Richmond!

So for myself I was born and raised in Richmond and Richmond being a city in the south you eat a lot of “soul food”. The thing about Richmond is that crazy to think of all the types of food that is available in Richmond I know there’s the chain restaurants and what not, but there’s a lot of diverse cuisine. Being raised here in Richmond and having an Asian background I was raise eating you know Asian food throughout my life, and I mean my parents they both come from two different backgrounds both are Asian but are two different types. My dad’s type of cuisine is sort of sweet and savory while my mom is sour and vinegary. That being said as I grew up my taste change and shifted towards American food and all the greasy goodness that it brings. Richmond being a southern city that type of cuisine is completely different from say up North. So I got more adjusted so you know eating southern food like okra, never tried chitlins but knowing what they are I don’t think I will, I’ve eaten boiled peanuts and I love that stuff; I actually didn’t even know it was a southern type of cuisine, but I will mention there is one thing that the reading didn’t point out is being Southern was sweet tea.  Also like the reading said and I agree 100% with it being that soul food is amazing, those that say it isn’t are lying. Soul food is the bomb, I remember growing up me and my parents would always try to look for soul food places all over Richmond, we would spend hours just driving around the city looking for places. But also to talk about the cuisine of Richmond it’s also kind of has a seafood background too; since we’re right by the bay. Side note, I don’t know if this was just me but I remember me and my dad would drive around the East End of Richmond looking for people selling some spiced crab. But yeah, Richmond is a really diverse city when it comes to food, of course it’s got its southern roots but you could basically go down the block and find like a Jamaican spot or go down another block and find like a Korean barbecue place. I think with Richmond being a southern city is great because you have places that kind of want to infuse different types of culture with southern types of food and you come out with some amazing food. Like it’s really cool that Richmond is one of those types of city where it doesn’t necessarily have a signature culture to it but it’s always diverse; I’d compared it to Seattle, it’s one of the hipster type of cities. To bring back the topic of southern food that Richmond offers the only thing that I’ve noticed that Richmond doesn’t really have is a strong background for barbecue, it has Buz and Ned, Mission BBQ, Deep Run BBQ, etc. but it doesn’t have a distinct “Richmond” flavor like Memphis style or Texas style bbq. I love southern food and the sub category of soul food that comes with it, from the reading saying that soul food can only be cooked by African Americans are I’d say true. I mean I haven’t had soul food that was cooked by any other ethnicity that could even be compared to true authentic soul food. So of the things that the reading said were staples of southern food like fried green tomatoes were the only thing other than chitlins that I have not or probably won’t, fried green tomatoes just because I don’t like tomatoes and it being fried won’t help that case but chitlins is a whole another story. Richmond is one of those cities that I think are under looked just because it isn’t a huge city like Houston, D.C., or any metropolitan type of city.

 

My Family Dinner

A typical dinner for me Is usually a home cooked meal, me and my family eat at around 8ish or 9is because my dad gets off around this time. My mom really tries to push us to eat with my dad but sometimes my dad will work a little later so my little brother will eat before us. Usually I eat dinner with my family almost every night, some nights may be different depending if I’m working. Looking at this impacting my identity is kind of weird, I mean it does make me have more of a sense of family like wanting as much to do with family as possible. I can’t really say it has had an impact on my relationship with food but I can see where in some cases it can. Like in the reading it was eye opening saying that family meals are actually forced by societal forces and this could lead to pushing away family members from each other. The reading was shocking like I never looked at the lack of family meals could cause an increase in drug abuse, criminality rate, etc. I think that my mom having this way of eating dinner was good, it kept me and my family close but now it’s kind of gotten less and less because of the time it takes to have one. Usually now when I have dinner with my family we usually have the tv on and watch either some competition show or sports. It helps with conversation during the dinner; well for myself there really isn’t much to talk with each other say in a dinner without tv because my family usually talks about everything throughout the day and then there’s nothing to talk about at dinner. This is weird to think looking out, in because usually the concept of family dinners is imagined as talking about each other’s days, what you did, what you learned in school (this was the most annoying to me because I mean it’s school you retain the information but don’t want to explain it after a day of being stuck there), but you get the idea its usually a family that’s involved with one another’s life. The thing is this concept is conceptualized by society, I mean I’m not trying to speak for everyone but isn’t the best family dinners and meals usually associated with holidays? Thanksgiving…. Christmas? And think about this… these holidays are not really based around any real religion, it’s created by corporations and retail. Yes, Christmas is a religious holiday to most or even some but if you think about it the way Christmas is now the holiday is about receiving and giving gifts and celebrating being around family but to me my family doesn’t celebrate it because of its religious reason (it may be because of my ethnic background but cmon now) Society has really pushed the idea of family meals to help bring families together but from the reading it’s said that it actually drives people away. Causing arguments over what to eat, how the food taste, putting stress on the mothers and fathers having to choose certain groceries for their picky children. I’m not going to lie, I was a picky eater when I was younger and I see the stress it can put on parents, knowing that their children want to eat only a certain meal plan while having to cook another meal all together is stressful. Then after all that the idea of having leftovers and that just leads to more arguments. A typical dinner in today’s standard are hard to achieve, with time now being a huge constraint; everyone is on the go trying to save as much time as they can, the addition of picky eaters (children or adults), social issues (relationships). Family dinners are great don’t get me wrong but the reading really shows a lot of points of why it’s important and why it’s caused so many issues among families.

