It’s been difficult in many ways to offer the Barrio Bites program: we have no infrastructure for cooking (our materials are kept in cardboard boxes in my Language Arts classroom), we have only a grill for a heat source limiting certain culinary explorations, funding has consisted of my (dwindling) bank account, etc. It’s so easy to bitch and moan; after all, it’s what teachers often do best. But another thing teachers do well is persevere and try to find the silver lining and if there’s anything Bradley Cooper’s character has taught me it’s that I can be undiagnosed bipolar, date Jennifer Lawrence, dance my ass off, eat crabby snacks, hate on Ernest Hemingway, and . . . wait, what the hell was I writing about? Oh, right, yeah, Barrio Bites. And perseverance. And teachers. And important shit (not really, but kinda, if you think kids actually are important. And if you don’t think they are, you’re a heartless SOB).
So since the students and I have been on break since December 6th, and we will not be back until the new year rumbles into town, I thought it would be best to offer thanks: one can never be gracious enough (in my mind). I will also digress a little about some hopes for the future. Please excuse my lapses in judgement and welcome to Barrio Bites, 2013.
Thank you to all the students who participate in Barrio Bites every Thursday from 3 to 5:30. You are amazing, talented, curious, hard-working young ladies and gentlemen who already are amazing cooks! You help me stay young, you put a smile on my face, and you remind me why I became a teacher in the first place. Goonies never say die! Remember that. Cuz down here it’s our time, it’s our time down here. That’s all . . OK, I’ll stop. But it never hurts to toss in a Goonies reference! Truffle shuffle for all the awesome Barrio Bite kids!
Thank you to Ms. Cornejo, Ms. Moreno, and others at the Prep for helping provide us with some fresh, organic vegetables and cooking equipment. We couldn’t do it without thoughtful people such as yourselves.
Thank you to Ms. Ruiz at Prep, who recently wrote a grant proposal for the NFL Play 60 Program. Her proposal was selected, and she helped the school earn $10,000! Some of this money will be earmarked for Barrio Bites. To say this money will help is an understatement. To read more about this fantastic grant, click here! I paraphrase Shakespeare for such awesomeness (and by Shakespeare, I mean the Goonies): This grant is more amazing than the time Michael Jackson came over to my house to use the bathroom. More amazing than the time I saved those old people from that nursing home fire.
Thank you to the Chef Ricardo Heredia at Alchemy, a great chef and mentor! I hope the new year allows for Chef Ricardo to meet up with Barrio Bites for some culinary pedagogy.
Thank you to the San Diego Public Market (Catt White and Dale Steele) for extending an invitation to the students to come explore the market’s culinary creativity!
Thank you to Chef Chad White for reaching out to work with the students of Barrio Bites! I look forward to the students getting the opportunity to meet you and learn from you.
Thank you to Olivewood Gardens for fighting the good fight! If you haven’t seen all the great opportunities offered here, you need to check yo self!
Thank you to all my family and friends who offer more support and love than I could ever have asked for!
Hey, you guys! (Sloth impression mandatory!) A BIG thank you to Nicole, an 8th grade student who designed our kick-ass club shirt below. I know the holidays are past, but if you’d like to purchase a shirt to support our students and club. please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. C’mon, you know you want to! Be hip! Rep Barrio Bites!
I don’t know what the new year will bring, but that’s part of life’s excitement. And no matter what trials and tribulations we’re going to face, Barrio Bites’ students will slice, dice, chop, and grill their way to success. So thank you to everyone who is making this adventure worthwhile!