Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


Many Cultures (of Dissent), One World

Last night was MCOW (Many Cultures, One World) night at Kate's school. Kate's classroom was Brazil and the kids made "Carnival" masks, had a Capoeira demonstration and a table full of Brazilian food. One over-achieving family had feijoada brought in from a restaurant. There was, as always with these events, rice everywhere. Every culture has rice, which is always Kate's favorite part. Other classrooms were Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, "the lunar year countries", and several others I never made it to. My favorite this year, though, was the 2nd grade room that was merely the "Culture of Dissent".

I made it to the Culture of Dissent room as it was being hurriedly cleaned up, so I didn't get to see what kinds of foods and "cultural items" were laid out. The teacher wasn't in the room at the time, just the room parents. One project on the bulletin board was an essay about social divisions, labels like "hero" versus "dissenter", the power of the police, and a rant about water as a right versus a commodity and Bolivia's water revolt. I didn't have time to read the whole multi-page essay because at that point the principle came into the room and started talking with the parents about how this teacher had been wanting to do Culture of Dissent every year and he'd been to distracted with the K-8 transition and the physical relocation of the school next year to stop her from doing it this time.

My very favorite part of the Culture of Dissent, perhaps even more than the teacher engaging in activist dissent against the principle to even do it, was the display of the food for "dissent". Loaves of cheap white bread and jugs of water, under a sign talking about how bread and water being food for prisoners. Best MCOW night ever!

I also found out that my daughter is starting a petition to the school district to get better food for school lunches. After kids have allegedly bitten into undercooked hamburgers, found a hair clip in their brownies, and been served reheated leftovers multiple days in a row, the kids have decided they've had enough. They're bringing the situation to the school board (or whoever "They" are who are in charge) and threatening a lunch boycott if better food is not served. If unsatisfied, the kids are threatening to go to the press. Aside from mentioning to me that she really didn't like some of the food served at the school and that the kids found it gross and downright offensive, Kate never brought this up with me. I'm generally pretty happy staying out of the politics at the school and I have very little sympathy for the people who have to have multiple, angry community meetings because their little discipline cases necessitated that the school adopt a detention program for bad conduct. Perfectly happy "missing" all those political dramas, thanks. But it also leads me to find out things like my daughter is the ring leader of a nutritional food revolt.

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Anonymous Anonymous Says:

I loved reading about the Culture of Dissent room!

And that is too funny about Kate's activism. Is she her mother's daughter or what? I mean, not only is she turning her outrage into meaningful action, to make her community a better place, but her outrage and her action are about food. I love it! Go, Kates and Nicoles of the world!



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