Saturday, October 28, 2006

notamovie review, by jack handey

If Lane wrote just another dishonest, or generous, or apologetic, or just searching for something nice to say, lying to themselves and us, half-heartedly positive review of Sophia Coppola's Marie Antoinette then Jack Handey's My First Day in Hell sort of mocks the whole charade. No, really. Read it as a review of the moviegoing experience. Or, read it as a satire of the reviews of the moviegoing experience.

And if you ask me, Marie Antoinette is, actually, notamovie.

Those of you using blog readers probably haven't noticed my new sidebar feature, "inspirations and continuing conversations" or "cont." This last is an ongoing collection of my favorite posts from the blogs I read. This means you, your blogs, your posts, but it's a work in progress, so if I've missed anything or haven't gotten to you yet, let me know what you think I love. You'll likely be right.

Categories: , ,

Thursday, October 26, 2006

health, poverty, power-law, gladwell

The NYT reports that hospitals are acting on some of the principles described in Malcolm Gladwell's discussion of "power law statistics" and homelessness, published in The New Yorker last February. That is, hospitals are offering free preventative and health maintenance type care, to allay and prevent emergency visits and the costs incurred by uninsured patients with certain chronic troubles.

One of the clear targets of these programs are people with diabetes. A health condition that, like "hypertension, congestive heart failure or asthma" (other conditions in the "to-prevent" list) in so many instances, is caused, exacerbated or sustained by poverty.

The article also includes this disclaimer, "'All these local efforts are commendable, but they are like sticking fingers in the dikes,' Ms. Davis of the Commonwealth Fund said, noting that the larger trend was hospitals’ seeking to avoid the uninsured."

In a way, I'm most interested in the fact that this application of power-law statistics, in the hospital setting, is so practical and effective and less dramatic and morally fraught than Gladwell's presentation of similar arguments.

Categories: ,

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

specter's water report

Emdashes, "best frightening thing", NYkette, "you'll never leave the water running while you brush your teeth again", and "could we run out?" Drunken Volcano noted a kind of personal urgency to Michael Specter's investigation in "The Last Drop" (Oct 23 issue). But I think what I really appreciated about this essay was how it didn't just keep pushing the CRISIS! CRISIS! button, but rather, explored all kinds of possible, but problematic solutions, and the specificity of their status as solutions, and the ways in which a CRISIS! and its solutions do and do not have political, geographical and historical boundaries.

I was surprised Specter didn't step a little further back and look at water use in terms of the history of industrialization. Or post-industrialization. Or agricultural practices as industrialization. He gestured. And maybe even, in the end, he accomplished this. But he wasn't that explicit about it as an argument. Those stats about US water use, for instance, seemed a little historically unhinged. Pittsburgh, for one, probably uses a lot less water than it used to. What with the less people and the less work. It took Specter awhile to get back around to the US outsourcing of water needs . . .

Categories: , ,

Monday, October 23, 2006

el número dos?

It wasn't the ay! writ aye! that disoriented me in the profile "Arriba" in the Oct 23 issue. That hardly seems like an error one could definately attribute to the author Dan Baum. Doesn't The New Yorker have a crack copyediting staff?

But as someone who cannot read Spanish, I was struck by the translation of "'Asi es, diario.' This is how it is, every day." (36) Thanks, New Yorker! But is it possible that the magazine isn't very consistent about translating languages-that-are-not-English? I've been left with untranslated French on my hands more than once. And not in the fiction, either.

It seems hard to imagine that editors would assign this story (about a Latino radio talk show host) to someone who doesn't speak Spanish, but one might read the ay misspelling and the inclusion of translation that way. Or one might interpret the inclusion of translation from a language-that-is-not-English here, but not everywhere, as an assumption, on the part of the editors, that the readership doesn't speak Spanish but does speak, say, French.

All this makes the untranslated moment, "But then he [Almendárez] winked and said, 'I oprimo el número dos. In reality, you can live well in America without English'" all the more interesting. I assume Almendárez was winking at Baum (but maybe he wasn't), Almendárez assumes Baum knows what he's saying (even if Baum doesn't speak Spanish, but maybe he does), and The New Yorker assumes its readership can translate this particular phrase on its own. But not other phrases.

Thank god I got into the italics habit. Now you can't stop me.

