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Showing posts from October, 2010

Excuse Me While I Get Out My Soapbox...

I know that some people reading this may disagree with what I am about to say, but today is National Coming Out Day, and if I can't say it today, when can I? I work in a high school and I am a straight ally. I see kids everyday struggle with the knowledge that they are gay. Few students will ever feel comfortable coming out while they are still  in high school--peer pressure and fear of not fitting in are too strong. But some will. And I am appalled at the reaction most of them will have to face. I'm going on my third year at this school, and I have had three students come out to me in those three years, and another two students who let me know in a sort of round-about way. In one case, I was the first to know. In three of the others, I knew before most of the students' friends and family. As I talk to these students, I hear their uncertainty, their fear of judgement, their terror at having to redefine who they are--who they want to be. I see their pain as family members re…

Making Pickles, or How to Shower with Your Eyes Closed

I make pickles. I make good pickles. They involve garlic and dill and vinegar. And red chili peppers. I don't particularly like chili peppers because I don't particularly like capsaicin, that nasty chemical that sears the all it comes in contact with and makes your eyes water. I've always been a little perplexed by people's love of hot food, but to each his own, right?

Last Thursday, I decided to make pickles using the suggested amount of red chili peppers. I buy the generic red chili peppers, so they aren't particularly hot, but they do have a kick. In the past when working with these I have had the misfortune of touching my nose, which produced the aforementioned burning sensation in my nostrils, watery eyes, and much cussing. Since then, I've become smarter about my peppers and wash my hands at least a half a dozen times when working with them. This was certainly true this time since they seemed to possess a greater than average amount of seeds, and as all th…