I had the privilege of spending this past weekend with a lot of family. My nephew, who is in sixth grade and gives all other sixth graders a bad name because he is way more awesome and better than any other sixth grader out there, is a very picky eater. So is my first grade niece (she's also more awesome than your first grade kids, sorry, they just can't compare with her, so don't try). As far as my baby niece goes, the 1 year old, well she'll eat anything but she's so stinking cute I almost put her in my purse to take home with me. She is forgiven for not being a picky eater. She still has time to learn from her wise cousins.
I told my nephew that being a picky eater is actually a life skill. Knowing how to eat food you really don't care for is something that will come in handy some day. He clearly thought I was being sarcastic. When I told my niece the same thing, she said "stop teasing!" Well, I probably shouldn't have tried to give out life advice after telling her the brain sucker on her head was starving.
Last academic year, 2008-2009, I was in grad school, earning my elementary school teaching credential and my master's in education. I chose one of those 5 quarter, one academic year programs because I was crazy and I wanted name recognition to go with my degree. Also because I'm cheap and I didn't want to pay more tuition than I had to. The year ended up being dubbed "Hell Year". You know how football players do a week of training and they call it hell week? Well teachers who go through intense programs like I did get to call it Hell Year. Then for most of us our reward is a lot of debt and no real job.
We have got to find a way to get smarter people to go into teaching. Clearly this system is not producing the brightest of us all, eh?
But I digress. My point is that before Hell Year, I was a very picky eater. It's in our genes. I didn't like tomatoes or mushrooms or this color of sauce or this kind of meat or anything that touched the wrong thing or anything cooked not the way I cook it. I would not eat green eggs and ham, I do not like them Sam-I-Am!
But when you've done 8 hours of student teaching, 4 hours of class, and 2-3 hours of homework/lesson planning almost daily for 7 months and someone hands you a sandwich that has... gunk... on it... you say "sure" and eat it.
And then when you've been doing nothing but being observed and told you're doing everything wrong and someone hands you a cookie that has.... weird walnuts...on it.... you say "sure" through your tears and you eat it. And because it also has chocolate in it you like it.
And then when someone hands you pizza with EVERYTHING on it when you haven't eaten in 12 hours because you're trying to turn in your thesis, you eat it.
Then about a month after you graduate, you realize that you've been eating tomatoes all year.
And the scary thing?
You like them.