March 9, 2018


The controversial topic I chose to read about using Wikipedia was abortion. Given that the information contributed in a Wikipedia article comes from many anonymous sources changes how I evaluate only some of the contents of abortion that I read. The contents that  I trust a bit more on this subject are the facts in the article.  Such as the definition of abortion, the history of it, the procedure, the safety etc. I trust anything that I know cannot be argued or quarreled and that can be proven by science. However, given that multiple sources can anonymously add information to Wikipedia, I usually do not trust any information that could possibly be biased or anything that could be opinionated.

A few pros to Wikipedia include that you can find almost any topic you could ever think of on Wikipedia. Its range of information is one of the largest in the world for a search engine. Also, most articles have links and resources embedded throughout the entire thing, so if you don’t understand a word, a subject, or who someone is, there is almost always a link attached to it that you can click on to learn more about it. However, with these pros come a few obvious cons. The first and the biggest is the fact that most of the information comes from multiple anonymous sources. This could very easily lead to biased information and sometimes completely false information. Also, since Wikipedia is free, that usually means that less time and money has been involved in creating the articles for the information you are reading. Overall, Wikipedia is and can be a very useful source for information, however, if you’re writing a paper or researching a topic, it is probably best that you use Wikipedia as a starting point to understand the general idea, and definitely should not stick to it as your only source.

March 5, 2018

University Rankings:

University rankings have become some of the most important determining factors for many upcoming college students, regardless of the fact of whether they know what the effect of the ranking number with have on the quality of their education.  Typically, universities with lower ranking systems do not necessarily “have a better education”, however, they do typically spend more money on teaching their students. Whether it be providing better resources, more features into the classrooms such as in science labs, or it quite literally be on the educational resources such as textbooks and content being taught.

According to the wall street journal, the outcomes of university rankings are as follows:

  • Graduation rate (11%)
  • Value added to graduate salary (12%)
  • Value added to loan default (7%)
  • Academic reputation (10%)

This data represents how much of a percent the university ranking affects each topic, whether the university has a lower or high ranking.  Universities with extremely high acceptance rates and lower tuitions, typically don’t necessarily provide students with a “worse education”, however, those institutions typically do not spend as much on the quality of the education that is being taught to their students like the “elite” and higher ranked universities.



N.A. (2018). Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings 2018 methodology. Times Higher Education: World University Rankings. Retrieved March 5,2018 from


Februrary 28, 2018

Food and Social Class/Politics: Jose Corella, Cooper Lenhard, Michael Mapua


Food deserts can be defined as any urban areas or parts of the country where it is difficult to find or afford any good-quality fresh food, such as fruits, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods.


Where are Food Deserts located?

Food deserts are typically areas that are lacking in grocery stores, farmers; markets and other healthy food providers. These are most commonly located in areas or communities of color and low income, where many people do not have a car and must rely on public transportation. According to the Food Empowerment Project, “ Studies have found that wealthy districts have three times as many supermarkets as poor ones do, that white neighborhoods contain an average of four times as many supermarkets as predominantly black ones do, and that grocery stores in African-American communities are usually smaller with less selection.”. The residents of food deserts usually have very limited options for what to eat and tend to be very heavily populated with fast-food chains that may be selling cheap meat and produce that is typically processed and high in sugar, fat, and salt.


Do Food Deserts Matter?

Today, our society has an abundance of choices. These choices range from McDonald’s chains throughout the country to Whole Foods supermarkets propagating the nation. The idea of a food desert comes from the idea that you can’t locate affordable, fresh food. It doesn’t mean that there is not a place to get food, it just means that the availability of fresh produce is much more scarce. Food Deserts are mainly found in disadvantaged communities. Now, there might be a simple solution for this, just bring supermarkets or farmers markets with better food closer to these neighborhoods. It does not work like that. Food deserts have a deeply rooted problem and it does not have to do with the geographic location of fresher food. Income, income is the main problem that creates food deserts because people with lower incomes just can’t afford fresh food. If there were to be a Whole Foods or a grocer that offers fresh, healthy food they would run out business because people can’t afford it. A recent study by economists from New York University, Stanford University, and the University of Chicago has revealed that food deserts are not the sole issue. Income disparity between lower class and upper-class people looks to be the biggest influencer in food deserts.   

