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The Great Heart Debate of Third Grade

Feb 8

Posted by: ACHA
2/8/2012 1:45 PM  RssIcon

By Jennifer Rice

This time of year always reminds me of one "The Great Heart Debate of '96," a.k.a. a Valentine’s Day party in particular when I was in third grade. I was in Miss G.’s class when I got into a heated debate about hearts with another girl. This girl swore that a heart was the normal hand-written, Valentine’s Day, Hallmark card heart. You know—the one that you drew on your textbooks in high school and then filled in with your boyfriend’s initials. That was her heart.

But me, I knew better. I told her that it was a fake heart. I told her, “That is not the heart that keeps you alive.” She looked at me very confused. I thought that this girl was so silly and stupid. Come on now, we are third graders! How does she not know what a heart is?! Did she lose her mind in second grade? I was convinced that she had. It was my obligation, my duty, to set her right. I just had to tell and show her what a real heart was. And so I did.

I drew a very crude—but anatomically correct—heart. I am sure it was more of a piece of abstract art then concrete, but at least I tried. By that time, our debate had become a full-fledged argument with other kids in the class standing by watching. Then one boy chimed in with a “nuh-uh” and the class giggled, dismissing my drawing. I was embarrassed and on the verge of tears. At that point the whole class was involved in the “The Great Heart Debate.” It was only a matter of time before Miss G. stepped in.

She came over, took a look at my drawing, and proclaimed in that “I am the teacher and everything I say is right” voice that my heart drawing was, in fact, a heart. I was elated and I surged with pride. My face beamed. “I told you so,” was all I said. Come on! I was in third grade, what do you expect? During our Valentine’s Day party that year, Miss G. taught the class about a real, beating heart.

Now, several years older and a bit more mature, I have come to realize that the hand-drawn heart is important too. It is a universal symbol to show love and appreciation. This Valentine’s Day, maybe you can make this tasty desert for your loved ones and include a handwritten heart with a cute note to tell them just how much they mean to you!

Cinnamon Sugar Heart Rolls


1 package of reduced fat Pillsbury crescent rolls
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray

¼ cup dark brown sugar, not packed
¼ cup Splenda
½ tbsp. light butter
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. To make filling, combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well to make sure the butter gets mixed in evenly. Set aside.
  3. Sprinkle a dry, clean surface with a small amount of flour to prevent sticking. Remove dough and knead entire thing into one ball.
  4. Using a rolling pin lightly dusted with flour, very firmly roll dough into thin sheet about 8 x 12 inches. Spray the dough's surface evenly with butter spray.
  5. Spread filling out evenly over dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edges.
  6. Roll dough halfway on each side and cut into eighths.
  7. Lay logs down in baking dish that has been sprayed with PAM and pinch the middle to create a heart shape. It should look something like the above photo.
  8. Cover pan with aluminum foil. Bake in oven for 8 minutes.
  9. Remove foil, and return pan to oven. Bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until cinnamon rolls have risen and are slightly brown on top.

Jennifer Rice is an emergency department nurse who was born with transposition of the great arteries, as well as other congenital heart defects. She and her fiancé Ziggy are working on transitioning to a more healthy lifestyle. Read more about their adventures in and out of the kitchen at their blog.

Location: Blogs Parent Separator ACHA Blog

1 comment(s) so far...


Re: The Great Heart Debate of Third Grade

I LOVE your description, and 3rd grade victory! The kids always told me, "Hey, your heart is beating; you better sit down and rest."
Well - really? And just what were their hearts doing?!

By Connie on   2/8/2012 5:13 PM

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