Wait… Why is Mr. Mead’s Food Science Class so Popular?

Brooke Laur, Journalist

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From CSI to Yoga, Blaine’s middle school electives all vary in topics to.        learn about. However, one elective seems to tower over all others, and seems to be bursting with fun times and fun things… to eat! It’s Mr. Mead’s brand-new elective, food science! It’s very popular among Blaine’s middle school students. We all know that food science won’t be marked very low on our elective sheet for next year, but why exactly is that?

 

Mr. Mead is pacing around his classroom covered with  paper fish floating around the ceiling. He’s rocking a new buzz cut, which students can’t stop complimenting. He waits politely behind his student, who’s preparing a grilled cheese sandwich. ‘’The good stuff, right?’’ He joked as he shows me the cut and vacuumed cheese that infiltrated the room with it’s thick smelling aroma. I just shake my head and smile with him. It was good to be back in his class.

 

Capri Suns cover every surface while students stomped around playing heavy music with even heavier basses as Mr. Mead just mocked the lyrics, ‘’It’s like… I’m driving around in my Ferrari eating calamari. Something like that, it’s just crazy!’’ The song that was actually playing, as I googled later, was a song by a rapper named Jesus Honcho. I am, among this crowd, more of an observer than a part of the messy strings of students.

Brooke Laur
Mr. Mead poses for a goofy photo.

When I talked to Olivia Tyler and asked about why the class she was a part of was popular, she laid it out for me on a t-chart.

Joining the pros list were things like ”Music is allowed to be listened to.” It was ”entertaining and exciting” and luckily, ”Wednesdays were for games.” And lastly, ”Soooooo many Capri Suns.”. A part of the cons side, Olivia noted, that it ”smells bad (sometimes).” Sometimes, ”work doesn’t get done,” and Mr. Mead may just ”get mad at you when you don’t eat the food.” But, ”the food can also taste bad.”

Observing the scribbled t-chart, I noticed that the pros were all things, that really, you can’t do in any other room in the school. This, is what I’ve nicknamed, ‘’Mead Magic’’. It’s the idea that Mr. Mead has this sort of ‘magic’ on kids from the way his classroom environment is so fantastically unique, and yet such a great addition to every middle schooler’s experience, and more importantly, education.

 

a space for kids to just learn about what they eat and just relax and take a break with their friends. Mr. Mead elaborates more, ‘’Well Brooke,’’ he exhales as he formulates a sentence in his brain. ‘’I just think that any time people come together to eat food it’s a bit of a social event. But, we have a bunch of these tweens here,’’ he rolls his eyes at the word, ‘’And some of them just don’t have any common sense. Oh, no. Wait. Don- don’t uh- use the word common sense. Some of them just don’t know how to cook, that’s it.’’ He nods on and continues, ‘’Some kids don’t know how to make a cheese sandwich!’’ He waves around the cheese sandwich (not grilled cheese) in his hand. ‘’You know how to make a cheese sandwich, right?’’

 

‘’Yep,’’ I replied. My attention shifted to Santi, a student of food science, who was rolling around the ground, holding a student in a choke hold. Mr. Mead just stared and threw his hands up in the air, almost in surrender. I chuckled yet again at the wild, sipping on my nostalgia-soaked Capri Sun.

‘’Um…’’ Evan Wettstone begins, ‘’I guess you can do whatever you want pretty much. Wait…’’ He stops in his tracks as something explodes on the screen off his phone. His eyes bulge, then,  are back to normal, ‘’No just kidding,’’ Evan says in between clicks on his phone.

‘’It’s mostly fun, I guess,’’ Oliver Wheeler cuts in. ‘’Like when you’re hungry after lunch, you get to have food.’’ Oliver continued. I wasn’t sure if he was being sarcastic or not, Oliver says everything through a grin and his response was no different.

 

The next day I came back, it was a ‘’food day.’’  Mr. Mead quiets the class as spam musubi gets thrown onto a platter and set down on a desk. Mr. Mead cleared his throat and began, ‘’In World War II, this is what the soldiers would eat,’’ He marveled, shaking his almost-rice-sandwich around at the class. Chatter started to erupt as Mr. Mead paused to formulate a sentence like he so often does. ‘’Hey! Food has a history, you guys.’’ His attempt to quiet the chatter failed instantly, and somebody turned the music up even louder, at least to my ears.       

 

writing my reflection after school, the reflection being an honest observation of how Mr. Mead’s class is, how it makes people feel,and how it’s able to contribute to an overall bigger picture of Catherine Blaine. Mr. Mead’s class embodies otherness. He and his class are Neptune while everyone else is only Earth. Normal and routinely. He’s the sprinkles on ice cream. The hard, crunchy ones.

I’ve found out through having the pleasure of observing his class that even if his teaching style may seem odd and confusing to someone who doesn’t know the lovable Mr. Mead, they don’t know how much he cares for his students and all of his subjects. He is able to open up and share with his students, something that I never have experienced in my 8 years of schooling. Mr. Mead is such a rare unicorn, that once you really get to see and observe him it’s easy to see how he can serve as such a huge memento for 7th and 8th graders the funny moments or the Ziploc box filled of butterflies. His class is so popular, so talked about, and Mr. Mead all talks too humbly about it. He will without a doubt be etched in our memory until we become adults, or quite possibly further.