• Cooking, School 07.06.2017 No Comments

    There’s been much to celebrate in the last few weeks: Mark’s and my 30th wedding anniversary, my 55th birthday, and the graduation of a bunch of middle schoolers heading to private high schools whom I’ve gotten to know through Beacon Academy, a one-year academic boot camp. I volunteered to help plan and prepare for the graduation reception, which fell on my birthday. The committee opted to serve tea, whole strawberries, and homemade cookies, which seemed great to me, but not sufficiently festive. It took me a minute to figure out what was missing. Punch.

    No formal celebration falling in spring or summer would omit the fizzy concoction, in my mind. But punch wasn’t an intuitive choice for this committee of New Englanders. In an email, I pitched punch as a beverage that conjured, for me, “patent leather shoes, caps’n’gowns, the shine of sweat on upper lips, accomplishment.” I wasn’t suggesting we serve Hawaiian Punch or, for that matter, anything spiked with Everclear or rum.

    For a recipe, I turned to the copy of Helen Corbitt’s Pot Luck I inherited from my mother. Corbitt was the trailblazing executive chef for Stanley Marcus and the department store Neiman-Marcus. You can learn more about her here, in this lively piece by Prudence Mackintosh from 1999 that ran in TexasMonthly magazine. Corbitt’s pickled black-eyed peas are a part of my annual New Year’s Day menu, and I bake her crisp, thin oatmeal lace cookies to put smiles on even the glummest of faces.

    Here, forthwith, is Corbitt’s alchemical recipe for “Sherbet Punch”: “2 quarts gingerale, 1 quart sherbet (pineapple or orange best) will serve 20 people” (Pot Luck, 160). The sherbet goes into the bottom of the punch bowl. The gingerale goes on top, slowly. A layer of fizzy foam ensues. The socially awkward can always be counted on to ladle the concoction into cups to avoid having to make small talk.

    Imagine me pushing a cart heavy with a dozen bottles of soda along the aisles of my grocer’s freezer section in search of sherbet. Friendly’s Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough? Check. Talenti Blood Orange Sorbetto? Check. Almond Dream Cappuccino Swirl? Check. The blocky cartons of lime or orange sherbet of my childhood? Nowhere to be found. At last, I spied Lucerne Rainbow Sherbet. Dowdy, plastic tubs filled with a swirl of imitation flavored raspberry, orange, and lime. A quick read of the label: “Skim Milk, Sugar, Water, Corn Syrup, Cream, Raspberry Flavor (Raspberry Juice Concentrate, Citric Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Red 40, Blue 1)…” In short, perfection. I piled all available tubs into my cart.

    And imagine my delight as I, in party clothes and wearing a tatty apron, assembled the secret ingredients into bowls as beaming graduates, their beaming families, and their beaming teachers and mentors lined up to enter the social hall for the reception. A little boy approached. Might he just have the “ice cream?” Sure, I told him. But first, I said, how about you try a little punch?

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  • Gather, several religious congregations have beckoned, for reconciliation, for healing, for hope. Though I would take comfort from being with others who are similarly dismayed by Donald Trump’s election to the presidency, I will not – cannot – attend. Not because I am otherwise engaged. But because I refuse to be reconciled or to heal.

    Democrats have tried making nice with Republicans. The result is an even more divided electorate, riven by differences in worldview that I am not willing or able to paper over. Last night’s election is evidence to me not of a need to listen to one another or of a need to acknowledge the validity of another world view. I have turned to Tocqueville, Thoreau, William Lloyd Garrison, and John Brown for counsel.

    French aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville surveyed the United States in 1831. The child of nobles who had survived the French Revolution, Tocqueville wondered how a democratic government worked. He picked up on a potentially fatal flaw in the system. The “majority,” he noted “exercise a prodigious actual authority” that had the potential to ignore “the complaints of those whom it crushes upon its path. This state of things is harmful in itself and dangerous for the future” (Democracy in America, vol. 1, ch. 15).

    Faced with the power of such a majority in 1849 as the nation invaded Mexico and a majority of voters persisted in upholding legalized slavery, Henry David Thoreau wrote that “when the power is once in the hands of the people, a majority are permitted, and for a long period continue, to rule […] not because they are most likely to be in the right, nor because this seems fairest to the minority, but because they are physically the strongest.” Why, if the majority favors injustice, “[m]ust the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator?”

