Help me finish this sentence:
When I prepare food and provide food to feed others I feel______________.
What word fits best in the blank? (And no, this isn't preparation for a standardized test.)
Lots of words spring to mind for me:
But the word that best describes it for me is one that I almost never use in writing or in speech - beneficient. I had to look it up to confirm that it meant what I thought it meant. It does.
adjective - doing good or causing good to be done; conferring benefits; kindly in action or purpose.
When I prepare a meal for my family, when I bring a dish to a potluck, I feel beneficient. Even if I never use the word, that's the feeling I get about myself.
This week was the next to last week before the class begins studying the regions of the US. That means it's the next to last week of me choosing a cooking project just because it tickle my fancy. (Or because a cooking project chooses me; next week will include two projects like this.) I had gotten the advice to bake biscuits with the class because when we study chemistry over the winter, we can mess around with the ingredients and see what happens. Good-bye baking powder, hello baking soda. That kind of thing. So biscuits now would be the base line.
Su took class into the school kitchen in halves on Thursday afternoon to mix up the dough and form the biscuits, while I worked with the other half to finish their books. Then we switched, so all kids got to do both activities. I popped down the hall to see how the first group was doing partway through, and this is what I saw:
Not bad, you might say. But let's look a little closer.
So what. So there's a little flour on the counter.
I shouldn't have worried. My two angels, Su and Colleen, had the kitchen cleaned up before 3:00. (Colleen is an assistant who works with a student in my classroom.)
After school I baked the biscuits in the already-cleaned up kitchen. Then it was 5:55PM.
People came, people ate.No pictures of grown ups; they are a bit more camera shy. But they ate the biscuits, too!
And by 6:45...
I especially love the jam smeared all over the stick of butter!
Without a doubt, my students liked the biscuits. They loved the home-made-this-summer jam, too. But more importantly, I hope they felt a sense of beneficence. Their efforts allowed others to eat.
Even if they felt this way, did they realize it? I plan to talk with the class about this idea next week. Monday we'll be making salsa for the whole school to enjoy as part of taco lunch the next day. I'll let you know what they have to say about how it feels to feed others.