School Should Be Tempting Like a Sweet and Sour Dish.
Similar to what we have at Medium- diversity and flavours.
I was going to write about children’s education, but I thought of sweet and sour shrimp instead.
If you ever search for Chinese food pictures, you will find photos of fried rice, noodles, plus sweet and sour pork/shrimp. (except for Unsplash, it keeps showing me watermelons!)
I love sweet and sour shrimp since I was young.
I like how the sourish taste from the plum sauce/vinegar enhances the taste of the dish. For me, this is the most crucial ingredient.
This dish will need a steady flaming fire to cook. We Chinese call it ‘Wok Hei’ — loosely translated to ‘fire energy wok’.
There are many Chinese dishes to write about, but I felt this sweet and sour dish(pork/shrimp) is well known in most parts of the world.
Here is why I think it is such a fabulous dish.
1. Colours and Assortment
This dish is colorful. It has green, yellow, red, and brown from the ingredients. It blends all these vibrant colors to tease your sight before you even taste the dish.
The sweet smell from the frying heat plus the sour lime-like scent will make you salivate as the dish is served.
It is what a good dish should do.
2. A mélange of everything to satisfy everyone’s palate
This dish has a creative mix of vegetables and protein, creating an edible balance of nutrition. Each item in the dish plays its own role to add to the taste.
If you like to start with the crunchy bits first, you can choose the green capsicum or the cucumbers to go with the shrimp. Otherwise, you have the option to pair it with tomatoes. (Or pineapples if the chef is generous enough).
Here are some of the key ingredients.
Pork/Shrimps, sliced green capsicum, tomatoes cut into wedges, sliced big onions, sliced cucumber, pineapple cubed — optional, chili sauce, plum sauce, sugar, salt, white vinegar, and water.
It’s a dish that brings different elements in a harmonise mélange on a plate.
In some ways, the Medium community is the same. There is a rich blend of writers on this platform. You have the range of ‘gurus’ in every genre you can imagine as well as new writers starting their journey.
Every time I open the app, it is like an immersion in colors and textures that every writer adds to the platform. Each standing proud of their own convictions and experiences.
Depending on what I choose, I get both the sour parts of the writing world — the parts where you find tips which give your story an extra edge.
And the sweet parts that come from humorous posts, poems, self-drawn illustrations, music recommendations, baby pictures, and the best part — writer’s bio.
I have choices, and I get to choose. I learn different things everyday. I learn what works and what does not. It is a place to give and take.
But unfortunately, our children do not get this opportunity.
When I was writing mid-way, I thought about our education system. If only it could be like a dish of sweet and sour shrimp or like the community we have in Medium.
Today children are put in classes by their age. While there may be some who will learn a bit faster, some a little slower, but in general there are hardly any diverse experiences that could help children to enrich their knowledge of their chosen subject.
Unlike in the Medium community, I could follow an experienced writer or I could help a new writer with a tip I have tried.
But in a school classroom, where everyone is the same age, background, and experience, there is not much of a diverse perspective to share.
As a student, I am limited to the knowledge of the cohort I have in class. I am limited as well by my own usability.
I have the perspective of the teacher, but it is the only option I have as a student.
It’s worst in some countries where special needs students are left outside of regular schools/classes but put in a ‘special needs’ class.
As adults, we know that life will always have different perspectives or challenges. As we grow, we play different roles in life. How will students learn about the world if they are among the same people who go through the same phase of life?
Unless the education system changes, otherwise our children after-school activities are even more important than their classroom curriculum.
What children do after school must be meaningful. Volunteering, mentoring others, playing in a band, traveling, or working with experts in a diverse group project will help to address these gaps.
Perhaps today with online classes, there is an opportunity for it to be a catalyst in bringing diversity into children’s curriculum.
Something I feel worth exploring.
— If you have not tried a sweet and sour dish, there are plenty of recipes out there. Remember, the sourish part is critical in giving your dish the hook.
— You can only be a better writer if you are part of a mélange community of diverse writers. On your own, you can only do so much. You need support to keep going.
— -Life is about give and take. Support other writers and try out their tips
— As the famous Africa proverb says — “It takes a village to raise a child”. Think about ways you could get your child to be involved in world matters. Exposure to a different aspect of life helps children be more informed.