Fried Penut Butter and Banana Sammiches

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One of my friends that I met back in my second year of university is a freak for friend peanut butter and banana sammiches. After learning that she was a practicing Catholic, an English major and loved the Backstreet Boys, I learned that one of her absolute favorite foods were fried peanut butter and banana sammiches. If given the choice of what we’re making for dinner/breakfast/snack, we’re probably making those in one variation or another. Now, over the years I’ve gotten used to them. We sometimes put strawberries in them, or roll them in cinnamon and powdered sugar or mix honey in with the peanut butter and sometimes we go a little crazy and dip them in chocolate sauce. They’re ok, but were never my first choice when figuring out “what should we make?”

Or at least they weren’t my first choice in “what should we make?” until my friend recently had me try a new variation to her favorite food. You see, she’s not the greatest cook and about 7 times out of 10 will burn her food. It won’t be so burnt that it’s inedible, but burnt enough that it’s…well, it’s burnt. The fact that I have to do the cooking between us really says something because my cooking skills aren’t the greatest either. Anyway, this time as I was digging the peanut butter out of her cupboard and she was slicing banana’s she said I should coat the sammiches in egg instead of using butter like we normally did.

Now let me tell you, these sammiches were Heaven on a plate. The difference between using butter and making them like you make a grilled cheese and using egg like you would on French Toast is pure peanut butter slathered up happiness. The first time I tried this my friend sat there watching me while I cut up my sammich and took a bite. It was this pure explosion of creamy good times on my tongue. There was the peanut butter that mixed perfectly with the banana. Then there was the French Toasty taste that rounded it off and melted the peanut butter and gave everything a toasty and tasty texture.

Now, if you’re ok with a zillion calories, a super rich snack that is more junk than health, this is what you should do:

  1. Take two pieces of bread and coat one side of each piece with the peanut butter of your choice and preheat a non stick pan – I’m Canadian so I like to use Kraft Smooth. I’ve found crunchy just doesn’t work well with this snack.
  2. Cut up a banana and place the slices on one side of the sammich – Use as many or as few banana slices as you like. I usually slice half a banana and put that on the sammich and eat the other half while I’m cooking. My friend on the other hand insists on having the whole banana sliced and stacked onto hers.
  3. Close up the bread slices so that you have a peanut butter and banana sammich – my friend makes me use this cutter thing that puts smiley onto the bread.
  4. Beat one egg with a bit of milk into a bowl or container (I once used a clean pot when all of my other options were dirty) and soak both sides of the sammich in the egg – Sometimes we like to add vanilla to the eggs or instead of milk we use that flavour coffee creamer that tastes like French Vanilla and other tasty shenanigans.
  5. Coat your pan in butter (Just in case it’s non-stick personality really is sticky) and cook your sammich like it was a piece of French Toast (You know, make both sides a nice golden brown colour) – It’s at this stage my friend stops helping and it’s all up to me not to burn our food. I like to experiment with different heats. Sometimes I turn the element up to max and quickly sear the outsides of the sammich to the right colour and other times I do it like normal people would do it at a medium heat. I’ve yet to have the patience to try and cook our food at a low heat.
  6. Serve and enjoy – Because my friend and I have sweet tooth’s we usually coat our sammiches in syrup, whipped cream, cinnamon, powdered sugar, chocolate sauce and anything else we can find that we think would go great with our food.

Alternatives: Since discovering this delicacy, we’ve tried a few alternatives that include putting sliced strawberries inside of the sammich with the banana’s, as well as other berries and cooked slices of ham. Though to be honest the best thing that we’ve done so far is cooked up a few slices of bacon and stuck those in the middle with the banana’s. If I thought this was a yummy food before, the time we did it with bacon had both my friend and I swooning and glorying in the thing that was bacon in a peanut butter and banana fried sammich.

Seriously, if you don’t mind the calories and the overall fatty content of this food, try it. It’s rich, tasty and super filling. I call it Heaven on a Plate…or in a bowl depending the last time I did the dishes.

 

Note: I absolutely refuse to use the word “sandwich” in any of it’s forms unless I happen to be writing academically or in a situation where using “sammich” or “sammiches” would be greatly frowned upon. In the instance of this blog, well, this is my blog so sammiches will therefore rule the day.”Sandwich” is just a weird word.

