A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Mr. Wentz takes on Worst Cooks Of America

At the beginning of the school year when math teacher Mickey Wentz was absent for two weeks, rumors flew about where he could be and what he could be doing. Could he be on vacation still? A teacher retreat, perhaps? Or even on a TV show?

When he finally revealed he would be on the Worst Cooks in America, the school was giddy with excitement to watch the show and see how he would do.

For the past seven weeks, the show has aired and students and adults alike have tuned in to watch the different contestants try their hand at a variety of dishes, including Wentz.

Watching the show starring one of LHS’ own teachers made it so much more fun to watch . It also made it so that LHS families would come together to root on Wentz.

So, how exactly has this once in a lifetime opportunity impacted Wentz, LHS students, and even parents?

During the last episode, we were to make a spin on a coconut rice and a Hawaiian pork dish…we were all given the same amount of liquid to be poured into our pressure cooker.  I strongly believe that my pressure cooker had a leaky seal.  We were to cook the pork for 25 to 30 minutes. Before the 20 minute mark, Chef Tyler Florence noticed that a pressure cooker was dangerously close to exploding. That pressure cooker turned out to be mine. During tasting, he said my rice was good, but I overly salted the meat,” said Wentz, on how he got eliminated.

Although he may not have won overall, it seems that he is still extremely optimistic and uses what he may have done wrong as an opportunity to do it right next time.

“One thing that I learned was that this show is an excellent metaphor for life.  We can try hard and still fail. However, what we do with our failures helps shape us into the person we are today.  As such, even though I ‘failed’ on Worst Cooks, I have become a better cook.” he said.

Not only did he learn that failures can be valuable to a person’s overall learning in any field, but he also overcame some fears he had going into the show.

I am somewhat of an introvert. So, I am a bit embarrassed for the attention [from students and coworkers].  However, I was scared going on a National TV show. I just want to share that even though we are scared of something, we should fight on and gain wonderful life experiences,” said Wentz.

Wentz went through lots of challenges that taught even him, a teacher, lots of lessons. He now gets to take home this new skill and show off how much really went into to the show.