Day 94: pasta

Today’s menu: pasta with meat sauce, breadstick, broccoli, orange

I was pleased that it was pasta today. Tasted fine to me. Rubbery would be how I would describe the breadstick though. Upon entering my mouth the broccoil promptly disintegrated into mush. It was like the broccoli collapsed from the long journey onto the bed of my tongue. I normally prefer my broccoli with a little more “oomph.”

I ate my lunch in a record 8 minutes today. I was pressed for time and I had to eat very fast. I can see why the school food company chooses a meal like this one because it can be scarfed down in less than 10 minutes.


After dinner I just had no energy and just wanted to lie on the floor. My arm and leg muscles are flaccid: It’s like someone pushed my “off” button. I feel completely bone tired so I know it’s the end of the year.


Back when I was a kid I was a model student. I got basically straight A’s in school and practically never missed being on the honor roll. I always did my homework. I know that teachers appreciated the kind of student I was: hard working and not a behavior issue. My husband on the other hand was a slacker. I believe that he is certainly more intelligent and logical than me, but he didn’t care about school. He did excellent in the classes he cared about (math and science) and in everything else he barely passed. He never did homework for any class and ditched constantly, missing almost a month his senior of high school. He made it into college because he tests well and of course my own college acceptance was a “no brainer.” We didn’t know each other then, which is good because I would not have wanted to be associated with someone like him.

Sometimes I think that “school” failed both of us. Granted I moved every couple years to another state so that was an educational obstacle, but I wish there had been some kind of “instruction” in critical thinking and questioning authority. Instead those personality traits of mine to easily comply to teacher requests and to do exactly as I was told were encouraged. My husband’s desire to disobey authority and to do what he pleased were never channeled appropriately. I believe he was bored and unchallenged in most of his classes so he acted out, sometimes even debating teachers. When I was bored, I just daydreamed or doodled. I would have never acted out or questioned my instructors.

Until now… Maybe my husband’s attitude rubbed off on me because I’m questioning authority in my own way. I guess I finally just had enough after all these years of doing what I was told.


Thanks to everyone who comments. I’m sorry that I don’t comment in response. Since I moderate all comments, I get to read every single one, but I can’t always reply. Know that I love reading what you say even if I can’t get back to you. If you want a more personalized response, I’m better with email.
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22 thoughts on “Day 94: pasta

  1. Only point I'm stuck on is that you seem to be advocating critical thinking and individualism (good things) as opposed to the current system trying to spew out little robots. Why then do you consider debating a teacher to be acting out? Then again, I'm exhausted and read your last sentence at least a dozen times to understand what it was saying…and it has a very clear message. Too bad the broccoli sucked.

  2. At least your rebellion has a good cause. My husband and I share a similar story as far as our schooling. He's now a carpenter with a psych degree and I'm a teacher. He's infinitely smarter and more interesting than I am. I think that there's something to those who rebel against conformity. Thanks for the post.

  3. @Stepshep — Well, you haven't met my husband! He's quite the debater. Thankfully we agree on almost all things. So for him debating would be acting out.

  4. I thought the breadstick was a Twinkie.

    Still not healthy, but I bet it would have tasted better. ;o)

  5. First of all, schools don't want to change "perfect" straight-A students! Why would they?? My daughter is much like that… she enjoys learning… and enjoys making her teachers happy BUT when she doesn't like something… she's very "vocal" 🙂

    REBEL!!! 🙂 I don't know what happened to me… but once I had kids, I had a very hard time keeping quiet about things that matter to me…

    I'm interested in what this (rebelling) means for you…

  6. Do you think school lunch could be contributing to tooth decay in children? There is nothing crunchy on your plate, like EVER. We all know crunchy fresh foods impart more nutrients, and help scrub plaque off teeth.

    Coincidence? I think not.

  7. mr. q sounds like me. i'm doing really well in the classes that i like (anthropology and photography) and not so well in the classes i don't like (english, astronomy, and math). and i never did homework in high school either…i was being much better about that this semester right up until about 2 weeks ago. i have finals starting tomorrow and they totally snuck up on me! i hate it when that happens!

  8. i'd encourage everyone to take a learning theory and pedagogy course. at least in the united states, we remain saddled with an education system that was developed to support a manufacturing economy, not a knowledge economy.

    the current mania for standardized testing, where it is the only measure by which students and teachers are evaluated, has produced a system where we teach to the test and nothing more. Students emerge, at best, able to regurgitate facts, but they demonstrate no ability to solve novel problems, and no ability to transfer their knowledge in one topic to solve problems or learn another topic.

    there's a lot wrong with schools today. mrs. q is focusing on lunch, which is admirable. but there's plenty to get involved in.

  9. I was a good student who turned rebel in high school. With hippies for parents, I loved learning for the sake of learning and never hesitate to question the status quo (it was even worse then). That being said, I had one high school teacher who failed me miserably (thank goodness the administration did not).

    I had dropped from Gifted English to "regular" English because I refused to do vocabulary homework. I reasoned that if I knew the definitions and how to use the words, why should I do 10 pages of monotonous vocabulary homework? My sophmore year I had an English teacher say (and I quote, even 19 years later I remember the incident like it was yesterday), "We usually show this movie to college bound students, but I am going to show it to you anyway." My jaw dropped. I stood up, grabbed my stuff and walked directly to the grade level principal's office. How dare she? And what if no one had stood up for her students?

