Germany, Zeven: Amélie Meyer, 17, student

2 | Essay-collection by students of a 12th grade English course

When we were told to stay at home to avoid getting infected with coronavirus, I felt totally overtaxed. After all the time when people told me to do as much as possible, I didn’t know how to not do anything. I imagined self-isolation as a time of loneliness and boredom and already saw myself sitting in the corner twitching nervously. So it was a big surprise

to me when I found out that self-isolation is a great precondition to learn for life.

The first morning of quarantine, I felt relaxed and healthy, due to the fact that I had slept for more than six hours. Next to my bed, there was a television, so instead of getting up I stayed in bed and watched TV. This was the first time I realized how great quarantine can be. Did you know that “How I Met Your Mother” is shown on TV every morning? So consequently, I started to watch the series every morning, staying in bed until noon.

Although that kind of lifestyle was really nice, I wanted another great activity that was a little more productive. As I thought about that, I came up with the conclusion that the only activity as great as watching “How I Met Your Mother” in the morning was eating a lot of delicious food. In the first moment, I was very unsure whether I would be able to prepare a tasty meal, considering that the meals I prepared in the past weren’t that delicious, not to say disgusting. Then again, I thought about all the delicious food I could eat if I was able to prepare it. So I decided to learn how to cook.

Luckily, I discovered the secret of a tasty meal quite quickly: the recipe. It’s surprisingly easy to cook if one just follows the instructions. But just as important as the recipe is to prepare the dish with passion and love. If you lose patience in some moment, just think about the feeling of happiness you will have while eating the meal.

After a lot of practice, it was time for the final and hardest challenge: to prove my mum, that I was able to prepare a meal that would not make her laugh or cry unless they were tears of joy. So I cooked Ratatouille for the first time in my life, sticking in the kitchen for more than one hour and finally presented the dish to my mum. I was quite nervous as she tried it, and after a long moment of silence, she smiled at me and said: “It’s actually true – everyone can cook.”

In the end, I have to say honestly that I like Walt Disney’s “Ratatouille” more than the dish, due to the fact that I can really identify with Remy the Rat in the movie. Actually, we are pretty much alike: both of us love to cook, although everyone around us said that we would never make it. When I think about twice, maybe we’re not that much alike, considering that Remy is, well, a rat.

But you know what I’m talking about. Sometimes there are possibilities you don’t expect, like learning how to cook Ratatouille while you are spending your time in self-isolation. But I’m convinced that everything is possible – and that everyone can cook!