The End of the Line…For Now

What a season, what a season. If I were in person for this blog, I’d probably applaud myself and cheer rather pathetically, as is my style.

This blog post is designed to be your one-stop shop for all of my learning project posts in case you ever need to lose a few hours to me bumbling around, trying to find math in the most interesting places. All baking related, of course. I learned a lot in the ten posts that I made during this project, and I got to eat and share a lot of yummy things, too!

My friend, my sister, and I made pies this weekend, and I instructed both of them on how to properly mix the custard-y fillings, and how to make whipped cream. And how to separate eggs, so I really did feel that I made progress in my cooking. My sister even said, while we were baking, that she thinks I have come along way because I no longer look terrified when I am baking something. So that’s a plus! Below are the blogs I made wherein I learned to bake.

 

One-Stop Shop for all Your Blogging about Cooking Needs

  1. Intro – the first thing I did was decide that I was going to bake for this project. Honestly, I mostly just wanted to eat tasty things and tell everyone it was for a class. I didn’t expect much from it other than that. I added in the mathematical knowledge on top of it, for two reasons. As I mentioned in the post, I did do a baking project with my Grade 8s (I saw all of them a week ago, it was amazing, but also sad because I missed them so much, and I wish I could just stay there, but alas, I have to Film Festival it up, yo), but also because I wanted to prove to myself that I could find math in anything, and make it tangible and worthwhile to me and to my imaginary students.
  2. Salted Caramel Cookies – in my first post, I started with cookies becuase I thought it would be easiest. But it turns out I actually learned a lot from the experiement. I learned that cookie dough thickens depending on the temperature and the amount of flour proportionally, and that caramel like, evaporates in heat. For this math lesson, I did Grade 8 proportions, based on those two learnings.
  3. Salted Caramel Cookies – Revised – this post was more for me to actually learn from my mistakes of last time, and to try something new. That is, to put more caramel in smaller balls of dough. Not a complete success, but definitely an improvement.
  4. Cheesecake Brownies – I learned that my biggest impedement to cooking is my self confidence, as evidenced by my being wayyyy too stressed about how long to bake the brownies for. I decided to then make the math lesson revolve around Grade 9 linear realtions so students could find ways to graph and understand those baking times I struggle with.
  5. Cupcakes – This was when I made so many cupcakes it was like, the worst decision, there were 60 cupcakes, send help. The learning I did here was incredibly valuable, because it helped me gain confidence in my baking skills. I had to work hard and perservere when my recipe for the fillings didn’t turn out. And I learned to trust my judgement and not be afraid to try new things. Once again, my math lesson revolved around my learning and mistakes, with it being Pre-Calc 20 linear inequalities, and working with adjusting amounts of variables in an equation to make the best baking even if the recipe asks for different numbers of cups or amounts.
  6. Cake – Super fun one where I baked with my Mom. I love my Mom, she’s great, and she was a big help in me making the cake that I always make her make me for my birthday. Not much learning here, except again, gaining that confidence with baking times. I decided that the math could fall into Workplace and Aprenticeship 20 or 30, with surface area and volume. Mostly because it facinates me that the poke cake increases it’s surface area with the holes, but decreases its volume.
  7. Cooking Videos – The week of no kitchen because my parents were doing renovations. So I watched some videos to help inspire me for weeks to come. This blog will forever be known as The Time that Sarah Decided She was going to Separate an Egg and Talked about it for Literally a Million Years before She Actually did it. I hope I capitalized appropriately there.
  8. Pie – Probably where I learned the most, to be honest. I learned about how pie filling thickens, and to trust the recipe when it tells me these things happen. I learned about how meringue is formed by egg whites, and I learned how to make every part of a recipe from scratch. This lesson was for pi day, and so I used Pre-Calculus 30 as my lesson, as I thought it would be kind of cool for students to use a pie to introduce and look at the unit circle. Not because of any actually mathematical relevance the pie would have, just because it would look cool and be fun to cut in to.
  9. Brownies – The time I lost a bet and had to blog about it, because it involved baking. The best part of this blog was that I got to take one of Carmelle’s awesome suggestions and make it – which was the best idea! The Oreos in the recipe made me think it would be cool to ask Grade 7 students how many cookies could possibly fit into the recangular shape without losing any part of the cookie. Of course, you can break the cookies and reshape them. But in my math class, we don’t waste any of that cookie, it goes on that brownie.
  10. Mousse – The be all end all of the project. I learned to separate an egg (I DID IT) and I learned how to fold in ingredients. It was a super fun part of the project, and I felt like I had actually learned a lot when I got to this point. Especially in the way of confidence, because though I thought I had failed, I just kept trying, and working at the recipe, where in January, I would have just given up and asked someone to just do it for me. So that was the biggest step of all for me. I also learned a little bit about baking and how air is useful in baking. I am still not 100% sure how mousse is made, but I do have some better ideas due to the beating of the eggs and heavy cream.

