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.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Dear Dr. Zorn

I have decided to break out of my hiatus and write my late professor a letter.

Dear Dr. Zorn,

Insh'Allah you are now with Him and at peace. I feel extreme grief from your passing and this feels like a death in my family, not a professor of my first graduate course. However, it may be fitting for me to express myself in this manner to help ease the pain I feel and for you to know even more of how much you meant to me.

I want to recall a few memories I had of you over my time at UCF in the Anthropology Department. The first time I saw you, I was nervous and intimidated. I continued to be intimidated by you to some extent. I accidentally said "Yes, sir" instead of "yes ma'am" about something you asked me. I was mortified but you pretended to ignore it; just another example of your class! You suggested I become a Middle Eastern Studies minor and to "take Arabic". I was really excited about that at the time. I am sorry to say the Arabic did not pan out as well as I hoped (topic for another time). Although, I had a great class in Islamic History, of which I enjoyed immensely!

I remember hearing about your illness during the first semester at the university. I hoped you would come through this horrific disease. I saw you as my advisor for the last time during the fall of 2009. You suggested that I take your class Anthropology of Tourism but as a graduate student. I knew then that all my hard work was paying off and so I said yes.

I remember during the last few months of your life how tired you looked and how teaching seemed to be difficult for you. I continued to have hope that the damn medical community could save you. I felt guilty going to you for help/assistance during this course so I minimized visits as much as I could. I realized, during our short meetings, what a brilliant, loving, and caring human being you were. I felt less and less intimidated over time (but always feeling the utmost respect for you and your profession).

I remember, sometime during the second half of Anthropology of Tourism, I felt compelled to thank you for having confidence in me, thank you for putting so much TIME AND EFFORT into EACH student, as if they were your only student. I told you that I admired you and I thanked you for all your hard work. I was and still am sincere.

What did you do for me? Well, you helped fix some of my writing problems; something I cannot thank you enough for. I now never say "additionally". :-) I now take more care to edit anything I write. Writing seems like an art; something I will work on as time passes. You helped me to stretch outside the box and think differently about gender roles, etc. You also had the graduate students read your ethnography and I felt honored to be able to actually comment about it to you in person!! Moreover, you listened to me-really listened. Of course, even though I may have said this before, I will say it again, thank you for giving me a challenge, albeit an enjoyable one.

One last memory I will share includes the time when I was in your office for an advisement regarding one of the required papers you assigned and I saw you cry--you were understandably scared. Then I started to cry too of course. You told me to take off for my birthday because life is so unpredictable. You told me to go out to dinner and go to a movie. I only took your advice half-way I will admit.

Professor--you gave 200% to your work/students and for that I thank you. This letter does not give you due credit but it is from the heart.

Sincerely--your student, Tiffany

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

thoughts about the future

Hey all...

Just sitting here working on the "international" section of the IRB (International Review Board) and my mind drifted elsewhere as always when working on the dull IRB certification. This certification protects human subjects from my nasty questions. :D Seriously, I need to write a proposal to the IRB after finishing the tests (of which there are many) and get this study ready to rock for the fall. I could use a few suggestions for the title of the study! I need input. I have three ideas.

First--this is an extension of my crazy fishing paper (on my blog). Here however I will be interviwing contemporary visitors to the Oakland Nature Preserve and maybe the lake itself. Maybe the alligators will leave me a lone if I jump in! LOL

Ok, here are the ideas I have crafted thus far:

1. Lake Apopka Tourism: The Slow Road Back From Environmental Destruction to Eco-Tourism Growth

2. Lake Apopka Tourism: Oakland Nature Preserve Brings Back Nature Lovers

3. Community Initiatives In Oakland, Florida Bring Lake Apopka Tourism Back to Life

I checked out (via home delivery because of my broken car) Grant Writing for Dummies...we shall see. I have no clue how to write a proposal. I am on my own with very little guidence.
Another item of buisness I have been in serious convo mode with myself about are graduate school programs.
I have narrowed them down to three. Preference from 1-3
1. University of Michigan (pie-in-the-sky school)
2. University of Wisconsin
3. University of Central Florida (where I am now)

Wisconsin has a prof who specializes in converts to Islam but U of Michigan is in the top 5 in the country. :P

Ok, hodgepodge of stuff...but I felt the urge so I wrote.
Comment as you will. Insh'Allah