Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "By the People's Voices"

This poem is spillover from the March 6, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] mashfanficchick. It also fills the "short temper" square in my 2-28-19 card for the Meet Ugly Bingo Fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Officer Pink thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.


"By the People's Voices"

[Sunday, March 1, 2015]

Milosh Begolli strolled along
the wide sidewalk that connected
the Garden Square Public Housing Project
with the Arthurian Theater on the next block,
taking care to keep pace with Dawson Wallace
rolling along beside him in a wheelchair.

As the two of them approached
the Garden Basket Food Pantry,
Milosh asked, "Want some snacks?"

"Sure, I've still got punches," Dawson said.

The Basket served primarily people in
public housing, either Garden Square or
neighboring apartments. Because space was
tight, a weekly food box for one person came with
a card good for extra fresh foods such as snack packs.
That made it easier to get fruits and vegetables that
wouldn't otherwise fit into their tiny homes.

As they went in, they could see the shelves
of baked goods -- both men had already gotten
their perishable package for the week -- and
pots of tulips labeled Gardening Class Perk
with a rack of brochures for class times.

Milosh grabbed a brochure and
passed one to Dawson. "Here,"
he said. "We put in our garden?"

"Yeah, I love tulips," Dawson agreed.

They waved their cards at the greeter,
then headed back to the distribution area.

A lidded tray held an assortment of
gummy snacks made from fruit juice.
Milosh hesitated over them, struggling
to read the sign propped behind the tray.

"It says that customers can take one of
each flavor, if you push a button for how well
you like the taste," Dawson said helpfully.

"What tastes?" Milosh wondered.

"The clear ones are spicy lemonade,
the orange ones are strawberry lemonade,
the pink ones are pink grapefruit, and
the green ones are vegetable --
all organic," Dawson said.

"Strawberry," Milosh said. "You?"

"Grapefruit, please," said Dawson,
and Milosh handed him one.

"Oh, that's good!" they chorused,
and both pushed the happy face.

They checked the current menu
for snacks and made their selections.
At the snack counter Milosh said, "I want
Red Pepper and Watermelon Cup and
Ras el Hanout Popcorn, please."

"I'd like an Egg and Cheese Protein Pack
and Garlic Parmesan Popcorn," said Dawson.
"We're going to the Arthurian Theater to see
The Blue Collar Boys. It sounds interesting."

"It's cool if you like old shows," the server said.
"I have a best-of sampler on DVD at home."

"Yeah, my grandparents used to watch
reruns of that all the time," Dawson said.
"I only remember a few bits, though."

"I want to know America's past," Milosh said.
"Not just what they tell us in school, but
culture things that everybody knows.

Not knowing the stuff that everyone else
seemed to understand made him feel
left out, and he hated feeling that way.

The server put their snacks on
the counter and stamped their cards,
showing how many of their allotted extras
they had used and how many items they
would need to bring back for reuse
in order to earn their weekly perk.

Milosh tried hard to bring back
all of his, because then he got
an extra package of meat or
a piece of exotic produce.

Dawson stopped at the counter
for drinks to order himself a cup
of Cucumber-Ginger Juice.

Milosh headed straight for
the self-serve beverage station,
which always had coffee going
and plenty of hot water for tea.

Underneath was a drawer with
all flavors of tea and creamers.
He picked out an American brand of
spiced black tea, Constant Comment,
that he had really grown to love.

Milosh added a packet of
vitamin powder, because he
never knew if he was getting
quite the right things to eat --
American food was so different.

"Want one?" he said, flicking
a finger over the packets.

"Nah, I already got a scoop
of Macro Greens in this,"
Dawson said, flourishing
the drink in his hand.

"I carry?" Milosh offered,
holding out a cardboard tray.

"Yeah, thanks," Dawson said,
loading his items onto it.

"Time?" Milosh asked as
they headed outside, with
Dawson opening the door
since Milosh's hands were full.

Dawson checked his vidwatch.
"Ten minutes to show time, but
it's only a block. Just don't dawdle."

It didn't take them long to get there,
and they joined a steady trickle of
other people -- although they saved
time because they already had snacks.

Most of the folks were stopping at
the concession carts in the parking lot,
one for food and one for beverages.

