What is “community”? What does it mean to have a sense of community? I’ve been changing my opinion on this. At UGA, the grad students definitely had a sense of community. We went to each other’s talks–no announcement necessary. We celebrated each other’s qual passes and oral exam passes. We wouldn’t think twice about subbing for someone who couldn’t make it to class–regardless of reason. You could send a message out day of (as you would maybe in the case of a funeral, say), and within an hour you’d have a sub. I was (hopefully?) known for my parties. At least once a month, I’d just invite a random collection of graduate students over to my place. I’d bring the food, and many of the “guests” would bring beer or a dessert or party games or something (again, frequently without even being asked).
In the Big Rock Candy Mountain, I’m living in a very small town. No exaggeration. Imagine the population of a “small town”, and divide the number by at least 10. I thought with a town this size there would definitely be a sense of community. And to some extent that’s true. Everyone knows everyone’s name and/or dog’s name and/or daily routine (to the point where you could almost argue the concept of privacy is non-existant).There’s a huge push by the town to support local businesses and schools. But I’ve struggled to feel a personal sense of community. I’ve tried very hard to be involved socially, especially with the younger faculty. Many times my efforts fail; there’s some invisible wall that’s up, and getting people together is like herding cats. Hell, my last pizza party (and y’all loyal readers know about my pizzas)…NO ONE came. What the WHAT?! And I think what it may come down to is this: even if you can find people in your age group, with your same level of education, etc., they are still your “co-workers”. And even if you’re in different departments, or some of you are tenure track and some are temporary, that “co-worker” aspect cannot (for some reason) be ignored.
Now to sausage.
I need more meals for one person, because…it looks like all my meals that I cook will be for one person for the foreseeable future. In thinking of “budget-friendly” one-person meals, sausage and rice/pasta sounded pretty basic. But, this is TTENG we’re talking about. We never do anything basic, right? It’s like Tina Turner doing something nice…and easy…. (had to slip in that music reference).
Here, then, is a way to elevate a cheap, classic dish for one. Enjoy!
- Sausage links
- Bell pepper
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Pasta and/or rice
- (optional) Goat cheese
- Turn on the broiler to 500*F.
- Slice the pepper and tomatoes. Toss in garlic, olive oil, and season liberally with salt and pepper and place in a baking dish.
- Take the sausage links and score them on all sides. Place links on top of the veg.
- Place in the broiler for 15 minutes, or until the sausage is getting crispy.
- Serve over pasta or rice. If you really want to “elevate” it, top with goat cheese.