Yesterday I filled in for a friend who teaches at a Parisian public high school that offers an undergrad-level program to prepare students for the entrance exams to graduate engineering schools. I snapped a picture of the blackboard for you - I like the flower that pops up, left, like a whimsical provocation, so true to the teenage spirit.
I worked 1-on-1 with students yesterday, which I love. Teenagers have such an inner intensity. And they're smart.
I remember my first school... Riverside Farm Nursery School, in Nairobi (Kenya) was right across the street from our house. There were lots of children from different countries, all blabbering away in English. No matter how wonderful the institution, I never really liked school; I always felt like my heart was somewhere else, where the rules of the games were my own, and where I got to choose the stories I longed to hear. I had friends, but I felt like a loner who had somehow not received the key memo - an impression that became only more intense as years went by and as I went on to other, more French institutions around the world. By the time I got to a very Parisian high school, I felt and was treated as something of a freak.
I hate to finish on such a sour note so I'll only add: if you're in high school and miserable, the good news is, high school has an end.