Monthly Archives: January 2014

Hungry Mom Kitchen Makes Asian Apple Soup

The sweet scent of apples fills the kitchen. The house. Streams out the door.

But it’s not coming from apple pie or apple crisp or even apple sauce.

It’s Asian apple soup. And it’s perfect for a winter day.  Continue reading

Lagniappe Living in a Bottom-Line World

I love the word “lagniappe.”

Pronounced lan-YAP, it sounds like a gauzy, ethnic blouse worn by bronze-skinned Pacific Island girls, or maybe a muzzle for French poodles.

What I love even more is its real meaning: “a little gift given by a merchant at the time of purchase,” such as the extra doughnut in a Continue reading

Obama Administration Tells Schools to “Rethink” Zero-Tolerance

In the sixth grade, I hit Joyce Crosby with a snowball during lunch recess. I ended up in the principal’s office.

Mrs. Updike sat at her big wooden desk, her salt-and-pepper hair perfectly coiffed in sculpture-like dips and dives. “You’re not going to do that again, are you.”

It wasn’t a question.

But nowadays, due to the proliferation of zero-tolerance policies, what used be stupid kid tricks have turned into punishable offenses.

If the incident had happened today, that snowball, which I am sorry to say clobbered the kid right in the kisser, might be considered a projectile and my deed suspension-worthy. I might be ordered to counseling for aggressive behavior, or sent to a juvenile detention center.

This week the U.S. Department of Education urged school officials to ease up on school discipline policies that have had parents crying foul for the past two decades. Known as “zero-tolerance,” the one-strike-and-you’re-out  practices came about as a result of the Gun-Free Schools Act (GFSA) of 1994.

“Rethink,” I believe, is the term the Obama administration used, and it’s about time. Most people think the whole thing has gone too far.
Continue reading