‘final’ Blog post :/ :))

This semester has been interesting yet fruitful to say the least. Looking back a lot of what we did and were asked to do makes more sense in seeing how one thing lead to the next. The investigatory nature of the Pollan readings, for instance, helped in setting the ‘tone’ and getting us in the ‘go getter’ mindset.

In my ‘you will eat all of that’ blog post I illustrate this further…. http://rampages.us/mcmastere/2014/10/21/you-will-eat-all-of-that/“That then redirects my focus to the possible association of ‘power struggle’ to forced food consumption. Meaning at the root of it all there is much more to the situation then is brought to the surface…”

In association with the ‘go getter’ mindset ‘collaboration’ was a key component within this semester’s framework (obviously). In my post about Carl Kleiner’s food photography I highlight this: “This work was a collaborative effort, which is now causing me to be inspired to work with another person on a piece…. food photography, when done well, is actually rather awesome (in my opinion).”


Something especially ingrained in my memory are the times in which speakers came to talk to us. Two that stick out are the service learning lady and Terrence Walker. Initially I thought I knew what service learning was, but she truly did prove me wrong in that I hadn’t until then acknowledged it’s true ‘depth’. I thought it was an added touch for her to give us all notepads because generosity, in my opinion, is crucial in credible service work.

She stated that service work  “enhances a sense of civic responsibility.”http://rampages.us/mcmastere/2014/10/22/what-is-service-work/:

“Civic, was a word that I was particularly struck by. The speaker was very receptive to my response and as well as overall engaged with conversation in whole. She pointed out that service learning is a hand on practice and an opportunity to learn actively. A classmate of mine added to the list by stating that it is also ‘free labor’. All of which are good and valid points.

 photo 2 


Another thing I will be taking from this class is a better understanding of what it means to ‘take initiative’. Initiative in the context of service work is as i’m coming to realize EVERYTHING– it can do so much!

An example of a little ‘overestimated initiation ‘s exhibited here: “Elizabeth said that I should put the apron on since ‘i am cooking’ (i felt very special) and so I did which then naturally meant well then I should be the one to take the fries out of the oven… a simple task yet I created a little trouble when the excess sugar/oil mixture dripped off of the pan as I was taking it out. This little ‘drippage’ thus caused a frantic scare of whether or not the smoke alarm was going to set off.” 

However, all was okay seeing as our group efficiently handled the situation! (took initiative)


Back to the ‘collaboration’ mention, getting a long well with others has definitely been an ongoing expectation this semester…. Of course polite behavior should be an expectation in any case however in this context it really does or did have the potential to make or break the situation…. Fortunately our group vibed well together and like Ella previously mentioned we really did have a good time with the group me app! (thanks Alexandria) ha ha I might bug them all next semester despite the class being over… I appreciate their diverse range of personalities…


“Everyone appeared to be having a good time. The environment was light and cheerful. For me, personally, the environment is crucial when making art. So A++ too us!”

Another cool thing about this class and the service work component is given that we are all different and all possess different strengths and weaknesses we truly all were given the chance to let our ‘strengths’ be acknowledged and recognized. y’know what I mean? for example Ella’s ‘ad’ was really excellent and in turn earned her well deserved ‘props’ for a skill she is fortunate enough to possess (probably requires a lot of effort on her end). This ideology is also true when referring to Aster’s legendary video…. simply fabulous… highlighting her talent which we all are aware has come from persistence and dedication!

To juxtapose this I will bring up our meme assignment which everyone seemed to really go all the way with…except for me…. :/ ha why was that? who knows!

IMG_20141202_021134-300x169 IMG_20141202_021156-225x300

(my group members creations)

On the social media platform the ram pantry really allowed me the opportunity to practice my ‘customer service voice’ as in the type of voice the receptionist (i think thats what they are called) at hotels speak in… the effortlessly charming, kind, easygoing attitude they all ‘portray’ while on ‘duty’. The ram pantry has given me the chance to really take responsibility and do the job. Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 11.08.58 PM  Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 11.14.28 PMScreen Shot 2014-12-07 at 11.16.10 PMScreen Shot 2014-12-07 at 11.17.04 PM

I feel grateful and privileged to have received the valuable exposure to what’s out there and what’s going on via the ram pantry. The research I did on food advocacy groups is research I do not think would have resonated like it had, had it not been delivered on the ram pantry ‘platform’. Seeing its ‘real world application’ and  ‘value’ really helped in my understanding.

That applies to the people who work/volunteer/work at the pantry. Really not any different then myself. Basically I could be in that situation, however my situation does not demand for it. Working at the pantry has also helped me in connecting to the school as a whole, not in a portion or in a restricted denomination of vcu but it in its entirety. Something I hoped to gain the second I chose to register for the class– completely unaware of the extent or magnitude of which this wish was going to be fulfilled.

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