It may be the single most pleasurable thing I do each and every week (well, almost every week…I occasionally blink my eyes and the weekend is gone only to find Letters in the current Magazine that refer to an issue I had not read – which annoys me to no end).
That pleasurable thing involves making myself an iced mocha, skimming and reading through my local Sunday paper and the NY Times until I feel sufficiently caught up, and then slowly pulling out the week’s NYT Magazine. If I began reading the Magazine first, I would never make it through the paper…
I read the issue title.
Sometimes I smile (like today – great cover).
Sometimes I raise my eyebrows and say “Hmm.”
Sometimes I read the title out loud to Casey or Hayden and add my anticipated opinion about the issue. “Oh God!” or “It’s about time!” or “Oooh. This one looks interesting.” have all been yelled across the room or the deck or the house at one time or another.
Today’s Food Issue is terrific and has everything to do with how we live, how our economy works, how we can be better borrowers of the earth, and how we might better educate youth and ourselves and other adults about learning to do things ourselves. Cooking being one of those things; Growing food another; Collaboratively growing food another; Trading and bartering another; Eating together another; Developing local economies that are sustainable and provide decent incomes and a happier lifestyle another.
Shockingly, none of this has to do with the national rhetoric of getting every child into college. If we were to take to heart the lessons learned from this one issue of the Magazine, we would fundamentally change the paper/pencil/bubbling in focus in schools and ensure that children know how to take care of themselves and others. You simply don’t learn these incredibly important personal, social, political, scientific, historical, and economic lessons from the state-required standards that produce canned lessons that are as far removed from local contexts and lived realities as might be possible.