Processed Foods

Process food to me means food that has been made in factories or has gone through some process in factories. I just think this way because food that has been “processed” has undergone some sort of way that has made it last enough for shelf life plus the word itself just paints an image of factories and mass production. I would say about 85 to 90% of the food I eat is processed, the more that I reflect back on it, it doesn’t seem so appealing. To me I have no issue with processed food but I know in the long run it’ll catch up with me, like with that one discussion about eating healthy, we don’t want to make a change until something significant causes us to change. From the reading, it’s really eye opening to see how food has evolved throughout the years, the food that we eat left and right today is considered luxury type foods compared to the those in the past. I know that obviously, the foods we have today are completely different from those back in the day but the stuff that we would consider traditional foods still are under the classification of luxuries. Going natural food well that of the past or even know people view as nasty and disgusting, I mean when you get to the nitty gritty it is. Thinking that milk comes from cows and are excreted for calf and we drink that stuff but yet we add all this extra stuff like antibacterial, GMOs, and plus the process of pasteurization; but people back in the day and even now drink milk straight from the utters and most people would see that as disgusting (it is). Processed food is great for our time now just because of the amount of people that needs to be fed, there’s no possible way that back in the day that they could go back to traditional farming and production of food to sustain a planet that nearly has 8 billion people. In the reading, it even said that food would go bad quickly and there would be times of famine and struggles for food and short runs of food available. The reading said itself that the natural was unreliable and indigestible and I don’t think people would want that. It was weird to see that people that wanted natural or local food were classified or viewed as part of the poor; that might be just a mindset that we have now just because it’s an option for us now compared to then. The food back in the day when described in the reading seemed like they should be clumped together with hazardous waste, like if we were to eat it, it these foods it would cause discomfort and may kill us. I can see now that back then our digestive systems were much more tolerant then now; well in the sense of the dealing with raw or uncooked foods because the reading said that we as humans cooked and pummeled food to make it easier to digest. That also brings up an interesting question, like how do our bodies really digest stuff if the processed foods we eat undergo so many processes to allow for ease of digestion and how the chemicals they put in it actually reflect the concept of health.

Service Log

TOTAL: 20
DATE | HOURS WORKED | DESCRIPTION 
  • 1/28/2017 | 9 am to 12 pm (3) | Tilled the rows of land, created compost
  • 2/11/2017 | 9 am to 1 pm (4) | Put up the plastic film over the greenhouse
  • 3/02/2017 | 3:30  pm to 5 pm (1.5) | Moved compost and added moisture
  • 3/19/2017 | 10 am to 1 pm (3) | Cleaned greenhouse, replanted (red/green) lettuce
  • 3/23/2017 | 3 pm to 4 pm (1) | Discussed powerpoint plan, arranged an outline
  • 4/1/2017 | 12:30 to 4 pm (3.5) | Planted kale and other vegetables, filled trays with soil/manure mixture
  • 4/22/2017 | 9 to 12 pm (3) | De-weeded plots and replanted vegetables
  • 5/1/2017 | (1) | Worked on compost plan on google doc and group project

Hunger is it really there?

