Sunday, September 30, 2007

BCTF Member Stands in Soup Line

It was the night before welfare day. Last Tuesday night, the Salvation Army Soup truck pulled up as usual to Main St. & Cordova at 9:45 to hand out piping hot soup and peanut butter and jam sandwiches to the poor.

A well-dressed BCTF member who teaches at the Vancouver School Board Eastside Learning Center for adults a block away, lined up for a bowl of soup. Several people saw her; in fact she said hello to a couple of people. She has been a VSB teacher in the neighborhood for years. She is middle-aged, a little on the heavy side, with short blond wavy hair.

"Those people make a fortune," exclaimed Serg, a Downtown Eastside resident, "and she's taking food from the hungry."

A couple of years ago, the media reported discussions in London, England of shutting down food lines for the poor due to widespread abuse. Working people were using them as a convenience, instead of cooking for themselves.

Truth is, virtually everybody you see at the Sally Ann soup truck on Tuesday and Sunday nights in Vancouver looks poor.

Other teacher-related articles on this blog:
Vancouver Teachers Demand Recycling in Schools
International Boycott of High School Diplomas Issued by the Vancouver School Board

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

i know this teacher and she also spends many of her days giving generously to all of her friends from the dtes, many homecooked meals of her own that she has spent her well-earned dollars on, but more importantly, her love. you have no business criticizing someone so full of love and generosity for enjoying a bowl of soup with friends. community is not up to you to judge, but feel free, by all means if it brings you gratification for some odd reason.

reliable sources said...

Anonymous,

Sounds like you could have written the "Teachers Care" ads that used to run on the radio.

Neither myself or anyone else at the DTES Enquirer has seen your friend, the teacher, giving home-cooked meals to people. Although she may have time for that at the Downtown East Learning Center; they don't seem to be able to fill their classrooms. They are still begging for students with a huge banner in the window, "Register Now".

People see this teacher at the government subsidized cafeteria at Carnegie Center eating her own dinner on a semi-regular basis, but she is not handing out dinner. I'll take your word that she has done that.

You write, "...but more importantly, her love. [Y]ou have no business criticizing someone so full of love and generosity for enjoying a bowl of soup with friends. [C]ommunity is not up to you to judge ...."
Correction: This teacher was not with friends. She was alone at the Soup Truck; she got a bowl of soup and was walking back and forth on the sidewalk eating it. If she saw someone she knew, she said hello as she walked by, but she wasn't socializing with friends. She was grabbing a quick bowl of soup as a convenience.

You are obviously somebody working in the poverty industry. You have the response-to-criticism formula down pat. Povertarians often defend one another against criticism by claiming that they are actually brimming with "love" and concern for the DTES underclass; anyone who does not see that and engages in political criticism is labeled mean spirited or deficient in some way. And you use the obligatory word "community" too; a word that povertarians spout to the press and gov't funders before they take off out of the neighborhood at the end of their shifts like bats out of hell. (Povertarians allow DTES residents to criticize, in fact encourage it, when it is directed at government for not providing enough money for one povertarian project or another)

But povertarians are very careful about who they "love" on the DTES. Lucy Alderson, a teacher at the Carnegie Learning Center, barred a homeless man, Bill Simpson, from the school because she suspected that he was blogging. Bloggers had reported that Alderson would lock the underclass out of the Learning Center in mid-day on occasion and sit in there by herself. Another teacher, Betsy Alkenbrack, was also involved. Alkenbrack and Alderson had together interrogated a volunteer, attempting to get him to "rat" on friends and acquaintancs they suspected were blogging.

Then there is the nasty record of the Vancouver School Board on the Downtown Eastside of employing political psychiatry comparable to that used in communist China to deter political criticism.

Can you feel the love?

The teacher getting a bowl of soup from the free soup line was not an instigator of the above events. But she is no saint. A friend of mine told me that this teacher was the recipient of confidential information from another School Board employee about him/her after they pursued a complaint about a teacher. This teacher has allegedly exuded hostility toward him/her ever since -- no "love" for a Downtown Eastsider with a voice. Of course this teacher knows, as the saying goes, which side her bread is buttered on.

Back to the soup line: it is not uncommon for the Sally Ann soup truck to run out of soup. I don't know if people were turned away on Tues. night but I have personally seen them turned away. The teacher should at least wait until the poor and hungry had their fill. But of course that wouldn't have been convenient.

dag said...

"you have no business criticizing someone so full of love and generosity for enjoying a bowl of soup with friends. community is not up to you to judge, but feel free, by all means if it brings you gratification for some odd reason."

I recall a scene in an early Woody Allen movie where Allen and Louise. Lasser are in bed together, the girl asking "Do you love me?" Allen replies, "Yes."

Lasser says, "No, I mean do you looove me?"

Allen says, "Yes, looove you."

To which the girl says, "No, I mean do you loooooove me?"

Allen responds: "Yes, I loooooove you."

She's still not convinced.

I have no business criticizing some one so full of love as the freeloading teacher taking food from the homeless in exchange for love. but I wonder if she really loooves people. I mean, does she really loooooove people? I'm not convinced. It reads to me like a cheap parody of a hackneyed cliche tritely expressed by a phony sentimentalist who wants to pretend to have feelings when there really are none at all. [Gag.]

But maybe I'm all wrong.

If someone is so full of love or looove or even loooooove, and generosity is condemnable for enjoying a bowl of soup with friends, then this must be a heartless and uncaring, cold, and ultimately bad system in which the only real solution is to kill off the exploiters who cause all this human misery so it can be replaced with loooooove and community.

It's not up to me to judge, but I still feel free, since it means I get gratification for some odd reason in ridiculing phonies who write smarmy and sickening comments about loooooove and community."

Loooooove. Do you loooooove me? Can I have your sandwich? Can I shoot up in your doorway? Can I have your fucking money? Can I leave my shoeprint stomped in your face because I'm a victim of society? Don't you loooooove it?

Anonymous said...

sorry you're so miserable

dag said...

The real cause for sorrow here is the fact that there are obviously many people who think it a good thing to dedicate their lives to baby-sitting adults to give themselves a sense of moral superiority and sense of self-identity. there are numerous and a growing number of self-appointed missionaries who have taken it upon themselves to mind the lives of any one they possibly can for the sake of elevating their own moral standing in the community of their peers. The result is not a moral person doing good for others; the result is a moralistic phony interfering in the lives of others for the sake of cheap display. The petulant tone, the false "hurt feelings," the false sympathy, the falsity of the whole povertarian moralistic missionary agenda is revolting. If it were just a lie of the theatre of society indulged by an affluent and guilt-ridden nation with nothing better to think of than tossing off a few bucks for show as well no one would care. But the povertarian industries are murderous. The pseudo-moralists are killing people on the streets daily, and they preen and keen like amateur divas. I'm sorry you don't have the sense to hide yourself from the shame of it all.