Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cookies and Course Evaluations

I looked up this morning from finishing up posting grades on a few last homeworks to find a monkey in the mulberry tree:
I stuck my head out the window to say hi, and Willow mentioned she was stuck, so we discussed some strategies for remedying that unfortunate situation--Will's first suggestion was that she climb further out onto the branch to make it bend lower to the ground, which I actually thought was pretty clever, but I had to point out that it just seemed a little too risky to try. Eventually she compromised with my suggestion that she wasn't so high that she couldn't lower herself from the limb, hang by her hands, and then drop to the ground. I'm very big on proper dropping procedure--loose muscles, land on your feet, immediately let yourself fall onto your butt--so it ended up going pretty well.

That, however, was not the big adventure for the day, because today was (Hallelujah!!!) my last class of the semester! My students drive me nuts, and I never do grow to like all of them, but over the course of the semester I do become very fond of most of them, and extremely fond of a few of them. They're usually funny, most of them, and sincere, and pretty good sports, and on the last day of classes I like to bake them cookies. It's my secret way of giving them a little love.

Some semesters I go homemade, some semesters I go straight Pillsbury, but this semester I went for Pillsbury with homemade cream cheese icing. I've got some professional-grade food coloring, and I had this whole plan to let the girls explore color mixing, but why the hell would you want to discuss the difference between a dye and a pigment and what a tone is versus what a shade is when you could just be doing this? Or this? Ah, well. It was a Practical Life exercise, in that I taught them how to mix the icing inside a sealed plastic bag and then cut a corner off of the bag to decorate with it, and an exercise in Good Works for Others, in that we decorated the cookies not for ourselves, but for my students. We'll do color mixing tomorrow.

My cookies are pretty luscious-looking, I think, with the course number of the composition class I teach iced on top: Pretty festive, don't you think?

The girls' cookies, however, are in a world of their own:

I let them decorate with some of the Ouchie Candy Stash (you and your sister only get a piece if one of you is SERIOUSLY hurt, real tears, no faking) which itself is left over from a holiday gingerbread house.

But don't worry--there are a couple of cookies (and a couple of cold beers) left over for my own private end of the semester celebration. Because I'm fond of them, but they were still assholes for most of the semester, and also?

I have 42 final papers to grade now.

P.S. Check out my rules for tree climbing over at Eco Child's Play.


Coccinelle said...


Where do you buy professional-grade food coloring?

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I love that you call them assholes...because I'm pretty sure I was an asshole student in W131; I, luckily for you, took it at IUPUI so I wasn't YOUR asshole student ;-)

cake said...

lucky students!
carl's last class is today, and all they're getting is carl dressed in clean slacks (for a change) and a bright, goldenrod colored remember him by, i guess?

Lisa said...

Willow stuck in the mulberry bush is the cutest darn thing, such an Araina thing to do! ;)

YEE HAW! Semester over (bummer on the final papers to grade though). The cookies are so pretty and colorful.

julie said...

Yes, the deal if they're getting cookies from me is that guaranteed, they are NOT getting clean clothes--I think I still had cream cheese frosting in my hair when I went to class.

The best place to get the really good food coloring is an independent goods for cooks shop--our town is kind of small, and we randomly have two. A big-box crafting store with a good section on baking crafts will also have terrific quality food coloring--we like the paste kind, and it's a really easy to get a nice, pure color.

It's hard to get a good black, though. I still haven't food a good, pure black that I like.