From my experience to be hungry is to basically just wanting food whenever your stomach is empty and you’re in need of food. I mean there isn’t much to the basic definition of hunger, whenever a person needs food is defined as hungry. There’s going to be different viewpoints on whether what point of when you’re hungry is different for others, my sense of hunger could be different from anybody else. I know there’s confusion though on what hunger can be defined as because someone can say that they’re hungry when they’re craving say ice cream after eating a meal but to some people that’s just craving food not actually being hungry. The way that Himmelgreen talks about hunger in the article is how hunger is viewed at from different viewpoints, from what I remember he talked about it from an economic standpoint and a racial standpoint. I can understand where he’s coming from when talking about hunger, I mean within the United States alone there are areas where there are food deserts scattered all over the place. The people that live in these areas are usually ethnic or financially well off or even both so the level of hunger they have are going to be different from my sense of hunger. I think that Himmelgreen did bring up the most basic aspects that cause hunger to individuals within the United States as well as it affecting the world. I think that the policy change that he brings up is important to help fight hunger plaguing the United States but from the way the government is spending the money they have it seems that this policy change won’t come anytime soon unless some major event were to happen. Especially with the change in presidency, the government spending will go towards the military, the medical care, oil, and etc. It seems that even though people within the United States are suffering from hunger the government will show only but so much aid to the people. There’s just so much going on around the world that the United States government has to put this issue at hand lower than maybe the security of the country. Most of the points Himmelgreen brings up can be seen first-hand when you go to larger cities around the United States as well as going to parts of the country where poverty is largely centralized. The people that are stricken with the dilemma of hunger are faced with a couple decisions to fix this, either live off government food stamps, go day to day working just to supply enough food for themselves, or go to soup kitchens if there’s any left. The hunger issue is very controversial in the sense at which people will label what is hunger; as I said before that my hunger will vary from what your viewpoint of hunger is, it’s in my opinion almost impossible to put a quantifiable aspect on hunger. I am sure that most people will say that hunger is when one person needs food for sustenance and not for simply just wanting food. I think that this is the hidden issue behind hunger because of say I finished my dinner and wanted deserts or wanted a snack after eating a whole meal and I were to say that this is hunger. That isn’t hunger that’s more along the lines of me being greedy and wanted more food or gluttony. To me I think that the best definition for hunger is being able to have enough were you are satisfied for the next couple of hours to balance out a three meal a day plan. I’m sure people will eat a whole meal, let’s say lunch then you want a snack afterwards some people will say or think in their mind after eating “oh I’m hungry, let me snack on this candy or chips. To me this isn’t hunger, at any way is it close to hunger, for one you’ve already eaten enough and I mean a snack is just a treat for yourself. There are people all around the world that would say that snack that one would eat is considered maybe a meal because of the fact that there’s a lack of food in their environment. Our concept or maybe the concept that the United States views of hunger definitely differs from those all around the world. I remember traveling to the Philippines when I was younger and seeing people living day to day eating barely enough was their way to fend off hunger while over here in the United States we go and overstuff ourselves with food and still say that we’re still hungry. Hunger is just one of those things that I think will probably never be able to quantify just because it varies from person to person and from location of where that person lives. Also, I wanted to bring up that topic of soup kitchens that Himmelgreen brought up. I’ve actually never seen a soup kitchen in Richmond before and to read in the article that soup kitchens are becoming sparse across the United States is disturbing. That topic when we talked about those living in poverty and having to buy these foods that are not healthy for our bodies is making the circumstance worse, because yes people are being fed but the thing is the food being bought aren’t necessarily the healthiest which causes health issues. I think this is also another issue that can bring into hunger because these foods will make you think that your full from eating anymore but in reality, they’re not. The foods like Professor Westcot, said are just making the situation worse for those living in poverty, these foods will keep those that live in poverty stuck in that situation and the idea that there is a poverty-stricken class will disappear making it seem like the problem of hunger is not really there but it’s just really being covered up to make it seem like the issue is not really there.

