Food…the melting pot

Part of the reason why I created an open space here at BAYCAT is so I can overhear what my colleagues are saying, without having to apologize for being nosy.  Let’s face it, in a work environment, how much does one really learn via office email vs. by osmosis?  Which leads me to one of my true joys of life…overhearing our students.

It’s impossible during these I-wish-it-was-hot summer days NOT to overhear singing, laughter, hoopin’ & HOLLARin’ during Digital Media Camp.  To give our students credit and every good teacher knows that in schools in a ci-tay like SF,  gone are the days of students sitting with their hands folded in a quiet classroom.  Did that ever even exist?  It gives me great inspiration to know our students are most productive in their brainstorming, teasing out of ideas, and learning when there is this buzzZZZed din in the air.  So, yesterday’s DIN was SO DYNAMIC, as one student described, “we were all HIGH on life at the same time,” (OK, imagine 19 rambunctious TEENagers HIGH on life AT THE SAME TIME! OH MY G!) Today, I decided to accept the ol’ adage, “if you can’t beat them, JOIN them!”

So, I sat with our students in our community circle at the start of the training day, and the question on the table was, “what’s your favorite food memory?”  Instantly, you saw eyes roll toward the corners of the eyebrows while the corners of the mouths turned upward into crescents or should we say croissants?!

I loved hearing about how many folks LOVE breakfast from Jasmine lovin’ pigs-in-a-blanket to Russell lovin’ French Toast. Russell eating pretend-french toast!

But we said food memory (translation to teenagers = disaster stories!)  Now how is it that when you mention food to teenagers, guaranteed you can’t get through a discussion without at least one story of someone…what’s the polite way of saying it?  RALPHIN’?!  Uhmmm…I’ll spare you those.

Shawnee described her first french toast making experience when she dropped the toast onto the burner of an electric stove where she quickly learned a lesson in the melting temperature of sugar since the grill caught on fire.  With her quick reflexes she picked up the burning french toast but like a “HOT POTATO” she dropped it on the floor.  Oh WELL. Shawnee's Self-Potrait

(Shawnee was not harmed in the handling of the toast!)

Apparently, Allen discovered when left alone to cook his favorite food, grilled cheese, the melting temperature of butter AND cheese.  He recounted that as he lifted the top of his “GF grill” the grilled cheese fixins’ had disappeared and all that was left was the butter.  Allen & Mr. Hammond love grilled cheese!Allen’s meltdown memory was Mr. Hammond’s comfort food as he described how every time he was sick, his Mom would prepare grilled cheese, tomato soup and Charlie Brown’s Halloween special.  His favorites even to this day. awwwwwww.

Needless to say, the students’ stories made me reminisce about my Mom’s dumplings a.k.a. a must-have-if-stranded-on-an-island-potstickers.  These food memories became a melting pot of sharing…either that or a warning to parents: DO NOT let your kids cook by themselves!  Oh, and did I tell you they are bringing breakfast for each other tomorrow?  Unplug the appliances please!

BAYCAT Students and Team: Thanks for including me today and for letting me share your photos & stories on the blog.