I have a great working relationship with most of my co-workers and good friendships with three of them. It seems that even though we see each other daily it is hard to keep up with what is going on in each others lives. We make it a point to have lunch as often as possible or to go to a happy hour after work, but so often it seems that we end up talking about work. The last time we went out to a happy hour we started talking about doing some type of activity together. One of my friends mentioned that she was going to sign up for some cooking courses offered through community education. She thought it might be fun if we would do this together. The cooking courses were to concentrate on making thirty minute meals that were above average in taste and presentation. We decided that this would be fun as well as helpful in our lives.
The first evening of the cooking courses found the four of us putting on hair nets and aprons. Of course we all thought this was quite funny. We knew we had joined a serious class when the instructor threatened to separate us. Instead of being a fun activity where we could enjoy each others company the cooking courses became quite stressful. The first night the instructor timed us as we cut up onions and vegetables for the stir fry dish that we were making. She had a timer with a bell along with a whistle to make sure we all dropped our knives when she said that the time was up.
At our first break we went outside to get some fresh air. One of the other students heard us talking about how serious the course was. She said that she had taken other cooking courses and that they had been a great deal of fun and more laid back. She thought that the instructor was filling in for someone else. We made it through the first night. I did learn a few ways to cut off time in meal preparation but I was not that excited about going back. At work the next day we all agree that we would go the next week and if things did not improve we would skip the rest of the cooking courses and spend the time having drinks and dinner.
The next week there was a different instructor for the cooking class. She was a great deal of fun and had all of us laughing as we prepared short cut meals that could be frozen for later use. The evening flew by. It is amazing the difference the personality of the instructor can have on how much you enjoy a class as well as on how much you learn. The rest of the cooking courses were taught by the fun instructor so we kept going and learned a great deal.