“Lunch Shaming”

There’s a new bill out addressing lunch shaming.  I am concerned that the time spent on this bill is causing us to lose valuable time by treating a symptom, not the root problem.

Let’s do something that addresses the root problem of shaming.

If a child has asthma, giving cough medicine helps some, but finding ways to address the cigarette smoker’s addiction solves the root problem.

Re-post from earlier comment:

To consider:

1. The shaming isn’t in the act of getting the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The shaming is when children (and adults) are allowed to talk bad about a parent of a child. If adults and children stop “talking bad”, and the issue is addressed, the shaming does not exist.

2. We must teach mindfulness, self-control, self-responsibility, and social responsibility to #EachOfUs and #AllOfUs.

3. In cases of divorced parents, we must ensure the correct parent is receiving the bill.

4. The parent should be responsible for footing the bill; the child should not be the one working in the cafeteria. Most schools have systems for parents putting money directly into a child’s account; if they do not, they need to implement a system, knowing that some parents work non-traditional hours, and do not have credit cards (and schools should not complain about the parents who work non-traditional hours and have no credit cards).

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The problem is due to limited perspectives on what the “right way” is. We MUST become aware of our implicit biases, of our fears, and of how our environment affects our behaviors and actions.

We must say “Enough!” and realize that our children are watching.

Viva! (la revolucion)
❤ Felicia
http://www.chewfortucson.wordpress.com

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Viva! (la revolucion)
❤ Felicia
http://www.chewfortucson.wordpress.com

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“Make America Better”

This is a re-post of a comment to a comment to a post regarding the recent overruling of the banning of MAS in the Tucson Unified School District (Tucson, Arizona)

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Comment above states: “DA Morales I want to have kids have equal opportunity for success not be relegated to being a victim with no opportunity. That’s what education does. I am the first person in my family with a college degree. We were taught hard work in my family, but we started close to the bottom. Doesn’t matter where you start in America you can get ahead.”

I used to believe in the “pull yourself up by the bootstraps through education” story as well. Ironically, it is through education that I learned about the glass ceiling and implicit bias. Yes, everyone *can*”get ahead” … but…

Here is a perspective that I do not see taught regularly: Getting ahead can be going in a straight line, but imagine that you are on a sphere. Eventually, getting ahead brings you back to the same point on the sphere. Now consider standing on the sphere, but moving in a spiral, up, away from the sphere. The final destinations are countless. That’s the difference — most minorities and women are kept on the sphere, and there is a “glass ceiling” that keeps them there.

I have no problem with a policy that states: “No hate crimes, equal opportunity.” and that is what the policy states. My concern is that society creates victims and the cycle ensures there are always victims (cycle of domestic violence, cycle of poverty).

We have fears that someone else getting “ahead”, (e.g. the piece of the pie) means that we don’t “get ahead” (any pie, when there are other bakeries right next door.) We limit others because of our perspectives.

We see “hard work” as completion of Tasks A, B, C. We don’t recognize those who accomplish the same goal by accomplishing Task Z.

We must be mindful, letting go of our egos. We must recognize that our perspectives are limited.

The English teacher in me asks that we remember the stories we hear and movies we watch, when we shout: “Don’t open that door!” because we know what is on the other side, and that help is in the way.

I suppose that is what teaching six years of “Romeo and Juliet” — while listening to student perspectives and encouraging questions –does to a person; that is what 20 years of teaching young people to think, apologizing for past wrongs of society, and encouraging “alternative” pathways.

Tucson, we can do better.
America, we can do better.
World, we can do better.

“Make America Great Again”? No… “Make America Better”.

Viva! (la revolucion)
❤ Felicia
www.chewfortucson.wordpress.com

Prison Profit Spending – We Must Do Better

In response to comments regarding for profit prisons which were stimulated from a recent news article on prison funding:

We need to be aware of throwing the baby out with the bath water.

If prison “profits” were used for creating infrastructure and funding programs for a better future, I don’t think we would have this discussion.

It is all about ethical, responsible spending of funds, and remembering that $10 to a poor person is not the same as $10 to a not poor person is not the same as $10 to a rich person.

