Thursday, November 13, 2014
One thing I've noticed about this whole working overtime business is how I trim the fat from my life. I used to troll the internet looking for interesting stuff, but now it's the furthest thing from my mind. A hundred thirty-odd students, book choices, Lexile levels, recommendation letters and lesson planning is a much more pressing concern than what T-Lo has to say about J-Law's latest dress. I still binge on blogs on the weekend when I find a spare hour, but the rest of the week I check emails and a bit of Facebook only because these things are easily accessed on my phone. I can breeze through a few FB posts with half my attention while waiting for the photocopier to run next week's vocabulary quizzes.
Food has been a bit of an adjustment as well. The ol' crock pot slow cooks meat at least once a week--tonight it was a pork roast that I shredded with a fork and mixed with BBQ sauce. My carnivore family requests burgers and pepperoni pizza weekly, and last night Mr. T's sole request for dinner was bacon. Just bacon, nothing else. The other two kids asked for Nutella sandwiches, so I acquiesced, placing a pan of bacon in the oven for one and slapping chocolate-hazelnut spread across slices of whole wheat for the other two. There's liberation in phoning the pizza delivery dude a few times a month and I'm not stressing over serving up a main course with two sides because salad and apple slices are just as healthy as mashed potatoes and green beans. Healthier, really.
My biggest success and failure came in the form of a spiral cut ham (on special last week at the Piggly Wiggly). I cooked it in the crock pot and glazed it according to the directions. Team Testosterone enthusiastically ate slice after slice ... after slice. I boiled the remaining ham and bone into pea soup. The ham was a BIG win. The Major Fail came the morning after I had first served it. I'd eaten some myself and my wonky knee started to swell and ache. Turns out salty food makes me gimp and hobble along and I had to climb one stair at a time to reach my second floor classroom that morning. Ah, the humility! The only comfort was in arriving early enough that I had the stairwell to myself as I groaned along, clutching my coffee in one hand and bag of graded essays in the other. I stayed upstairs all day, and felt thankful we didn't have a fire drill.
In other meat-related news, a couple of my classes recently watched Apocalypse Now after reading Joseph Conrad's The Heart of Darkness. Say it with me: The horror! The horror! You know how Apocalypse Now ends, right? Kurtz gets sliced up in tandem with some kind of ritual bull sacrifice occurring in the middle of his Cambodian fortress. My students were horrified by this, which surprised me since we live in the middle of dairy farms and I know darn well my students understand where cheeseburgers come from. I told them to just think of the slaughter as a pre-steak fry ritual.
There you have it, I'm bringing home bacon, frying it up in a pan and disturbing my seniors with images of a young Martin Sheen attacking Marlon Brando. Medium-well, that's how it's going on the cooked meat scale. Spill it, reader. How do you like your steak?