Categories: , , ,

Friday, October 20, 2006

as if that oates story wasn't creepy enough

Now this, with all the necessary links, from Amardeep Singh. Joyce Carol Oates' story belongs to the based-on-a-true-story-genre.

Categories: , ,

questions posed to our techno-gustatory memory

From : "thethriftiestgirlinla" <>
Sent : Thursday, October 19, 2006 9:59 PM
To :
Subject : one small jar

What does one do with one small jar of berry preserves that are best
before 10/15/06?

Should one make a linzertorte with the preserves? Or is there another

xo "the thriftiest girl in LA"

P.S. My friend Aaron thinks that "in the soup" is a domestic version of
"in the shit" which originates from army-speak.

Apart from eating a lot of scones and jam, maybe with cheese, or chicken sandwiches with preserves or hosting a brunch with these items, I didn't have anything to suggest other than the linzertorte. But if you've got any ideas, post them here, quick, before her jam goes bad. Does jam go bad? Suddenly?

But this email provides the opportunity to post the recipe I use for linzertorte. Ever since I once posted a photo of said European dessert item, searches for linzertorte bring a lot of hits here. Note: I've been keeping an eye on my searches, but nothing very funny has been searched. Oh, except this: "what kind of offensive language does nancy drew books use?"

I keep the recipe in an email from my little brother.

From : "mylittlebrother" <>
Sent : Saturday, December 25, 1999 3:47 PM
To : <>
Subject : linzer torte

hey ----, here's what the book says:
1 cup butter, softened, Pinch of salt
1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 egg, 1 egg
Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon, 2 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour,
1 1/2 cups rasberry jam or currant jelly, 1 1/2 cups ground hazelnuts or
almonds, confectioners' sugar

beat butter until creamy; beat in sugar to a fluff, add the egg, beat
until frothy; then add flour, nuts, salt and cinnamon. Chill
thoroughly, then roll out two-thirds of the dough large enough to cover
the bottom and sids of a 9-inch round cake pan, preferably one with
removable bottom. Brush egg white over the bottom; let dry. Roll out
the remaining dough, cut into lattice strips. Blend the lemon rind and
juice with the rasberry jam or currant jelly, spread this filling over
the pastry dough. Place the lattice pastry strips over the top. Bake
in oven preheated to 400 F for 45 minutes. When torte is removed from
oven, immediately sprinkle top with confectioners' sugar. Spoon
additional jam into squares formed by the lattice if filling has shrunk
noticeably. Makes 6 to 8 servings. chow and ciaou

In other news, almost 24 hours after I saw some fresh figs I involuntarily remembered with whom (and where) it was that I got into an argument about what the fruit on my plate was. It was a fresh fig and it was a grad student at a kind of fancy with an invited speaker dinner. A few days ago the thriftiest girl in LA was describing fresh figs over the phone and I knew I'd gotten in a fight with someone over fresh figs but the details escaped me.

Don't mention the m-word. How hilarious is this? I added Carolita Johnson to my sidebar because, really, in addition to being a New Yorker cartoonist she regularly posts a short, pointed digest of the week's New Yorker articles. And she keeps an ongoing "Tables for One" log: the tale that precedes the post linked above is also absolutely darling.

And when I saw Chungking Express for the second time last week I realized that although I remembered parts of the movie, I could have sworn the pineapple plot was entirely new to me. I saw this film for the first time the year before my little brother wrote me the above email.

Categories: ,


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

vegetable perception

I really enjoyed meeting everyone at Whole Foods and I'm sure the library will put my 5% to good use. I thought I'd post quickly to give everyone the web address for The Kretschmann Farm delivery and some veggie photos. For a more comprehensive view of what's in the box this week, go to my flickr photos.

And, as long as I'm wearing my sometimes food blogger hat I thought I'd post a recipe I've referred to at Kitchenography (thanks for asking!) and Eat and probably elsewhere too, the meatless Mushroom Moussaka from The New M--sewood Cookbook. While it may be against the law to publish this recipe here, Katzen would do better to chase down the Martha Stewart's Everyday Food staff, who routinely copy her recipes. Unless she's sold them to Everyday Food, in which case I say all's fair.

Without further ado, Mushroom Moose-aka.

1. Slice 3 medium eggplants into 1/4 inch rounds. Salt them and layer them in a colander, or between towels. Stand 20-30 min.

