Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Beer Makes You Happier

So say that you are having a seriously lousy morning. You STILL have some Project #1 papers to grade and you want to return them tonight to your students, who are whiny and demanding and will refuse to understand why it might take more than one week to grade 46 papers that (supposedly) took them two weeks each to write. Add this to the fact that you are actually having some discipline issues in your classroom, which is ridiculous since your students are college freshmen, although they seem to be having an unusually difficult time adapting to your classroom, which is not permissive, accepts no deviation from the stated rules of the syllabus, and requires a lot of unsupervised work on their part. Are you the problem? You know you're unhappy teaching this semester, you find it burdensome and tiring, you resent the time spent away from your family--can the little rats tell?

And of course, since this is a morning in which you need the children to play independently so that you can work, and you can't go to the park because it's too windy to grade papers there, and you can't go to the library because the playroom is closed on Wednesday mornings, the children are also being whiny and demanding. Willow is throwing an hour-long fit because she's cold--she is also naked and refuses to get dressed. Sydney is fully dressed, but you've just had to change her clothes entirely after she stuffed cottonballs down the drain and overflowed the sink onto herself, the floor, and down into the basement.

Clearly, life sucks. You need to make some beer bread. Beer bread is delicious. It's easy. It's bread. It's beer. It's yummy happy comfort food that will bring some small pleasure into your spiteful day.

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. In a bowl, sift three cups of flour--I sometimes do all whole wheat, sometimes all white, usually a combination thereof. If you use at least two-thirds self-rising flour, skip the baking powder and salt; otherwise, throw in a teaspoon of each. 3. Grab a beer. I have an entire case of Budweiser in the basement that I use only for beer bread, but when I'm feeling especially unhappy, I treat myself by using my most favorite of all beers: You need a tad less than 12 ounces of beer, I assert, so go ahead and take a little swig of that bad boy: If you accidentally drink too much, well, there's always another beer in the fridge, right?

4. Pour in the beer and mix it on up: After you've got it just mixed, you can add it whatever: spices, nuts, shredded cheese, dried fruit. My favorites are pistachios or sunflower seeds or shredded pepperjack. Raisins and garlic were both kind of gross.

5. Spray a loaf pan, pour in the dough, and bake it in the oven for 45 minutes.

While you're waiting 45 minutes for your bready goodness, you've still got your demanding little monkeys to pacify, so whip out one of your faithful documentaries,. Kids sit gape-mouthed on the bed, you get to just nearly almost finish grading:
6. Forty-five minutes later, yum! I tend to like mine with some butter or jalepeno jelly or vegenaise--
--but Willow likes me to melt cheese on hers so that she can then stuff it into her mouth like an animal:
And while you're grading the last two papers and then recording the grades, flush with not so much a sense of accomplishment as resigned relief that the misery is over for a little while, your younger monkey, bored with the bird movie, will scribble over some of your students' papers and then the sheets and then fall fast asleep:

Instead of ahh-ing over how adorable your little daughter is, you will think, "Crap. There goes her afternoon nap."

Hello, writing lesson plans with a baby on my lap!


Abby said...

Beer makes you happier, and this post made ME happier. I chuckled the whole time I was reading this. Maybe you should quit your job and write a book. I'd buy it. Hell, I'd sell it.

Kimberly said...

That's 2 people who will buy and read your book! Heck, you dictate, I chuckle and write!

julie said...

Aw, you guys--you're too sweet! I'm glad my misery entertains you. Now if I could only think of a way to publish a book that would be profitable with two readers...

Anonymous said...

I would read it, too! I would also buy a few copies and disperse it to my friends and family.

So, really if Abby and Kimberly would just do the same--that's 15 or 20 copies sold right there! What publisher could resist?