School Lunches are Disgusting!

There is a secret undercover teacher eating school lunches. Mrs. Q has decided to slum it with our best and brightest for a whole year. I say slum it because the food she is eating looks absolutely horrid.

Or, it looks just like what every American eats on a daily basis: pizza, hot dogs, pasta, chicken nuggets.

Every day she takes a photo of the food and writes about it. It looks so nasty you just have to see it to believe it (are you eating this too?)…

Day 86 – Hot Dogs

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Day 87  – Pizza

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Day 88 – Chicken Nuggets

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Day 89 – Pasta

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Walt Whitman – A Grump’s Composter

Walt Whitman - em Camden, 1891 (from marcelo noah on Flickr)
Walt Whitman - em Camden, 1891 (from marcelo noah on Flickr)

It’s Sunday night I’m a grump too. Walt and I share the blues:

Something startles me where I thought I was safest,
I withdraw from the still woods I loved,

Though, for me the grumps come from exhaustion and a happy but tired end to the week. So, I was pleased to come across this poem by Walt Whitman called “This Compost”.

Behold this compost! behold it well!

Alas, soon I will fall asleep and my grumps will dream themselves away. Still I thought it pertinent to share this moment with you, in all its bluesy compassion. I look forward to a great summer full of new things.

It renews with such unwitting looks its prodigal, annual, sumptuous crops,
It gives such divine materials to men, and accepts such leavings from them at last.

Thanks for reading and here are two delightful items for you. One is a nice video about 5/6th grade students who “create a composting project to help diminish the amount of garbage disposed during lunchtime at their school.”

After that the poem in full (which I must warn is about all the people that have died, been buried, and then been reborn in the earth through composted soil).


Composting Buddies from PS47Q/District 27 on Vimeo.

This Compost

by Walt Whitman

Something startles me where I thought I was safest,
I withdraw from the still woods I loved,
I will not go now on the pastures to walk,
I will not strip the clothes from my body to meet my lover the sea,
I will not touch my flesh to the earth as to other flesh to renew me.

O how can it be that the ground itself does not sicken?
How can you be alive you growths of spring? How can you furnish health you blood of herbs, roots, orchards, grain?
Are they not continually putting distemper’d corpses within you?
Is not every continent work’d over and over with sour dead?

Where have you disposed of their carcasses?
Those drunkards and gluttons of so many generations?
Where have you drawn off all the foul liquid and meat?
I do not see any of it upon you to-day, or perhaps I am deceiv’d,
I will run a furrow with my plough, I will press my spade through the sod and turn it up underneath,
I am sure I shall expose some of the foul meat.
Behold this compost! behold it well!
Perhaps every mite has once form’d part of a sick person; yet behold!
The grass of spring covers the prairies,
The bean bursts noiselessly through the mould in the garden,
The delicate spear of the onion pierces upward,
The apple-buds cluster together on the apple-branches,
The resurrection of the wheat appears with pale visage out of its graves,
The tinge awardes over the willow-tree and the mulberry-tree,
The he-birds carol mornings and evenings while the she-birds sit on their nests,
The young of poultry break through the hatche’d eggs,
The new-born of animals appear, the calf is dropt from the cow, the colt from the mare,
Out of its little hill faithfully rise the potato’s dark green leaves,
Out of its hill rises the yellow maize-stalk, the lilacs bloom in the doooryards,
The summer growth is innocent and disdainful above all those strata of sour dead.

What chemistry!
That the winds are really not infectious,
That this is no cheat, this transparent green-wash of the sea which is so amorous after me,
That it is safe to allow it to lick my naked body all over with its tongues,
That it will not endanger me with the fevers that have deposited themselves in it,
That all is clean forever and forever,
That the cool drink from the well tastes so good,
That the blackberries are so flavorous and juicy,
That the fruits of the apple-orchard and the orange-orchard, that melons, grapes, peaches, plums, will none of them poison me,
That when I recline on the grass I do not catch any disease,
Though probably every spear of grass rises out of what was once a catching disease.

Now I am terrified at the Earth, it is that calm and patient,
It grows such sweet things out of such corruptions,
It turns harmless and stainless on its axis, with such endless successions of diseas’d corpses,
It distills such exquisite winds out of such infused fetor,
It renews with such unwitting looks its prodigal, annual, sumptuous crops,
It gives such divine materials to men, and accepts such leavings from them at last.