We need programs that provide resources to families and friends of perpetrators, and to public education.

People know that crime is bad, but are too afraid, or have given up on trying to make a difference because of the way they are treated when they try to make change.

People try to take huge steps, and then don’t bridge the gaps or shore up the infrastructure, so the programs fall apart.

We can use prison “profits” for good. We must monitor prison fines to ensure we are not perpetuating the cycle of crime.

Viva!
❤ Felicia
http://www.chewfortucson.wordpress.com

Felicia’s Story

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**Note to Readers:

There may be incidents in my story where you cringe.  As I wrote them, I cringed too. I share my story, including the cringe parts, because they take away the power of guilt and shame, and they give way for the truth — the truth that we are people who can only do the best that we can, with the resources and knowledge that we are aware of.  It is whether we choose to continue those cringe causing activities, or choose other paths when faced with similar choices, that make our present selves, creating our character.  We have the ability to make choices.  We have the ability to seek resources and knowledge.  The problem is that we are too afraid to share who we are, and therefore limit the relationships we cam have with others.

I invite you to read my story, and to share yours, whether it is through conversation, art, music, film, clothing, food… whatever venue you choose.

My only request is that your choices consider this very important question:  Is it safe?

Risk taking is another discussion, and I am not saying that we should hide in fear.  Risk taking looks different to everyone.

Thrill seeking to get that high can be a result of fear of addressing real life issues.

I encourage question asking, and I apologize for bullies who made you feel like you could not ask questions.

Viva!
❤ Felicia

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My Story:

Born Felicia Jane Chew on March 1, 1971, youngest daughter of three.  Two older brothers, and parents who immigrated from China.

Dad immigrated as a young boy, and Grandfather owned a laundry shop.  On Dad’s side, we are the descendants of the Chinese equivalent of Dartagnan, of the Three Musketeers.

Mom is the youngest of nine siblings, and immigrated in her 20’s, fleeing the change of Communist China.

I was the rebel of the family, and always very busy.  Piano lessons, ballet and tumbling classes, activities at the Parks and Rec Programs, and a product of dual culture – American amd Chinese.

As a young boy, Dad experienced racism.  Coupled with other personal reasons, Dad spoke only English to me and my brothers.  Mom spoke Chinese to us, as we teased her for her broken English.

I was the rebel because I saw the meanness, and I did not want to experience it.  I wished my name was Linda, and that I had blonde hair, and a ski jump nose.  I wished I was white.

I hated other Asians, especially the ones who talked too loud, farmer blew their noses, and were recent immigrants.  I made fun of them, called them names.  I was not one of them.  I was an ABC (American-Born Chinese) American.  They were FOBs  (Fresh Off the Boat) not Americans.

I was ashamed to be Chinese.

It wasn’t until my junior and senior years in high school that my tune started to change.  And it wasn’t until Year 3 at the University that it changed even more.

I started as an Econ major… hated math, but wanted to be the CEO of a prospering business.  I wanted the American Dream – the two BMWs in the driveway, house with white picket fence, 2.2 kids, manicured lawn, perfect husband.

I became an Asian-American Studies Major, which is where I realized I was not alone in self-hate, but also recognized that there were peers who wanted to cause serious damage to others who dared to breathe in their space.

I hated the word Diversity.  I hated it because I saw people talking about change and helping others,  but really had no idea what they were talking about.  Instead of making things better, they were further dividing people.

Assimilation had failed in the 60’s. It was failing in the 90’s.

“If you keep doing what you’ve done, you’re gonma keep gettin’ what you got.”

I joked that I graduated with two degrees: My B.A. and my MrS.  Our oldest son was born. We got married. We moved around several places, I worked several jobs. We bought a new house in a great neighborhood at a great price (courtesy of California funding programs).

I taught in the next town over, made rapid advancement at the school.

But we had challenges.  I attribute them to undiagnosed and untreated depression, uncontrollable rage, improper resources, loopholes, rule-following, religion…. but the primary challenge was Fear.

We left to build a 100% off the grid home in the Cibola National Forest.  The real reason was due to a belief that the world was going to end, and the government was not going to protect us, so we were going to need to protect ourselves.

