Julia, the Chickens and Me

Watching the movie “Julie and Julia” over the Christmas holiday reminded me of the time I was in graduate school out at Colorado State University many years ago.  I had to come up with a speech for a grad course that I was taking in Public Speaking.  I REALLY wanted to come up with something creative that would make me stand out from the rest of my classmates so I was wracking my brain trying to come up with something unique.

It was when Julia Child was at the height of her popularity with a cooking show on TV.  If you’ve ever watched any of her old shows, you know that she had a unique style all her own which was easily lampooned by many comics of that day.  I liked watching Julia Child and found her immensely entertaining.  Mind you, I wasn’t a very good cook but I was a very adventurous cook.  Now I was pursuing a graduate degree in theatre arts but was also taking a lot of animal science classes on the side (I know….it doesn’t make a lot of sense.  My parents couldn’t figure it out, nor could my advisors.  The truth is that I loved animals and cowboys and so it made perfect sense to me.)  And so, as I mulled over what to speak on, inspiration struck and I decided to combine a little “Julia” with some things I was learning in a Poultry Science class.

That’s how I ended up in a recording studio in the Speech Department being videotaped as I did my best impersonation of Julia Child explaining what made a hen a good layer.  I’ll tell you, I did it up right, too.  I somehow talked the Animal Science Department into loaning me one of their hens.  I dressed up with pearls, had a glass of cider on the set which stood in for wine, and proceeded to give a rollicking, soused lecture to the crowd, complete with live hen to demonstrate what to look for when choosing a chicken that would produce a lot of eggs.  To make matters even funnier, the stage lights had overheated the hen and she had semi-swooned so that I couldn’t get her to stand up for love nor money.  I had to kind of scoop her up into my arms so that I could flip her over to point out the anatomy you wanted to look for.

I was vaguely aware of my teacher out in the front row staring at me with wide eyes and his mouth open but I was having so much fun that I kind of forgot that I was being graded.  After it was all over, I DO remember that he took me aside and said, “Miss Loose, in all my years of teaching, I’ve never seen anything like this and I doubt that I’ll ever see anything like this in the future.  Thank you.”  I’m happy to report that, with Julia as my muse, I earned an “A” in that class.  The hen lived on to produce many more eggs in her lifetime.

In spinning news, here is the yarn I was spinning as I was waiting to hear that my grandbaby was born.  I think the colors are appropriate for a Christmas baby, don’t you?  My plan is to finish spinning up some other fiber that I don’t have as much emotional attachment to and try Navajo plying on that yarn and then I’ll Navajo ply this yarn.  I’m hoping to have something knitted for Mikayla out of this by the time she visits us in February.   I spun these singles on my Louet Victoria wheel, by the way.

That’s all for today.  And as Julia would say, “Bon appetit!”

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