 

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Go, Go…STOP!

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One of the things I hate about this time of year (End of the semester, close to finals) is that my brain starts to break down. I have a hard time focusing on anything, especially writing. I feel like I’m playing “Go, Go, Stop” with myself as I try to write something before I eventually give up and let another day roll by. The saddest part of the whole writers block thing is the fact that I think and do some totally ridiculous things like…

1. Get addicted to games – Currently I am a freak for Draw Something on my iPod (Rachael1503 if you want to find me) and the Gnome Town game on Facebook. I’m also a freak for lawn gnomes. I’m terrified of midgets, but lawn gnomes I’m perfectly ok and totally in love with. I have two on my window sill named Noddy (he’s a bobble head gnome) and Pepino Fudge and continually heist and relocate gnomes as I find them. As a result my family now also has a gnome living outside of our front door back home. So it makes sense that I love cyber gnomes and all of their wonderful shenanigans. I also play Dungeons and Dragons Online, but that is nothing new, not like the fact that I’ve been noticing…

2. How people dress – Seriously, when did it become cool to dress like an old person? Yester-year’s Urkel is today’s hipster and that frightens me to a degree. I envision North American getting invaded and all we’ll have are skinny kids wearing their grandparents clothes snorting and shouting “DID I DO THAT?!” However, I guess that isn’t as bad as my recent hankering for…

3. South Park – Not only have I watched every episode from seasons 1-13 multiple times and can recite many episodes off by heart, but I just feel like watching nothing but South Park. It’s playing in the background right now as I write this. Maybe this is the cause for my inability to write? Poorly dressed youth and South Park? As I’m writing this, I’m starting to see a pattern. When I’m not reading a text book or some modernist piece of poetry, I’m doing mindless and brainless tasks that don’t encourage profound brain things. Though I’m not going to lie and will admit to the fact that I still love the Jennifer Lopez episode almost as much as I love the Ginger episode.

So maybe I should turn off the games, shut off the South Park, stop staring at the badly dressed hipsters of today and…write something?

I doubt that I will because learning about rocks, glaciers and rivers has pretty much snapped my poor brain and I’m again back to wondering why the heck I have to take a science course to graduate as an arts student. I may or may not blame the little girlies all over my city dressing like slutty old ladies on my brain snap. I just never would have been able to picture the words “skanky” and “grandma clothes” being combined to turn into what the born in the late 90’s generation happens to be wearing these days.

Grandma chic is just…too much for me to comprehend.

Day ?.10 – Waiting In Line

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Currently I’m waiting in line with my mom to see The Hunger Games. We had to show up and hour early just to line up for the flipping movie. The last time that I did anything like this was for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. That was understandable simply because I had read the books and was a freak for the Harry Potter series. Me sitting on a dirty carpet waiting to see the Hunger Games is just a pain though. You see, my mom and sister normally don’t read the books to the movies we see. On the other hand I do and this overall makes me flip out because I get to see my imaginatory/ficticious characters come to life.

Granted most movied fail to live up to what goes on in my head but numerous persona’s live up there and that makes what happens in my head a tough game to beat.

So why am I in line to see a movie to a book I haven’t read?

Well I didn’t feel like seeing anything else and I love movie nights with my mom. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing a lot of things with my momma but I particularly love going to the movies with her. My reasons are as follows:

1. Time with my mom is time with my mom.
2. When she laughs, she really laughs which just makes the moment all the more funny.
3. I usually get a late night car ride out of the deal that I can nap through.
4. Movie popcorn is enjoyable.
5. It’s memories with my mom that I usually only have to share with my sister.
6. A good movie night leads to another good movie night when said movie comes out on DVD and we can watch it with dad.

So here I am…in line with Hunger Game fanatics and all I can thing about are two posters that my mom and I saw in the poster store. One was of Canadian seasons: winter and bugs; the other was one of Jesus with gothic lettering saying “you must be guilty of something.”

Guaranteed next time my mom kills a mosquito she’ll burst out laughing when she thinks of Canada’s two seasons. I will probably spend the whole summer laughing as I get covered in bug bites once again.

