Perspective Online

College for a Day

by Amelia Adams

When I retrieve my morning papers at present, I often see lines of traffic, yellow buses dotting the vehicles, as I live near Newnan’s largest high school as well as an elementary school a homerun away from my back deck. Memories rush to me as I would not be gathering newspapers a decade ago, but gathering student papers at my rugged desk at Monroe High School.

College for a DayJust last Friday, however, I went back to school as a marvelous event occurred in this magnificent Georgia town. Just this summer the University of West Georgia opened its campus here in Newnan. Most significantly, the buildings in current use were reconfigured to envelop a most beloved structure: Newnan Hospital. Somehow the loving spirits of those nurses and doctors who walked these halls seemed to infuse the atmosphere with energy.

College for a Day boasted a magnificent turnout. The “students” were a vast mix of ages, as I imagined the participants to be seniors like me. Classes began at nine and offered five sessions with a range of classes. Since UWG has a nursing school component here, many instructors came from that discipline.

Since the purpose of the day for me was to fill voids in my learning experience, I decided to focus on science since my classroom featured only English derivatives. Dr. Megumi Fujita, a true gamine, flitted around the room performing vivid experiments to mimic special effects from the movies. With a heavy dose of humor, often self-deprecating, the minutes whizzed by.

Despite a bout with laryngitis, Dr. Nick Sterling gave his audience new insights in decoding the universe with amazing graphs and photographs that he often originated or inspired his students to bring forward. I learned more than I wanted to know about my heart from Dr. Linda Mason Barber; she let me know that the statin drugs I seek to halve for greater energy had best be taken whole.

I could not resist one interlude in poetry, however. Dr. Chad Davidson reminded me of my finest professors at Mercer as they fired my interest every day I soaked up what they had to teach. Since he focused on a poet I did not know, I might have been back in grad school.

What all these professors had in common remains the ingredient of all successful teachers: a passion for the subject they teach. Their animation becomes contagious and involves those in their audience whether they are five or 85. Not enough recognition is given to teachers, many of my colleagues still in the classroom charming students, for this magic component has been alive since before Socrates.

Last week the AJC featured some charming bento boxes for school lunches. When a sweet one sees the compartments for various components of the meal, the brief respite from the classroom should be a boon. Since a sandwich is classic choice, please make the mayonnaise that enlivens simple deli ham or turkey. While being inexpensive versus the Hellman and Duke’s camps, this mix just tastes so fresh. Plus, you can make dinner’s salad dressing by adding an avocado or catsup/celery/hardboiled egg (thousand island) or even deadly magnificent bleu cheese.

Amelia’s Mayonnaise

1 whole egg or 2 yolks
¼ cup of a mix of fresh lemon juice and apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
1/2 teaspoon tabasco
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon (generous) mustard of your choice
½ teaspoon sugar
1 and ½ cups canola oil

The mayo is easier in a processor, I think, as the oil absorbs better. Place all ingredients, save oil, in the beaker. Blend for at least 30 seconds or more…the secret I maintain. Slowly pour the oil into the container with motor running until it is as thick as you like; you may not need all the oil. It will thicken upon cooling. If it fails, pour out, beat in another egg, and slowly add the failure…it should work!

I have always known that I could spend my life in the classroom. Perhaps I love it because I knew that I must study very hard as most around me were more capable. Nevertheless, with teachers I met last week, education remains excitedly alive and nowhere near the bankrupt state we may imagine.

This blog originally ran in The Walton Tribune.

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