Wednesday, March 30, 2011
The History of Food - and why it sucks now.Learn | View Comments | permalink
This is a wonderful 20 minute talk about the ramifications of American society's current reliance on industrially produced meats and junk foods. I hope that some of you will take the time to watch it instead of playing on facebook for 20 minutes or watching the Jersey Shore. Continual education is KING! :) My small change for the month of February was relevant to this talk. From now on, I will spend one week of each month as a full vegetarian. My hope is that this practice will open my eyes up to delicious vegetarian meals that are convenient for my lifestyle and lead to me eating less meat as a whole. Today starts my week of vegetarianism for the month of March.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Passion and InterviewsLearn | View Comments | permalink
I'm so excited to hit the ground running because being surrounded by these people every day is going to be an amazing experience.
Friday, February 04, 2011
The Zone - A RantLearn | View Comments | permalink
There are sociological pitfalls to being both a woman and being single in your mid/late 20s - ask any of my friends. Strong, smart, capable women (cause those are the only kind I hang out with) are flabbergasted when they head home for the holidays and their accomplishments are ignored by friends and family. Instead, your mother bemoans your lack of love life (in all actuality your love life is probably rockin, but not in the kind of way you talk to your mom about) and your aunts cluck over your potential old maidness. It's gross. Society needs to BACK OFF.
The book I just finished (I know, I'm tearing these things up) - "The Cigarette Girl" by Carol Wolper - describes the feeling of mid 20s doom the best.
"I never thought I'd be the kind of woman who searched for a guy. I always thought it would just happen. And it always did. But things change when you move into the zone - that seven-year period between the ages of twenty-eight and thirty-five when women feel the pressure to resolve the marriage and baby issues.
Before my twenty-eighth birthday hit, I was perfectly happy to live my single life. Work. Work out. And sex. That's all I needed. Maybe that's a little on the shallow side, but I live in Los Anglees. Shallow is politically correct here. Besides, Southern California is all about velocity and optimism, which has everything to do with its two most glaring characterisitics; freeways and sunshine. They do somethjing to you. You start believing that "it," whatever "it" is, will all work out. That is, until you hit the zone. Then it doesn't matter how fast your'e moving or how beautiful the day, you start believing that whatever "it" is, it'll never work out and you were crazy to believe in "it in the first place.
The zone changes everything. It confuses everything. Sometimes you can talk yourself into believing something's on track until you're so far into it that the realization that it isn't can't stop the runaway train."
I know people who are in the zone at 24 years old. I don't even want babies or marriage and I feel a small tiny infinitesimal amount of pressure from my peers. "How long have you been dating" is the first thing on someone's mind. And then "Are you going to marry him?" Not that i don't ask the same questions - I should probably stop, huh?
My point is.... when did my worth become dependent on my ability to be the consummate baby making machine? We've supposedly evolved to the point that my daily contributions to society are valued. I'm allowed to vote and work and put holes in my body. I make my own choices about the men that I date and the house that I live in and the order in which I pay my bills. So why is it that people are also expecting me to start planning this precious little homelife at the tender age of 24? And why is it wrong that my idea of domestic bliss doesn't involve screaming, pooping, crazed-out-of their mind chitlins?
I JUST WANT ALL MY FRIENDS TO HAVE BABIES SO I CAN PLAY WITH THEM AND BE THE AWESOME AUNT! IS THAT SO CRAZY!?
I propose that we take all of our so called "open mindedness" and turn it inward. Start accepting people who are making alternative lifestyle choices right here at home. I, for one, am going to take this ridiculous rant and try to realize that I ALSO project my ideals onto other people. From now on I will no longer assume that entry level hospitality positions are "meanwhile" jobs for everyone. I will accept that some people are really happy working those jobs and have no interest in going back to school. And I will stop judging young mothers - because some of them probably WANTED to be mommies. And I will STOP asking people how long they've been dating as if I have any right to judge the current seriousness of their relationship.
How else can we make a difference and be more accepting right here, right now?
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Love and LeadershipLove, Learn | View Comments | permalink
This paraphrased excerpt from Joker One sums up the kind of relationships I hope to be able to cultivate. The kind of leader that I try so hard to be but only succeed in being a small percentage of the time.
I paraphrase so that I can directly show the relevance to every day life.
"For me, then, loving... meant much more than simply feeling that I cared. It meant patience when explaining something for the fifth time.... It meant kindness when dealing with [someone] who had made an honest mistake while trying his hardest; mercy when deciding the appropriate punishment. It meant dispensing justice and then forgetting that it had been dispensed, punishing wrong and then wiping the slate clean.
Love was joy at the growth of my men, even when it diminished my own authority. It was giving the credit for our successes to the team while assuming all the responsibility for our failures on myself. It was constantly teaching [them], sharing everything with them until I had nothing left to give, with the expectation and the hope that they would become greater than me. It was making myself less so that they might become more.