See? Memories with my mom. Movie night is a success before it even started.

3.10 – Cleaning

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Most of this used to end up on the floor then get tossed back on the shelf whenever I cleaned.

I am about one of the messiest people that you will ever come across. For the most part it’s not an unsanitary mess, it’s just a lot of clutter on account of me being a little bit of a pack rat. As I’ve grown up my mess has moved from toys, books and forgotten sammiches to being books, clothes and random clutter.

As a result my mom will sometimes clean my room and I do my best to avoid that.

Now that I’m not living at home she waits until I leave for school and then I get a text in the middle of the week saying “I’m sorry” which means she just went in and cleaned my room. Basically she walks into my room and cleans up all the little bits of clutter that drives her crazy. Then I go home on my next break and make another mess.

We’ve gone back and forth like this for a while now. Mom knows that if she wants my room to be clean, she probably has to do it herself because when I clean, I make my room “clean for me” which is a “bloody stinkin’ mess” to her.

I can’t count the number of times my mom has given up on my idea of clean and has charged into my room to clean it herself…including that one time in my first year of university when she cleaned my dorm room in front of my dormmates because it was such a “frickin’ mess”. I helped her, but I wasn’t allowed to stop cleaning once we got to my standard of clean…we had to keep cleaning until she was happy with how tidy my little hole in the wall was. Thusly, I learned my lesson:

When mom comes to visit, clean your room!

So tonight I cleaned my room and it’s…clean compared to what it was before. Sadly, once I hit that point of clean I’ve cleaned my little heart out and I give up. I promise to try and wake up and clean some more and if I don’t…well time with my mom is time with my mom. Even if it’s spent with her telling me to quit screwing around and clean my room!

Day 2.10 – Tops Thursday (Top Experiences)

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In my very brief 25 years on this planet, I have done some fun things, I’ve done some stupid things, I’ve done good people things and lots of other things. A lot of it has been done by a million people a million times before, but there’s probably a reason for that. Common experiences made not so common because it was me doing it and I think everyone should give these shenanigans a try! So this weeks Tops Thursday is all about my Top Experiences that I think you should try! Have a look:

5. Pierce something other than your ears with someone – My first non-ear piercing was my tongue and it was with my Swiss roommate as a bonding thing. It was something new. We ate, then we went and got our tongues pierced and then we shopped for soft food that we could eat for a week. I wound up with a weird and funny lisp and she didn’t and it’s an experience that I’ll always have shared with her. I’m pretty sure that I would never have stabbed a hole in my tongue if she hadn’t gone with me and been so tough about the whole ordeal. With anyone else other than her…yeah, I would have chickened out and not gotten it done. But now? I have a very pretty shiny on my tongue that I love.

One bus trip I spoke through my finger puppet...Captain Finnegan. ARR!!

4. Take the Greyhound somewhere – I’ve been on and off Greyhound 100+ times now and, let me tell you, it can be darn traumatizing. I don’t know whether it’s because I’m traveling alone, because I’m young and female, because that’s just my luck or because it happens to everyone, but I have had some of the most horrifying experiences of my life on a Greyhound. But I’ve also met a few really great people and have had some really memorable moments too! On one of my recent trips home a security guard decided he needed to empty my bag. For those of you who don’t know, I’m an Independent Passion Party Consultant. That means that I sell sensual aids, toys and all sorts of fun stuff. Of course that means this poor security guard pulled a number of dildos, bullets, lubes, lotions, and all sorts of other fun things out of my bag. Poor guy. He turned pinker than my pink vibrator.

3. Dance in the rain – You haven’t yet? Do it! Nothing is more fun than your favorite song, lots of puddles and dancing like no one is around to see you.

2. Do something your parents usually do – My mom has always been in charge of planning family dinners. My dad always checks our fishing gear before we go fishing. It was a whole new experience planning my moms past couple of birthdays, cooking and doing all the things that my momma normally does. It’s actually really eye opening to how hard she works to do amazing things like plan a birthday party or get a special dinner on the table. It’s also proof that I’m really not a great cook and is a great time to spend with my mom because she usually gets fed up trying to tell me what to do and just helps me. On the other hand, I know that I hate fishing without my dad. In all seriousness, this past summer I didn’t miss my dad more than the day I had to go around finding all of our fishing gear, tie our poles into the back of the truck and make sure I had everything. The entire time I was searching our garage and yard for stuff I wanted nothing more than to scream “I want my daddy!” I know that I can go fishing by myself and in the future I’ll probably have to go on my own again, but in the mean time my daddy is in charge of that department.