The Arthurian Theater didn't have
a permanent concession stand full of
sodas and junk food. Instead, it allowed
food carts and food trucks to set up outside
in exchange for a cut of their profits.

Inside, the theater was busy but
not quite full, and when people saw
Dawson they readily made way.

Milosh smiled as they took their places.
One perk about going to the theater
along with Dawson was getting
a front-row seat beside him.

The wooden stage rose up
in front of them, and behind
that, the white movie screen.

A colorful mural stretched above it,
with a bridge, courtiers, and a castle.

"Can you read it yet?" Dawson asked.

Milosh had been practicing. "Tell me
the story of King Arthur ... of Camelot ...
of wild things ..." he sounded out laboriously.

"Hey, you're getting the hang of this,"
Dawson said, clapping him on the shoulder.

"Thank you," Milosh said. He handed over
Dawson's snacks and dug into his own.
The spicy popcorn was quite delicious.

The screen was showing a mix
of trailers for upcoming shows,
community service announcements,
commercials for DVDs, and interludes.

When a chair yoga routine came on,
Milosh grinned, because he could
follow along with that even if he
didn't understand all the words.

He breathed in and out, shook
his arms, and rolled his shoulders.
The gentle motions helped him relax.

Then the reel switched to a commercial
from the 1950s, advertising laundry soap.
A short newsclip followed it. Dawson had
explained that these were meant to help
the audience think of the time when
the show had first appeared.

Milosh keyed his vidwatch,
silencing its sounds but enabling
the feature that let him timestamp
events so he could look them up later.

He watched a stream of pictures
flow past in the opening, too fast
for him to recognize anything.

Then the camera panned over
Chicago of 1877 -- which was
an ugly gray mess -- and zoomed
in on a block of tenements where
a beer garden had sprung up
on New Year's eve, courtesy
of the German immigrants.

The Poles, Lithuanians,
and Irish held their own, since
most of the buildings held people
of the same background, even in
the aftermath of the Great Fire
that left everyone scrambling for
whatever housing they could find.

The tumble of different languages
all mixed together made Milosh smile,
remembering the sounds of Europe.
America was different -- especially,
the slow, soft drawl of Bluehill was
a long way from the Chicago yap.

The beer flowed freely, and with it,
people who wouldn't typically talk
to each other got together to brag.

Mantas Pisula was a Lithuanian immigrant.
He had just recently landed a new job at
the Lithuanian-language newspaper Draugas --
not writing it, but maintaining the printing presses.
It paid better than many other jobs in the city.

Wiktor Gwózdek had come over from Poland
in search of work, and found a job expanding
the railroads for decent pay. He took great pride
in his work and insisted that trains would shape
the future of America for many years to come.

Hermann Bader, the son of German parents,
had gotten a job with sewer system as it grew
to support the new bath houses springing up
around the city. It didn't pay much, and
he hated it, but he still claimed that it
was better than anyone else's job.

They started arguing about work
and who had the best position.

Milosh had to key his vidwatch
again and again, because he had
trouble tracking why the men
got so upset with each other.

When their tempers wore thin,
Mantas pulled out a deck of cards
and proposed playing poker for pebbles.

They were deeply caught in the game
when a redheaded teen came up and
introduced himself as Hugh O'Leary --
"Not those O'Learys! We're from
down in Rosscarbery, and they're
from up in Inchigeelagh!"

His uncle the fire chief had
just gotten him a job working
for the Chicago Fire Department.
It paid well, and he was excited
to begin work in the next few days.

Grudgingly but unanimously,
the older men agreed that Hugh
had the most respectable job.

Mantas dealt him into the game
just as the end credits rolled.

"What did you think?" Dawson said
as they headed out to the lobby.

"Good show," Milosh said.
"Hard to understand, though."

"Okay, tell me what you didn't get
and I'll try to explain," Dawson said
as they claimed a table to eat
the rest of their snacks.

Automatically Milosh
pulled out a chair so that
Dawson could roll in.

"Why so argue?" he said.
"Mantas, Wiktor, Hermann --
everybody got good jobs."

Milosh knew what it was like
to have nothing. People should
be grateful for what they had.

"So much arguing," Dawson said.
"Well, they argued because some of
those jobs really were better than others.
That's a key to the whole series -- I can
remember that from overhearing it while
my grandparents watched it. They would
argue right along too! But as things unfold,
you'll see who wins and who loses out."