Watching TV

So, when I was watching TV I was watching carnival eats on the Cooking Channel. I mean the show already describes what the food is going to be, it’s not going to be essentially the healthiest food. So, The TV host goes around from state to state where ever there is a carnival festival going on and he just finds out what’s the coolest thing to eat. In the episode, he talks about finding somebody that makes kettle corn but using strawberry flavoring instead of the traditional caramel. When the cook was making the food, he didn’t even use like real strawberries he used fruit flavoring for most of the popcorn, but used a very small part of the strawberry and it was just for garnish. It’s funny because the only time that that it talked about the health of food as when it would come to commercials. The commercials ranged from cosmetics to cars to insurance. For the most part the commercials didn’t include any type of resemblance of sustainability, it actually was the opposite. Most of the commercials would hint towards living in the now, like buy our product because It’s convenient or buy or product because it holds a certain standard. There is one commercial about milk and all it was talking about regarding health, was that it didn’t contain any GMOs. The other commercial about health was actually a dog food commercial and all it said was they use fresh no preservative meats. When I was watching, I think will obviously since the TV show talks about carnival food is not going to show anything healthy, the only real healthy thing I saw was the toppings on like a burger. So, I understand where the TV show won’t show anything healthy but to be labeled “cooking” channel why isn’t there any emphasis on health? Like there’s all different types of health… there’s health thinking in the sense of fitness, there’s also health in appearance. Also, the advertisements really focused on cooking with mass produce products not just lettuce or tomatoes especially when it came to talking about like marinara sauce. I mean like as it was talking in the reading these brands create such ready to cook products that takes no effort to make for the consumer. It seems that the quality of the products is going down and the convenience of cooking it is going up. I think with technology advance so quickly, people’s lifestyle is following suit and are becoming much faster pace for them to sit at home and have a made from scratch meal. Also, it was odd to see so many different commercials on the cooking channel because whenever you tune into a channel that has a certain demographic; so like say the car channel having commercials relating to cars or like ESPN having commercials that talk about sports, for every food commercial there would be one or two commercials talking about something other than food. I mean the cooking channel did have some commercials that would show people how to cook a meal within a thirty-second-time frame. These commercials only showed up every so often, maybe once or twice in a thirty-minute program. These commercials showed some aspects of health but you can only do but so much in such a short time frame. I think that sustainability should be a larger concept for to focus on, but these channels don’t deem it important enough or actually use it as a selling point to help a product. I’m sure that these companies sit with a group of marketers talking about how can we sell this or that and what key words get people interested. Going off of that, I just realized that these companies just use certain aspects of their product to sell it better; like with the healthy concept, these companies can just say oh our product contains no GMO’s… is one hundred percent free range… or our product’s sales go to help out a foundation. These companies are just exploiting these descriptive attributes to sell their product better. Going back to the show, yeah it was entertaining to watch but most of the time these channels; especially cooking/food related channels cannot show “how to television shows” all day because their ratings would go down. I mean when you’re watching television you don’t really watch it for the informational aspect of it but more for the entertainment value. I was watching the cooking channel late at night and obviously, the channel isn’t going to show oh how to cook linguini at one in the morning, because whose up that late thinking hey I’m in the mood for some pasta let’s turn on the television to see how to. Also throughout the day well later in the day the content of television shows goes from informational cooking shows to more entertaining programs like competition cooking shows like Chopped or a bake-off competition. I mean that’s what television provides… entertainment, now if you want to figure out how to cook something you can go on your phone or a computer and simply google “how to cook…” and a billion options pop up. I think that these channels are trying to integrate more informational (teaching) television programs but the success of them (viewership) just isn’t there. That’s why you don’t see many “how to” cooking shows last, but maybe twenty to thirty episodes. I will say that the cooking channel isn’t the best option for finding out how to cook this and that even though it’s right there in the title of the channel. Maybe the food channel or there’s third channel that actually shows more how to cooking shows that the cooking channel, it’s so backwards but I’m sure that third channel is only available to those that pay for those thousand channel options. So I mean if you’re not paying for that then you’re never going to see the content and leaves viewers unaware of such aspects like health and sustainability.

