2/27/20 pt.2 Reflection Writing

After skimming through Scenes and Un-Scenes, one image stood out to me in particular, this was the cartoon of the tradition American Thanksgiving. This image was most eye catching to me because it resembles my family and how we are usually all together on this day, including our pets. My dad has attempted deep frying our turkey before, so this image seems to display how that situation went down quite well with the man carrying the truly that burning.

The image that related to me least was the image of U.S. soldiers gathered around a table eating. I believe this stands out to me least because I have never had the opportunity to be apart of this type of gathering, however their relaxed manner is quite relatable on this day of thanks.


2/27/20 In Class Writing

Mia Santino, Kaitlyn Kazazian

Food deserts affect the ability to obtain an adequate diet. Research shows that the decline in rural farms had led to the increase in food deserts. This new concept of growing food has created problems for rural older adults like creating food insecurity- such as eating toast, tea, or nothing at all. That adversely leads to health problems for them, affecting their functionality, healthcare costs, and overall quality of their life. Many have tried to solve this issue by reaching out to government officials, however attempts to create change have gone unsuccessful. 

This study was conducted so that teacher’s could understand their student’s food access. This itself gives insight into the social classes of the students presented throughout six rural elementary schools Illinois. It was said that “Children who live in rural food deserts have increased needs for school-based interventions aimed at increasing fruit and vegetable intake” (Smith, 2019). Due to supplies and finding, these were some barriers to the growing season. They recommended further funding for school gardens.

This source discusses the food deserts presented in a multi-ethnic suburban neighborhood. Healthy and affordable food options are often under-reported, and many of these ethnic and specialty food stores offset the lack of grocery stores in providing healthy and affordable options. This demonstrates the social classes between those who have access to high-quality, healthy options, vs those who do not. 



Bukenya, J. O. (2018). The Importance of Ethnic Food Stores in Identifying Food Deserts: A 

Case Study of Huntsville, Alabama. Journal of Food Distribution Research, 49(1), 56–62.


Lloyd, J. L. (2019). From Farms to Food Deserts: Food Insecurity and Older Rural Americans. 

Generations, 43(2), 24–32.


Mancuso, J. (2019, August 19). Searching for Food Deserts in Los Angeles County. Retrieved from https://towardsdatascience.com/searching-for-food-deserts-in-los-angeles-county-b573467a55b\


Smith, S. ssmith8@siu. ed., Null, D. dawnnull@siu. ed., & Zimmerman, K. (2019). 

Understanding Teacher Perceptions of School Gardens and Food Access in Rural Food Deserts. NACTA Journal, 63(2), 208–214.


2/25/20 In Class Writing pt.2

Growing up, I had a draw in my house with plenty of snacks for me, my brother, my parents, and my friends! When my friends would come over they would be so happy to eat the snacks because in their houses they weren’t allowed to eat any bad foods. I always thought this was weird to me, being able to eat all these foods meant I didn’t have a need for them like others did. At home we would always cook yummy dinners too, I am fortunate enough to have this and in society that may be looked at as wealthy or lucky for those who can not afford food. However, always having an appetite can be viewed very negative by other women and members of the community I came from. Food and eating habits, for some odd reason, play a large role in a person’s life and can determine their fate with hunger. Society is very critical of what you eat while others starve and wish for food, it is interesting to see how such a common act, a necessary act, can cause so much controversy.


2/25/20 In Class Writing

Mia, Kaitlyn


In-text citation: 

Reaching out to faculty and peers for academic and cultural

support and regular participation at social events become key factors to help international

students mitigate culture shock in U.S. colleges and universities (Gebhard, 2010, p. 23).


(H. Mar, personal communications, June 30, 2011.)



Gebhard, J. (2010). What do international students think and feel? Michigan: Ann Arbor.


Mack, T. (1997). Culture shock. Forbes, p. 188-90.


Simpson, J. (2006, May 8). Chronicler of culture shock. Time, p. 156.


Wright, R. (2005). Journal of Correctional Education, 56(1), 19– 38. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier.


2/20/20 In Class Writing

Gender could play a large role in shaping our consumption of popular culture because of how many of the men in the NFL believe this is a way of life. It is all they know and have grown up to be.

