Sunday, April 7, 2013

Butchery and the Art of Innovative Teaching

Flint Expatriate Kara Tambellini (seated third from left in front of the pig's feet) and her students learn the art of butchery from Camas Davis (standing with guest of honor). Photo by Holly Andres for The New York Times Magazine.

When I was in high school in the eighties, the most exotic classes at Powers were choir and European History. Things are a little different in Portland at the Oregon Episcopal School. Flint expatriate Kara Tambellini, formerly of Stone Street and Brookside Drive, just finished teaching a week-long class in butchery with the help of butcher Camas Davis that caught the attention of The New York Times Magazine. Marnie Hanel reports:
Butchery is a new course being offered by the Oregon Episcopal School, an independent preparatory academy that prides itself on “inquiry-based learning.” Each year, the week before spring break, called Winterim, is reserved for experimental education projects. Some students go dog-sledding in Minnesota. Others play Dungeons & Dragons or opt for an intensive course in the art of hat-making. Recently, an English teacher at the school, Kara Tambellini, read an article about the Portland Meat Collective and proposed a course on butchery.
No word yet on whether any of the students plan to relocate to Flint for a job at Abbott's Meats.  


  1. Great class. Great school. Great teacher. But all I could think about was the ever widening gap between rich and poor when it comes to education. And all the smart folks who have left Flint over the years.

  2. I would be remiss if I did not mention that this young woman, Kara, was a delightful student in my English class and a creative, talented artist as well. I bought one of her early works and hung it proudly in my home. It is great to see that she is sharing her multiple talents with young people while understanding that learning is admitting what you do NOT know and delving into the discovery of the truth. (Whole Hog!!!! ....Could not miss the opportunity to add this pun!! )Mary Frillici, PCHS, Flint, MI


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at