Archive for April, 2012

College, à la française

Our professor pulled out a packet of tissues and set it on the desk.  It made a small plastic noise as he pulled out one of the small paper squares.  I assumed he needed to blow his nose, but he didn’t bring the tissue to his face.  Instead, he lifted it to the white board, […]

La Révolution Française

In elementary school, I did a project on the French Revolution.  I made one of those tri-fold display posters, covering it with construction paper, names, dates.  The poster explained that the French Revolution was when France won its independence.  The problem was that no matter how much research I did, I couldn’t figure out from whom the […]

Of Energy and Ideas

My last post was left hanging on the edge of a discussion on energy and innovation. So, I’m going back to Saint-Malo in this post to pick up where I left off. One of the details I didn’t discuss in depth before was that the tides in Saint-Malo are ridiculous. At high tide, whole worlds […]

Spring Break in the Corsair City: Arrr!

The walled-in City of Saint-Malo sits on the northern coast of Brittany, overlooking dozens of rocky islands which sit stoicly on the horizon, unmoved by the English Channel rushing around them.  The air of the city is mixed with the waters that crash endlessly on these rocks.  These same waters, which now hang in the […]

The Unity of France II: One Nation

Every American knows the phrase “One nation under God,” yet few people realize that our country is not a nation in the strictest sense.  While nation, country, and state are often used interchangeably, they are not the same.  A nation is a people.  They have a culture, a language, a history.  They might have a state.  For example, Jewish Americans are perfectly […]

The Unity of France I: One State

Last week, I attended a political rally for incumbent presidential candidate, Nicolas Sarkozy.  Looking out on a sea of French flags waved by nearly everyone in the crowd, he pronounced his vision and goals for his second term in office.  For the most part his comments were not surprising, nor were they starkly different from the […]