Thursday, September 11, 2014

Domestic Retreat

On Friday, September 5, while the rest of SK was exploring the Howell Nature Center, the seventh and eighth graders had some adventures of their own in the school building.

We spent a couple of hours previewing the year--see the results of that in our next post. We spent a couple of hours in an intensive writing workshop with Joanna--watch for the results of that ongoing project in the weeks to come. We spent an hour, give or take, playing capture the flag and hide-and-seek in the nearly empty building. (That was fun. Usually the big kids have to be so careful around the little kids. For a little while on Friday they got to just run around like the delightful maniacs they are.)

We spent a couple of hours preparing and consuming a fabulous feast reflecting regional cuisines, an exercise that reflected our current work on the Americana on the Road project. We made jambalaya, a spicy Louisiana dish with rice, beans, chicken and vegetables. We simmered a Maine cod chowder. We imported a little korma sabzi from India (actually from Earthen Jar)--OK, there are Indian communities all over the United States; let's say this one was from Michigan, since it was. We roasted potatoes with light spices--that's Idaho, of course. We had Hawaiian pineapple and Florida Key lime pie for dessert. (The pie was more like pudding, but it was magically delicious.)

This was a big task, cooking for 15 (plus the staff members on hand, Joanna, Dayna, Megan and Jenna). All I asked of the kids was that they help, and keep helping, however long and complicated the cooking was. I can't remember any of them ever standing around waiting for someone to tell them what to do, or shirking any task. It was a continuous, merry, productive buzz of activity.

There was plenty left over, too, and I sent an e-mail to the faculty saying that there would be lunch ready for everyone on Monday. It's too bad the power went out and we had to pitch all the leftovers.

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