FACS: Food for Thought


Photo by Mrs. Arculin

Students pose for a picture after making fried rice in FACS class!

“I always tell my kids one day you will move out, will have a roommate and you will need to  learn how to do these things yourself,” said Mrs. Rachel Arculin, the RCMS FACS Teacher.

FACS, or Family And Consumer Sciences, is a class that has been taught in schools since the nineteenth century. It teaches students skills that every person needs to know at some point, like how to cook, mend clothes, and do laundry. 

The projects that students this quarter have been doing are mostly cooking related. In the first class, they started with making salsa, where they conducted the famous experiment of “Who thinks cilantro tastes like soap?” Out of 154 students this semester, 16, or just over 10% of Mrs. Arculin’s students thought that cilantro tastes like soap. They were told that this is a genetic trait, and that there was a gene in their DNA that confused the taste of cilantro and soap.

“I do not think cilantro tastes like soap, I personally believe it’s one of the best savory garnishes for a dish, if not the best,” said Ishaan Mantrala, an eighth-grader on the Yellow Jackets team.

“I don’t like cilantro, but it doesn’t taste like soap. I just don’t like the flavor,” said Raj Wankhede, a seventh-grader on the All-stars team.

In a later class, students made quesadillas, which many paired with the salsa, making a dish that was quite popular. 

Another project was an elevated mac and cheese, using a cheese roux, but that lab had gotten mixed feelings on popularity.

“So far, my favorite project was making mac and cheese and one of the techniques that we used was making a roux, which is a french baking technique, we made a cheese roux, which was really fun,” said Emery Rosensweig, a seventh-grade student on the Trailblazers team.

However, according to Mrs. Arculin, some students didn’t like the complexity of the taste in the mac and cheese, with it being too “sophisticated”.

“I didn’t really have a favorite dish, everything turned out bad except this baked cheese dish, which tasted decent but too cheesy,” said Raj.

On one occasion, students made a mug cake, an apparently simple and delicious project. According to Charlotte Blasiol, a seventh-grade student on the Dream Team, it was the easiest project in FACS. On the other hand, there are other projects that are just difficult for students to make.

“I think making the pasta was hard, because there wasn’t a certain time to cook it, you had to keep checking which was annoying,” said Charlotte.

With any class involving tools, heat, etc..There are bound to be some accidents. There have been slight burns when boiling water, but nothing to be too worried about. 

I have never gotten hurt in this class, especially considering that horseplaying in the lab is a violation and you will be doing an alternate assignment otherwise,” said Ishaan.

 Many students report their classmates being rowdy and disruptive, and those students, like Ishaan said, were expected to make the lab up by doing an alternate assignment. These kinds of people can ruin the experience for their classmates sometimes, which causes students to not enjoy the class.

“The dishes were not hard, it was only the teamwork that made them difficult,” said Raj, who did not really enjoy the class that much. “I didn’t even want to be in this class, but all the other courses were full so I had to be here.”

FACS is one of those classes that is hands-on, and therefore there’s no homework along with the class.

“I don’t assign my students homework, but it makes me so happy when they take the recipes from class and make it at home to share with their families,” said Mrs. Arculin.

Emery and Charlotte both reported having FACS at the end of the day, which was more ideal than other class periods.

“The best part of having FACS eighth period is that I can just take the leftover food home with me,” said Charlotte, ” and I don’t have to worry about losing it and carrying it around.”

FACS continues to be a fun and exciting class for students, and regardless of whether you like cilantro or not, it seems like many students enjoy taking it.