Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The other side of the Bench

I do have photos that I want to post, but my new Iphone is not playing well with my old computer!

As part of my birthday present, I took a Thai cooking class with the lovely Stephanie H. I love to cook, but with most things, I am untrained, which means that I am deeply committed to screwing things up. Such as the time that I spent three months learning to cook the (almost) perfect poached egg.
In the class, it was  fascinating to observe the instructor's efforts to turn knowledge into information and experience, in hopes that it would become knowledge to the students. It's a problem that I've faced often from the instructors side, but standing there with no experience cooking Thai food gave me an insight into the view that so many students probably have when they enter my class.

I have a huge amount of respect for students, especially adult students. These are generally people who are in some form of mastery in their lives and occupations, who give up the skill and control that they've spend countless hours acquiring while risking failure at something new. This takes great courage and elicits a lot of empathy from me.
I also got to see the instructor struggle to forget what he knows in order to present it to the students without assumptions. I've heard it referred to as "the curse of knowledge", where you can't remember what it's like not to know something. As a teacher, it's a tough thing to be mindful of and it lurks around every corner.
Teaching is the toughest and most rewarding thing that I do, however, my teaching schedule for the next year is rather sparse, and already mostly filled up. I've accepted a residency grant from the State University of New York in Purchase for 4 months at the end 2016 and that eats up just about all the time that I'm willing to stay away from home. It's basically a get paid to make what you want opportunity, and with the book behind me, I feel the call of the shop and new ideas beckoning.

 I will be at North Bennet Street School teaching continuing ed (open to all) in December, but the class is full (you can wait list it) and then again in January, but that's for the cabinet/ furniture program students. I'll then be at Highland in Atlanta in March, but again, I think that it's full, but you can check with them. The final option is a class in May at North Bennet street, you can contact their Continuing Ed program to inquire and maybe even get on a list before the class is officially offered (I shoulda checked with them first, but you never know). I have had a chat with Deneb about a weekend course up at Lie-Nielsen, perhaps a perch, next summer, but we haven't gotten any further. Thanks for your patience, I will be teaching more in 2017 at the some of the schools where you've seen me in the past.

And I must thank those of you who wrote in comments and emails about my loss of Lil, it meant a lot to me. I've loved sharing my time with her on Chairnotes and your support is much appreciated. 

2 comments:

Bern said...

Still gutted that I couldn't get you guys to that new, perpetually booked out Thai restaurant! Sounds though like you won't be needing to bother with restaurants soon⚡️

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