Confessions of a Teenage Body Shamer #4

A few weeks later, I sat waiting for my friends in the school cafeteria. It was unusual for Katie and me to arrive there separately. When I searched for her in her classroom, she’d already left. I scanned the room, making sure I had a view of all the entrances, yet neither Katie nor any of my other friends walked through any of them. Suddenly Kasey appeared – we made eye contact, and I warmly waved at her.

Recently, I spent afternoons at her house working on our school project. Unexpectedly, she’d become a great friend of mine, even though we barely spoke to each other at school.
At most, we would acknowledge each other. However, we would speak over the phone regularly, and through this, we got to know each other better – which made me realize that Kasey was not like how we thought she’d be at all!


Katie and the rest of my friends found this new acquaintanceship super weird. They would readily make remarks whenever I would greet Kasey. Once, when Katie was feeling especially mean, she made snarky comments about our friendship – of course, I simply laughed it off. I knew she wouldn’t mean them, but the insults became annoyingly unbearable, and I tried to avoid bumping into Kasey whenever I was with my friends.


The cafeteria became a bit noisier. I looked over my shoulder to see Katie and our group of friends laughing as they made their way towards me. Katie’s face sobered up as soon as she saw me.


“Hey”


“Hi, where have you been?”


“Around,” Katie answered vaguely. She shared a look and a giggle with our friends sitting at the table.


“Around? What’s that supposed to mean?” I was confused about why they were leaving me out all of a sudden.


Katie looked at me whilst rolling her eyes. “I mean around, Emma. Do you really need to know everything?”


I was taken aback by how harsh her tone was. “Everything? I literally just asked one question, Katie, it’s not such a big deal.”


She scoffed. “I swear ever since you started hanging out with Fatty K you have been acting so weird! I don’t even know who you are anymore.”


“What are you even talking about? I don’t hang out with her.”

“Are you serious, right now,” her bitter laugh made me freeze. I started feeling queasy, fidgeting with my fingers. Katie had a blank look on her face, completely unreadable, which made me feel threatened. “Come on, Emma. We have all seen how you greet her in the hallways, even now you waved to her.”
Around the table, everyone nodded their heads in agreement with what Katie was saying. Her face lit up. “Wait a second, don’t tell me that you’re actually friends with her?”

Looking around the table, everyone nodded their heads in agreement with what Katie was saying. Her face lit up. “Wait a second, don’t tell me that you’re actually friends with her?”


Stunned, I felt the room spinning around me. Not saying anything – unable to find the words, Katie and the rest of the table broke out into a fit of laughter. I gulped nervously, feeling uncomfortable as they laughed at me. I could feel the blood rush to my ears as tears welled up in my eyes. My throat was closing up, making it hard for me to breathe. I couldn’t stay there any longer – I had to escape – but I couldn’t move at all. It was like I had lost complete control over my body…

What was wrong with me? Why did I just sit there like an idiot? Why didn’t I just deny it? That would have been better than to have them laugh at me.


Katie steadied herself, “well this is rich. Our little Emma is all grown up and making friends with our school’s resident Fatty.” She checked her wristwatch, putting her arm around my shoulder. Leaning in too-close-for-comfort to my ear. She whispered, with a hot breath that sent shivers down my spine, “I really think you should see what’s about to happen next. I think it’ll put you back on the right path.”


Unable to look at her, she tucked my hair behind my ear. Once she finished speaking, a commotion started on the other side of the cafeteria, right where Kasey sat. I looked up just in time to see a tray of lasagna thrown on her head. I swear I gasped, but it was lost in the raucous laughter erupting in the cafeteria. Kasey stood up to defend herself – her protests were silenced with a yoghurt cup thrown at her face.


“Go ahead, Em. Go defend your friend, she looks like she needs your help,” Katie said loudly standing up from next to me, making me look up at her. She looked at me with such malice in her eyes that made me feel so intimidated – it made me feel so small. I wanted to stand up, I really did. But I was frozen to my spot. I was scared that if I moved right then, everyone that was throwing food at Kasey would turn their attack on me in an instant.


