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Showing posts from January, 2017

I Made Cheese!

When I started this blog, I wanted it to be a about science and pedagogy. When I look at what I've written so far, it's all pedagogy. So, now it's time to bring on the SCIENCE! This is the science of making mozzarella cheese. Or, at the very least, the science of the ingredients.

Here's what I needed to make the cheese:

MilkSaltRennetCitric AcidWater Here's what I learned about the science behind the ingredients. 
Milk: Any milk will do as long as it isn't ultra high temperature pasteurized (UHT). Apparently, if the milk is ultra high temperature pasteurized, the heat may cause the proteins to denature, or lose their shape. When proteins denature they are not able to function appropriately. If this happens they will not be able to come together to form curds. When milk is UHT pasteurized it is heated to 280 degrees. That't pretty hot for the proteins in milk. And while I would want the proteins to denature if I was making yogurt, I definitely don't want i…

Creating Opportunities

No matter how hard I work, I am never going to get a promotion. I will never get a bonus. If I want a promotion I have to go back to school (even though I am already 30 credits beyond my master's) and take a job that is no longer in a classroom. Working directly with students is why I got into teaching and I'm not ready to leave that behind. So, according to the definition, I am in a dead end job. I can work my butt off, create fantabulous lessons, give all I have to my students and next year be in the same position making essentially the same money.

Every four or five years I have a teaching crisis of faith. I question what I am doing and why. I think about the other things I could be doing with my life (though as I get older some of those other options are becoming much less likely - I don't think NASA wants to send me to space or that my career as a rock star is going to take off). This most recent crisis was the "I will never get promoted" crisis. Right now, …