About my religious journey:

Several of my family relatives are Christians. Every year, each of us cousins would be proselytized by a particular auntie prior to receiving our Christmas red envelope. In Grade 4, a friend invited me to church, and I attended for a year. In Grade 12, I went to church with another friend, became a youth leader, and was connected with a church in my University town. I did not like that church, and went to another one instead. I became a youth leader, a worship team leader, a bible study leader for the Asians in the Fellowship, met my ex-husband.

I had grown up with mixed messages about religion:

I grew up with the story of one of my Christian aunties not giving shelter to my mother and grandmother. This story is still unresolved.

Another story is from after graduating from University — one of my best friends wanted to be a full-time staff member of the Fellowship we participated in. She was told no. I was disheartened. But she went on to seminary, met her busband, and they are pastors in their own churches now.

Another story begins in 2008 — my family became involved in a church that promoted the teachings of two books: How To Train Up Your Children and Created To Be His Help Meet .

Things were changing in my life, and they were not for the better. I left the Cibola National Forest and moved to Tucson.

Tucson, Arizona
I came to Tucson in February 2011. I filed for a divorce, which was granted in November 2011.

I worked several different jobs, ran for City Council in 2017, and started up this website.

I currently live in Tucson, Arizona, in a 2 bedroom home built in 1948, and I am working on helping my community be a better place. I invite others to “chew on ideas, chew on food, chew’s wisdom because our children are watching.”

I will be adding to my story, because I believe that transparency, facing fears, and breaking stigmas of guilt and shame, will create communities for #EachOfUs and #AllOfUs. We will have homes, not just houses.

Please Share and Follow this blog by clicking on the follow button to follow this blog, and the Facebook, Twitter, etc. buttons to share this blog.

Viva! (la revolucion)
❤ Felicia
http://www.chewfortucson.wordpress.com

Helicopter Parenting

“Helicopter parenting”, thoughts from December 22, 2015.

Happy for Christmas break :). Took my son to the McDonald’s to enjoy the Play Place with some friends.

A younger boy wanted to play Hide and Seek with my son and his friends. I heard whispers of: ” Stop following me!” (whispered because I had just spoken to my son about how I heard my son calling one of his friends “Baby” because she didn’t want to play Tag anymore.)

Long story longer, I spoke to my son in private: “I heard you telling the other boy to stop following you. He doesn’t know how to play. So, show him a good hiding place, then go hide yourself.”

Instead of the response I hoped for: “Great idea! Thanks, I’ll try that!”, I got an irritated, “No!” followed by “He’s playing with those other kids now.”

So then I thought to myself, “Am I helicopter parenting?”

I decided: Why am I even wondering that? And I realized: The term “Helicopter parenting” has a negative connotation, and has made me question correcting my child’s inappropriate behaviors.

Some people will say “Children will be children”, and ” They need to figure it out”.

I agree, they are children, and they need to figure it out, but they need to understand boundaries and parameters, and then go from there.

Thoughts?

❤ Felicia

http://www.chewfortucson.wordpress.com

Truths About “Ugly Holiday Sweater” Day

Last year, we celebrated “Ugly Holiday Sweater” Day at work…. My ornaments have Ugly things on them: Jealousy, Slander, Bullying, Littering, etc.

The skates represent how we just skate through life, through all the ugliness.

The mittens represent how the world is cold, but we still put on our mittens, and just keep going.

All but one ornament has something ugly written on it. One is unwritten. Because there is always a choice for what gets written, and a time for Hope ❤

Happy Christmas to all!

 

❤ Felicia

http://www.chewfortucson.wordpress.com

We Can Stop the Division in Education

In response to the article:

ACLU report slams Arizona charter school enrollment policies

  • By Terry Tang The Associated Press
  • Updated 

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There are definitely problems of discrimination in all places. Some are not as overt, and some have louder spokespeople.

Unfortunately, I have seen similar problems in “regular” public schools as well. I witnessed two families being told that perhaps the public school of their choice was not the best fit for them, despite the families and the students wanting to remain at the school.

And, how can we forget the families who were told they could not go to their neighborhood school because of deseg policies?

“Regular” public schools have waiting lists, and admission processes also.