Milosh nodded. "I like. I want
to see more," he said, smiling.

"Yeah, me too," said Dawson.
"There are discussion forums, if
you want to practice your English
talking about the show. Here."

He showed Milosh his smartphone
with the Arthurian Theatre website
and its forum section. Then he paged
to a set of discussion questions.

"It looks like some people have
already posted," Dawson said.
"I should get on there later, too.
I like the characters, even if they're
all funny in an old-fashioned way."

"I like old," Milosh said, munching
on a sweet spear of watermelon.
He loved the juiciness of the fruit
after the spicy popcorn. "History?
Yes, that. America from before."

"It sure is that," Dawson said.
"So what else tripped you?"

Milosh looked at his feet, then
remembered the English slang.

"Hugh's job," he said. "Why better?
Everyone agreed he won. Why?
Not such different work, really."

"Ah, but you have to remember --
The Blue Collar Boys is set just
a few years after the Chicago Fire,"
Dawson said, waving a cheese slice
at him. "So that makes everyone
look up to firefighters for a while."

"Ahh," Milosh said. "Respect!
Like that song on the radio."

"Yeah, that's a classic too,"
Dawson said. "You got
good ears, Milosh."

"I try to listen, but ...
English is hard,"
Milosh said. "I want
to understand more.
Why Americans love
television? They talk
about it more than voting."

"All the big revolutions, whether
it's the Industrial Revolution or
the Arab Spring, those changes
happened because of economic
and social shifts brought about by
the people's voices, and those things
weren't voted for," Dawson explained.
"Most of our changes today come
from technology, not from voting."

Milosh stabbed the air with
a red pepper spear. "Yes!"
he said. "That is what I
want. The people's voices!
They lift up the cities."

"They build up the cities,
unless you're talking about
enlightenment," Dawson said.
"That's a theme throughout
the whole eastern genre, and
it's the opposite of the westerns.
I took a couple of classes on those
in college, before -- Before."

His face fell, and Milosh
remembered that a car crash
had wrecked Dawson's body
and his college career with it.

"You watched shows for class?"
Milosh asked, fascinated. He
hoped it wouldn't upset Dawson.

"Yes. You know Media Studies
is a major, right?" said Dawson.
"I only took a few classes, but
you can get a degree in it."

"Degree is how hot oven is,"
Milosh said, frowning at him.

"That's a different kind of degree,"
Dawson said. "This kind is a paper
that tells people you know things."

"Oh," Milosh said. "What does
yours say that you know?"

"Nothing," Dawson said grimly.
"I had to drop out before I
could finish anything."

"So sad," Milosh said.
"You were working on ...?"

"Sport Management, with a minor
in Media Studies," Dawson said.
"I planned to get through college
on a basketball scholarship,
then take up announcing."

"Voice still works,"
Milosh pointed out.

"Yeah, I guess,"
Dawson said, looking
away from Milosh. Then
he looked back. "You
could go, though."

Milosh shivered.
"Too many people."

"I know you're not
fond of crowds, but
you're getting better,"
Dawson replied.

"Still can't read,
can barely talk!"
Milosh protested.

"You would need
some accommodations,"
Dawson said. "Teachers
could help you learn better."

"Help you too," Milosh said.

"Nobody can fix what's wrong
with me," Dawson said.

"So?" Milosh said.
"Still need a job."

"I know, I know,"
Dawson said.

"You go, I go,"
Milosh proposed.
"One class. Maybe
summer? They
put a flyer."

"I saw that, for
the free classes,"
Dawson said. "Those
don't count for credits,
though, just for fun."

"So? Good practice,"
Milosh said. "You and I
make good team, Dawson."

Both of them had been in
pretty bad shape back
when they first met, but
they had already come
a long way since then.

Milosh was learning English,
and Dawson helped him
with the cultural stuff.

Dawson got around fine
in his wheelchair, and Milosh
helped him with the things
that he still struggled to do.

"I guess you're right,"
Dawson said, looking
startled. "Okay, you're on.
Let's go home and grab
one of those flyers
to pick out a class."

"Yes, we go now."
Milosh shoved the last of
his watermelon in his mouth
and wiped off the tabletop.

