The Dissed Dead Guys: Respect Them on President’s Day, Too

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No. Not George C. Scott as Scrooge. It’s President Martin Van Buren

Happy President’s Day. It’s one of those holidays I don’t complain about because I’m sitting here drinking coffee knowing in a half hour I’ll still drinking coffee instead of going to work. I love work, mind you–teaching obscure things to teens is a cool job. They never know when they might need a fact about a dead guy to impress people at a cocktail party later in life.

Today, instead of teaching teens, I’ll share with the nation. It’s President’s Day. It seems America does not know its leaders. Buzzfeed’s Adam Davis proved this by subjecting a roomful of coworkers to ridicule when they couldn’t correctly name ten dead presidents from official portraits. Only Ford and Adams fared well. After all, Ford fell down the stairs so much he ended up honorary co-founder of Comedy Central, and Adams was a Founding Father–he gave us things like the Alien and Sedition Acts, where criticizing the government could–and did–get you locked up. Good for me he’s not around to read this.

President Tyler playing Cratchit to Fillmore's Scrooge.

President Tyler playing Cratchit to Fillmore’s Scrooge.

This President’s Day–which America knows is the best time of year to buy a car and go shopping at the mall–we must do something more. Let’s remember the presidents that make you say, “Who?” They did something to make this nation great, too. Or at least avoid getting it wiped off the map. It’s their holiday, too.

Give a shout out to the eighth president, Martin Van Buren–the first President who spoke English as a second language. I bet someone’d try to deport him today or demand his birth certificate. He presided over the Panic of 1837, a pretty big depression caused by unregulated banks going crazy with lending at the same time as unemployment rose and monopolies formed. Déjà vous? The nation was indignant as the price of cotton fell and cost of slaves increased. Businesses folded, and there wasn’t a thing President “Van Ruin,” could do.

William Henry Harrison took over for Van Ruin. He didn’t wear a coat at his inauguration, being a native of Virginia where coats aren’t necessary. He died of pneumonia about a month later. In the days before internet, that’s not even time enough for a political cartoon to travel the nation. #firstworldproblems. The primary lesson here–“Your mom was right! Wear a coat. And your face really will freeze like that!”

John Tyler, #10, tried to shore up the banking crisis by demanding a national bank. Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson had fought this fight when the nation formed. Tyler’s dad, incidentally, was Jefferson’s college roommate. A national bank? To regulate fiscal policies? Speak no more! John Tyler became the first sitting president to be impeached–not over a girl, but over his use of the veto. His party wouldn’t nominate him for a second term. He went back to Virginia, serving on the Confederate Congress and overseeing his plantation. Tyler was one of twelve US presidents who owned slaves, and one of eight who owned them while in office.

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Millard Fillmore. A pretty good guy.

Millard Fillmore tried to solve the growing slave-free conflict in the United States with the Compromise of 1850, giving us the Fugitive Slave Act and keeping the balance of free and slave states equal. This was important, because without an equal number of votes on either side, no one could impede progress, which is in the Congressional job description.

James Buchanan took sides, however, secretly supporting South Carolina’s succession and the Dred Scott case where the enslaved Scott sued for his freedom, stating that he’d been taken into a free state, therefore, was free. The Court said it was a moot point. Scott couldn’t sue because slaves were property, not people. Tensions rising, Buchanan never took a stand, leaving that to Abraham Lincoln, making Lincoln’s job really, really difficult.

Rutherford B. Hayes lost the popular vote but became President in an election worse than Bush-Gore. Mark Twain supported Hayes, who was an upright, moral guy who started the White House Easter egg hunt. Hayes stated he’d appoint people to jobs based on merit, not political connections, making everyone mad. But everyone was bound to be mad anyway–the Civil War just ended. Hayes tried to be fair and balanced even though FOX news wasn’t invented yet. He tried to heal the nation’s wounds by removing federal troops from the South, redirecting a couple to squash Great Railroad Strike of 1877 in Virginia and Maryland, where workers demanding to be paid a living wage took a few bullets for the team.

And finally, who can forget Chester Arthur, #21, who rose through the New York political machine to become a reformer. Arthur surprised the nation by signing the Pendleton Act which legally required jobs to be given according to merit not patronage. I wonder if he’d known the Chinese civil service exam had done this centuries earlier. With one stroke of his pen, Arthur guaranteed he’d never be invited to a DC dinner party again.