New Orleans: Home to Mardi Gras and the place I call HEAVEN

1. Travel – Before my first big trip, I’d always made small trips all over my province. The coast for netball, somewhere in the Interior for volleyball and the north for more basketball. Plus more coast trips for softball and more interior trips for rugby. That was always with people I knew and to places where people would probably know my name. That’s not the kind of travel I’m talking about. Yes, travel for sports is butt tons of fun, but traveling somewhere in the world for the sake of discovering a new far off land is two butt tons of fun. Who knew 2 for 1 margarita’s in Mexico would have me sitting on a bar swing for hours talking to all kinds of random strangers who spoke as much English as I did Spanish. It brought a whole new meaning to communicating. Besides learning to communicate, I also learned that it’s really hard to shock my mom after I came home from Mardi Gras and asked her which of my beads she wanted. We call them “Woo Hoo! Beads”…I also learned that no matter how cool the rest of the world is, there’s no place like home. Especially when home has nice mountains to help navigate your way around.

 

Day 1.10 – Grandma’s Always Right

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The old rope swing one Christmas. Pretty sure that thing is older than even my mom!

The maternal side of my family is huge. Seriously huge. I don’t know the exact number but I do know that I have 100+ family members. Which means that my Great Grandma has 100+ descendants that are spread out over 5 generations. My Grandma happens to be one of the strongest and most amazing people that I’ve ever met in my life. Not only did she raise her children and her grandchildren, but she’s also had a huge hand in raising some of her great-grandchildren, including me and my sister. I can remember a goodly amount of summer days spent at my Grandma’s playing on the chunk of land she has along the river. I mean, what could have been more awesome than being able to run free range style up and down a river bank, play in a garden complete with apple trees, fields that had horses and an old school rope swing in the backyard? Besides having a great place to play and being surprised that I didn’t drown myself in the river, my Grandma has always been a positive force in my life.

I also consider her to be a force of nature in and of herself. What Grandma says, goes.

Which is why a few years ago during Easter she made my cry. Both out of laughter and because I was hysterical and freaking out.

You see, during all the major holidays the bulk of my mom’s side of the family gets together and celebrates. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and Grandma’s birthday being the bigger events. This year Grandma will be turning 97. Now, because of finals I usually miss Grandma’s birthday and because of my mom’s rule that I have to attend at least three family events a year, I can’t miss Thanksgiving, Easter of Christmas. Easter, however, is my favorite family get together because my sister and I get to play Easter Bunny and hide 100’s of eggs all over Grandma’s main yard for all the little kids to find. My moms side of the family happens to be short to average height while my sister and I are tall. So I get a kick out of hiding eggs out of all the kids line of sight and reach so that I can pick my favorite cousin of the day and make sure they make out like a bandit on the Easter Egg Hunt.

One year after a particularly great Hunt where my sister and I had tied a grocery bag with a small hole filled with the small tin foil wrapped chocolate eggs to the back of her pants so she could run around “pooping” eggs and I got to watch kids root out all of my perfectly awesome hiding spots except the ones in the bird feeder, the satellite, high up in trees and along the tops of door ways. I ran around with one of my younger cousins whose name I can’t remember and it was great how stoked they were when I’d lift them up and they saw all the shiny eggs I’d left for them.

I obviously have a ton of fun at Easter at Grandma’s. The upside to the Egg Hunt is all the good food that is usually laying around. My Nana and Aunty V happen to be baking Goddesses of the highest order. So after the hunt I was in my Grandma’s house rooting through all the good goodies when I saw a tub of whipped cream and promptly helped myself to a spoonful.

