Thursday, March 24, 2011

College Classes and Family Dinners

Skidmore College Entrance
Yesterday I was the visiting blogger in my friend Anne Breznau's English 105 classes at Skidmore College.  I had visited her class last semester and Anne asked if I'd consider doing it again, and I was very happy to repeat such an interesting experience.  I met with Anne's  4 p.m.  class and also with her 6:30 p.m. class.  The students were so engaged and curious.  Each, as part of this class, has started a blog.  It was great to hear about their topics which varied widely to include music, riding (equestrian), snowboarding, theater, food and restaurant reviews, and much more.  One writes about "rediculousness."  Some students' blogs are simply reflections on their lives as they happen.  One student, JP,  writes a letter to himself and responds to it (from his future self) from the year 2049.  How smart is that?

I was asked technical and process questions:  How did I get started?; What's my inspiration?; Do I have a bake shop?(no); What do I see my blog becoming in the future? (cook book/s).  Do I track data? (yes, somewhat obsessively); Do I consider myself more a writer who likes to bake or a baker who likes to write? (I am a baker who likes to write with the goal of one day being the writer who happens to bake!)

I had the same question for the students in each class:  Do you have regular family dinners?  Many do not.  Most responded that their families used to, but then schedules, life, etc. seemed to put an end to that.  One student noted that her family didn't start having dinner together until she went to college, and now when she goes home, they do sit down together to eat, but that will probably fall to the wayside over the summer.  Others talked about how, in their families, they eat individually and that's the way it's always been.  Of those who do have family dinners, it seems the ritual is sacred.  Some families have breakfast and dinner together every day.   One lovely student, Kyle, talked about actually placing a laptop at her sister's seat one time when she couldn't be there for dinner, and Skype-ing her sister in to the meal!  It was interesting to watch and hear students react to the descriptions of others' routines.  Some may be inspired to start their own version of the family dinner here at college, and perhaps revive them at home.  That'd be terrific!

I'm so grateful for the opportunity to sit with these students, and with Anne, to discuss food and family.  They were so enthusiastically engaged in the conversation.  It makes me wonder if I should have been a teacher!

Thank you, Anne, once again!



  1. Oh, you have no idea how happy this makes me to read that people still care about family dinners! we have always sat down together to eat...maybe not breakfast because it's a bit hectic getting ready for school, etc...but dinner was a must when it could happen! Unless there was an event or a sports practice we have always eaten dinner together as a family and to this day still try to all get together as much as possible for "extended" family dinners now that we have 2 married children and a grandaughter. I will admit it's hard with just our 17 year old son left at home...but if we can't eat with him..we atleast sit with him and talk with him...that's the important part! And I truly do believe it builds stability in their lives as well as ours as parents! WOW!! I would love to be in on this blogging class! Please keep us posted!

  2. Family dinners - of course! They give us a chance to just relax and chat. (And, in the interest of full disclosure, to make really bad puns).


  3. Wow! Family diners are the most important part of our family day. We involve our children in planning and preparing meals, and they also choose blessings from around the world to say at each meal. I would love to share recipies with you Jeannie, and other rituals and habits of our family table! Amy CS

    1. Hi Amy CS! It's so nice to hear your family's dinner rituals - I still think of your boys as babies!!! Please share any time you'd like!