Thursday, May 3, 2012

Me Faltan Palabras . . .

Words fail . . .

I was going to blog today about the Fiesta Salsera we held at school today - our first of what we hope will become a yearly event.  Students made salsas at home and brought them in for sampling.  We also had a salsa dance party . . . well, it was actually a Zumba fitness class since no one was interested in pairs dancing.  But it was great fun!  Maybe I'll share some pictures with you in a coming blog post, but something else caught my attention today - a news story out of Colorado dealing with the public school ban on unhealthy foods.  In fact, if I taught in Colorado today, I would not have been able to have the Fiesta Salsera because of the fat content in the tortilla chips and the guacamole.

I realize that the school leaders in Colorado must have good intentions, but they have gotten way off course and allowed their ideals to blind them to the real world.  To be specific, the Greeley, Colorado public schools have banned all cakes, cupcakes, cookies, doughnuts, candy, pies and other goodies from schools.  Well, not all cakes.  They do have one approved cake recipe that uses black beans that they say the kids love.  Really?  I dare them to do a side-by-side comparison and see whether black bean cake comes anywhere close to real chocolate cake.

In Greeley, Colorado public schools there are strict calorie and nutrition guidelines for all food served in schools or at school events.  This includes everything on campus and off-campus at field trips and events - even student's private lunchboxes are not excluded from the ban.  There will be no bake sales, birthday cupcakes, candy for a good grade, or cultural tasting events.

To put it in perspective for us Spanish teachers, this means that there would be none of the following allowed in our classrooms:
  • churros con chocolate
  • flan
  • dulce de arroz
  • rosca de reyes
  • pan de muertos
  • horchata
  • pan dulce
  • alfajores
  • bizcocho
  • meringues
  • tembleque de coco
  • chocolate mexicano
  • pastel de tres leches
And on and on . . . I haven't read the exact law myself but, if I correctly understand the rhetoric, there would be no more fried foods like empanadas, quesadillas, or tortilla chips either.

At the beginning of the school year, my Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica students had a "cocktail" and tapas party with non-alcoholic piña coladas, sangria, and margaritas.  The tapas included chilaquiles, olive tapanade, artichoke dip, churros, arepas, and empanaditas filled with apples and cinnamon.  You never saw such happy kids!  They worked so hard on their contributions and they were delighted with the fiesta.  It was probably the best thing we did in SHH all year . . . and not a single thing would have been allowed if the officials in Colorado had their way.

Oh, and they would have us put pencils and erasers in our piñatas.  Not very traditional, Colorado.  As my 8th grade daughter just told me, "Kids don't give a flying fadoddle about pencils and erasers."  (Editor's Note: I have no clue what a "fadoodle" is, but they apparently come in flying and non-flying varieties.)

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  I think this is what they meant.

Hasta pronto,


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