Memories of Lavender and Rosemary

Lavender and Rosemary, originally uploaded by Kate Chan.

After only 4 days of classes, I am still feeling awash with the 155 (!!!) faces and names to learn. And the kids are still feeling out their new teachers. Just the way it is. No matter what grade level or course – there is always time to figure each other out.

One thing that I get to do every year is talk to the kids about Celiac too. It’s never an intentional lecture on CD, but it is a necessary one. This year in particular as I am striving to save every sick-day/hour/minute for some leave time with the baby once s/he arrives.

So why do I talk to my classes about Celiac? It’s not like I’m the Food & Nutrition (read: Home Ec) teacher nor am I in the cafeteria. However, I teach teenagers who EAT ALL DAY LONG.

I swear.

This means that there is always someone sneaking a bagel, a bag of Doritos, or some other random munchies into my classroom to nibble on when “the teacher isn’t looking”. (I think they forget that the cellophane or foil bags are a tad obvious and noisy…but whatever.)

In the past, this has meant that I inadvertently wind up with crumbs on my hands from moving desks or on the classroom counters from the shared/munched lunches, etc. However, I have only two classroom rules and one of them is this: Clean up after yourself…. well!

I even provide the kids with the cleaning materials – paper towels, tabletop cleaning spray, etc. See? I’m not that bad.

However, today was really great. The kids listened as I gave them the 2 minute Celiac overview and explained that even though they might not be aware of the fact that their treats have wheat in them (I highlighted Doritos and licorice, etc), it wasn’t worthy my health to find out.

The kids asked the usual questions (What *do* you eat? What do you do for bread? How do you manage? Do you eat out? Where do you go to eat? What can you eat from the cafeteria? (Answer: not much!) and Does this mean we can’t have class food parties?). And then a lovely girl began to list off all the wonderful things in her garden at home that she has that I can eat.

She somehow got them all listing their favorite foods that I CAN eat. And we all ended up talking about things in our gardens and the foods we love. Then the plants we love. Then finally the smells we love.
And where did my mind take me? To these two lovely bushes in my front yard. My new lavender plant and the gorgeous, full rosemary.

The lavender makes for the best lavender lemonades or the tiniest amount added to some scalloped potatoes add a new layer of flavor to savor.

And the rosemary is gorgeous chopped up on roasted potatoes, meats, etc. And wonderful pureed with pine nuts and olive oil.

But really? My favorite memories and ideas of these bushes are watching our pup Max rub his face into the bushes to scratch his nose. It’s not only quite cute to see him make a beeline for the best smelling bushes in the yard – but it’s also FABULOUS to get a little snuggle or nuzzle from his then-sweet smelling self too!

I can’t wait for our child to enjoy these smells with me next summer… rubbing the leaves gently between our fingertips or getting a sweet suckle smelling nuzzle from the pup.

Lavender for peacefulness and tranquility and Rosemary for memory.
And the many more memories yet to be made.
Ah, everything is new this year.

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