Eating Healthy Blog #4

So with the meal I ate this week, I made baked salmon with baked asparagus, steamed rice, and a baked potato. I got all my ingredients from Kroger except for the rice and asparagus, the rice came from an Asian market store and the asparagus from Sam’s. I know that the salmon probably came from a farm on the east coast. I really don’t feel much emotions towards the fact that it came from a farm because for the most I usually view my meals and food at a cost instead of like the origins of it. I don’t have too much of a negative viewpoint on where my meal comes from. The asparagus obviously like any of the other ingredients came from a farm in the Midwest. I feel that the origin of this could’ve easily been farmed closer to where we live since asparagus doesn’t take too much land to grow. The packaging that it came in also indicated that it was farmed without all the GMO stuff so that’s always a plus, to me the whole GMO conflict doesn’t mean much to me. If I were to focus purely on what my food contains and where it comes from then I wouldn’t be in the shape, I am now. I would probably be skinnier and I’m trying to gain weight so eating anything and everything is goal for me right now. The potatoes like the asparagus came from a farm from the Midwest and was probably farmed using GMO’s. I think that knowing where your food comes from and what is used to grow it is great information and beneficial to those that want to know more but in my situation like I stated before is not relevant. I’ll keep eating these foods regardless if they are farmed “organically” or mass produced in a factory. To the best of my knowledge the rice was probably from an eastern Asian country, from what I’ve seen on the internet and television the farms are huge and are usually not machine operated. How I feel about this is that obviously it’s insane for someone to farm rice, it’s such a tiny thing that and so much has to farmed to get just a small portion for someone to eat. The people that farm the rice aren’t skilled workers but probably regular everyday people, the whole my great grandfather was a farmer and his grandfather was a farmer type situation. I think out of all the ingredients in my meal this was probably the most labor intensive ingredient. It is crazy to think that the all the ingredients for my meal came from hundreds of miles away and yet the food itself is still relatively fresh. Like I said before I don’t feel any type of empathy or real type of connection to my ingredients, like it’s terrible the way these farmers use GMO’s and certain techniques that make mass production farming non susceptible for the Earth. Like thinking about the fact that the salmon I ate was farmed in a tank for months at a time and the fish itself is stuck with hundreds of others doesn’t sound to appealing. It’s a terrible thing for the fish itself but to me being the consumer I don’t show much empathy but to the actual process behind growing/raising the fish is what leaves an imprint. These farms aren’t always out to make their products (fish) morally right or ethically right, most are out for the money so every little bit that they can save will impact the farm. I mean you see it in every industry out there, everyone is out to take shortcuts that will save them a little here and a little there, and what ends up happening in the end is the products are disgusting. I know that growing potatoes isn’t as time consuming or labor inducing as say the other ingredients in my meal, so I don’t feel too much about where that comes from. I think with the introduction of urban farms into cities where land is available is a great thing moving forward. We talk about it now with Richmond being a food desert and I think that this farm over at Fairfield Middle School will help out not in a huge way but it will make an impact. Going back to the farming of the salmon, to my knowledge there only way to get salmon is either farming them in mass production or catching them in the wild. I wouldn’t mind eating salmon that was caught out in the wild compared to those farmed, I’m sure that it actually tastes better but I think for most people including myself the issue isn’t really taste at this point but an economic standpoint. Salmon already as it is, isn’t all that cheap to begin with, I think it came to about twenty dollars total for maybe about eight small pieces. So going out and looking for salmon that caught out in the wild, I can only imagine how much it cost plus you have the whole “organic” label that drives the price up even more. To most people groceries aren’t really bought really on taste but more on convenience and like I said before price. Also to note about the food and how people purchase them, the reason why the food we find in the grocery stores that appeal visually are most likely altered to look that way to make them more purchasable. I have seen it on television and documentaries where they add food coloring and even add chemicals (GMO’s) that will add certain antibacterial properties when eaten. I think that for the most part for now, my decision currently is going to be based on economically instead of the whole morally/ethical ways behind the food themselves. I know it’s not the greatest way to look at it since being in this class but for the most part it’s going to be this way until something changes in my lifestyle.