These are just a few of the presidents we don’t fully appreciate. They don’t have a used car sale in their honor. Think of them. Think of Harding, who had a sex-scandal while in office, or Hoover, who tried his best during the Depression, and all he got was a vacuum named after him.

Give these men–yes, no women–homage. Do something in their honor, today.

Me, I think I’ll vacuum like a good woman who won’t be president. Hoover has inspired me, and the house needs cleaning. Enjoy your President’s Day, America!

 

[credits: inspiration today goes to Buzzfeed and to this Time article “Fail to the Chief” which inspired my reflection on these great men buried in history books no one reads.]

 

 

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How to Escape America for $203 or Less

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 5.29.38 AMI haven’t traveled out of the country in a long time. So long that my passport has Soviet stamps on it. It’s old–extremely expired. I’ve been meaning to get a new one for a while.

“Want to go on a trip?” said my friend. It was an amazing trip. The mere invitation’s an honor. My heart sank. My passport…I can’t even go to Canada now, and no American gets banished from Canada. It’s like a slap in the face. When I lived in Upstate New York, we’d go to Canada to tap dance on the border if we were bored.

If we were bored and up to no good, we’d bring some Canadian quarters back and spend them in the United States, earning an eight-cent profit for each one. Once, I had a cold and I bought some Sudafed. It was still prescription here. I felt a little bit like a rebel. A rebel who could breathe. The Canadian economy is better than the US’ now so the quarter thing doesn’t work, and it’s legal to buy cold medicine now, you just have to fill out a million forms and promise not to make crystal meth. All the fun of going to Canada’s gone.

Besides, Customs Guy was on to us. He didn’t have a sense of humor.

I’ve said it before in my writings, and I’ll say it again–there are two types of people in this world that have no sense of humor. First is IRS. The second is customs.

“Purpose for your trip?” he asked.

“Tap dancing on the border.”

He heard our answer. He scowled. It’s never good to see a customs agent scowl. He scowled and stared us down. Neither side flinched. This could end very, very badly. Did Canada have it’s own Guantanamo? Probably not. These were the days before 9-11. Security was much lighter. Detaining us would result in paperwork for him. What was Canada going to do with two Americans, anyway? Give us free medical care? Torture!

I really wanted to go on this trip. I looked deep into my webcam and pleaded at the NSA agent assigned to me, “Please–you listen to my calls every day. You know I’m good.”

I took a deep breath and started the process. I had only eight weeks to get my papers in order–to prove I’m a dull American with simple hobbies like growing food, writing about education and crazy six-year olds, and practicing yoga. I said a quick prayer. I wondered if God Almighty could get a passport in eight weeks.

First, I read the State Department’s website. It’s pretty helpful. Next, the passport picture. State requires one small picture that looks like the person was just released from an INTERPOL lineup. I went to AAA. I  paid $8 and got the INTERPOL shot in two minutes flat. The helpful lady handed me all the forms and a list of the places I could go to turn them in. I cringed, expecting it to say Boston, New York, Mars, or Stamford. I’d need a bureaucrat who specialized in making people take a day off from work to give fingerprints and blood samples.

But it said…my town clerk’s office?

“Oh, we’re one of two towns that still does this.” How amazing! There must be a hidden camera with the real bureaucrat and a reality TV show. I gave her a couple of checks, and looked over my shoulder. No bureaucrat with a TV waiver emerged. “This should be about two weeks.”

Two weeks? I might be able to get a passport faster than the Lord.

All told, it was $8 for the INTERPOL approved photo, $170 for the passport and expediting, and $25 to reimburse the town for overnighting the packet. Amazing. All told, I can escape the country for $203 dollars. And probably get back in again.

That’s a bargain.

Time to see the world!

Using Chalk Outlines to Parallel Park in RI

I left the house early. My appointment was at 10, but traffic and parking can be a challenge. I found a spot about a half-mile from my destination–I have always objected to paying for parking if there is any alternative, and I hate parking garages. Not that I can’t afford six bucks to park–it’s the principle of the matter. I can walk. There was a time that I couldn’t. When I was finishing grad school, I ruptured my Achilles’ tendon playing basketball. It was the tail end of student teaching.