Meanwhile, start the mushroom sauce.

2. Cut 2 lbs mushrooms into quarters, at least, or smaller if that's your style. Heat 2 tbs olive oil your tomato sauce pot. Add 2 c onions and salt, and cook over med heat until the onions are translucent. Don't rush this. Add mushrooms and garlic, cover and cook 10 min or so.

3. Add 14-20 oz of tomato, some paste if you've got it, fresh if you want, whatever. Adjust your cook time accordingly.

4. Add 1 tsp or more cinnamon, black pepper to taste, 1 tsp each basil and oregano. Bring to a boil then simmer at least 15 minutes. The recipe calls for 1/2 c breadcrumbs and 1/2 c parm at this stage but I don't add bread unless I've got something sitting around that really wants to go in. And I usually throw in my parm rinds, which I keep for the purpose of making sauces. Do they teach you this on TV? Well, do it. Add 1 c packed fresh minced parsley.

Let the sauce cool and return to your sweaty eggplants. I wipe them now.

5. Lightly oil a baking sheet and pop your eggplant slices in the oven at 375 F for 20 minutes.

Now, for the not really Bechamel at all.

6. Fill your vintage 4 c Anchor Hocking measuring cup with 2 c milk and heat in the microwave. Or whatever.

7. Heat nice and hot 3 tbs olive oil in a small sauce pan.

8. Drop, one by one, stirring to a slurry, 6 tbs flour into the hot oil. Let it brown, let it stick a little, but don't let it burn. I've done this with a fork, or a whisk. You can turn down the heat as you go. When the flour paste is a nice dark yellowish tan, lift the sauce pan off the heat and cool it a moment.

9. Then pour in the milk, with the heat off, or low. Stir till smooth.

10. Keep the heat low and leave the sauce with 1/2 c feta or parm. Stir occassionally, don't let it scorch, wait for the cheese to melt and the whole thing should become smooth. I add a few whole cloves of garlic here, and a good pinch of nutmeg. And salt. All together now.

11. Put a double layer of eggplant in a casserole dish, or two, or whatever fits. Cover with mushroom sauce. Then a single layer of eggplant. Then the not-Bechamel.

Bake uncover'd in the 375 F oven for 30-45 minutes.

Making 2 sauces and cooking the shit out of the eggplants (why this dish works at all) can be a little athletic - you might get breathless but don't lose your concentration - it's part of the Pittsburgh winter triathalon, along with shoveling snow. Let me know if I've left out any details; I'm not very experienced at plotting this kind of thing. Good with green salad.

Categories: ,


Thursday, October 12, 2006

wilkie collins and the rest is history

Not long ago a young man asked me, "So, what was so great about Truman Capote's In Cold Blood anyhow?"

Even though I mumbled something about true crime and suspense and popular modernism, I didn't really have the kind of answer he was looking for because I hadn't read it since high school - before I watched a Thin Blue Line and before I read narrative film theory and maybe just at the moment that Pulp Fiction came out - but it is certainly a book that if one had read it oneself one might not ask this question because it is just so creepy and delightful. But that is no kind of answer.

So here are my thoughts on all kinds of spooky:

The book (I read then and reread now a hardcover 1965 edition) is divided into sections - "The Last to See Them Alive," "Persons Unknown," "Answer" and "The Corner" - I would guess the sections appeared in the same order in the New Yorker because they are, in some respects, chronological. The titles suggest this, with "The Last to See Them Alive" being accounts from friends and employees of the family and other community members of the afternoon before the murders and "The Corner" being accounts of Dick and Perry on death row. And because the sections are a serial, like ye olde serials Middlemarch and Dickens and Wilkie Collins, they have cliffhanger endings to each section. Here suspense is about information suspended, a delay in a linear narrative.

But there's also a kind of telescoping structure to the suspense. Sometimes the reader is waiting for Dick and Perry to reach Mexico, sometimes she is waiting for them to be caught. Sometimes she is waiting for them to be tried, or the trial to reach a verdict. Sometimes she is waiting for them to die. And, unless one is made of absolute stone, the reader feels her sympathies or empathies moving quickly one way and then the next . . . There is always a new event that being delayed about which the reader has more or less certainty that it will happen, and more or less desire that it will.

