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Beets Kura with mung and coconut

In Recipes on 28 August 2020 at 9:19 pm

Many a roommate of mine has told me after eating beets kura, “I have never liked beets … until today!”  There is something about the sharp combination of ginger and green chili along with the reassuring accompaniment of cumin and mustard seed that complement the plump and juicy beet.  The trio of dals – chana, urad and soaked mung, provide the reliable comfort while the coconut brings it all together.   Honestly, it is like a symphony playing on your taste buds.   The rice, if you will allow me to extend the metaphor, helps keep time so that it does not all play at once.  Or perhaps it is the air that allows the harmonious sound to reach you.

Ingredients for making beets Kura: Beets, shredded coconut, ginger, green pepper, oil, chana dal, mung dal, mustard seed, cumin seed, salt. Not pictured: karivepaku (curry leaves) and urad dal.

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Trails to the Past

In Field Notes on 24 April 2020 at 8:00 pm

More on the theme of learning at home … as homeschoolers we liked to say, “but we are never at home. The whole world is our learning environment.”  Honestly quarantine would have been harder for us as homeschoolers than it is now that our (not so) little one is a school-goer.

Living through a pandemic that can be seen from space, we know these times are historic.  What times are not?

“Trails to the Past” originally appeared in Teacher Plus Magazine, October 2013. 

The ordinary apparatus of historiography is most at ease when made to operate on those larger phenomena that visibly stick out of the debris of the past. A critical historiography can make up for this lacuna by bending closer to the ground in order to pick up the traces. – Ranajit Guha1

On the ground in Pondur, picking off layers like puzzle pieces.

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WFH-Schooling is not Real Homeschooling

In Field Notes on 10 April 2020 at 12:28 am

Attention kids! To live the homeschooling life under quarantine, frolic from home.

So just as the Harvard students sent home to quarantine were advised to make clear that their online classes were not the same as others’ online classes, I find myself silently clearing my throat when I hear people speak about homeschooling now that everyone sent home thinks they’re suddenly doing it.  Work-from-home schooling, I am here to say, is not real homeschooling.

As everyone should already know, we true homeschoolers (unschoolers, if you care to be specific), hardly at home and never at school, treat the whole world as our learning environment. Read the rest of this entry »

Attention kids! To live the homeschooling life under quarantine, frolic from home.

So just as the Harvard students sent home to quarantine were advised to make clear that their online classes were not the same as others’ online classes, I find myself silently clearing my throat when I hear people speak about homeschooling now that everyone sent home thinks they’re suddenly doing it.  Work-from-home schooling, I am here to say, is not real homeschooling.

As everyone should already know, we true homeschoolers (unschoolers, if you care to be specific), hardly at home and never at school, treat the whole world as our learning environment. Read the rest of this entry »

My Old Bra is My New Mask

In What on 5 April 2020 at 8:15 pm

Stuff I should have thrown out long ago that now is proving useful includes … lonely socks, broken hairbands, torn clothes that I knew I couldn’t wear, but couldn’t admit that I’d never mend or make into a quilt (!)… and a bra whose hooks I knew I’d never replace and hence was sitting in limbo in a box along with junk mail that I need to go through and recycle. Read the rest of this entry »

Slow Learning

In How on 22 March 2020 at 2:05 pm

Dear readers, With schools around the world closing to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, many are seeking to understand the dynamics of learning at home.  Here is an article I wrote when my daughter was 9, years before her first day of school.  Were we homeschooling?  Unschooling?  I liked to call it slow learning.

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We often ask, what is learning? Now let us ask, what is slow learning?

1. Slow

In Space and Time in Classical Mechanics, Einstein asks to imagine that he has dropped a stone while in a moving train.  As it happens he asks us to imagine that he has dropped it outside the train, from the window, as the train movedi.

Inside a moving train, if we drop a stone we will see it fall down in a straight, vertical line.  If we are inside the moving train but drop the stone outside the train, we will see the same thing.  To the falling stone, once released from Einstein’s (or anyone’s) hand, it makes no difference whether it is inside or outside the train. Read the rest of this entry »

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