The chocolate cake — baking, again — was not popular. But the mashed potatoes were. And two of the students manned the grill and made curried hamburgers. Curry powder and some salt and pepper. Delicious, and very popular.
Yesterday was the rehearsal for the Family Weekend concert, of our music program’s biggest days. As a result, more than half of my students weren’t there: the ones who know how to play instruments or sing. The students who came are thought “at-risk” in some way. But they cooked (my friend would say, they cooked; they didn’t just make food), they ate, and then we went for a walk together. And there wasn’t anything I saw that showed them particularly at risk or challenged at all. They even helped clean the kitchen.
Later that day, though, two of the “high-performance” students on my dorm who play in the band and orchestra were hungry. They asked if they could use my kitchen to make food. I told them yes. And THEY were the ones who melted the knife handle onto my stove range.
So maybe we should re-define “at risk” and “high performing” to something more neutral, like “Can’t sing, can cook” and “Can play the violin, but don’t allow near heat.”