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 Home Economics and Cultural Awareness (career class, all years)

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Grayson Hughes

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Birthday : 1988-04-15
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PostSubject: Home Economics and Cultural Awareness (career class, all years)   Thu 1 Feb 2018 - 23:46

It would have been an understatement to say Grayson had been surprised when Andrei had approached him regarding the career class for the winter term. For one thing, he had little to no experience teaching, and had no intention of ever doing so--not because he didn't think he'd enjoy it, but more because he was afraid he wouldn't be very good at it. It was one thing to take up a hobby for yourself and fail at it, it was another thing entirely to drag innocent students down with you.

For another, his various skills and areas of expertise were not common knowledge, and he was simply not expecting anyone to think of him when considering a "career class." The idea was an interesting one. He knew Victoria Newbury had taught the last class, and it seemed to be rather popular with the students. He wasn't entirely sure what he was supposed to teach though, considering nearly none of his skills constituted an actual career (unless students were really interested it organizing bookshelves, but he doubted they would be).

In the end, having been given some freedom and time to decide before submitting his lesson plan, he had landed on a skill that was probably one of the most practical ones in his repertoire. Cooking.

It could be a career, but it was also just a useful thing to know how to do in one's everyday life. And it had, through some miraculous and unbelievable turn of events, become his livelihood for almost a year while he lived in China.

The Chinese Minister for Magic entertained many guests from all around the world. As a show of hospitality, he liked to provide all foreign ambassadors with a meal of many dishes from their home country when welcoming them. As it so happened, Grayson had become close friends with one of the Minister's chefs, and as it also happened, an Ethiopian diplomat was visiting for a week to discuss some details of trade with the Chinese Minister. As a visit from an Ethiopian ambassador was quite rare, the chefs were in a bit of a frenzy figuring out how to make such unfamiliar dishes.

Bohai, Grayson's friend, had mentioned it rather off-handedly in a conversation, and this soon led to a detailed set of instructions on how to make injera, which Grayson had learned from a family he'd stayed with in Ethiopia. This in turn led to Bohai bringing him in the next day, as the chefs frantically prepared for the ambassador's impending arrival, and Grayson giving a sort of crash course on the uses of teff flour and lentils, and, eventually joining the staff in their preparation of the meal. Less than a week later, Bohai had secured a job for him in the kitchens, where he was able to put his decade worth of ethnic culinary experience to good use.

He learned mostly by imitation, but it was effective, and over the years he'd built up an extensive repertoire of recipes from all over the world.

Today, they'd be making three. An appetizer, a main course, and a dessert.

Not wanting the kitchen to become too crowded, the class was to be capped at a smaller size. The kitchen was cleared for the afternoon, the house elves making themselves scarce in order to give the students room to work. Grayson had written out three separate recipes, which, he hoped, should be easy enough to follow.

Now he simply stood in the middle of the empty kitchen, familiarizing himself with the layout, and making sure everything that they needed was available. He took a deep breath, glanced at the clock, and waited for the students to arrive.

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Elenore Clement
Hufflepuff Seventh Year
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Birthday : 2006-12-14
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Location : Versailles, France

PostSubject: Re: Home Economics and Cultural Awareness (career class, all years)   Thu 1 Feb 2018 - 23:54

Upon hearing that there would be a cooking class, Elenore had signed up to it in an instant. How amazing would it be to sample different food from across the world whilst constantly being served terrible English stews in the School's winter term?

Elenore simply couldn't wait to meet the chef that would be cooking for them to try in the kitchens. The house elves did their best, but English food was bland at best.

Heading across the hall from the Hufflepuff Common Room to the kitchens, Elenore was somewhat confused not to find food already prepared in the class, and for the kitchen not to smell of things cooking. The House Elves were nowhere to be seen and only the librarian was in attendance of the room.

"Morning, sir." Elenore greeted the man, a light frown playing on her features as she looked around for some sign of the food they would be tasting. A mild sense of apprehension was building, though.

Something didn't feel right.

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PostSubject: Re: Home Economics and Cultural Awareness (career class, all years)   Fri 2 Feb 2018 - 1:16

Unexpectedly so, Reienne had thoroughly enjoyed the last career class that had been offered by the school. Victoria Newbury had definitely brought something to her class that Reienne hadn't known that she needed. The guest speaker had ignited a flame of sorts, flame being not quite the right word but the closest in the English language to what she was feeling.

