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Everyone Eats: Food-themed Composition

English 1010 Food

Charlotte Howe

on 3 October 2015

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Transcript of Everyone Eats: Food-themed Composition

Why food?
"Make it fun."
"Make it meaningful."
"It was not the classroom dynamics per se that mattered, as much as the STUDENTS' PERCEPTIONS of the classroom dynamics."
All six "demonstrated optimism about students' potential to succeed; however, their optimism did not necessarily penetrate students' consciousness."
The successful ones...
expected students to accomplish work they found challenging
invited active participation
addressed student anxiety with transparently clear instructions
offered constant encouragement
"Acknowledge me."
This is how I see it...
Achieving change and growth can be a long and arduous climb.
Pay attention to a few things that
share & collaborate
multi-modal, task-based projects
recognize students' fear of failure
expect interaction. demand it.
create a climate of support and collaboration
inductive learning
keep issuing invitations to engage
perturb students
with their potential
Quite honestly, the majority of the time when students become better writers, it's because all of a sudden they believe...
creative problem solving
start with reflection, then critical turn towards analysis
We're wired
for it.
ongoing dance of
perturbation & response
They can open up and bloom... or not.
real-world focus
unsure of their abilities
stressed out
Students should be able to recognize and use effectively...
Rhetorical strategies
Critical thinking processes
Composing processes
Conventions of writing
a sense of belonging
How do we get from here to there?
It's not just what we're
doing, it's what students
THINK we're doing.
life experiences
We are all in "an ongoing process of becoming" driven by interactions among the components of our nervous system and by our interaction with "the surround."
constructed meaning
Assimilation of meaning "is an active process, an act performed by the listener."
non-conscious processes
an invitation to change
conscious thoughts
We are constantly changing ourselves through these interactions, and at the same time instigating changes in others.
"When someone sits back and decides, 'All right, you have persuaded me,' he is not merely describing something that has happened to him. In spite of the grammar, he is describing something he has done."
Cooper, Marilyn M. "Rhetorical Agent as Emergent and Enacted," CCC 62.3 (2011): 420-49. Print.
Here's what I
with it in my food-themed composition class...
peer review & response
"Hey, I can do this!"
Rebecca D. Cox,
The College Fear Factor: How Students and Professors Misunderstand One Another
in a community
They were very intentional about addressing student perceptions with a clear, coherent approach and an unmistakably high level of support and encouragement.
Students are like...
move from memoir to analysis
start with expertise:
connect, connect connect
safe to explore
group focus: food
Hungry Planet: How does the world eat?
Keep a Food Log: How do you eat?
Food Log Analysis & Visual Translation

READ: Food and recipe memoirs
WRITE: Recipe Memoir
PRESENT: Multisensory!

"Food is a fun, idiosyncratic, and non-threatening subject that invites students to engage without generating the stress and fear so common in basic composition courses. The theme of cuisine and diet offers students
a base of expertise that steadies them as they struggle to learn composition."
Food issues: distribution and fairness, production, sustainability, health, and ethics.
Food provides us with rich opportunities for reading, thinking, analyzing, and composing.
I would grab the po’ boy with both hands and sink my teeth into the works as shrimp would fall out the barn door. One by one, they would bounce down my arms, roll off my elbows, and reside on my plate. I took those shrimp as an investment for when my po’ boy was finished and looked forward to annihilating each and every one. That was exactly what my father meant by
all-you-can-eat shrimp.
By starting with an area of student expertise and moving from there into the unfamiliar, we build student
Student perception becomes:
do this!
confidence, connection, and sense of community

more students
choose to engage.
"I have never met with so many students from a particular class who share such consistently positive feedback."
English 1010: Food
connection, perception, agency
Gathering in the camp.
The Melanders
Germany $500.07
The Revises
North Carolina, U.S. $341.98
The Matsudas
Okinawa $214.26
The Mendozas
Guatemala $75.70
 15 oz. millet
¼ c. lentils
¼ c. CSB (Corn-Soy Blend)
1 T. sugar
1 t. salt
¼ c. vegetable oil