More or less certainty is key. Because the sections were also written and published as a book, that is, all the sections were written (or revised) after Dick and Perry were identified, if not arrested, if not tried, if not convicted, if not killed. So from the very first section, the identity of the killers is not withheld. The details of the crime are disclosed in the first section too, but through the eyes of the detectives, who don't know Dick and Perry as well the reader does. Lots of definitions of suspense (including Hitchcock's, for instance) explain that when a "spectator" knows more than the characters (here, the detectives, or the community of Holcomb as a whole) this produces suspense (as opposed to not a spectator or reader being kept entirely in the dark). Basically, as a reader/spectator, you're waiting for something to jump out at them.

But that's not all, really. Because of the serial publication combined with the "after the fact" knowledge of the writer, lots of information gets repeated from one section to another. So the sections are not just chronological accounts, but achronological accounts, that is, repeating accounts of the same events from various perspectives. Capote has the same information disclosed through or by various situations or characters. This repetition, which makes nearly each section intelligble on its own, is unsettling when read all at once. Have I heard that before? Which version is true? How do they fit together? And being disoriented in a book full of violence is scary.

Not only that but then too, why is certain information being obsessively repeated? Is Capote trying to call our attention to clues? Why is this information important? Will this explain everything? Will we finally understand the killers' psychologies?

Finally, the very elaborate manipulations of suspense - the delays, the information not withheld, the temporal and symapathetic disorientations, the obsessively repeated information all create one last mystery - who is behind all this? How did Capote get his information? When did he conduct his interviews? Who actually told him what?

I don't have Wilkie Collins The Moonstone in a vintage hardcover edition in front of me (that's no excuse, zp, here, now, read - I borrowed it from the library), but a similar analysis could be done of that books complicated structures of suspense, knowledge, sympathy and temporal disruptions. Except, I think, alongside the various accounts, there is yet another layer, a narrator who is not the author (whereas Capote is, finally, both). And I think the competing, shared, various narratives thing is central to any good mystery story, though I'm afraid the structure, particularly as it manipulates time, has become associated with postmodernism. But that's clearly a big fat lie of periodization.

Now, that's not all that really compels one in The Moonstone. What with the juggling (which is a suggestive term now that we've looked at the narrative structure, no?) and the cultural patrimony - if you pay $3 you can read Kwame Anthony Appiah's argument, in the Feb 9, 2006 New York Review of Books, for why anyone should be able to steal anything . . . the short history of juggling is free. Still on the tip of the iceberg. Capote leans on a kind of Robin Wood "American Nightmare" horror structure in In Cold Blood and Wilkie Collins exploits a Brit fascination with the "domesticated foreigner" as Gopnik put it . . .

I took some notes on Appiah's essay in the spring (if you want 'em) but had to let The Moonstone and In Cold Blood marinate, so to speak, for a few months.

Categories: ,

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

public library, corporate charity

As if I weren't already conflicted enough about Whole Foods, nutrition, public insitutions (I know the CLP is totally complicted funding-wise) and private charity now this promotion. Whole Foods is giving 5% of next Wednesday's profits to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Heads up, Pittsburgh food bloggers and library users.

UPDATE: Informal meet-up of Pittsburgh's more or less informal food bloggers. Wednesday at 1 PM. Coffee and whatever else you feel comfortable eating at Whole Foods.

Categories: ,


Monday, October 09, 2006

scarcely enough scenery for them all to chew

Of course I saw The Departed, opening weekend, matinee price, big tacky theater, very soft chairs. In moment of weakness, I voted Goodfellas the "best" "US" film since 1982.

I liked Scorsese doing a sort of tight abstract logic problem plot. That's sort of new for him and even though I'd seen Infernal Affairs, I didn't recognize it. But I'm slow like that.

But I didn't like what Manohla Dargis generously suggested was a creative departure in the style of cinematography and editing. Too uniformly fast, too close, too restricted a color palette (why not go black and white?), essentially un-Scorsese. And the use of music was awful, except, maybe for that opening Stones thing, but that invites the very comparion by which The Departed suffers. Other than that the music was forced, distracting, mechanical, blech.

I liked the way DiCaprio wore all that cheesy clothing though. The chemistry between Mark Wahlberg and Matt Damon is something too. Jack Nicholson's never afraid to play an asshole, which is cool. But remember, in The Aviator, the way the scenes were physically constructed around DiCaprio when he went all crazy-wolfman-Howard-Hughes? Well, there's nothing that carefully done in this film, to my eye.

