The Bridge 2.2

The Bridge 2.2-Pickles to Pittsburgh




This year has been a very successful year for cucumbers in my garden. They are a sneaky vegetable, you think you have picked them all, only to discover that another dozen are hiding among the leaves and vines. As a result of the bounty of my crop, I am making a lot of pickles. A large ceramic crock is sitting on my counter right now, the wonderful work of fermentation turning the crisp cucumbers into sour pickles.


I wanted to learn to make pickles for years and I began to investigate the process and the science behind fermentation. I consulted with experts, like my friend Trevett Hooper, of Legume Bistro, a skilled fermenter and erudite instructor. (You can read about their experience with fermentation here.) I read books, such as Wild Fermentation, by Sandor Katz. I gathered some wisdom and experience from these sources and decided to give it a try and this was where the real learning took place.


I made mistakes, some of the batches went dramatically wrong, but over time I learned how to make lacto-fermented pickles through the Real Work of making pickles.  I still make mistakes, (I am a little concerned about the current batch that I have on the counter to be honest), but I have learned how to address many of my early errors and when something else goes wrong, I reflect on the process and get better next time.


The Real Work learning of part of my pickle making is the same as the other areas of my life. My M.Ed. in Integrated Learning was great, but I learned to be a teacher by teaching. My Educational Leadership program was great, but I learned to be a principal by being a principal. My Ph.D. was an incredible experience, but I learned how to lead organizations by leading organizations.


We all learn best by doing Real Work.


In our lives we are all presented with challenges and opportunities. Addressing those challenges and taking those opportunities are Real Work and young people need to be ready. Schooling is often preparation for the work of schooling. We want City of Bridges to focus on the Real Work of preparing for Real Work.


Next week, I’ll share some examples of where this is happening!


Have a wonderful week!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *