Janus looks forward and backward: It’s August 23, do you know where your classroom is?

Not Welcome Here!
The entrance to the CTE wing of Louisa County High School

You may have noticed August 23rd came a couple of days ago and for the rest of the planet was probably as remarkable as any other day, but for the tiny community of Louisa County it marked the anniversary of the temblor that closed two schools, including the high school where I teach. Demolition has recently begun on the old building and they erected a fence to reduce mischief. Janus, the two-faced eponymous Roman god for the beginning of our calendar year is a useful symbol for such days. Like good educators are supposed to, the entire district on Thursday reflected on the very ‘interesting’ 12 months we’ve had even while appropriately this school year’s theme for the high school is ‘Focusing Forward’. Sometimes I miss not having two faces!

Last school year for the first semester we shared the middle school building so that on M,W,F it was a high school and for T,TH and every other Sat it was a middle school. With the reduced number of days we wound up teaching until almost 5pm. For the second semester we moved into our semi-permanent Pod campus of modular buildings.

My Pod before we moved in.
Louisa Culinary’s New Home just before move-in.

Inside P-10

One of the issues for Culinary in Pod-land is that absolutely no flame is allowed inside these structures. This makes it somewhat more challenging to run my class…but just like in the real world, the meal must go on and thanks to the amazing support of the community we became Culinary Commandos – taking our class on the road to a couple of commercial kitchens in our area. A beneficial side effect of our Roadshow Labs was a realistic focus on productivity to get what we needed to get done within our limited time frame. The other side of the solution led us to simply walk outside to produce stuff with our butane burners which increased visibility of the program to students and got everybody some fresh air.

Janus looks to the future as well and that was also on display on Aug 23, 2012. This week marked the beginning of construction on Louisa Culinary’s New Home Until the New Building:

Construction Begins!
You have to break eggs to make an omelet.

Louisa Culinary is moving to the Jungle (home of the Louisa Lions)! In an efficient use of limited resources, the stadium concession stand will become our kitchen as all the equipment from the old building will be installed, the external wall removed and a large classroom/dining room will be added. Once completed and with the magic of everything-on-wheels this space will also serve as the new concession stand on game days. When the new high school is built, Louisa Culinary moves out and The Jungle has the biggest, most luxurious concession stand in the Jefferson District. Once we get settled in our new digs I also hope to collaborate with the various sports boosters clubs and be able to offer some Louisa Culinary Concession Cuisine to be developed by my students and offered for sale at games (win-win-win!).

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