Last week was quite uneventful for the most part. It was filled with lots of baking: cookies, cupcakes, macarons – i.e.: my happy place. I also reconnected with my colleagues and it was a nice chance of pace. It made me realize how happy I am with the decision I’ve made.

I think all this distraction was much needed to get away from the online rehashing of what happened in the midterm elections. The voter turnout and the results were definitely a sigh of relief for those of us watching from afar. All hope is not lost!

I’ve also started to dabble in online courses. There is a vast amount of knowledge available online. Courses, podcasts, blogs etc. It’s easy to skim a topic via a blog, and subsequently falling through a Wikipedia funnel or YouTube rabbit hole. Learning through these courses are a different form of active learning. You’re making an intentional effort to sit down to listen to lectures, do the required readings, and complete the quizzes.  The goal for me is to just take courses that interest me. Also, because they are free, I don’t have to finish a course just because I paid for it. If I am in a course and find that the topic is not as interesting as I thought it was, I can choose to just stop. I am truly only learning about things that interest me. So far, I’ve stumbled onto Coursera and Class Central. Class Central is more like an aggregator of these classes. A sample of some of the courses I’ve looked at are:

  • MINDSHIFT: Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential offered by McMaster University via Coursera
  • Game Theory offered by Stanford University & The University of British Columbia via Coursera
  • Creativity, Innovation & Change offered by The Pennsylvania State University via Coursera

Yes, find me a university that I could take such a wide selection of courses! I’ll be posting periodic updates about the courses, and reflections on my learnings, so look out for those! If you are interested, Class Central compiles a list of Top 50 Free Online Courses, which is a good place to start.

Other than that, let’s get back to regularly scheduled programming for my weekly updates.


Sprinkles:
Recipes I’ve tried this week

  • The Best French Macaron Recipe – Indulge with Mimi
    img_4500This recipe, tutorial, video is life changing in my world of making macarons. I have successfully made them before, but I am never confident if I could replicate the results. Mimi’s blog talks to the visual cues and testing the batter, so you know that your macarons will turn out the way they’re supposed to! I filled mine this week with raspberry jam and buttercream – a simple combination of sweet and tart. Can’t wait to make another batch! If you attempt this, read through her instructions thoroughly before starting – trust me, it’ll be worth your time!
  • Dinners were quite unmemorable last week – I didn’t even photograph them!

Scribbles:
Ramblings on media (books, documentaries, podcasts etc.) that left an impact on me this week. 

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African ChildhoodBorn a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve wanted to read this book for a while now. I enjoy Trevor Noah’s comedic style – I’ve been to one of his stand-up shows, and have followed the Daily show on and off since he took over from Jon Stewart. He makes a lot of jokes about South Africa, but for some reason I’ve never thought about his background. This book honestly surprised me in some ways, about his very humble beginning. The book is a an honest story about his background, filled with lots of comedy, just as you’d expect. What I liked most about his book was how his stories come across as genuine stories. He doesn’t shy away from difficult recounts of his life, and he provides lots of context of the culture and people of South Africa for those of us who don’t have that background. Highly recommended book, it’s an easy read but you come away from it learning lots!

View all my reviews

Advertisements