You don’t know joy until you’ve humped your student teaching supplies–and you can tell a student teacher a mile away because of the supplies–eight miles a day from the parking lot to the classroom. Crutches are fun for the first day when people give you the sad look and bring you coffee and gifts. After that, you’re about two days away from pinched nerves, numb fingers, and shoulders you think might have been your primary injury.

I never much thought about parking before that, with the exception of my mom’s continuous prayers for parking. She always prays for a good spot. I, myself, think the Almighty must have something more pressing to do than look for a parking spot for my mother at the grocery store–not that she hasn’t earned it with her goodness, but isn’t there cancer to cure? World peace to negotiate? I could never pray for a parking space.

Until I was on crutches. One day, I had to return library books to the college library. There were no handicapped spaces–they were filled with cars without handicapped stickers probably going to the ball game. I was forced to park in the student lot about twenty marathons away.  Eight hours later, as I hobbled to the library door, I saw a lady returning to her car without a handicapped sticker in the space I would have used.

“Ma’am,” I said. I’m not usually assertive–twenty books about dead people at five pounds each on one leg will do that to you, “That’s handicapped.” Many people will do things like litter and park in the handicapped spot because they feel they’ll never get caught. But when they do, they get shifty, embarrassed.

“Oh, um, there’s nowhere to park,” she tried to explain, unable to look me in the eye. Even if she wanted to, she couldn’t have seen over the stack of Schlesinger and McPherson.

“Yes there is. Over there. In the lot. You have to walk. Lucky you can. That’s where had to park because you are here. There are plenty of spaces left.” She looked like she wanted to be bitchy but I was being polite. And she was wrong. She slammed her door and zoomed away to look for another handicapped space I wasn’t guarding quite as well.

Yes, parking is an issue in Rhode Island. I didn’t mind today’s half-mile hike. Finding a space is a victory. As I walked, I analyzed Rhode Island parking. I took pictures. On first glance, it seems Rhode Islanders are leaving a respectful distance between cars. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is only because parallel parking is not part of the driving test here. No one knows how to do it. If you know how to parallel park, you simply line up the rear ends of the cars, and turn the wheel in. It may take a few reverses and wheel turns, but you can get into a space as long as it’s a foot or two longer than your car. I had a job once where half the staff meeting was spent watching one member arrive and try to parallel park every week. It’s a skill that’s next to impossible to witness in these parts.

Examine these spaces closely. A New Yorker would start slashing tires. You can fit eight Fiats and an RV in those spaces! This would never, ever fly in a city, where parking half a car length away means someone has to sleep at work because there are no spots near his home.

You see this extra space? A New Yorker would lift this car and move it to make space.

You see this extra space? A New Yorker would lift this car and move it to make space.

Unacceptable. If you can't parallel park in a reasonable distance, don't drive.

Unacceptable. If you can’t parallel park in a reasonable distance, don’t drive.

Stop this nonsense. Let’s hear your voice added to “Rhode Islander’s for Parking Reform.” There are so many parallel parking travesties we’re not even going to discuss the diagonal-parkers or those who park on the line so I need to exit through my sun roof. Which is tough, because I no longer have one. Maybe we need to put lines on parallel spaces, too. Maybe a chalk outline of a dead body or something–that’s a universal symbol Rhode Islander’s understand. If you can fit your cousin Vinny on the ground between two cars, you have used too much space. Be considerate. Let other people park too. There aren’t many of us here. I know we eat a lot of pasta, but There should be space for all of us.

 

My Season of Obnoxious

Screen Shot 2013-06-29 at 8.44.06 AMToday’s Saturday. Dates and times are irrelevant to me for the next seven weeks until school starts. This is the time of year when you hate me. The time of year when I call you randomly, email you at all times, and disturb you at work. You get annoyed. “I’m working! Don’t you have something to do?”

Nope. Don’t you know teachers never have something to do after 2PM, or during vacations and summer?

This is the glorious time of the year when I don’t yet have my schedule so I can’t possibly think about what I’d like to do next year. I can’t make goals, I can’t write curriculum, and I can’t obsess about the lessons I’d like to plan to reach my students better. I am forced to have fun.

That gives me plenty of time to bother you. You know you love it. Really. It makes you feel important. Deep in your mind, you’re convinced teachers don’t do anything most of the year and work a seven hour day.  It’s why you secretly want to go into teaching–there will be plenty of spots soon, trust me–we’ll take you. Especially if you are good at math and those multiple choice tests.