    Thoreau’s essay, “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience,” advised readers to heed their consciences. He refused to pay taxes, to resist not with violence but with the power of the pocket. To what did he owe allegiance? His conscience. He knew what he thought was right, and he would not betray it. This is a dangerous principle, one that can be used to justify most any atrocious actions, but, in Thoreau’s case, his motives and methods inspired many who would go on to lead their nations to independence, from Mohandas K. Gandhi in India to Nelson Mandela in South Africa.

    The words of William Lloyd Garrison, the great Abolitionist and newspaper publisher, also inspire me: “I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or to speak, or write, with moderation. No! no! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; — but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest – I will not equivocate – I will not excuse – I will not retreat a single inch – and I will be heard” (The Liberator, 1, Jan. 1, 1831).

    A coincidence that a curator recently unearthed and identified a marble bust of John Brown? I think not. A decade after Thoreau published his essay on civil disobedience, Brown and a band of extremists raided the arsenal at Harper’s Ferry in Virginia in a bid to arm slaves and end human bondage in this country. Before he was hanged December 2, 1859, months before the outbreak of the Civil War, he allowed a sculptor from Boston to measure his face. The bust was unveiled in 1863, when the Emancipation Proclamation took effect.

    I do not espouse violence. But I will not sit by as Democrats make nice, yet again. I am motivated by the words and actions of my American forbears as I try to imagine how I can participate in American democracy without appearing to support the revocation of hard-won civil rights. I will never turn my back on equality. I will never bow to the will of a majority that sanctions racism, misogyny, nativism, and ignorance.

    N.B.: My daughter remarks that I have only drawn on the thoughts and words of “dead white men.” My point: one does not need to be female or be of color to have a corner on righteousness. These issues belong to all of us. And in solidarity, we are defiant and demand justice and fairness for all.

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  • During PBS’s broadcast last night, political analyst Amy Walter disclosed that she would not be allowing her fourth-grade son to watch the second presidential debate. Like many parents of young children, Walter was uneasy imagining how a young person would process likely references to sexual assault, marital infidelity, and who knows what else might fly out of Donald Trump’s mouth.

    I don’t have young children at home any more, so I didn’t need to engage in a moral calculus pitting a sense of civic duty to be informed against a desire to protect kids from exposure to inappropriate subject matter. But I was thinking about what I’d have done were my kids in grade school. I concluded that I’d probably have asked the kids to watch with my husband and me and that I’d have asked them to talk about what they were hearing.

    Same with the recently-released video of Trump describing his “techniques” in making unwanted moves on women. As with most things having to do with sex and violence, I think it’s better to watch/listen — once (not in a continuous media loop) — and discuss than risk handing the job over to other kids.

    The two big takeaways for young children should be:

    Words are never “just words.”

    When we talk about other people, we need to remember that they are people. We don’t refer to people as “it.” We don’t use words for body parts that make those body parts seem shameful. We also all make mistakes and say things that have the potential to hurt others. It’s inevitable. We always need to take responsibility for our words and the damage our words may do. Learning to repair and comfort is an important skill to practice.

    No one ever has the right to touch another person without permission. 

    It doesn’t matter who is doing the touching, whether it’s a presidential candidate or a family friend. We all — boys and girls, men and women — have a fundamental right to decide where, when, how, and by whom we are touched. If we don’t like the way we are being touched, we need to tell someone we trust to help us make sure it never happens again. It’s OK to make a lot of noise and risk offending someone who is touching us in ways that make us feel uncomfortable.

    The harder questions to answer have to do with how the American political system works. How to answer questions about why Donald Trump is the Republican nominee for the presidency? That one leaves me flummoxed.

  • I met with a student yesterday before class who left me feeling at a loss.  I am struggling, yet again, to set realistic expectations when it comes to writing.

    The student came to me wanting to make sure he understood what I was asking in an upcoming essay.  After we had worked together to clarify and develop a strategy to complete the assignment, we had a few minutes to talk.  “Who are you?”  I asked.  “I mean, when you’re not at school, what’s your life like?”

