“The secret to living an enlightened life is paying attention”
– Dr. James Benning
The baking portion of my blog is dedicated to Dr. James Benning, Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
Dr. Benning taught my honors psychology course during my freshman year at Eau Claire. He was 91 when he taught my class, and he brought homemade bread for us every Thursday. Bread brings people together, he would say, “Every culture has bread, every single one. If you want to learn about someone’s culture, ask them about their bread.”
Of all the tools a nonagenarian and a veteran educator could use to connect with 18 and 19 year old students, Dr. Benning chose bread. This inspired me to start baking. I’d stop by during his office hours for baking tips, and he’d bring me photocopies of his favorite recipes- clipped from a magazine or hand-written on a recipe card. I consider it the greatest privilege to have learned from this wise soul, this kindred spirit. This one’s for you, Dr. Benning.