Saturday, January 25, 2014

Using Your Hands

This week in my graduate studies course called Roots of Inquiry, we watched a film called How to Cook Your Life. It features Zen Buddhist chef/baker at Tassajara Zen Center in California, Edward Espe Brown.
There was a part of the movie when Espe Brown was talking about using his hands. He said, "Cooking brings your hands nourishment because your hands get to be hands instead of playing around with your iPod or computer. They get to do something instead of sitting around all day while you’re entertaining yourself with your iPod and your internet and all of the other things we do. Our hands don’t get to do much any more."
And then he said, "Your hands activate your brain."
If for no other reason, maybe we should create so we can use our hands?

My students are creating museum exhibits about some of the groups who were important in Canada's pre-Confederation history. One group is studying the Mi'kmaq, who lived in wigwams.

One of my student walks in yesterday morning, with the help of her mom, with all these wooden pieces. She and her dad worked on creating the frame the night before and she brought it to school this morning. "It's our wigwam," she said.

Today, the group worked together to put it together. They used bolts and wingnuts to attach the parts together. They used a hatchet wrench to tighten the bolts. They problem-solved when they realized they'd put on piece on upside down - and unattached it, flipped it over, and re-attached it.
They learned with their hands. They created.
How to Cook Your Life is available on Netflix Canada.
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