    Otherwise my experiences in school were good, even great. Thank goodness for the other English teachers who challeneged me to read Bronte and Faulkner, Hemmingway and Shakespeare. Thanks to the teachers who saw my intelligence despites the debates and undone homework and challenged me.

    And thanks to the salad bar, white rolls and mashed potato day!

  10. This is one important reason my child is not in a public school –they encourage children to be passive learners. And how could they not? With huge class sizes, teachers don't have time or energy to work individually with every child in a way that encourages active learning. That takes one-on-one student time, and there are only so many hours in a school day. Most public schools take great teachers and burn them out. Then they basically fire them at the end of the school year and make them reapply for the job they did the year before. The school system treats its teachers as badly as it treats its students.

    I support the idea of public education, including in the voting booth. But I'm glad I'm in a position to make sure my daughter's education is not in the hands of that system. Somehow the American education system has created an educational process that devalues actual learning. It teaches kids like your husband was to sit still and endure boredom, and it rewards passive behavior. Teachers don't have time for formative assessment, so we test and test and test. By the time students get to college (where I get to teach them), they've lost all interest in learning, and see education as a series of hoops to jump through.

    Sorry to rant –I'm rather passionate about learning.

  11. I wish you could answer/respond in the comments more often. It would be nice for everyone to be in on the conversations. I know, time's an issue in every aspect of life. Understood completely!

  12. I looked back and saw that every pasta has been served with meat sauce (or "beef crumbles" as Mr. Bruske informed us today)

    Is the veg option always the bean burrito? Or are there rotating options?

  13. I thought the breadstick was a Twinkie too! Glad it wasn't, but sorry it wasn't great.

    I think it's unfortunate that school lunch veggies are usually bland (or taste bad) and are overcooked. So many kids probably don't get fresh broccoli or fresh anything at home, and don't get a chance to experience how good it can be. I like to put a little olive oil, garlic powder, pepper and salt in a freezer bag, cut up the broccoli, dump it in the bag and shake it around so it gets covered in the flavored oil, and then bake on 350 for about 20 minutes.

    Maybe next year you could do a nutrition day and share some veggies that are actually cooked properly, or yummy fresh raw veggies like sliced tomatoes with salt and pepper. Do your kids get health class?

    At least your school doesn't seem to be repurposing all the leftovers as the school year draws to a close. We always had about two weeks of "manager's choice" at the end of the year, which seemed to be whatever stale freezer-burned crap they still had lingering around.

    My co-workers and I frequently discuss how public schools, especially some of the smaller systems in our state, try to fit "square pegs into round holes." It seems that around here, most parents who can afford to do so send their kids to private schools, which is also sad — how are public schools going to improve if all the engaged, motivated parents are pulling their kids out?

  14. Great post and comments. The public school system was set up to be education for the masses, not the individuals. Even though we say we want kids to think outside the box and be creative, we don't have the time to encourage those skills when we have 30 kids, some with disabilities, some that can't speak English, some that are gifted, some that are really low, and administrators breathing down our necks about test scores. Sadly NCLB and "accountability" has emphasized students scoring well on multiple choice tests. For many kids, their knowledge and academic abilities do not translate to a score on a standardized test. Both kids that score well but don't really know the material, and those that know it best test terribly. The best students are the ones that learn to play the game of school. Don't know now to fix things, but know that our educational system is so outdated it is pathetic.

  15. I definitely agree that school promote obedience. It's hard when a student isn't challenged enough or doesn't find some rules to be particularly helpful.

  16. Why does frozen broccoli have to look like hash — all chopped up into little bits? Why can't they leave the florets complete or mostly so? It's a really pretty veg at first. I love the stem but it can be sliced into better looking discs, too. The frozen stuff — even high end organics– just always looks so battered and practically pre-chewed.

  17. *lol* I was a mixture of you both- did great in English class because I was a reader since before Kindergarten (which also led to great spelling test scores- though only written, lousy at the verbal), but usually forgot to do my homework because I always focus on what's interesting. Yet I didn't act out- I spent most of my school years day dreaming.

    I think that when school went from "privilege" to "mandatory" is where we lost our way. Why shouldn't students focus on what they find interesting? After the basics, you're really preparing students for life after high school anyway.

  18. Interestingly, I just recently read an article about how the 'prep-schools' train the kids to think differently about authority figures, and that that is one of the main aspects of why they tend to succeed. They have small class sizes, interact one-on-one with the teachers, and are actively encouraged to challenge things. All of this, of course, leads to a can-do attitude that isn't intimidated by authority or position later in life. So they can confidently approach job interviews, give presentations with ease, and in general shine above their peers that went to regular schools, even if their ultimate degree is the same.

  19. As an Education major as well as a mother this makes me want to pack my lunch and my soon to be going to schools sons lunch as well. .

  20. Of course the schools try to train everyone to be obedient; critical thinkers might question the government! I was in gifted classes and I still don't think I was challenged enough or taught real critical thinking skills. I learned my questioning of authority and the government from delving into the punk rock subculture in college. Thank you to all the intelligent misfits out there!!! DIY and F corporate amerikkka!

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