Today some teachers are on strike. I don’t mean that particular districts or villages are up in arms over poor salaries or waning benefits. No, I mean individual teachers.
So, today, Julia can’t attend school because her teacher is on strike for a day. In the message home, it read that on Jeudi (Thursday) she wouldn’t be at school because of something called a greve. In my rudimentary French (where I didn’t learn useful things that could have helped me with the kids’ homework this week like French geometric terms or French pirate terms), I thought greve meant grief. I surmised that she must’ve had a funeral that day. Thankfully, our friends James and Brandy were here and James, who is fluent, told me a greve is a strike. So, Madame Boinnot is on strike.
There will be no substitute, either. Sophie has encountered this very odd (and random) thing about French schools. They don’t have substitutes very often, at least not at her school. If a teacher is gone, she is gone, and the kids are left to wander the schoolyard until their next class. Go figure!
Here’s the really random part. Aidan goes to the same school as Julia and his teacher is NOT on strike. So, he was supposed to go to school. I kept him home because he has this horrific cough, so the point was moot, but it still strikes me as odd that some kids could go to school and others couldn’t. Apparently, tomorrow things will be back to “normal,” whatever that means.
Perhaps we should all have a greve now and again. Just for a day. Maybe an airline pilot could just take the day off–without a substitute. Or a doctor. Or whoever has a grievance. Maybe I should just resign from making dinner as a protest of one.
I’m sure there are similar perplexing dichotomies in the United States. We can be just as random. I’m just not enough removed to discover them. Care to enlighten me?