Combating Food Deserts

In San Francisco, there is a shop named Craftsman and Wolves which has implemented a pay-it-forward system for customers who cannot afford pizza in the Bayview food desert neighborhood. Their pay-it-forward system was for people who wanted to pre-purchase someone else’s pizza order. The system worked with once a person has pre-paid the pizza, they would leave a Post-It note on the window for anyone to redeem. This system allowed for people who could not afford pizza in a food desert area to have a pre-paid slice of their own purchased by someone who wanted to. Logan, the owner of Craftsman and Wolves, adds that “It should not be awkward accepting the handouts. You see it, grab it and redeem it. It’s no big deal” (Compton, 2016 para. 17).



Compton, N. (2016). How Pizza Is Fighting Hunger in a San Francisco Food Desert.

Munchies-Vice’s Food Website. Retrieved from


Florida, R. (2018, January 22). Food Deserts Exist. But Do They Matter? Retrieved

February 28, 2018, from

Gallagher, Mari. (2015). USDA Defines Food Deserts. Nutrition Digest. Retrieved February 28, 2018, from

N.A. (2018). Food Deserts. Food Empowerment Project. Retrieved February 28, 2018, from


February 26, 2018

Food and Social Habits

My family doesn’t exactly have one set kind of food or meal that is very common in our family or culture.  We tend to try to mix our meals and dinners up regularly, but if I were to categorize the majority of our foods it would be American. We do make foods from other cultures sometimes such as Mexican, Italian, or maybe even South American food. However, for the most part, our family foods consist of American meals.

As far as cultural status in our society based off of the foods we eat, I would like to say we are pretty average. We don’t have five-star filet mignons every single night and we definitely don’t just order pizza every single night. We have a relatively good balance of the two I would say. During holidays we tend to have fancier dinners, and on “lazy nights” such as perhaps a Friday night when none of us have the energy to cook, we may order pizza for dinner. Other than that, our average weekday meals are average American dinners such as some kind of meat, whether it be chicken, pork, or steak, etc.  and some kind of side with it.

Foods and eating habits can sometimes shape social norms and identities for some people. For example, wealthier people may tend to have healthier and more expensive dinners more often. Such as a filet mignon that my family may only have on occasion like holiday meals, wealthier families usually tend to have this more often, at least according to the stereotype. A family that might not be as wealthy however is typically viewed as having fast-food more often and maybe easier to prepare dinners, such as a frozen dinner that simply just needs to be put in the oven or microwave. Our society has seemed to shape our social class and financial status around the kind of foods we eat in that the more wealth we have, the healthier and more expensive foods we eat. Vice versa in that stereotypically, less fortunate families eat unhealthy foods more often and much cheaper meals.

February 21, 2018

Being “tokenized” :

Overall, throughout my entire life, I can honestly say I have never really been “tokenized” or felt “tokenized”. For the most part, I have never really been the minority in many situations at all. Most of the residents in my hometown were also white, just like me, so there were never any moments where I could have been tokenized.

The most common assumption I think, sometimes know, that people make about me when they first meet me is my financial status. Simply because I am white, I have had many people automatically assume, without even knowing the slightest detail of my background, that I”m from a wealthy white family that lives in a great big house, with my happy family, and many pets, beautiful cars, a safe neighborhood, food always on the table and whenever I want it, no worries at all in my life, and absolutely no troubles with money or anything financial. It really annoys me that the social stereotype of white people has become this such view. I have met many people that think this way about all white people they ever meet. While it may be true that typically, white people are not the minorities in most social situations, it does not necessarily apply to every single one of us.

For example, actually about two weeks ago, I was on Haight Street with a friend. We went into one of the shops and were talking to the salesperson in the shop at the time. After just some casual talk, she began to ask what school we went to and if were from the city. When we told her we went to USF, she looked straight at me, then my friend, and said something along the lines of “Ohh, some rich folks huh?”., automatically assuming that we were financially stable just based off of the school we were attending. This is exactly similar to the other experiences I have had in my life from people making assumptions upon first meeting me. It is obviously nothing too terrible or impossible to live with, it’s just something that I have found very annoying my entire life, that people don’t seem to understand or believe that there are white people that are not filthy rich and are actually just financially comfortable, no more and no less.


February 16, 2018

APA References

  1. Gebhard, J.G. (2010). What Do International Students Think and Feel? Adapting to U.S. College Life and Culture. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press.
  2. (H. Mar, personal communication, June 30, 2011.)
  3. Mack,  T. (1997, May). Culture Shock. Forbes, 188-190.
  4. Simpson, J.C. (2007). Chronicler of Culture Shock. Time, 156. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.
  5. Wright, R. (2005). Going to Teach in Prisons: Culture Shock. Journal of Correctional Education, 5(1), 19-38. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.