US-AID Daily Food Ration
2,100 calories per person, per day

1 lb. millet flour
2 quarts water
Vegetable oil
Bring millet to mill to grind.
After obtaining ground millet flour, light fire and bring water to a boil in a large pot.
Add millet flour in small amounts until it begins to thicken and bubble. Stir constantly, pulling mixture toward you in the pot until it holds together in a gelatinous mass.
Press mixture into an oiled bowl to make a round shape. Invert onto serving plate.
Aiysh (Congealed Porridge)
Sharing a meal.
Water for the camp.
Sifting sand out of the millet.
The Aboubakars
Chad $1.23
The Madsens
Greenland $277.12
The Cuis
Rural China $57.27
The Dongs
Beijing, China $155.06
The College Fear Factor: How Students and Professors Misunderstand One Another, by Rebecca D. Cox
confidence, connection, community
We build
a strong sense of
by sharing
our food, our writing
about food, and ourselves.
Clint Johnson, Student Writing Center
Today, except in the very poorest countries,
more people are overweight than underweight.
Marion Nestle, “Dinner for Six Billion,” Hungry Planet
Insufficient food is a daily torment for
nearly a billion people
on earth, half
of them young children.
As conflicts resolve and people in developing countries become better off, they acquire more stable resources and change the way they eat. They inevitably replace the grains and beans in their diets with foods obtained from animal sources. They buy more meat, more sweet foods, and more processed foods: they eat more meals prepared by others.

Soon they eat more food in general. They start gaining weight, become overweight, and then develop heart disease, diabetes, and the other chronic diseases.
Memorable Meal
Readings + Summaries
Argument Essay

1. Join the conversation
2. Explore & analyze
3. Examine & reflect

Everyone eats.
Reaching out...
Using food to connect with the
community beyond the classroom...

Service Learning outcomes:
Personal efficacy
Awareness of the world
Awareness of personal values
Service-learning combines community service with academic instruction, focusing on critical, reflective thinking, and personal and civic responsibility.
Families receive a small amount of support at first, then additional or more intensive support is added if they struggle to stabilize.
From 2009 to 2012 the Road Home utilized Federal Stimulus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to rapidly rehouse families in the community.
Through the
Rapid Rehousing Program
, families, single men and women, and youths are placed in housing. Last year 26 youths and 32 formerly chronically homeless men and women received rental subsidies which helped them move out of shelter and into housing.
Wasatch Community Gardens
The Road

Neighborhood House
Taylorsille Community Family Center
“You can't just eat good food. You've got to talk about it too. And you've got to talk about it to somebody who understands that kind of food.”

Kurt Vonnegut
What’s cooking online?
"Food is our common ground, a universal experience."
James Beard
FOOD is something that we generally associate with community and meeting together in person, yet our class takes place completely online.

In your opinion, what are both the advantages and disadvantages of talking about FOOD in an online format?
"The disadvantage is of coarse [sic] not getting to interact with people face to face. But for me that advantage is that i get to read a lot of classmates opinions on things whereas if it was in person i may not have enough time to talk to every single person face to face."

"It's a very relatable subject. It's something that regardless of personality or background, people can have an opinion on the subject. It can create a cohesiveness in a class when you have a common topic, especially when you have never formally meet the others."
Going into an actual classroom is like going on a blind date. But an online class is like meeting someone online.
I feel like I can put more in the conversation online because I don't have to worry about what others think about my comments. Talking about food online gives me more of a chance to put the food into perspective that our teacher is asking. A watched pot never boils, a watched student never speaks ;)."

"I just finished my food log which involved my entire family. I like the fact that i am doing this at home and not in the class room for that reason. Doing it at home puts it to use in my life not just a graded conversation."
Personal Food Log:

Analyze what you eat for 3-5 days.

Track every item of food and every beverage that you consume (potato chips, lattes, cereal, popsicles, squeeze cheese . . . these all count).
"I learned a lot about myself and my own eating habits as well as a lot about the
eating patterns of the typical college student on a budget.
I learned that I don’t eat as healthy as I thought I did. I also learned that eating usually involves a social aspect. There are emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical reasons for most of what we eat as well."

Christian B.

"I’m a mother of two little boys and what a horrible example I am setting for them.
This has opened my eyes not only to the junk food that I eat more than healthy food, but also to the food groups I am not getting enough of or am missing entirely from my diet."

Alisha B.
"I noticed that when my stress levels were lower I watched what I was eating and I felt great! I had more energy to do things and I felt like I was on top of the world and could accomplish anything. Then my stress levels would go up and things went downhill fast. I stopped eating and when I did eat it was mostly processed foods that made me feel like crap after I ate it. " Stesha B.

"I used the 'MyFitnessPal app to track my eating and workout habits. I was startled to find out just how much I was consuming at times. I have wanted to lose weight but haven't been successful and now I understand why." James B.
"I tracked my daily food intake during a vacation to California. What I noticed is we were willing to spend more money while on vacation for food. Eating out at Restaurants each night when that’s typically a bi-monthly thing on average.
During the road trip we settled for cheap, low quality foods that were faster to get back to our drive."

Duncan C.
"Home made leftovers are hard to come by, especially when you live with three of your brothers. Eating out was just more convenient for me. Lots of fast food throughout a few weeks doesn't feel good to your body. So, starting on the 18th of September, I decided to juice fruits and vegetables for a bit. Not for too long though, because I am not overweight. I just needed to get some good nutrients in me."

