Opening Activity

Pair up and look again at the image of the six women and the cow. Consider what the people in this image might be learning. As you look at the image, talk to your partner about one specific time you knew you were learning something, or perhaps a time when you were aware you weren’t learning.

Discussion Questions

  1. Look at the first stanza of the poem -- what is the cook doing here?
  2. Who is learning from the cook? What are they learning?
  3. How did this cook learn what he needed to learn? What stages were necessary to him, and why?
  4. What does time or “timing” have to do with his work?
  5. What is the relationship of this cook to his cleaver, his tool? What challenges do you face in learning to use your “tools”?
  6. What might “seeing nothing with the eye” mean in your work context? Is that desirable or possible? What kinds of seeing are necessary to learning?
  7. Does the cook’s learning have a goal? Does learning need a goal?
  8. Why did the Prince say “My cook has shown me how I ought to live my own life!”? What has the Prince learned?

Closing Activity

Go around the room and name one essential tool that you have learned to use in your work.

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