For those of you who have only recently been reading my blog, the reason I no longer live in my beloved Austin is because I wanted to get back into the classroom, teaching. And I wanted to teach in Charlottesville. Because I came back in the middle of the schol year, the only jobs available were long-term substituting positions. Serendipitously, there was a long term sub position in the exact same classroom where I had subbed just before leaving for Austin two years ago.
But Friday is my last day in fifth grade.
But in honor of my kiddos–and the joy of elementary school–I am dedicating my Jenn-created What I Ate Wednesday post this week to the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day last Friday…when instead of just WIAW “going green,” my whole class did.It all began with the magical reappearance of my former “Friday shoes,” which, historically, I wore every Friday of the school year (even when my toes were longing to breathe in the heat). I had not been able to find them since I moved, but then, all of a sudden—as though a leprechaun dropped them off on his way to the end of the rainbow–there they were in a random box in my closet!I decided on the spur of the moment to stop at the grocery store and pick up some fruits and veggies for my kids. I mean, if we were going to WEAR green…we should probably EAT green, too. [The cantaloupe was a bonus...for me. ]
I artfully arranged everything in my green polka-dotted bowl and snapped a photo, but if you think that actually letting 10-year-olds choose which green food they ate was an efficient use of time (and wouldn’t cause potential squabbling), well, you obviously haven’t hung out with small children very much.No, no…instead I gave out grapes to my homeroom, cucumbers to my Language Arts class, and green apples in Math. The biggest St. Patrick’s Day surprise, however, came when it was the cucumbers that were the most popular ‘treat.’ Kids actually said, “Why didn’t OUR class get the cucumbers?”
And I totally thought they would be the dud.
Another surprise? Three of my kids had never eaten a cucumber before! It was like that time I discovered my students in Texas didn’t know what celery was until I made them ants on a log.
Not only does Miss Smart educate minds…she educates tastebuds.
I also teach foreign languages.*
*I consider stereotypical idiomatic expressions to be invaluable in language study, don’t you? Perhaps it was the horrific Irish brogue I attempted to adopt, or perhaps it was my excessive wearing of green (a color I wear every single day), but the kids all began to ask, “Are you a leprechaun, Miss Smart?”
I grabbed a few green globes for my oatmeal, and then had to enlighten students to the joys of roasted–or in this case, slightly warmed–grapes.Later, in math, I munched on some leprechaun-sized peppers (and carrots) dipped in not-so-green-anymore Southwestern Grapefruit Avocado Dip while we analyzed multiplying, dividing, and purchasing ingredients for an Irish Soda Bread recipe.*
*And yes, I threw in advice on how to make an even better version at home…["What does 'vegan' mean, Miss Smart?"]I inexplicably have no other photos of food from school that day, but I do have a picture of what my kids called “Magical Dragon Beads” and were what they gave as an excuse for why they were acting so crazy all day.
The ten-year-old girls from whom I intercepted this note may one day find out how these types of beads can also make college co-eds in New Orleans go a little crazy this time of year…At home, I continued the green theme, by “going green” in the environmental sense. After all, isn’t it ‘green’ not to let food go to waste?A rather ill-looking avocado combined beautifully with some leftover basil and orange juice……for an orange-basil take on Citrus Avocado Dressing.
And of course, I couldn’t let the random ‘Nilla Wafers some student left on my desk go to waste, either. How ‘green’ of me to use the abandoned snack time treat–along with some dark chocolate chips!–for my nightly bowl of cereal.Of course, I scooped a handful from the green bag of Love Grown goodness to mix in that night. Three more days with my–yes, in twelve weeks they became mine–kids seems so tragical right now, that it’s hard to feel leprechaun(ly?) magical. But, they–and now you–will always know where to find me if you need me:
[I swear that marker was green, too. Silly lighting...]