Tackling the Mushroom- Where to Start?
I have been craving for 冬菇 (pinyin: dōnggū) because it reminds me of the exotic Chinese food I’ve had when I was small. It has an earthy scent and texture to it that is specific to traditional Chinese food, especially in the Guang Dong area of China. This is what it looks like.
Though we had a lot of it stored in the kitchen, I had no clue how to prepare it. It was frustrating when I know how good it tastes, but at the same time, was too impatient to figure out how to prepare this ingredient on my own.
I had a similar feeling when I took my first MET course. The experience of learning online was very different from learning from a face-to-face class. I was frustrated because instead of (passively) receiving information on what needs to be done and how to approach different activities, I had to actively keep myself up-to-date, unpack and unwrap layers of information before I could get to the “real” learning.
The Power of Group Discussions
To me, tackling an online course without the help of peers or instructor is similar to tackling a donggu on my own. Consumption (of the courses’ information) would’ve been impossible without the help of my peers and instructors. I learned from the beginning of the program how students might need support to complete their online courses, and also the power of the many collaboration tool to building a learning community. Though I have not met any of my MET classmates in person, I have learned a lot from the online discussion boards and meetings that we’ve had. At times I found myself smiling at the screen as I read the discussion threads. Participating in the discussions was a very important part of the online learning experience. Together, the class was a community to interact with the content as we bounce ideas off each other; our knowledge is constructed and evolves through this process.
Mom’s Guidance ♥
My mom spent the Chinese New Year with me this year and I finally learned the process of preparing donggu. I could have simply gone online to find tons of recipes. However, without mom’s guidance it would not be the same!
Here’s what I learned from mom as she prepared for the vegetarian dish we eat for the first meal of the New Year: