It’s week two of the creative writing camp. A new wave of students rushes in with the excitement and activity of a bunch of hummingbirds. The college student mentors have still barely recovered from the last week. Not that it’s a hassle dealing with them. All I’m saying is that I’m a human being, and I can’t take a new group of students who continue poking me like I’m some exhibit on a side show circus!
Dramatics aside, this has been an interesting and enlightening experience. I remember sitting in my chair quietly throughout middle school, absorbing lots and day-dreaming some. At the time I saw teachers as recorders. Someone would hit the play button and then I would pay attention as I pleased. As far as I was concerned, the teacher would continue on with the lesson regardless of my state of mind.
From in front of the blackboard, I now realize that there is nothing more that a teacher wants than to know how engaged the students are. Is the material engaging? Am I teaching them material that they find worthwhile? Above all it’s brought me into a greater understanding of our schooling system. These kids are so accustomed to plopping their bottoms on a seat for hours on end, stifling complaints or comments. I appreciate this camp so much just because of the desire to break out of that cycle. When it comes to writing, we only want the kids to write what they want. But if they’ve only learned how to do what the teacher wants them to do, we arrive at an impasse. Progress is made every day though. Kids often come to us with question on an assignment. Our mantra is “Whatever you want.”
I’ve talked about the hardships of summer, but why don’t I take a moment to explore the fantastic moments of summer? Without hesitation I’ll take us into the realm of cool snacks. From there I’ll go into iced goods. And finally, we’ll arrive at the Smoothie. Of the fruit variety.
After hours upon hours of making smoothies at the Zia Juice Bar, an on-campus job that has done wonders for both my resume, work experience and appreciation for blended iced drinks, I have internalized the secrets of smoothie creation. Now, upon occasion I will whip one up and enjoy it through every spoonful. Here’s a rough guideline of what I did to make the one pictured above.
1 Banana (peeled)
1 Orange (peeled)
3/4 Cup Milk
6 oz. Yogurt (I chose Strawberry Banana flavor. Go with what you’re feeling)
Ice (Per your discretion. If you like juicy smoothies, add less. If you like chunkier smoothies, add more. Add a small amount, test, and repeat until you find the right consistency)
Throw all of this together, blend it, and then enjoy it like so:
Tagged: Andrew Erlandson, Butler, cool, delicious, delight, explosion, fantastic, fresh, fruit, recipe, refreshing, smoothie, summer, taste, university
We are conditioned from youth to worship the summer seasons. But there’s no denying that this blessedly school-free time comes at a cost. Bugs, muggy 99.9% humidity, and the occasional dive into upper the 90′s makes these months nearly insufferable. What is the normal response to all of this? Either we hole up in our air conditioned houses, essentially an environment-controlled box to separate us from that darned nature, or we get out in search of a way to beat the heat.
Swimming in pools or beaches, laying out by fountains, anything we can think of to drop that infernal temperature. Unfortunately, that sun is still out to get us, whatever we do. Sunburn. There’s no better way to explain the pain than the metaphor with fire ants crawling across my skin and a quick photo:
Left: burned chest. Right: contrast of arm.
It hurts, and so I turn to my truest friend in such a time of need. Aloe Vera does what it can, but sometimes it feels like it won’t be enough. Ever. Maybe this is it, I’ve entered into eternal suffering that will only be assuaged by avoiding the outdoors.
Sitting around my A/C box, pacing back and forth, avoiding mirrors and steamy showers, I look at the window. Through the window. Out the window. It’s out there, it’s pleasant, and it’s nature. How can I pass it up? It’s only in this state once a year, and it would be foolish to ignore it while I don’t have classes, right? I get my towel and book.
Tagged: aloe vera, Andrew Erlandson, burn, heat, pain, spf, summer, sun, sun block, sunburn, sunscreen