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In the sixth week of English 105, our class completed their unit one projects, popular science articles, and shifted to the course’s second focus, social sciences and ethnographic research.

I spent a large portion of week six editing and refining my popular science article, which discusses a new mechanism to treat bacteria that does not select for resistance.

On Tuesday, the week’s first class, my peers and I focused on both syntax and paragraph structure. To improve the flow and skill of our writing we explored and dissected various sentence structures, such as compound, complex, and compound-complex forms. Moreover, Mr. Blom reintroduced the topics of paragraph structure, formatting, and transitions. To me, this return to seemingly fundamental writing concepts was most helpful because the in-class activities solidified and strengthened my mechanical understandings and helped me feel more confident in my writing. I will now guess my way through the flow and stylistic choices of my compositions to a much lesser extent.

In the second session, Thursday, Mr. Blom announced new working groups for unit project two. Though I was excited to meet new members of my class, I knew I would miss working with my unit one group, Index Finger. From my perspective, the lively and dynamic energy shared between us excited me and consistently drew me to English class because I would always enjoy the time we spent discussing the course content and our writing. Thursday morning, I was excited to meet my new English friends, but I couldn’t help but notice a fresh silence that filled the room.

When first seated with my new group and the class still subdued by the early morning haze, I felt the silence of the classroom loudly. The space was no longer filled by the spirited discourse of Index Finger. Nevertheless, I felt, and still feel, excited and optimistic that I would form a similar bond with my unit two group, Carolina Blue. Furthermore, the new perspectives and ideas from this group will unboundedly expose me to ways of thinking I have never experienced before. These new viewpoints will indisputably improve my writing because more world views will always give rise to different observations, thoughts, and approach situations from different angles, which will expand my outlook and analytical framework. Overall, I am sad to find myself far removed from the energetic nature of Index Finger, but I look forward to meeting my new peers immensely.

Returning to Thursday’s class, after settling into our new working groups, we began with a reflection on our unit one project; the class had submitted final versions the previous evening. We all pondered the quality of our projects, assessed our writing process, and detailed how we would improve in the future. In the context of my unit one project, the reflection helped me conceptualize how I needed to alter my process to be a more successful and efficient writer. For example, I know now that I must proofread in the morning or early afternoon to be most effective and scrupulous. After this brief reflection, we quickly dove into our introduction of the social sciences.

The class communally explored the social sciences and presented information gathered from the Tarheel Writing Guide. The information aggregated served to clarify the bounds of social science, its scope of study, and common methods of data collection and analysis. Finally, after our orientation on social science, we began to brainstorm our topics of interest.

From my current perspective, I am interested in research on spaces of food consumption. How people and food communicate cultural and group identity fascinates me. Moreover, I am increasingly attracted to the role that “ethical” consumption ideology exerts on consumers and groups of individuals. I seek understanding of the group ideology and discourses that dominate self-labeled “good consumers.” Thus, I hope to explore the “alternative” food space Purple Bowl. I want to understand how cultures of ethical performance coalesce around Purple Bowl, how they allow individuals to see themselves as “good,” and how this belief impacts peripheral cultures and outgroups. Secondly, I hope to explore this space of food consumption as a white food space and examine how this culture may exclude and include different bodies. 

After six weeks in English 105, I feel I am recovering the fundamentals of writing I learned in elementary school and began to forget as I moved onto more advanced stages of my education. I am excited to begin unit two and learn the working of ethnographic research. 


Leo’s media picks from week six

Podcasts I enjoyed this week

(Brief, neglected, and inconsistent) Pleasure reading

  • Identity Crisis: The 2016 Presidential Campaign and the Battle for the Meaning of America by John Sides, Lynn Vavreck, and Michael Tesler.
  • Feeding the Other: Whiteness, Privilege, and Neoliberal Stigma in Food Pantries by Rebecca de Souza.

Songs of week six!


Header image source may be found here.

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