The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

A Playground for a Classroom

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

A Playground for a Classroom

Some of my classroom time for the Master Food Volunteer Program run by Kansas State Research Extension Service has been spent at the Olathe, KS campus of Kansas State University. It's a nice, modern building equipped with up to date classrooms, communications, conference rooms and a well equipped test kitchen that my class has been fortunate to use as a kind of playground for making jellies, baking pies, drying foods, and more.

Last Wednesday, we had a scheduled class about grains and I just happened to bring in a loaf of French Country Bread that I made according to the 3-2-1 formula. I wasn't bragging too much, I was really just demonstrating that it's possible to make a really good loaf of bread without professional equipment.

Her are a few pictures of some of the equipment and the area we get to work in. It's no wonder that we never complain about cleaning up the playground.

We actually do get homework for our classes. I've spent some four hours this past weekend researching, writing, typing, and printing handouts for a five minute presentation on preparing a healthy alternative diet for preschoolers. It's been over fourty years since I graduated from college so it will take some time to get up to speed on this stuff. With so many well educated and talented fellow students, I have to bring my A game every class just to keep up with them. It's much more fun than I had in many of my college classrooms.




pmccool's picture

I had no idea that the Olathe campus had anything like this!  What a great place for teaching your bread classes, so long as you can keep things in scale for the home bakers.  Makes me want to come and play, too.

(Side note for those not familiar with Olathe: the pronunciation is o-LAY-thuh.)


Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

I wish I could be teaching a bread class or two to my fellow students but I'm still a student and not ready for prime time. The instructors are quite knowledgeable about the course content and I admit that I'm not in that league yet.  As for bread, I might be a bit over anxious to teach but I can hold back for a while because this course covers so much material. It's a case of not putting the cart before the horse, so to say. When I finally get my qualifications to teach, I'll be starting from the beginning in less grand classrooms but that doesn't matter. It's a start and it looks like fun from here.

The K State building certainly seems like a great and worthwhile demonstration of our tax dollars at work. Perhaps if you contacted the JOCO Extension Service office in Olathe, you might be able to set up a tour or even teach a class. You won't know until you ask.


clazar123's picture

Isn't it amazing how much prep goes into a "simple" class? I think it is a wonderful thing to be doing. Most people do not have a clue about real nutrition.

Keep having fun!

isand66's picture

That sounds and looks amazing!  Your students are very lucky to have someone like yourself who cares enough to spend the time to prepare as you have been doing.  Sounds like you are having a blast too!

Good luck and enjoy.