web analytics

How-to Cope: Welcome to Life’s Learning

Editor’s note: I am, like, totally, ridorkulously excited to introduce How-to Cope, a new weekly column on Umami Girl. When I started this site back in yonder days of 2008, I had in mind to share with you not just food, but also a look into one family’s considered, sometimes off-the-grid, occasionally off-the-wall way of life. To say the least, you’ve only been getting half the story on that front until now.

That’s why we’re introducing How-to Cope, a weekly column by my amazing husband, Jonathan Cope (who, yup, goes by Cope. Follow?). He is, as they say in the legal world, sui generis—and it’s high time I stopped hoarding his strange, enchanting wisdom. How-to Cope will alternate between two topics, neither of which is food, if you can conceive of such a thing.

Life’s Learning, which kicks off this week, will focus on education outside the classroom. And since Cope keeps finding himself in India, among other non-home-type venues, Life’s Travels will highlight his adventures in the great, wide world around us. So! Without further ado, take it away, Cope. It’s about time you had a room of your own around here. xx

Hi there, thanks for joining me. I’m a dad. I’m also a bit of a trouble-maker. I have two daughters—six and two. They are, of course, above average.

I spend a lot of time thinking about how to ensure that they each get a great education, and that they learn to love to learn regardless of the venue. They both will attend public schools in New Jersey. Their schools will be strong. We moved to our lovely town in no small part because of school quality.

But here’s where the trouble-making starts.

I find a lot of traditional classroom education to be meaningless and limiting. I found this so when I slogged through most of my own classroom education. I made my way reasonably in the classroom, finishing—though barely—as a Princeton graduate. However, it was—and still is—the work I did at home, on the playing field, on the road, on a year-off from college, on the job and otherwise anywhere other than the classroom that I learned from most.

I am sure that this was the case for many, if not most, of us.

For the foreseeable future, I will share what our family undertakes as a supplement, if not a replacement, for our daughters’ classroom educations. Please join us if you’d like.

Speak to you soon,



Hi there, I'm Carolyn, and I'm delighted you're here. I'm a NYC-area food, travel, yoga, coffee, wine, running, music making and book obsessive with a great family and a love for sharing it all with you. Grab a drink and come on in. Learn more.