Inga, co-producer of AnthroTalks, discovered this enchanting conversation about Learning New Stuff on a sparkling, blue sky pre-Thanksgiving weekend with spiraling orange and yellow leaves. She says…
I was wired in to the morning news on my phone while I raked the leaves from the path in front of the house. The great Chef Jacques Pépin was in the middle of a conversation with his 13 year old granddaughter. She is, he says, his most recent apprentice — carrying on a tradition that launched his career some seventy years earlier. Apprenticeships go back centuries, dating as far as the 12th century in Europe, and making a comeback today in the United States – brought into focus as an option in the growing IT industry.
Listening to Pépin and his granddaughter chat made me think about the pastiche of ways that we learn today: a bit of book learning, some formal college and university education, a tad bit of online crash course, informal learning at the foot of older generations.
All that goes into putting us on the career path that matches our passions or at least makes us a living. Shorey we hear in this conversation, learns math, cooking, biology, and aesthetics at the feet of her grandfather, but her career plans? She intends to be a surgeon. And, as her grandfather says, she will be a very good one, because she apprenticed with him to learn how to debone a chicken.
Listen to the full conversation (courtesy Wisconsin Public Radio) or just go to the short segment in which Chef Pepin describes his informal training for Shorey at minute 3:20 to 4:00 – A Grandfather’s Lessons: Jacques Pépin On Cooking With His Granddaughter