The girl had always been passionate towards animals. Reienne had grown up on a farm and she'd been raised around all sorts of different species. She became friends with the ducks at the local pond long before she made any friends in school. She used to lay in the grass for hours, staring into the sky and counting the number of geese in formation migrating for the winter. She found animals fascinating and as she grew older, they became a part of her family.

The girl began to see animals used in ways that she deemed unjust. They were used for makeup testing, clinical trials, raised to be slaughtered. She did not understand how a creature so innocent could have no rights. It was hard to describe, as thinking something like this was written off as stupid in any community, but it hurt her.

And hearing/discussing the case had hurt her. She understood both sides, but the boy's side had at least been heard. The prosecution in the case had been too quick to write off the creature as a monster. It hurt Reienne's heart. And it gave her a revelation.

She did not want to be a lawyer, but she wanted to find a way to help.

She wondered if this class, though different, would also unlock a part of herself that she hadn't seen before. It was a cooking class and Reienne already knew how to cook, but maybe this would bring out her inner Gordon Ramsay and she would become a fabulous chef. Who knew.

"Hello," she greeted the professor as she entered the kitchen, stifling a small laugh. The only time she had been in the kitchens before was illegally and it had been a disaster. This time, she had permission to be here. For some reason, that made it less fun. She shook that off. She followed rules. Reienne-Louise wasn't a trouble maker.
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Mimosa Harrington
Slytherin Second Year
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PostSubject: Re: Home Economics and Cultural Awareness (career class, all years)   Fri 2 Feb 2018 - 1:32

As December rolled in, so did the festive mood at Hogwarts Castle. Having spent most of November in a slump punctuated by soothing bouts of Jacques, Mercy, Clara and her three Grandparents, what had really restored Mimosa to the happy, bouncy child she was had been the Quidditch Match between Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff that had taken place last week. Mimosa hadn't wanted to go but her friends had been equally firm in that she must go out and keep busy. Even Squid Boy had said she should at least try and study the game play for her own future with the Slytherin team.

Which had pretty much settled the matter. When Squid Boy started carrying so much authority among the first and second years, Mimosa didn't know. She just knew people usually listened to him. The match itself had turned out to be the most invigorating one she had seen in a long, long time as the blue clad team wiped the floor with their opponent. And as she cheered, raged, shouted, screamed and jumped through the match, she couldn't help thinking that her Uncle Seb would have wanted her to do exactly the same. He didn't need her to wear a black dress and look sad, he needed her to go out and enjoy every game of Quidditch she saw, just like he had done.

In a way, it was the perfect way to say goodbye to a man who had loved his craft. She hoped he'd been watching from wherever he was, because she could sure feel him all around her.

After the match, there was hot cocoa in the common room, a midnight snack from the elves and then Christmas preparations had begun in earnest. Mimosa had entered the great Hall one morning to a dozen Christmas trees and the tables decorated with thousands of baubles, banners, fairies and mistletoe. Truly, the only place in the world that must look better than this was the Palace of Versailles in France.

And it looked like the teachers were getting in on the spirit of the occasion too, organizing after class snowball fights, offering extra non-academic classes and sometimes even letting students get away without homework. Well, all except the Headmistress but Mimosa didn't take her classes so she didn't care. Though Squid Boy did and he had muttered darkly about aliens taking over before the Headmistress let him escape with no homework.

The decision to take the cooking class had been almost unanimous among the Slytherins who all liked Mr. Hughes well enough and wanted to see what the man had in store. Mimosa loved cooking, it was easy. All you had to do was stand in the kitchen and tell someone to put things in a pot. The child wasn't sure why Clara made such a fuss about it. Maybe today Mimosa could make something amazing and send it to Clara to show the older witch how easy cooking really was.

The little girl entered the kitchens as usual amid a group of her friends, Catherine and Ji Hyun flanking her sides while Constance and Bushrah forged ahead. Squid Boy followed behind, not too keen but not annoyed enough to protest. Spotting Elenore, Mimosa grinned widely at the Hufflepuff before waving frantically, almost hitting Catherine in the eye in her haste. Once having greeted Elenore, Mimosa bounced up to Mr. Hughes, throwing her arms around him and giving him a biiiig hug. He was really nice.

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PostSubject: Re: Home Economics and Cultural Awareness (career class, all years)   Fri 2 Feb 2018 - 1:36

Home rec wasn’t a class Delia ever expected to take. It wasn’t that she thought the skills useless — she knew some of them were vital — but rather, she never wanted to have to use those things. People could, after all, be hired who specialises in those things. Still, it was an interesting concept, and she had nothing better to do (it’s not like homework was important or anything), so, tote bag on shoulder, she strolled into class.

