Thursday, December 13, 2007

Mexican Tea Cakes (Page 673)

  • Date: Monday, December 10, 2007 -- 6pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companions: Cornelia, Kelly, Michelle, and Becky
  • Recipe Rating: A-

Gingerbread may not be part of my childhood memories, but these cookies definitely are. My mother called them Russian tea cakes, but they tasted exactly like these. These cookies are tasty enough to deserve multiple names (I've also heard Mexican wedding cakes. Never Russian wedding cakes though...). It's hard to go too wrong with ingredients like these. The recipe is essentially: mix up some butter, a little sugar, some flour, vanilla, and chopped pecans. Bake. Roll in powdered sugar. Roll in powdered sugar again. It's simple. The cookies come out just a little crispy to the bite, with an amazing melt-in-your mouth texture. The cookie itself isn't too sweet, so the powdered sugar exterior gives it a charming kick of sugar. They are sugary and buttery and delicious. I associate these with Christmas (perhaps because they have a snowball look about them) but frankly, I would eat them anytime! If you have never had this very classic cookie, you should try it. If you have, this recipe is the same as all the others: delicious!

Here is the recipe.

Well I submitted my grades today, and also posted them to my students. Now I am, as I expected, dealing with the fall-out. I have received many emails today, all of the same variety: "Dear Professor, How many more points would I have needed to get an (insert grade the student wanted here)? Is there some additional work I could do to make up those points? (insert sad story here about the bad things that will happen if students doesn't get desired grade). Thanks, (student name)." In certain cases I can empathize -- I do feel bad for the student that has worked hard all term trying to get an A, and ends up with a B+ instead. But in many cases, the students barely tried all term, rarely turning in homework, and were surprised when they got a D. The F students haven't complained at all. I think they expected to fail. But the students who got D's are not happy. Here's the thing though: they are all so shocked that they got D's. I don't understand it. In October I posted midterm grades for everyone and explained that it was the grade that I would give them if I had to assign grades based on their work so far. These students who got D's all either had D's at the midterm, or else they had a C-. And then they continued to do worse throughout the rest of the term! What did they think was going to happen? *Deep breath* It only frustrates me because I feel as though they are blaming me, as if I am a mean person for being unwilling to change their grade. I am not mean. It would make me very happy to pass everyone. But if you rarely do the homework, and do failing work on all the exams, I think it is a disservice to give you a passing grade.

On the upside, aside from responding to grade complaints, I am done for the semester! My grades have even been submitted to the registrar! Whoo hoo!

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