So that’s it! There’s the whole project! I hope you enjoyed being a part of the learning, and I hope  you try out some of the recipes yourselves. If you take anything away from this experience, I hope it’s what I learned the most – to be confident in yourself and just keep trying, because failure is not the worst thing.

Oh, and also, math is totally everywhere, I bet you can find it. Learning is everywhere, I bet you can find it.

 

Have a great, amazing, splendid, and worthwhile day, you are all wonderful humans, probably.

Summary of Learning

Here it is, the glorious and completed Summary of Learning Amy and I did for ECMP 455. Like my blog posts in general, it is slightly longer than you’d expect, so don’t feel obligated to watch it.

But we couldn’t cut it down. We felt like everything in the video was what we wanted to say, and what we wanted to portray. To cut it down would mean that we would have to eliminate entire parts of the video, and we felt each piece was valid.

We made five parody videos of different types of YouTube content. Each was inspired by something that we learned in ECMP, and so, after the videos, we go on to describe what it is we learned about the topic.

Join Amy as she adventures through YouTube and encounters each of the videos! That sounds way more exciting than it is, but oh well.

These are the videos we did and why:

  1. Clickbait Video (0:23)- just to introduce the Summary of Learning. It is quite lame, don’t judge me.
  2. Let’s Play (2:42) – firstly, I wanted to play The Witness, which I’ve referenced before in my blogs and secondly, we wanted to talk about online communities, and the use of being able to connect with people all over the world.
  3. Tutorial Video (11:37) – online learning, and how as teachers, we can learn and teach on the internet, and encourage our students to learn and teach as well. Students and teachers as content consumers and creators.
  4. Taste Test (19:30) – we both learned something food based in our learning projects, and we wanted to discuss what skills we learned online.
  5. Fake News(28:09) – online literacy, and being critical of what we see on the internet, as well as what we post and the permanence of it.
  6. Social Justice (33:16) – we didn’t do a parody video because we just wanted to address how we want to talk and teach about social justice in online spaces.

That’s the whole video, I hope you enjoy if you watch it!

 

Unfortunately, during our Fake News segment, one part of the editing messed up and the text I’d placed at the beginning is now in the middle. Kind of unfortunate that something happened in between my editing and uploading it, but for the most part, the rest worked well. The Let’s Play audio is off by about a second, but two minor mistakes aren’t the end of the world.

I don’t have a Title – It’s Sunday and I am not Creative

I am choosing to write a blog post on constructive online discourse. Do I think it is something that is possible? Do I think I can change someone’s mind, or they can change mine?

I think this is a difficult topic, and though I don’t like to say “no, never” to pretty much anything, I do think that I have an opinion that can go both ways on this topic. I have two points or reasons that I think both describe why online discourse is possible, and also why it is not. Both of my reasons work for either argument, and this is why I find that I don’t have a definite concrete answer.

I Googled “Angry Discussion” and this was my favourite that was shareable by anyone.

Wait Time as a Positive

In online spaces, you have more time to respond to questions. Dialogue is not immediate, most of the time you are typing to someone to respond to a question or a comment, and so you have more time to stop, think, and reflect on your answer. You have a change to read over what you are saying, to have other people look it over, and to edit what  you said. If you were in public, or face-to-face with a person, your first instinct, or your first message would be the one you would convey. Often, I’ve found, I heavily edit my first crack at anything, so I think having that opportunity for wait time means that you can ensure that what you are sending out is what you want to send out. You have that chance to pause.

