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Entry 1 -- Education and Politics

It is Monday night and first night of the school year. I am making cabbage rolls because Orel and Oisin like them. Stasch would rather have hamburger, but if we had ground beef made in to burgers, it would be gone before either of the big boys had enough to eat. Besides, cabbage rolls are more interesting and taste better.

I stand at the table cutting the ground beef with rice and adding raisins and spices. No, these are not glumpkes. These are good cabbage rolls.

Orel comes up from the shop. He wants a break and has only a few night jobs to run which he'll run with Ronald who is out having dinner at the diner up the road. Ronald doesn't like to impose and is not fond of my cooking when it comes down to it. Ronald, is my boyfriend's partner. He's the R and R&O Printing.

Orel wants to read the paper, but I'm having Stasch read to me so he keeps up with the other first graders. Stasch may need medication, but he is certainly bright enough to be in regular classes with only one meeting with the special ed teacher each week.

Orel puts down the paper and tromps out of the kitchen. I see the living room light go on. I know what Orel is doing. "How is it?" I ask him.

Stasch looks up miffed from his reading which I interrupted. "The boys did a good job cleaning up in here," he answers and he heads down the hall to check on Oisin who is studying in his room where it is quiet. Oisin will eat dinner and the go back in to study some more. He studies whether he has homework or not. He studies unless he has something to fix. He studies too much, but they say you can't study too much. If Oisin can come through life without a wild youth like I had maybe it is a good thing.

Orel returns. He sits quietly until Stasch finishes reading. I'm rolling the cabbage rolls by then. Orel watches me. His previous wife did not make cabbage rolls and it fascinates him how I peel leaves from a frozen and defrosted cabbage.

"Ruth Goldfarb came by the shop," Orel begins.

"Ruth Goldfarb has too much time on her hands," I snap back.

"Did she talk to you?" asks Orel.


"What'd she talk about?"

"Getting a physics teacher and a French 4 Teacher and a teacher for AP French Lit-er-a-ture. I swear that woman has nerve coming out here from New York and thinking that our high school has to run like a fancy Eastern prep school. Why don't they send Joshua to a fancy Eastern prep school if that's what they want?"

"How much did she say all this would cost?"

"They'd raise the money through taxes. It's going to be a ballot initiative."

Orel raises his eyebrows. "You realize we have a customer for those teachers," he laughs. I roll another cabbage roll.

I try to picture Oisin speaking fluent French. The scarey thing is it just might be possible and physics is supposed to be good for engineering. "I told her I'd think about it," I say.

"What do you think?"

"Normally, I'd laugh but you know...with Oisin in the house, it might be different."

"I think the same thing. It feels weird to have people like the Goldfarbs consider us allies. I mean people like that just consider us hired help."

"They must be desperate."

"Nah...just smart. Joshua and Oisin are in a lot of the same classes."

"There's suppposed to be a meeting at her house Saturday night," I tell Orel. "Shall we go. We can leave Oisin to babysit for Stasch."

"You sound like your mind is made up."

"I'll probably hate myself for going, but I don't see much of a choice. Strange how this academic stuff pulls the wrong people together," I comment.

Orel nods.

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