Tuesday, November 08, 2011

In which tootsie rolls help me select a school board candidate

I was a bit late to the election day party and spent last night cramming about issues so I could vote with intelligence. The big issue for city council is water supply and I've been aware of the dam versus dredge debate for years and felt like I sided with the dredgers, although without taking a firm stance. In the end, for city council, I voted for two anti-dam candidates, both independents, and one pro-dam candidate, a democrat, because her argument in favor of the dam is the only one that makes sense to me (that it should confine development to Charlottesville's urban ring and leave rural Albemarle rural.) I know this particular candidate personally and I feel like she will do a good job. There are, of course, no republican candidates. This is Charlottesville.

For school board, we are allowed to vote for four of seven candidates. One candidate, Ivana Kadija, is running on a pro-health platform, which at first I thought was wack-a-do, but on reading further, I think what she says makes sense and I voted for her. She's tying the importance of good nutrition to academic performance and behavior. I read that the C'ville chief of police is interested in a nutrition plan for the middle school, which he seems to believe will lessen early juvenile criminal behavior. I think there's something to this. We all react to chemicals differently. As a nurse, I saw this all the time. To take a simple example, one patient can't look at a percocet tablet without retching, another can knock them back on an empty stomach and have no problem, and another will become intolerably itchy. The same chemical, three individual reactions to it. I know from personal experience that some children do behave differently when they consume certain food additives. Ian is extremely sensitive to chemicals. When he was in first grade, his teacher called me, shortly after Halloween, to say that she was concerned because his behavior had taken a sudden change for the worse. He was fine all morning, she said, but after lunch was wild and difficult. "After lunch" were the key words and I realized I had been putting two small tootsie rolls--leftover halloween candy--in his lunch box. Each tootsie roll is about an inch long, but this small amount of candy was turning my son into a monster in the afternoon. I stopped giving him the tootsie rolls and his behavior improved. Then there was a summer when I was so sick of my children's fighting and misbehavior that I banned all foods with artificial colors, and their behavior improved, a lot. I also like Kadija because she owns the Stork diaper service and I am a huge advocate for cloth diapers, or used to be when my kids were in diapers. I also voted for Jennifer McKeever, because she impresses me as being smart, open-minded, and reasonable. I was less invested in my other choices for school board, but tried to select candidates who expressed the most reasonable views about the BLAST inititiative, i.e. those who questioned it. I don't want blind followers of academic fads on the school board.

I'm kind of pleased with myself for leaving for work just ten minutes early, walking somewhat out of my way to Clark Elementary, our polling place, voting, then walking all the way to work and still getting here by 8:00am.


  1. You forgot to mention a fourth reaction to Percocet: Terrible insomnia and out of control online shopping. ;-)

    I agree about the additives to food. I know how I feel if I have too much of anything -- sugar, fat, salt, etc. -- and if I have any chemical additives.

  2. Your dam election made the national news this morning! But they didn't give ANY details--so I didn't even know it was your city!
    Ah, I love how you vote. I vote the same way.

  3. Nutrition for our kids is becoming an increasing concern, especially as the global financial crisis seems to be getting worse. Many of our kids are coming to school without having had any breakfast and with maybe only a biscuit for their lunch.
    Some concerned locals and teachers got together to provide a basic breakfast (Weetabix and some fruit) for some of our kids, combining it with early morning exercises, sports training and even some homework help.
    They're all in and working by 6:30 in the morning, well before the rest of us.
    It's being a big help to these kids, many of whom have had a major positive behaviour change, mostly I think, because they're not hungry in class anymore.

    Idiosyncratic reactions to medications can be quite odd. I don't suffer from any (as far as I know), but my Beloved once took some DF118 (when she was hospitalised for a collapsed spinal disk) and promptly began seeing dragons, dwarfs, "things" and began speaking to them. It took about 12 hours for the hallucinations to completely disappear, and she's never taken that particular analgesic again. Pity, it was quite amusing really.

    Well done on participating in democracy, even if you couldn't vote Republican

  4. Where I live there would be no Democrats on the ballot . . . so sad. Sometimes I imagine the comments people must make about all my liberal bumper stickers as I drive around this conservative region.