Public charter schools are painted in a negative light, giving fuel to public school advocates to attack them, and seek their funding.

Public charter schools and Public schools have the same goal — to educate students.

It is time to increase revenue for public schools — charter, magnet, “regular” — and time to stop the division.

Wake up, Tucson! Look outside the box and make the change.

(1) Stop blaming.
(2) Stop complaining.
(3) Donate tax credit dollars to the school of your choice.
(4) Ask neighborhood schools how you can help.
(5) Schools – reach out to the community and stop the hate!

Viva!
❤ Felicia
http://www.chewfortucson.wordpress.com
“chew on ideas, chew on food, chew’s wisdom because our children are watching”

Felicia’s Story: Blue Corn Tortilla Chips

Pico de gallo atop poached eggs atop blue corn tortilla chips.

My story: The first time I had blue corn tortilla chips was when I was in New Mexico. We were looking for land to purchase to build a 100% sustainable home. It was the beginning of the Adventures of Happy Joy.

We found a 20 acre piece of land in the Cibola National Forest where there was a “tiny home” — a cabin with a kitchen area, a woodburning stove, and a sleeping loft.

It was beautiful. We staked out the place to build a 100% sustainable home of logs, rammed earth, and papercrete. I built a door of recycled pallet and plastic bags for insulation.

In the end, we had three goats, three sheep, lots of cats, and a dog named Max who eventually came to Tucson as well.

My son remembers the deep snow where he would play, conpletely hidden from us when he was three years old.

Oh, New Mexico, Land of Enchantment, neighbor to Arizona.

Yes, building a 100% sustainable home *is* possible — with determination and the right resources and tools, we can.

My recipe:
1. Poach two eggs.
2. Lay a bed of blue tortilla chips on a plate.
3. Lay poached eggs atop the chips.
4. Add a scoop or two of pico de gallo on top (see recipe)
5. Eat!

Leigh’s Story: Apple Butter

Leigh’s Story:
This is the first time we’ve made apple butter as teacher gifts, but if they like it, it could start a tradition. 🙂

We usually make something homemade for the teachers and my kids write them a note or card. I’m mostly a cookie baker and candy maker, but there were always teachers with special dietary issues and I didn’t want to exclude them or give them a gift they couldn’t enjoy. If I knew about their restrictions, I could accommodate, but what about the ones I didn’t know?

Last year, we did candied spiced pecans and almonds, so only nut allergy folks would be screwed. This year – apple butter. But thank goodness for Zac – my brilliant sous chef. The apples cook down A LOT to make apple butter, so you have to make A LOT of it. We’ll be depositing 45 pounds of 4 kinds of apples into the crock pots for this project. Hoping to have some left for family or we may need to do ANOTHER batch. 🙂

It’s great fun and we LOVE our teachers. We can’t afford to buy them all new cars (wish we could!), so this is hopefully a reasonable alternative.

Leigh’s Recipe:
It’s basically this: http://www.geniuskitchen.com/r…/crock-pot-apple-butter-93886

But I cut the sugar to 3 cups, add a ton more spices (cinnamon, cloves, and ginger – until it smells right), and squeeze in some lemon juice.

It’s PERFECT on fresh, fluffy biscuits. Or also straight from the spoon. 🙂

*Story and Recipe Contributed by Leigh and www.geniuskitchen.com. Photo from www.geniuskitchen.com

Felicia’s Story: Pico de Gallo

My Story:
For the past five years, my son has participated in Cross Country. He attends a school where the district does not offer cross country. But, his PE Coach has friends who teach in the neighboring district. She asked if my son’s school could participate, and was told yes!track 1.jpg

Cross Country has taught my son perseverance and self-control, and it has reminded me of how one person can make a difference by having the courage to just ask.

Every year, we have a banquet to celebrate the end of the season. It’s a potluck. This year, we brought pico de gallo.

My Recipe:
Ingredients:
CFT Profile pic— lots of Roma tomatoes
— white onions
— anaheim green chiles
— cilantro
— lemon juice
— salt
— pepper
— garlic powder

Process:
— Dice all of the vegetables
— Add a teaspoon of lemon juice, a few shakes of salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste!