these children belong to a group, but we’ll also see the boundaries, and these boundaries set the children apart according to their school. Some of my neighbours go to Jeanne d’Arc, I think they are the same as my children, and I don’t want a uniform creates two foreign worlds.

At last, I think that choosing and wearing your own clothes to go to school is comforting, as your clothes reflect who you are, what you like, you can chose something comfortable or fancy, depending on your mood, the day, the weather ..

It’s like saying a poem : some children can say a poetry without moving, but some children need to balance their body just to be concentrated.

The first case is ideal : good pupil, staying motionless, saying his/her poem.

In the second case, what is better ? Being able to say the poem balancing his body or having to stay immobile, but unable to say the poem because he/she doesn’t feel at ease ?

I’m not sure that wearing a school uniform is a good answer against antisocial behaviour, academic failure, absenteeism…

It could look like a failure for modern society.

On ScHoOl UnIfOrMs …

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Pour ou contre le port de l’uniforme à l’école ? La question n’est pas simple, et la réponse ne doit donc pas être courte 🙂
Uniforme, qu’entendez-vous par là ? Qu’en pensent les écoles, les parents ou les élèves ? Qu’en est-il d’un pays à l’autre ? La question est-elle totalement ringarde, ou peut-elle apporter une solution à des problèmes de société ? …

Nos “grands” élèves ont débattu du sujet de façon très animée. Aussi, j’ai pensé qu’ils devraient partager avec vous certaines de leurs réflexions (en anglais dans le texte ;))

Voici donc l’avis de Martine 🙂 Oh, et avant de vous laisser, voici quelques pancartes qui ont servi à notre débat :)Oh and please, feel free to comment !


An essay  about what I think of school uniform

In my opinion, it depends on the age of the pupils .Wearing a school uniform under the age of 15 is possible ; I think it is not a problem, it could even be a very positive decision in a primary school and in a high school.

During the last holidays, I told a friend of mine about this essay in English . She said,  in her childhood she was in a Protestant school and she had to wear a uniform . It was not a issuer for her, on the contrary,  she noticed she made a lot of progress in those years . She didn’t know why ; she said some pupils came from the upper class of the society but it didn’t have an influence of their behavior ; they got along together and she has good memories about these classes. In my view, wearing the same clothes reduces the stress of pupils “ Ho ! my clothes are not fashionable ; it’s a shame”  and so it helps pupils to be more focused on their lessons. The less pupils are stressed , but it is the same for adults, the better they can  work and be concentrated.

Another argument is about belonging to the same school . At this time, many parents are divorced or separated ; it could be especially difficult to live with  for many children ;  and the uniform could give children a sense of belonging and so help children to go through this episode in their life.

When I was a very  young child, I remember having to wear  a kind of apron , a smock certainly because we used sticks of chalk to write on a slate  and also we wrote  on a paper with ink  and a quill. I hated this smock ; first of all  it was a black smock with sleeves and  a little spot of  pink just on the collar ; secondly, this smock opened in the back and it wasn’t practical for a little child;  thirdly , the collar was a Mao-collar and it was a bit tight for my neck. Before implementing the idea of a uniform in a school, it’s important to  have the opinion of pupils about the colors , the materials and the convenience of the uniform.

Although I ‘m not opposed  wearing  a school uniform for pupils,  I think for teen agers and young adults it’s not  appropriate. Teen agers want to be noticed by the opposite sex and the clothes are a way to draw people’s  attention. They often don’t know much  about the other sex and they have to learn to live together and to build something together.

Finally, I think it’s  an issue  of society ; a uniform can remind people of bad things in our history ; uniforms are  used in the Army and  by dictatorships ;  they might represent mind control and death;  on the other hand ,  it could be a way to give equal opportunities to each other  in a society .

On CrEaTiNg FaShIoN … (4)

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Last but not least in our series on fashion invention, My-Hoang is going to tell us all about her creation. Enjoy 🙂


Today we’re going to introduce a technological innovation to you : we’ll call it Tomorrow’s Clothes

They look like clothes you wear every day but they’re special, as they can adjust to the environment where you are. Nice !

For example, a suit can change from a light shade to a dark shade while keeping the initial color when the brightness is reduced. So, you’ll walk around with bright clothes in the day and will wear more discreet ones in the evening.

But technology doesn’t stop there, this kind of clothes can also be adapted to fit the temperature changes. For example, you wear a dress in the morning and when evening comes, the temperature decreases, your piece of clothing will keep you warm and keep a reasonable temperature around your body thanks to multiple heat conductors inside the cloth.

Of course, all these are prototypes at the moment but we’re working on them constantly. The first prototypes should be released in 2020.