I was happily snuggled up to my mom and licking away at my spoon of Cool Whip. Several of my cousins were in the kitchen with us, including the cousin who is just three days older than me and my sister. Picture my tiny little Grandma who was sitting in her walker chair in this crowded kitchen full of food. I was standing beside my mom wearing a blue and black tube top, jeans and my dreads were pulled up into a messy bun on top of my head. My sister and I were giants in a room full of ladies who were at least 3 inches shorter than us. Gossip was being passed around, everyone was laughing and smiling.

Then in the middle of all of that my Grandma looks up at me with a smile on her face and declared “You’re going to have a girl.”

I was given a brief moment of silence to mourn the fact that I had just been given a life sentence from my little Grandmother before the room erupted in laughter.  I mean every one was roaring and howling with laughter while I covered my face and started to laugh hysterically and cry.

Into the middle of it all I wailed that I didn’t want to have a child and cried some more. I was so upset that I put my spoon of whipped cream down and covered my face. I couldn’t stop myself from crying. Grandma’s word is as good as gold so her saying something like that to me was as good as a judge banging it’s gavel and declaring that I was to be given a life sentence.  So I decided to try and fight the Fates that I equate Grandma to and decided on the spot that abstinence was key.

It’s funny though. Every time that I’ve had sex since then, I wonder if it will be the time when Grandma’s prediction starts to come true. My mom teases me about it, my sister teases me about it and I even tease myself about it. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Grandma and I know she’s be stoked for another grandchild, but this is one of those times that I hope she’s wrong or meant to tell me that I would “adopt a girl” or anything else other than “You’re going to have a girl.”

I really, really, really do love my Grandma and think she’s one of the greatest women that I have ever met, but gosh, I really want her to be wrong about this.

Day 6.9 – Tops Thursday (What I Learned in High School)

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For the most part, high school was almost useless for me. Most of what I learned didn’t carry on past my high school graduation, and to be completely honest, I didn’t learn a whole lot that would have been relevant for me in my university years. Hell, I spent the bulk of my senior year NOT IN SCHOOL. I had a car, one of my favorite teachers had retired the year before and the only classes that I needed to actually be present for were the ones that my PE Teacher/Basketball Coach taught so that I could stay on the basketball team. So I was always present for Psychology and Physical Education. However, I had these things called “Spare Blocks” where I was supposed to go sit in the library and work on my harder subjects that I’d be writing Provincial Exams in: English, History and English Literature. The school also let me take Spanish, History and English Lit as distance education courses…you can read that as: Lot’s of “Spare Blocks” where I was supposed to do school work, but obviously didn’t.

Yes, I still got all the work done. High school work was easy and what was supposed to keep me busy for one  hour and fifteen minuets, kept me entertained for maybe thirty minuets if I wasn’t working fast.

The upside to all these empty blocks of time in my education was the fact that I had a lot of time to do other stuff. Like drop my sister off at school then go home and nap until Psychology or PE. Or go for ice cream at the really good ice cream place in Rayleigh. My friends and I also had this weird and intense love for KFC fries and gravy. In all seriousness, we would eat that stuff day in and day out given the chance. Nothing was better than high metabolisms, spare time and a large box of KFC fries with about 20 packets of ketchup and a large gravy.

But despite all the dicking around that I did in high school, despite the fact that I technically didn’t finish my Career and Personal Planning requirement for graduation and despite the fact that I had to maintain a C average to stay on the basketball team, I did learn some things from some very great teachers that carried on with me into university and semi-adulthood. I mean, yeah, I didn’t learn a thing from my crazed science teacher who liked to wear thongs to school and my form shop teacher turned Vice Principal was an over all jerk, but I did manage to learn how to…

I love spelling correctly.

5. Increase my vocabulary and use it to my advantage -Thanks to my English teachers Mr.H, I had spelling tests right up until the end of my senior year. Or at least I got them in the years he taught me, grades 10, 11 and 12. However, not only did we have to learn how to spell, but we had to learn how to use these words in sentences too. Admittedly, some of them weren’t easy words and some of them were tricky words to get the hang of, but by the time I wrote my provincial exam I had a plethora of words at my disposal. Words that I can’t actually remember because I actually use them enough they’re not a big deal anymore and words that made writing my first university essays a little bit easier to get through. Of all the things in my high school world from physics to Career and Personal Planning to Math, learning how to spell was one of the best things that I learned how to do in high school.

