Thursday, April 2, 2009

She touched the Queen and she liked it

Obamas and royals [sung to the tune of "I Kissed A Girl"]

Everyone is all aflutter over the Obamas' meeting with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip yesterday. It seems to have gone very well, and what has people talking is Michelle's brief touch on the back of the Queen. *gasp* Apparently it's not really good protocol to touch the Queen. However, after much discussion, and consultation with British experts on the subject, it seems that it is a tempest in a teapot (I love that phrase, and how often do I get to use it? Almost never!) and the experts pretty much said, "Everyone calm down." One guy said that the Queen has been at this for over 50 years, and she won't be offended by that. She put her hand on Michelle's back, Michelle reciprocated, and it's no big deal. Some have also said that the Queen seemed to take a bit of a shine to the Obamas, Michelle especially. Very cool!

I'm watching the President's press conference in London right now, and it looks like he is being very warmly received. I can't tell you what a refreshing change this is! Diplomacy always dictates politeness, no matter who the visiting dignitary might be, but I get the impression that he's really kind of a "hit."

Unfortunately, there have been plenty of protesters as well. Things seem a little quieter today. From what I understand, these people aren't really protesting the American President, but they do blame much of the situation on recent American policies, as well as British. I was shocked to see some of the windows smashed, things thrown, etc. One correspondent said that the people doing this are simply anarchists, with no need to really make their voices heard or to start a dialogue, just the urge to destroy. From what I saw, I'd have to agree. One passerby appealed to people to stop such violence, that no one will listen to them if all they do is smash things. He was ignored. I'm glad it's calmer today.

I also thought it was very clever of the British police in how they dealt with the protesters. They simply surround them, form a cordon, and don't let anyone in or out. For hours. So there the protesters are...getting hungry, thirsty, and I'm sure becoming in urgent need to use the facilities! By the time the day is done, everyone is anxious to get out of there and they just slink off. Brilliant!

Teacher Natalie left a comment on my entry about the teaching of science: "I see where you are going here and may I add why do teachers get to teach politics in Spanish Literature? Or give their own political and worldly opinions of the world in English class?" That's a great question, Natalie. In my opinion, teachers shouldn't be doing that. I think some of it is inevitable and will come through in discussions, especially in Government classes, etc. But I've heard tales of teachers almost harassing students because of things they say concerning politics, and that's not right.

In thinking back on my own school years, I don't recall any of my teachers talking about their own political opinions. In any discussion that arose, they might say something like, "But what about this?" or "What if the situation were reversed?" Things like that would further the discussion, but gave nothing away about their own leanings. Science class leaves even less wiggle room--science is science and nothing more. I think it's important for kids to get alternate viewpoints, and I would hope that they are around enough people, both inside and outside of school, to hear a variety of experiences, rather than just the views of their own parents. Sadly, that's often not the case, and I fear for any kid who gets nothing but that. It's a big world out there, and such narrowness of view could make for a rocky road to adulthood, and a very rude awakening.

I probably won't be on here much tonight until after's the three hour series finale of "ER" tonight, and I'm sad already.


  1. it seems that it is a tempest in a teapot (I love that phrase, and how often do I get to use it? Almost never!)

    You know, it reminds me of another phrase that I pull out ... you will recongnise it when you see it!

    As to the touch, look, the Queen 'ain't new to this' as the kids are won't to say (albeit, they said it back in the late 90's ... goes to show how hip I am !!). She didn't seem to break stride or take any offense. She is one of the rare octogenarians that mind is still as sharp as ever, it seems. The times haven't zoomed past her, and she geniuely seemed pleased to receice the historic First Couple.

    Did I miss the school post? Perhaps that will be my assignment along with reading DB's story for the weekend. I catch up with him all at once, because it 'sticks' better and I am with the story more.

    Is any of this relevant to you entry? You can tell me if it isn't... I can take it!


  2. I was wondering if it was still protocol to curtsy to the Queen??? Anyway, she seemed very relaxed with the Obamas, I bet she rocks on with that iPod!
    Great blog!

  3. Royal watching is an hobby of mine :)
    As the First Lady it was proper protocol for Mrs. Obama not to curtsy, because her husband is head of state. Yes, is wasn't proper for Mrs. Obama to touch The Queen, those who flew into an uproar fail to notice if the Quessn wasn't fond of Mrs Obama, she woulld have not only returned the gessture, but Mrs. Obama would have recieved an icey stare she is noticed for.
    The iPod was another matter since Prince Andrew had already given her one. But hey, as any good Grannie, the Queen may have passed it onto a grandchild.
    And as for the "tempest ina teapot.." I use that pharse quite often, cause I like it :)The school question; excellent points raised on both sides. As you know, Mark is a Sub-Teacher, Science and feels like his hands are tied; he can't even discuss intelligent design with an equiring student after class. So is the fear that he might "shove his religious views" down some young child's throat. It is a pity: the better Science teachers like mark are heading to private, religious schools when their really needed in the public schools.
    But that's just me-your nutty religious friend :)

  4. Anything I've read about the Queen & her consort always stated he is the "touchy" one(no pun intended) when it comes to protocol(I think that is just a function of his being so generally powerless & at loose ends, but anyway...). Now, I am sure she is not a free-swinging loose girl, and I know that Princess Di threw all protocol to the wind and the Queen was Very Pissed about that, but a little touch on the back? I think she might have been a little surprised but certainly not offended. I know someone in Italy who had an audience with the Pope and when he met him he said: Oh my God, you're the Pope. The Pope laughed :-). ~Mary

  5. Half a box of tissues, check, shoulder to cry on, check, I think we are ready :o)

  6. The Queen looks so teenie tiny. Well I can't imagine the world getting their panties in a twist about a touch on her back, but then again, anything silly to focus on. I didn't watch news today, was it a headliner?
    I think for the most part my teachers were fairly quiet about their political views...however, to me it's shocking how much my daugthers come home and talk about what this teacher said, or what that teacher said about different topics. They have, in my opinion crossed the line in several occasions. Perhaps school is more open about teachers influence in such a way these days.........
    Enjoy your last 3 hours, savior them, bring a box of tissue, we'll be thinking of you~

  7. I remember my World History teacher caused a big stir at the high school I attended. My parents along with many other's felt she had communist leanings in the stuff she was assigning us to read. There was a big meeting with the protesting parents and the school board and I remember her teaching methods changed drastically. So maybe she was leaning to the 'red' side. That was over 50 yrs ago so all I remember was the big commotion it caused. And that my parents were threating to move me to another school. Linda in WA

  8. Aww... what a cute picture of the Queen. She almost looks as if she's in pain!

  9. Touching the queen, NO BIG DEAL!I can't understand how this makes the headlines? If you get a chance to watch The Daily Show, it had a segment about this matter of touching. "She's Poisoness" Ha Ha

    We were glued to the tube watching ER! What a great show it has been all these seasons! Thank you for your entry nd have a good day tomorrow.

    An ER FAN

  10. My partner, Carlos, is from Mexico, and this phrase of yours, "tempest in a teapot" is one he uses often, although from the Spanish to Englis it has become "storm in a glass of water."

    Just thought I'd share.

  11. What I remember about the Queen is how she acted about Princess Diana's Death... protocol my a** ~ what about having a depth of human compassion and not being afraid to show it. ::Shrug:: that's just me.
    Personally ~ as far as the teaching is concerned? if you are going to teach something like that, show BOTH sides...equally and with no more importance placed on one or the other. Hugs, Teresa

  12. I'm glad I stopped watching ER years ago, or I would have been a very sad lady last Thursday, too.


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