Someday we shall look back on this dark era of agriculture and shake our heads. How could we have ever believed that it was a good idea to grow our food with poisons?
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Someday we shall look back on this dark era of agriculture and shake our heads. How could we have ever believed that it was a good idea to grow our food with poisons?

-Jane Goodall

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He slouches,' DeeDee contributes.'True--he needs to work on his posture,' Thelma says.'You guys,' I say.'I'm serious,' Thelma says. 'What if you get married? Don't you want to go to fancy dinners with him and be proud?''You guys. We are not getting married!''I love his eyes,' Jolene says. 'If your kids get his blue eyes and your dark hair--wouldn't that be fabulous?''The thing is,' Thelma says, 'and yes, I know, this is the tricky part--but I'm thinking Bliss has to actually talk to him. Am I right? Before they have their brood of brown-haired, blue-eyed children?'I swat her. "I'm not having Mitchell's children!''I'm sorry--what?' Thelma says.Jolene is shaking her head and pressing back laughter. Her expressing says, Shhh, you crazy girl!But I don't care. If they're going to embarrass me, then I'll embarrass them right back. 'I said'--I raise my voice--'I am not having Mitchell Truman's children!'Jolene turns beet red, and she and DeeDee dissolve into mad giggles.'Um, Bliss?' Thelma says. Her gaze travels upward to someone behind me. The way she sucks on her lip makes me nervous.'Okaaay, I think maybe I won't turn around,' I announce.A person of the male persuasion clears his throat.'Definitely not turning around,' I say. My cheeks are burning. It's freaky and alarming how much heat is radiating from one little me.'If you change your mind, we might be able to work something out,' the person of the male persuasion says.'About the children?' DeeDee asks. 'Or the turning around?''DeeDee!' Jolene says.'Both,' says the male-persuasion person.I shrink in my chair, but I raise my hand over my head and wave.'Um, hi,' I say to the person behind me whom I'm still not looking at. 'I'm Bliss.'Warm fingers clasp my own.'Pleased to meet you,' says the male-persuasion person. 'I'm Mitchell.''Hi, Mitchell.' I try to pull my hand from his grasp, but he won't let go. 'Um, bye now!'I tug harder. No luck. Thelma, DeeDee, and Jolene are close to peeing their pants.Fine. I twist around and give Mitchell the quickest of glances. His expressions is amused, and I grow even hotter.He squeezes my hand, then lets go. 'Just keep me in the loop if you do decide to bear my children. I'm happy to help out.' With that, he stride jauntily to the food line.Once he's gone, we lost it. Peals of laughter resound from our table, and the others in the cafeteria look at us funny. We laugh harder.'Did you see!' Thelma gasps. 'Did you see how proud he was?''You improve his posture!' Jolene says.'I'm so glad, since that was my deepest desire,' I say. 'Oh my God, I'm going to have to quit school and become a nun.''I can't believe you waved at him,' DeeDee says.'Your hand was like a little periscope,' Jolene says. 'Or, no--like a white surrender flag.''It was a surrender flag. I was surrendering myself to abject humiliation.''Oh, please,' Thelma says, pulling me into a sideways hug. 'Think of it this way: Now you've officially talked to him.

-Lauren Myracle

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Dearest creature in creation,Study English pronunciation.I will teach you in my verseSounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.I will keep you, Suzy, busy,Make your head with heat grow dizzy.Tear in eye, your dress will tear.So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.Just compare heart, beard, and heard,Dies and diet, lord and word,Sword and sward, retain and Britain.(Mind the latter, how it’s written.)Now I surely will not plague youWith such words as plaque and ague.But be careful how you speak:Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;Cloven, oven, how and low,Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.Hear me say, devoid of trickery,Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,Exiles, similes, and reviles;Scholar, vicar, and cigar,Solar, mica, war and far;One, anemone, Balmoral,Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;Gertrude, German, wind and mind,Scene, Melpomene, mankind.Billet does not rhyme with ballet,Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.Blood and flood are not like food,Nor is mould like should and would.Viscous, viscount, load and broad,Toward, to forward, to reward.And your pronunciation’s OKWhen you correctly say croquet,Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,Friend and fiend, alive and live.Ivy, privy, famous; clamourAnd enamour rhyme with hammer.River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,Doll and roll and some and home.Stranger does not rhyme with anger,Neither does devour with clangour.Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,And then singer, ginger, linger,Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.Query does not rhyme with very,Nor does fury sound like bury.Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.Though the differences seem little,We say actual but victual.Refer does not rhyme with deafer.Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.Mint, pint, senate and sedate;Dull, bull, and George ate late.Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,Science, conscience, scientific.Liberty, library, heave and heaven,Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.We say hallowed, but allowed,People, leopard, towed, but vowed.Mark the differences, moreover,Between mover, cover, clover;Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,Chalice, but police and lice;Camel, constable, unstable,Principle, disciple, label.Petal, panel, and canal,Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,Senator, spectator, mayor.Tour, but our and succour, four.Gas, alas, and Arkansas.Sea, idea, Korea, area,Psalm, Maria, but malaria.Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.Doctrine, turpentine, marine.Compare alien with Italian,Dandelion and battalion.Sally with ally, yea, ye,Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.Say aver, but ever, fever,Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.Heron, granary, canary.Crevice and device and aerie.Face, but preface, not efface.Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.Large, but target, gin, give, verging,Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.Ear, but earn and wear and tearDo not rhyme with here but ere.Seven is right, but so is even,Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.Pronunciation (think of Psyche!)Is a paling stout and spikey?Won’t it make you lose your wits,Writing groats and saying grits?It’s a dark abyss or tunnel:Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,Islington and Isle of Wight,Housewife, verdict and indict.Finally, which rhymes with enough,Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?Hiccough has the sound of cup.My advice is to give up!!!

-Gerard Nolst

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