They were going to listen
to the people's voices.

* * *

Notes:

Milosh Begolli -- He has olive skin, brown eyes, and short curly black hair. He wears a short mustache and beard. He is small and wiry. He speaks Albanian well and English badly. He has dyslexia, bad enough to make him illiterate. Born in Kosovo, he lived with his family who hid him from the government which treats disabled people very badly. After his relatives were killed in the war, Milosh fled and eventually made his way to America. Now he lives in the Garden Square Public Housing Project in Bluehill, Missouri, where he has the upper right unit on the site map. Unable to work a regular job yet, he volunteers with the Snowbirds and other organizations.
Qualities: Good (+2) Community Spirit, Good (+2) Endurance, Good (+2) Existential Intelligence, Good (+2) Moderate Muslim, Good (+2) Survival Skills
Poor (-2) Traumatized Refugee

In the European refugee crisis, Kosovo is the second-highest source after Syria. It is notorious for mistreating people with disabilities. However, its people are distinctly moderate Muslims. The official language is Albanian.


Dawson Wallace -- He has fair skin, brown eyes, and short curly brown hair. A car accident left him with spinal damage and partial paralysis, so he uses a wheelchair. That accident also contributed to him washing out of Bouchet College, and he still feels bad about that. Dawson is still lively and athletic, though, and enjoys wheelchair basketball. He lives in Bluehill, Missouri in the Garden Square Public Housing Project. His unit is second from the top on the right side of the site map, and he shares a private garden with his neighbor Milosh Begolli. Dawson's sincerity makes him popular in the neighborhood.
Qualities: Good (+2) Athletic, Good (+2) Kinesthetic Intelligence, Good (+2) Neighbor, Good (+2) Sincerity
Poor (-2) Failed College

Major in Media Studies at Bouchet College
At Bouchet College in Bluehill, the Media Studies minor is similar to the major at Berkeley. Note that Berkeley courses average 4 credits while Bouchet courses average 3 credits. Also T-American students can choose an extended major by taking extra courses from the list of options. The major at Bluehill adds:
Core
Media Studies 130: Research Methods in Media Studies
Media Studies 104A: Freedom of Speech and the Press
... Media Studies 104B: History of Journalism
OR
... Information 103: History of Information
Media Studies 104D: Privacy in the Digital Age

Ethnicity in Film
African American Studies 142AC: Race and American Film
OR
Ethnic Studies 122AC: Ethnicity and Race in Contemporary American Films
And any TWO from the following list:
African American Studies 142A: Third World Cinema
Anthropology 138A: History and Theory of Ethnographic Film
Asian American Studies 171: Asian Americans in Film and Video
Chicano Studies 135A: Latino Narrative Film: to the 1980s
Chicano Studies 135B: Latino Narrative Film Since 1990
Chicano Studies 135C: Latino Documentary Film
Chinese 172: Contemporary Chinese Language Cinema
Italian Studies 170: The Italian Cinema: History, Genres, Authors
Italian Studies 175: Film and Literature (in English)
Japanese 185: Introduction to Japanese Cinema
Korean 187: History and Memory in Korean Cinema
Korean 188: Cold War Culture in Korea: Literature and Film
Native American Studies 158: Native Americans and the Cinema

Special Identities in Media
Media Studies 120: Development of Identity Cinema (T-American)
And any ONE from the following list:
Disability Studies 150: Disabilities in Film (T-American)
Gender and Women’s Studies 125: Women and Film
Gender and Women's Studies 140 Feminist Cultural Studies
Gender and Women's Studies C146B: Cultural Representations of Sexualities: Queer Visual Culture
Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Studies C146B: Cultural Representations of Sexualities: Queer Visual Culture
Media Studies 191: Special Topics in Identity Media (all topics)
Political Science 106A: American Politics: Campaign Strategy—Media

Global Media
Interdisciplinary Studies Field Major 100H: Introduction to Media and International Relations
OR
Media Studies 160: International Media
And any ONE from the following list:
Anthropology 156B: Culture and Power
Anthropology 166: Language, Culture and Society
Geography C152: Multicultural Europe
Political Science 164A: Political Psychology and Involvement
Psychology 160 or N160: Social Psychology
Psychology 166AC: Cultural Psychology

