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Lo! A Teacher Calleth Her Flock Unto Her

 

A Christmas Fable

When the morning was come, the teacher drew her children about her to teach them, for the time was late and there was much for them to learn. And she said unto them, “Lo, today we must study our reading, and our spelling and our number books, for Christmas Vacation is nigh at hand and you will forget much after you journey forth.”

And a decree went out from the principal that inasmuch as it was the last day of the school month an attendance report must be sent in by each teacher. And further, since the superintendent needed the summary report by 12 o’clock the teachers must get their reports at 10 o’clock. And the teacher sent forth the students to their seats and gave them busy work to do, and she began to make out the attendance report.

And one student held up his little hand and cried, “I have 25 cents for the Christmas Seals.” Then did the teacher lay aside her attendance report and say, “Will ye who have brought money for Christmas Seals come hither.” And behold, all the children came forth and many began to lay small amounts of money on her desk.

And she turned to one and asked, “Didn’t thou bring any Seal money?” And the student shook his head. And the teacher cried in a loud voice, “Why didst thou come forward?” And the student say’th in a small voice, “Because Billy did.”  Then did the teacher say, “If thou hast no Christmas Seal money get thee hence.” And all but a few returned to their seats.

Then did the teacher sell Christmas Seals, and when she had finished she counted the seals and the money and found she had a quarter more than was needed. The teacher wept.

Then did the door open and the messenger from the cafeteria entered to sell lunch tickets. For it has been found that if  lunch money was not taken from the children early they lost it. And as the messenger from the cafeteria sold the tickets a child did cry aloud, “I gave my money to the teacher.”  The teacher believed him not because last year she had his brother who likewise did make false witness about money. But the teacher, being weak, did pay for his lunch, because she was of this face.

The door opened again and a big brother did come in with 95-cents for a picture of a child; for they all had had their pictures taken in school. But not precisely 95-cents was in the envelope because it was a check for $2 and the wise mother had written thereon, “Change is for the Christmas Seals.”

Then did the teacher err indeed, for she took out her own pocketbook to make change and she became utterly lost. But she returned to her attendance report and did complete it; and the daily pink slips did equal the monthly yellow slip and the teacher lifted up her eyes to heaven and was glad and rendered thanks. And thus she took the attendance report to the principal.

And the teacher returned to the room and a child came up to her and said, “I’m sick,” and did prove that she was. And the teachers sent forth one child to find the janitor and did herself go with the child to call her home and send her there.

And then when this was done the teacher thought, “This changes my attendance report,” and she went forth to the principal’s office and changed the report.

And behold, when she returned to her class a boy said, “You have not heard our reading group read.” And he spoketh the truth.  For the teacher had not heard any classes at all. So she drew the children around her to read. And a decree went out from the principal that all those in Act 1 of the Christmas Play should come immediately to the auditorium for practice. And anger waxed within the teacher, but she spoke no word but sent 10 of her number forth; albeit she feared three which she sent were in Act 3.

And as they departed a boy entered the room and said, “Hath anyone lost a mitten?”  And the teacher cried unto him, “Get thee out of here for thou knowest thou should take lost mittens to the office.” For the teacher knew him and his works and what manner of boy he was. And the boy spoke not a word but departed. And after he left, a girl said in a small voice, “It was my mitten.” Then did the teacher dash after the boy and get the mitten.

And when she returned the recess bell rang. Then teacher was glad and said in a loud voice, “Do not run. Neither push nor crowd any of your little friends. But get you forthwith into your ski pants and even unto zippers down the leg and get thee into line. Moreover do not get into any trouble on the playground, for verily, I am going to lie down in the Teacher’s Room, for my heart is heavy. I was called to teach you and I have taught you not.’

Then did a child say, “Lo, I have lost my lunch ticket.” And the teacher cried, “Lo, I have lost my mind.”

~ ~ ~ The End ~ ~ ~

This story is probably the best description of typical day in a schoolroom I have ever read. It is so on the mark I always laugh till the tears roll down my cheeks. The interruptions depicted are far too often the norm, although played for laughs.

I wish I knew precisely where and when I got this story. I am about 95% sure I got it in a class in college. More than that I do not remember. The copy I have has no author name either. An internet search turned up nothing as well.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Featured Recipe        Apricot Glazed Chicken

During these last days leading up to Christmas our lives get busier and busier. So today I have a super easy and quick dinner recipe so you can finish decorating, shopping, and wrapping presents without having to sacrifice delicious food.

The ease of making this recipe belies how delicious it is. While easy to make for week nights  it can also be made for company and special occasions.

This is what you will need for 3 people:

3 skinless boneless chicken breasts

2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil

½ cup apricot preserves

1 tablespoon minced onions

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons soy sauce

Parsley, chives, or green onions for garnish

Salt and pepper to taste

 Here is what you do:

Turn the oven to 325 degrees.

Over medium heat add the oil to a skillet and make a light film of the oil with a pastry brush.

Pat the chicken with paper towels and salt and pepper the chicken.

When the oil is hot enough put the chicken in the pan (you should hear it sizzle when you put the chicken in the pan) turn the heat up to medium high and sauté in the oil until both sides are lightly browned.

Mince the onion while the chicken is browning.

When lightly browned push the chicken to the sides of the skillet.

Add the onions to the center of the pan (add a bit more oil if needed) and sauté until the onion is nicely browned.  Using a spoon scrape up any pieces of chicken sticking to the bottom of the pan and mix into the onion.

While waiting for the onion to brown combine apricot preserves, lemon juice, mustard, and soy sauce in a bowl and mix well.

Look at how beautiful the color of the apricot mixture is. You can just tell this is going to be so delicious!

Using a spatula place equal amounts of the browned onion on top of each chicken breast. Can you see the onion on top of the chicken?

Then spoon the apricot mixture over tops of chicken breast.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes* or until chicken juices run clear when pierced with a knife.

You want the apricot glaze to thicken slightly and become very sticky. This does not take long either. Anything much over 20-30 minutes and it will burn. And burned glaze is a no-no. YUK!!! And like with the burned garlic, please do not ask me how I know this.

*NOTE: After browning the chicken and sautéing the onion on the stove top you really will not need more than about 20 minutes to finish up the chicken in the oven, unless the chicken pieces are super-duper jumbo-jumbo- sized. If you over cook the chicken it will become tough and rubbery. There is only one thing worse than over-cooked chicken and that is burnt garlic.

While the chicken is in the oven prepare your garnish. I used chives since I had some in the fridge. I snipped them on the diagonal. If using parsley just rough chop it; if using green onions cut on the diagonal.

When the chicken is done, remove from the oven and let the cooked chicken settle for about 5 minutes to let the juices redistribute. Then top with your garnish.

Serve with a vegetable and a salad.

Bon appétit!!! 

 Cost

3 skinless boneless chicken breasts           $5.58 

2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil                   $0.18

1/3  cup apricot preserves                        $1.50

1 tablespoon minced onions                      $0.15

1 tablespoon lemon juice                          $0.17

1 teaspoonDijon mustard                          $0.05

2 teaspoons soy sauce                              $0.04

Parsley, chives, or green onions                 $0.17

Salt and pepper to taste

Total cost = $7.82
Cost per person = $2.61

Quote of the Day

Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving. Make everyday a holiday and celebrate just living.

Amanda Bradley

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