Saturday, December 17, 2011

Southern Living's Layered Peppermint Cheesecake....and a Holcombe Family Gathering

I knew a couple of weeks ago, when this cake made it's way onto our local morning news, that it would be making it's appearance to our annual Holcombe Family Christmas party. This lady...Melodie Belcher who submitted it to Southern living is from Atlanta. I watched in amazement as she shared her recipe and this sweet peppermint plate made from real peppermint candies! I guess I have a little bit of my Grandmama Melton in me...oh how I miss her! She always made the best cakes...and pies!

This is my first attempt at creating a masterpiece beautiful Christmas inspired cake. I can't wait to taste the combination of cheesecake, peppermint, white sour cream cake and white chocolate mousse frosting. Of course a cake wouldn't be a southern cake without a little touch of Paula Deen...sugar coated rosemary!

We won't be tasting this until this evening...if it makes it out of here! So I'll be back with our southern review of this beautiful cake!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fundraising in the school system....

Just venting a little....

With today's economy many school systems are being greatly affected. I live in a rural county where many local businesses are struggling to survive. The last thing they have money for is advertising in a school newspaper. Have we come to the place where we are using our kids to peddle for the lack of funding in our school system? Are we distracting them from their learning time so we can fund things we might be able to cut out? Let's face it...We as Americans waste a lot of  dollars on unnecessary things just so we can have the biggest and the best!

I first want to say....I am not opposed to fundraising. In fact our son works for a really great company that not only helps the school with raising money....but helps to build the student's character in a week long program!

I guess I am of the belief that if the funds aren't there, then the program needs to be cut or an alternative made.Thinking outside the box is not something many are good at, even when other suggestions are made.

Our daughter is taking a class where part of her grade includes collecting  $ in advertising for the school paper which is handed out for FREE. 10 % of her overall grade to be exact. Stated in her grades is that each student is responsible for a $ 200 Goal for advertising.  Isn't a goal a projected amount...and an attempt to get there? For three weeks in a row she participated going out with the other students in her own car and using her own gas money to seek business who would advertise.This was during the class period. Several weeks ago I noticed her grade for this part of the class. A 0 and a sweet little message.....Make an effort...everyone else has! That was enough to get my mama feathers ruffled!

In an effort to teach her to stand up for her rights, I encouraged her to talk with her teacher and an administrator. The conversation with the teacher went no where. She was told to ask everywhere she visited for $ and even ask people at our church. We have 9 kids....we don't eat out very often. She has an after school job at our local recreation center and goes to church....that's the extent of her social life right now.

Since when do students have to pay for a grade? Is fundraising a subject or part of one? Are my tax $ not enough? I do support the fact that she needs to earn her grade...but not by collecting $ for a free publication. When I can't afford something I do away with it or adjust my spending so I can. How about teaching the students to think of other ways to publish the paper? Maybe an online readership? Print less papers? Charge the teachers and students for the paper?

Her grade with the nice little message was a 0 until today. Now it's an 80 and the message has been deleted. Along with the teachers request that they continue fundraising long after the semester ends. This was a one semester class. Hmmm....I wonder where this will go next? Will she get a grade for that? I want my kids to learn to give and help....but not for a grade!

Am I wrong in my thoughts about this class requirement? Is it even legal to make a student raise funds for a grade? Sometimes teaching your kids to stand up for themselves and not settle just so they don't ruffle feathers or disrespect  can be a task in itself. Teaching them that it isn't disrespectful to question an adult when something clearly isn't right.  How about when the teacher disrespects a student with a comment on a grade report? Should she settle for her final grade of a 90?

How about when a student has done an assignment, turned it in ontime, it's been graded but not entered into the grade book, but returned to the student? Only to be given a 0 until the student can prove that it was turned in. Kids Stand Up!  Hold your teachers accountable! Yes, they make mistakes...but their mistakes affect your GPA and Transcript! 

 I have come to the conclusion....Our teachers need more dollars and more help in the classrooms, just not for a grade!

A mother's work is never done.........