Media in the Information Age
African American Studies C134: Information Technology and Society
And any ONE from the following list:
Anthropology C136K: Who Owns the Past? Cultural Heritage in a Digital Age
Information C167: Virtual Communities/Social Media
Media Studies 165: Internet and Culture
Rhetoric 114: Rhetoric of New Media
Sociology 166: Society and Technology
Sociology C167: Virtual Communities/Social Media
Theater, Dance and Performance Studies 118AC: Performance, Television, and Social Media

ONE more approved upper-division elective from the original list.
Media Studies 123: Sports on the Air (T-American)
Media Studies 130: The Making of America: Easterns (T-American)
Media Studies 131: The Making of America: Westerns (T-American)

Taking all four of the business courses will earn a Concentration in Media Business:
Undergraduate Business Administration 106: Marketing
Undergraduate Business Administration 160: Consumer Behavior
Undergraduate Business Administration 165: Advertising Strategy
Undergraduate Business Administration C172: History of American Business


Here is a major in Sport Management with curriculum requirements and course descriptions.

Bouchet College further requires that students participate in at least two different sports. They do not have to be any good at the sport, just try it out. (Because the sports do not have to cost money or be graded, the rule against no-credit course requirements does not apply. The purpose is merely to ensure that students have some experience actually participating in sports.) The sports can be individual or team. Students may participate on campus through a Sport Club, Intramural Sport, or Varsity Sport; or off campus through another opportunity with advisor permission. Varsity or Intramural players often stick with a single sport and take one semester of something else during its off season. Other students often explore multiple sports. Dawson played varsity basketball for three semesters. He also belonged to the Cycling Club. During summer after his freshman year, he tried hot air ballooning, but was terrified of it and quickly dropped the class. The next summer, he played Grubstakes and loved that.

Already taken:
ACCT 200. INTRODUCTORY ACCOUNTING—FINANCIAL. (Freshman Spring)
SPM 200. INTRODUCTION TO SPORT MANAGEMENT. (Freshman Spring)
MKT 220 (Freshman Fall)
MGT 210. ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT. (Sophomore Fall)
SPM 280. SUPERPOWERS IN SPORT. (Sophomore Fall)
SPM 290. SPORT MANAGEMENT SEMINAR. (Freshman Fall)
SPM 316. DESCRIBING SPORTS: SPORT WRITING. (Sophomore Fall)
SOCL 324. SOCIOLOGY OF SPORT. (Sophomore Fall)

At the time of Dawson's accident during his sophomore year, he had just completed SPM 316. DESCRIBING SPORTS: SPORT WRITING in fall, and was enrolled in SPM 317. DESCRIBING SPORTS: SPORT ANNOUNCING for spring but had not yet begun the class.

SPM 316. DESCRIBING SPORTS: SPORT WRITING. (3) Prerequisites: SPM 315. Students will learn how to write about various sports and will submit articles to the campus newspaper and websites. (T-American)

SPM 317. DESCRIBING SPORTS: SPORT ANNOUNCING. (3) Prerequisites: SPM 315 and 316. Students will learn how to narrate various sports during live events and will practice on campus games. For those who wish to narrate sports not offered on campus, the professor will assist in finding off-campus opportunities to practice for extra credit. The total number of required on-campus events may be reduced to one of each sport type occuring while class is in session, with the remainder to be replaced by off-campus events. (T-American)

Bouchet College upholds traditionally black sports such as baseball, basketball, boxing, football, track and field. Their basketball, track and field teams tend to come out on top. It also promotes traditionally upper-class sports such as equestrianism, fencing, golf, hot air ballooning, polo, sailing, tennis, and wingsuiting. Their dressage and balloon racing teams are exceptional. Other sports include archery, cycling, dance (ballet, ballroom, jazz, step, tap, and swing), martial arts (Brazilian jiu jitsu, capoeira, karate, and mixed), paintball (individual and team), soccer, swimming and diving, and volleyball.

Bouchet College has Intramural Sports including 4v4 flag football, basketball including 3-point challenge, canoe racing, marathon, obstacle courses including Grubstakes, outdoor volleyball, raquetball, soccer, and softball.

Bouchet College has Varsity Sports including baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross country, golf, football, polo, tennis, track and field, volleyball.