Love accepted [them] for exactly who they were and never believed that it was all they ever would be. Love demanded more, demanded their best, every single day; it cut through all rationalizations and excuses. It constantly celebrated the good in my men and refused to condone the natural selfishness that dwelt within us all.
Love told the honest truth when lying would have been much easier or would have made me look much better; it admitted to [them] that sometimes I had no answers. It confessed my mistakes and asked for forgiveness when I had wronged, and it moved pst those mistakes when forgiveness had been granted.
... And sometimes love meant just getting out of bed in the morning when everything inside screamed rest, just for one day. Sometimes it meant... doing what you knew to be right even though you didn't really want to." I believe that if we endeavor to lead by love, we will all be more successful. Here's hoping that I can be this person one day.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Student Affairs PaperLearn | View Comments | permalink
"Problems facing the contemporary university: One is the improvement of undergraduate instruction in the university. It will require the solution of many sub-problems: how to give adequate recognition to the teaching skill as well as to the research performance of the faculty; how to create a curriculum that serves the needs of the student as well as the research interests of the teacher; how to prepare the generalist as well as the specialist in an age of specialization looking for better generalizations; how to treat the individual student as a unique human being in the mass student body; how to make the university seem smaller even as it grows larger; how to establish a range of contact between faculty and students broader than the one-way route across the lectern or through the television screen; how to raise educational policy again to the forefront of faculty concerns. Increasingly, also, the better institutions will need to keep in mind that many of their undergraduate students will be going on to graduate school, and therefore that they need individual attention as pre-graduate students."This statement rings startlingly true considering that Clark Kerr wrote this in 1964 in his book “Uses of the University.” It seems that not much has changed in the core needs of a postgraduate institution. What has changed, however, is the continual development of Student Affairs professionals who are becoming more and more equipped to handle these issues for the 21st century student population. The role that Student Affairs Professionals should play in the undergraduate experience is the same as it was in 1963; “to program curriculum that serves the needs of the student”, “to treat the individual student as a unique human being in the mass student body”, and “to establish a range of contact between faculty and students.” A true University education requires academic, intellectual, and social development. Students Affairs Professionals create programming that is designed to enrich the experience of the student and to complement the academic curriculum provided by professors and individual colleges. University staff members in multiple disciplines interact with students on a daily basis and are expected to have the knowledge and capacity to meet the changing needs of a student population. The time, energy and effort that students devote to the learning process is most often correlated to their participation in co-curricular activities and their involvement in the University experience as a whole. It is the job of a Student Affairs professional to enhance the academic programs on a campus with experiential learning opportunities and peer interaction. It is highly important that these professionals facilitate the bridging of the gap between classroom and non-classroom experiences so that each students feel engaged as part of a community. As Universities expand an individual student can easily get lost in the mix. Young people who came from a high school graduating class of 100 are now taking Bio 101 classes with 600 students. It’s unnervingly easy to intimidate a student into discomfort and, eventually, academic failure. This is why a Student Affairs professional must endeavor to make each student feel like not only a part of this amazing intellectual community, but an individual with unique ideas and learning styles. Only with this individuality intact can a student feel comfortable enough to travel the critical path from childhood to adulthood, a path laden with necessary pitfalls and quicksand. Therefore, in order to be effective in supporting the individual progress of each student, the Student Affairs professional must find the tenuous balance between protecting a student from harm and allowing the student the opportunity to learn from each mistake. This balance is as individual as the person, because each student has different core needs in terms of mentoring, advising, and development. It takes a village to raise a child, and that village is the most important developmental tool in a Student Affairs Professional’s toolbox. The third role a Student Affairs Professional must play in the undergraduate experience is as a resource. Intimate knowledge of each habitant, storefront, and service in the village is necessary so that appropriate recommendations and connections can be made, connections that could prove to be the most useful associations that the student makes in their entire life. Even the village idiot is a valued contributing community member and stakeholder that could have a lasting impact on a student. With the map to the village also comes the responsibility to bridge any communication gaps that exist within the infrastructure. The Student Affairs Professional must be able to facilitate genuine relationships and collaborations across departments, without alienating any one piece of the complex matrix that creates a University. This includes fostering a climate where students and faculty feel comfortable expressing themselves to each other as dialogue partners and sounding boards. Ultimately, the role that a Student Affairs Professional should play in the Undergraduate Experience is that of a facilitator. One should be able to take advantage of the multitude of resources on a college campus and determine which resources will be most advantageous for each student, then to open avenues of ongoing interaction and involvement. Inherent in this responsibility is the capability to access the individual needs of a student instead of the student body and to communicate effectively with diverse populations, integrating the distinct segments of a student’s experience. The position is instrumental in providing the type of environment where students feel comfortable enough to take risks, ask questions, try new things and pursue their dreams. Without these facilitators students would have to navigate through a complex system with variable expectations, opportunities and access on their own.
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