In 2009, Ray Riley and I began teaching Texas Barbecue as a first-year seminar for incoming freshmen at Texas A&M University. The first-year seminars served as venues for students to be in small student number classes and as a way to help them more easily make the transition from high school to college.
This was the fifth year we have taught the class, and it has had several course names and numbers throughout the year: UPAS 181, UGST 181, and ANSC 289. The first-year seminars are no longer being offered by Texas A&M University; however, Ray and I felt the importance of the course and offered it this year as a “special topics in…” course (ANSC 289). We have requested formal course approval to teach the class in the Department of Animal Science as ANSC 117, which, if approved, would be the course number for the fall 2014 semester.
We had our last class of the year this week by roasting a pig in our back yard in a cinder-block pit. The weather was lovely and the students enjoyed the pork, baked beans, peanut butter pie, and fellowship. We will miss seeing these students each Friday, but we know that the time has come for them to move on in their college careers. Some of them will return next fall to be Super Sophomores, a group of students who have had the class and return the next year to serve as assistants. All of them leave us somewhat better prepared to be college students and are now lifelong Texas Barbecue students and enthusiasts.