Author Archives: Alexandria

Final Reflection Post

As the semester is ending, it is 100% safe to say this class was not at all what I expected. This was easily the busiest semester I have experienced thus far with eighteen credits, and working close to forty hours per week. This was  constant struggle I had adapting to a service learning class. I was pessimistic at times because I didn’t eel the switch was fair. I would have much rather enrolled in this class during a time I would have been able to contribute more time and really more energy into the Ram Pantry. As we mentioned in class, the course write-up should certainly be updated.
Looking past that, this class did have a lot to offer learning wise. I probably never would have signed up for a serve class knowingly, so it may be a blessing in disguise the way this course unfolded.
Service learning gave us real life scenarios and obstacles to overcome, making the learning service more wholesome. Pleasing clients is something each and every one of us is going to have to do at our “fresh out of college entry level” positions in the near future. I, especially, will be dealing with clients as  PR major. I remember Mrs. Boaz pointing this out to me mid-semester as I complained about my tedious workload and literature class’s huge novels.
When the Ram Pantry group first got together I was VERY overwhelmed. Everyone in the group had strong personalities and leadership qualities that made me shut down.. but after a couple classes of sorting things out, we began our sampling every Wednesday. Our efforts of sampling were to not only inform more people of the Ram Pantry, but also show them that they can get healthy food there, and eat healthy on a budget, or to try something they never had before! Our group, however, was very large, and may have been more productive if it had been slightly fewer people.
Terrence, coordinator of the Ram Pantry, always seemed pleased! We did have some issues with communication, but he’s busy, and we’re busy, and we were still always getting something done even if it wasn’t all that we had wanted. I learned from this course that pleasing the client has to be number one, whether you want to do something else or not. I saw this in the Re-Establish Richmond group, and I saw this when the issue of painting the bins came up. I, personally, would have suggested consistent in the bins so that people would be able to identify them all over, but that is not what Terrence wanted so I needed to accept that. This is going to be an especially important skill as I enter the PR field.
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I feel successful in our work for the Ram Pantry because I feel like A LOT more people are talking about it. I enthused to all my friends, spoke about it in other classes, and I know other group members did the same. The social media has been attended to and established a following, and I will ALWAYS retweet the pantry.
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As the semester ended, we experienced a bit of a time cramp. The list of makes would be a great thing to introduce the class with in the beginning of the semester because it provided me with a list of work I could do to publish on my blog and brainstorm for my client. In our seamster, the end was just too near to complete them all, especially some of the more extravagant ones. In class makes were the most fun:the food art, and the memes. My favorite thing about the food art was that the class was divided up and it seemed like each group was approaching it differently. Ella was smashing the cupcakes all over her hands (abstract hehe) while Aster was elegant and professional. I think the way we used these arts for our clients evoked personalities. Taylor Thompson had once mentioned to me that she liked the voice of the twitter account because it sounded young — I think using Ella’s smashed cupcake hands meme matched up with that voice, but using steers VCU veggies as the header reminds everyone on the page that it is a serious worthwhile cause. Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 1.19.17 PM
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As I mentioned in my presentation, I was much more motivated in the beginning of the semester receiving positive feedback from everyone. When the other food pantry were shouting us out and sending us love I was so excited to be contributing and showing Terrence how worth while social media can be. I wish that we could have been in quicker contact with Terrence because instances when the man messaged me about the food drive, or the woman about the baby formula, the responses were usually much to last. People are immediate these days, and thats the point of social media. It needs to be outputted immediately and responses need to be rapid. I wish that our class could have used the man’s food drive suggestion instead of him taking it to Terrence because it was something we talked about all semester but never quite got to execute.
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Aside from all of the volunteering and client work, the class also gave me new outlooks on the food industry. I’ve always felt guilty eating certain fast foods, but now i just feel disgusting, I cannot forget the one day a girl came into class eating it!!!! I don’t remember who, but I was like HOW CAN YOU after all we know. McNuggets might be a dollar, but so is a tomato (at the right place) unless you go to the Ram Pantry, in which its FREE.
The technology of the class was a struggle at times as well. The blogs were fairly inoperable in the beginning of the semester, but i ultimately had to chose to just have mine be a chronological queue of the work I had done, because the heading organizations never quite worked right. My phone won’t put up my videos to my laptop, and my login and password won’t work on my phone for me to mobile blog. I think if I had been able to access my blog on my phone it would have received much more attention. The video make with the recipe couldn’t upload. I made a mexican chip dip one night, and the next morning I made french toast, but I used Jimmy John’s wheat bread and it was so delicious. I recorded both of these times and couldn’t get my phone to send, message, email, or upload via the wire at all. In upcoming semesters, it may be a good idea to switch blog platforms or work out some of the kinks we experienced this semester early on.
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My final thoughts on the course are ultimately positive. I gained experience working for a nonprofit which is something i’ve been considering with PR since declaring my major. I did  a lot of undocumented research throughout the semester on nonprofits social media, and public relation goals, which I will now be using to help a friend of mine’s startup non-profit. I am thankful for being forced into a great learning experience.

