There we were. I could feel the energy in the room. I’ve been talking about her for years, and finally I would get the chance to talk to her. I wanted to tell her how I’ve admired her from a far. How there had been times when she was the focus of all my thoughts. Times when it seemed like no one else was important. And now I would get the chance to be noticed by her. I could feel her spirit within me. I sat down a few feet from her, and there she was. Her small frame held up by a story that has empowered millions to take a stand.
Life had finally helped my path cross with Mary Beth Tinker.
As a 13 year old girl, Mary Beth wore a black arm band to school to protest the Vietnam war. The principal asked her to take it off; she did. Little did she know that four years later in 1969 the courts would decide that students don’t check their constitutional rights at the school house gate, and that her name would be forever remembered in the context of “Tinker v. Des Moines“.
Last Thursday, Kerri and I chaperoned students to the Spring National High School Journalism Convention in Phoenix. Seeing Mary Beth Tinker was a once in a lifetime kind of thing for me, and needless to say I savored every moment.
Throughout the conference I kept saying to myself, ‘MUST BLOG’. I know as much as anyone how annoying it is to start reading something only to feel abandoned when the writer disappears. I don’t know what I would do if Nick Kristof just stopped writing one day.
But…life happens, and ‘MUST BLOG’ became a faint murmur drowned out by the needs of students, parents, and everything else.
Over the last couple of weeks we have been monumentally busy, and as a result the blog has suffered. We apologize.
Kerri spent nearly two weeks chaperoning a student trip to Greece, during which time I prepared to gear us up for the next project. Once Kerri returned, we were off to chaperon students in Phoenix for a few days.
Now that we’re back, we’ve started our latest project. We can’t reveal too much here, but I can say that it’s already presenting some new challenges, and that on day two we’re learning even more about the economics of eating. We can tell you that we’re following a plan devised by the USDA. We’ve also decided to keep a video diary of things from now on, which will be available in parts when the book comes out.
Oh yeah, and I’ve been reading like mad. Since we’ve joined this conversation about food, it only makes sense to see what other people have said. I won’t list the ten titles I’ve read this month, but if you get the chance pick up a copy of “Stuffed and Starved” by Raj Patel, or “All You Can Eat: How Hungry is America?” by Joel Berg. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. They are both insightful, smart and engaging writers.
If a book seems like too much of a commitment, you might want to check out this article from the Wall Street Journal about how food companies are trying to get your business amidst a rare slump in sales, or maybe you’ll feel compelled to learn that your addiction to sweets isn’t your fault?
Either way, you can expect to hear from us every Saturday from this point forward. Promise.