The Passion

An image of the inside of Mast Brothers’ Chocolate, stiched from several photos I took with my iPhone

We were walking up 41st street, approaching the New York Public Library, when Brenda looked down at the sidewalk and read out loud,

The universe is made of stories, not atoms.

I know now that it was a quote from Muriel Rukeyser, a 20th century American poet and political activist and that it had some bearing on the quest, or a pilgrimage, that we had set ourselves to. Those who know me well, know why I might use the “P” word to describe our search for Mast Brothers’ Chocolate.

Our quest was based on a story I first learned about from a video posted by Cool Hunting in May 2010. It’s two brothers with a passion for chocolate and its making — in the old way. We found the place, with the help of my brother, along the “L” line, rolling into a trendy and gritty neighborhood near Brooklyn’s Williamsburg. There didn’t seem to be sign on the store, but when we finally asked two hipsters sitting on barrels with some sort of grainy meal steaming on paper plates, they said that we were there.

We’d visited their web site before leaving for New York and had tried to register for a formal tour of the small factory, only to learn that they were booked into June. So we only got to see the front room (see above). But an energetic!young fellow behind the counter answered our questions about cocoa, nibs, and even organic cocoa mulch, which they sell for $2.00 a bag.

No computers. No WiFi. Not a wire, LCD, or coder in sight. Just passion and story.

If I took the time right now to think through and write down a prioritized list of the most important things our children need to be learning today, passion would be one of the top two.

Location:E 40th St,New York,United States

6 thoughts on “The Passion”

    1. It’s a good question, Andrew. But it seems to me that passion is something that you discover. But our learners need room to discover their passion.

      How much of what we force our “students” to learn, so that they can be tested, will they never need again?

      1. Learning without a reason is the criminal act of K-12 education. Don’t tell me what to learn, tell me a real problem that requires me to learn. If a real problem doesn’t exist, ask yourself, “Why are we teaching this”. Information for the sake of information should be the result of someone exploring a passion, not a requirement to “well round” someone.

  1. Dear Mr. Warlick
    I your blog post “The Passion” I was interested in how the chocolate company was able to run their business off of nothing but passion. Its crazy how you don’t need material things to accomplish a task but that with motivation and hard work it is possible to be successful. This is a very important trait for everyone and I fully agree with you that students today need this quality for their schooling. If more students had this passion towards learning and actually wanted to learn and get a good education it would change the world but there are so many children that don’t care when really if they understood how important it is to get a good education these days, it’s a big deal. I don’t believe there are whole lot schools, teachers or anybody can do to get students to want to learn so it is up to the students. If they don’t care about their life then they will choose to not acquire this passion but if they want to better their future and change the world than those students are the ones with this passion that could take them far in life.

  2. Did I not complete a survey on “finding your passion” that you launched a month or so ago? If so, are you still at it and/or do you have some pithy pronouncements on the results?

    1. Hummm! I do not recall conducting a survey about passion. A few weeks ago I asked folks to indicate the number of hours they spent preparing children for government test as opposed to preparing them for the next 80 years. As I said in a following tweet, this had more to do with my experimenting with Google forms than trying to collect any scientific data or draw any profound conclusions. But since I never reported on that, here is a graph that I just threw together on the results.

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