Blog # 2

So with the article itself I found it very interesting, it talks about the sustainability of agriculture and how that has an impact on our lives ourselves as well as the lives of the future. It also went to talk about moral beliefs and concepts such as utilitarianism. All of which were very relevant to the topic of sustainability, this actually ties back to part of my major; that being marketing, we discussed sustainability and how to properly and efficiently market to consumers. Sustainability is come in throughout any topic that that will be discussed worldwide it could go from politics to agriculture to economics. The idea of sustainability is very important for those in the future, in the article it it talks about a lot of having to deal with morality of whether or not one should care about the future lives or not. I believe that sustainability is very important and the future of the earth as well as the lives that live on it are going to be very dependent on the food sources that are becoming less and less available. I remember watching a documentary on how agriculture and the world’s food consumption has affected everything on it. This issue of sustainability is is becoming a more relevant topic as years go on due to climate change as well as the ever-growing population that was also discussed in the article. They were statistics saying in the documentary that more than 60% of the United States is purely focused on agriculture and that of raising cattle and fruits and vegetables. what I think people don’t realize is that with the increasing amount of people on the earth the amount of resources that have to be put to support their population is dwindling and the research that we are using are not renewable. also in a documented it showed a farmer that showed a proper way of actually raising cattle instead of having to bunch them all together and have them raise like a manufacturing plant. The process was very simple and a sense of where it was just like back in the day when farming was less a processing line and more a natural process. Coming back to the topic of dwindling resources over on the West Coast in Middle America this is where most of the farming is done and in that area’s it’s been shown that the water supply is dwindling very quickly and is not being able to replenish it as quickly as it is being used. I remember in the documentary and talked about how farmers were using a drip system to water their crops, The farmers actually said that the written method was not actually working well enough with the resources that they were using (water). The farmers themselves even said that last year was one of the worst droughts since I believe the 1950s. I think with the moral issue with dealing with future lives needs to be addressed, in the article it discuss a lot about how future lived need to be accounted for when thinking about sustainability. This is true and I’ve seen it in a lot of the news that governments are beginning to implement a more sustainable sense of agriculture as well as using resources, in the past years before now a lot of governments would only think about the now especially with resources like oil, water, and food. These resources will eventually run out if government agencies do not implement a strategy to fix the situation. I think there are a lot of factors that also affect the sustainability of agriculture that wasn’t mentioned in the article. Those of such that are like economic issues, political issues, and topics of science like global warning. I remember seeing on the news that there is a lake or a large body of water in one of the countries in South America I believe it was Brazil or Argentina. The large body of water had dried up and the country itself could not find a reliable source of water and the citizens of the country were actually protesting in writing for resources because of the fact that they had no more water. Some economic issues that affect countries and the resources that you need to become sustainable or find solutions to non-renewable sources are relatable to countries like Russia. I’m not sure if this is 100% true but I remember hearing something about Russia having economic issues with the resource of oil and it’s dwindling supply in Russia causing them to wage war against a country like Syria where oil is abundant, which now headlines the news with the war with Russia and Syria. This is just one of the economic issues and it kind of ties into political issues. Sustainability in my opinion is the key to the survival of the human race on Earth. I remember seeing on the news that there is a college that began developing a way to replicate a burger without having to raise cattle. I believe the process was similar to something I have a 3-D printer where the device would print proteins and build up a small burger, the Science is trying to burger and ruled it similar to an actual burger. The reason I bring this up is because it goes back to the topic of sustainability, this can be an alternative to avoiding the more mass production of meat and fruits and vegetables without having to take up more land. Land is a very important resource to that of sustainability because with the growing population it will take more land to raise more cattle to sustain that. Also with the raising population the demand for food is also increasing the demand for cheaper food. This is also the reason behind the issue of sustainability, we’re starting to treat agriculture like a factory and we’re not realizing the effect it has on the environment around us. With dealing with factories there’s always going to be a good output and bad output, with raising cattle you have to keep in mind the amount of waste that comes from the animals themselves. The amount of methane that is produced from the cattle themselves also contribute to global warming issue. There was a news article where I believe in North Carolina they had a pig raising farm and there’s an issue where the farm was close to a river that was used as a water supply and the pigs waste was very close to the water supply, and you could easily contaminate the water supply for the cities nearby. The sustainability of agriculture is very complex, there are so many factors that contribute to sustainability as well as factors that harm other aspects of life.

