Feb 22, 2014

February Self Actualization - Chocolate & Creative Writing

You know the terribly cliched line, "You don't know what you have until it's gone."  Wellll... it's true.  In my case, anyway.  I am/was (I hope I've improved) terrible at recognizing the value of things when I'm first introduced to them.  Which leads us to this month's self actualization theme!  School.  Hated it while I was in it.  Miss it now that it's gone.  The best part about taking classes now is that I don't necessarily need to work towards a goal so I can take whatever I want!

Last week was chocolate making, in honor of Valentine's Day.  The class was good; the instructor demonstrated some of the more challenging things (making toffee and caramel), and prudently allowed us to have our fun dipping these delicious items into a vat of chocolate.  I'm definitely going to try this at home at some point, but I don't know if I'll make it before the holiday.  After all, I only just became aware that a kitchen without a candy thermometer is hardly deserving of the name.

Our chocolate creations

This week marks the beginning of Creative Writing, something I'd always wanted to take in college years, but didn't fit neatly in with my curriculum.  Because this is a 6 week course, it's a bit more slow paced.  So far we've analyzed some poetry:

"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost and "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou.  I had covered the Robert Frost poem pretty thoroughly back in middle school, so not a whole lot of excitement there but I'd never read Maya Angelou's work.  It was very evocative, and subtle, and reminded me how terrible I am at poetry.  I'm hoping we'll have the opportunity to write something more spectacular and less rhyme-y later on in the class, but here's my first night's work:

Snow Day

Yard whitely shimmers
Hints of fun, and of play!
Determined, ignore it
We’ve a mission today

Roll out the snowballs!
Each one it’s own prize
How quickly a palmful
Achieves a great size

The bottom’s in place
Middle too fat to lift!
Time to be creative
How to make it shift?

A spot of engineering
A ramp made of snow
The middle rolls up
But the head, it won’t go

Snowman’s too tall
Our arms not that long
Dad to the rescue!
So burly and strong

Carrot nose, button mouth
Placed with abandon
Potato head eyes
Seeming at random

Red scarf, fuzzy hat
Amusingly found
Perched like a Sparrow
On that head, huge and round

He smiles cattywampus
We crow in delight
Snowman’s six foot three
About our dad’s height