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Goodbye Food for Thought

I don’t really know what I enjoyed about this class. I learned a lot about women’s agency, different cultures having to do with food, and advocacy. My takeaway from this class is hopefully a good grade and my final general education credits, as well as my bachelor’s degree. Mostly, I learned about thinking differently than how I was raised, and that it’s okay to think differently. I also learned a little bit about myself.

I will definitely not miss having 12 hours of homework every day and countless amounts of all nighters. I spent way too much time and effort in this gen ed class that I did not do as well as I had hoped in my final physics senior seminar class. I also did not appreciate the lack of organization and no assigned work ahead of time or a schedule. I work better under a set schedule and known due dates that are not arbitrary, and having work due the next day put a lot of pressure and stress on me. That may have helped others, however, who usually do all their work at the last minute. The assigned reading and annotating was also very stressful because I usually like to read for leisure. They could be tied into the curriculum more, such as more required reading quizzes, a requirement to put the reading into our writing, etc. The high amount of stress erased all memories of any fun I had in this class, if I had any fun. I honestly do not remember. The amount of work and stress I put in this class is highly comparable to the work I put into organic chemistry and quantum physics. A lower level gen ed class should not be at the level of those classes. I complain about workload too much.

I do love my professor, Professor Boaz, however. She is very caring and thoughtful of students, and she helps students in any way she can. She is very direct when we have conferences with her one on one, and really cares about her job. She is also a ray of sunshine and is fantastic at teaching. I had no idea what female agency was until I learned it from her. Only because of the professor, I’m glad I took this course.

One thing for certain, I will never look at food the same way again.

1 comment

  • Bonnie Boaz

    Yuri,
    I will say, first, that you often spent way too much time on readings and probably other assignments. You are a perfectionist and you like to do things well — which is what makes you such a wonderful student. But I really did not design this course to ask you to spend 12 hours every day (? surely not on this class alone?), and I was deliberate about how I structured the course to move you to a greater understanding about your relationship with food.

    I asked you to annotate the readings in Google cos as a way to read “together” and see the thoughts of your peers as you read. All readings were assigned to help you better understand the food issues we were discussing in class. What you “did with” the readings was take away understanding and insight, I hope. I encouraged all of you to use at least one of the readings from the course in your Unit 2 essay, if you recall. So the readings were there to help inform your writing. Also — all the models in the first Unit were to inspire your own writing of the food memoir.

    I always strived to give you plenty of time for each major assignment. I am sorry assignments were not laid out a month in advance, but I really prefer letting the students’ needs dictate the pace of the class. In Unit 2, for example, I pushed back the paper due date because I saw in conferences that some students needed more time. I try to be flexible enough to accommodate student needs. I really wish you’d asked me for assignments weeks in advance if you needed them. I could’ve told you generally what would be up ahead, and maybe that would have made it less stressful for you.

    I hope you learned something about food. Thanks for the kind words about me as a teacher. I love teaching and care deeply that I do it well. I’ve tried to respond to your concerns in this response, but feel free to stop in and talk to me further if you want to! Be proud of your excellent work in this course!

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