Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

poem- hockey players November 23, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:28 pm
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One by one

the hockey players walked past

assorted young men in suits

older men in team jackets

family and friends trailing behind.

The Chicago Blackhawks lost to

the Vancouver Canucks tonight.

There was no celebration in the lobby

as they filed by.

Some people were excited,

but since I don’t watch hockey,

they didn’t impress me.

They were just well dressed young men,

less well dressed older men

and dejected friends and family,

hanging out in the hotel.


birthday invocation February 22, 2012

Filed under: Rotary,Rotary invocations — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:55 pm
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February 23rd is the birthday of Rotary. Paul Harris, was 37 when he gathered some professional connections and they formed the world’s first service club in Chicago in 1905.

Service is action in support of others.  A small action can make a difference.  It isn’t about glamour; it’s about need.  A toilet is a rather basic thing, but  the simple addition of  public toilets in down town Chicago in 1907 surely offered  the blissful relief of basic urgencies for many a person!

Let us remember that service is about meeting the  needs of others, and that when we serve those needs, we can provide blissful relief at the most basic level.  Let us be thankful we have the means and ability to change lives with our most simple service.

© Shawn Bird 2012.  Free use within Rotary.  Please credit Shawn’s authorship, and leave a message in the Comment area below explaining when and where you used her words.  Thanks!

school lunch May 15, 2011

Filed under: Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 4:56 pm
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Topic #112: Should schools control what kids eat for lunch?

When I see the amount of garbage left after kids’ lunches with all the small packages of crackers, cheese, fruit rollups, cookies, etc. I am inclined to think there are a lot better ways to do this whole ‘school lunch’ thing. Ways that are healthier for kids, and better for the environment as well.

 When I was an exchange student in Finland, I was particularly impressed at how lunches were provided. We sat at a couple of different seatings depending on our schedule. One entré was provided with a variety of milks (skim, 2%, homogenized, and buttermilk) plus rye bread slices, fruits and vegetables. The meals were fine, made up traditional Finnish foods.  Potatoes, meats, soups, stews.  They weren’t horrible, they weren’t great. To be honest, I have very little memory of what the school lunches were, except that I know they occasionally served maksalaatiko (liver casserole) a dish I loathed, so when it was on the menu and Langinkoski Rotary met, I would go there for lunch! As well, I remember the day that they served blood pancakes, because the whole lunch room turned to watch me attempt to eat them… (I couldn’t do it. I only managed one bite). There was very little packaging waste involved in these meals, and the garbage was mostly compostable left overs.  It was companionable dining with friends in the bright lunch room. 

The word ‘control’ in this prompt is interesting. It has to do with the Chicago school district that is banning junk food. This is old news around here in BC. Already pop and fried foods have been removed from all our school cafeterias and vending machines. Healthy options replace them and no one seems to miss them. Many of our schools are on a healthy snack program that delivers fruits and vegetables to the schools every month. Kids get BC produce like pears, baby cukes, grape tomatoes, and apples. We distribute them in our classes, and kids munch away while they read or work.  The baked French fries taste just the same as the deep fried ones.  Who knew?  Canadians don’t tend to object to legislating lifestyle, which tends to make Americans bristle a bit.

I don’t like to see that so few of my students actually bring lunch. The girls in particular are apt to go without, and when queried will say that ‘they’re not hungry.’ Most of them as 12 and 13 year old are already afraid of getting fat from eating too much. However, on days when we have hot lunch brought in, most of them eat eagerly, so I am inclined to think that if every school had a lunch room and served a healthy hot lunch each day, the kids would enjoy it.

I’m all for adopting the Finnish model, and training our kids for a lifetime of healthy eating.


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