Episode 1.2    We are the Tomato  Show Notes

Today’s keyword is “iteration.”  Our exploration into the artistry of teaching moves, in this episode, into the terrain of a thought experiment: what happens when a teacher confronts their own set of teaching practices (their sleights of hand, their design choices)?  Do they risk the very suspension of belief that is vital to teaching?  In this episode, “We Are The Tomato,” Ada discloses her own tomato—by way of sharing the learning curves involved with audio-creation.  We hear from two podcasting-teachers, Meg Wilcox and Alexander Kim.  And we encounter the impact of design, like the role played by microphones and the activity of editing voices.  Patrick Imbrogno, a recent graduate from Mount Royal University, reflects on the experience of creating audio as a student.  Iteration, according to this episode, is essential for teaching, and yet its ethical and existential stakes are tremendous.



Photo of Meg Wilcox wearing headphones
Meg Wilcox
Photo of Alexander Kim
Alexander B. Kim
photo of Ada holding up a mic to her mum Coby Jaarsma
Ada & Coby Jaarsma


Thanks so much to these participants in The Learning Gene‘s second episode, which was written and produced by Ada Jaarsma.

Meg WilcoxMeg is a journalist, podcaster and educator, based in Calgary, who teaches in the journalism program at Mount Royal University.

Alexander B. Kim –   Alexander is a journalist and radio producer based in Vancouver. He is a producer for Cited and an associate producer for CBC Radio. He’s also the host and producer of Theoretically Speaking, a podcast about absurd science.

Patrick Imbrogno— Patrick is a recent graduate of Mount Royal University, where he majored in psychology and minored in philosophy.  He’s the 2016 winner of the Philosophy student award.

Coby, Isabel and Abigail Jaarsma— Coby Jaarsma is a retired public school teacher; Isabel and Abigail Jaarsma, her granddaughters, are in grades 3 and 5 in Waterloo, Ontario.

Podcast collaborators–  Kaitlin Rothberger, Anna Mudde and Kyle Kinaschuk are regular contributors to this podcast.  Learn more about them here .

Recommendations for further exploring

Alexander Kim:  Radio: An Illustrated Guide by Jessica Abel and Ira Glass.   Reading this made me believe I could make radio. It reveals how the editorial staff at TAL think about the radio they want to make and how they make it. But most importantly it’s extremely encouraging of DIY approaches. If this book had never come into my life I don’t know if I would have ever developed the confidence to pick up a microphone and ask strangers to talk me.

Ada Jaarsma:  Building Access: Universal Design and the Politics of Disability by Aimi Hamraie (University of Minnesota Press, 2017).  My interest in design, especially in the context of classrooms, is indebted to the work of Aimi Hamraie, which brings “universal design” to life, in terms of its radical potential but also its limitations for creating more liberatory and open architectural spaces (and pedagogical approaches).  

Works cited in episode

“The world houses some bodies more comfortably than others”:   Sara Ahmed. Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others.  Duke University Press: 2006.

Tomatoes as a metaphor for teaching practices: Zadie Smith. On Beauty. Penguin, 2005.

More on tomatoes in the classroom:  Ada S. Jaarsma,   “Design, Disability and Play: The Animal Politics of Education,” Gender and Education.  28(2) 2016: 195-212;   “Tomatoes in the Classroom,” Kierkegaard after the Genome: Science, Existence and Belief in This World.  Palgrave MacMillan, 2017.

Music Attributions for this episode

“Firefly” by Podington Bear, Free Music Archive (License Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International)

“Fuck It” by Broke for Free, Free Music Archive (Licence Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International)

“Bell Club” by Podington Bear, Free Music Archives, (License Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International)

“One Sly Move” by Kevin MacLeod, Incompetech

“Quit Bitching” by Broke for Free, Free Music Archives, (Licence Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International)

“Carpe Diem” by Kevin MacLeod, Incompetech

“Our Ego” by Broke for Free, Free Music Archives, (Licence Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International)

“Bad Scene” by Podington Bear, Free Music Archives, (License Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International)