Disability Studies Minor at Bouchet College

CORE COURSES (5 courses):
A. UGIS 110: Introduction to Disability Studies
B. African-American Studies 113: Disability in Black Culture (T-American)
C. English 135AC: Race, Ethnicity, and Disability in Literature
OR
English 175: Literature and Disability
OR
English 180A: Disability Memoir
D: City and Regional Planning 120: Community Planning and Public Policy for Disability
OR
Anthropology 189: Special Topics/Cultural Anthropology: Disability, Ethnography and Design
E: Public Health 232: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (T-American)
OR
Public Health 233: Practical Inclusivity (T-American)
OR
Public Health 234: Common Accommodations (T-American)
These courses may also be used for electives.

APPROVED ELECTIVES (2 courses):
UGIS 220: Superdisempowers (T-American)
History 317: Inclusive Pirates of the Past (T-American)
History 477: Galvarino and the Founding of Araucanía (T-America)
At least one upper-division course must be taken for a grade.


Dawson's schedule so far:
Bouchet Core 100: Welcome to Bouchet (Freshman Fall, 1 credit M)
Media Studies 104A: Freedom of Speech and the Press (Freshman Fall 3 credits MWF)
Interdisciplinary Studies Field Major 100H: Introduction to Media and International Relations (Freshman Fall 3 credits TuTh)
Media Studies 130: The Making of America: Easterns (T-American) (Freshman Fall 3 credits Fnight)
MKT 220 (Freshman Fall MWF)
SPM 290. SPORT MANAGEMENT SEMINAR. (Freshman Fall 3 credits TuTh)
Bouchet Core 101: Historically Black Colleges (Freshman Spring 1 credit M)
Media Studies 104B: History of Journalism (Freshman Spring 3 credits MWF)
Media Studies 104D: Privacy in the Digital Age (Freshman Spring 3 credits MWF)
Media Studies 131: The Making of America: Westerns (T-American) (Freshman Spring 3 credits Fnight)
ACCT 200. INTRODUCTORY ACCOUNTING—FINANCIAL. (Freshman Spring 3 credits TuTh)
SPM 200. INTRODUCTION TO SPORT MANAGEMENT. (Freshman Spring 3 credits TuTh)
Historical Inquiry: Slavery (Sophomore Fall 3 credits MWF)
Media Studies 130: Research Methods in Media Studies (Sophomore Fall 3 credits MWF)
MGT 210. ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT. (Sophomore Fall 3 credits MWF)
SPM 280. SUPERPOWERS IN SPORT. (Sophomore Fall 2 hours TuTh)
SPM 316. DESCRIBING SPORTS: SPORT WRITING. (Sophomore Fall 3 credits TuTh)
SOCL 324. SOCIOLOGY OF SPORT. (Sophomore Fall 3 credits TuTh)

At the time of Dawson's accident during his sophomore year, he had just completed SPM 316. DESCRIBING SPORTS: SPORT WRITING in fall, and was enrolled in SPM 317. DESCRIBING SPORTS: SPORT ANNOUNCING for spring but had not yet begun the class.

* * *

"All the big revolutions, whether it's the Industrial Revolution, the Arab Spring, those changes happened by economic and social shifts brought about by the people's voices, and those things weren't voted for. Most of our changes today are brought about through technology, not by voting."
-- Lupe Fiasco

The Garden Square Public Housing Project has 12 units, 2 of them ADA units, each housing one resident. The two taller buildings are apartment buildings. The small square building is a community clinic. On this site map, Milosh Begolli has the upper right unit. Dawson Wallace has the ADA unit just below that. This floor plan shows one standard unit and part of the adjacent ADA unit. The bathroom in the ADA units has the sink and toilet on opposite walls, and the whole space is a roll-in shower room -- one of the few designs where accessible facilities take up no extra space. See cross-sections showing the bathroom and the kitchen inside the outer walls. The kitchen includes a microwave oven overhead, a sink, and a minifridge in a cabinet under the counter. The bathroom is on the right. The living area includes a table with two chairs and a couch/bed. Each private garden is shared by two units. This encourages people to make friends with their neighbors, without overwhelming them with a large group. The central square includes a campfire barbecue and a picnic table to encourage socializing among residents.

