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Learning Through Failure and Disaster Meals…

January 7, 2012

I truly believe in failure; through failure we discover opportunities for success. I have failed in many things, and each of those moments have taught me how to improve and change.Often, you aren’t sure what the next wonderful thing around the corner is going to be, but at least the failure taught you a little bit about yourself.
In fact, the most recent trend in child development is to analyze how success or failure helps a person become more secure, productive, and happy in their lives. From the data, its seems that it is very important for people to fail and learn how to pick themselves up again. The problem with modern helicopter parenting is not that it annoys the teachers, which luckily I see very little of at my school, the problem is that helicopter parenting does not allow children to fail. It is only through their mistakes that they learn lessons of how to problem solve and learn how sweet success can taste. Ask any of my AP US students, the first test, a challenge, really stings these smart high-achieving students. Although my students enter the course with B+ or A averages, they usually earn a D on the first test. Before they freak out, I tell them to hold on, meet with me. We look at their approach, we talk about how to improve, organize, and study earlier. Often, they realize that their old methods of preparation just don’t cut it; they need to re-evaluate what it means to sculpt historical fact into analysis. I love watching the students improve, strategize new methods, enthusiastically study together, and finally get those well deserved A’s and B’s. They dance in the hallways, scream, and hug their friends. Not just because they earned an A, but because the hard work they put in, the new way of thinking and looking at history paid off. The challenge helped them grow as thinkers. Their new A is such a better A.

So, I had my own learning moment on Monday when we slap-dashed a new meal together for the blog. I was too goal orientated, and did not do my background work to put together something good. I looked in the pantry and assembled together a pizza, especially trying to use a jar of Stonewall Kitchen Onion jam that I had no clue what to do with.

Whole Wheat dough, a savory onion jam, feta, spinach and tomatoes. Brilliant, right? Easy for the blog, right?

Until it leaked, and leaked, all over the stove. So I threw in some parchment paper to soak it. Yep, that will fix my poorly planned and executed meal! Like cramming for a test, I was just praying it would work out.

Nope. It was awful. The jam was too tangy, the tomatoes too out of season, the dough not crispy enough, and the feta didn’t even make an attempt to melt. We choked down a really gross pizza, and now we have to clean that jam off the bottom of the oven.

No problem, it was a refreshing lesson in needing to do research.

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