Friday, July 31, 2009

OSF: First Love Songs

OK, this post is gon' be brief because I ain't all mushy. But, I remember India Arie's song being played when me and Mr. C. first started dating. I remember watching the video with him in one of our dorm rooms when we were dating in college and falling in love, so I picked "I Am Ready for Love."

Thursday, July 30, 2009

What I'm Learning about Organic Food

For those tens of readers familiar with me, they know that when I adopt a hobby or lifestyle trend, I go all out. With my fitness routine, they know that I study fitness trends, techniques, and methods with rigor even though I'm not a fitness trainer. The same can be said for fashion: Based on what I know, I could be the black Stacy London!

Well, now my interests are in organic foods. This all started because I'm trying to encourage the dad to make better health and lifestyle choices. Although I'm a fairly healthy eater, as can be seen here and here, I know that I can do a lot better. While I don't eat beef, pork, and love fruits and veggies (I once got really sick and overdosed from eating too many green veggies! No Lie!), I have a profound weakness for chocolate, carbs, and other processed foods. That being said, I knew that I had to change my eating habits. After throwing the processed snacks (tortilla chips, wafer cookies, honey buns, etc.) in the trash, I went off to the local health food store. Even though it's not the Whole Foods that I was used to when living in Ann Arbor, it would have to do.

When I got in the store, I immediately went crazy. When I see things, I like to go for the excess. I prefer to buy in bulk because I hate grocery shopping, so I piled tons of stuff in the cart. Mr. C looked quite oddly considering I hadn't tasted much of these foods but threw them in the cart as if they were my favorites. I didn't care though; I'd eaten foods like it before (ions ago) so it couldn't be that bad. After all, a whole grain waffle is a whole grain waffle. And the vegan cookies I used to get from Whole Foods were sold there, so I knew how those tasted. I'd also heard about Amy's Pizzas and frozen products, which I decided to purchase. Those couldn't be that bad either.

Well to make a long story short, I lucked up. While I haven't tried everything I'd bought, from what I did sample, the foods were pretty darn delicious. I especially love the spinach wraps in whole wheat. And those vegan chocolate chip cookies are to die for!! Seriously. But with this journey, I did learn a few of things about organic foods, some of which, I didn't know:

  1. They make you full and make you stay full. Even the snacks that I bought were filling. They don't have those hydrogenated oils and other chemicals that just make you feel bloated with gas but still hungry. No, you don't need to eat very much of these snacks, and you can remain satisfied until the next meal.
  2. They seem to take longer to cook in comparison to "regular" foods. This threw me for a bit of a loop. So I pop a couple waffles in the oven. The box says to cook them for 2-3 minutes. I had to cook them for 15+ minutes! The same with the Amy's frozen pizzas. I had to cook those for 16 minutes and not the 8-11 suggested time. I know that lots of organic gurus prefer rawer stuff, but we're not talking veggies here. You can't eat a raw frozen waffle or pizza!
  3. You don't get that much food from $200. Yeah, I knew that I'd be broke after I finished shopping.

So thus began my quest for a better lifestyle. I wanted my eating habits to match my fitness ones. I feel better already.

Friday, July 24, 2009

OSF: My Theme Song

Given the nature of this past week's events associated with the racial profiling of preeminent Black scholars, in addition to my own experiences with racism, I've decided to post James Brown's "Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud"! That's my theme song for the week. Enjoy!

Monday, July 20, 2009

U-N-I-T-Y: Brief Reflections on WPA Conference

Some of y'all are familiar with some of the events that went down at our discipline's WPA Conference held in Minneapolis this past week. This is the first time I attended the conference, so I don't have much to go by other than my own personal experiences. However, based on what I've heard, this is one of the conferences in our field where leadership is trying to promote diversity. And, I see why that's a concern: Out of the roughly 260 people in attendance, 5 or so of those people were African American. I'm not so sure about the numbers for other racial/ethnic groups. What I can say is that there didn't seem to be very many (if any) of other racial/ethnic minority groups represented either.

I also have some suspicions as to why this was the case. This may come off a bit harsh, but it's exactly how I felt when I was there. My suspicions are in no way intended to criticize the leadership, however. In fact, the WPA president and other members on the executive committee went out of their way to talk to me and make me feel welcome on multiple occasions, so my criticisms about the conference aren't directed at them. And, based on the events I'm about to tell, I've received multiple apologies for what happened.

Okay. Here's what went down. First of all, I did a panel with other colleagues about my experiences with racism and sexism as a future WPA. This panel was not exceptionally attended, although there were roughly ten people in the audience. We had good conversation and they seemed to appreciate the work that we had done narrating and complicating our experiences. Not a half-hour after our panel ended, we ran into a colleague whom each of us on the panel had met briefly about a year ago. She then proceeded to introduce us to one of her friends as our WPA supervisor's bitches. If that weren't appalling enough, she singled me and my African American male colleague out and basically urged us to beg their department chair for a job at their institution because their institution only had one African American and needed more. As a result of these comments--and the general vibe of the conference--in addition to other personal reasons, I chose to leave the conference early.

On my way home I rode to the airport with another scholar in our field. She also expressed concern about the lack of diversity, and after I told her of the events I experienced, (s)he was horified! We also discussed whether or not I'd come back to WPA. I told him/her that while I loved doing WPA workm and editing our first textbook reader and composing our handbook at my institution, I'm not sure whether or not I'd continue doing this kind of work if it meant that I'd be required to also attend this conference. (S)he encouraged me not to give up on the work that I love doing, but I dunno...

Once I'd gotten home, I received a text message from my African American male colleague telling me that they refused to let him into an event because they mistook him for coming to play basketball pickup games at the park where the event was being held. I won't get into the other details, but the president of the organization did issue an apology that can be read here.

Like I said, I love doing WPA work; I just don't want to be anywhere where I'm not welcome. And, like I also said, my sentiments aren't because of the leadership. Regardless of the leadership, if the people who are a part of the organization aren't welcoming, I still don't want to attend.

That's all.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

My Article Published

For some reason, I thought this article was coming out in Fall 2009 but it came out this summer. The article is about the processes that inform how I would design a graduate-level rhetoric and composition special topics course.Here's the link:

Check it out!