Blog Post #1

So far the only thing that I know about the service requirement for the class is that it is technically not voluntarily, but it is a part of a system that the college is trying to get more and more students to partake in a process of being a responsible student. When I read the article it displayed valid points that supported the idea, but it didn’t really give me a sense of security that the service was really needed. I understood the part that doing these service type classes will help ready students to be citizens but there was no real support that would benefit myself other than the citizen concept. Don’t get me wrong I’m all about helping the community in any way possible but the pros to cons are equivalent. Some of the hopes that I have about the service is just being able to help the community by providing food for those that cannot either obtain or afford it. I also am looking forward to the actual service itself, this is the first time that I’ve had a class that isn’t based around the standard curriculum where you sit in the class go chapter after chapter. I like the idea that I’m able to get credit towards my degree while going out and helping the community at the same time. I really don’t have any fears about the service itself but a concern I have not necessarily with the service itself but again with the course requirement of twenty plus hours. I understand that I should be able to complete this even without going to the actual farm itself in Fairfield but with everything going on currently I’m not sure if I will be able to achieve the twenty. I am also interested in the business aspect of the service since I am a marketing major, it will be a learning experience for sure. Some other aspects that have caught my attention are the things that will contribute to the twenty hours outside of the farm itself, what kind of work will it be? Will it be spreadsheet type work? Will it be developing a plan for future students of the class? How will the students at Fairfield Middle School be incorporated in the farm and how will we as a class interact with the students? Some more hopes that I have about the service is that it will teach me more about the community itself because I actually did not know that Richmond had urban farms. I actually hope that my contribution to the farm will help with the development of future farms spread throughout Richmond. I’ve seen urban farms out in cities like Detroit and Los Angeles and the concept is really interesting and a great contribution to community where poverty is prominent. I hope that the service will give me a new insight on the community as well as views on the world itself. I hope that my contribution will help bring more awareness to those that were once in my shoes and help bring the community together. My previous experiences that I’m bringing to the service itself is partially relevant to it, it actually ranges from retail experience to manual labor. I myself don’t have an issue with doing hard labor, I’ve worked in positions where there’s dirt and grime and having to lift/move objects constantly. I don’t know how my retail experience will contribute into the service, I hope that I can somehow find a way to do so. I think that some of my experiences helps make the service experience seem less like a chore and more enjoyable. I know that some people will see the service this way and I understand that to some labor is just not their cup of tea but I guess the best way to make it enjoyable or even tolerable is to remember that the service on the farm is helping others in the community and is not just a mundane task for school. Also an interesting point that came to mind is, I know that Richmond in general has crazy weather patterns. So when the weather ends up on the worse end for a long period of time and the ability to service on the farm is inaccessible, what type of things will be doing outside of the actual service. Will we be going to the farmer’s market and helping the middle school with the sales? Will there be days where service on the farm is available during the week instead of just the weekend? What other obstacles that the farm itself faces other than the obvious weather situation? Jumping to the end of the course; will there be opportunities after this semester to help out on the farm? Jumping back to the relevance of my major and its contribution to the service; I would like to see some sort of way to incorporate this into the farm. I know that this service on the farm will help myself grow more as a person and also give me more insight/aspect on the world around us. From the first class when Troy; I think that’s his name, explained the farm and its contribution to the city I think helped solidify my comfort in actually doing service learning. My knowledge coming into the service learning as previously explained will help, I’m sure for the majority of the service learning. If it’s manual labor then yeah, there’s not going to be a problem with that. When I signed up for the class I first thought it would be a food “wellness” class emphasis on wellness being like what to eat, how such and such pertains to our health. I think the best thing to do when going into something new; because being a business major I was not expecting this, is to go into this with an open mind and try not to grovel while I am there. There’s really no point in being miserable working towards the twenty hours, might as well make the most out of it and have fun.

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