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Students beyond the classroom

August 26, 2012

Teacher Musings:

A couple of weeks ago I got together with a couple of my students for coffee and a visit to a local bookstore.  They are seriously awesome kids – the type of students that I want to count among my friends once they graduate.  They insisted on coming out towards my town since I had a baby, so we met at a shopping center near the T-station.  I brought my new baby so that the could meet her and hold her.  We brought books to trade around since I was going to borrow one from one of my students and also return one that she had lent to me.  We got some lemonade, sat and chatted about books, TV, school and work (they are working at their first jobs this summer).  It was a great visit with great company.  Afterwards we went to the bookstore.  One student bought her summer reading books, the other one and I perused the young adult section.  I had to leave rather suddenly because my baby was getting fussy, but otherwise we had a really great time.

Sometimes it is easy for me to forget that my students are people beyond my classroom.  I know of their lives and their families rather abstractly and as the year progresses I sometimes get too laser-focused on their academic lives and academic needs.  Sometimes I forget that they are people who I might want to hang out with.  I hope to continue this pseudo-friendship with these students and others until they reach adulthood and we can be actual friends.  I also look forward to cultivating more of these types of relationships during the school year with students.  This outing reminded me of the importance of going to student sporting events, chaperoning prom or being in charge of a student club.  I’m hoping that my own family life allows me to do some more of these things in the near future.

Yummy Stuff:

We have gotten bok choy in our CSA farmshare box for several weeks in a row.  So, we have  made this stir-fry quite a bit!  It is our current favorite way to use all that yummy bok choy.

Noodle and Bok Choy Stir-fry

About 9 oz of dried udon or soba noodles
2 TB canola oil (you can also use peanut oil if you choose)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 inch cube of fresh ginger, minced
1 carrot, julianned
2 oz of bamboo shoots, sliced
6 dried shiitake mushroom caps
2-3 cups (depending on their size) of bok choy, sliced (including some stalk and all the greens)
1 TB soy sauce
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp toasted sesame oil

1.  Start a pot of water boiling.  Cook the udon or soba noodles according to package directions.  While waiting for the water and cooking the noodles, prep the veggies.  If the noodles finish before the rest of the stir-fry is ready, drain them and rinse them in cold water.

2. Put the dried shiitake mushrooms in a bowl or mug, and then pour boiled water over them.  Make sure the mushrooms stay submerged in the water (we sometimes put a tea strainer over them).  Let them hydrate until ready to use – about 10 minutes usually works.  When the mushrooms are reconstituted, pull them out and slice them thinly.  Save the soaking water.

3. In a wok or large skillet, heat the oil to a medium high heat.  Saute the garlic and ginger for 10 seconds.

3. Add the carrot, bamboo and shiitake.  Stir fry for 3-4 minutes.  Add the bok choy and stir fry for another minute until heated through.  Add 1/4 cup of the leftover mushroom liquid and pepper.

4. Toss in the cooked noodles and the soy sauce.  Toss to mix.  Turn the heat off and then add in the toasted sesame oil and toss to coat.  Then, serve!

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