    Like so many at UMass Boston, the student is “non-traditional.” He’s probably in his forties. Emigrated as a teen to Cape Verde from Angola with his parents. Married and had two children in Cape Verde, came to the US, served in the military, brought his wife and kids over, has worked in law enforcement for decades. He puts in 70 hours a week in his job and has one child in a Boston Public “exam” school (competitive entrance) and the other in a private school. He knows five languages; his spoken and written English are rough. Unlike many I teach, he  is an incisive thinker and is unfailingly prepared when he is in class. And he is always in class. When I asked him what “year” he is, he responded by telling me he doesn’t think in terms of “years.” He thinks in terms of courses. He has eight courses left until he earns his undergraduate degree. Taking two courses a semester, he will be on track to graduate in the next couple of years.

    After the student left my office, I began to second-guess myself.  I give lots of feedback to students on even short assignments. I ask them to pay attention to grammar, sentence structure, verb tenses, and word choice.  I expect them to proof read, and if they don’t, I ask them to revise and resubmit. I insist students move from summary to abstract analysis, and I ask them to cite with precision. Am I asking too much? How would I fare were I working more than full time, raising children, and commuting to a campus to earn a degree?

    These questions woke me at 4 A.M.  I was filled with a sense of overwhelming shame as I imagined how hard many (but not all) of my students are trying to get ahead. I don’t want to be condescending. I don’t want to lower expectations to the point that students aren’t making genuine progress on writing, either, which I continue to believe essential. Why essential?  If students can’t analyze text, can’t formulate actual thoughts in writing, then how well can they handle bank loans, elections, job applications? Don’t these students deserve to be taught how to express themselves eloquently? Should the ability to craft a sentence belong only to the American elite?

    Teaching writing takes time. Learning to write takes time. What to do when students’ most precious possession is time?

    More questions than answers this morning.

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  • I wish I had a photograph — or, better yet, a video clip — of Sam in the family van, heading out of our driveway this morning. I thought of running inside to get my  camera/phone. It just didn’t seem the right moment to impose my Smotheriness on Sam and his friend, both strapped in for their last trip from Boston to Ohio. So, I will conjure the image through words.

    A pale, winter sun had risen, revealing a clear sky. Far above the garage, a songbird perched on a bare branch. It wiggled and warbled. Nary a car passed on the street ahead. The mini-van — nominally “Silver Gray” — dented and dinged in its 13+ years of service — stood at the ready. Sam had commented as he’d lifted the hatchback that even it made a rasping sound these days. Sam turned the key in the ignition, causing his steed to cough to life, emitting more of a Lauren Bacall three-pack-a-day burr than an emphysemal wheeze.

    And then…they sat, these two young men, going nowhere. I stood in the drive, warm enough in my long underwear, Polar Fleece pants, ratty wool sweater, and down vest. I scanned the bare branches, the song bird, the plume of exhaust puffing out the back of the van. Then, like steam from a sauna, wafted a beat to put a shimmy into the Old Grey Mare’s hum.  Sam’s single upgrade when he inherited the O.G.M.: a first-rate sound system, which neither Mark nor I can figure out how to silence when we are infrequently behind its wheel. A minute more, and the guys were off.

    As the van’s wheels began to roll, I began to wave. “Winkie, Winkie!” I said to no one. My wave continued until the boys had turned from the driveway into the street. And I could see, through the O.G.M.’s tinted windows, the span of Sam’s long, drummer’s arm waving back.

    A family tradition, this Winkie, Winkie business. My in-laws would stand in their driveway, side by side, waving to Mark and me — and then, later, Mark, the kids, and me — until we were out of sight. “Winkie, Winkie!” they’d shout. A German tradition, Mark explained early on, coming through his father, embraced by his mom. A kitschy farewell. A magical gesture to ensure safe travel, safe return. Sometimes, after my mother-in-law would gaily shout and even giggle, she’d lower one hand to brush away tears.

    No tears for me this morning, though it is not always so.  The beat coming from the van’s speakers reminded me to smile way down deep.  What will Sam remember from his last semester of college? A particularly good lecture? A well-written essay? Late-night carousing with friends and flame? Balancing the heft of a dining hall tray loaded with limitless sweet cereal and milk? Long after graduation, he’ll savor vivid memories of these drives between Boston and Ohio, fueled by Red Bull and tunes. The journey not the destination, the wise ones say. Expectations and a twinge of anxiety on the trip out. Exhaustion and a twinge of anxiety on the leg home at semester’s end.  And surely Winkie, Winkie, a sacred rite passed from generation to generation.

