Wednesday, October 27, 2010

a lot of what's, but not in the tone that means 'huh' or 'are you serious?' Because I am most definitely smiling.

What I've been decorating:
Pumpkins and scarecrow cupcakes! (Scarecrow is not pictured here, don't worry.)

What I've been cooking:
Dark chocolate, Walnut, & Golden Raisin Cookies
Tuscan-Baked Chicken and Beans
Brie, Apple, & Arugula Quesadilla
Fall Vegetable Curry
and a ginger-pear-pomegranate crisp/ crumble that I won't bother posting the recipe for, because I don't think I followed any single step to make. I loved it, so if you ever see a recipe for one, it's worth trying. Add some other fall spices too, and it still tastes good.

What I've been running:
Finished the Columbus Marathon (that's number two for me), and still like running!

What I've been thinking: 

I finally watched the documentary Babies. I am struck by the cultural differences between the babies in the film. As an American, I think we are quick to assume that we have the right idea and that we have the only right idea. I watch the mother of the African baby wipe her baby on her leg and then clean her leg with a cornhusk. Immediately, we shudder and comment on the grossness and lack of hygiene. But what really determines the best option? Is our diaper plan the best because we are used to it, or is our diaper plan the best for all standards? Okay, I think hygiene might be on our side in this debate - unless you recall that too much hand sanitizer doesn't allow children to build up their immune systems and that is one explanation for the increased amount of allergies. But diapers add to landfills, plastics production, and more. How can we expect other countries to adopt our ways to deal with infant waste? 

I think this is analogous to a lot of educational reform issues (did I mention I also recently saw the documentary Waiting for 'Superman'?). Education-people tend to approach educational psychology and pedagogy with the same outlook that they learned through their educational experience. (Similar also to the cyclicality of physical abuse – parents who were abused are more likely to abuse their children than non-abused parents.) It’s not that the errors of our ways are ignored, but that we are more accepting of mistakes or errors in ways that are the norm or that we are used to. We think that our form of education is the best because it’s what helped those who plan the future of education succeed. We think that our childrearing ways are the best, because they are what we are used to. It is difficult for us to accept foreign ideas because we have preconceived notions that generally reflect our upbringing or experience: future experience is based off past experience. If you want to learn more about different styles of learning (but only if you want to), feel free to look at the blog of my cognition class: or ask me to send you my critical reflection on Waiting for 'Superman'. Bottom line? Guggenheim (the producer/ director) doesn't have the answer either. He is simply, like the rest of us, still waiting for a Superman.