Alec Baldwin was just ridiculous, but Martin Sheen was sweet. When I make a masculine melodrama (or buddy comedy) I'm going to name the female lead Placey Placeholder, though. Madolyn Madden. Claire Cleary. Geez. I liked Vera Farmiga's not entirely plastic looks though. And her pant suits.

PS. If anybody wants to email me (or post or digest) the full-text or select bits of Fish on divesting in NYT Select, I'd appreciate it. Fish is funny and "divesting" also. 10/10: Got it, thanks! And I recommend it. Could have gone further with industry and govt money for the sciences and the way that structures lab research. Very sketchy.

Categories: , , ,

Friday, October 06, 2006

buford on the food network

From the Oct 2 Issue, Bill Buford on "TV Dinners, The Rise of Food Television" As you probably know, I don't have cable, so my knowledge of this phenomenon is fleeting, or second hand. And, duh, I think the food sounds nasty. So maybe I'm not Ray's best defense. But . . .

On Rachel Ray: "a likable sales-rep personality, with a me-and-my-mom vocabulary." (45) I'm not sure what this means, exactly. But does it have something to do with that trend diagnosed by (among many, many others) Teen Vogue, the mom as best friend thing? Only more down home?

I don't actually think it's that new. When you're out and about in Pittsburgh you often run into mother-daughter pairs gabbing their hearts out in intimate ways made possible, I think, only by close geographical and emotional proximity. And somehow the moms then know all about the daughter's jobs and family life and all. I think this might be what Buford is talking about . . . and it's key.

Only I'd say it's more than a vocabulary . . . and let's just say that for geographical, economic, personal and political reaons most of the people I'm closest to (who may or may not have passed on Rachel Ray's trash bowl tip to me) don't have this with their moms. . . at least not regularly, or dependably.

On the Audience: The network was now in seventy-five million households and its audience was among the most affluent people watching television in America. 'And nearly half of our viewers are men,' Girard said. This was a different audience from the one conceived by Schoenfeld, and rather elusive to picture. I found myself imagining stock traders and dot-com millionaires at home all day, kneading dough, trying out new recipes, wondering what to do with the saffron. (45)

I think this last is a bit dismissive and wilfully obtuse. For one, Girard (the Food TV pres, I think) claims that her audience is the most affluent TV watchers, not the most affluent Americans. And what's so funny about well-to-do men learning to cook, Bill Buford? He of all people.

Why is so hard for Buford to imagine that there might be men, and women, who, perhaps lack some kind of easy old-fashioned me-and-my-mom relationship, but want a little guidence (maybe even guidence they don't entirely buy and enjoy feeling superior to?) in the kitchen? I don't want to argue that the Food Network is a surrogate mother, but I think it probably fills a niche that other kinds of learning (home ec?) used to fill, and it offers this learning to a wider, less strictly gendered audience . . .

To her credit, the inclusion of the story about Julia's early on-air omelette suggests that she understood food TV this way too and (to his credit) that Buford understands that she understood food TV this way.

Maybe Buford commentary on the Food Network would have been more interesting in a less formal form, like, as mzn suggested, blogging. But you know what he could do given the resources, etc of the New Yorker? Write a short history on the following:

Ours is a different audience from the one that watched Julia Child. In 1962, “microwave oven” and “fast food” hadn’t entered the national lexicon. And restaurants were more expensive. Tim Zagat, the publisher of Zagat Guides, points out that for more than two decades the cost of going to restaurants or getting takeout has risen less than the annual rate of inflation—that it’s much less expensive today than at any other moment in our history to pay other people to prepare our dinner. Never in our history as a species have we been so ignorant about our food. And it is revealing about our culture that, in the face of such widespread ignorance about a human being’s most essential function—the ability to feed itself—there is now a network broadcasting into ninety million American homes, entertaining people with shows about making coleslaw. (47)

The very interesting thoughts that close the article.

But I love the description of Julia: Child, too, was unlike anything else on television: six-feet-two, virtually hunchbacked, seeming too ungainly for a small screen, with a long, manly face, but one that was also remarkable for its intelligent expressiveness. (44)

And if you're wondering why there are horseradish photos on my flickr, well, I was provoked by the smartypants at Epifurious. They plan to post on Buford's Food TV experience too and I'll link when they do.

