Thursday, September 20, 2007

"I believe public education must help restore the daily ritual of the table in all our childrens' lives." *

I am having one of my (not really that frequent, despite what some may believe) I HATE PEOPLE days.

Hate #1:
My behind-us neighbors, very nice (and very frequently not even there) people, have had their nasty dogs outside all morning, and they’re barking their heads off. Annoying creatures.

It also means that Punto is not as content to hang out in our backyard when we go somewhere for an hour or two as he usually is, as the two dogs stand at the fence and snarl and growl at him.

Hate #2:
Dropping Primo off at school is never easy, as there is no official drop-off point, the parking is limited, and the school is on a fairly busy street (read: people flagrantly ignore the “Slow: School: 15mph” signs). This morning I was lucky enough to get a spot where I could watch for Primo to get into school and wave goodbye. Another mother wasn’t, so she took two minutes to stop, let her child out of the car, and watch him walk into school.

You’d have thought the three or four people behind her were on their way to emergency brain surgery.

When one construction-type guy in a huge white pickup truck honked his horn and shouted at her angrily, I snapped at him, “Cut her a break! She’s watching to make sure her kid gets in!”
“Gets in where?” he asked.
“The school, right there.”
To his credit, he shut up then, and looked suitably abashed.

The fat woman in the SUV behind him wasn’t so nice: “She can pull over! That’s just rude!”
I said, “Do you see anywhere obvious for her to pull over? She’ll just be a minute.”

Note that neither of these people was dropping a child off at school.
Forgive me for not being more understanding.
Fat-Woman zoomed off to her surgery in disgust.
I hope she crashed.

Hate #3:
Paxson is one of two schools in this city’s public school system participating in the Edible Schoolyard program. Founded and directed nationally by Alice Waters of Chez Panisse fame, the program works to teach urban school children where the food they eat comes from, and allows them to participate in its planting, care, harvesting, and preparation – from seed to table. A lot of hard work (parents, teachers, and kids) went into all the grant-writing, fundraising, and then the actual preparation of the schoolyard where the gardens are. Farmer Josh is an integral part of the school faculty now, and the kids greet him happily each morning, asking what’s ready to picked that day and how things are coming along.

One of the school parents is a chef, and is doing several cooking demos for the kids, using produce grown in their schoolyard gardens.

It’s an incredible thing, really – it’s exciting and educational and as many parents here are actively involved in ensuring their families eat more organically and more locally, there’s a huge amount of support for the program.

Last week the kids arrived at school to find several of their watermelons smashed all over the sidewalk. They took it in stride, and Farmer Josh handled it well.
But this morning I noticed that some hoodlum(s) had knocked over all the staked tomato plants, which were just about ready for major harvesting, and messed up the compost and its bin.

Do these derelicts have nothing better to do with their time than be destructive and horrible?
I hope they get hit by the fat lady in the SUV.

(It’s a damn good thing there are so many nice, wonderful, loving people in my life, or I just might lose all faith in the future of humanity.)

* Alice Waters, in Slow Food, Slow Schools


Caro said...

FIRSTIES! I'm sorry about your nausea.

I love the way you stood up to the brain surgeons. I hope your day improves.

Unknown said...

That school sounds really great, I've never even heard of that programs but already I love it. Sorry about the surgeons :)

HEATHER said...

I am so sorry about their little garden. That really sucks for the kiddoes.
About your nausea, have you been diagnosed with HG? There is a prenatal vitamin that (whose name escapes me now)helps with nausea. Ask your OB. Hope you feel better.

Badger said...

Hating people? Welcome to my world.

Eileen said...

I've met Farmer Josh just a few weeks ago! I thought the program he was running was really cool - and then *poof* it appears all over the PGH Post Gazette!

And yes, it's super sad about the hoodlum(s), but I'm sure Farmer Josh was able to recoup and help the kiddies get through it... he seems to be that way... :o)

oh and another note - I drive by a school on my way to work and totally drive the 15mph - and it pisses people behind me off... I find a secret joy in it!!!

Kathy said...

I've never heard of that program at Primo's school but it sounds wonderful. I do not understand why people are always in such a gd hurry anyway. What is it that cannot wait 5 minutes?

Joke said...

1- That'd never happen at NOS's school, given the rather strong prevalence of well-armed citizenry.

I say tomato vandals get knee-capped.

2- HEY! Can you donate Punto to the school as an Edible Garden Guard Dog? Think of all the compost he'd contribute, too.


Your kids would see him every day.

Please, applause. Your slavish fawning will suffice.