EDCI 338 – My Niche

The Niche I have decided on is discovering new music, and building playlists. I have always been obsessed with listening to music since I got my first walkman in kindergarten. I remember going on walks and trying to walk slow with it, because any sudden movement would cause my CD to skip. As technology has progressed, I have kept up with all the new trends and artists on a daily basis. Almost every single morning, the first thing I do is go on the “new music” page on apple music, and browse for artists I like, as well as ones I have never heard. After I do my browse, I download the ones I really like and start separating them into playlists. I have about 10 active playlists that I publish on twitter and send to friends, and every week I make sure to update them and add new music. I do this because I despise the overplayed radio songs, and like to find things that people have never heard of.

Culinary Art Peer Review

Fantastic job to Renyu, Serena, Yuchen and Lihan! Ignorantly, I knew nothing about Sichuan Cuisine before I read through your presentation but now I feel like an expert! I have traveled around asia and done some traditional hot pot meals, and the description of this pepper sounds quite familiar. I know you discuss that “Sichuan cuisine is a dish which was invented in Sichuan province” in the Southwest, but I feel I might be able to understand a little better the general location if given the closest big city?

I love the description of the flavour, and through your explanation I can really get a “taste” for how these flavours would combine. I also loved your explanation of how the Sichuan cuisine is borderline exclusive to the Sichuan province.

Its so interesting how Chinese cuisine uses such specific ingredients that double as a medicine! This is a super interesting subject to me, so maybe include a comparative example of another herb/spice that doubles as a medicine?

It’s interesting how the cuisine has changed so much over time. What would the modern flavour be most closely compared to in terms of American cuisine? I really enjoyed the video you linked, as I got a good insight to some food I haven’t heard of and it made my mouth water!

Overall, fantastic job to the group and best of luck with the rest of the course!


Blog Post #5

As my blogging assignments come to a close, I intend for my exploration within the intricacies of food, and the infinite complexities along with it continue to untangle. This week we had many family events including a brothers birthday, another brothers graduation and of course, Fathers Day. My family believes that the best way to connect and to celebrate is to come together at someones house for cocktails and massive dinners to spend the evening together. I have always been willing to assist in the cooking, but this time I got more of a deep understanding of my mom and dads cooking. I noticed my parents have a very specific way of seasoning red meat, specific ways to cook bread based meals, specific ways to present and prepare appetizers, and the list goes on. Throughout my experience of looking more at menus and recognizing the types of flavours that specific spices can add to a dish has been amplified.

My group mate similarly focused on nutrition, which assisted me throughout the weeks at looking at my subject through a different lens. Within her week 3 post, she discusses global issues like obesity, fasting and the best way to live a longer healthier life. Earlier this year I started intermittent fasting as a way to make my body more cut, while still gaining muscle mass. While doing this, I had to deeply focus on getting my daily share of protein, as well as a proper amount of vitamins through fruits and vegetables. This forced me to be creative and explore many other types of meals, and the best way to prepare them for maximum enjoyment.

I think I honestly learned the most in week 2 when my roommate and I decided to get a meal kit. This simply forced me to try things I haven’t made before, and made me be adventurous with my flavours, forcing learning to be ingrained in me. Much like the video in the notes in week 2 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVtCO84MDj8), through constant instruction and clarity of inputs, I could truly understand what was happening to my food.

I greatly appreciate this opportunity, and as previously mentioned, I intend to keep a focus on the things i’ve learned the past month, and will apply them as time goes on!

Blog Post #4

Finally I am home. Words cannot describe how much I miss cooking for myself, as the fast food and restaurants on the road were starting to make me sick. Luckily, I saw this forthcoming and narrowed myself to “healthier” options such as Subway, Pita Pit and other fresh meat and vegetable options. This kept me feeling a little better then I would have felt otherwise eating burgers every day. As I said last week, I wanted to look closer at the menu and the descriptions of the food at certain establishments. I had to take some clients out early last week for a nice steak dinner and a private restaurant in Saskatoon. As expected, the description of my steak with bernaise was completely blown up to make it seem like the most extravagant meal of all time. Though it was good, the unnecessary description and detail did intimidate, giving an overall “fancy” feel to the atmosphere. To watch the Raptors game on Wednesday, I decided to go to Browns for a more casual meal. The menu was honest, concise, and honestly similar quality and taste to what I would be getting at a private steak house.

Menu descriptions and the enthusiasm of a waiter/waitress isn’t everything. Much like how “Knewton” and other learning programs should be, “to complement and support teachers” (Westervelt, 2015). Much like week 4’s discussion, education technology is not meant to completely replace a teacher or a textbook, but to assist it. If someone reads a recipe and adds and takes away things as they continue, they will begin to build pathways of learning. This will slowly form into a better understanding of the flavours of what they are making and how it is effecting their cooking. If we had a program to measure, mix, pour and bake everything, there would be no point in learning about cooking at all. I compare this with the statement that “technology is neutral” (Week 4 notes) and disagree with the statement. Technology can be brutally awful, or can assist us and our learning substantially. This just depends on our reliance on technology and how we use it to assist us. As discussed, “there is no more important thing a teacher of writing can do than read and respond to their students’ work” (Warner, 2019) alluding to the dismissal of technology in certain times.

