Thursday, December 28, 2006


i just heard on npr that the food industry (otherwise known as THEY) are planning to produce meat products from cloned animals. WHOA!!!!!!!! if i weren't already a vegetarian, this would send me flying into the arms of vegetarianism.
soylent green is people.
i'm amazed that as the food industry's bad practices are being exposed by films like Supersize Me and books like Fast Food Nation that they keep going on with outrageous ideas like this. we have only been cloning animals for a few years and we really, really, really don't know what we're about with it. ingesting cloned animals sounds like a potential stephen king disaster.
there's also a big political aspect to food. i teach 2nd grade in queens, in a working class neighborhood. i also teach sunday school at my church in an upper-middle class neighborhood. the kids at my church are all eating organic, hand-packed-by-mom lunches. the kids in queens are eating breakfast and lunch for free at school. the kids from queens could eat the same-age kids from the upper east side of manhattan! the queens kids are almost one and a half times the size of the kids from my neighb. i truly believe it's because of the growth hormones in the dairy and meat products that the working class kids are eating. it makes them taller and more obese than the kids eating the all-organic food. but, the kids from queens are not as educated about the detrimental effects of junk food and can't afford the organic stuff (i'd say at this point most of my disposable income is spent on organic and farmer's market food).
who do you think will be eating the cloneburger? not the kids in manhattan belown 125th street.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

christmas thoughts

i've been sitting, thinking about what christmas means for me as a post-modern episcopalian. i don't believe it's the literal birthdate of jesus. i don't believe it should be a big birthday party for jesus (that's how christmas strikes me in britain where they wear paper hats at the dinner table). i think of most church calendar events these days as symbolic, landmarks throughout the year to keep the comforting human element of routine alive in religion. i was listening to the infinite mind on npr today and the show was about religion. they mentioned a sect of christianity that has stripped away all the symbols and rituals. that so works for some people, but i need those landmarks, those calendar dates dotted with the death dates of saints, the liturgical seasons when we change colors, change gospels, switch to rite 1 or maybe use another country's prayer book. it keeps me going, especially advent and lent because i hate winter so. i like to have christmas and all it's lights to look forward to and i need lent to get me through the end of winter, spiritually hibernating and finally breaking out into the world after the gloom of the tomb.
i think i'll pull out my vegetarian goddess cookbook and find a good recipe for solstice and light my candles and plug in my tree and listen to christmas carols and meditate.
merry christmas and happy new year.
sister mary alt.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

an immigrant child's story

i am teaching after school to 5th grade english language learners. today i had them write about an experience that happened in their lives. this boy wrote about his immigration story. this boy is from egypt and came to the states a few months ago. his story is typical of families coming to the u.s. the title is "too late"

When I was 4 year old I get up at 5 o'clock evening, my dad was carry a big bag. I'm asked, "Where you are going?" he said, "Somewhere." then he go to America and he don't come to me.
After 7 year, I'm coming to him with an airplane. I still in the plane about 11 hours. Then I'm stand 5 hours in the airport. Then i come to him.
He was late by 7 years, 16 hours, 43 minute and 3 second. He is not late, he is too late.