Back in about 2003/04, Andrea and I took a cooking course through the continuing education section of either the City of Ottawa or one of the school boards. It was a six-week course or so specializing in tastes of Asia, and each week was recipes from a different country.
Generally, as I recall (or as per Andrea and I talking about it tonight, while trying to explain to Jacob why I like the recipe), the class ran from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.-ish. It was over at a high school on St. Laurent, and we would leave work and take a bus to get there just in time. For the first 45 minutes or so, the instructor would walk everyone through the recipes and demonstrate some of the techniques to try that night. Then, we would break into about 5 or 6 teams and we would all make 1-2 dishes each, with lots of repetition. » Read the rest
As part of my new “choices challenge”, today I chose to make bread with Jacob. Bread-making holds a special place in my heart for memories of my dad.
My great-grandfather was a baker and he taught my grandfather to bake too. I never met either one of them, both of them having died long before I was even a glimmer in my dad’s eye, but my father learned to bake from them.
All through his later adult years, my father was an early riser. Even though he started work at eight, he would be awake as early as 4:00 a.m. some days, and although some days he might have grabbed a cat nap before going off to work, on weekends he would suddenly decide to bake up a storm.
At the time, it seemed totally spontaneous to me. I’d wake up on a Saturday morning to the smell of fresh baking. » Read the rest
Maybe it’s the current pandemic climate, a strange combination of massive change overall against a backdrop of ongoing “no change” day-to-day. Maybe it’s the fact that it is 1:30 a.m. in the morning and I’m still awake, and I’m choosing to type instead of drifting off to sleep. Maybe it’s that I’m sitting in a basement full of boxes around my new office setup, and I haven’t quite organized everything yet. Or maybe it’s simply the fact that I just finished watching S2 of Jessica Jones where much of her backstory was about feeling untethered in her world.
But untethered seems like a great word to me tonight. It isn’t about being unconnected, although there is an element of that. It is about being adrift, untethered to a True North sense of direction.
There is a phrase from the US Declaration of Independence about holding certain truths to be self-evident. And in our current pandemic world, some of those truths are not quite as firm as they might have been. » Read the rest
The final assignment for the course, “Metaliteracy: Empowering yourself in a connected world”, is to create a digital artifact of some kind — a story, video, podcast, etc. — tied to the theme of metaliteracy, metacognition, and the topics of the previous 3 weeks. The goal is to help teach some aspect of it to someone else. For me, one of the most interesting areas of metaliteracy falls into the area of ethics. And I think I have something unique to say.
Metaliteracy and Ethics
It’s quite interesting that so many people talk about the “ethical use of information” on the internet and in journals, on talk shows and in lecture halls. Yet none of them seem to stop to ask themselves what they mean by ethics? In most cases, the explanation is quite simply “do no harm” or “don’t do bad things with the info”. It is akin to Google’s slogan, “Don’t be evil”. » Read the rest
This week’s materials are all about preparing a digital story. It starts with a simple example of telling something personal, maybe including some primary materials, adding in some secondary materials, doing research, planning, and ultimately creating the story in some form.
It takes the view that digital storytelling encompasses lots of different tools — text, pictures, video, etc. — and gives examples of how to do that creation, find the relevant materials, and shares a lot of examples from StoryCorps of how to do that creative process.
I have to say that I found it rather basic. Too much of it is about the tools you can use to tell your story, and not enough time is spent on what the story is…for me, all storytelling starts with the arc. A beginning, a middle, an end. And some sort of purpose to the story — or to sharing the story. Long before I figure out what I’m going to use to tell the story, I need to figure out what story I want to tell. » Read the rest