From Cooking Lessons to the Writing Workshop: Reflections on Teaching and Learning

Teachers, Profs, Parents: Writers Who Care

By Christine M. Dawson

Crrr-unch. Crrr-unch. I watched as Shannon’s knife bit into the onion, chopping through layers in neat, parallel lines. She gripped the onion in one hand, curling her fingers into a claw to keep them away from the blade she maneuvered with her other hand. “Now remember to cut almost all the way to the cutting board, leaving just a little bit to hold the onion together,” she instructed, then turning the half onion and making new cuts, perpendicular to the first round. Turning the onion once more, she deftly demonstrated a final series of cuts, resulting in a pile of neat, uniform pieces on her board.

I was standing in front of Shannon, gathered with a group of friends around her demonstration counter at the beginning of an evening cooking class. We were going to be making butternut squash soup, among other things, and along the…

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