Another Random Woman With a Random Thought

Monthly Archives: December 2012

fine-dining-restaurants-kw

Fine dining at an upscale restaurant is a lot like obtaining a college education. Consider Sullivan’s Metropolitan Grill in Anderson, South Carolina:

People go to Sullivan’s for the atmosphere, the fine dining experience, and the food. At first glance, the restaurant looks impressive. The inside is beautiful, the servers appear eager to provide, and the food looks delicious. However, after being lead to a table and receiving your drinks and meal, you do not see your waiter or waitress for some time. You find that your glass has been empty for 40 minutes, the roasted chicken you ordered is undercooked, and salt is nowhere to be found. Finally, you see your server again just in time for you to get your bill. Afterward you realize that the overwhelming price was not worth it. After all, you visited the restaurant expecting to pay a hefty bill, but you thought it would be worth the price considering that the advertisements say the food is amazing, the service is exceptional, and the surroundings are breathtaking. Although you leave the restaurant without hunger, you are angry with yourself for not getting a pizza which would have been both delicious and economical.

Attempting to obtain a bachelor’s degree is much like eating at a “nice” restaurant. Your first impression is that the staff are eager to help, that your experience will enlighten you, and the courses will add to your knowledge. However after finishing a semester or two, you can longer find help from administrators, the courses do not help your intelligence because the curriculum is opinion-based, and the atmosphere is no longer  enough to make up for your terrible experience, the overpriced tuition costs, and the lack of quality education. You leave with a degree, so you are no longer “hungry”, but you wish you would have satisfied your hunger in a way that would not have been so demanding of your time and on your bank account.

Shrimp & Grits

Served with tasso cream sauce, also available as an entrée

Society thinks that intelligence and college go together just like Shrimp & Grits. In my opinion, they do not go together at all. Some people who graduate from college feel that they are brighter than those who did not attend. On the contrary, there are a number of intelligent and/or successful people in the world who did amazing things without graduating from college. Some of these people include Harry Truman (33rd President of the U.S.), John Rockefeller (founder of Standard Oil), Thomas Edison (Inventor), Barry Goldwater (U.S. Senator), etc. Sometimes college can ruin a smart and ambitious person, just like a delicious bowl of grits can be ruined by shrimp.

Sullivan’s Hush Puppies

Tossed in a curried honey glaze, with a side
of pimento cheese tartar sauce

Sullivan’s Hush Puppies are just like early American history. If you do not dip them in pimento cheese tartar sauce, they are great. Likewise, early American history is very interesting if the instructor does not assign long papers to write and loathsome reading assignments.

Black Truffle Ravioli

Wild mushroom cream sauce and regiano parmigiano

A good teacher is like a truffle in the way that he or she is hard to find and is very valuable. Bad teachers are like the mushrooms in your yard that are nothing more than fungi that you cannot get rid of. The water that settles in your yard and causes these bad mushrooms to grow is comparable to tenure. Tenure would be a great idea if it only produced truffles, but too often it produces unwanted fungi.

Black Bean Cakes

With guacamole, charred jalapeño aioli and Spanish rice Black Bean Cakes are a pricey dish.

If you were ordering a rib-eyed steak, you expect the price to be high because you are getting a substantial piece of meat and meat is always a bit more costly than vegetables. Like Black Bean Cakes, my Understanding Diversity course left me wondering, “Where’s the beef”? The class seemed to be a course in the hatred of anyone conservative. The only thing I learned was exactly how much blame some people put on society rather than individuals. Where was the substance of the course? I never heard any facts, just opinions. Where was the meat? If there is no meat, why am I paying so much?

Pecan & Basil Encrusted Mahi-Mahi

Served over orange and goat cheese grits drizzled
with a peppercorn honey and fresh vegetables

Pecan & Basil Encrusted Mahi Mahi and Astronomy are alike in the way that you picture a beautiful dish or a beautiful cluster of stars and you are sure that you have made a great choice about what to eat or what to learn about. After eating a bite of Mahi-Mahi, you remember that you are allergic to fish and you have to be rushed to the hospital. After reading the first chapter of your Astronomy book and doing the first quiz, you remember that you are terrible at math, and you try to withdraw only to learn that the withdrawal date has passed. Both actions result in being angry with yourself.

