The alarms rings once at 7:30am, disrupting the morning quiet. Fifteen minutes and three alarms later, I turn it off. Then to shower, then to brush my teeth, to deodorize, to dress and pack up my knapsack for the day, and then to breakfast with the same two—sometimes four—people. Such is my morning routine.
Rarely does the American public school system treat the arts with as much respect as it treats the “core” subjects of math, English, social studies, and science. When it comes time to slash budgets—something that seems like a regular occurrence nowadays—the arts programs are usually the first ones to go. The Chicago public school system has not been immune from these financial constraints, and the notion that the arts are dispensable has informed much fiscal policy. However, thanks to landmark legislation in 2012, the CPS board incorporated the arts as a core subject in schools, thereby cementing its importance to the Chicago public school system.
The weather outside was unseasonably warm, a balmy sixty-four degrees in early November, and the pies inside the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club were even warmer in spirit. Pie has the longstanding reputation of bringing Americans together, perhaps better than any other food. The New York Times, as noted in an op-ed from 1902, even went so far as to attribute the success of the American people to their love of pie. The annual South Side Pie Challenge is a prime example of just how special this food is.