by Luckie Lovette
When I was nine, I scorched myself when flipping French fries: bubbling grease splattered onto my face. LESSON LEARNED: never stand close to hot grease.
I used to cook with my mom, but now the tables are turned and I’m the only person who cooks in my household. My menu is growing as I take this responsibility seriously, cooking for my aunty and brothers: I’ve graduated from old standbys like Mac and cheese on to more gourmet teriyaki chicken, vegetable medleys, baked chicken and meatloaf.
It’s not what you’d expect of a high school senior, who should be focused on homecoming, senior ditch day and prom. Not many MALE students at McClymonds become master chefs; we don’t even have a barbecue club like at Berkeley High and at Bishop O’Dowd. Only 16 percent of high school males know how to cook.
The first time I cooked something was when I was 6 years and dreamed of IHop, so what did I make: big golden fluffy pancake. Not messy, sticky or runny. Unlike other kids, I succeeded the first time around. My future was sealed.
I began paying close attention to what my grandmother would whip up: soul foul, fried chicken, greens, potato salad, hot water cornbread, roast beef, fried fish, and macaroni salad. Grandma Gina inspired me to take risks, get dirty. She would chop celery, onion and bell peppers and throw them into the meat, with me by her side, staring.
What I like most about cooking is company, community. Sitting down at the table, I share (jokes, ideas, and stories) and food with my family and chew over the day. The meal is what binds us together: even the cats get involved, nibbling on leftovers. And they are clever – they smell and hear me cutting onions and gather around, because they know that meat is coming next.
I’m not very talented in working with my hands so this gives me an outlet for that, because I don’t stress when cooking, my main focus is to listen to the sizzle, to inhale the garlic.
I love good food but that’s not why I cook. Cooking is my artistic expression. Even though I cook for the entire time I’m at home, I feel recharged at the end.
Engineers with Swagg: the New Mack Look
by Kardel Howard
McClymonds has a new class — engineering. That means new toys, new tools, and new equipment that students can play with in their newly renovated $60,000 classroom, according to Lynn Baliff, educational consultant.
The new improvements start with the backpacks that were distributed to the Principles of Engineering class. The backpack doubles as a solar-powered cell-phone charger. Its solar panel is sewn into the front of the backpack, and when placed under sunlight, absorbs the energy and transfers that to its solar-charged battery. A USB cord plugs into the charged battery while the other side plugs into the phone; then it charges.
Other equipment includes a “master computer” that allows the teacher to monitor all the computer activity in the classroom.
The engineering class also has a 3D printers that turns models that are made on the computer to become a physical form. The 3D printer creates the model onto the platform by melting plastic filaments into a shape, and keeps tracing the model until it is no longer amorphous.
“The class is advancing,” said Katherine Hall, engineering and math teacher. In addition to the introductory course, Hall also added an advanced engineering course, Principles of Engineering.
“Next year,” she added, “there will be a third course for seniors.”
The engineering course counts as an elective and has a curriculum that encourages students to use their creativity and think more critically in using their mathematical abilities to solve equations.
There are 20 students total enrolled in the Intro to Engineering class and 15 in the Principles of Engineering class. Students like Kelton Runnels, a junior, enjoy the new STEM curriculum. ” I believe this engineering class is now opening a lot more doors for us than sports,” says Runnels.
As he sees it, McClymonds is turning over a new leaf.
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Tagged 3D printer, engineering, Mack, McClymonds, solar, STEM