Today we took a field trip to the past. We took Corey back to her vocational school to visit the culinary kitchen . Chef Young has been reassigned to a different location but Chef D is still at TCHS.
The school is on one of the rural back roads. As the trees cleared Corey saw the building.
C-(pointing to her left) what’s that?
M-do you recognize it?
C-it’s a school
M-did you go there?
C-(she hesitated, not sure what the answer should be)
M-(I turned into the entrance and slowly drove down the long drive giving her a chance to think) What did you come here for?
M-that’s right, this is where you took your culinary classes.
Corey was very excited until we parked and began the process of unbuckling the wheelchair.
C-mom, I’m not happy to be here anymore.
C-I’m a little bit nervous.
We assured her there was nothing to be afraid of. The last time Chef D saw Corey she was inpatient at Bryn Mawr.
C-he saw me when I was a lump of love.
M-imagine how excited he will be when he hears you talk and sees you moving your arms!
We met Chef in the classroom. Corey gave him a big hello and we went into the kitchen. She didn’t recognize anything at first. We pointed out different parts of the kitchen but didn’t see any ‘light switch’ turn on until I told her she should ask Chef D if he had any apple juice. Corey’s face instantly changed, she began to get excited and giggle a little bit. Chef Sheridan is new to the culinary program. She didn’t know Corey, therefore was unaware of the inside joke. Corey told her “every day I asked the Chef’s for Apple juice”.
The back story to this; Corey attended morning classes. The AM students cooked and served breakfast for the school. Corey was often assigned to the omelette station. They served basic beverages and orange juice. Corey never liked Orange juice, so everyday FOR A YEAR, she asked the Chef’s why they don’t carry Apple Juice. What she doesn’t remember is Chef D and Chef Young’s visit to Bryn Mawr. They wanted her to know that in her honor, the kitchen will now and forever more serve apple juice as an option at breakfast! Chef went into the refrigerator and brought Corey her apple juice.
Our “summer school” goal is to work on Corey’s ability to stand independently. We also hope to bridge her new reading and writing skills from creating lists and reading texts to reading recipes. We hope she is strong enough by fall or winter to stand at the stove or counter. Depending on her strength, stamina, and advancement in reading, she may be able to come back the the kitchen. Imagine the possibilities! If she could handle 30 minutes, even if its one time a week.
Corey was nervous going to the kitchen but while she was there, she seemed completely at ease. Not once did she ask me when it was time to go home…I think because to her ~ it was home, xoxo