Thursday, October 4, 2012

Snow White, I'm Not. But I Have Seven Dwarves to Work in the Kitchen!

As one of my faithful stalkers, you know that one of the things I am doing this fall is teaching a Home Economics class. The kids have learned some handsewing, and have done a little learning about nutrients and food. It is getting closer and closer to the time when I actually have to teach them something about cooking.

Thing is, our school is in an old church school building, and, while we have a kitchen, it's the traditional church basement kitchen. The appliances are elderly, the facilities, while Health Department approved, have been let go for a bit, and the supplies are of the "I got new stuff so I'm donating some things (read: antiques) to the church kitchen" variety. Fun times.

This week I decided to have the kids tackle cleaning the kitchen. It hasn't been used for Home Ec since last fall, and then it was used by a bachelor teacher as his personal kitchen. When I started cleaning one of the sinks, I found remains of a salad he probably made in May. Eew. We also found evidence of rodent residents, but, undeterred, we rolled up our sleeves and got to work.

Today, after three class periods, (one of those was actually a double period) we can say that we've made some headway. I'd like to start cooking next week, but, sadly, we'll need another day of cleaning time, I think. But that's OK. Cleaning is a Home Ec lesson, too.

And some of the kids need that lesson. Today one of the girls sprayed degreaser on the old stove, and dug in to scrub. "Wait," I said. "What do you mean?" she said. "I mean, WAIT," I said. "Let the stuff work, and you won't have to scrub so hard." Sure enough, 10 minutes later, we wiped the stove pretty clean. That impressed her just a bit too much. When I asked her and Mary to put the grates from the burners in some tubs, pour in some water and degreaser, and let them soak a while, she got creative. I imagine her thought process was something like, "If degreaser works that well alone, I bet it'll work even better with bleach." Soon we had some hydrogen chloride cooking away very obnoxiously in our kitchen. One of the girls noticed first, saying, "It stinks,that stuff." Then I heard Mary say, "I told you not to do that." "Do what?" I asked. Minutes later, EPA be damned, those tubs were being emptied down the drain, the fans came on, and water was flushing everything that could be flushed. "Now, what have we learned today?" I asked. She said, "I didn't know you couldn't mix things like that." But now she does.

I love being a teacher...I love being a teacher...I love being a teacher...


Anonymous said...
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Susan said...

Hey, they'll probably never mix bleach and ammonia again. Success, right?!

Kris said...

Well, now you can say you are a Chemistry teacher too!