The title, taken from the well-known slogan for Wheaties breakfast cereal, crops up in a key scene late in the novel when a waitress, apparently ironically, says "Breakfast of Champions" each time she serves a customer a martini. Vonnegut, in his typical ironic manner, mocks the legal and copyright systems as he notes meticulously that Breakfast of Champions is a registered trademark of General Mills, Inc. for its breakfast cereal products, and that his use of the term is not "intended to disparage their fine products."
Vonnegut refers to himself as "Philboyd Studge" in the preface, a name which he claims his friend Knox Burger associated with cumbersome writing. The name appears to have been borrowed from a short story by Edwardian satirist Saki. ("Filboid Studge, the Story of the Mouse that Helped", describes the success of the eponymous breakfast food through bizarrely counter-intuitive advertising.)
This paper investigates the relationship between student test scores and discipline outcomes in Texas public schools and whether or not schools participated in the Universal Free Breakfast Program (UFB). Eating a routine breakfast leads to increased physical and mental performance, as well as test scores. Surprisingly, there has been little focus on how eating a routine breakfast affects disruptive behaviors including violence, truancy, and other classroom incidents. I compile a panel data set from two administrative sources in Texas, spanning school years 2011/2012-2016/2107. Using fixed effects models and a staggered difference in differences model, I find that schools that offer UFB do indeed have higher test scores, and also have reduced conflict outcomes such as fights, substance abuse, and truancy. I also employ a fuzzy regression discontinuity that shows strong results when the 80% free and reduced eligibility cutoff was passed in the Texas state legislation in 2015. These results suggest that the benefit schools receive from taking part in UFB help their students achieve better outcomes in both schooling, behavior, and general well-being, and increase funding from lower truancy rates.
Finally, if student surveys are meant to provide useful feedback that actually helps bring about change in teaching practices, then it is important to involve teachers in all phases of survey development and to seek their input into the policies and procedures that surround the use of student surveys to evaluate teachers in summative and/or formative ways. If teachers are on board with the process, they will be better able to provide unified messages as to the importance and value of such evaluations, so that students understand the value of the feedback they can provide their teachers. When students and teachers alike see the value of surveys, they will be more likely to come to the table and enjoy the nourishment that a good feedback breakfast provides. Bon appétit!
The Washburn Crosby Company first developed Wheaties in the early 1920s and introduced the product to consumers in 1924. Over time, the breakfast cereal changed the milling industry even as it helped to transform American breakfasts.
Research on the cereal started in 1921, in response to the interest of a local sanatorium owner who accidentally dropped wheat gruel on a hot stovetop. Researchers failed, however, to develop the idea into a saleable breakfast product. Then, in 1922, James Ford Bell put miller George Cormack to work on improving the wheat flake cereal. At the same time, the company invested in a Chicago-based cereal factory.
By 1941, Wheaties made up 12 percent of all breakfast cereal sales in the United States. In the years that followed, General Mills used its experience with Wheaties to develop and market innumerable other cereals even as the product became an iconic American breakfast food.
The 21st world championship was held last weekend. Entrants competed in two categories: traditional and speciality. The winner in the former category takes home the "Golden Spurtle," a Scottish kitchen tool for stirring porridge, thought to have originated six centuries ago. Made of wood, it looks like a tiny baseball bat. This year's traditional winner, Dr. Izhar Khan, a kidney specialist from Aberdeen, Scotland, told NPR he credited his victory to the spurtle he used, made by one of his patients.
But the porridge love has spread well beyond the U.K. Kahn's competitors in last week's championships included the owner of a porridge bar in Copenhagen, as well as Sweden's Nordic porridge-making champion. 2b1af7f3a8