Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for June 18th, 2022

What being calm and reasonable can signify

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This image, done by by Hayley Welsh from a passage by Sarah Maddux, come from a post on Facbook by Patti Digh:

Written by Leisureguy

18 June 2022 at 8:04 pm

Posted in Daily life, Psychology

White Parents Rallied to Chase a Black Educator Out of Town. Then, They Followed Her to the Next One.

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Some people — indeed, some racists — loudly proclaim that the US today is free of racism.

Nicole Carr reports in ProPublica:

Cecelia Lewis was asked to apply for a Georgia school district’s first-ever administrator job devoted to diversity, equity and inclusion. A group of parents — coached by local and national anti-CRT groups — had other plans.

In April of 2021, Cecelia Lewis had just returned to Maryland from a house-hunting trip in Georgia when she received the first red flag about her new job.

The trip itself had gone well. Lewis and her husband had settled on a rental home in Woodstock, a small city with a charming downtown and a regular presence on best places to live lists. It was a short drive to her soon-to-be office at the Cherokee County School District and less than a half hour to her husband’s new corporate assignment. While the north Georgia county was new to the couple, the Atlanta area was not. They’d visited several times in recent years to see their son, who attended Georgia Tech.

Lewis, a middle school principal, initially applied for a position that would bring her closer to the classroom as a coach for teachers. But district leaders were so impressed by her interview that they encouraged her to apply instead for a new opening they’d created: their first administrator focused on diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

DEI-focused positions were becoming more common in districts across the country, following the 2020 protests over the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. The purpose of such jobs typically is to provide a more direct path for addressing disparities stemming from race, economics, disabilities and other factors.

At first, the scope of the role gave Lewis pause. In her current district, these responsibilities were split among several people, and she’d never held a position dedicated to anything as specific as that before. But she had served on the District Equity Leadership Team in her Maryland county and felt prepared for this new challenge. She believed the job would allow her, as she put it, to analyze the district’s “systemic and instructional practices” in order to better support “the whole child.”

“We’re so excited to add Cecelia to the CCSD family,” Superintendent Brian Hightower said in the district’s March 2021 announcement about all of its new hires. (The announcement noted that the creation of the DEI administrator role “stems from input from parents, employees and students of color who are serving on Dr. Hightower’s ad hoc committees formed this school year to focus on the topic.”) Hightower acknowledged “both her impressive credentials and enthusiasm for the role” and pointed out that, “In four days, she had a DEI action plan for us.”

During her early visits, Lewis found Cherokee County to be a welcoming place. It reminded her of her community in southern Maryland, where everyone knew one another. But leaving the place where she’d been raised — and where, aside from her undergrad years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she’d spent most of her adult life — wasn’t going to be easy. Before her last day as principal of her middle school, her staff created a legacy wall in her honor, plastering a phrase above student lockers that Lewis would say to end the morning messages each day: “If no one’s told you they care about you today, know that I do … and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it!”

Lewis was beginning to prepare for her move South, spending as much time with friends and family as possible, when she got a strange call from an official in her new school district. The person on the line — Lewis won’t say who — asked if she had ever heard of CRT.

Lewis responded, “Yes — culturally responsive teaching.” She was thinking of the philosophy that connects a child’s cultural background to what they learn in school. For Lewis, who’d studied Japanese and Russian in college and more recently traveled to Ghana with the Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad program for teachers, language and culture were essential to understanding anyone’s experience.

At that point, she wasn’t even familiar with the other CRT, critical race theory, which maintains that racial bias is embedded in America’s laws and institutions and has caused disproportionate harm to people of color. In a speech the previous fall, then-President Donald Trump condemned CRT as “toxic propaganda” and “ideological poison.”

The caller then told Lewis that a group of people in a wealthy neighborhood in the northern part of the county were upset about what they believed were her intentions to bring CRT to Cherokee County. But don’t worry, the district official said; we just want to keep you updated.

