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Blessed Are The Cheesemakers

Mom Pony sent me my birthday present a couple of weeks early this year. It's a kit from Williams-Sonoma for making your own mozzarella and ricotta cheese! She sent it early so that it would arrive in time for the traditional visit with my best friend (and his new wife, yay!), because it's a fun thing that we can all do together (we all like cooking). I'm excited about this. Even if the cheese doesn't work or turns out to be terrible, it'll be a fun thing to do and a neat experiment to see How Things Work. Mom Pony agrees with me on this. It turns out that we both have the same semi-secret love of DIY and the same reasons behind it -- we're both insatiably curious about How Things Get To Be The Way They Are.

In my case, this often turned into a tendency to take things apart before I got old enough to learn how to make things. Mom Pony calls it "busy fingers," and it was one of the reasons that I had piano lessons as a kid -- anything to keep the busy fingers doing something productive rather than destructive! But now that I'm in grad school, I've learned a fancy new word for it. I can now call myself a "kinesthetic learner" and design lesson plans around experimenting and playing instruments and singing and dancing and all sorts of show-and-tell. And the pedagogical establishment will love it, and they'll never ever ever guess that it's just fancy teacherese for a French Pony who likes to stick her fingers into everything.

In other news, I've started writing my fifth dissertation chapter, and am therefore in need of trashy media to counteract. I tore through Kitty Kelley's book The Royals, which is kind of this lengthy biography of the House of Windsor up through about 1996 or so. It is hilariously trashy and snarky and totally biased. Kelley does not like any of these people one little bit, and she lets all that dislike hang out, accentuating the negative and gloating and pointing fingers. It's so biased that it's impossible to take seriously, but my God, it's a fun read! I haven't laughed so much in ages.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 15th, 2012 04:23 pm (UTC)
You are going to have to tell us how the cheese works out. I have seen that kit before and been very tempted by it.

I can now call myself a "kinesthetic learner"

I busted out laughing here. Yep, this is what teaching will do to your thinking. ;-)

How many chapters will your dissertation be? Killer that you are working on #5 now! Have fun!
Aug. 15th, 2012 05:07 pm (UTC)
I'm looking at seven chapters. An introduction, a conclusion, and five body chapters containing the argument. This fifth chapter is actually the fifth of those body chapters. Once it's done, all I'll have left is the introduction and the conclusion, and then there will be a full first draft of La Dissertation. And then I can edit it as a narrative and argumentative whole and make sure that not only are the individual chapters good (and my first drafts tend to be fairly substantive first drafts, if I do say so myself), but that the whole thing really coheres as a unit.

"Kinesthetic learning" is just so much more dignified than "busy fingers." Even if it leads to weird napkin origami and the occasional item-in-pieces. It also leads to gaohu playing!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


by Illsaysheis

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