I hadn’t gotten to eat lunch, hardly a new feature given my current class and the collection of squirrels and nuts in the group. This time, it was the inevitable girl drama. Kid 1 had stepped on Kid 2’s shoelaces, oh, about 11 weeks ago, and that, naturally, required Kid 2 to whap Kid 1 in the face with a folder. Why did it take 11 weeks for Kid 2 to retaliate? She didn’t want Kid 1 to see it coming. Now that’s a grudge. Over stepping on shoelaces.
That mini-imbroglio meant my lunch time was taken up by paperwork on the incident and counseling Kid 2 to deal with her aggression in less aggressive ways. Then there was the calling of the parents, a meeting during my conference period to discuss how fabulous the difficult-to-use, pedagogically-questionable, error-ridden CSCOPE curriculum is, and another one after school to discuss last year’s scores on The Test, which amounted to a whole lot of covert finger-pointing.
Anyway, the upshot? Lunch didn’t happen, and because of meetings and paperwork that had to be done, I raced the school’s alarm out the door at 8:00pm and brought my grading home to do while watching re-runs of Adam-12.
With breakfast being somewhere around 6:00am, I was a little hungry. Fortunately, I had noodles, and I had tomatoes, olive oil, a bit of cheese, and olives. There you go. Dinner. I made some cheesy toast and chewed on that while I put the pot of water on to boil and carved up the tomatoes and olives. Finishing the slicing and dicing long before the water got around to boiling, I left the water on the stove and went to grade papers.
I’d intended to go check on the pot in a few minutes, but you know what intentions are good for. I was on my third episode of Adam-12 and grumbling about how students were still, after many lessons and admonitions, starting their nonfiction essays with “Once upon a time there was a …” when my stomach started growling. The cheesy toast had gotten a little lonely in there and wanted company.
My pen froze mid-comment. Dinner. I was supposed to be making dinner. Snatching up the remote, I hit the pause button right in the middle of one of Pete Malloy’s witty remarks about police work, tossed the papers and my pen on the coffee table and darted into the kitchen. The metallic tang in the air hit me like a brick before the brilliantly-glowing red bottom of the noodle pot caught my eye.
Groaning, I turned off the fire under the pot. The heat radiating from it might rival a blue flame in my science lab classes. Terrific. Would that ruin the pan or could it recover from that misadventure? I wouldn’t know until it cooled off enough to touch without instant third degree burns. Fortunately, I hadn’t put the noodles in yet. Boiling water shouldn’t be too scary.
I dragged out another pot and got it set up to boil on another burner, set a timer this time, and went back to grading. Cooking the rest of dinner proved much less exciting, and I finally ate somewhere around 9:30pm.
The next morning, when I went into the kitchen to make breakfast, I picked up the unfortunate pan. It would need a bit of scrubbing, but really, the only lasting effect was the rippled-looking blues, purples, and greens across the bottom of the pan and an inch or so up the sides. Festive, but not too bad in the end.