This summer, I am doing the following, which should give you a break from me: 

Gardening: I want to get off the grid and eat out of my own garden. But the cabbage worms are beating me to the produce, and they’re gross, so I don’t think I’ll be eating as much cauliflower as I want. I still have about eight weeks of Swiss Chard to cook and a ton of weeds to pull. That should keep me busy, but if I have time, I’ll call you during your important business meeting.

Learnist: Next year, I will get rid of my textbooks, whatever they are destined to be, almost entirely. When I know what I’m teaching, I’ll create and locate a ton more boards on Learnist to accomplish this, but one thing I’ll be doing differently is collaborating more. You’ll probably start to see me writing articles about using Learnist to crowdsource; about not “recreating the wheel.” I often think I work too hard when I could be sharing the load better. This sounds deep and prophetic, but truthfully, it’s pretty selfish. I really want to save myself some time, so I can bother you during the school year as well. Perhaps you have a presentation due or a deal to negotiate–that’s when I’ll Skype in or send a really long email. It’s the least I can do.

Developing a better plan for tech in my classroom: I did well this year with Learnist, my class braincountry.com blog, and Twitter, but in the next year two, I plan to do even better. I didn’t tweet enough on the @braincountry handle with the students, although we did tweet the debates and election. They wanted to tweet more. I can do better with my class blog. I want the students to do more writing, and the parents to see and comment on what students are doing. I will figure out a way to do this from Day One to make lessons more relevant and engaged, and save me time to–you guessed it–bother you.

Fitness: I’ve enjoy yoga and running, and am ditching The Boy to get back to my fun at iLoveKickboxing.com.  Fitness is never a burden for me, it’s fun and often meditative. I can Screen Shot 2013-06-29 at 8.48.35 AMuse this addiction to give you a break when the other time-saving innovations give me an excess of time to insert annoyances into yours. I’ll try to recognize your righteous indignation and kickbox or run for an hour or so. That should give you enough time to pack up and move to a nation I can’t spell.

Don’t worry…it won’t be too long before I’ll know what I’m teaching and start focusing on that instead of calling you while you’re trying to be productive so you can avoid being outsourced.  My writing and other projects will fill up my time to give you a breather, and the last week of August–when I return to teach–is coming before you know it.

By then, you should hear the crickets chirp in your email. But until that time, it’s really nice bothering you again.

 

[images: cbsnews.com and 2dayblog.com]

Coffee is Teacher Crack

 

English: Cute coffee.

English: Cute coffee. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Coffee is teacher crack. I’m about to make 30 cups and line them up on the back of my desk. I don’t only double-fist cups of coffee, I “quad” them. This is a technique I saw once in college, where the individual rehydrating himself carried four cups, two in the left hand, two in the right hand, drinking from the front two while the liquid from the back ones cascaded into the front. It works nicely for coffee.

 

Some days, I wish I could come into school with a flask, but even if I could, there’s no point. I don’t really drink. If I filled it with coffee, I’d just get mocked. It’s not really gangsta or effective.

 

I can’t be a drug addict. I know crack’s bad for you; I don’t even like the plumber crack I endure as a result of tall students busting a sag. So, since drugs and alcohol aren’t a possibility, coffee’s the only thing left.

 

Coffee’s a drug, I guess. When we were little, my sister discovered that in her health program. Caffeine is a drug. She loved to help educate others, “My mom’s a drug addict!” she’d scream in all public places. Mom loves coffee, too.

 

I get half my calories from coffee. That’s no joke. I used to drink it black when I worked in restaurants, but now, I enjoy a little cream and agave to provide that “Calgon, take me a way,” moment. The American Medical Association, the New England Journal of Medicine, or some publication with a ton of doctors, at any rate, recently said I could drink as much coffee as I could physically consume.  That’s good, because I drink way too much. I’ve got a fair-trade farmer at the ready with a beeper.  On a normal day, I drink a lot, but lately all this testing, grading, benchmarking, and evaluating is making me drink even more. When I’m actually teaching, I’m never at my desk–I’m moving around, so I don’t drink as much. When I’m dealing data and numbers and piles, I’ve started to vacuum it in. I feel like a kamakaze pilot on his last mission, “BONZAIIIIIII” Another cup of coffee hits the deck. I sure hope Mayor Bloomberg doesn’t walk in and take away the big mug. That’d be a disaster.

