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Sunday, October 4, 2009

The final class

Trying to make my last week teaching as fun as possible, Monica graciously made a schedule crammed full of cooking class -- 10, to be exact, teaching every single team we had.

After spending the majority of the year baking chocolate cupcakes, we switched up the recipe mid-summer to chocolate chip cookies. While the cookies tasted 100 times better than the cupcakes, which had the consistency and flavor of burnt cardboard, they were sometimes a hassle to make with 15 hungry and impatient students, each of whom was allowed to stir in one ingredient.

Note that Korean kids usually have zero baking experience. Because most homes don't have ovens, baking is rare. Even eating baked goods is a special treat, purchased from Paris Baguette or Cake House rather than homemade. Plenty of kids over the year asked if I would come bake at their house or copied down the simple recipe.

The best thing about cooking class was that it produced a tangible result: snack. The vocabulary -- ingredients, vanilla, spatula -- might not have been the most useful or memorable, but students were excited about this class more than any other and (generally) enjoyed it.

Although I did make a few kids cry over the year. Oops. Just call me Gordon Ramsey.