A high pitched scream.


It was Kasey’s last warning for them to stop… and everyone did. Until Katie walked towards her at an agonizingly slow pace. Picking up a can of soda, she opened it – the slow fizz of the can synonymous with the cocking of a gun – and poured all the contents over Kasey’s head. Katie’s speciality.


My heart sank to the ground as I made eye contact with Kasey. Her entire face was covered in food, but I could easily see the humiliation on her face. But nothing stung more than her look of sheer disappointment directed at me. Kasey’s glassy eyes were the last thing I saw before she ran out of the cafeteria, fiercely pushing through the crowd that shattered the silence with a piercing, mocking laughter.


Simple Student: Creamy Chicken Pasta

Hello my chickpeas! I’ve decide to start this new series where I help you find fun in the kitchen and graduate to Lvl.1 cooks!

I’ve called it Simple Student because these recipes are simple, economic for student life and even if you’re a simpleton – these recipes will surely have you cooking yummy foods for yourself in no time!

👆To start this series off is my go-to recipe for classic comfort that can be made ahead of time, in large batches for the week or in large batches to help you cope for the rest of the week.

We’ve all had some type of chicken alfredo pasta. And I dare not call this recipe that in fear of being lynched by some shook Italians and because of that it’s fondly called Creamy Chicken Pasta. ‘Cos that’s all this recipe literally needs: cream, chicken and pasta. Boom! You’re a chef!🍳

✌Now, I know that looks like a lot. But I have been making this recipe for two years now, so I know what it needs to suit my tastes and what it needs to suit my mommy’s needs.

👌Don’t start out fancy with this. The basic flavours of this dish speak for itself. Once you become comfortable with adding enough salt and pepper – feel free to get creative. I prefer adding some paprika for slight colour and smoke, and dried chilli flakes for spicy-ness!

👉Once browned, remove chicken cubes from the pan. The bottom of the pan will have some brown sticky bits, don’t worry, you haven’t burnt anything. That’s what chefs call fond. It’s browned bits that stick to the pan, typically after browning meat. It adds wonderful flavour without you having done a lot!

👇I added some spinach to mine. Feel free to add whatever you have in the fridge or cupboard. Or whatever you’re craving – except chocolate. I doubt that’ll be a lekker (nice) flavour combo.

All I can say about the spaghetti is: heavily salted water and follow the cooking instructions! Please, please, please!

This recipe is one of my favourites to make for myself when I’m feeling a bit miserable or for my family on a Winter’s day.

CREAMY CHICKEN PASTA

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Servings: 3

INGREDIENTS

2-3 skinless boneless chicken breasts

Spaghetti

1/2 medium onion

1 clove of garlic or 2 teaspoons of dried garlic

2 cups of cream

1 cup of milk

Salt & Pepper

2 tablespoons of canola/olive oil

Optional Additions

2 teaspoons oregano

2 teaspoons thyme

1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes

2 tablespoons cream cheese

1 cup mozzarella cheese

Use tofu instead of chicken

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

1. Cut chicken breasts into inch-sized cubes

2. Marinate your chicken in the dry spices: salt, pepper and any additional spices. Not the garlic!

3. Make sure that each cube is nicely spiced, and leave in the fridge (warm day) or at room temperature (cold day).

4. Chop your onion into a rough dice, it doesnt have to be super small, bite sized. Put onto a board or o a plate for now.

5. Peel, slice and dice your garlic and other additional veg. Put these all on a board or plate for now.

6. Pour oil into a skillet (pan) and turn on the heat. Medium heat to bring the oil up to temperature.

7. Test to see if the oil is hot by placing the end of a wooden sopon in the oil. If it begins to bubble around the bit in the oil, you’re all good to go!

8. Carefully place your chicken cubes in. Don’t throw them in! Ask for help if this freaks you out, or place them in the pan using a tongs.

