Zoe: Mom, I need to eat SPAM and turnips for two days.Right? Which teacher in their right mind sends out an assignment like that? Apparently, it was for history class. Zoe went on to explain that they were covering World War I and that during that time soldiers could only eat SPAM and turnips.
Me: SPAM and turnips? That's it?
Me: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner SPAM and turnips?
Me: Snack SPAM and turnips
Zoe: It's for extra credit.
Me: What the heck? Who assigns something like that?
Something didn't sound right there, so I turned to my phone and looked up when SPAM was invented. And when was that? 1937. Well beyond the WWI years.
Zoe: I know when World War I was, Mom. 1914 to 1918. And I know we're studying World War I, so there must be a reason. I think SPAM is similar to something they ate.*What does that even mean, she'd make it worth it?
Me: Fine. I can get the food. And how many points will this assignment be?
Zoe: The teacher didn't say, but she did say she'd make it worth it.
After speaking with Zoe a little longer, I began to get angry about the assignment, mainly for two reasons:
- What is the point of making my child eat SPAM and turnips and nothing else (except for tea) for two days. What benefit does she get from it? Aside from realizing that she shouldn't take food for granted--something I can teach her at home.
- How can the teacher count that as a fair assignment? Not all children can go home and ask their parents--who might be living paycheck to paycheck--to spend money on food that isn't in the budget.
Of course, the fact that SPAM is completely unhealthy also made my blood boil, but Zoe was adamant. She wanted to do the assignment.
Here we are, over a week later. Zoe still doesn't know how many points she received from that asinine assignment. What she does know is that she won't eat SPAM or turnips again if she can help it.
*Soldiers during WWI ate a tinned meat, called bully beef. Reports say it was similar to corned beef and that the bread they ate eventually was made from ground turnips. Hence the food choices.