Every day should be a day to celebrate and appreciate teachers, but today's the official day to do so!
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Red was a straight-A student, so more often than not, the teacher's pet, while Black was, well, often a discipline problem, so it's no wonder that we'd think about teachers differently, or do we?
Growing up, teachers often asked Red if she was Black's younger sister, which was almost a "trick question" but she quickly learned which teachers she could be honest with and which ones the truth might put her at a disadvantage. Red, of course, would never lie, so instead would sidestep the issue by saying, "Funny, people have asked me that before." Lucky for Red, we had a common last name and didn't look at all alike.
But it's definitely safe to say that we never appreciated teachers as much as we did the first day we walked into a classroom at KIPP Houston High School as volunteer teachers. Black had committed us (that's a story onto itself) into developing – and teaching – a semester-long personal finance and Life 101 course for the senior class. And during the spring semester, no less. Talk about a tough audience!
Which is why Black left that day admitting that she owed every teacher she ever had an apology! And her respect and admiration for teachers only grew stronger. And why, many years later, as we celebrate teachers on National Teacher Day,
Teachers are the future of our children, and although I never fully appreciated what they did until I was standing in front of a classroom of students, I have always felt that we entrust our teachers with our children – our future – but do not always give them the resources and support they deserve, on top of them often being overworked and underpaid.
Red was always the appreciative student, and later the grateful parent, but after our detour into the world of education has a new perspective, and would love to see significant changes. Meanwhile, she's thrilled that there are so many ways that teachers can be celebrated and appreciated not only today and throughout Teacher Appreciation Week, but year-round. So, at the very least, send a note of thanks, in either your own words or, if you're one of those people that always feel that "someone else said it better", you can always "borrow" a teacher appreciation quote!
Empowering girls – one cookie at a time. Ok, maybe one box of cookies at a time.
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: It’s that time of year when many people’s New Year’s resolution of eating better is challenged by the arrival of Girl Scout cookies; something that poses a problem for Red, while for Black, it's an opportunity.
Red remembers growing up with Girl Scout cookies, with her favorite being shortbread (now known as the Trefoil), while hating (yes, it’s a strong word, but that’s how she feels about anything flavored with mint) Thin Mints. However, what she finds interesting is that as an adult, she’s been far more tempted by all the flavors (excluding anything mint, of course) even though she doesn’t consider herself a cookie person.
She bought last year’s “new” cookie, Adventurefuls, but was able to resist the brownie-based cookie with the center of caramel-flavored cream as she’s a brownie purist, but this year’s a very different story,
I’ve been doing so well getting back on track with healthy eating, but with the arrival of the Raspberry Rally, I could be in real trouble. A thin, crispy cookie infused with raspberry flavor, dipped in chocolaty coating, this is going to be almost impossible to resist. The good news is that it’s only available online as I always find it hard to resist all the Girl Scouts who “camp” out, pun intended, in front of my grocery store.
Black, who isn’t a fan of cookies or even sweets (unless you count sweet potatoes), buys a box of each flavor and immediately delivers them to the break room at her high-rise. Of course, she’ll ask the staff to let her know their favorite, but she won’t even try one cookie, not even in the interest of market research.
Black has always been fascinated by the history of the Girl Scout cookie and how a simple idea of selling cookies to finance troop activities has grown over 100+ years into an iconic and extremely successful way to raise funds. But, more importantly, it’s a powerful (and delicious) way for the girls to have fun while at the same time learning valuable business skills and life lessons. Which explains why Black always buys cookies, even if she doesn’t eat any,
Each year I seem to buy more cookies than the prior year since our local Girl Scout council has a program where you can buy cookies to be donated to military and first responders. It is a part of my “calorie free – for me” plan, as it is a great way to support the Girl Scouts and show appreciation for others because everyone loves Girl Scout cookies.
Whether you buy them as “thank you” gifts or just sweet treats for your family and friends (or yourself), please support your local Girl Scouts!
Two years ago, on MLK Day, Red learned the power and inspiration of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And the power of dreams. And as long as there's social unrest and social injustice in the United States (stop and think about the first word … as we’re supposed to be united), the more we can learn from him … as not only did he fight for equality for all, but his approach is proof of the power of peaceful protests.
For most of us, writing and delivering one powerful and/or inspiring thing would be a very difficult task. To be remembered for hundreds is truly amazing.
We grew up in New York, where bagels are almost sacred, but even though they may have started as a Jewish food in Europe, they’re now enjoyed by everyone everywhere (including Red and Black, but in very different ways) – why else would there be a National Bagel Day?
National holidays aren’t the time to count calories.
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: We both agree that happiness has a hole in it, although one of us may only eat one bagel a year while the other tries to keep it to only one bagel when she does indulge.
Red admits that although she knows bagels aren’t a healthy choice, she’ll occasionally treat herself, not only because they remind her of growing up in New York when almost every town on Long Island had at least one bagel shop, but because she loves whipped cream cheese almost as much as the fresh, squishy bagel on which she smears it. And while she was a fan of both cinnamon raisin and onion bagels as a kid, the introduction of the “Everything” bagel was a turning point. However, her all-time favorite is technically not a bagel, as it’s a bialy.
On the other hand, it only takes one look at Black’s “selfishly svelte figure” to know that she has the willpower to resist bagels (including her favorite, sesame) as well as all the other carbs that she loves, but when it comes to National Bagel Day and the “health” issues of bagels, she has an interesting perspective,
Bagels are one of life’s true culinary pleasures, often tied to wonderful memories, so you cannot always measure their value in terms of nutrition. But, when it comes to healthy eating, it might be interesting to remember that bagel-cutting injuries are common and result in thousands of people having to go to emergency rooms or urgent care centers … so, celebrate carefully.