Pink Slime: on the way out?

There have been a couple of stories about “pink slime” on the local news in the last few days. Since I know from your blogging that some of you found this interesting (and…oogy) I thought I’d share this article with you:

Kroger, Stop & Shop join ‘pink slime’ exodus

Required post, week of 3/27

For this week’s required blog, I want you to revisit the portfolio 2 assignment sheet and evaluation criteria. Consider your current drafts in light of these documents. What do you think is strong about your draft?

Consider what needs revising (strengthening audience and purpose): Does this fulfill the purpose of  (an annotated bib? a review of lit?) as we have discussed them? Do you share the research, teaching us why this is important/what it means in terms of your research question, as you go? Do you integrate quotes and paraphrases carefully, instead of “plopping” them in? Do you cite carefully (important for this text to function as it should, especially with an academic audience) and in an academic style, including both in-text and work cited/bibliographic citations? Do you use the sources to build your argument? Do you include a thoughtful statement of purpose and audience for the final project?

Consider what needs editing (strengthening “correctness”): Do you notice any patterns of error–surface errors (like comma splices, run ons, etc.) that you make repeatedly?

What grade would you give your drafts right now? How could you improve upon them?

Required post, week of 3/20

Your required blog post this week is to share with us a kind of map, or overview, of your research to date, along the lines of what we were doing on the board in class last Thursday.

I want to know: what perspectives on the issue and/or views if the involved have you accounted for? what questions or concerns still need to be answered? what information might your reader need as background, or evidence? Do you have all of the things you need? what holes need to be plugged in your research? Where/how should you look for these items? (Think–who would be writing on the issue? where/how would they publish? What keywords would help you find these sorts of texts, and the kinds of authors and perspectives on the issue you need?)

Remember, you should do two more posts between 3/20 and 3/26, on topics of your choice, related to the work of the course. Consider how to use these to help you progress in your work on your research, annotations, review of lit, and/or reflection. Consider using one to prep for, or unpack what happened in, your writer’s conference. (You could, for example, make note of the feedback you got on your drafts, and make plans for how you’ll respond to that feedback.)

Conferences, 3/20-22

Signing up:

Sign up for a time in class on 3/13 and 15. As times fill, I’ll type up the schedule–check below to find out who your group mates are.

If you missed sign up, consult the schedule below. You can join the wiki, and add yourself to the schedule, or email me letting me know which open time you want. (NO MORE THAN 3 per slot please. If no available times work for your school/work schedule, let me know and we’ll work something out.)

We all understand that those with earlier conference times will probably have less developed drafts than those at the end of things. Do not let this stop you from signing up for an “early” conference time. In fact, if you’re really stuck on this project, I’d advise signing up for the early part of the week to help you get started fruitfully.

Before the conference:

NO LATER THAN 36 HOURS BEFORE YOUR CONFERENCE, email me AND each group mate a copy of your drafts (whatever stage they are at) of the annotated bib and review of lit. Read their drafts, making marginal comments as appropriate. (Here’s how to do that using MSWord.) Fill in this worksheet for EACH group mate’s review of literature.

When you receive drafts: read each, and use the “track changes” feature to make comments in the margins. Answer the feedback form I’ve given you. (You’ll bring these things to the conference. Keep reading….)

On the conference date:

I’ll meet you in my office, 239C Dial. Bring a print copy of the review of lit (don’t worry about printing the bib, as it can be quite lengthy) and your notes/suggestions/comments/etc. on each colleague’s work OR email commented-upon drafts and the worksheet back to the authors, and bring those electronically to aid you in discussion.  We’ll discuss each draft in turn. The author will not be permitted to speak, at first. The draft will, like all writing, eventually have to stand on its own merits; we’ll start practicing that now. Your group mates will lead the conversation, telling you what all, good and bad, they saw in your draft, and suggestions for next steps. They’ll hand off their notes, and then you, the author, will get a chance to talk about your draft and ask us questions.

Conference schedule

All conferences are scheduled Tuesday 3/20, Wednesday 3/21, and Thursday 3/22 from  9 am to 5 pm in Dial 239C. Since I will be conferencing all week, and you will be busy preparing for the conference, completing your research, and polishing drafts of your bib and review of lit to hand in on 3/29, we will not meet as a class 3/20-22.

Tuesday 3/20 Schedule

Wednesday 3/21 Schedule

Thursday 3/22 Schedule

How to get more out of Google:

Required post, week of 2/27

Your assigned blog post this week (due by next Monday at latest) is to share at least one annotation of a source, including citation.

You are still responsible for 3 blogs postings weekly as we continue work on portfolio 2. I’ll give you one prompt a week. Consider how to use the other two blog posts each week to do/think through your research project in some way. Some ideas: brainstorm what question to answer/group perspective/source to look for next, and where/ how to look for it; Reflect on how two or more sources are “in conversation” with one another; Consider what you’ve found out so far and respond to your research question; Write “installments” towards the portfolio 2 reflection, considering what you’ve worked on this week, what you’ve learned, what you need to do next….  What other ways can you use the required blogs to help get your work done? Leave ideas in the comments to help your classmates, if you feel inspired to do so!

for 2/23: research project proposal

To begin your research and writing project for the term, you need to choose a topic, develop a research question, and write a project proposal. The purpose of the project proposal is to share your idea with your colleagues and I, so we can offer feedback and guidance. Your proposal is due before your class time on Thursday, February 23rd.

