So... instead, I will explain the context to you.
Two hours ago, I took my 19 year old daughter to register at the local "community college", a place filled with retired people, hungry for knowledge, classes in a relaxed environment, with no tests, no papers, no "evaluation".
I encouraged her to go there, because I thought (think???) that it is a place where she can escape the merciless pressure that French society applies systematically, and in foot tons, on its population in order to force us to be "productive" (from the cradle to the grave, of course...).
"Productivity" is an IDOL word here, one that triggers Pavlovian responses in all members of society. (Of course, the French are number ONE in productivity in Europe, I think, and what good has this done "us" ? Just ensuring that MORE and MORE people get laid off, as the depression worsens, and fewer and fewer of us have to do more and more work, be more and more productive, exhausted, while the others wallow daily in enforced, debilitating (to self esteem) idleness.)
She was talking to the sewing teacher, an older woman, who promptly proceeded to ask her :
Are you a student ? (no)
Are you employed ? (no)
Now is the instant when all of a sudden, the person you are talking to is in front of an uncharted continent : HOW CAN THIS BE ???? A young, vital, woman who is... not working, not studying, just WHAT is she ? (When you think about it, this holds true at any and every age...)
That's when the verdict falls : "Ça se laisse vivre".
It's a sign of... open, unadulterated... CONTEMPT. A judgment without any appeal.
These days, I have decided to turn the world and stand it on its ear, and I encourage my daughter to do so. (I tell her that if you work, you can turn EVERY insult into a... COMPLIMENT, and this is true. Think about it... zero sums oblige, Thai.)
As it turns out... her father and I are delighted to be able to offer her one/two years with NO SOCIAL/ACADEMIC pressure, for her to just enjoy... learning how to... BE. To be... HER. To learn how to enjoy learning, far away from the concentration camp environment that the French school system surrounds its youth with.
HERE... school has to be... WORK. The school system is a training ground for that ultimate experience, along the lines of the ideology that says "but you MUST be USEFUL to society, you must suffer and work until you drop in order to earn that filthy lucre that will enable you to put bread on your table". You MUST suffer to do this ; it MUST be difficult and unpleasant.
She will meet with much resistance here when she says who she is and what she's doing.
She is a lily of the valley : she toils not, and neither does she spin.
And that makes her elders want to shout and stamp and scream.
It's really very ugly, you know. Very very ugly.
I should point out : she NO LONGER has the starry eyed expression on her face that Thai's youngest has.
She has already seen TOO MUCH...
(My apologies if I am repeating myself...)