Lara D.
"Tracking your daily food intake is always a good idea. It’s a lot like budgeting money. 'If you don’t tell your money where to go, you will wonder where it went' (Dave Ramsey). If you don’t take a close look at where your calories are coming from, you are going to wonder how the number on the scale went up. By tracking your food, you can keep track of what your next meals should include or what you may need to limit. . . .

I noticed a very large difference in cost when I eat out and when I eat at home. On the 18 all day I spent $2.88 whereas on the 20, I spent a whopping $12.22."

Mackenzie E.
"I feel as though I am closer to my food
because I put much thought into what I buy at the store and plan meals. Also, I rarely ate fast food. This helped keep the costs down of the food and it got me involved in cooking. " Jared G.
"While tracking everything I ate I started to notice somewhat of trend. I was eating healthier food during my normal work schedule then when I was off. I was definitely consuming more calories when alcoholic beverages where involved. . . . The cost of a meal prepared by me was about 5.50 for a daily. Compared to the amount I eating out which was about 43.00 dollars. "

Kristopher G.
"I know I should change my habits because they are unhealthy and are not contributing to my overall health. They are also making me more tired, and unfocused when I eat 'junk' food. If I keep eating like I have in the last four days, I could possibly develop diabetes, heart diseases, obesity and so much more. . . . It made me realize the example I am giving to my children and wife, and being an adult I need to lead by example and eat the right and healthy things."

Eric H.

"When I went into the grocery store, I looked around and saw all of the food choices I had before me.
I remembered the pictures from our previous assignment of the food supply for a week. I decided then and there that I need to remember to be more grateful
that I have a grocery store less than 5 minutes from my house and that I have so many food choices. " Kimberly I.

"I just started to implement some changes the day after the food log was complete and because of those changes
I feel like I have a stronger connection to the food I eat."
Brendan K.
"Eating is a social event around our house, so it’s no wonder that this project quickly involved the entire family.
From the conversations it provoked, I think there is going to be some changes around here."

Travis K.
"There was a lot if fast food and snacking involved. After McDonalds my tracker told me I had exceeded my calorie and fat content for the day. I was thinking. That’s fine just for today, but then I realized I end up eating a lot of fast foods when I get busy like this during the week. " Nicole O.

"When I was compiling my food log I felt a sense of pride seeing how much food really does come from my garden as well as the fact that the majority of my meals are homemade. . . . After stopping to log my food I started to think of my eating habits outside of these few days. You see my husband and I try to make meals at home but still eat out more than we should, and often at fast food restaurants." Margaret P.

"The most interesting thing I found about what I consume during the week is that
what I eat is very monotonous.
I usually follow a pretty distinct schedule with what I eat. What’s weird is that I’m a pretty health conscious person, but what I eat doesn’t show it.
What are you to do as a poor college student?
I wish it was easier to eat healthier, but in all actuality it is not. Healthy food is always more expensive, and less convenient." Lauren S.
"When I found out about this assignment, I was really excited. I thought that my eating habits were fine and that I didn't have anything to worry about. I thought maybe I already was a mindful eater. I was very wrong. . . . I learned that if I want to becoming more of an aware eater, I have to start putting effort in. I'm all for eating healthy, but it's hard if you aren't prepared."

Camaria S.
“When I walk into my kitchen today, I am not alone. Whether we know it or not, none of us is. We bring fathers and mothers and kitchen tables, and every meal we have ever eaten.
Food is never just food. It’s also a way of getting at something else: who we are, who we have been, and who we want to be.”

Molly Wizenberg, food writer and blogger
So what does the future hold for FOOD and especially for food-themed composition?
We should create some form of a
group recipe project.

If I could add anything to the food online 1010 it would be that we should make our own recipe and then
assign each student to make another student's and then write about it.

“Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act
that should not be indulged in lightly.”

M.F. K. Fisher

One thing I would personally like to see is
some longer readings. . . . Something between 10 and 30 pages?
"Food [like writing] is essential to life; therefore, make it good."

S. Truett Cathy

"Without food, memories and time would be lost."

Tim T.
Beyond providing sustenance, food defines who we are. It connects us with other people, with culture, and with our environment.
As teachers and students together, we bring to the table our voices, our food for thought, and our appetite for learning.

We invite you to join the feast!
"Increasingly, the campus is being viewed as a place where students get credentialed and faculty get tenured, while the overall work of the academy does not seem particularly relevant to the nation's most pressing civic, social, economic, and moral problems. Campuses should be viewed by both students and professors not as isolated islands, but as staging grounds for action."
Boyer, E. 1996
Full transcript