Your proposal should be at least 500 words in length, and should:

  • Identify the topic, and your initial research question.
  • Tell us a bit about the topic and research questions, and why it’s a problem worth addressing. Your goal here is to create reader interest in your topic, and illustrate how it fits into the course theme (community health and wellness), and why it interests you personally.
  • Tell us what you already know about the topic.
  • Tell us what you think you need to find out, and where/how you will look for this information. (Be as specific as possible on this last–generating lists of questions to answer,  keywords and search strings to try, and places to  look–specific databases, types of authors, etc–will be helpful as you move forward. Please don’t tell us “I’ll google this” and have done with it. That’s not good enough.)

Draft your proposal offline, in a word-processing program, to give yourself time to think and to polish your writing and your ideas. When you are done, post your proposal to your blog. (This should be done and up before class on the 23rd.)

The proposal is NOT part of portfolio 2. This will be graded as complete and thoughtful (full credit), incomplete/undeveloped (half credit), or not done (no credit), and will count as part of your participation grade.  That said, this is a necessary, and important, step in your work this term, so put some time and effort into your topic selection and your proposal.

Food Nazis or Good Caretaking?

Just saw a news story I’m curious to hear your take on: In Hoke County, a preschooler’s lunch was determined to be unhealthy, and substituted. The child’s lunch consisted of a sandwich, fruit, juice, and chips. The replacement meal? Chicken nuggets. Now: there are ways to make more healthful nuggets than those we talked about recently, but my school’s were frozen, and probably much the same as those we saw the video of. Remember the punk goo?

More details here. Click comment and let me know what YOU think. Me? I’d be ticked.

for 2/16: curiosity -> topic -> research question

A theme that’s come up over and over, as we discuss the issues of community health and wellness, is access. We’ve talked about lots of different kinds of access–through education, financial resources, insurance, transportation–but one of those that has seemed most surprising to you all is the idea of food deserts, places where access to healthful foods is restricted by one thing and another. This weekend, I happened to see a bit on CNN regarding Gina Keatley’s Nourishing NYC program (intended to provide increased access to fresh fruits and vegetables) and thought you all might find this, and some related, resources interesting.

This also provides us with a way of thinking through how one might move from a personal interest (in my case, access) to a researchable topic (food deserts) to a “first draft” research question (What is a food desert, and what can be done to address the problem?)

Does it encourage you to see that “everyday folks” JUST LIKE YOU *are* doing something about the problems we’ve been discussing?

It’s time to start thinking about what your research trajectory will be….. Reply to this posting, and tell us: What questions, issues, or problems about community health/wellness have captured your attention? What would you like to know more about? What do you wish you could DO something about? Do some exploratory research on at least ONE of these interests, and report back to us on your findings.  (Be sure to link to the sources you are talking about.)

For this post only: click reply and post on the class blog. (…though of course you are always welcome to COMMENT on the class blog, any post, any time…)

This should be the prime of her life…

…but it’s not. And what’s to blame?

Yep. Chicken nuggets.

I ran across a little piece the other day–the title (“17-Year-Old Girl Has Eaten Chicken Nuggets Every Day for the Last 15 Years”) caught my eye, as I had just watched that video about the really old McDonald’s and how it doesn’t seem to deteriorate as “real food” does. I didn’t find this in an academic place AT ALL–it came from Oddity Central, a personally authored blog– hardly a bastion of journalistic “in depth” coverage on anything. So I did a little research to explore this topic just a bit more, and what I found should be pretty obvious to all of us. Chicken nuggets aren’t really made of the best stuff (see this video, if you can stomach it), nor are they healthy in many other ways (here’s the nutrition label). And let’s don’t even get into whether or not they deteriorate over time. (I can’t get that Happy Meal out of my mind!) News Flash: fast food “chicken” nuggets can hardly serve as the centerpiece of any even remotely-healthy diet.

The 17-year old in question, the blog post reports, is beginning to have health problems as a result of her diet:  “The young factory worker was rushed to the hospital after she collapsed and experienced breathing difficulties. Doctors found she was anemic and had swollen veins in her tongue. But despite being admitted and put on an urgent course of vitamins, Stacey still can’t get enough of chicken nuggets.” How many people, just like Stacey, is this true for? What problems will it cause them, long term? Are they doing it because, like her, they just “want” to–or because it’s all that’s readily available and affordable? If the latter, how shall they improve their diet, and, long-term, their health?

(One final point, kind of an aside–the author reports “Another less serious problem caused by Stacey Irvine’s chicken nugget addiction is the large number of toys she collected with all her nugget meals. She has so far managed to acquire four garbage bags full of toys, and she’s running out of space to store them.” I try to be pretty environmentally minded–so four garbage bags full of unnecessary plastic shite from China doesn’t seem that minor a problem either. But at least it won’t kill ya.) (Unless we start factoring in transporting all that stuff, and global warming. Or the outsourcing of American jobs and a pretty easily linked up lack of insurance for unemployed American workers…. Or…)