Easy as Pie – not so for Cake

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

A work colleague, Earl, asked me a question, “How big is a standard-sized classroom?”
It seems management was repurposing six-thousand square feet of warehouse space into classroom conversions for science instruction.

“There is no standard classroom size, because there are so many parameters that must be considered when determining what kind of class you are developing,” I said.

“Surely, there is an average size, so I can plan for students and classrooms in that space,” Earl insisted. “We could look at average square footage per student.”

“Let’s think about what kind of activity would take place, besides having a standard hardback chair with four legs.”

So, we calculated that, in the sitting position, a high schooler would need three feet front to back, and four feet for the sides — 12-square feet.

“What kind of activity is going on here? Lecture hall? Sinks and monitors?” I asked.
Earl paused, “We need to know how many students can use the classrooms.”

Okay, so we are back to Square One. We decided a standard 30×30 room could be considered. At nine-hundred square feet, that is a reasonable size, depending on the equipment. We must subtract area used for the teacher’s desk and doorways.

This reminded me of the colloquial idiom: ‘It’s a piece of cake.
We all know that it really is not easy at all.

I suggested he consider one approach to convert the space. Decide how many students can be in class if the space is just for lecture. Classroom type is the key – lab, freely convertible space, or a room with a lot of equipment or none.

“This gives us student-teacher ratios to consider,” Earl said.
I believe I did help Earl.

Successful people decide on an outcome while also considering the process to make it happen in much the same way planning is key in baking a cake successfully.

How about we bake a cake?

First decide on then plan what kind to serve – and not just the color. Although the color will determine how much sugar and food coloring to use. How many eggs and how much butter? Oil or shortening? Will layers, tube, or bundt pans be used? If it is layers, how many? Are there any additions to the dough – nuts, flavorings, funfetti, chocolate, egg whites, spices? Will it be ready to eat or need to be refrigerated?

All this, and you have not even gotten the mixing bowl down from the cupboard!

It is easy to make pie – doughy shell, mix fruit and spice, combine, heat and eat.
Not so for cake. It takes a focused Chef to bake a cake.

Your success depends on planning (the kind of cake you want to serve).

Copyright © 1960-2015 Lawrence J. J. Leonard  All rights reserved.

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