I had such a nice time helping Helen's class prepare salads. I am very impressed at how smoothly everything went. They went shopping on Thursday to buy all the ingredients. I was told that Helen kept everyone entertained in the van by singing with the radio. One of her favorite songs came on, "Tonight's gonna be a good night" by the Black Eyed Peas, and she sang very loudly! When I arrived at her school on Friday, everyone was already in hair nets and gloves. I put on an apron, put my hair net on, and grabbed some gloves. Helen and I were put in charge of pouring the salad dressings into individual cups. They had bought a pump for the jar and we were the first ones to use it. According to her teacher, this made the job much easier. I held the cup underneath the pump and Helen pushed down. When we first started she wasn't paying attention and would keep pushing down after I moved the cup, what a mess! Once we got into the groove of things, we moved rather quickly. We filled 146 cups...yay us!! When we were done filling the cups, Helen left to go swimming. It was her inclusion class' day to have free time in the pool. I was now flying solo and was put right to work filling the container's with the lettuce. Two big handfuls per container...WOW, that's a lot of salad! While Helen and I were doing our job of filling the cups, the other kids were busy chopping and slicing all of the toppings, of course with supervision. At every table, behind every bowl, sat one of Helen's classmates with a scooper in hand, waiting patiently to add their assigned topping to the mound of lettuce. The assembling began...grab a container, then an order slip, read what toppings were ordered and stop at the stations to get them put on the salad. Some of the kids put it right in the center, others were close, but most of the toppings landed on the sides. I learned to rotate the container so all sides were hit. Ask for the topping..."please", "thank-you", add the salad dressing, close the lid, put the order form on the top, and on to the next. We filled 97 orders that day, I was told that was a record. Each salad costs $5.00, one week they were able to buy a bouncy house with their sales! Helen came back from swimming when we were almost done filling the orders. I made her a salad and sat with her while she ate. She told me all about swimming and how much fun she had. Mr. Spencer, the aide that went with, told me she got in trouble for not getting out of the pool when it was time. In her defense, they didn't give her any warning. I think if they had told her she had 5 minutes, she might not have ignored them (notice I said "might"!). When it was time for Helen to go to her inclusion class, she didn't want to go. I went with them thinking it might help, she didn't want me to leave. I finally pulled myself away from her strong grip, and told her I'd see her at home. I went back to her other classroom, fixed my salad, said my good-bye's and headed home. After a quick stop at the grocery store, I found myself at home eating my salad. It was the best salad I've ever eaten! I think it was because of the people who made it for me...that's just my opinion.
Until next time-