Facs4fun's Blog

Enriching the Lives of our FACS students

Careful with that knife… No, really!

As most of my students and colleagues know, I dropped a knife on my foot on August 19, 2013… The first teacher day back to school, in the evening at my home while making salsa… Not only did it require stitches, but I was not given antibiotics, so it became infected and set me back for about 2 weeks until my family doctor gave me a script and fixed me up…

Yes, it was a very tragic occurrence… and trust me… if I had it to do all over again, I would rewind time and never have it happen.

Not only have I missed a TON of time from work, which I am not happy about (How is it that specialty doctors are only open until 4 PM daily?), but I have also had a heck of a time finding shoes that I can wear since it is now getting colder outside… I did manage to find a pair of Crocs that can be made into a waterproof boot so that my feet will not get wet in the winter, as the other sandals I had did not cut it for the rainy weather today…

So I mention this, not only as a reminder… But to also highlight that even though you think “That will never happen to me”, it most certainly can… I am living proof of the fact… So with that being said, here are a few tips to keep you safe with knives in the kitchen…

1. Always keep your knives sharp. A sharp knife is safer than a dull knife. Dulls knives slip and cause injury… In my case, the knife was a SUPER SHARP, BRAND SPANKING NEW, Pampered Chef knife that plummeted off the counter and into my foot… Not a good thing…

2. Keep knives away from the edge of the counter where they could get knocked off… I was in the process of making salsa and put the knife on the edge of the counter on a cutting board, and I bumped the cutting board, making it and the knife fall off onto the floor. ūüė¶

3. Do not put knives into soapy water, as you cannot see them when you are washing things, and the last thing that we want to have happen is for you, or anyone else to reach into the water and come out with a cut, or even worse, one less finger.

4. When knives are not in use, keep them in their safety collar/sleeve or in a knife block. Knives will lose their edge if they are just thrown into a drawer and we do not want people reaching into the drawer and grabbing these. (This brings back memories of being at a friends house when I was a child. Their nephew who was about 2 would open drawers and grab inside, not being able to see what was in the drawer… We almost had a huge injury, but thankfully someone saw him opening the drawer where the knives were stored, and those knives were re-located to a much more “Kid-friendly” location!

5. In the event of an emergency caused by a knife… GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM – NO OTHER PLACE!!! Make sure to get antibiotics and follow up with your doctor quickly… You do not want to get an infection and end up with bigger issues…

While my foot has finally started to heal, it has been a huge inconvenience in my life – Please, please, please – be sure that you are wearing shoes in the kitchen (even if you are not using a knife) as there are lots of things that could hurt you… hot water, ovens, etc… it is not worth it.

Just my two cents… hopefully this helps someone in the future… I don’t want to hear about any of my students, co-workers or friends ending up in the hospital over a “little knife” incident.

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NO… I Don’t Mean LIKE “Home Ec”

When talking to people in public, I often get strange looks when I tell them that I teach Family and Consumer Sciences.¬† I tell them we do food and nutrition, childcare, interior design and more.¬† Most people then reply – “Oh, Like HOME EC”¬† but really we are NOT like Home Ec anymore.

Gone are the days of preparing “girls” to graduate, get married, have children and stay at home doing all the meal preparation, laundry, cleaning and more…

This is an excerpt taken from a 1950’s Housekeeping Monthly article showing what was expected of a woman in those days…

What do you think about this?

But gone are the days of women staying at home and doing all the housework.¬†¬†Today, more and more¬†women are entering the workforce and helping to provide for the family, often times not being home to prepare meals for the family – leaving dad and the kids in charge (That could be a scary thought).¬† So don’t you think it is important for both boys and girls to prepare themselves for life inthe future by having FACS classes on their resume?

With the change of the name (made over 15 years ago) come changes to curriculum.¬† We are not longer “Stitch and Stir” – We are so much more than that.

So what do we do in Family and Consumer Sciences?¬† We teach Healthy Food lifestyles, ¬†Financial Management, Careers, Interior Design, Vacation Planning and so much more.¬†¬†There are standards that we meet which help¬†to cover the Virginia SOL’s in all areas of our program.¬†¬†Students in FCS classes are learning about the chemistry of the food they eat and the nutritional content, and how to improve their food choices to create a better being.¬† Students are leaning how to create a budget for their failies and to¬†balance a checkbook (even though many times the computer will do it for us – it is a skill that needs to be known how to do so that we know how much money we really have).¬†¬†Students are learning¬†practical skills and knowledge that will be used later in life when they decide to get a job, or attend private colleges, state universities, and technical schools. ¬†They don‚Äôt just learn what “fat soluble” Vitamin A, D, E, and K¬†do, they learn where they can get it, how it works, and what happens if you do not get enough of it.

Family and Consumer Sciences isn‚Äôt a thing of the past – Is is a window to the FUTURE – Kids NEED Family and Consumer Sciences to prepare them for life – Just as this poem says…

Most of what I really need to know about life and what to do and how to be…..I learned in Family and Consumer Sciences.

I didn’t learn it in math or science or Spanish…I learned it in my Family and Consumer Sciences classes.

This is what I learned…..

Choose food from the Food Pyramid. Avoid fats and sweets. Keep food safe.

Choose clothes to flatter your body type. Clean and fix them when needed.

Budget your money wisely. Shop sales. Read labels, leases, sales and mortgage agreements very carefully.

Don’t be a parent too soon. It’s also a good idea to be married first.

Choose someone you get along with…then have the baby. Nurture it, love it, give it the right discipline and know when to let it go.

Learn to balance work and family. Learn to get along with others…Learn to like yourself!

Think of what a better world it would be if we were all equipped with the life skills taught in Family and Consumer Sciences…

If we all had strong happy families….Had balanced budgets…Could resolve conflict without violence.

It’s still true, no matter how old you are…Whether you are male or female… What career you’ve chosen…

It’s still best to go out into the world equipped with basic life skills.

These are all skills that we are teaching in the 7th and 8th grade curriculum and it is great when you have high school students come back and THANK YOU for teaching them all the things that they need to be a responsible adult.  That is what The FACS of Life are all about!

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