Tag Archives: journalism

Another Reason I Love Sunset Magazine

I really must get around to writing that post dedicated to my love of Sunset Magazine.  Tonight might not be the night.  But I can never resist the urge to impulsively share exciting information so here it goes.

First, Sunset Magazine has not one, but several excellent blogs available through their website.  The one I’m inspired by is the uber-locavore challenge, the “One block diet” and blog.  Sunset editors and contributors have dedicated themselves to eating what is grown and available within one block of Sunset’s property.  

oneblockdiet_gardenThe Sunset test garden

When reading the “about” section, I found that a former Saveur editor, Margo True, is currently behind Sunset’s excellent food writing!  Naturally.  My first internship ever was at Saveur magazine in the summer of 1999–while the magazine still had its original sense of elegance and culinary veritas intact under the leadership of Dorothy Kalins, Christopher Hirsheimer, and Colman Andrews–and True herself of course.  These days Saveur seems to be suffering along with the economy, crisis of print journalism, and weight (or lack thereof) of their glossy pages.  But Sunset with its niche market seems to be thriving.  Here’s to Sunset!  Here’s to the West!

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Separate and Unequal: Berkeley High

I’ve long had reservations about Berkeley High and the way its small schools function to divide students academically, which unintentionally tends to lead to further divisions along social and racial lines.  Earlier today I was talking to another teacher about how I’m working to address the achievement gap in my classroom, and happened to bring up my criticisms of Berkeley High.  After our talk I ran out to grab a coffee and what was the first thing I saw on the table at the coffee shop?  This week’s East Bay Express with the glaring headline on the cover:

Separate and Unequal at Berkeley’s Small Schools

Berkeley High embraced the small schools movement to close its staggering racial achievement gap. But evidence suggests that these schools are exacerbating the very problem they were supposed to solve.

Click here to read the full text of the article.  

At first I was excited to read the article–finally an indictment of the segregation at Berkeley High!  But, like so many in Berkeley, and I’m afraid so many powerful white teachers and parents, author Rachel Swan got the story all wrong.

Swan’s initial skepticism of the small schools movement is not unfounded.  Small schools, like their larger counterparts, are not without fallible teachers and administrators, or moments of pedagogy that miss the mark.  But Swan appears to view the issue similarly to the teachers at BHS who rail against the small schools.  

I’ve selected some of Swan’s own reporting to articulate what I see at Berkeley High, as a teacher, scholar, observer of BHS classrooms, opposer of segregation, holder of almost unattainably high expectations of all students, local resident, relative of a BHS student, and friend of many BHS alumni. 

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Announcement: What\’s Hot in Local Eating~Peko Peko!

I recently attended this fabulous event at 826 Valencia, moderated by the talented and beguiling Chris Ying.  How can you resist someone who dug up a mid-50\’s copy of James Beard\’s Cooking Fish and used it as his sole prop during a panel on the politics and science of food?

Each of the panelists talked about why we\’re interested in food and what about it interests us now.  If you, like these esteemed food journalists, are passionate about delicious morsels that meet Bonnie Azab Powell\’s critera for SOLE food (Sustainable, Organic, Local, Ethical) you\’ll LOVE Peko-Peko.  The mastermind behind the affair, Sylvan Mishima Brackett, cut his teeth as assistant to Alice Waters at Chez Panisse and editing The Slow Food Guide to San Francisco and the Bay Area.

This month, Peko-Peko  has created a Spring bento box available for delivery in the Bay Area.  

The bottom level of this two tier bento is filled with kanimeshi: fresh steamed Dungeness crab, seasoned California-grown Japanese rice, pickled ginger, and sansho pepper. The top layer includes three menchikatsu: Marin Sun pastured pork and onion cutlets and dashi maki tamago: rolled farm egg with fresh dashi. Made primarily with ingredients from around the Bay Area, it’s a taste of Tokyo by way of San Francisco. This bento serves 2-3 people and is $65.

Deliveries will be made every Wednesday in March. Orders must be placed by the Monday prior to delivery.

We had their osechi bento for New Year\’s and it soothed hard.  In other words, open a bento box and say hello to Soothistan!   


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Recommended Reading

Small Victories: The Real World of a Teacher, Her Students, and Their High School

Samuel Freedman writes beautifully about the experience of high school students at Seward Park on the Lower East Side in the late 1980’s.  This book is fabulous for understanding the lives of people different from yourself through deep and thoughtful reporting and narrative.  It will reawaken your belief in urban public schools, or perhaps awaken that belief for the first time.

Samuel Freedman is currently a professor at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

Link to Amazon to buy Small Victories.

Link to Samuel Freedman’s website.

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