Make #7

An info graph that the client would be able to use.

 

This one’s numbers may not be entirely accurate because REAL research was not conducted, but it is a good average estimate. This info graph also allows people to see their limits on each category of items that the pantry offers. These are the core categories but we know they also have hygiene supplies as well as spices, etc.

 

Also, because the field had so mud trouble inserting, i resorted to taking a screenshot of it from the website:

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Ram Pantry Meme

I thought of this uhh.. right now as I’m eating this pasta working on this homework and some others :)

 

I also used this to tweet that the pantry is running low on pasta!

 

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Preparation for Make 1

Looking through images of food art, my favorites were the ones that created actual pictures & images with the food. I ad the impression that most food art would be abstract and just arranged in an aesthetically pleasing way.

 

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Two ideas (Midterm/benefits Ram Pantry)

 

There are many healthy substitutes that can be used making brownies. In our garden at home, zucchini always grows rapidly all at once leaving us with a surplus of zucchini — so we make EVERYTHING with zucchini. Zucchini sliced up can be used in brownies instead of eggs or oil. Of course, made form scratch brownies would be much better because we really don’t know what’s in that powder  box mix.
Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix:
Sugar, Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour (Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Vegetable Oil Shortening (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Propylene Glycol Mono- and Diesters Of Fats, Mono and Diglycerides), Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate). Contains 2% Or Less Of: Wheat Starch, Salt, Dextrose, Polyglycerol Esters Of Fatty Acids, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Cellulose Gum, Artificial Flavors, Xanthan Gum, Maltodextrin, Modified Cornstarch, Colored with (Yellow 5 Lake, Red 40 Lake).
Think about making a cake from scratch usually consists of vanilla extracts, flour, etc but only maybe 11-12 ingredients. Never would you say, oh we need a teaspoon of Polyglycerl Esters of Fatty Acids. NEVER. So even if it is desert, its still healthier.
Aside from the evils of boxed desert mixes, i think (and I wouldn’t mind spending  a few dollars to purchase and prepare) we should prepare brownies three different ways. One from box mix with typical ingredients, and either, one from box w/ substitute ingredient, or one made from scratch. The variations will need to be discussed ith the class and what they would prefer. The idea is to compare the different tastes to prove that substitues can produce the same results, and/or that homemade produce much better results. This comparison is also something I would like to incorporate at the Ram Pantry.
for more information on the breakdown of whats in box mixes see here:

http://www.organicauthority.com/health/whats-actually-in-boxed-cake-mixes-anyway.html

My second idea  was to evaluate some of our own eating habits! I, personally, am a commuter and find myself eating a lot. With our assignment from the other day, to evaluate our favorite meal eating out I can stop thinking about this every time i purchase something out. This morning, I purchased a Fiji water from Wawa. I thought what is added to this water to make it 2.29?? I remember in high school when i preferred the water, but I hadn’t had it in a while. I really only purchased it because i prefer the size and shape of the bottle to refill and haul around. Turn out, after googling it that these water bottle cause a lot of controversy (Which you will be able to read about on my blog soon)> Currently I am drinking a monster (no sugar/zero calorie.) I drink these very often— before every shift to be exact. I think it’d be interesting to research odd and end products we consume everyday aside from focusing on fast food meals. The class could then com are and further awareness on a lot of different products. The more our lass is educated the better we can help our clients.

Fiji – $$$$$

Why is Fiji water 15¢ a liter?? False advertising encourages consumers to purchase the product and flaunt around the pretty, square-shaped bottle.

Today, i bought a Fiji water at Wawa having not had one since around middle school time. I’ve been making efforts to go back to drinking water and not so much soda, so I thought, I’ll buy the fiji water so I’ll have the big bottle to refill throughout the day.

Apparently, the water comes from the islands of Fiji through, and from the bottom at that. The company has been sued previously for claiming that the water is carbon-negative.

The carbon negative campaign was fueled by Fiji’s drive to create a more environmental sound way to package and transport the water. However- this is false advertising.

“But nowhere in Fiji Water’s glossy marketing materials will you find reference to the typhoid outbreaks that plague Fijians because of the island’s faulty water supplies, the corporate entities that Fiji Water has set up in tax havens like the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg, or the fact that its signature bottle is made from Chinese plastic in a diesel-fueled plant and hauled thousands of miles.” (mercola)

While I didn’t find specific issues with the water that Fiji exports, I did question whether I want to buy and support a company that has malicious intents and exports water for profit from a country that’s residents hardly have access to filtered water.

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/10/27/What-You-Didnt-Know-About-Fiji-Water.aspx

http://hbr.org/product/FIJI-Water–Carbon-Negati/an/611049-PDF-ENG