At every meeting of my handcrafting class, we begin with ten minutes of knitting circle. Students and instructors pull out their current projects and begin working while chatting among themselves. The most common question you hear around the room, over and over: "What are you making?"
I gave a talk last night at the senior banquet based on some of the ideas of my upper-division classes this year. The theme I used was "quality," and I talked about education and judgment.
But the day before the talk, I had another idea that I wished I could use. I was sitting in a presentation room waiting for a thesis presentation to start, and a student walked in and sat behind me with a ball of yarn and some needles. I turned to her and asked, "What are you making?" And it occurred to me that this question could be usefully extended to the whole educational endeavor.
The talk was already written, unfortunately. But I'm putting this idea away for the next big talk I have to do ... next December or whenever it might be.