fallen leaves, freshly sharpened pencils and making Mollie Katzen’s gypsy soup.
My thoughts also turn philosophical. My thoughts lately have been about the consequences of raising a food snob and the old adage of “those who can do; those who can’t teach.”
On the first subject, Julian’s birthday falls in the early part of this month and when asked this year what he wanted to do for his birthday he decidedly did not give any of the standard boy pre-teen answers. There was no discussion of paint ball, laser tag, pizza blow out, bowling… nothing so common. For his birthday Julian decided he wanted to go to Zola for a birthday dinner. His rational for such an adult birthday celebration was that Keifel and I go for our anniversary and sometimes for one of our birthdays and he had never gotten to go with us. We invited some of our friends, I think rightly assuming that his posse wouldn’t be up for seared tuna on black rice and coffee caramel creme bruleé. I, of course, could be underestimating his friends’ tastes but I am going with my gut here and saying most kids Julian’s age probably wouldn’t feel real excitement when presented with a piece of mostly raw sashimi grade tuna.
I am incredibly happy that Julian doesn’t clamor to go to McDonald’s or Burger King. I am happy that he knows that hydrogenated fat and HFCS are really bad for your body. I am happy that he will eat a well-dressed salad without too much cajoling and that he has vegetables he does actually enjoying eating and that he will eat almost any fruit presented in some form or another. He loves sushi and pork belly and smoky exotic sausages. He likes seltzer with cassis syrup and would take an Italian soda over a Coke. Boy has expensive tastes to be so young. I realize college is going to be a wake up call into the myriad way one can prepare beans and rice and (god, I really hope not) ramen. I also worry a little because loving good food has made my ass more than a size or two larger than it should be for optimum health. Along with his taste we are trying to instill “all things in moderation,” enjoyment and balance. I would wish that he not have a lifelong struggle with weight and body issues.
In the second area of brain pan spinning, I am thinking about my effectiveness and success (or lack thereof) in teaching. I still feel like I am getting my feet under me and that I don’t have it all together. I feel like I might be boring some of my students and worry about making sure they leave my class with not only more than they came with but a real understanding of the subject. I think on some level I also worry that I just don’t have enough years slogged on the line to really tell them what that world is like. I am going to try some different ways of presenting the lecture and see what works for me and for them. I am also going to think about some ways to do some different things in class that engage them in some more meaningful ways that don’t involve me jabbering for an hour and a half.
I agreed to teach another class this week at another culinary school and have some real prep to put into that and getting familiar with their curriculum and expectations. And just getting familiar with the campus and facilities. It’s pretty excited, actually I’m excited to be teaching and feeling my way through this. It’s a little overwhelming, too. I guess on some level I just want to be good enough to be trusted with what small part of their academic life I am overseeing and not messing them up for the next level. That’s a pretty huge thing to wake up to every day.