9. Let your chicken brown for 2-3 minutes each side. We’re not aiming to fully cook the chicken here yet, if we do, adding it to the pasta and hot creamy sauce will cause it to overcook. We want it to be brown on the outside, pink and raw in the middle. Trust me, it will cook in time!

If you’d like to use stiff veg like broccoli or carrots, now would be a great time to add them. If you use bell peppers, leafy veg or asparagus, add them in later.

10. Onced browned and delicious, remove from the pan.

11. Lower the heat and add in your onions and garlic. Cook until the onions are soft and almost transluscent. Stir every now and then, season with salt and pepper.

12. Pour water into a pot and turn it up onto high heat to bring to a boil. Remeber add lots of salt! More than you think you need 😉

13. Once your water comes to a boil, add in your pasta and set a timer on your phone so you don’t overcook it. Simple psaghetti typically takes 8-10 minutes depending on your brand – so read the packet instructions.

14. Once your pasta is cooked, turn off the heat and drain some of the pasta water. Keep a bit in the pot with the pasta to prevent them from sticking.

15. Add your cream to your onions and garlic mixture. Keep the heat of your stove medium-low. Add your milk too and wait for it to come up to a boil. You’ll start to see a few bubbles in the sauce, don’t be tempted to stir!

16. Season your cream sauce with salt and pepper and any additonal spices.

17. After 2 minutes, stir it gently to prevent if from burning. Add in your chicken, pasta. And a few tablespoons of your pasta water. AND MIX, TOSS AND COAT 😉

Add your vegetables in here if you didn’t in the beginning.

18. It will still look runny and watery, don’t panic, give the chicken a chance to cook in the sauce and the pasta, to suck up those flavours. Put a lid on to help excess moisture evaporate quicker.

19. Once it has thickened, turn off the heat and serve yourself a huge helping!

Let me know in the comments below what your favourite pasta dish is? And don't forget to follow GirlOnTheBus for more fabulous student life stuff!

XXX

The best Freshman advice ever I

University is scary, there’s no sugar-coating it. But just like all fears, it’s all in the mind. And plus you have me to guide you little chickpeas to become fully fledged university beans ! 😁😁😁 
Well done! You’ve made it to university/college, exciting times are ahaead, so expect some turbulence, duty-free hours and delicious meals as your journey begins.
But before you can earn your wings and be the pilot of your life, you first need to know what your job entails. In lamens terms in order to be a pilot you need to know what a plane is – in order to be a freshman you need to know about uni life.

First, no one gives a s#!+ about you. That includes lecturers and other students in your class of 300. But a class of 300 !? I can understand why. Um no dude, I was in a class of 40 and the mindset remains the same. And before you go cry in the corner, this nonchalant-ness is actually quite good. One, it’ll give you the opportunity to grow. No teacher to hold your hand and press you to hand in assignments is the perfect environment to evoke those adult hormones and big person DNAs. However, just because the lecturer doesn’t check your homework or remind you to study for tests, does not mean in any way, shape or form that you need to slack off. Aw hell Naw !!! 
And that leads me to my second point, you’re in college now, big people school, getting ready for the big bad world, so act like a big person. And yeah college is the time to try new things. Whatever it may be – friends, study methods, sex, parties, driving lessons, new loves, getting a job – whatever! But don’t let these big people niceties distract you from the important big people things – like doing your best, honouring your word, delivering on time and being someone others can count on. Sooo do your part of that group project and do it on time, be on time for class (your parents are paying through the roof for you), be kind to people (bullying is Soo out of fashion) and lastly read all my blogs 😁.
My third point, attend orientation week. Many universities/colleges have Open Days, Orientation Day/Week and it’s important to attend these events. They give you a chance to deliberately come to class late, get lost and learn all the technicalities of the school. Like it’s timetables, you get to know whose in your class and familiarize yourself with the area. It’s a vital way to make sure you stay ahead of the pack and on the path to being a badass student. 
Now this is all the boring stuff, there is Soooo much more to uni than the technical stuff. So stay tuned for The best Freshman advice ever II