The images here are of brilliant, beautiful Michel Simon in Boudu Saved From Drowing/Boudu Sauve des Eaux (Jean Renoir, 1932).

Categories: , , ,


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

with bonus cinematic culinary metaphor

This one works the other way, the kitchen as understood through the film: "a Hobart mixer with a vaguely menacing air, like the hooded mother beast in Aliens." (73)

This quotation is from the same article (discussed below) which, by the way, was quite erroneously titled, "The Lunchroom Rebellion, An haute-cuisine chef goes back to school." Unless by "rebellion" they mean when the kids refused the spelt and veggie pizza and wrote Cooper that "petition." (77) If by "rebellion" they mean Cooper's crusade or military coup or whatever they should say so. Never mind the legal and religious connotations of "petition" . . .

And surely they mean Alien 3, where the alien is at it's most hooded and metallic? Ann Cooper wishes she was as tough and heroic as Ripley. And as misunderstood as Falconetti. But she is so not.

Categories: , , , ,


Monday, October 02, 2006

school lunch, delivered, w/ a side of music ed

I had some real problems with that school lunches article in the Sept 4 issue. Ann Cooper was way too high handed and top down and the article wasn't quite critical enough of the real weaknesses of her approach.

Even if I agree (and I totally do) that we can identify "a list of undesireable ingredients - transfats, preservatives, and foods with too much salt, refined flour, sugar, or high fructose corn syrup" (74) and try and keep those out of school lunches and even if I agree (and I do) that processed foods will likely contain more of these things and that the federal govenment's dumping of less nutritious food products via this "commodity program" would be considered child abuse if it took place in a private home I still don't feel like Cooper's on the right track. The article is worth reading for this brief "commodity program" history, a forthcoming book (mentioned) by one Janet Poppendieck of Hunter College is probably even better.

But I mean, how is it a good idea to insult the people you work with and use foul language to describe the expectations of the people - the students - you work for? It's hard not to understand Cooper as essentially disrespectful.

Add to that, her attempt to feed the kids spelt and veggie pizza. It sounds like she tried to take that failure to heart. But to force food onto a child's plate does nothing. And how stupid is it that she's the taster?

The ability to make informed choices about what one eats is a kind of power. Cooper has this power. Children, rich or poor, do not. For more people to have access to this kind of power all their lives, the schools Cooper works for (and I know, she would consider this beyond her reach) need to teach nutrition and if they can do it in the lunchroom, even better. They need to make nutrition something you can learn, something you can research, a skill, like reading, that everyone can use and not just a list of facts, a habit, like lining up, a practice, like taking turns.

At most elementary schools the student have chores, right - table washer, paper passer, line leader. And these are, in best case scenarios, assigned via fun little brighly colored charts or systems. And children learn a sense of responsibility that they take pride in. How about a chart or system or sense of responsiblity for fruits and veg and meat and milk? I mean, I'm sure this is a naive example, but it's a model for trying to think about nutrition as something other than a boutique gift Cooper forces down the throats of her students. (The author Burkhardt Bilger sort of dismisses the idea of educating taste out of hand, but he's clearly from another planet because if you can't educate taste, what can you educate?)

My very favorite New Yorker thoughts on education came, not from the education issue, but from Dorothy Wickenden's October 2 Talk, she basically points out the dangers of the sad fact that "the financing of education for the less well-off, like so much else these days, is being increasingly left to the vagaries of the private sector." (36) Summing up two strong points, charity is basically unempowering and education is a right.

Intrepid blog searchers will find that EL has inspired me to think a bit about nutrition in the last few months - Would it make science education more accessible? Is good food a right or a pretense? Or, on the other hand, could it supplement sex ed? Or PE? And other tasty and sustaining questions . . .

As for Alex Ross on music education, he misses the low hanging fruit (and/or slow moving meat) . . . The case for music education: anything that kids can practice teaches them discipline, anything they can learn and improve gives them self confidence, anything that can be recognized by the outside world gives them a sense of accomplishment and, finally, some power to make choices and determine their futures. Music, sports (in certain cases), nutrition . . . baton twirling, you name it.

Categories: , , , , , , .