Friday, October 7, 2011

Who is Mrs Q?

About a year and a half a ago I stumbled upon a new blog (as I'm apt to do) that really got me thinking. I was in the midst of my fellowship work (I'll be posting on that soon and the impact it had on my life) and was consequentially VERY interested in school food, childhood hunger, federal nutrition programs and the like (still am, just not working in that area anymore).

That new blog I found was very much in its nascent stages at that point but some super dudes/dudettes in the child nutrition/child hunger arena had discovered it's author and her anonymous blogging about school lunch and it was starting to gain a following.

Fed Up with School Lunch: The School Lunch Project was the brainchild of "Mrs Q" an elementary school teacher in a large urban city who decided to eat school lunch every day for a year and journal the process.

Those of us who were already involved in the child nutrition/child hunger community knew about the poor quality of school lunches and knew also that for many children from low-income households- that questionable school lunch could be the best meal, if not the only meal, they eat all day.

I'm not going to lie. I was a bit annoyed with Mrs Q at times. I already knew school lunch was awful and I was a bit full of myself (as those of us in the social justice community can be at times. It's a problem I'll be the first to admit it. AND the subject for another time). I rolled my eyes every time she talked about choking down another nasty bagel-dog and had a bit of a holier-than-thou attitude. "I'm working in DC on important anti-poverty policy initiatives and I have it all figured out" (that was my attitude at times I'm ashamed to say. And it wasn't just directed at Mrs Q. I definitely needed to get of my high horse/soap box combo. Perhaps it was a rocking horse made out of a soap box?).

But I admired (and still do) the amazing risk she was taking in blogging undercover about the less-than-stellar lunch menu and lunch policies at her elementary school.

And I was thrilled when she became not just disgusted with the food itself but an activist wanting to change school food for the better. On top of already being a public school teacher in an underfunded district working with children, the vast majority of whom received free or reduced-price lunch, she was now taking on the deplorable state of school nutrition.

Well fast forward to the present day and "Mrs Q" has just come out of the closet. No, not in the sense that she's announcing her sexuality status. But she's revealed her real name (Sarah Wu) and gone on several talk shows/news shows to share her story and her passion for reforming school food (not just lunch but school breakfast as well).

She's also published a book! I've ordered it (wanted the hard copy not just the kindle e-book version) and will post a review once I've thoroughly devoured its pages (pun intended). I'm predicting its going to be pretty awesome.

Hat's off to Mrs Q/Sarah Wu! You're one brave lady and I think you rock! Keep up the good work.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Occupy Philadelphia Protests

So a lot has been written and shown in the media over the past week or so related to the Occupy Wall Street protests going on in NYC and the related protests in other cities around the country. Today is the beginning of the Occupy Philly protests. I thought I'd share a few snippets I gleaned from various sources.

From the Daily Pennsylvanian

From the Daily Pennsylvanian
Occupy Philly's website:

Quote from Mayor Nutter who appears not just to accept but also approve of the movement- or at least the underlying sentiments:

Ways you can support Occupy Philly: Donations of foodstuffs, cookware, tarps, etc are requested.

What's your take? M and I were talking last night of how this movement feels reminiscent of the Bonus Army during the Great Depression and the sit-ins of the Civil Rights movement (I'm using the term reminiscent loosely here of course as neither M nor I were around for either of those two eras)... Our curiosity is piqued to see how this all plays out. I hope the energy from this movement all around the country lights a fire under President Obama and the Dems to push through some legislation and major changes our country really needs.

And that's the end of my politicking. I promise.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Inaugural post

Why start a blog? Because everyone is doing it of course! Well, that and the fact that M keeps telling me I really need to find a creative outlet for my energies. I'm Lindsay. I live in Philadelphia with M and our two crazy wonderful (but still crazy) pets. Mild-mannered office drone by day, I hope to use this blog as a space for self-expression and to let off a little creative steam. 

I envision this blog being one part Suzy homemaker (think recipes and apartment decorating), one part writer looking for a creative outlet and three parts I have no idea what will happen. Let's just see shall we?