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  • Perhaps you missed this story.  A 21-year-old Syrian “man” shot his 45-year-old mother in the head with a rifle and killed her.  He was involved with ISIL, the Muslim terrorist organization. She wanted the two of them to leave the Syrian town of Raqqa, fearing for his safety as US-led troops neared the ISIL stronghold.  He told ISIL leaders of his mother’s request.  They insisted he publicly execute her.  He complied.

    I was telling one of my kids about the execution this weekend, and he asked a simple question. Don’t most world religions command followers to honor their parents?  I told him I thought this to be the case, but I didn’t know about Islam, in particular.

    Lucky for me, we had the good fortune Saturday morning to be invited to a Turkish friend’s home for breakfast.  As we passed plates of delicious Turkish pastries, cheese, and olives around the table, I asked our hosts what the Qur’an and Hadith had to say about relationships between parents and children.  The story goes, my hosts and their other guests told me, that the first three times Muhammed was asked this, the Prophet insisted that followers obey their mothers.  The fourth time, they explained, Muhammed included fathers in the mix.

    I pursued this line of inquiry over email with my host and received from her a comprehensive compilation of suras from the Qur’an and quotes attributed to Muhammed from the Hadiths, all having to do with parenthood.  The teachings demand that children respect their parents.  Even when parents are “infidels” who don’t follow the teachings of Islam, they are to be honored.  My host included the following Hadith, whose meaning could not be more clear:

    It was narrated from Mu’awiyah bin Jahimah As-Sulami, that Jahimah came to the Prophet (PBUH) and said, “O Messenger of Allah! I want to go out and fight (in Jihad) and I have come to ask your advice.” He said, “Do you have a mother?” He said, “Yes.” He said, “Then stay with her, for Paradise is beneath her feet.” (The Book of Jihad, 6)

    “Jihad,” my host explained, can be internal, metaphorical, a struggle with the self to do right — not just an external military battle or fight.  In any case, she wrote, the first responsibility is to care for the mother.

    Though I understand a bit better Islam’s guidance on parent-child relationships, I can’t fathom how a believer, someone claiming to be shaped by God’s word, could shoot his mother in the head.  I felt similarly when a Jew assassinated Yitzhak Rabin and, more recently, when an apparently observant group danced at a wedding and celebrated the burning of a Palestinian toddler.

    I haven’t anything profound to offer, here.  I was relieved to read verses condemning the mother’s killing.  What will it take to get extremists of all stripes to invoke scripture to impose basic rules governing decency?  I don’t intend my question as a naive exercise in hand-wringing.  I’m serious.

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  • Cooking 31.12.2015 No Comments

    Dried Black-Eyed Peas

    I was delighted to read in yesterday’s NY Times Food section writer Kim Severson’s ode to the lowly black-eyed pea.   Severson explains that in the U.S. South, revelers put black-eyed peas (also known as “field peas” and “cow peas”) on their New Year’s menus to ensure luck and wealth.  She rightly noted that the Southern tradition has roots in West Africa and African American foodways.

    I can’t remember a January 1 without black-eyed peas.  My roots are in Dallas, and my father, 89, who grew up in Waco, instilled in my brother, sister, and me the necessity of eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day.  His promise: we’d surely earn a dollar in the coming year for each pea consumed.  We traveled to Hawaii over New Year’s when I was in high school.  My dad stowed at least one can of black-eyed peas in his suitcase to be eaten — cold, with plastic forks — while we were out of town.  In Australia after college, friends helped me purchase a bag of dried black-eyed peas, which they’d never before encountered.  We accidentally overcooked the peas but nonetheless consumed the mush, out of respect for tradition.

    I’m not African American.  I live in New England.  I’m Jewish.  But the Southern ritual with roots in pre-slavery Africa has become my own, just as much as blessing and lighting candles on Friday nights.  This is how culture works.  A superstitious Jewish kid growing up in the rural South wards off poverty and bad luck by eating black-eyed peas, passes down the practice to his kids, who, in turn, insist on eating the dish with their families every year, no matter that they no longer live in the South.

    The recipes Severson included in her piece in the Times are versions of Hoppin’ John — hot dishes stewed with collards, cured pork, and the like.  When with access to a kitchen, my mother always prepared Helen Corbitt’s delectable cold recipe. Don’t know about this formidable chef of Neiman-Marcus fame?  Hers is a story worth remembering, just as much as the origins of black-eyed pea eating, so be curious and read:

    here

    and

    here.

    I include, below, Corbitt’s recipe, taken from Helen Corbitt’s Cookbook (Boston, MA: The Riverside Press/Houghton Mifflin Company, c1957, 1959), 13-14.  (Curious that this Southern woman’s work found a home in Massachusetts.)  I have yet again whipped up a big batch.  It’s resting in the fridge.  Can’t wait to drain and serve tomorrow to ring in 2016.  Good and good for ya!  Happy New Year!

    ***

    Pickled Black-Eyed Peas (Helen Corbitt)

    In the South the black-eyed pea is the traditional good-luck food for New Year’s Day and a good Texan eats them some time during the day to insure prosperity for the coming year — whether he likes them or not.  I came to Texas wide-eyed and innocent about such shenanigans — I didn’t like the peas either.  So-o-o, I pickled them.  Since then I serve few parties at any time of the year without them.  And the men, how they love them!

    2 No. 2 cans cooked dried black-eyed peas

    1 cup salad oil

    1/4 cup wine vinegar

    1 clove garlic — or garlic seasoning

    1/4 cup thinly sliced onion

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    Cracked or freshly ground black pepper

    Drain liquid from the peas.  Places peas in pan or bowl, add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Store in jar in refrigerator and remove garlic bud after one day.  Store at least two days and up to two weeks before eating.  You’ll need a plate and fork for these.  Red kidney beans and garbanzos, do the same.

    [N.B.: I use a different ratio of oil:vinegar, reducing the oil by about half.  I always use red wine vinegar and leave several slightly mashed cloves of garlic in the mix until I serve.  Red onion is my preference — for taste as well as festive color.  Make sure to drain the peas well before serving — pour them from the container into a strainer or colander, putting a bowl underneath to catch the pickling liquid. CC. ]

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  • We meet every month or two.  We sit around a long table, sometimes in a dark-paneled room in the church downtown where my temple is located, sometimes in a brightly lit conference room in a neighborhood cultural center.  We are middle-aged, Reform Jews.  We are young, ritually observant, Turkish Muslims.  We kvell over babies and share baked treats.  Our conversations focus on favorite passages from our respective books of scripture, the role music plays in our worship services, the “bad women” in our faith traditions, and so on.  We volunteer a few times a year at a food bank or soup kitchen.  We call ourselves “Sisters in Spirit.”

    Our topic this past Sunday was Jewish and Muslim doctrine concerning the environment. Several Sisters had prepared to lead the discussion.  The ten of us never got anywhere near Muslim and Jewish perspectives on animal rights or ecological justice.

    In the wake of the Daesh attacks in Paris, at services and over email, we Jewish Sisters had been worrying about our Muslim Sisters.  At services and over email, we wondered if it would OK to open the meeting by asking “Are you OK?”  We didn’t want to put anyone on the spot. We needn’t have worried.  One after another, our Muslim Sisters told stories of verbal abuse and feelings ranging from isolation to fear.

    One Sister — dark, sweeping eyebrows punctuating a face encircled by a satiny, fuchsia head scarf — described sitting outside in the sun, eating lunch at a Whole Foods market Monday after the Paris attacks.  A man approached her.  He called her an “Arab,” then berated her loudly for covering her head and allying herself with terrorists.  His words, though offensive, didn’t really bother her, she said, since the man seemed “kinda crazy.”  It broke her heart, meanwhile, that her fellow sun seekers heard the words but said and did nothing.  She worried that she’ll be attacked if she drives badly or jaywalks.  She’d heard stories from other women in headscarves being shoved towards oncoming T trains.

