I am too stupid to figure out Facebook, it seems. I just now came across this message from a former student that he left in November. He was part of the group that had two classmates die in a three week period, as well as one of the female students having had her brother die two weeks prior to that mess. I have always worried that so much...shitty stuff in such a short time frame would have tainted their learning experience, but finding this note today answered that question, I guess:
Happy Day to You.
I wanted to take this opportunity to say I'm grateful for being your student.
I think this comes directly from your teaching style: both personal
& direct. I think you communicate very clearly about what you need
& expect, but combine that with personal relationship. Yes, losing
Brian, John & Joe all at once created the need for a more
personal relationship. Still, a lot of instructors create a specific
distance between themselves & their students. You have your
boundaries, of course, but you don't close yourself to your students. I
think that resonates with people because they can see that you are
putting yourself out there, stretching outside of a safe zone, and
therefore students are willing to stretch outside of a safe zone to
perform for you.
I often think of critiques you offered, something about multi-masking or tasking or something? Anyways, I never quite got it :)
I also stepped into a mess with you at one point. By questioning your
authority, I got wacked back and gained a clear example of how you
command your kitchen by intuition & traditional structure.
Why I bring all this up is that I am finding that I thrive in a work
environment that you have created in your kitchen. I had a great time
working under your direction.
I was inspired to write this
because of articles on the radio about a Smithsonian Story Project focusing on teachers and their students appreciation.
You matter to me and a lot of other cooks who have walked through your kitchen. Know that you're doing it right.
And that, right there folks, is why I love my job.