Has anyone else ever wondered what is going through an individual’s head when you’re talking to them? Have y’all ever wondered what is actually behind the glassed over look in a person’s eyes? Is that person actually processing the information? What if you had to train someone to do a very specific task? Before I begin, I do think it is worth mentioning that I am very aware that what you will read shortly has personal variations based on personal preference or experience. But, that’s my point, are people, in general, capable of just listening to instructions without additional thoughts which interfere? To demonstrate, below i will explain step by step how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. See if y’all can just read and follow the instructions. You might be surprised just how hard it actually is to do. Understand that I make a few assumptions when delivering these instructions like y’all knowing what peanut butter, jelly, and sliced bread actually are. If you don’t, Google those ingredients first and then come back, I’ll wait. All terms in the following instructions are as I would use where I live locally. Different places (not in Texas) tend to call things by strange names for some reason. And, before we ask, much of the information contained below was emailed to me by a personal friend who thought it would be cool to try with my Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. The instructions worked well on 2nd graders, but gets lost in translation by older children and adults because we tend to over think things.
- Two slices of bread
- One butter knife
- One jar of peanut butter
- One jar of jelly
- One clean surface (plate, cutting board, etc.)
Given that all the necessary items are present:
01. Begin by taking the sliced bread in it’s wrapper into one hand and remove the closure device by untwisting the tie or pulling off the plastic piece.
02. Untwist the wrapper to open it exposing the bread.
03. With one hand gently remove two slices of bread and lay them flat on your preparation surface.
04. Pick up the jar of peanut butter in one hand. With the opposite hand unscrew the top in a counterclockwise fashion. Once removed, set down the top on the table.
05. Holding on to the open jar of peanut butter, pick up the butter knife with the free hand.
06. Grab a nice portion of peanut butter on your knife.
07. Put down the peanut butter.
08. With the hand that is now available, pick up the left slice of bread and hold it flat in your hand.
09. Maintain and open palm w/ finger slightly bent to keep the slice in place.
10. Carefully apply the knife with the scoop of peanut butter to the slice of bread. Gently spread the peanut butter so that it is evenly distributed.
11. Lay down the piece of bread w/ peanut butter on the table next to the untouched bread, peanut butter side up.
12. Now, set down the knife.
13. Using one hand of the two that are available, pick up the jelly jar and open the jar in the same manner as the peanut butter jar.
14. Set the top down and pick up the knife w/ your free hand.
15. Insert the knife into the jelly jar and scoop out a decent portion of jelly. Because the jelly is quite unstable, you practice caution when holding it.
16. Carefully set down the jelly jar.
17. Pick up the remaining slice of bread with your free hand. Be sure that the slice does not have peanut butter.
18. Hold the slice in the same manner as the previous slice.
19. Gently apply the jelly to the slice of bread, be sure to spread the jelly so the that all the jelly is evenly distributed.
20. Set down the knife.
21. Holding on to the slice of bread with jelly in the same manner, pick up the slice of bread with peanut butter.
22. Be sure to pick it up from the sides so that you do not stick your fingers in the spread.
23. Adjust the slice of bread with the peanut butter so that it’s held on an open palm w/ slightly bent fingers.
24. Make sure that the peanut butter is facing up.
25. Bring both pieces of bread together as in a clapping motion, but with a fraction of the force.
26. Maintain this motion with your hands while you rotate your hands to meet the peanut butter and jelly faces together.
27. Remove the top hand and gently place sandwich on preparation surface.
28. Use the butter knife to carefully cut your sandwich in a diagonal fashion from one corner to the opposite corner.
29. Place butter knife at the edge of the sink as this is the international way of saying “I might want to make another sandwich”.
30. Enjoy the peanut butter and jelly sandwich that you prepared with your own two hands.
So, let’s review. Does it really take 30 steps to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? It’s all a matter of opinion, right? In regards to teaching, do we need to be so precise the very first time? Here’s what I personally think, the answer is yes. If we are taught short cuts first we will never truly know the right way or wrong way to do anything. As additional observation, it has been my experience that people want the end first, rather than learning how to get there the next time. No, I’m not a teacher, I’m not an instructor, nor am I a trainer, I’m a dad, who over the years, still applies the things I learned when I was younger to how I have raised my own children. I’m no where close to perfect, but I will always remember that the devil is in the details.
Well, I hope we had a little fun together today and that every once in awhile it pays to think about what we do so mindlessly. Life was better when the internet was my back yard, when a round up ball game on the corner lot was staring at my cell phone, and when I talked to someone it was usually face to face. Technology has made it easy not to be a part of life and hopefully there are still some old school parents who enjoy being involved in the lives which are around us. Anyway, before I go too far off topic I think it is the perfect time to end this post. Thanks for visiting, hopefully y’all enjoyed this little piece of nonsense.