I am not a fan of Montreal bagels, which came up again on twitter this morning. It did remind me of my favorite bagel story, so I thought I would share it as a diversion from all of this election stuff.
When I was five or six, living in Maryland (update: this is a change from the original as my mother has a better memory than I do of this event), I was tested by the public schools, and they thought I was, um, not bright. Why? The test consisted of showing me pictures, and I was to pick the right ones. So, they showed a variety of breakfasts, and I chose as the best one the picture with the round thing with a whole in the middle. I chose the bagel, although they thought I was choosing a donut. I didn't choose the bowl with steam (oatmeal).
Yes, in early 70's Maryland, a bagel was not seen as a good breakfast food. My mother went in and yelled at them for the culturally biased test. I would tell this story in my American/Texas Public Policy classes to illustrate culturally biased tests. My students would then report to me that the tests were still very obviously biased deep into the 1990s: what is the correct color for a banana? For poor students, the answer is brown.
Whenever bagels come up, I have two thoughts: I remember this experience and I remember how little I liked Montreal bagels. They are now inextricably linked for me. Oh, and perhaps a third thought--the bagels in the Tokyo airport were surprisingly ok.
Anyhow, as always, when it comes to bagels, make mine NYC every day and twice on Sunday.
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