The Rest is Gravy

16 Apr

I don’t know about the rest of y’all but when I went to college is wasn’t because I had a thirst for knowledge.  It was simply because it was what came after high school.  Those four years were definitely not a waste of my time.  Fast forward to today when I am studying up on Europe because I want to and it’s a whole different world.  If you had made a book about the Medicis required reading for me, I would have slogged through it and hoped for the best.  Now, I buy this kind of stuff from Amazon and look up additional resources on the web.  It’s a whole different world.

And speaking of worlds that are different, holy cats!  This morning, while browsing through the different things that an iPad 2 can do to make my life so much better I see that I can access iTunes U.  For some of you this will be no secret.  You’re yawning right now and I get that.  But to me, it’s a big deal.  Not just because of the content available to you through that resource but to what else I found when I bothered to look.

Found this on Flickr where thehoneybunny has a whole set of yummy food pics (click the pic to see her set). This is the Triple Rock's poutine. It makes me happy knowing that this delicacy is so close to home.

Today’s example was a course through Open Yale involving European Civilization from 1648 – 1945.  In this example, I can listen to / watch a professor from Yale give an enthusiastic lecture on absolutism for free.  And I find that this is fun.  Like watching a whole season of Alias in my pajamas fun.  I didn’t know that I would feel this way and I thought I’d share.

I’ve always thought that it was interesting to know why something happens.  I’ve been a technical trainer for ten years now and “why?” is always something I like to nail down.  Why do we click that button?  Why shouldn’t we click that button?  What happens in the system after I do it?  It’s not enough to tell someone to do something without giving them a structure that makes it important.  Just telling someone to do something “because I said so” doesn’t really get the point across and it doesn’t involve them in the process at all.  Saying “you need to click that button so that patient won’t get billed and then hate on you for years”.  That helps. We all need motivation, even if it’s so dang subtle that you’re unaware of it.

Take poutine, if you like.  I would.  It’s wonderful.  Some Canadian friends introduced me to this dish and I thought that they were crazy pants.  Poutine is a serving of French fries with cheese and gravy.  It’s delicious and it’s also a scary attack on your arteries.  Why would the Canadians do this?  I’m thinking it comes from their French heritage, which warrants their love of all things fromage and use of sauces.  But I also think that Canada is a place to honor such a food because they all have health care.  So even though I’m making a trite generalization here, my basic understanding of Canadians has helped me to understand poutine.  Why not try to understand the places you are visiting?  Making basic connections like I just did with poutine (dreadfully generic or perhaps wrong) means more to me than just saying “oh, yeah.  Munich.  They have great beer there.”  I want, as always, to know why.

So that’s what I wanted to share with you today, dear reader.  That I have found another way to find out why and I’m all “woo to the hoo, people!” about it.  And it’s probably for the best that no grade is attached.  This morning I learned from John Merriman, the instructor of my Open Yale course, something about my Swedish heritage.  He mentioned that the term “Swedish cocktail” referred to a Swede killing someone by forcing manure down their throat.  Now that’s the kind of thing I’m sure wouldn’t be on his midterm but I found it interesting.  Without a grade attached I can go right on thinking that without worrying that I can’t nail down the tennants of absolute monarchies in 500 words or less. Because the 700+ plus words you just read?  (You did read them, thank you so much.)  I’m pretty sure that they don’t bring home As.  Especially from Canadians.


One Response to “The Rest is Gravy”


  1. Legendary Sin Cities: Paris, Berlin and Shanghai « Trip Ahoy! - 2011/04/28

    […] you can stream this movie free. Or maybe you can just move to Canada because I hear they got Poutine up […]

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