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Monthly Archive for July, 2010

When World’s Collide

“Poverty is a veil that obscures the face of greatness.” -Kahlil Gibran

I work a few hours a week at a bodega near my house that specializes in local, organic produce, meats, and dairy. The job is great, the customers are amazing, and the discount really stretches my grocery budget.

It’s a small operation – the owner, me, another part-time girl, and a guy.  The owner, me, and the other girl are well-educated and from middle-class background. The guy is a high school drop-out and grew up in poverty that I can’t begin to comprehend. He’s a DC local. The rest of us are transplants.

A few days ago, we’d gotten in some new stock and the owner had left a list of the prices so someone could price them. The list looked something like this:

Angel Hair Pasta – 3.75
Spaghetti – ‘’
Rotini – 2.75
Bow Tie Pasta – ‘’

The guy did the pricing. We ended up with Angel Hair with a $3.75 price tag, Rotini with a $2.75 price tag, and Spaghetti and Bow Tie pasta with an $11 price tag.  No one could figure out why this stuff was priced at $11…until the owner realized that this guy didn’t know that the two apostrophes meant “the same price” and not “$11″.

No one teaches you that in school. There isn’t a class on stuff like this. People who grow up with educated, middle class parents don’t think twice about what those two apostrophes mean. It’s one of the many, many little things that can separate the “haves” from the “have nots.”


Book Club

I realize the Book Club has essentially been on hiatus for the summer.  Although I said I was going to post about “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”, after discussing with other people, I think I’m going to move the whole thing back until September. With everything going on in my life in August, there is no way I am going to have time to get anything together.

So we will discuss “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” on September 24th. That gives you all plenty of time to read. The book for October will be “Nudge” by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein.

I am going to put a poll up for the entire month of August so people can vote on what books they want to read next. To see what we have been reading, check out the archives.




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