Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tradition--You are what you eat

Food. Much more than just mere sustenance, the food we eat says a lot about our values, cultures, beliefs, and traditions.

Consider Thanksgiving. What are the traditional foods that we eat and what are the origins of that tradition? Some of it, like turkey, dates back to Plymouth Rock and the Pilgrims while other traditions come about because somebody just happened to bring something that others wanted again and again. Even a dish with a name like "The Pink Stuff" can make it as a tradition in a family dinner.

What about "weird" foods? What's the strangest thing you ever ate? Fish? Seaweed? Calves' brains? Yet what is odd and worthy of a reality show here in the US might be the most mundane or a sought after delicacy somewhere else (for example, balut--chicken embryos eaten straight out of the shell).

Now let's think about it from yet another angle. Take fast food. How has the appearance of fast food on virtually every major intersection changed the way we live our lives? We all know that it has an impact on our health. But more than that, how does this type of food affect our lifestyle? Instead of having to go grocery shopping, spend hours cooking, eating, and cleaning up, we can now whisk through the driveway and be done with a meal in an hour. Mealtimes are less about family time around the table, but rather rushed affairs in between soccer practice and homework in the back of the mini-van.

So clearly, food has cultural significance and impact. It can bring people together and it can drive them apart. Take a look at our blogs for our collective experiences and thoughts on the roles of food in our lives.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Blogs of Note: Community

English 101D is a community. And many members within our community are also members in a whole range of other intriguing communities. Check out our blogs of note for this time: Drum roll, please!

Have a look at christian d, vanessa f, peter g, jonathan g, and cj t. We were treated to some fabulous insights about the foster parenting, facebook, church and gym communities, bus riding, driving, and even a bridal salon. Interesting stuff! We can begin to connect the dots for the function of communities in our lives by reading such a variety. Tanks!

Lolly and Andrea love cruising the blog because that is where we feel we hear your authentic voice (we talk about voice and audience all quarter). You seem relaxed, thesis-free (although there is usually one lurking in your prose), and joyous participants in the world. We also appreciate the range of your experiences, including work, church, fitness, online connections, dog ownership, and passions. Thanks!

Great job, everyone!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Blogs of Note--The Wallet!

Have you noticed that Blogger has a constantly changing list of "blogs of note"--blogs they single out for the excellent job they do with their site? They've now introduced over a thousand, and we thought we'd take a cue from them to do the same with some of your blogs.

For their well-presented, well-written answers to the question of "What's in your wallet?", we present to you the following notable postings: christian d, jaimee f, jonathan g, matt m, cj t, and crystal y.! These folks had lots to say and really helped us to get to know them. Their postings sparkled with concrete and specific details, a strong voice (and often humor), and substantive content.

There were lots of interesting postings--we loved the lists you included (you seem to have lots of room available) and the consistencies (i.e. Starbucks cards, Costco and bank cards). This activity, along with "The F-word" encapsulate issues of identity, don't they?
The content in so many of these postings was amazing--you had stories to tell and showed us interesting pieces of your "wallet" lives.

The blogs are important in our course because they introduce students to issues of voice and audience. We see an informal tone, appearances of humor and satire (as well as sarcasm) and a strong sense that you are writing for your peers rather than a more academic (please do not think "stuffy") audience of nit-picky imaginary English professors. We love the variety!

Go ahead and check them out. Great job, everyone!
Lolly and Andrea

Thursday, March 31, 2011

What's in your wallet?

Have you ever found a wallet or a purse and had to examine its contents in order to identify the owner? Based on what you discovered, you probably made assumptions about the owner and his or her identity. If we found your wallet or purse, what assumptions would we make about you?

In your first blog posting you will write about how the contents of our wallets help construct an image of our identities, what assumptions someone might make about our personalities and values, and what people would miss about us because they judge us on the things they see without a context.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Here We Go into the Blogosphere!

Welcome to the Remixzone for our English 101D class. As the name implies, this is a space where old and new ideas mix, mingle, and come out looking just a little different than before.

During this quarter, we will explore a range of topics and ideas within our major themes of identity, community, and tradition. This blog exists as a border zone of sorts: partly academic, but also partly personal, as it's your space to make your own. It's also a space where you can meet and mingle with students from our class outside of a traditional, online environment.

For the next ten weeks, we will be blogging about a few different things: what can we really learn about someone without even ever meeting them? Where are our communities? And what does what we eat say about us? The quarter will culminate in a lovely e-portfolio posted in your blog space, consisting of your choices of writing from the quarter, which you'll definitely want to stick around to see and do.

Let us introduce our space a bit. Look up and you'll see where we, the instructors, are, hoping to prove we exist in a 3-D world with our 2-D photo. We're really excited you're here and look forward to many great blogs to come. On the sidebar is where the ghosts of English 101D hang out in the Alumni section, previous blogs from students of the past to help you in case you're in need of inspiration. We have kept some exemplary e-portfolios in this section as well so you can get some ideas about possibilities. And finally, you'll find all the students of our current class listed. To access their blog, simply click on their name. (Make sure you enter the blog from your browser and not the class link.) So as you can see, the Remixzone is really a hub for all your blogs.

Come back to this site often to see the development of our thoughts on these important issues confronting our society today. Feel free to leave us a message and let us know what you think about what's going on and to do the same for each other.
P.S.Want to know the magic word? It's BigtimefunEnglish class!

Looking forward to a great quarter!
Andrea and Lolly

Welcome to the English 101 Blog!

Left to right: Andrea Wells-Edwards and Lolly Smith