Archive for October 2007

Ah…the lowly turkey

October 30, 2007

I was meandering through one of my favorite neighborhoods in my car looking for houses that were for sale early this morning when I saw a sight than very nearly made me slam on the brakes. Good thing I didn’t because there were two cars behind me in a hurry and I seriously doubt that they saw the same sight that I did. But, there in the middle of a nicely paved driveway that lined a perfectly coifed lawn was the biggest wild male turkey that I have ever seen. In fact, I would even go so far as to say it was the ONLY wild male turkey I have ever seen. It just stood there. Stock still. I wished I had my camera.

Turkeys are, by far, the most interesting work of fowl that I know. When you teach Kindergarten, the turkey plays a huge part of your November curriculum. You graph who likes to eat it and who doesn’t for Math. You paint or trace chubby little hands to make turkey keepsake pictures. You sing round after round of turkey songs like “Albequeque Turkey” and ‘The Turkey Ran Way.’ You create story frames extolling the beauty of the bird that saved the Pilgrims for Social Studies. You make turkeys out of cookie dough, pine cones and paper bags. You copy dictated imaginary turkey recipes from five year olds who stuff it with everything from popcorn to tomato soup. You read expository books with real turkey information for Science and story books with friendly turkey tales for Language Arts. My favorite such story, ‘Sometimes It’s Turkey’ by Lorna Balian, outlines a sweet little old woman fattening up a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner only to have him included as a guest at the end. Happy ending for one and all. But there would be no such happy ending at my house. We love turkey. We eat it all year round.

Turkey, dressing and the works. Hot turkey sandwiches with gravy and ‘smashed’ potatoes. Cold turkey sandwiches with lettuce and mayo. Ground turkey spread made with pickles, onions and mayo. Turkey chow mein. Grilled turkey and cheese. Turkey noodle soup. Turkey all by itself snuck from the plate in the fridge. Turkey anyway, any shape, any form.

I used to make my Kindy kids giggle with pictures of live turkeys. We would laugh and talk about how very hungry a Pilgrim would have been to see it in the forest and say ‘hmm….THAT looks tasty enough to eat!’

But, today I saw a turkey. The biggest wild male turkey I have ever seen. Got me thinking about Thanksgiving and Pilgrims. Got me salivating for turkey again. Dang that big, wild turkey. I am off to the grocery store.

Chinese Eyes….again

October 23, 2007

My daughter had to choose a school journal entry to ‘clean up and rewrite’ on the computer. She asked me to help her edit it. To my surprise she had selected a piece that revealed her own version of the ‘Chinese Eyes’ situation that I wrote a few pieces back. Still not writing quite like a ‘regular 6th grader’ but she makes me proud.

By Nina

What they don’t tell you about middle school is that some people can be mean.

It was the second day of middle school and I was wanting for our bus at the bus stop. There were two seventh grade boys there and they were saying how Asian people eyes look stupid. I felt like I was 3 years old and I could not hold the tears back. My friend told them to stop but they would not stop. But when school got out I had to get back on the bus. Then the two boys came and they had to sit with me because there were no spots open. Once again they stared making fun of me. I got so mad that I was going to get up and yell at them and tell them to stop. But I couldn’t because I would get in trouble.

When my bus stop came I was crying buckets of water out of my eyes. “Nina,” my mom said. What’s wrong?” She said, “Are those the two boys?” I looked up and sniffled and said “Yes”. I got in the car and I said, “they live right there”. So my mom talked to their mom and then my mom said “Thank you”.

The next day the boys came up and they both apologized to me.