Thursday, October 27, 2005
Survival Happy Hour
MRE #18, Cajun Rice, Beans, and Sausage
My little brother's school in Kiln, Mississippi (often pronounced "The Kill") had 3000 kids in it, for three grades. The school he's in now in North Carolina has a little over 500, for the same three grades.
In The Kill the school bus was so crowded that kids often had to sit on the floor. In North Carolina my brother has the choice of a bus, or three helpful grown-ups to drive him...
In The Kill he couldn't bring his books home, since he had to share them with other students, as many as three per book. In North Carolina he has his own books, they even gave him a book bag to carry them around in, and a tutor to help him catch up on all the work he missed after Katrina.
In The Kill he never had a locker, because the school charged $50 a month for the use of one. In North Carolina he has his own locker, and they even gave him a new combination lock for it.
Mississippi public schools are ranked 47th in the nation. North Carolina's, 25th.
My little brother doesn't want anybody in their new town to know he's a Katrina survivor. He wants to be normal, like any teen. In school yesterday the teacher decided to have a show and tell with my brother's class, and show them what it was like to eat MREs, like the Katrina people have been, many still are. My brother sank in his chair. I don't know if the teacher was doing this for his benefit, to try to make him feel "understood." At least he wasn't singled out to actually prepare the MREs from long experience.
He said the kids had great fun playing with the food. It was very entertaining for them, and many expressed a desire to eat them all the time. I thought, let's not have a half-ass lesson, right? To get the full effect of your MRE it should be eaten in the dark. Please turn the heat up to 97 degrees, and the humidity up to swampy. Make sure there are at least ten hungry mosquitoes per student, and ensure that the students slept on an army cot in a tent for the past two weeks, unsure of if their friends are alive or dead. Potty breaks should be in the woods out back. And before they eat, let them take a field trip to where they lived and find everything they ever owned scattered for miles, wet, and eaten with mold.
My brother's in good hands in North Carolina. He'll get a better education. He'll make good friends, who don't have any traumatic stress disorders. But, I can't get a couple things out of my mind. One, at least the kids in The Kill know where he's coming from. Two, the kids in The Kill deserve to have what he's got right now. And they deserved to have it before Katrina.
Posted by clayton cubitt at 4:56 AM