Colin arrived one day after a series of terrorist attacks in Paris.
After all, he is from District 20 of Paris, close to the Bataclan theatre, where the explosion happened. Even though he was away from the scene, some of his friends live around the area. The anxiety of keeping up with what happened over there flashed across his face now and then.
I was surprised that Colin is impressed by the Australian democracy, considering that Paris is one of the birth places for liberty. Colin is proud of the freedom and equality that the French society provides, but he was positively surprised at the Australian democracy while visiting the Old Parliament House. He especially liked the interactive exhibition experience where he was asked to vote on social issues.
Colin works at a suburban school where many of his students come from around the world. Like inner city schools in Chicago or Sydney, it is not always easy to motivate public school students to study. Based on his experience, Paris is a lot more integrated and diverse than many in the States. "They used to say US is a melting pot, but I visited the country. No. It is so segregated. I was at a night club, and saw white people sat with white people at one table, Asians sitting with other Asians, Latinos sitting with other Latinos. That is terrible. It is not a melting pot, but rather a patchwork."
Freedom of expression is what Colin pursues at his core. It is what motivated him to take a leave from teaching, and travelling around the world for almost a year. It is what motivated him to write plays with creative metaphors. It is what motivated him to stay at some nudists' home in the outback Northern Territory while sawing metal naked. It is what motivated him to sleep under the stars in the heartland. Where will the spirit of freedom take him next?