Completely Random Thought #9: The Art and Joy of Teaching Teenagers to Cook

ImageIf you have been following this blog, you will remember that I am a teacher.  I teach Culinary Arts and Life Management skills to high-schoolers.  We are on spring break right now, so I wanted to take this opportunity to share some of the funny, disturbing, and not-so-funny stories that have occurred in my classroom over the last five years.  Prepare yourselves.  These are the people who will run the world someday.

#1: Dude, Where’s the Mustard.

I begin with a not-so-disturbing story about a mistake that I could see many people making.  We were making from-scratch mac and cheese.  It is a fairly simple recipe, but one of my students was completely baffled by one of the ingredients.  The recipe calls for dry, ground mustard (a spice).  I found this kid in the back, searching through the refrigerators (which they are not allowed to do).  When I asked him what he was looking for he said “Miss, you forgot to put the mustard out, but it’s okay I found some.”  In his hands was a yellow bottle of regular mustard.  He couldn’t figure out why I was laughing at him =)

#2: I Dare You

This story is much more disturbing.  I was giving a lecture about something (I really don’t remember what) when I heard giggling coming from the back of the room.  When I asked what was up, one of the boys stood up and said “Miss, we need to go to the bathroom”. I told them they could go one at a time.  One of the boys left and I began lecturing again, and then the other boy got up and ran out.  Not knowing what was going on I called security.  This is what security discovered:

Boy #1 dared Boy #2 to go into the boy’s bathroom and lick the toilet seat, but in order for it to be authentic Boy #1 had to go with him to take a video on his phone, and post it to Facebook.  This had all happened and the boys were done when security got to them. That was the most awkward phone call I ever had to make to a parent. “Hello sir, I am calling to tell you that while in my class your son was dared to lick the toilet seat in the bathroom…and he did…and it’s on Facebook.”  Ya. I’m sure his parents were proud.

#3: Gotta Go, Gotta Go, Gotta Go Right Now:

While we are on the subject of bathrooms, here is another disturbing story.  My students were watching a video and I left the room for a moment to go to the restroom.  In my absence, one of my students went into the kitchen, got a drinking glass, urinated in it, poured the urine into the trash can and put the glass away, unwashed.  As soon as class got out his friends ratted him out. And another awkward phone call home I had to make.

#4: High as a Kite

I am fully aware that a lot of the students who take my class do so because they get to eat right about the time they have the munchies. Usually they are good at hiding it, and I hardly ever turn them in simply because my entire class would be gone if I did.  There was one occasion though that left me no choice.  It began in my Life Management class where I had a boy who I will call Sam, and a girl who I will call Megan. During that class Megan gave Sam a cupcake because it was her 18th birthday.  I didn’t think anything of this, it was her birthday, she had cupcakes.  Fast forward to the next period, where again I had Sam in class.  We were cooking bread sticks that day, and I noticed that Sam looked a little green.  Then things got weird.  He kept opening the oven door and shouting at me “Miss, the bread isn’t cooking”.  I told him to give it time.  He started giggling, and then he started talking gibberish and telling everyone he was speaking Japanese, he continued to open the oven door.  When I went over to find out what was wrong I noted that he hadn’t turned the oven on. Then I said “Sam, give me one good reason why I should not call security right now.” and he said “I don’t think so either miss” and then he threw up on me.  Apparently Megan had given him an edible.  For those who are unfamiliar with the term, it is a food product that has marijuana in it.  The serving size was one-fourth of the cupcake, and Sam had eaten the whole thing. Megan was arrested for distributing to a minor.  Not a good way to start your 18th year.

I have many more stories, but it will have to wait for a part 2.

Thanks for reading!


Random Daily Prompt: Plead the Fifth

Daily Prompt: Plead the Fifth.

What question do you hate to be asked and why?

Do have to pick one?  Okay, fine.  I will choose.

Here is the one question I most  hate to be asked:   “Your husband must love being married to you, do you cook gourmet meals every night?”

This bugs me for a number of reasons.  First, just because I teach Culinary Arts does NOT mean that I love to cook.  I LIKE to cook, but it is not my passion.  Also, after cooking all day at work the very last thing that I want to do is cook when I get home.  Gourmet cooking is very expensive.  Last time I checked, I worked on a teacher’s salary.  Believe me that is NOT going to put a gourmet meal on the table every night.

The second reason that this bugs me is because it implies that my husband married me because I can cook.  News flash: my husband is a better cook than I am.   He’s Italian.  He learned to cook in a traditional Italian household.  The man has skill.  And truly, he does most of the cooking.

The third reason I hate this question is because I am a mother to a five year old.  If I put a gourmet meal in front of him he would just stare at it.  Nope, most of the time we are eating kid-friendly food.

Just because I teach culinary arts does not mean I am a full time culinarian, so please stop treating me like one.  Okay?  Thanks.