Monday, February 16, 2009

guest post: daffodylic tells a tale

and now, my friends, i bring you your weekly guest blog:

One Weird Day + Easy Hummus

My weird day started in my afternoon writing class; the lesson of the day was “The Topic Sentence” so I was doing my thing up in front of the class, writing notes on the sticky old white board that smears when I try to wipe it. With Valentine's Day just behind us, I chose Love to brainstorm on the board to illustrate the process of writing that perfect topic sentence. We needed to narrow the topic, so we discussed types of love. The class discussion went haywire, so I redirected... “Family love, folks. Family love is a type of love. What's another type of love?” Friends, ah yes. Students typically come up with that one on their own. OK, last one. My brain willed the students just to come up with what my students come up with every semester: Romantic love. Come on folks... it's not that hard....

“SELF love!” Shouted a greasy, squinty-eyed boy who sits to the right. The class twittered, and I had to keep my facial expression blasé and unimpressed. I try not to over-guide my students during class discussions, but I went ahead and gave them the “Romantic Love” bit. Coming back to the family section, I asked what kinds of family love there were. I received the typical answers: Parents, siblings, kids....Mr. Self-Love tried to interject his point of view of masturbation being “family love” but we all ignored him. Friends went smoothly. However, when we got to the “Romantic Love” section, a clueless older student who sits in the back called out, “PETS!” There was a moment of painful, awkward silence before the class roared with laughter.

“Uh... romantic love, Al. We shouldn't have romantic love for our animals. Perhaps pet love could go under family...” I might have stammered through my response. It's possible. The class was rapidly getting out of control. Self-romantic-love came back up, and I guided the discussion again... the example I give every semester....

Puppy love.

The class howled. Exasperated, I tossed my almost-dried-out dry erase marker down on the desk and explained, “Puppy love, class, is infatuation.”

I tried to rein them in, I really did. I took our brainstorming and tried to relate it back to creating the topic sentence, which I had to give them because they were too obsessed with discussing masturbation and bestiality.

I broke down. I took the coward's way out: Book work and early release. Weird freaking class.

I deserved a little break. A treat. Ah yes, a peppermint latte from the campus coffee shop. I'm friendly with the girl who works there, and as soon as she sees me come in, she starts the espresso machine and pulls out the bottle of peppermint. We chatted amicably – “How are your classes going?” and “Your students behaving themselves?” Nice, normal small talk. She frothed milk and pumped peppermint into a cup.

She stopped suddenly, “That's it! I know who you remind me of! The girl on Step by Step, that old sitcom. You remind me of the tomboy, cool sister!” She looked back to an older gentleman sitting in the back of the shop. “Don't you think so?”

He stood up. He had a cane that he used lightly to walk over to the counter where I stood waiting for my perfectly normal peppermint latte.

“Hmm. First, you should make that latte a double espresso.” He winked at the attendant. She re-started the machine. “And let's see... I never watched Step by Step. I think you resemble...” He stepped close and peered into my face. My latte (er... double espresso) was ready, and I just wanted to pick it up and sit on a bench in the sun and forget my weird day for a few minutes.

“Ah yes, I know who you look like, but to be sure...” He stepped even closer and touched my cheek, turning it gently and almost caressing. “Leah Thompson. Admittedly, though ma'am, I just wanted the chance to touch your cheek.”

I laughed nervously, grabbed my coffee, said polite thank yous and goodbyes, and went to go find a park bench.

OK, first my class goes out of control talking about inappropriate topics, then some old guy caresses my cheek in a coffee shop. I think we need to chalk this one up to a weird day. So I went home and made hummus because there really is nothing else to do when discussions and conversations and encounters turn bizarre.

Daffodyllic Hummus

  • 1 cup (or so) cooked chickpeas.
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • hand-squeezed juice of one lemon
  • A few grinds of sea salt, to taste
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
Blend it all in a food processor or blender until it is the consistency you like. Put in pretty bowl and garnish with a tsp of olive oil in the center and paprika sprinkled over the top. Enjoy with freshly toasted pita triangles. And try to forget your weird day.

1 comment:

  1. You actually do kind of look like Leah Thompson. Only hotter.