February 12th

Audio Essay Script

My story is about language and communication. Specifically, the language and communication I have experienced growing up. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a community with a lot of diversity and languages. The dominant language, other than English, in my town, is Spanish. I discuss how I took Spanish classes in both middle and high school, and how my understanding and knowledge of the culture developed over time. However, I also discuss how I lost all of that knowledge, within just about one year.

What my story is really about is the development and understanding of another culture other than my own. This includes both the excitement that comes with new diversity in my life, as well as the struggles. The struggles included trouble memorizing the language, getting different cultures and ideas confused, and practicing not just often, but daily. When not practiced daily, such as when I stopped taking Spanish, and surrounding my self around it every single day, I pretty much lost all of my knowledge of it within a year.

I think my narrative essay will provide a very good and possibly unique approach to the common topic of learning a new language. Mostly because I was so surrounded by not only the language itself but also the culture behind it. Many of my friends were Hispanic and completely fluent in Spanish. I learned new things every single day both in and out of school.

February 9

Essay 1- Free Writing

The idea of language amazes me. Just the fact that every single human on this earth can communicate through familiar and known phrases, words, and sentences to create something as simple as a sentence still blows me away. Simply just thinking about how language was first created is what amazes me the most. What was it like before we could even communicate? How did people translate their ideas to each other? How did actual language, speaking, and writing first form? I could ask endless questions and wonder for hours solely on the topic of language and communication alone. What also amazes me is the fact that there are hundreds of different language throughout the entire world. Yet, in the end, we’re all speaking the exact same language, we’re are just translating or communicating it completely differently. I feel like this topic is very overlooked, and most of the time that it is addressed, it’s simply people complaining that we don’t all speak the same language or that the entire United States doesn’t only speak English.

In high school, it was required that we have at least two years of credit for taking a language. Since my town was pretty decently populated with Hispanics and Spanish speakers, and because a lot of my friends were fluent in Spanish, I chose to take Spanish as my language. I started taking it in 8th grade at Spanish 1 and ended my last year in Spanish as a Junior in Spanish 4. Obviously, when I first started, the most I could speak were small and simple phrases like “May I use the restroom?” and “Hi, my name is _____, how are you?” , etc. What amazed me so much was that by the time I was in Spanish 4, I was nowhere near fluent, but I actually knew Spanish. I could pretty comfortably read almost every single word in front of me and got very good at Speaking it. I understood the grammar and the rules behind it and was actually able to understand my friends when the spoke it. Since my friends knew I was taking Spanish, there was actually one point where a few of them only spoke to me in Spanish. It started out as a joke, but it became normal after a few weeks and I was absolutely blown away by how much I had learned and at the fact that I could have complete conversations with my friends. I was obviously a little slower than them at translating and being able to communicate what I wanted to say in complete, grammatically correct sentences, but I was still pretty good. It eventually got to point where we started speaking Spanish when on the soccer field, since most of the time the other team could not understand us. It gave us a nice advantage being able to scream out plays and passes without our opponent even having the slightest idea of what we were saying.


Essay 1- Free Writing Outline

  • translating/translate
  • communicating
  • overlooked, not addressed or focused on enough
  • developed- the process of learning or acquiring a new skill
  • grammatically correct
  • “completely amazes me”
  • “wonder”, “imagine”
  • fluent

February 7- Audio Essay

After reading the assignment on canvas and the guidelines that come along with it, we are expected to construct a 1-3 minute audio essay discussing our own personal experiences facing the issues of identity, culture, and racial stereotypes. Some of the expectations that come with this assignment include helping ourselves and others develop a deeper understanding of cultural, language, and racial identities. We are also expected to have clear examples and evidence within our essay, along with smooth transitions between each of our points. Along with that, it is also expected that we take some time to edit the audio on our essay so that there is at least one sound other than our voice and the audio is edited for the best listener effect.

Some challenges I think I will experience in making this audio essay is keeping a steady pace throughout the entire recording, not running out of material to say, and keeping the audience engaged. If I skip around, pause, and stutter a lot, and never change my tone of voice, it will be very boring to the listener. However, I think I will excel in being able to learn Audacity rather quickly, even though I have never used it. I am typically a quick learner when it comes to new technology, which will hopefully be able to help me excel through my weaknesses I think I will experience during this assignment.