Saturday, May 30, 2009

"Responsible, contributing citizens"

Yesterday the newsletter from our local government school district came in the mail (addressed to “Postal Patron,” so I suppose everyone gets one: your tax dollars at work), and the first thing I noticed before opening it was the mission statement:

The mission of __________ County Schools is to engage all students in meaningful learning experiences in order for them to become responsible, contributing citizens and life-long learners.

Sounds fine, but what do they mean by that?

The first article is about a certain brand of video camera and its use in the classroom. The article details kids using it to record their presentations in English and Spanish classes (biographies presented in character, and creating advertisements for English; a fashion show for Spanish) as well as an art teacher creating a movie of her students’ artwork which she’ll post on her website so the students can share it with their parents.

The article is summarized thusly: “The [brand name] video camera has proven to be an invaluable tool for education. Many of our students at [the middle school] say they will ask their parents to purchase one for them.”

Class, what have we learned today?

A Responsible Citizen is a consumer!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Recipe: Creamy Spinach

We had this last week from the spinach Valerie M. brought me from her garden when she came for a visit last Sunday. It’s my favorite way to eat spinach — I could eat it all day long!

Fresh spinach
prepared horseradish*
cream or half and half

Wash the spinach leaves and place in a large covered pot. If you’re using prewashed leaves, you’ll need to rinse them so they’ll be moist. Place the pot over a medium flame and heat until simmering; reduce heat and cook just until wilted. Drain the water; press the leaves with the back of a spoon in order to squeeze out any more liquid, and drain that, too. Add the rest of the ingredients and transfer to a heated serving bowl.

Spinach is high in oxalic acid which can irritate the linings of your mouth and stomach and prevents the absorption of calcium, so if you shouldn’t eat it raw often, but cooking neutralizes it. Don’t skimp on the butter and cream, and don’t use vegetable oil-based substitutes. Spinach is high in carotnoids from which your body makes Vitamin A, but it can only do that if you have animal fat along with the carotenoids.

*Note that “prepared horseradish” isn’t the same thing as the creamy horseradish sauce that looks like mayonnaise and goes on a rueben.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Happy Ascension Day!

O clap your hands, all ye people;
shout unto God with the voice of triumph.

For the LORD most high is terrible;
he is a great King over all the earth.

He shall subdue the people under us,
and the nations under our feet.

He shall choose our inheritance for us,
the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah.

God is gone up with a shout,
the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.

Sing praises to God, sing praises:
sing praises unto our King, sing praises.

For God is the King of all the earth:
sing ye praises with understanding.

God reigneth over the heathen:
God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.

The princes of the people are gathered together,
even the people of the God of Abraham:
for the shields of the earth belong unto God:
he is greatly exalted.

Psalm 47