Thursday, January 19, 2017

Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce and a Heated Discussion about ONLINE Education

Waking up sick and feeling like you are starting to catch the cold that your kids just got over--sucks! I thought I had escaped it. Nope.  Sore throat, feverish, feeling like crap--that's me today.

The silver lining is that I don't have school for five days.

Yesterday was rough, speaking of school. I went to school with a light heart and a smile on my face.  Entered class and found my seat.  We chit chat for a few minutes and then class begins. Sociology gets heavy with content real quickly. You go to class happy and upbeat and leave pissed and contrite. That was me yesterday. We are discussing change in society. Several things contribute to change. Our two topics this week are technology and family. We were asked to give up our phones for 24 hours to see how our own lives were impacted with the current technological device that seems to be center to most peoples lives.  Our conversation then switched to how we use this technology. Finally ending up on the topic of online education. This is where things got sticky and loud.

One comment was made. ONE. The comment, in short, was made that nobody should use online education ever because there are plenty of public college campus. NO ONE?  Really?  That comment pretty much broke the class volume meter and a deep discussion went forth.

This is where I threw my hand up and outrightly disagreed with this persons comment.  First of all, who are they to say who gets to go to college and what type of college they attend? Education comes in many forms-not all education is formal and sitting in a classroom. Not everyone can attend a classroom every time or most of the time.  Not to mention that today, online schooling is not the norm, although it is leaning toward more people taking online classes, but in fifty years we might see most people going to school online and think to ourselves, "why didn't we do this sooner?".  What about those single mom's working two jobs, or the guy sitting in prison who wants to better his life, or me the mom with four kids, a business, and a family to raise, trying to balance and juggle life? What about all the other situations where an online education might be the only way for someone to get an education?

How you get an education is all relative to your own unique situation. We need to stop judging people's decisions because they don't fit into our norm or value system. Personally, I feel that if you have the desire, heart, and ambition to go to college, online or in person, then do what ever it takes to make it happen and DO IT! Not to mention, maybe a person does both. Like me. I use both formats.

I can't wait to see what he has to say about the family unit and how it changes our society.  We watched the pilot episode of Modern Family. We were asked to judge the episode on how we felt it related to real families in todays society.  1-5 were our choices, one being not so much and five being closely related. I chose four and he chose one.  OKAY then.

This is what I love about in person classes. The discussion in real person. I like hearing the passionate responses by other class mates and listening to their point of view. This class encourages us to speak honestly and truthfully about our feelings and points of views.

These topics get heated and filled with loud voices, strong opinions, and deep discussion. We all leave on good terms because this is a safe place to talk about our differences openly and in a guided format. Hearing my classmates ideas and thoughts on a variety of subjects allows me to really think about my own opinions. I have had to reevaluate my own ideas on occasion.

I guess the key to all of this is that we are talking. We are communicating our ideas. We are listening. The one thing I am learning is that we need to be careful about using words like: always, everyone, should, and never. These words are limiting and don't allow for change or inclusion.  The assumption is the everyone should be doing all the right things every single time. Life doesn't work that way.

That was sociology. Then came the text from my daughters about a situation at home (I'll tackle that tomorrow).  Finally math hit me in the face with 2.5 hours of nonstop head down computing and working as fast as I could.  It feels like a marathon on most days in math. The thrill and rush of working with numbers gets my heart pumping and brain moving.  It's an awesome roller coaster of emotions.

I walk in the door and I am home feeling like a bus just hit me. Dinner is always next when I get home at 4 in the afternoon. This is my life two days a week for the next eleven weeks. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world because I am able to be a student and a mom. I get to do both.

I like this easy Cauliflower Alfredo recipe that takes just a few minutes and can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days.

I have used several recipes but pretty much wing it each time I make it because they all have the same basic ingredients: cauliflower, nutritional yeast, lemon, salt, pepper, garlic, and liquid.

If you are not familiar with Nutritional Yeast, this is what gives the sauce a "cheesy" flavor. It's nutty and similar in flavor to a strong parmesan cheese. You can buy this at most stores but best to buy it in large quantities because once you use it, then you find other reasons to use it. It's a great vegan alternative to cheese.  You can make all types of sauces with it.

I use my Vitamix to get a smooth and creamy texture. I dip bread in mine. Some of my family eats in on noodles.  Others eat it like a thick soup. My personal favorite is to make a marinara sauce and have both sauces on my noodles.  YUM

I have used this recipe from OH SHE GLOWS with great success.  Like I said above, I don't really follow a recipe anymore. I just add the ingredients to my Vitamix, taste, adjust, blend, and serve.

This is my other favorite recipe from Minimalist Baker.

If you are new to vegan cooking I highly recommend visiting both of the sites listed above. I have learned so much about plant based cooking from both these ladies. I don't mind sharing recipes from friends and colleagues because it saves me time. My life is about balance and time management these days.

Also this week, I made smoothies in the mornings and pre-portioned them up for anyone who needed a quick snack, juice, or lunch. I repurpose the jelly jars. They are the perfect size and I get to reuse something that I would have normally thrown away. We don't recycle class in Oregon. The bonus--theres not any plastic--but glass. I like that.

I hope you have a great day! I will medicate, rest, and move on with my busy self.  Life of a mom is all about moving forward and finding a pace that works with your lifestyle.  GO MOMS!


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