Kimchi: A Glen Ivy Scar Story

This week in my Seven Stages Storywork class, Joe Lambert spoke about how story is embedded in the body, and then he challenged us to tell scar stories. For some reason, this is the story that bubbled up from the Great Cozmic Soup for me:

KIMCHI AND ME: A Glen Ivy Scar Story

Once upon a time not so 1970s and 1980s ago, I lived in an intentional spiritual community that had taken over the old Glen Ivy Hot Springs inn with what ended up being a big commercial kitchen. Every day, I went to work in that gleaming city of stainless steel putting out great food for great people.

My helper and ally in this tasty work was my 15 inch knife with the number five engraved on the handle. When knives were parceled out, I chose the number five because in my numerology, five is the sign of life, of

Sandy Brown Jensen

I am a retired writing instructor and faculty tech specialist from Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon. I still teach and am also a photographer, poet, blogger and digital storyteller (short videos).

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  • Great story!

    Cross-cultural misunderstandings and their repercussions are usually uncomfortable (I’ve got a few I could relate!) but in retrospect, also good fodder for a tale.

    I’m glad the worms benefitted from all your chopping!

  • Kim chi – the condiment of champions for breakfast, lunch and dinner…or at least that was how it was supposed to be. Number 5 surely didn’t act alone; she must have enlisted numbers 3, 4, 6 & 7 to help with distraction at least.

  • I can smell it still. Do you remember crouching on the floor, stirring it in large tubs? The Korean ladies loved sharing the process with us. It was so hard not to like it after all of their enthusiasm. We should have dubbed it Glen Ivy Stinky Love.

  • Oh dear. Now that’s a pungent memory. Your knife must have been operating with intent since that particular finger would seem relatively protected behind the front lines. I have sliced, and re-sliced the nail edge of my pointer finger when chopping, but never my ring finger.

  • I learned a great deal of kndgelowe from Dr. Jensen’s video, How Does Poverty Change the Brain?. I have heard many statistics before about factors effecting education in children in poverty. One piece of information I have heard multiple places is the limited vocabulary children of poverty have in contrast to children of more affluent families. Even with learning such pieces of information such as that, I have never really explored the other ways in which children of poverty are delayed. According to Dr. Jensen, emotional support, acute/chronic stress, cognitive stimulation, and health/safety issues are all troubling issues facing children of poverty. Dr. Jensen went on to present ideas or concepts that caregivers of poverty are less likely to provide. Most striking to me was attunement. I was enlightened when I learned about attunement as I was new to this term. I found it fascinating how influential the actions of the caregiver are, even of actions which may appear to be minute on the surface. As Dr. Jensen was discussing actions as they relate to attunement, I couldn’t help to think of my sister and her one year old daughter. My sister is so animated with my niece and plays simple games with her as well as making faces, imitating gestures, giving positive responses, etc. I am almost positive my sister has no real idea of attunement, so this is most likely just innate to her. I say this because I have found myself doing similar actions to my niece as well as other young children I have been around. It’s humbling to find that not all mother’s or caregivers do this with their children. I also started to think about the children I have come across in my career working with children that lack of attunement during the ages of zero to five can likely be the cause of some behaviors within the classroom. Dr. Jensen explained that without attunement, children have a narrower range of behavior simply because they do not know how to express themselves emotionally to others. My question regarding this is if it is possible to teach these students how to properly express themselves despite being past their ‘prime’ to learn these emotions that we are not hardwired to have. Another thing I took away from the video was how students need a stable and reliable person. Instability opens the door to stressors in their lives. Teaching in a cyber schools poses a great challenge to reach these children of poverty to provide them with the stability they need and reliability. How do the teachers in an online learning environment become that teacher who makes a difference when they only meet with a child via the internet and for short periods of time throughout the week? Even in a brick and mortar school, it takes a special type of teacher to be that ‘influential teacher’. I think it is quite possible for a cyber school teacher to be influential, but I would imagine they would have to be one step above to be able to reach a child they are teaching over the internet due to all of the barriers through this mode of instruction. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but it takes extra care and effort from the teacher in a cyber education world. Dr. Jensen’s work is captivating and relates to every teacher since some form of poverty is present in virtually every school in the US whether it be absolute poverty, situational poverty, generational poverty, or relative poverty. I am interested in learning more about this fascinating topic to better prepare myself as a teacher to address the needs of these individuals. Jensen, E. Does poverty change the brain . [Web Video]. Retrieved from

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Sandy Brown Jensen

I am a retired writing instructor and faculty tech specialist from Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon. I still teach and am also a photographer, poet, blogger and digital storyteller (short videos).

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