The following month, inside a gabled white clubhouse overlooking the hills of a Cherokee County golf course, dozens of parents from across the county had assembled on a Sunday afternoon for a lesson in an emerging form of warfare. School board meetings would be their battlefield. Their enemy was CRT.

One of several presenters at the meeting was  . . .

Continue reading. It’s horrifying, but it provides an example of what is going on.

Written by Leisureguy

18 June 2022 at 7:58 pm

Posted in Daily life, Education, Government, Politics

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3 ten-minute meals for a day of eating

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I really like Derek Simnett’s videos, and I often get good food ideas from them. He follows a vegan diet rather than a whole-food plant-based diet — for example, his diet includes white rice (bran and germ removed), and if I ate rice I would eat brown rice, a whole food. Bran is not merely fiber but includes valuable micronutrients (minerals and vitamins), as does the germ. I always eat intact whole grain, which includes the bran and the germ. White rice is refined to remove those.

I can’t eat rice without spiking my blood glucose — I’m a type 2 diabetic — but I do cook and eat other grains in the form of intact whole grain: oat groats, whole rye, hulled barley, wheat berries (such as Kamut® (organically grown khorasan wheat), farro, spelt, einkorn, emmer, and red fife), unpolished millets (kodo, barnyard, foxtail, finger, little, tc.), and so on). I refrigerate grains after I cook them, which makes their starch resistant (not so quickly digested). That last step is why I routinely have cooked grain in the fridge — sometimes in the form of tempeh, but also just as a grain. In my salad this evening, I included some cooked unpolished barnyard millet that I took for a bowl of it in the refrigerator.

His vegan diet also includes refined and highly processed foods, and a whole-food diet omits those as well. 

Still, he has good ideas and I’ve learned from him. In this video when he makes the dinner bow, he mentions going for a variety of colors. That is spot-on — download a checklist chart of food by color to include in your daily diet. From the post at that link:

In What Color Is Your Diet?, David Heber, MD, PhD, recommends eating at least one serving daily of each of seven groups of foods, each group labeled by the predominant color of the foods in the group. The color of vegetables and fruits, it turns out, offers some fairly good guidance to their nutritional values. Getting a good range of colors in your food intake supports getting a good coverage of essential micronutrients.

Here are three meals Simnett cooked recently — and I heartily endorse his approach of having cooked (brown) rice and cooked lentils on hand to include in meals — check out how lentils stack up against other legumes.

Written by Leisureguy

18 June 2022 at 5:45 pm

“I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” – Ella Fitzgerald and a stellar group

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I recall a guy saying that Ella Fitzgerald was one of the greatest Irish singers of all times. 🙂 I came across this track in a wonderful column by Ted Gioia, who commented regarding this track:

Who would dare get into a scat-singing battle with Ella Fitzgerald? I give credit to trumpeter Clark Terry, who matches her phrase-for-phrase at the 2:15 mark with his inimitable ‘mumbles’ style of vocalizing.

I love this band. I love this track.

The column is a miscellany, and I highly recommend the whole thing.

Written by Leisureguy

18 June 2022 at 2:49 pm

Posted in Jazz, Video

Tea but no shave

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I’m hyper-alert to my heart now that I have a new pacemaker — still finding my footing, as it were. So late last night I became concerned enough to go to the ER, but after a couple of blood tests (to look for markers that result from a heart problem) and an X-ray to verify the surgery wound looks as good on the inside and it does on the outside (e.g., not leaking any blood), I got a clean bill of health. (In fact, they always seem to tell me how healthy I am, perhaps because I’m not on any medications.)

But it was a busy night, and the two blood draws to look for markers must be made two hours apart, and what with one thing or another I ended up spending the entire night there — so I am going to bed very soon. So Monday’s shave will be or a three-day stubble rather than a two-day stubble.

I am having some fruit and a mug of tea first.

The tea this morning is Mark T. Wendell’s Hu-Kwa, an exceptional tea.

Written by Leisureguy

18 June 2022 at 9:48 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

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