Monday, January 25, 2010

There's only one way..

to make sure your egg whites are thorougly whisked.

Two class mates in my kitchen armed with a chocolate mousse recipe in French. Their mission? Translate that recipe in Dutch, make the recipe and present it -in French- to your class. For a grade.
So where did they go? My kitchen of course. That is... first they planned to do it at the other boys house but on second thought they decided my sons mom would be of some use. So there they were, with apologies but eh did I have chocolate? Eggs? Butter? And eh time to help?

My revenge came sooner than they thought. Egg whites beaten to stiff peaks my boys? Well there's only one way to find out. Are you sure these are the correct stiffness? (My son stepped back already seeing that mischievous smile on my face).
The egg whites were perfect! (This pic featured in their presentation, they got a 9 out of 10!)


  1. Fantastic!
    Mine would have fallen on my head ... don't think I'll try that at home.

  2. Popped in to say hi! He's a brave soul!

  3. What was he marked down for? Did it not turn out perfectly?!

  4. Hi David! Good question... not sure but they aren't keen on giving out straight 10's here, I can imagine their speech in French wasn't picture perfect ;-) but a 9 for a presentation is very good so all happy faces.

    (To be honest, the chocolatemousse was bleergh... far too heavy)

  5. I think this is a great assignment, in whatever language.. get then cooking. And a 9 is super done!!!

  6. Hmm. Well, if they're happy with the outcome, right?

    You know, the grading scale at Glasgow University works something like this:

    19 = A    14 = B    11 = C    8 = D    5 = E    2 = F
    18 = A    13 = B    10 = C    7 = D    4 = E    1 = F
    17 = A    12 = B     9 = C    6 = D    3 = E    0 = F
    16 = A
    15 = A

    E and F are failing, but everything else passes. The markers assign a numerical score, which is then translated into a letter grade. Notice that there are 5 A grades, where there are only 3 of everything else? This is because people marking tend never to want to give out the highest mark, so those top two are almost never used. It accommodates the prejudice of markers and means that students are judged more fairly.

    Too much information, I know, but ... well, there it is.

  7. No! Not too much info, I like this! The fact that prejudices are taken into consideration, and the weight given on marks, yes!

    There used to be a time here when a "10" was for the teacher only....

    I remember one of the boys was very very annoyed with his teacher who told him that he never ever marked higher than 8. Upon which my son said: ok, so when I answer everything right I'm getting an 8? And my neighbor, failing four, five answers gets an 8 as well? Teacher nods affirmatively. Son: ok that's settled then, why would I bother? He was 8yrs old at the time.
    Went to school, got the same answer with the explanation: we don't want to discourage other kids by giving out higher than 8 and lower than 4.

    Tall poppy syndrome. I'm afraid that's typical Dutch.

  8. And they wonder why they suffer, when it comes to innovation? There's a study (Person Versus Process Praise and Criticism:
    Implications for Contingent Self-Worth and Coping
    ) which goes into this at some length. Basically, when you praise, reward, or criticize the effort (process), you cause the child to be more of a risk-taker, to do more, to achieve more. When you praise, reward, or criticize the person, you get someone who is unwilling to take risks.

    People are too miserly with praise, frankly. Don't get me wrong: I've encountered some fairly horrendous scholarship. It really bugs me, though, that teachers don't reward effort, but focus on learning facts.

  9. Person vs process; so true! Seen it happen in e.g. the gifted children class I was involved in. Especially those children, not used to criticism, encounter difficulties or setbacks.
    Reading now (and nodding!) Thanks for the link

  10. Congrats to them on their good grade. Congrats to you on having survived a kitchen invasion by boy bakers.


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