    Another Sister — sparkly eyes behind rimless glasses, creamy scarf surrounding a delicate face — fed a toddler perched on her lap.  On Tuesday after the Paris attacks, she went to the weekly parent support group she’s been attending  for more than two years.  She is the only Muslim in the group.  She spoke at the beginning of the meeting, apologizing on behalf of all Muslims everywhere for the actions of a handful of terrorists, explaining that violence in the name of God has no part of the religion she practices.  She wanted someone to tell her that her apology was unnecessary.  She hoped someone might say that they all already knew this about her. But no one said a word. Worse, no one met her gaze.

    A third in the group spoke.  New to Boston and to our group, my Sister — a tall woman whose patterned scarf was pinned expertly to frame her even-featured face — talked about enrolling her daughter in first grade. The classroom teacher in her daughter’s public school is Jewish. She felt the teacher had been reluctant to engage with her, perhaps because of her head scarf. She worried about what this might mean for her daughter’s experiences in the class.  At back to school night, the teacher explained to parents that there would be no birthday celebrations to protect students with food allergies. The teacher said, as a funny aside, that, of course, she really does miss cupcakes.  So, my Sister baked.  She packed one cupcake in a Ziplock bag and wrote a note.  She had heard the teacher missing cupcakes, so she wanted to give her one. No nuts.  The teacher, she said, seemed more comfortable thereafter, looking her in the eye, not “in the head scarf.

    None of these women is from Syria.  None is a refugee.  All are struggling to find ways to connect with Americans who seem primed to view them as scary, other.

    As our conversation continued, we wondered how to identify strategies to diffuse tension and increase acceptance. How to find opportunities to forge common bonds? How to lay the groundwork for hard conversations? How to help one another ask what seem at first to be hard questions but are hard only because they have not  yet been asked? Nothing we came up with was as effective, we decided, as the cupcake, which helped a teacher view a woman in a head scarf as a mother, a parent, and a person.

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  • Two well-written and reasoned pieces responding to Marco Rubio’s assertion that we need more welders and “less” philosophers:

    — one by Scott Timberg in Salon

    — one by Farai Chideya in Five Thirty Eight Politics

    Both question assertions about pay as well as the false opposition between liberal arts and vocational educations.  My favorite bit: a reference to Matthew B. Crawford’s short, smart book, Shopcraft as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work.  Crawford (who earned a Ph.D. in phiosophy) argues for the importance of skilled, thoughtful manual workers.

    I was reminded, yesterday, also, of my favorite plumber, who is one of the best problem solvers I’ve ever known.  The guy can fix almost anything.  But that’s not why he’s so talented.  He thinks elegantly, assesses entire systems, and generates solutions that are so ingenious they sometimes make me laugh.

    Rubio and others out to ding the humanities would impress me a whole lot more were they, themselves, able to express with eloquence and inspire.  But for that, they’d probably need — dare I write this — a first-class liberal arts education.

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  • Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio seems to have distilled his education policy during tonight’s debate. “Welders make more money than philosophers,” declared the Florida senator. “We need more welders and less philosophers.”

    If Rubio is serious about education, he shouldn’t draw an artificial line between welders and philosophers. This country will not get stronger by assuming that workers who “do” don’t think…and that those who think don’t “do.”

    Our next president needs to value an education system that values critical thinking as well as practicality. Workers can’t adjust to markets’ demands if they can’t reason.  Neither can they find employment without practical skills.

    Perhaps Rubio’s handlers can teach him a few grammar lessons (when, for instance, to use “less” and when to use “few”) while they help him generate a more sophisticated approach to education, one that doesn’t pander to the current right-wing penchant for humanities bashing. As journalist Fareed Zakaria has written in The Washington Post, Republicans seem to delight in asserting that “[a] liberal education is irrelevant, and technical training is the new path forward. It is the only way, we are told, to ensure that Americans survive in an age defined by technology and shaped by global competition. The stakes could not be higher.” At the same time, Zakaria writes, “[n]o matter how strong your math and science skills are, you still need to know how to learn, think and even write.”

    Here’s to an expectation that all candidates, regardless of party affiliation, affirm students’ rights to speak, read, and write clearly.  And here’s a wish for the coming year, when Americans will be choosing a new president: may candidates work for a world where philosophers get paid welders’ wages and where welders are assumed to think as nimbly as philosophers.

     

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