Wait Time as a Negative

When you have that time to wait, that time to pause, it can also help you distance or detach yourself from the discourse. It means that you can use space and time to lessen the impact of someone’s words, or to become impassive to what they had to say to you. When you are in a conversation face-to-face, you have less time to respond, you are looking at the person directly, or hearing them directly, so you don’t have any distance from their feelings or their emotions. This can be a good thing, but I think it’s a bigger negative in online discourse because then it means that the feelings behind a person’s post to you can be ignored for a long time before you respond, thus making you less attached to the argument, or to their side of the story.

I also think it’s a negative because, while you can have more time to reflect, you can also have more time to become more scathing or detached in your reply, so your answer or response is not more understanding, but is instead more cruel. And then once it is posted, you can’t take it back in the same way you can take back words. You can backpedal and apologize, just as you can in real life, but there is more of a permanence to your mistakes – someone can have a copy of them forever, so you can always regret them or apologize, but someone may be more unwilling to forgive with tangible evidence of your regretted post. That being said, I think that is unfortunate, because I do believe people can change and should be given an opportunity to grow as a person. I know that I had some opinions in my life that I definitely don’t agree with now, because we are not a static image, we are constantly learning and changing. But the internet can have that permanence that is harmful.

Intent as a Positive

In online space there is a little bit of removal, as I’ve said before, between you and the person you are talking to. That removal can then mean that a debate can be less emotional or personal because you have space. It also means that you can be calm and rational in your responses, you can’t read the exact amount of anger from somone, and so both people, or multiple people can have a chance to have a non-aggressive conversation.

Of course, this is fine in theory, not so much in practice. I don’t often see this one acted out, but I do know for me, I can come across more calm and collected online, provided I don’t TYPE IN ALL CAPS FOR NO REASON and so I have a chance to have a calmer discussion.

Intent as a Negative

It is also a negative, because you can’t always tell what someone is meaning, or what their intent is. So you may read something as sarcastic when it wasn’t, or as an aggressive attack when it was unintended. As well, sometimes something doesn’t read the way you want it to (commas are important, people) and so someone may take it in entirely the wrong way. I know many times I’ve fought with my sister over text or on Skype because I can’t tell if she’s actually mad or just kidding, and then I get actually mad, and she thinks I’m just kidding, and it’s a mess all around, really, I shouldn’t be allowed to converse with people.

I Googled “Positive Discussion”. I don’t know what this symbolizes, but I think it’s fine.

 

Sorry for the text dump, this is honestly all I really have to say on the matter. I don’t think that conversation and constructive dialogue is impossible online, I think it is better in some ways and worse in some ways than face-to-face dialogues. Online comes with its own unique set of strengths and problems. But I think that changing someone’s mind is difficult in any space. If I want to, I can ignore anything someone says because I don’t care enough to listen. There are only like, three people in my life who can change my mind (my best friend is seriously my favourite person because we will debate and both respect and listen to each other’s opinions all while simultaneously yell-talking, so everyone thinks we are having an awful fight, when we are actually just agreeing angrily), but that doesn’t mean that I am unwilling to respect other people’s opinions. I am an inherently passive person, which I sometimes think is a lie because I am so loud I think I must be aggressive,  and so I am less likely to shut someone down. But that doesn’t mean I am then going to listen to someone and agree with them.

I have my opinions for a reason. I have them because I believe in them and I think they are right. Why would I have an opinion that I think it wrong? Someday I may think the opinion I had was wrong, but that conviction in my feelings makes it difficult to change. Often, challenge makes us more defensive rather than willing to listen.

Sorry, that was a ramble, tl;dr, opinions are hard to change, online or not, but I don’t think it’s impossible depending on the circumstances and people involved.

The Yolk of an Egg is or are White

In Yorkton there is a sub who, whenever his class is lagging or he has free time, pulls out his “bag of tricks”. Which is just a bunch of laminated papers with word puzzles on them. One of which was the yolk of an egg one. He asked it to us every time. Every time. I know a lot of random word puzzles now.

