Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Giving Thanks

I tried talking myself into returning to school after dinner tonight to complete a new bulletin board and start a quiz that I will be giving my Animal Science class tomorrow. The idea sounded brilliant at 7pm but after cleaning up my kitchen at quarter 'til nine I thought otherwise.

Instead I thought I'd give thanks for a wonderful evening. I made Tamale Pie for dinner and invited a handful of friends over to share it with. Now don't get me wrong, dinner turned out great, especially considering it was the first time I had made this, but the part I am most thankful for is the time I had with new and old friends tonight. This may sound trivial to some, but let's briefly re-visit my first (and some of my second) year of teaching.

For about the first six months of teaching two years ago, my usual day looked like this:
4am-rise and shine
6am-head to school after devotion, hearty breakfast and getting ready
8:30am-school starts, the big rug rats arrive
3pm-the final bell rings, I collapse into my seat, and take a mental break for about 5 minutes
3:05pm-coach a team, grade papers, prepare lessons...etc.
5:30pm-break for dinner....this would be the second meal I have eaten at my desk today
8:30-9pmish-drive home, set automatic coffee pot and fall asleep instantly

I was working far too many hours and as far as I was concerned my social life was over. I was practically crawling to my truck at night so I could just get in bed and start the same overloaded schedule as the day before. I longed for the sweet days of graduate school where I had friends over for dinner frequently and they returned the favor at least once a week. Instead of evenings filled with satisfying food and friendships, I was trying to keep my head above water trying to prepare myself to teach parts of the cell to my freshmen Ag classes.

It's been a long time coming, and I have neglected far too many friendships and hobbies over the past two years. My third year of teaching has gotten off to a strong start and has included more time with friends than any other of my previous two years and for that I wish to give thanks tonight.

Note to other "foodies:" for a great recipe on tamale pie or other classic American dishes, check out The Cook's Country Cookbook: Rediscovering American Home Cooking. As my friend Sarah pointed out tonight, I know it's hard to believe that a dish with the word tamale in it is American, but it is. Believe me.


Janette's Joys said...

Good for you, Katy! I'm glad you are getting some time for yourself to enjoy your love for food preparation (and eating!) and friends....can I pretend like I was there tonight for the tamale pie?

Jennifer said...

Thanks for sharing those links! I always like trying new recipes!

un platano said...

I'm bummed I couldn't make it:( But soon enough we will hang out tonight!