Sunday, July 29, 2012

What can you teach in an hour?

Yesterday my husband and I went to a cheese-making workshop at the first Fingerlakes Cheese Festival. Our teacher, Tom Pinello, did a fantastic job demystifying the cheese-making process. His delivery was calm and casual yet thorough. And he was open to questions throughout the workshop--we had many.

The most striking thing about this workshop was that it began with a room full of folks with little-to-no-knowledge of cheese-making and yet, 40 minutes later, we had made a ball of mozzarella cheese together.

This got me on a stream of thought about what I could teach other people to do in an hour. I could teach people how to run effective brainstorming sessions, how to analyze the sustainability of a product, how to use the elements of graphic design, or how to grill perfect pork chops.

Then I wondered what the people I know could teach other people to do in an hour. I have friends who could teach people how to use a sewing machine, how to conduct an interview, how to design a paper-based game, and how to grow garlic. I have friends who could teach people how to use commas, how to write poems, how to self-publish books, and how to edit video.

Then I started to think of creating a collection of one hour lessons. I'm aware of Freeskool and Ignite Talks and BarCamp and Khan Academy. I'm not sure if this project is different and I don't know if it has to be.

But here's the first step--what could you teach a small group of people to do in one hour?


  1. Great! When we come up I'm looking forward to learning how to make cheese and trying some...

  2. I could teach parents how to set up an art studio in their home that would foster creativity and independence as well as give them tips about how to talk to their child(ren) about art in a way that will help them to develop an aesthetic vocabulary and build artistic confidence.

  3. Yes you could, Mary. This would also make a great book project!


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