Public housing is mostly a mess in local-America but somewhat better in Terramagne-America. One excellent approach is small-scale projects, also called scattered site housing. This minimizes the problems of concentrated poverty, while making it easier for residents to form a community with a manageable group of neighbors rather than hundreds. With 12 units, an enclosed courtyard, and private gardens, the Garden Square Public Housing Project offers people a nice balance between solitude and socializing. Some cities have tried privatizing their housing projects instead. Affordable housing is a wider issue than just public housing. Here is a town plan and an example of public housing. Consider ways to improve public housing.


See the first floor plan and the second floor plan for the Garden Basket Food Pantry. The entry vestibule leads into the waiting area. The distribution area makes it easy to pick up food.

The Garden Basket Food Pantry serves primarily people in public housing, either the Garden Square Public Housing Project or neighboring apartments. Because space is at a premium, the Garden Square customers get a weekly box of food for one person, plus a card allowing them extra fresh foods such as snack packs and lunch boxes. This strongly incentivizes eating healthier foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, for people who might not be able to do it otherwise. They can also get one extra beverage per day from the premium category (milk, fruit, or vegetable) and unlimited amounts of coffee or tea.

This is a weekly food box for one person's nonperishables. The shopping list breaks down into subcategories. Some ingredients arrive every week -- canned vegetables dried fruit, pasta, etc. Hot and cold cereals alternate. Staples like sugar and cooking oil rotate among different items. The weekly perishables include a package of baked goods (loaf of bread, buns, etc.), a quart of milk (dairy or nondairy), and a package of protein (4 eggs, 1 pound meat, 1 pound tofu, etc.).

Here is the weekly food box for one person's fresh produce (in this case: 1 pound green beans, 1 squash, 3 apples, 4 peaches, 3 pears, 4 onions). This is enough for 1-2 pieces of fresh fruit per day, or for baking 1-2 recipes like apple cobbler or peach bread. The squash and green beans will make 1-2 servings each, while the onions get stretched out in soups, stir-fries, or salads.

While Garden Basket uses some disposable containers, most are recyclable or reusable. If you return all of your reusable containers in a week, you get an extra item: either meat (like a pound of ground beef) or exotic produce (like dragonfruit or rainbow potatoes).

This cooler for fresh side dishes includes fruit beverages, vegetable cups, yogurt parfaits, pudding cups, fruit salads, fruit cups, shredded vegetable salads, slaws, soups, and dips. These are the kinds of healthy foods that are difficult or impossible to make in a small kitchen or for one person because they require small amounts of multiple ingredients. This fridge holds fresh snacks. This one specializes in Eat the Rainbow; see a numbered guide to the contents. Here is a fridge for vegetarians and one for ovo-lacto vegetarians. These divisions make it easy to find the right foods for people and allow multiple employees to work nearby without getting in each other's way.

This drawer holds packets of tea and creamers. Constant Comment is a spiced tea.

Healthy beverages include things like agua fresca and cucumber drinks, like this Cucumber-Ginger Juice.

Alongside the beverage station is a selection of dietary supplements. EcoDrink Multivitamin Drink Mix flavors include Peach-Mango, Orange, Berry, or Blueberry-Pomegranate. Add-a-Boost comes in Vitamin, Immunity, or Energy. Quick Sticks offer Dream Team, Gut Check, Chill Factor, Pocket Protector, and Extra Batteries. The Macro Traveler pack includes Macro Green Packets, Miracle Reds Packets, MacroMeal Packets (Vegan or Omni) (vanilla or chocolate), and combo packs of Green and Reds.

Gummy Fruit Snacks are easy to make at home with any flavor of juice.

This type of customer feedback device has three faces (happy, neutral, and sad). It can be programmed to record responses for all kinds of questions.

Green restaurant supplies include carry-out trays.

Healthy snacks include plenty of protein. You can make your own protein snack boxes to mix and match. The Egg and Cheese Protein Pack is one type of protein bistro box.

Veggie snack packs include this jar of pepper and watermelon sticks.

Snack boxes can have all kinds of themes. Bento Beautiful boxes help you Eat the Rainbow.

Popcorn is a nutritious whole-grain food. Serving size is 3 cups. Healthy recipes for flavored popcorn include Ras el Hanout Popcorn and Garlic Parmesan Popcorn.


