Discolor Online

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


Kate in the Seattle PI

Last April I described how I learned about Kate's activism in her school, petitioning the school district about the school lunches and basically being a ringleader for a nutrition revolt.

Yesterday there was a nutrition committee open meeting during the school day that she attended. We had company last night for dinner and gaming so I didn't have a chance to ask her how it went. Today she came home and informed me that she'd been quoted in the paper! The Seattle P-I covered the kids' efforts to get better food at lunch and one of the students quoted in the piece was Kate:
"You get more servings now, so we're not as hungry, and I think it's just plain better," said sixth-grader Katherine Frein, who said the cafeteria still runs out of some choices by the time she gets to lunch. "I'd like more variety."

She tells me there were photographers there but for the second year in a row the school believes that I've not given my permission for Kate to be photographed (which I'm pretty certain is not true, since I've signed the papers each year when they've come home in the student welcome packets) but there are no photos with the online article anyway. I haven't seen the print paper.

Some of the nutrition concerns were addressed with the move to the new school building, which has a proper cafeteria and can allow for food prep instead of prepackaged meals. Other items (like the organic salad bar that was popular with a small-but-very-vocal minority of parents and students) were deemed not practical to continue. Still, as another student noted, the kids are learning to organize themselves and strive for solutions rather than just grumble amongst themselves about how they're unhappy.

You go, Orca kids!

Labels: , ,


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.

Labels: , ,