Glancing around at the set up, she noted too late they would be cooking. Sighing softly to herself, she glanced around. At the very least, she hoped she’d be able to learn some new recipes; cooking was a lot like potions, and while apparently her method wasn’t good, she knew her potions were. Cooking was another of those things Delia knew she could do and was good at should she be bothered, but just wasn’t in general.

It was always so much easier to order food from professionals.

But as she glanced around her eyes landed on a familiar figure and she broke into a grin. “Professor,” she made sure to greet, before moving to stand beside her friend. “Hey stranger-danger,” she thrilled, almost happily. “Glad I’m not here alone. Cooking — like baking — is so much more fun with a friend.” Winking at Rei, she let her bag drop to the floor as she waited for class to begin.
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Dominique Greene
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PostSubject: Re: Home Economics and Cultural Awareness (career class, all years)   Fri 2 Feb 2018 - 4:07

Dominique was excited that there was going to be a cooking class. Baking was something that she loved. And she enjoyed eating so this was going hand in hand. And this would be a shake up from the classes that she was going to take. Global citizenship was on her list. And she thought that she heard Mimosa say that she might take it. But even not she was going to make the most out of the class. And she would have a nice meal out of it. She knew that her parents would be proud if she knew hot to cook. Then she wouldn’t have to use their house elf, Randi too much.

After walking into the kitchen, she noticed that Mimosa was there. So this was going to be amazing as she was doing this with her best friend. She then went over to where she was and stood by her. “ Hello Professor."

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Grayson Hughes

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PostSubject: Re: Home Economics and Cultural Awareness (career class, all years)   Sun 4 Feb 2018 - 0:10

Grayson nodded politely at each student as they entered, counting them and pairing them off in his head for when it came time to cook. He knew all of the students by name, having seen each of them at least once in the library, but beyond that he knew very little about their personalities.

He was a little surprised to see Elenore Clement. Coming from an elite pureblood family, she would have little to no reason to cook for herself, and she shouldn't expect to need to in the future either. The Clements had their own cooking staff of professional chefs, and that wasn't likely to change any time soon. Still, he'd hardly discourage her if she wanted to learn.

The next girl he recognized as a recent transfer student. Reienne-Louise, from America if he remembered correctly. She seemed to be in a good mood. He was glad that there were at least a couple older students showing up--he didn't know what he'd do with a kitchen full of eleven-year-olds.

Speaking of which, a flock of them soon ambled through the portrait door, including one Mimosa Clement (or so she had called herself), and a boy he recognized as Andrei Kessler's son. Mimosa seemed to have cheered up some from the last time they had met. He chuckled as he returned her hug briefly before turning his gaze to the last two students.

Another transfer student, and another first year, both from Gryffindor. He felt slightly uncomfortable as they both addressed him as "professor." He didn't feel like a professor. He was intending to be more of a supervisor really.

As the room filled up--ten students, the maximum--he shut the portrait door with a flick of his fingers and cleared his throat. He wasn't quite sure what he was doing, but it was too late now to show it.

"Hello, everyone. Most of you probably know me, but in case you don't, I'm Mr. Hughes. If you want, you can call me Grayson, I really don't mind.

"Today we'll be doing something a little different from your other classes. It won't involve magic, necessarily, unless you know a few domestic charms and would like to use them to help you, especially when cleaning up. The bulk of this class will be hands on, and using muggle equipment.

"For this class, you will be working in groups to create three dishes from three different cultures. Before we begin, does anyone have any eating restrictions?"

He took note of everyone who did. Thankfully, he had foreseen potential problems as he'd created his lesson plan. None of the recipes involved pork, accommodating for students following kosher or halal diets, and he had prepared vegetarian versions of the two recipes that traditionally involved meat.

"Okay, don't worry, we will have food that's suitable for everyone here. Now," and here was an important question when determining who was paired with whom, "how many of you have cooking experience?"

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Elenore Clement
Hufflepuff Seventh Year
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PostSubject: Re: Home Economics and Cultural Awareness (career class, all years)   Sun 4 Feb 2018 - 20:38

Upon seeing Mimosa enter the class, Elenore had felt herself wishing she hadn't bothered to come to this class. Not because of the professor, or the subject, but the small Slytherin simply took the joy out of everything. Jacques' demand that she not say anything to the Slytherin remained clear in her mind, though, and Elenore kept her eyes towards the librarian instead.