 

I’m not here to talk about testing, I’m here to reflect upon whether I have a problem–an addiction even–or whether, in fact, my coffee consumption might be beneficial to my students. Some days I drink so much coffee that I can actually teach two weeks of lessons in fifteen minutes,  giving the test before the activity is complete. That’s speed. Efficiency. The mark of a good educator. Other days I hear my inner voice, and know I should slow down a bit. Pause. Breathe. Drink more water or something. Then I rationalize that water is in coffee and I make…just…one….more…cup. Tomorrow I’ll have less. I promise.

 

That’s the mark of an addict.

 

“It’s good coffee though,” I think. An addict would have that three-dollar bag cut down with the cheap stuff. Reuse the grinds. I never do that. I spring for the best. An addict would steal, rob, and lie to get his coffee. I don’t do that either–I just walk over to the Keurig station I’ve set up in my room and push the button. Simple.

 

I think coffee might be good–it’s the only time we see each other as faculty. We see each other so seldom sometimes that I introduced myself to someone I actually worked with at a conference. If we didn’t have museum tags on our doors, “Mrs. So and So,” we probably wouldn’t even know some of the exhibits in the rooms.

 

Drink More CoffeeCoffee makes people talk. They pilgrimage to the Keurig and make coffee while I teach. I like when people do this–I like to be social and see my coworkers. Coffee helps me do that. I don’t mind keeping the place stocked up for that reason. I put coffee under my “friendship and happiness budget.” Sometimes I wish I could sit down and actually have coffee and talk, but I can’t because there are 25 kids behind me who say otherwise about me concentrating on one coherent thought at a time.

Today I’m on cup two. That’s not enough. I’ll make one for the drive, and restock the Keurig for the TGIF caffeine extravaganza. If you work with me, come in. There’s cream in the fridge, and agave and sugar on the table. Even some honey for you teetotalers. Because when you have “coffee” with someone, you don’t always have to drink coffee. But I always do–seems a waste to do otherwise. Smile and say hi on your way out. It’s probably the only time we’ll get to converse. I want to remember your name.

 

[image: squidoo.com/cafetieres]

 

 

 

We (Don’t) Got the Beats

Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 6.23.24 AM“Miss, come here.” I do.

“Can you please explain to him why he’s stupid?” said friend about friend.

“Elaborate? Give me the details of this conversation?” I inquire.

“He’s got $80 headphones.” friend says. Now, I am the queen of coupons, the maven of money-saving, the pinnacle of penny-pinching. They know what I’ll say.

“What do you need $80 headphones for? What could you buy with $80?” I discuss opportunity cost. No one signs up for an economics lecture at 7AM.

“Well at least they’re not Beats, those are expensive.” says the money-waster.

“Beats are big,” I say. “I don’t understand–we are three decades removed from MY Day, when the Walkman was invented…” I notice they are staring at me with a curious mixture of shock and disbelief. When the Walkman was invented…  “It’s true. I remember. We used to run like this…”  I mime running with a hand carrying a suitcase, “Because it was so darned big. We make things small now.”

I continue, “Just yesterday I had my new iPod implanted in my arm. I use a QR code to update the play list so I can run. The headphones were inserted in my brain through my nostril and I only sneezed twice. All bluetooth. Why,” I ask, “Are you people,” I motioning to the collective group of teens, “reinventing headphones that are bigger than football helmets?”

These are stealth,” said the proud owner of the $80 headphones.

“Why are they $80, then? I have to know. I can get a Bose speaker for ten dollars more.” My students often educate me. Seems like something I should learn.

“Well, this part’s gold,” he said.

“Gold?” I ask.  “Is this where you put your gold if you can’t get a chain or a fake gold tooth? Or maybe you’re still uncertain about the economy?” There I go, more economics lesson. Maybe I’m indeed, too old to understand. The teens laugh. I’m reducing this expense to rubble. Opportunity cost one, student zero.

“Well, anyway, Beats are for hip hop. These are for metal.”

“Oh, so now there’s a socio-musical-political underlying implication to this?” I’m happy because at least one student understands what I’ve just said.

The rest need coffee.

Or louder music to block me out.

