Curry, Grape Kool-Aid, and The Sound of Music- They Go Together I Promise!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Alright, so... curry! Let me explain!

Two of my classes have just finished reading Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie Tolan. Obviously it's a quick read, and I will go on record as saying it is the least classical book that I will read to my students. I know. But I love it! I read it to my sixth/seventh graders a million years ago, those guys who are now grown-up college people, and we still have some inside jokes running from it. The classes that just finished reading it all adored it, too. It's about a delinquent boy who has run out of foster homes and schools that will take him, so he is sent to live with a family of homeschooling artists. The way they run their home school always reminds my students STRONGLY of Flint Academy! The family is not at all shocked by the boy's attitude and appearance, and he ends up being cast in a production of The Sound of Music that the father is directing. When the show is cancelled the family pulls all of their various artistic talents together and converts their barn into a theater. It's a whole thing.

We have wonderful conversations from this book, the kids enjoy it, and it's the perfect way to lull them into learning our narration and discussion style without smacking them upside the head with War and Peace. I'm just nice like that!

This book is where my book party tradition originated. My old class loved the descriptions of the VERY SPICY Indian food that the family ate for much of the story (because a guru came to visit and stayed on to cook while everyone else was busy putting the play together) and they wanted to try some. I didn't remember this until Sunday night, but the curry and chutney that I made in the tiny kitchen of our pre-children apartment was one of the first things I really cooked. I had a few basic meals that I could manage, but truthfully we mostly lived on fast food the first year or so. That meal was the first time that I felt like cooking was enjoyable in and of itself, I think. It didn't hurt that those guys devoured the curry! So the whole cooking-for-students thing began and I love it, even though I'm cooking for a lot MORE students these days.

I made a spicy curry again this time, which half the kids thought was too hot to eat and the other half thought was too mild to properly represent Govindiswami's culinary masterpieces. We also had to have grape Kool-Aid (we learn from the guru that the sugar cuts the spiciness. Also, the youngest child dyes his hair purple with it. And they feed their pet butterflies with it. You can't leave out the grape Kool-Aid! It's important!) and watch The Sound of Music, which lots of the kids hadn't seen. It's a book party that makes perfect sense...if you've read the book. If you haven't, I bet it looks fairly confusing.


  1. I've never heard of that book, but it sounds like something I would have loved in middle school. Those kids are so lucky to have you as a teacher! :)

  2. Seriously, why are not all schools like yours; and you are a truly awesome teacher, my friend!


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