Lemon Blackberry Cheese Cake

When eating a Lemon Blackberry Cheese Cake, you fantasize about being able to make a cheese cake that is even better than this one and for much cheaper at home. In the same way, you sign up for a course in Spanish thinking of how dedicated you are going to be about learning a new language and how helpful it will be to your future. Just like the idea of making a lemon blackberry cheese cake remains an idea, the same goes for learning a language. The idea sounds good, but it is easier just to buy the cake. Likewise, it is easier to accept that you can only speak English.

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I knew a girl whose mother had severe mood swings. When the mother was sad, she would experience a total nervous breakdown. When she was angry, she would become abusive. When she was happy, she was hyperactive and cheerful to the point that she was ecstatic and hard to cope with.

In between these mood swings, the mother would have bouts of low energy. She would become very tired and sleep day and night. At the same time, she was always seeking energy. She would take a numerous energy pills, purchase newly advertised low-energy solutions, and constantly drink coffee. And, she would overdose on everything she took. For instance, if she had a headache, instead of taking two 200mg ibuprofen tablets, she would take five. She did this kind of thing with Metabolite as well.

The girl had an immensely difficult time having a normal relationship with her mother considering that she was often abused physically, emotionally, and mentally. If the mother was happy and the girl was not able to match the mother’s level of intensity in happiness, then the mother became angry or depressed and the girl would experience the backlash that came from these emotions.

Growing up in a household where the mother was unbearable and the father was usually either gone or intoxicated, the girl felt that she had no one to rely on. Her family denied that her mother had any problems and chastised her when she made reference to any hardships with her mother. The family, including her mother, felt that the mother functioned normally. Therefore, the mother would always refuse to go to counseling and would not take any medication.

To an outsider, it is not surprising to know that the mother and daughter did not mend their relationship when she became an adult and left home. They could speak with one another for short periods of time, but there was a lot of tension between the two of them. It seemed that the mother was totally unaware of this tension.

Although the mother never admitted that she needed some kind of help, she later apologized to her daughter for everything she had put her through. Literally, she said, “I’m sorry that I was not a good mother.” The girl knew that she would never feel very close to her mother. Really, she was so uneasy around her that even hugging her mother caused her apprehension.  Even though she apologized, they could not have a normal relationship because the mother tried to pretend like the first twenty-one years of the girls life never happened and considering that the girl was only twenty-three, she didn’t have any basis for a solid relationship with her mother.

Not only that, the mother would tell people who knew the girl, including her family, how badly the girl treated her. She would say things like, “Hannah was nice to me today“, implying that the girl was never kind to her. She would complain to others if her daughter visited another family member before visiting her first. She would become upset if the girl went out to eat with someone and did not dine with her. She even became angry when she visited her daughter’s house for Thanksgiving and noticed that one of the picture frames did not include a picture of her even though there were other pictures of her in the house.

The girl could not understand why her mother was so hard to please and why she expected so much when the mother had put so little good into their relationship.

In addition to all of this, the girl was never out-of-control or unruly. She went to church three times a week, made good grades, was involved in the high school band and key club, cleaned the house, etc. However, there was one instance when the daughter fought back with the mother. She was holding her down on her bad and twisting her arms behind her back when the girl snapped and began choking her mother. After the woman was gagging for a bit, the girl came back into reality and quit.

When the girl thinks about the past, she wishes that she would have fought back more often and told more people about her circumstances. After graduating from high school, the girl screamed and cussed at her mother as a means of trying to get through to her, but she realized that what she had done was wrong. To the girl, it felt right to defend her herself in a fight, but wrong to cuss at her mother, especially when they were only in a verbal dispute.

The girl was told by someone very close to her to not think of her mother as a mother or she would be disappointed. Instead, she should think of her as a friend because she really could be a friend at times.

This gave the girl a great amount of comfort. She even began to feel strong because she would tell herself that she did not need a motherly relationship; she was stronger that most of society.

Now, the girl is married and expecting a child of her own. She wants to be a good mother, but she almost feels like she doesn’t know how.

Sometimes the only solution is to simply put your troubles in God’s hands. You have to say, “I know what happened, she knows what happened, and God knows what happened. That’s all that matters.” Then, you pray, do your best, and see where life takes you. Unfortunately, just giving your troubles to God is difficult. As a human, I want to be able to have full control over my life when I simply cannot…