This next week I should be home much more, and will attempt to do a lot of creative and adventurous cooking on my own. Being home also means I will be able to be in the gym a lot, giving me the ability to cook large meals quite frequently.

Blog Post #3

I am on the road! I will be working all around Alberta and Sask for the next 2 weeks, prohibiting me from cooking my own meals which slows down my learning process. However, I have taken this challenge as an opportunity to explore some different places to eat that I usually wouldn’t try. Week days are challenging as I am constantly moving around at a rushed pace, making fast food one of my only options. When dinner time comes, I have time to relax and be more picky about places to go and try. Through my dinner experiences, I have made my visits more technical and pushed towards an objective while eating.

I have seem to found an analogy in “If the instructor dominates the
discussion, students may be intimidated” (Norman, 2013) while attempting to learn more about food. The instructor being the food establishment I may be at and the student being myself. I find most upper-class restaurants talk about their food in the menu with an exaggerated tone, leaving the customer overwhelmed or ordering it because it sounds fancy. A 3 line description of a peppercorn steak is simply overdoing it, and making it difficult to completely comprehend. Much like the videos in the notes, an overwhelming description is quite dull, fading away the attention of given customer. They fail to get to the point and bridge the gap between “teachers intention” and “student activity” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6rx-GBBwVg).

As I continue to travel this week, I want to take more focus on how these establishments could improve their menu and appearance to a customer. Instead of presenting itself all at once and making all crucial information fly over the “students” head, I will pay attention to different details in the menu. Much like communication technology, I will look at how food descriptions and staff “draw attention to the theory” of the food, rather then slapping down a combobulation of unwanted explanation (Norman, 2013).

Blog Post #2

Within my first week of trying to better my cooking, I actually decided to start from the very basics and get a meal kit. These are starting to get extremely popular for students and young adults and couples looking for the ease of advanced cooking, without the grocery shopping. I decided to go with “Chefs Plate” which offered a pretty good menu with food items I really enjoy. My roommate and I made steak with hollandaise, Korean home made burgers, turkey rice bowl and buffalo chicken salad. We were extremely impressed with the quality of the food, as well as the ease of cooking. With pre-measured ingredients we saved time and money shopping, and got right to the cooking.

I had many misconceptions about the types of spices to put in my meals, and was introduced to many more. When making steak, my brain automatically goes to “steak spice, cajun and pepper” because that’s what I like and what i’m used to. Much like this video by Veritasium, I previously rejected other additions to my meals until I was strictly told in the recipe that I must add the spices given in the kit. And the taste was absolutely amazing. My brain was previously “inflexible” as discussed in the notes, and I needed forced alterations to think otherwise.

As the next couples weeks continue, I am on the road a fair amount which will prohibit me from personal cooking, but I will be able to explore different meals while eating at restaurants every day!

Blog Post #1

Within the time of this course, I want to focus on improving my cooking skills whether that means learning the more scientific side of food, or just learning new recipes all together. I have lived without my parents for a couple years now, and have learned many new ways to shop for groceries and cook for myself based on my weekly schedules and budget. I would like to deepen my understanding for the combinations of flavours and such, making myself more comfortable in the kitchen, as well as more comfortable cooking for friends and family.

After reading the provided article and watching B.F Skinners video, the concept of learning has become more complex to me. As Sorensen-Unrah says, to learn you must put yourself in conditions where your brain may “change in response to stimuli” which means introducing factors that may be unfamiliar to more deeply understand the other aspects. On the other hand, there are things one must avoid to further learn a concept, these being “neuromyths”. These misconceptions include myths that are commonly circulated giving us a false sense of the attempt to “learn” when you are in fact wasting time using inaccurate methods. The most important of these to me is the misconception of the “best learning being within that individuals preferred terms” which seems almost like and excuse for laziness. To avoid this, I will use suggested methods that are academically proved, instead of acting in a way of self interest to further deepen my understanding of certain concepts.


B.F Skinner discusses the aid of repetition and involving technology and educational tools into our learning. When given a specific task during learning, it becomes more of an internal game which makes that particular subject more entertaining and engaging. To apply this to cooking, I would like to locate an activity or program that shows the matching of ingredients and flavours, which will further help me memorize the applications to my cooking. Living in our technological age, I believe that access to certain learning technologies will be much easier then it was back then when you had to get your hands on one of Skinners machines. Another important insight that the video gave me is the importance of taking “small steps” to progress your learning, instead of trying to swallow the whole thing at once (food reference!!). I look forward to using Skinners process to assist me in my cooking journey moving forward!


Intro Post

Hello there! I am Cooper Fargey, an economic finance major from Calgary AB. I love to play sports like Lacrosse, Rugby and Track, and my favourite things to learn are involved with math. I have family that lives all over the world and I love to travel to visit them, and travel along with them. I moved to UVIC so I didn’t have to freeze in Calgary anymore, and so I can surf lots!

Favourite learning experience

My Favourite learning experiences were early math classes in Junior high and High School, as I always was lucky to have cool teachers. This got me interested in the stock market and economics as a whole. This further drove me to get involved with economics and make it as my major going into university. This was also influenced by my grandpa who is a huge role model for me. He was a stock broker and teaches me a lot of what I know!

I look forward to working with you all!