But, that was unimportant. So I will move on to the blog post now.

Guys.

GUYS. guys, guys, guys guys GUYS

GUYs

Guess what? I separated an egg. I did it. I did the thing. I separated THREE whole eggs. I have a video that I will post later. But it was all very inspirational and very exciting. You should all be so proud of me, and maybe get me a medal, probably.

I made the mousse that I said I was going to make for like, five hundred million years. And it was the most difficult thing I’ve baked and I learned a lot from the experience. I am so proud of myself.

The recipe itself essentially had me do three separate things and then bring them all together.

First, I melted chocolate and cream in a bowl over how water. Which is a thing I’ve heard of but never done, so it was very exciting and just all-around thrilling.

Second, I had to whip the rest of the cream for the recipe into, like, a more solid thing. “Until stiff peaks form” as they always say in the recipes. That part was really easy because I just used an electric mixer so not that exciting.

The third thing I had to do was whisk together three egg whites. That means no yolk. That means Sarah gets to separate an egg and be successful, probably. We’ll assume successful because of the unnecessary amount of “Guys” written at the beginning of the blog.

So I separated the first egg and I took a video of it like a nice human person who is not awkward and bad at videos.

 

I would like you to know that my Mother took the video, so it is her fault it is a vertical video, do not blame me, I had no idea she was so misinformed until it had already passed, so this is what is recorded in the world of my success. A vertical video.

So the egg separation was actually not that hard. I did mess up on one egg, so I will give you the advice that if you choose to separate eggs this way, make sure that the pressure of the bottle is what draws the egg in, don’t try to unsqueeze the bottle yourself. It will lose pressure and the yolk will break. I only did that once, and after I learned not to do that, it was relatively easy!

So then all I had to do was whisk the eggs until they were also more solid and had stiff peaks, and that was easy, I’d already done that with the meringue on the coconut cream pie.

Then I had to add the cream and eggs to the melted chocolate slowly, and fold them in. Folding is not my favourite thing to do. I didn’t know how to do it before I made the mousse and I was very unsure the whole time. Basically you cut the mix in half and then scoop one part over the other and then just do it over and over until the thing is mixed.

I was not a fan, and by the time I was finished, the whole thing was kind of a light brown soup. The instructions said to make sure that I didn’t deflate the eggs or the cream, but I don’t know what that’s supposed to look like, so I just tried not to vigorously stir or something. And it was like, a liquid, so I was pretty sure I had deflated something.

Then I put the mix into bowls and stuck it in the fridge for an hour and a half. Recipe said two hours, but it was 10:30 and we had to go to bed.

I pulled them out and guess what? They were actually mousse! Like the bowls magically turned into the fluffy stuff. And I was so sure that they would not because I had deflated or whatever. But no! I did it! I made the mousse and it tasted good. So I am a baking machine who can separate eggs and fold things with the best of them!

#SoProud

Ah, so beautiful.

So I know this is where I’d usually put the math portion of the project, but instead I wanted to do my own learning. I wanted to do some research into mousse, and why it turns into bubbles like that. Apparently, those are air bubbles, but I don’t know how they showed up in my mousse when they weren’t there before.

So I did some digging and I found like, nothing. Like, it was so hard to find anything, so I encourage anyone who is feeling particularly web-search talented to find out why.

The only thing I found was on one recipe that said that the egg whites, when whisked, add the foam and air for the mousse. But like, my liquid, not refrigerated mousse was not airy, so what happened? I am very perplexed by this.

I found a ton of articles about a mousse you can make with just chocolate and water and the science behind that. But I was like, cool, I’d like to know why my deflated mousse re inflated. Maybe I am totally wrong and it was inflated(?) the whole time? Who knows? Only the mousse, and I ate that, so whoops.

I think that this, though it’s not a math lesson, shows that the world can make us inquisitive and ask questions about things that we don’t know the answer to. And we can then try to come up with an answer using the resources we have. I failed at that part. But I am hoping someone can help me. Or maybe the actual answer is really just “whisking the eggs made them fluff up because you added air and that air was transferred into the mousse”. But that’s a really boring answer. I want the real answer to involve fire or something.