To say that this semester went fast would be an understatement. I literally cannot believe that I almost have another semester under my belt. The further into my education I get, the faster each semester seems to go.
With the semester going quickly also brings closure to my independent learning project (ILP). My ILP for this semester was to become more of a presence in the kitchen by learning more about baking and cooking. Although I didn’t get to complete everything that I would have liked to, I think I definitely have gotten off to a good start.
If I were to compare learning how to cook and bake to something, I think I would compare it to hunting. Where you have so many different recipes and techniques in the kitchen, there are also so many different ways to hunt. I probably drew this conclusion because I like both food and hunting, but I still think it’s a fair comparison.
Not only did I learn a lot about the technical part of cooking and baking, but I also got a better understanding of why people like spending so much time in the kitchen. Being in the kitchen is almost therapeutic to me. I can just start working, going from one part of the recipe to the next, and not have any worries. I really understand why my wife enjoys being in the kitchen so much now.
I really didn’t have any issue motivating myself to work on my ILP this semester. Initially I worked off the calendar that I had made, mapping out my recipe for each week. Eventually, I had to make some adjustments to accommodate my wife’s menu that she had. In the end, we just ended up talking through it so that she could make sure that we were all fed throughout the week and that I got to work on my ILP each week.
Probably the most challenging part of this project was trying to decide what to make each week. I know I said that I laid out a preliminary menu at the beginning of the class, but when you are married and have three kids, you have to be open to adjustments. Like other families, we are super busy, and sometimes you have to call an audible based on what is happening in your lives.
The best part of the project was being successful. I truly learned something from this ILP. I learned that baking isn’t nearly as scary as I thought it was, and that I’m actually pretty decent at it. Also, I (successfully) cooked some dinners that I hadn’t attempted previously. But the best part of being successful? Being able to eat your success when you were finished.
I can definitely see how using an independent learning project in my classroom would be beneficial. My major is secondary physical education, so I think an ILP would be a perfect project for high school aged kids. Just like with cooking and baking, there are so many different activities associated with physical education. There simply wouldn’t be enough time in the school year to cover everything related to physical fitness. I think you could give them an ILP to complete each semester.
Not only did I enjoy my ILP this semester, but I think my wife did as well. I enjoyed being able to take some of the pressure of the cooking duties off of her. This is something I plan on continuing in the future.