Unlike local-American theaters, the Arthurian Theater does not have a concession stand hawking large packages of junk food. Instead, they invite a healthy food cart or food truck to park out front, and they allow people to bring their own food. A lot of it comes from the Garden Basket Food Pantry nearby, due to heavy traffic from the Garden Square Public Housing Project.

See a cross-section of the Arthurian Theater. Here are the floor plans. The lobby has clusters of seating. The balcony looks down on the stage. There is accessible seating in the front row.


Gardening is good for mental health. It appears in various types of therapy, including for PTSD in refugees.

Intentional neighboring helps people think of themselves and others as capable, by emphasizing an exchange of favors rather than forcing people with special needs to take charity. This is much healthier for elders, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable residents.

Kosovo has interesting cuisine.

Wheelchair users need to take care with nutrition.

Interludes are like commercials, but not selling a product. They are produced by certain groups who buy advertising slots at the same rate as companies pay for ads, but instead of ads they put in something serene. Buddhist organizations have released brief meditations. Some other religions make pastiches based on a virtue or other idea. Yoga studios have demonstrated brief stretching routines. Nature organizations usually show wildlife imagery. It cuts down the amount of materialistic blare coming from the viewscreen. Interludes can appear during or between television shows, or before movies, but T-America does less advertising within programs.

The Blue Collar Boys is a 1950s soap opera about working-class men and their families during the industrial revolution. Set in Chicago beginning in 1877, it captures the tensions that erupt when some households catch the rising tide of prosperity while others get left behind. Episode 1 "Man of the House" introduces several key members of the male cast. Episode 2 "Remember the Ladies" does the same for female characters. The disjunction of the two acknowledges how separate the sexes often were in the past.

"I long to hear that you have declared an independancy [independence was declared the following July] and by the way in the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If perticuliar care and attention is not paid to the Laidies we are determined to foment a Rebelion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation."
-- "Remember the Ladies"

The Industrial Revolution plays a key role in many easterns, particularly the Second Industrial Revolution expanding technological systems such as railroads, sewers, and telegraphs.

Chicago tenements have evolved over time, especially right after the Great Fire. This picture shows a mix of brick and wood buildings. After the Great Fire of 1871, wood-frame buildings were banned in the core of the city and relegated to the outskirts. Many buildings were rebuilt with brick or stone instead. Inside of the tenements, many members of the same family -- or sometimes, unrelated groups of the same sex -- would crowd together into tiny apartments. They often supplemented day jobs with work done at home, as shown by this woman with her sewing machine. Even with a woodstove in the middle of the room, tenements were often cold. Here you can see people heavily dressed, and laundry drying overhead.

The demographics of Chicago include many immigrants such as Polish, German, Lithuanian, and Irish.

In T-America, the Lithuanian newspaper Draugas was launched in 1875 and remains a daily paper.

In The Blue Collar Boys, Mantas Pisula is a Lithuanian immigrant. He gets a job at the Lithuanian-language newspaper Draugas -- not writing it, but maintaining the printing presses. The job pays better than many others of the time.

Chigago used to offer public bath houses. See a map of them. In T-America, the first bath house in Chicago was built in 1872 -- as soon as possible after the fire, when everything was still either grimy with ash or reconstruction mess.

In The Blue Collar Boys, Hermann Bader is the son of German parents who gets a job with sewer system as it expands to support the new bath houses springing up around the city. It doesn't pay much, and he hates it, but it's a job. He claims that it's better than anyone else's job.

In The Blue Collar Boys, Wiktor Gwózdek is a Polish immigrant. He gets a job expanding the railroads. It pays decently and he is proud of his work.

Note that in L-America, the prevailing story behind the fire is a cow kicking over a lantern. In T-America, it was a group of Irish gangsters gambling in the barn, who started a brawl over their illegal game and knocked over a lantern as they fought.

In The Blue Collar Boys, Hugh O'Leary -- "Not those O'Learys! We're from down in Rosscarbery, and they're from up in Inchigeelagh!" -- is a boy of 17 who gets a job working for the Chicago Fire Department, courtesy of his uncle the fire chief. It pays well after the fire, which nobody wants to repeat, and everyone agrees it's the most respectable job.

Winterfest is a street holiday.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, entertainment, fantasy, fishbowl, history, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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