Pleasant Hill, Missouri            Wednesday, December 27, 2017             ©2017 Pleasant Hill Times

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How was the pudding?

..,One of the joys of travel is experiencing new sights, new cultures, different languages and most importantly, different foods.
..,My wife and I were fortunate to have been able to travel around the U.S. and even overseas after our daughters had graduated from college and were on their own.
..,One of our most memorable trips was a tour of Scotland with friends. It also had some of the most interesting cuisine. Included in our tour was a breakfast buffet to start off the day.
..,We showed up in the dining room of our hotel on our first morning in Scotland eager to begin learning more about the Scots and particularly what there was to eat.
..,There was a big buffet loaded with food. With the exception of the tomatoes and beans that were on the buffet table, we found breakfast in Scotland not too different than the bacon and eggs we enjoy here in Missouri.
..,I loaded my plate with scrambled eggs, toast, jam, tomatoes, beans and what I thought was really crispy bacon.
..,I was enjoying my first Scottish breakfast when the elderly lady sitting next to me (who had made a number of trips to Scotland before) leaned over and asked me, “How do you like the blood pudding?”
..,The crispy bacon wasn’t bacon after all.
..,Fortunately I didn’t spit it out all over the table. Instead, I gritted my teeth and swallowed hard. I certainly didn’t go back for more.
..,My next tasty treat was haggis. A savory pudding, haggis is made with a sheep's heart, liver and lungs mixed with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices and salt that is traditionally served in the sheep's stomach.
..,Haggis is not only a Scottish delicacy, but the Scots make quite a production in how it is served.
..,At the banquet we were treated to on our tour, a Scot dressed in a bonnet and kilt, read Scottish poet Robert Burn’s poem Address to a Haggis and brought the dish out on a big plate.
..,With great flourish, the Scotsman cut open the sheep’s stomach with a dirk (a large knife that’s almost as big as a sword), the contents spilled out on the plate and the haggis was served to the crowd.
..,I was polite and tried the haggis. It was kind of bland and wasn’t as bad as it sounds, but I didn’t ask for more.
..,My final surprise was toward the end of our trip at breakfast in Edinburgh. When we came down for breakfast, we found a pot of porridge on the buffet table. Like our oatmeal, the porridge was served with milk and sugar. But I suspect only in Scotland will you find a bottle of Scotch whisky next to the porridge for additional flavor.
..,Talk about a jump start in the morning!

Grief is a funny thing

...The following is an excerpt from the D.A.R.E. essay by Pleasant Hill fifth grader, Isabella Kietzmann. See full story on the D.A.R.E. graduation on page four of this week's Times.

...... D.A.R.E. means Drug, Abuse, Resistance and Education.
First, I have learned a lot in D.A.R.E. I have learned about the ways that alcohol can hurt you. Did you know that alcohol affects teens more than it affects adults? It also causes 75,000 deaths per year. A lot of teens do not drink alcohol, but some still do it even though it’s illegal. If you mix medicine with alcohol it may kill you, it also controls your body. Loss of coordination, poor judgment, loss of memory, slow reflexes, and loss of self-control are all the side effects.
...Next, I have learned about the danger of tobacco. There are more than 200 chemicals in cigarettes. Smoking causes lung cancer, dry skin, wrinkles, and nobody likes wrinkles. There is an addictive substance in cigarettes called nicotine. Over 400,000 deaths are because of cigarettes or cigarette smoke. There are approximately 5,000 deaths each year in the United States that are due to secondhand smoke. Did you know that the tobacco in cigarettes turn your fingernails and teeth yellow, yuck, yuck, and it also makes your breath smell bad. Smoking can also cause tooth loss.
...Stress is also something we learned about. Signs of stress can be frustration, dizziness, or feeling warm. To get rid of stress, count backwards or breathe deeply. Also to relieve stress do something you like that makes you happy. For example sing, dance, watch TV, read, or play.
...Bullying is also a big part that we learned in D.A.R.E. When you see bullying, use the Five W’s: Who, What, When, Where, and Why. Only tell a trusted adult if it keeps happening and don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself.
...Resistance strategies are very important. They are strategies you can use if you see something bad. If you see people doing drugs, stay away or just say NO and walk away from the situation. Responding to peer pressure can be hard, but remember this is about you and your future, not trying to be cool or fit in with the crowd.
...We learned about communication styles because you need to work situations out with other people. You need to figure out how you are going to tell your teacher, mom, or dad that someone’s not doing something right or that you are scared. You can use D.A.R.E. Decision Making Model: you need to know how to define, access, respond, and evaluate. Define means explaining what is going on. For instance, your friend wants you to go over to their house to play video games. When you get to their house, you find out that all the video games are too violent for you to play. Now that you have defined it, you need to access. Access means to think of some choices to make. Tell an adult, ask your friend if they could play something else, or don’t play the games. Next is Respond. What are you going to do? You have to discuss your choices and now you have to choose one. If I were in this situation, I would ask my friend if we could play something else. Now you have to Evaluate. You have to think, “Did I do the right thing?” The D.A.R.E. Decision Making Model really does help you when you are in a bad situation. Remember to define, access, respond, and evaluate.
...I will use D.A.R.E. in the future. I will say no in bad situations. I will not do drugs.
...I will use the D.A.R.E. ‘Decision Making Model’ I will apply what I learned in D.A.R.E If someone asks me to smoke, I will say no.
...To help them stop, I will tell them all the things I learned in D.A.R.E. I, Isabella Kietzmann, pledge to be drug free for the rest of my life. Also, I cannot forget Deputy Edelman. She was the best D.A.R.E. teacher ever. I will never forget her. I hope you all like my essay!