Wednesday, January 11, 2006

An Ear of Corn

When I met with Kateri and Sara this morning, we discussed how much it would cost to hire me as an educational consultant to write a curriculum for their program. We all sat silently for a moment contemplating the question when Sara announced unexpectedly, "I give you..." she paused with mock solemnity, "An ear of corn."

Her statement seemed so bizarre and misplaced, Kateri and I exchanged glances and wondered if she was making some kind of veiled Native American joke (corn or maize originally being a Native American food). "What was that?" I finally asked.

Her expression remained serious and blank, "A bag of potatoes then?"

Potatoes were also cultivated by early Native Americans, so Kateri and I finally asked about the apparent reference to paying the Indian (me) with ancient indigenous foods. She looked bewildered and finally explained she had no idea what to pay an educational consultant, so she figured she could always offer the produce in her refrigerator. "I actually bought corn and potatoes last night. You're welcome to have some, if you want."

She never intended to make a Native reference in her joke, but it just sounded so weird in the context of building a curriculum to address issues of racism and bias. When we finally recognized the dry humor in her remark, we laughed hysterically. It became a running joke for the remainder of our meeting.

I know my readers are probably thinking, "I don't get it..." That's okay. I guess you had to be there, but I promised Sara her "ear of corn" statement earned her an entry in my daily blog just for making me laugh. :)

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