Welcome. :)

Welcome to my blog. Here I share my successes and failures along my journey to becoming an anthropologist. My most prominent interest anthropologically are the new approaches to handing food security/healthy eating in the US, particularly in urban "food deserts". I enjoy the Anthropology of Tourism as well; combining food and tourism has scholarly promise. My other interests which have converted into anthropological hobbies of sorts include converts to Islam, diaspora of Muslims, and MENA in general. I also have some interest in historical archaeology.

I welcome comments, discussion and even respectful debating. I will however keep discussions to a respectable level. I reserve the right to ban anyone from this forum.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

My faith

Alot of people ask me about my faith-or lack thereof. Basically, because I am a future anthroplogist, they assume that I am an atheist. I am no such thing.
I grew up a Catholic and questioned my faith from the time I was 16. I "became" a lutheran (thats blasphemous I guess...). That said, I felt more at home with Catholicism but in my heart, but I knew certain things could not logically be (wine and bread "turning into" body and blood of Jesus). I thought that would be cannabalistic. The first time I really felt 100% at home with religion was when I decided not to have a religion. I have lived in the Middle East and have been to Pakistan (quite conservative!) and more Muslim countries so my knowledge of Islam is fair, in my own opinion. I love Islam, I love the people (have a serious close connection to Pakistani's in particular) but I do not wish to "make the leap".
I am a big believer in the monotheistic God concept but do not find Judaism or Christianity to be my calling. I have a Christian husband who loves everyone and is not too conservative but really has a strong faith. I would not be sure how he would respond to me announcing I am Muslim (if I do).

Maybe my thoughts and feelings are just my way of finding a connection to the region of the world I am facinated with from an anthropological perspective....

veteran bloggers-need assistance

Ladies, I have no idea how to *really * personalize a blog. I am wondering how to add music, how to add my personal touch. I wanted to do this before the spring semester. I will be grateful for some help!

The Dude and the snake poop

My hubby (aka "The Dude") and I have 2 snakes. I love our snakes and take really good care of them including letting him (younger one is too small) for out time. Well, that was a mistake for us. We smelled something as we were watching a movie. I said "Dude, don't you smell that?? Archie did a dump". He said, "Uhh...yeah...gross". he had to deal with it. Household chores are all him including snake maintainence. :O The Dude cleaned it up and found Archie and put him up for the night.

On other notes, my sister has a dog named Rudy who bit her daughter. Her hubby asked if I want him. I only like dogs if they are not in my house. lol So...The Dude and I said no. :)


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

20,000 dialogues

I was just pecking away online, (something I can get lost doing when I am not in school!) when I came across this neat website http://www.dialoguesforpeace.org/aboutus.aspx about starting dialogues for peace between all faiths with the specific purpose of increasing knowledge about Islam/Muslims, etc. I think it is a brilliant idea! Check out the site. My idea is to bring this to UCF. One of my professors in the spring is Turkish so I am assuming he will like to help me organize this. Anyhow, check out the site and start your own dialogue for peace.

Other notes....I have two fun reads going now and of course they are Muslim world releated. One is even an ethnography of British muslim converts.

British Muslim Converts: Choosing Alternative Lives (Kate Zebiri)

Here is one you ladies may enjoy (albeit hard to find in the KSA?):
In the Land of Invisible Women: A female Doctor's Journey in the Saudi Kingdom by Dr. Qanta A Ahmed
That last one revolves around a Muslim/British-Pakistani women who accepts a post abroad and she shares her experiences. Its a hefty book too! About 500 pages.

Hope everyone is having a great holiday season
Eid Mubarak
Merry Christmas
Happy Hannakah

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Grades are out!

My school posted my grades yesterday! Although it is not too much of a suprise, I am happy it is now official! I earned all A's this semester. I have a UCF GPA of 4.0. :-)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Hodge Podge

Semester is all done, alhamdullilah! :) I know 2 out of 4 of my grades officially. I have 2 professors dragging their feet! I am pretty sure of A's in everything. I did earn a 94% in Human Species and a 97% in Sex, Gender and Culture! Cool beans! SOOO thrilled. I am sure of an A in my Peoples of the World and pretty sure in Cultural Anthropology (exam grades average 94%).

I have a neat schedule for the fall but am considering changing it so I can put behind me a class I am dreading.

Here is the current schedule:
Islam and its Empires (T/Th in the morning)
The Modern Middle East (T/Th early afternoon)
Magic, Ritual and Belief (online)
Nutritional Anthropology (Wend pm does not effect my ability to work)

I HAVE TO carve out time to be able to work during the week. thats just the way it is and thus, I cannot drop the online class for Human Origins (the class I am dreading) because then, I will be at school 5 (gasp!) days a week. As much as I LOVE school, this chica has to work (unfortunately).

If I drop the two classes in my minor, I will take M, W, and F classes and be able to work T/Th. Not good. I need to work more than 3 days a week (at least have the option). Sea World is my other job where I will only get 1 day iin the spring!

I think I know that I will end up keeping the schedule I have. I am betting on acing the next semester too so I hope for a high achievement scholarship for the fall (allow me to work less and go to school 5 days a week).