On CrEaTiNg FaShIoN … (3)

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Hello again everyone !

Now, if you’ve been following our chronicles, you’ll know we’re talking serious stuff here 🙂

Today, I have the pleasure to introduce Bertrand and his invention to you. We’re not in the humanitarian field anymore, but today’s post will highly interest musicians !

Now, here comes the artist !

RHYTHM & SHOES (by Bertrand)

When you play the guitar, you have to focus your mind on three essential elements: the melody, the beat and the expression. Besides, sometimes you may contribute to the vocal part of the song as a singer or as a chorister. The mental load is high with a huge concentration level.

Often guitar players tap their foot to the beat and become percussion players. When the song is slow or sad, ie: “The Bluest Blues” Alvin Lee Ten Years After or “Stairways to Heaven” Led Zeppelin, it is unsuitable.

It dawned on me I could create shoes dedicated to guitar players. The outside design of the shoe is unchanged. An electromagnetic beating system is included in the sole of the shoe with a radio device to monitor the rhythm connected to a watch or directly to the pre-amp of the guitar.

It is very comfortable and relieves the mental load of the musician who can concentrate on notes and expression especially when soloing.

I think that the brand of the shoes “Rhythm and Shoes” which sounds like “Rhythm and Blues” should please guitar players. The names of famous guitar players as Samantha Fish, Ana Popovic, John Mayer, Derek Trucks, Joe Bonamassa, or legends as Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Carlos Santana, could be used to differentiate the various models of “Rhythm and shoes” and sponsored by them.

Of course, the design of the shoes will be patented and the trademark registered.

On CrEaTiNg FaShIoN … (2)

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Now, this is our students’ second attempt at creating fashion, or should I say reinventing fashion 🙂 Now I told them : Your ideas are so good I’d like to share them on our blog, but we’re running the risk of seeing some ill-intentioned designer steal them 😉

Hail, oh you traveller who enjoys to explore far-off lands, yet cannot stand to see a mosquito in your way 🙂 This is for you, from Anne-Marie

Travel safely and fashionable!

Have you ever travelled to sub-tropical subtropical countries? If so you must know that a great number of serious diseases are caused by insect bites, like fleas, ticks, gnats, and mosquitoes. Viruses or parasites can be transmitted to human through insect bites, and cause serious infection as Malaria, Dengue fever, Zika, Yellow fever, Chikungunya…

So it is easy to understand that “avoiding insect bites is key to preventing these nasty infections”!

That’s the reason why our startup has developed an innovative solution through creating a line of clothing against insect bites. Bye bye mosquito nets, sprays and tablets…Welcome to our lightweight overalls hand-dyed in rich hues of blue, gold and red to wear with a veiled hat, velvet gloves and shoes with moisture resistant soles. All these pieces/items/components are embedded at the molecular level with bug spray and perfumed with lemongrass.

The effectiveness is guaranteed to last for 5 years, based on a washing per week. Our insect repellent outfit will be marketed as soon as we find a manufacturer…

 

On CrEaTiNg FaShIoN … (1)

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Hello everyone 🙂

Our advanced class is currently working on “fashion”.Last week, we watched a video about a man who came up with the idea to make “shoes that grow”. This was to supply kids from poor countries with lasting shoes.

Then, the students had to coin their own invention in order to meet an existing need. Below is the first attempt by Véronique, in the forme of a letter. I hope you’ll enjoy it !

My dear C.,

Weeks ago, when we met in this wonderful restaurant, you asked me to come up with an idea for your clothing line, to rival your competitors.

You have always trusted me, and today, I think I can present you with a real new concept.

Here is the idea.

I think we could focus on the shirts. The concept is “NO DEADLINE! “

What is the shirt weak point? The collar ! Isn’t it ? Collars are not as affected by washing machine as the rests of the shirt. Well, the expensive price of your brand could justify to provide a longer life to the shirts.

I’s not talking about only one offer … but two. Then, you could sell shirts with a “no deadline” concept. Let me explain …

First, your customers will be able to bring back their shirts when the collar is used, and your sewing service will remove the collar and will sew the other side.

Second, why don’t you offer to change the collar when the two sides are used, in order to keep the shirt for a longer time ?

You can afford this, because you can cut and sew collars in the remnant of the fabric, and you already have a sewer service.

However, your brand image will be increased, especially in the ecologic 21th century. With the help of a wonderful advertisement campaign, I’m sure you’ll stay the leader on the market. You will increase your customer’s loyalty, and make them think that this represents a saving which could help them to buy other piece of clothes !

As you can see, I haven’t forgetten that you’re a business woman, leader of a great company !

I look forward to hearing from you,

Véronique