“Are you prejudiced?”

Race Muncie

“Are you prejudiced?” The man on the street asked.

I had just finished the Memorial Day Murph at my local CrossFit gym and was getting a dry shirt out of my car.

“…” I wasn’t sure how to respond.

I suppose I am prejudiced against complete strangers approaching me randomly on the street and asking if I’m prejudiced. Maybe prejudiced isn’t the right word. Cautious is more fitting.

But the man didn’t mean was I prejudiced against strangers on the street. He meant was I prejudiced against people with a different skin color than my own. People like him. Black people.

“No,” I said, “but I’m sorry you feel like you have to ask that.”

Hal introduced himself. We shook hands. And then he told me…

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6 reasons the NBA Playoffs are better than March Madness

Cavs vs warriors

I know that it’s cool to say that you like NCAA Basketball over the NBA. You are entitled to your opinion, but if this is your opinion, you are wrong. Sorry.

You might be able to convince me that the NCAA regular season is better than the NBA regular season, but when it come to the NBA Playoffs vs. March Madness there is no contest. None.

The NBA Playoffs are better than March Madness.

Here’s why:

The NBA is more authentic. The purity of NCAA basketball has been tainted with embarrassing recruiting violations and stripped championships. We can no longer pretend that passion and love of the game drives NCAA basketball. Money drives it.

Money drives the NBA, too. Why…

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All Because a Girl Loved to Read

IMG_0392 The Rubini family

Ten-year-old Claire Rubini loved to read. After she suddenly died from a previously unknown heart condition at summer camp in 2000, her parents, Brad and Julie, wanted to spread her love of reading. And boy have they.

Last week I had the chance to see how Claire’s love of reading has led to thousands of kids in the Toledo-area receiving free books and reading awards.

Brad and Julie started a children’s book festival they called Claire’s Day with the purpose “to honor [Claire] in a special tribute to her love of reading, storytelling, music, encouraging others to read and simply having fun with friends.”

The Claire’s Day staff, a team of volunteers…

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Syrian children flee ISIS for sweatshops in Turkey

Syrian boy in Turkeysweatsho
A small boy makes shoes in the factory. Photograph: Ahmed Deeb

Syrian refugees have been flooding into Turkey, but what do they do when they make it there? Some work in apparel factories.

“He can make 400 shoes a day. He’s a real man.”

That quote is from the manager at a shoe factory about his 13-year-old Syrian worker. According to the story in the Guardian, more than ⅓ of the workers at the factory were Syrian children.

From the article:

According to Unicef, more than half of Turkey’s 2.7 million registered Syrian refugees are children – and nearly 80% of them are not in school….

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Farmer/cartoonist fired for holding mirror to Big Ag

 

farmer cartoon

Rick Friday is a farmer and a cartoonist. Farming is his muse or at least it was his muse until he he poked Big Ag in the eye with a recent cartoon.

The cartoon as described in the NY Times story on his firing:

The cartoon shows two farmers, in overalls and skewed baseball caps, chatting at a fence.

“I wish there was more profit in farming,” one farmer says.

“There is,” the other replies. “In year 2015 the C.E.O.s of Monsanto, DuPont, Pioneer and John Deere combined made more money than 2,129 Iowa farmers.”

After 21 years drawing more than 1,000…

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Where the hell do dreams come from?

IMG_3686

I haven’t eaten Domino’s for years, so I’m not sure why I was dreaming about Domino’s, but I was. And I wasn’t just normal me, but SuperMe, as in I was a superhero with the ability to fly.

So Super Kelsey was looking for a way to earn a few more bucks. Domino’s apparently in this dream world was delivering pizzas via an uber-like delivery service accessible from the Domino’s app. If you had time to deliver pizzas, you logged into the app and saw what opportunities were available. Different deliveries earned you a different amount. I suppose this had to do with distance and the size of the order, maybe, but I really have no idea. None of this exactly makes sense.

I…

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Class reads EATING, connects to farmers in community garden

NorthamptonCommunityGarden

A few years ago Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, PA, invited me to campus to speak about my work. Since then, Dr. Pamela Bradley has been using my books in her English class. I Skype in with her class once per semester. (If you use any of my work, I’d be happy to Skype with your class for free, although Pam sent me a box of locally produced goodies!)

This semester Pam had the students read EATING while also working at the campus community garden.

She was kind enough to share more about the experience:

I teach Academic Literacy, a developmental reading and English course at Northampton Community College.  This semester my students have had the experience of gardening while reading Where Am…

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Her name was Laboni, she died making our clothes.

Screenshot 2016-04-24 11.10.21

Three years ago the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh collapsed killing 1,134 people and injuring more than 2,500 more.

Sometimes when I deliver the information above in a lecture I say,”killed 1,134 workers.” As if a worker is a cog without a family, friends, and a complex life just like ours. I cringe at the word workers passing my lips. It’s vital that we all remember that people make our things.

Sons. Daughters. Fathers. Mothers. Aunts. Uncles. Best friends. These are the lives that were snuffed out by the unregulated manic growth of the Bangladeshi garment industry trying to feed consumers ever-hungry for cheaper prices and throwaway fashions.

Today marks three years since the disaster, and I hope you’ll join me in doing…

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