Saturday, January 05, 2013

New Kitchen

Editorial piece for the Department's newsletter.

A woman, who seldom found time to cook at home, complained to her husband that their kitchen is not big enough, nor up-to-date enough. She frequently pointed out fancy looking kitchens in Ikea catalog and other catalogues that she could find. “If we renovate our kitchen, it would look better. It would be more comfortable for me to cook more often.”

After several months of the wife repeating and rephrasing the script, the husband relent-ed. The kitchen is now a gleaming cooking area. Did the renovation changed the frequency of the wife cooking at home? It depends how often she cooked before.

She would not have enough skills as a cook if she had not practiced before. Having a new kitchen does not automatically enhance her repertoire of recipe, not does it sharpen her skills. In short, her performance would greatly depend on her previous performance when the kitchen was a jaded and outdated space.

It is not wrong to dream of a better future: we can conduct more scholarly activities if the  Department has more financial autonomy. Or, we can admit more students if we have more staff. However, we should not forget to keep building our personal capacity and improve our job  performance from time to time. We should not be caught clue-less of what to cook when we are placed in a gleaming new kitchen.

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