"For this class, you will be working in groups to create three dishes from three different cultures. Before we begin, does anyone have any eating restrictions?"

Elenore's body ran cold in that moment, upon finding out what they would be doing. Creating dishes, Elenore echoed in her mind, before realising what the professor was saying. They were going to be doing... servants work. The Clement witch probably looked like she had seen a ghost in that moment, truth be told, because the thought they would actually be doing the cooking had not been an option to cross her mind. This... this was barbaric.

The question, though, was one that made Elenore look around. Eating restrictions? Oh Merlin. Fussy, that was what you called people who had eating restrictions, and fussy was not something you were allowed to be in the Palace. Merlin knew saying you didn't like something would be unacceptable, and vastly impolite if you were entertaining abroad and turned your nose up at a meal that had been offered.

The day was simply getting worse as it went on.

And then the second question. Cooking experience. Elenore's hand remained -- unashamedly -- by her side. What kind of silly question was that of a Clement?

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PostSubject: Re: Home Economics and Cultural Awareness (career class, all years)   Mon 5 Feb 2018 - 15:54

Just when Mimosa was sure the class couldn't get any better, Dia walked in and hurriedly took a place on her left, elbowing Bushrah out of the way slightly to get to to Mimosa's other side. Now, he young Slytherin stood between Ji Hyun and Mimosa, listening carefully as Mr. Hughes began to speak.

The idea of foreign dishes sounded odd to her because she was from America, the country with the best food in the whole wide world. Every great food ever had been made in America, especially Indian food and Chinese food. And Mimosa had eaten it all thanks to Clara's abysmal cooking and grandpa's collection of take out menus.

When asked if they had any eating requirements - or at least that's what it sounded like - Mimosa promptly raised her hand. "I like sweets, I can eat lots and lots of them Mr. Hughes." The child giggled at ehr own confession before dropping her hand down once more. Some people were speaking up about things they could and couldn't eat and Mimosa briefly wondered why that was before discarding that line of though. The child still found it very hard to focus on things that weren't directly about her.

Her tiny fist shot up in the air once again when Mr. Hughes asked if they had any experience. "I do! I cook all the time back home, I cook even better than my Clara. i have my own apron and it says "Grandpa's Little Princess" and I can make... Sandwiches... And Stew... and I can make pizza and tacos really well."

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PostSubject: Re: Home Economics and Cultural Awareness (career class, all years)   Tue 6 Feb 2018 - 2:46

Reienne was already beaming, but Delia's presence made her already existing sun even brighter. The Hufflepuff was a people person. She loved making people's days better and she felt grateful for every new friend she made. She had a-lot of friends. Her childhood had been full of sleepovers and birthday parties; full of braiding hair at Summer camp. She was a normal girl who liked being around people. Despite all those that she labelled a friend, Reienne had very few people with whom she connected on a more personal level. Delia, she believed, was one of those people.

She'd met the Pureblood by accident. Reienne had been trying to reach her friend whose horse had recently run away. She sent a paragraph with advice that, out of context, could be seen as being rather sketchy. Of course, the text message sent to a random number instead of the intended recipient. The random number was Delia.

She had texted Delia, then a stranger, for days. They chatted like old friends and Reienne confided in her like she hadn't confided in most of the people she knew in real life. It was a refreshing kind of friendship and, when they met, Reienne felt like it was a reunion. She would have never guessed that it was their first time meeting in person.

"Cooking is better when you have someone to taste-test," She smiled. "Don't worry. I won't forget the ingredients this time."

A couple of minutes later, the door to the kitchen closed and class was underway. The guest teacher introduced himself and he explained what they would be doing.

"I'm a vegetarian," she responded when he asked if anyone had a food restraint. Being vegetarian was very normal for her, but it still felt like an inconvenience to bring it up in someone else's kitchen. She felt as though she was limiting their creative process by limiting their ingredients. But it was non-negotionable. She believed in not eating animals who were raised to be killed. It wasn't right to her. So she stood her ground, still smiling all the while.

She laughed lightly as the first year, was Mimosa her name, explained how she cooked all of the time at home. She found the enthusiasm cute. It reminded her of herself as a young girl, cooking with her Nana and feeling like she was the best chef in the world.

"I cook some," she told the librarian. "I'm sure I don't have half as much experience as little miss Rachel Ray here, but I know a thing or two!" she hoped the child knew she meant no harm by the comment. It was said in jest and admiration.

She smiled and waited for further instruction.
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