Peanut Butter & Jelly & Life Lessons

Posted: December 5, 2013 in Uncategorized
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By Paul Gaszak, English Faculty

I’m over 30 and I still eat peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. I like them. They’re delicious, cheap, and easy.

To make one, I follow a routine: first I place two slices of bread on the plate with the bottom edges touching, then I spread the peanut butter onto one slice.


When I first started making PB&J by myself as a kid, my next step was to clean the knife off with paper towel so I wouldn’t get any peanut butter in the jelly jar. Then I would spread the jelly, slap the bread together, cut it in half, and enjoy.

My mom eventually took notice of this routine and stopped me as I went to clean the knife. To save me time, and to keep me from wasting all the paper towel, she instructed me to simply wipe the knife on the clean, soon-to-be-jellied slice.

So I did. Voila. Clean knife. No paper wasted.

This was revolutionary peanut butter & jelly engineering. It was the best thing since sliced bread, happening ON sliced bread.

My little mind was blown.

More than 20 years later, I remember that moment every time I wipe the knife on the bread.

It certainly wasn’t the biggest or most important lesson I learned from my parents; it wouldn’t even sniff the top 10. But as we navigate our lives through education, milestones, and epiphanies, it is nice to remember that the tiniest slice of a moment can teach us a lesson that lasts forever.


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