We admit it. Most of the time, our Meals in the Middle suppers usually come and go before we think about photos. There is a valid reason for this. We’ve learned when working with students, time goes by extra fast. One moment, you’re thinking about taking a photo of the kid baking pita bread. The next, the diners and the kids have left, and you and the crew are finishing up for the night.
Maybe this situation speaks also to the field of education. It has been popular to talk about the need for more experiential education in our schools. The reality of the situation at our middle schools, however, is that our teachers are focusing on experiential education. They of all people, understand the many different learning styles students bring to the classroom and, through extension, they understand that the more experiences that are attached to lessons the more learning styles are touched upon.
They just often have so much going on, that they need an extra pair of hands to help them conduct the experiential side of things. Otherwise, time speeds up, and by the time a breath is caught, the school day is over. The experience not gotten to. The garden not weeded. The photo not taken.
Last evening, we held a Three Faiths themed dinner as part of our Meals in the Middle series. The proceeds went to the Interfaith Hospitality Network of Athens, an organization that provides temporary housing and support for homeless families through a network of churches and congregations of faith. Before the meal, Jewish, Muslim and Christian prayers were offered. UGA students grew the produce at UGArden. High school culinary arts students and middle school students prepared and served the meal. Community members enjoyed a four course meal.
And in doing so, the students, and also some teachers, school administration and staff gave us their pair of hands. And for a moment, time did slow down and a meaningful experience was forged and shared by fifty individuals young and old in the Athens community. And all was right in the world.
But we still forgot the photo.