4. Write really good essays with really good thesis statements – One of the things that I’ve always hated about university was getting to paper writing time and having my Profs and TA’s stand up and tell the entire class how to make a good thesis statement to guide your paper. It made me wonder what the Hell everyone else was learning in high school because even though I was absent unless my presence was required, I still knew how to write an essay. I remember literally spending hours agonizing over an essay assignment that my History 12 teacher gave us where we had to have this thing called a “thesis statement”. I can remember wanting to slam my head off a wall trying to figure out what Mr.H wanted when he asked us to write a paper with this “thesis statement”. Mr.A ruined my TV watching/homework time for weeks because he actually gave me homework that I had to concentrate on and really think about. The frig was a thesis statement?! I cursed, I got confused, I cried and then I eventually understood what he was asking for. I got to university and realized what he had prepared me for. How many teachers can honestly say they prepared their students for their university years as well as Mr.A had me prepped forwriting the dreaded university essay?

3. Speak two languages outside of English…a little bit – Thanks to Mrs.B I was comfortable with going to Mexico and actually using the little bit of Spanish that I knew. I mean, yes, my favorite phrase meant “I’m sorry! I don’t understand! I don’t speak Spanish”, but it really helped while I was exploring the streets of Playa Del Carmen. Learning the beginnings of French and Spanish seemed like a waste of time to me while I was in high school, but it was easy, it was fun and I got good grades doing it so I went with it. The funny thing is, nothing improved my grammatical mistakes like learning French and Spanish. Heck, learning other languages improved my sentence structure and has kept me from coming off as a raging moron when I write. Not sounding like a raging moron is a big deal in my book and thus, I salute my high school language teacher.

2. The game of basketball is won and lost in the post – My high school basketball coach taught me a lot of things in high school. Mo is, in large part, one of the reasons why I know how to work as hard as I play and to push myself as hard as I do. The biggest thing she taught me was to take care of the little details in life. Think of things this way: In a basketball game I will probably make 8/10 shots in the post while an outside shooter might hit 5/10 shots outside the key. If that were a basketball game, I’d win 16-10. Heck I’d still win if that shooter were hitting all their shots outside the three point line. It’d be a close 16-15 game, but I’d still win. Now if on defense I play really hard and make the girl I’m guarding hit 6/10 shots, I win again 16-12. In the grand scheme of winning, it isn’t the big stuff that wins the game, or even the big winning shot at the end of the game. It’s the fact that everyone on the team took care of the little things. The post player makes all of their little shots and stops the person they’re guarding from making their shots. This is an over simplification, but the point is: learning how to take care of the little things makes the big things and the grand scheme of your schemes easier to accomplish. This might not have been the point Mo was trying to make and she may have just been convincing me to work harder, but this is what I took from it leaving high school.

1. Take really good fricking notes – Believe it or not, but I take really good notes. I don’t have the neatest of writing, but I take really good notes that cover all the things that I need to know and that I can easily follow. This is all thanks to Mr.A who insisted on a good note taking system from the moment I landed in his Grade 8 Social Studies class. I don’t use Roman numerals anymore, like he did, but I still do follow the basic idea of what he drilled into my head that year and the three following years I was in his class. Naturally it made my post secondary education easier, but it also made my adult working life easier. How many adults do you know who can take a really good set of notes during a meeting or during a conversation that you need to remember later? Heck, thanks to my ability to take notes, I’m really good at writing proposals other shenanigans professional adults get up to.

Obviously I didn’t use my teachers full names, but Mr.A, Mr.H, Mrs.B and Mo are real and true people. Mr.A gave me a huge appreciation for the social sciences, Mr.H instilled a love for literature, Mrs.B showed me a passion for linguistics and Mo was an all around inspiring woman. I never skipped their classes…though that may have been because they were the few teachers who would actually punish me for such shenanigans. In a world where I napped in the paint room during Shop because the shop teacher was a perverted nut job, my crazy science teacher took naps during class and one of the vice principals I had was an overall dink, these teachers actually made an almost pointless 5 years worthwhile.

I mean, yeah, high school was a blast, but it was almost a pointless endeavor.

Though I wouldn’t change it for anything…KFC fries and gravy are that good and I happen to like some of the things I learned.