February 11, 2013

A la poste

 February 11, 2013 Photo of the day:
"Love Letters"

This afternoon, I went to the post office to mail a package to my darling Julia in France; she will be seven next week. I enjoy shopping for "La Miss" because I can indulge my girlie side. Being Auntie to boys is awesome, but sometimes a girl craves pink :)  Julia should be thrilled with her stickers, book, nail polish, and necklace, but isn't it ironic that the postage is often as expensive or more than the gift itself? I have to learn to shop for lighter gifts. Oh well, she's worth it! I had a nice chat with Julia yesterday. Don't you just love to hear children speaking French? It was also fun to chat with Sandrine and Brice, Julia's mom and dad (my dear friends). Why is it that France is so far ahead of us when it comes to phone service? It costs me 99 cents per minute to call home from France, but it's free for my French friends to call land lines and cell phones in the US. Anyway, it is always nice to hear their voices, and I can't wait to see their lovely faces in April.

The post office was quite busy with people sending gifts and love letters for Valentine's Day. Some consider it a "Hallmark holiday," but I really like the idea of an extra-special day to express admiration and affection. 

I use these Kate Spade note cards to send thank yous and notes of appreciation. As tech-savvy as I am, I still really enjoy sending and receiving handwritten notes. I have a special box in my desk for cards and letters that I have received from students and parents. On days when I doubt that I am making a difference, all I need to do is read a few of these notes and I remember that it's all worth while.  

Even if you don't have special stationary or a way with words, a card or a note can be elevated by the simple addition of a "love" stamp. The latest "Forever" love stamps are reminiscent of classic wax seals. They remind me of Cyrano's love letters to Roxane. This week, my French IV students are examining cultural, political, economic, and artistic aspects of 16th century France. They are currently watching the 1990 film version of Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac. Christian's/Cyrano's love letters to Roxane are always sealed with wax and an imprint of Christian's signat ring. On Thursday, my student will send Valentines to Roxane emulating either Cyrano's or Christian's style.

Another stamp that caught my eye today honors Edith Piaf, France's iconic singer, best know for La Vie en Rose and Non, je ne regrette rien. In 2007, Marion Cotillard won the Best Actress Oscar for her brilliant portrayal of Piaf in the film La Môme (La Vie en Rose). My favorite Piaf song is perfect for Valentine's Day: Hymne à l'Amour.

Le ciel bleu sur nous peut s'effondrer
Et la Terre peut bien s'écrouler
Peu m'importe si tu m'aimes
Je me fous du monde entier

Tant que l'amour inondera mes matins
Tant que mon corps frémira sous tes mains
Peu m'importent les problèmes
Mon amour puisque tu m'aimes

J'irais jusqu'au bout du monde
Je me ferais teindre en blonde
Si tu me le demandais

J'irais décrocher la Lune
J'irais voler la fortune
Si tu me le demandais

Je renierais ma patrie
Je renierais mes amis
Si tu me le demandais

On peut bien rire de moi
Je ferais n'importe quoi
Si tu me le demandais

Et si un jour la vie t'arrache à moi
Si tu meures que tu sois loin de moi
Peu m'importe si tu m'aimes
Car moi je mourrai aussi

Et nous aurons pour nous l'éternité
Dans le bleu de toute l'immensité
Dans le ciel plus de problèmes
Mon amour crois-tu qu'on s'aime
Dieu reunit ceux qui s'aiment


As I mentioned, I love hearing little children speak French. Le Papillon is a very charming film that I feature in my French Film class. Elsa, the 9-year old girl in the film, says she wants to grow up to be "grande" (big) like Edith Piaf (FYI: Piaf was only 142 cm or 4'8" but she was "grande" indeed)! Elsa sings an adorable rendition of l'Hymne à l'Amour.