In Steve Almond critique of football violence, “Is It Immoral to Watch the Super Bowl?”, he addresses the violence of football and the morality of the fans watching and condoning these aggressive actions. Almond voices an unpopular opinion to Americans that football is actually an extremely violent and dangerous sport, something the fans don’t want to hear. However, he is extremely passionate and has the research to back it up. He has done a very good job at persuading his audience to have sympathy for him while also being able to start to see things from his point of view.

Today I see the football fan culture as extreme, I know fans will do anything for their team and a lot of the times it is aggressive. I know there is a large percentage of people who genuinely enjoy the game, however they are unfortunately blinded to the fact of how dangerous the game truly is.


2/18/20 In Class Writing

After reading my classmates responses to Harriet McBryde Johnson’s essay “Unspeakable Conversations”, I found it interesting when that one of my classmates had mentioned they used to side with the views of Professor Singer- wanting to end the suffering for one- however, her views have changed since. After reading how Johnson, a women with disabilities, can persevere through life and still come out happy, my classmates perspective had changed. I also enjoyed reading one of my other classmates perspectives, they pointed out that they believed this essay was arguing cultural norms of abortion. Something I knew was a large part of her discussion, however I saw this arguing different norms, those of people with disabilities.


There have been moments in my life where I have felt “tokenized” by society because of my appearance. I am not the only one though, I stand with millions of other women who are seen in one light- as weaker, not as smart, and overall inferior humans. This is simply not true. Being placed in a box is suffocating and unfair. Women have fought for many years to be equal to men and the balance is still not there. However, this only pushes us to work harder to prove our rights. There are no specific moments I have in mind, but several. Walking on the street and being yelled at, having people ignore my ideas because they see me as inferior, or being shamed for the clothing we wear or bodies we have. This is a daily struggle girls and women, but they work hard to get to their goals.

Similar to today’s discussion in class, I believe that just because people look different from one another, for example women and men, does not mean that they aren’t as capable as each other or have as many problems as each other. We all have issues and we all have strengths, being able to see others while having them recognize you is extremely positive. There are strong women in the world today who are setting great examples for young people, pushing other women to work hard, and getting men to support us as well. It is important to share views and exchange perspectives in order for growth.


2/11/20 Pitch Practice

Mia Santino

Jenilyn Lauigan 

Zhaowen Zheng 


Story: Learning Spanish 

Intro: I plan to discuss my views on learning a new language and how a classroom environment can effect that. I’d like to start by first addressing my personal experience with Spanish and how my dads side of the family speaks it. This explains to my audience why learning this new language is important and relavent to my life.

Body: Next, I will inform my audience on my past experience with a particular technique of learning a new language that I was shown in my high school Spanish classroom. I will discuss how this form of teaching is unhelpful and difficult for students to learn an entirely new language. 

Body 2: Then, I’d like to discuss how much my learning perspective has changed when coming to college. I will do this by telling my audience how my new professor approaches the new language and her strategies for getting the class to digest and understand Spanish. 

Body 3: Compare the two forms of teaching/ classroom environment. Maybe talk about how I have been able to use spanish in daily life.

Conclusions: Offer the audience: I hope to teach my audience that there is a technique to learning a language that works. I also hope that this can help those who are interested in understanding a new language so that they can communicate better with their loved ones, friends, and overall community. 

My audio essay is aimed to help the audience grow and expand their knowledge of other cultures and languages. This has been an amazing experience for me and I plan to help others experience the same feeling. 

Suggestions for them to start learning: persuade audience.


2/6/20 Freewriting

Learning a new language can be a difficult, not to mention daunting, task to accomplish. Being in my first year at USF, I have been given the opportunity to truly delve into my academic experience, especially when learning to speak the Spanish language.

Throughout high school, I took Spanish for three whole years and graduated knowing next to nothing. My teachers had failed in getting me and many others to truly understand and be able to speak the foreign language, and this was sad to me. It was sad because I had wasted so much of my time and effort to come out with no Spanish speaking ability. In highs school it was all handouts and workbook page, up until we were handed the test in which I would fail.

