“I make my teacher cry, and a chasm opens up under my feet”

This teacher was bright, charismatic. She had a magnetic aura. In the midst of very rich students, children of expatriates or of the local bourgeoisie, disconnected from the realities of the country in which they lived, she wanted to awaken consciousness. The ecological crisis, social injustices, feminism… all the questions to which I became sensitive while growing up, she carried them. I, who felt apart in this environment to which I did not belong, me, the daughter of a teacher, had the impression that she was talking to me. I loved him a little too much, with this too great clumsy love that one can deposit at 15 years on a professor who, by his horizon, changes the course of our life.

I was his student in 5e, in 3e et en 2from. We were in camera, always the same students, and always the same teachers, from the beginning to the end of our schooling. We knew each other by heart. My first meeting with her was a big shock. So when she proposed, at the end of 3e, to create an informal discussion group, once a week, to talk about the world as it is (badly), I obviously applied. We met in a small corner of the schoolyard, under large trees, at noon. The group stabilized around five of my friends and me. The six of us got closer, until we became the high school activist brigade. We were nicknamed the “S Battalion”, after our teacher. Together, we have, for example, succeeded in banning single-use plastic in the canteen. Mrs. S. spoke to us about her life choices, the ecological struggle, violence against women. She was not from a militant perspective. His philosophy was that of the drop of water, everyone does what they can and it’s already not bad. I believe this is where the conflict germinated in me. I believed in collective action, I was waiting for proposals. But that was not his position. My disappointment arose from this disagreement.

“Unpacking of suffering”

One day, she told us about an extreme case of violence against women. We were very shocked. It was hard to hear for young girls our age. I wanted to do something, to help these women. But after supporting us, Mrs. S. gave up a bit, and it fell into the water. For me, his attitude was incomprehensible. I stayed with the story of this excruciating violence, doing nothing. This episode affected me a lot. I saw the world in black, I was more and more sad and withdrawn. My parents worried about me.

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