BENTO BOXING

The music concert at our elementary school is pretty lit. Who would have thought that an elementary school concert would be such an event? We have assigned seating, an intermission, an epic bake sale, a giant raffle, and even food trucks. It’s the main event of the year where everyone and their families attend. To make it convenient and enjoyable for everyone, the PTA tries to make sure there are not only food options, but good food options. With the school being a Japanese/English immersion school, we always try to represent both cultures. In addition to the food trucks, the PTA decided to make and sell Japanese bento boxes to include with the bake sale. And somehow, I found myself at a three hour planning meeting discussing content, container sizes, color, price, and presentation.

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THE BEST VEGGIE BURGER

The best? Really? I know some of you may be thinking the words “veggie” and “burger” are two words that don’t even belong together and especially combined with the word “best.” I used to think that too.

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THE CONFESSION

The year was 1986 and I was in 2nd grade. It was quite the time for a child in the 1980s. The era of big hair, big money, the Cold War, the war on drugs. The Oprah Winfrey show had just debuted and was making waves in households across the nation. MTV was in it’s 5th year of broadcasting and had well established itself as the voice of the youth. My young mind was being bombarded with intense images of rock stars with long hair thrashing around wildly while scantily dressed women were gyrating their hips in a display of sexual freedom I had yet to understand.

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MY FUNNY VALENTINES

Valentine’s Day at school was always a beacon of light in the middle of a long dreary winter. Winter break had ended long ago and spring break seemed so far away it was pointless to get excited about. We were in the daily doldrums of cold bleak winter weather, battling illness sweeping through the school, and of course, boring school work. Sheets of hand-outs and work-packets, or as my teachers called them; dittos. Dittos for us to complete math problems and practice our perfect cursive handwriting. But for one day, one day in the middle of the darkness, for at least an hour, we had Valentine’s Day.

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THE CASE FOR MAN BAGS

Why do guys have this whole macho thing about carrying a bag? Not backpacks and such, an everyday bag, to hold your things. I’ve seen guys carrying bags before, but it’s usually a large backpack or a messenger bag. Those are the only bags acceptable for men (at least in the American Midwest). But why should we limit our options just to be “masculine” or “macho?”

I’ve been fortunate to travel to Japan several times. A place where men of all types carry a bag. A man’s bag if you will. And they aren’t just backpacks and messenger bags. They are bags of all shapes and sizes. I resisted at first, but I’ve seen the light and am here to plead my case for the benefits of carrying a man bag.

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