Flash forward to today, I can confidently say that the professors here at USF take pride in thoroughly teaching all of their students. My professor has taken an approach to teaching that I actually enjoy very much. Spanish class is a very conversational space, meaning we are always talking in Spanish and writing as well. Both these techniques are extremely important and useful when learning a new language, it is the only way to honestly understand all of the details that make up a language. With this new style of learning I can go into tests confidently, rather than nervous of failure. I feel as if my Spanish classroom is a safe space, a place where you are able to make mistakes and actually learn from them. This in turn allows a student to move forward with their language learning skills.

When comparing my two different Spanish class experiences, I notice how failing in my past made going into college Spanish a lot more scary for me. However, here at USF Spanish has become one of my favorite classes to attend and be apart of. My perspective has been able to change completely, for the better. I have enjoyed my first year of college and part of that is from being able to be in a Spanish classroom where I feel encouraged by my professors and positive about how much I can and have learned in a short period of time.


  • Intro: Talk about learning a new language- difficulties. Talk about family history with Spanish language- why I want to learn the language.
  • Body 1: Talking about high school Spanish experience- negative, teachers approach/ technique.
  • Body 2: Talking about college Spanish experience- positive. Professors approach/ technique.
  • Body 3: Comparing the two and talking about my ability to speak the language back then vs. today. Talk about how now I can pick up on things my family is saying much quicker and easier.
  • Conclusion: Refer back to intro/thesis, rephrase argument, and have a good lasting impression on audience.

2/4/20 In Class Writing

After reading the audio assignment instructions, I am excited about our first essay task of the new semester. Here are some expectations our teacher has for this assignment:

  • compose an audio literacy that is compelling to others about some time/event/period in your life (or the lives of your family or friends)
  • provide insight into our lives
  • we must mix/edit our voices, music, and images on each slide.
  • cite any images we may have on the slide

This assignment is a bit difficult being that I have not had the pleasure of working with Adobe Spark yet, I may face some bumps in the road when using the audio tool or adding music to the slide. However, I am hopeful that after watching a good YouTube tutorial, I can be a proficient Adobe Spark user. I plan to tackle this assignment slowly so that I am able to create a well laid out slide show as well as include a cohesive narrative, along side images that flows well with my theme of my essay.

It is interesting to read about Garnette Cadogan’s personal experience with being looked at funny for being different or looking different from others. He explains how upon moving to America people began to walk in the opposite direction of him, call him names, and look at him weird. This example he brings up about walking is very similar to a TedTalk I once watched about a women of color who noticed how men of color were treated different when walking in the streets. The fact that both parties bring up the same view shows how real these social scripts are made out to be, people are believing what they want without know the whole truth. This is potentially dangerous and harmful for those of minority because they feel so ostracized from society that they begin to question their identity. No one should feel this way, and although we seem to be moving forward with accepting diversity, many people refuse to change the negative ways they view people different from them. Cadogan is a perfect example of how telling your personal struggles with racial tension and cultural norms, can help expand those who are closed minded on the subject by opening their eyes up to the brutal truth about people who act unkind.


1/30/20 In Class Writing

When reading my classmates views on each of the essays written in author James S. Miller’s Acting Out Culture, I was able to take their ideas and compare and contrast them to mine. My interest immediately gravitated towards those who had strong opinions about David Brooks essay “People Like Us”.

  • I have had experience with non-diverse areas and extremely diverse areas. One of my classmates that lives near where I have grown up, discusses that they have heard stories from their parents about how back in the day their parents had only seen those of the same race living in that community
  • Now, that community has it has become an extremely diverse area and we have been able to experience that change throughout our childhoods.
  • I found this interesting because where I am from, which is close to where my classmate is from, I saw to be a town of comformity with people who had similar outlooks on life.

Now I am able to appreciate that where I am from is actually quite diverse, as it has changed greatly from the past and continues to embrace new culture, ideas, and people.


Cultural Bloopers:

  • Armenian kiss each other on booth cheeks when greeting each other.
  • Americans shake peoples hand when greeting (left hand)
  • Singing Happy Birthday on someones birthday
  • Opening the door for someone
  • Saying I’m sorry
  • Flushing the toilet and washing hands after using the restroom
  • Saying bless you after someone sneezes
  • Saying hello and goodbye
  • Chew with your mouth closed
  • Saying please and thank you
  • Asian, Indian and Swedish culture take their shoes off before entering the house