We never resolve which headphones are best, or why, when they are not permitted in school, half the crowd buys lime green ones the size of Texas rather than the “stealth” ones with the bling, but I agree to stay after and listen to my cheap ear buds next to the Beats and the Skull Candy bling buds.

Because it is time, they advise, “for you to be educated.”

“I agree.” I say. “It’s important to learn something new every day.”

Food Extremists Who Are Worse Than Me

This is me. Entirely. I never made out with anyone in the produce aisle, but I feel strongly about food. I want to grow and raise what I eat. I want to eat healthy, to avoid packages. I do lots of things that are considered weird. I bake bread–it goes on the counter to rise at night so it’s ready to make in the morning. I make two types of yogurt–Greek yogurt, and filmjolk, both of which can easily be made into cheese, which I then mix with herbs from my own garden and spread on home-made bruschetta. If I could be perfect, in my own mind, I’d produce or trade for the bulk of my food. I have the land to do that now, and it’s going to get ugly–things planted everywhere–a landscaper’s nightmare, but my idea of heaven. My husband has advised me to “Stay the #$%%^ away from the front yard.” So far I have.

“People don’t like militants,” said my new friend with whom I was discussing food. Am I that bad? I don’t eat meat, I don’t like packaging, I try to avoid processed sugar, erring on the side of local honey and local maple syrup. I denounce pre-cut fruits in bags in the store and I think that the person who invented the Lunchable, is a marketing genius but the devil incarnate.

I never eat fast food–I told my son Chuck E. Cheese was the evil mouse. I haven’t taken him yet. There are much better foods to eat. Like the ones I grow myself.

I just ate my first salad from the garden. I made my own mayo for the dressing from eggs I got down the road–kidnapped right from the chicken at my request, the farmer put them  in the carton I brought from home–never even saw a fridge before they were converted into culinary greatness.

Maybe my friend is right. Perhaps I am a bit extreme. But not militant. I don’t spray-paint people’s leather shoes or threaten their eternal salvation if they eat shellfish or drink beer. I’ll even cook you a steak if you’re a carnivore guest, as long as it’s grass-fed beef.

I just think we’ve lost touch with our food and I think it’s time to find it. But I’m feeling a bit paranoid–am I really all that extreme? It’s time to engage in the great American past time of looking at other people to make myself feel better.  After all, I’m just a vegetarian–there are plenty of extremists out there worse than me.

Many  cultures don’t understand vegetarians. When I was in Russia, people would offer me meat. I’d politely decline. They’d say “Oh, just have one.” I said, “I’m a vegetarian, like Tolstoy.” Tolstoy was also a political extremist. That never helped, but it got me out of the beef stroganoff even if I had to starve that night.

Many of my students are Hispanic. Vegetarians are even less common in that space. More than one student or parent has, out of great concern, tried to send me to the doctors. “Vegetarian? You need to see someone about that.”

But am I really all that weird? I researched other diets. There are people out there who are far more particular than me. There are some really extreme foodies out there.

Screen Shot 2013-05-10 at 6.18.03 AMI feed paleos all the time. Their food lists are like mine, if you cross off the meat. A list of restrictions that makes an Iron Chef competition look easy. Then there are celiacs, raw foodists, vegans, and locavores, each with their own lists of prohibitions, rules, and food prep nightmares. Muslims and Jews are easy–even though I technically need a second kitchen and a rabbi to convert me to really cook properly for my Jewish friends, there’s a tacit agreement that vegetarians are understanding enough not to use bacon grease in the home-grown French cut beans, and we’re good with that. It’s the culinary secret handshake. If only solving peace in the Middle East were so easy.

So, I do my best to eat my raw carrots for breakfast unobtrusively, while I greet my next-door colleague who’s busy avoiding wheat, apples, and lactose. We drink home-juiced liquids out of mason jars and shot glasses, and the leaves in my desk aren’t inappropriate for a school setting, they’re just a blend of black and fruit teas, some of which I grew and dried myself.

Am I that far outside the mainstream? Maybe so. We planned a work outing. “You two will not be bringing the food.”

“Your loss.” I thought, as I downed another shot of my friend’s juice–two beets, a banana, pear, and just one sprig of kale–and ate my home-made sauerkraut from a mason jar. It was pretty good. And it was all mine.

[Image: beginwithnutrition.wordpress.com–today this is a link because there are some awesome recipes here!!]