Today, I submit grades. This is always a bittersweet day for me. The first time I did this, I was in my first year of grad school (MAYBE second year). I certainly didn’t have a master’s degree yet, but I was teaching an intro-level college course that essentially was a weed-out class. Many of my students were as old, if not older, than I was. Thankfully the class was small–capped at 40–so grading anything was relatively easy. But on the downside, I actually got to know them all. So when I realized there was no way the numbers could lie enough to make a particular senior actually pass the class, or when I realized the kid who had an A going into the final choked completely (or perhaps honestly never retained any information–the final was cumulative, after all) and now has a B-…I felt really bad.
This semester I’ve been particularly nervous about teaching. For starters, it’s been two years since I was in a classroom (thank you, research grants). I have been teaching two classes and running an independent study. Precisely one of these three subjects I’ve actually taught before. Oh, and then there’s the whole culture shock/adaptation to life in the Big Rock Candy Mountain. So, it wasn’t like this ever felt like a herculean task.
But again….I got to know the kiddies.
I’ve never been known as an easy professor. Contrary, actually. I demand a lot from my students, and I push them to and past their pre-conceived notions of “limits”. That’s kinda my job. And I am NOT someone who frequently exhibits anything resembling “warm fuzzies”.
Maybe it was this particular group of students. Maybe it was the whole “first semester in a new place” effect. Maybe it was the “first time teaching in two years” thing. But…last day of classes…I baked for the kiddies. Now, if I were actually intelligent I would have done this prior to course evaluation day, but…I suppose that just goes to show how I wasn’t trying to bribe, was actually just being nice, and was experiencing warm fuzzies.
Here’s what I made them. Highly recommend these–pretty good, if I do say so myself (and there were no leftovers).
CRANBERRY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
- Cranberries (raw, whole)
- Chocolate chips (dark)
- Brown sugar
- White, granulated sugar
- Butter–at room temperature
- Baking powder
- Vanilla extract
- Take a stick of butter, and sugar and cream it. I typically use at most one cup of sugar, with at least 1/4 (at most 1/2) cup brown sugar.
- Add your egg, vanilla extract, salt and baking powder.
- Mix in 1/3-1/2 cup flour at a time, until the batter becomes think and like the consistency of…well…cookie dough.
- Fold in the cranberries and the chocolate chips.
- It’s in your best interest to cool the dough–put it in the refrigerator for a bit (makes it easier to roll).
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Bake cookies in a preheated 350* oven for 10-15 minutes.