March 13

RCL- #3 Deliberation attendance

For my deliberation attendance, I came to a presentation about downtown State College relations by another RCL class. In their discussion, they included 3 different approaches to discuss overall safety, social and economic interaction, and local government. Although I was only one of four guests at the deliberation, the discussion was very informational and helpful for the future of campus and downtown interactions.

While discussing safety investments for both campus and downtown, one situation that was brought up was the issue with Penn State students alcohol consumption, especially in events like State Patty’s Day. One question that was addressed was whether police should focus their efforts on controlling the students through arrests or ensuring their safety without repercussions of underage drinking. The team of students involved in this approach was very well informed and initiated discussion well.

In the issue of social and economic interaction of the State College community we discussed how our campus and downtown interact with one another. One student talked about the issue of overloading businesses during the school year while losing almost all business in the summer sessions. This is an important aspect of how downtown business function and can support a student economy.

In the final approach, we brought up the issue of local government involvement from students. Some of the class members believed that students should have representation within the State College borough, while others believed that we don’t have this right as students. Because we are only members of this community for the four years during college, some question how involved the students should be with impacting local policies.

Overall, this deliberation was very interesting but it was unfortunate that there were not many guests in attendance. It was especially difficult to discuss community relations without any community members to compare thoughts with. They all prepared well for the deliberation and provided interesting perspectives on their issue of downtown relations.

February 12

RCL #2- deliberation articles

For our deliberation, we are discussing the issue with freedom of speech on Penn State’s campus and how this effects the morale of both our campus and local community at large. To investigate this, I found two similar articles that discuss the importance of free speech.

The first article discusses the basic necessity for free speech in all environments. As a basic human right, free speech is essential for advocating change while also listening and understanding those who oppose our specific viewpoints. An expert on this issue, Peter Tatchell eloquently stated,

A free society depends on the free exchange of ideas.”

This specifically relates to our deliberation discussion because it emphasizes the need for balance in society. Being quiet will not make change, but being too loud can hurt the movement and disrespect the opposition. On a college campus, it is imperative to maintain this balance to not disrespect the cultural diversity at Penn State.

The second article emphasizes the importance of knowledge. Without freedom of speech, there is no way for people to learn about the great diversity among people and cultures. It is also important to value free speech in a democratic environment where each party can voice their opinions equally and create mutual decisions. These ideas highlight the importance of our deliberation to create an environment where people can share their beliefs and issues with this topic. By educating and promoting the basic principles of free speech, we can facilitate a safe community on campus for sharing thoughts and ideas.

Both articles will be helpful for our deliberation because they both connect ideas about the benefits of free speech. These will also be paired with the negatives of free speech to compare various theories.

Timms, Josie. “Why is free speech important?” Index , Index on Censorship, 13 Apr. 2016,   

Pinker, Steven. “Three Reasons Free Speech Matters | Steven Pinker.” FEE, Foundation for Economic Education,

          7 Nov. 2014,



February 6

Post #1- Deliberation Summary

Deliberation: “We are… free to speak: Or are we?

Does freedom of speech promote diversity or hinder it?


How do we control freedom of speech on Penn State’s campus? What policies need to be put in place to protect our campus community?

We are going to discuss the impacts of freedom of speech, especially on Penn State’s campus. This will also include a discussion of the effects of inviting controversial speakers to campus, and the impact of “safe spaces” for discussion. We will also discuss the limitations of freedom of speech on students’ well being and the possible implications it can have on campus diversity inclusion.

My role in the group is being a part of the team for summary and outreach. My specific role is to arrange the social media campaign and taking notes during the deliberation. Our entire mini-team will work together to develop the post-deliberation questionnaire.

I am currently working on the social media campaign to gather an audience.



January 30

This I Believe

I believe in the power of boredom.

            As I’m sitting in my art class on a rainy Monday morning, waiting for everyone to slowly roll in the door, most still half asleep and barely coherent, I often find it entertaining to simply observe my surroundings and peculiar behaviors of fellow classmates. The kid to my left is swiping through Tinder, seeming almost too desperate for a match, the girl in front of me occupies her time by stalking her favorite celebrity on Instagram and obsessively liking way too many photos, the international student has his face buried in a math book that I have no hope of ever being able to understand. We are all waiting. Waiting for class to start, for the teacher to arrive, for class to end, and for a good sandwich at the end of the day… always waiting. Waiting is such a common practice, but I’ve found that many times, my greatest fear of waiting too long is becoming bored, God forbid.

            I believe that most people are afraid or uncomfortable with being bored. However, it’s hard to even tell whether or not boredom actually bothers us because, few people allow themselves to become bored. When I’m waiting for a friend to get dinner and not even 1-minute passes by, I pull my phone out to mindlessly occupy this brief period of waiting. Taking just a second to slow your roll and breathe, even for just a second, is not as scary as it may seem, but can lead to some incredible thoughts and creative ideas. In fact, I developed my best ideas for this essay when I was laying sick in bed this week, completely and utterly bored. Even allowing myself to be bored at least once a day without any distractions can help me to become more centered and comfortable with my own thoughts.

Boredom should not be a state that one needs to escape, but rather treated as an opportunity for escape, an environment that breeds new ideas and an open mind. Once you can be comfortable with your own thoughts and not have a panic attack when the phone battery dies, there is a great feeling of comfort which translates into all parts of life.

On my never-ending journey to self-improvement, boredom is one skill I hope to master, and I don’t mind waiting.




November 22

HoPC Contract

“Me Too” Movement

Malisa Yin, Emma Davies, Liz Druschel, Kristin Sickau, Nora Tietjens, Eva Ragonese


For our history of a public controversy movement project, we are going to investigate the controversial “me too” movement that has sparked conversation across social media these last few months. In our video, we will highlight the different opinions on this subject and controversy and how influential it is to our society.


Below is our group contract of our assigned roles for the project.


Editors- Kristin Sickau

  • This role will fulfill our final edits on the research of our project as well as digital editing of the video


Filming- Nora Tietjens and Malisa Yin

  • This role will function as the main camera person and director of the video portion


Research- Liz Druschel, Emma Davies, and Eva Ragonese

  • This role will focus on gathering sufficient information to fulfill the video portion of the assignment and research the controversy behind this movement


Through the project, we will follow our assigned roles and collaborate to create our final project.

Thursday(11/30) – research day, compile information

Conversation of the different sides of the story

Find the point we want to discuss in the video

Start a rough script for the video

Saturday – video day

Create  script layout for the video

Record video clips

Tuesday – video day/editing

Finishing video clips

Editing videos and media components

Thursday – final editing

Complete editing of the video and video clips



October 25

Ted Talk Script

Topic: Transgender athletes

Intro –

equality of sports men vs. women, how do transgender people fit in? What challenges do they face when competing?

Body –

  1. history and definition – what does it mean to be transgender and how big is the population of people/athletes
  2. importance – history of men/women sports equality vs. transgender
  3. applications of inequality – high school, college, professional, Olympics
  4. issues faced – transgender women advantage over regular women? public opinion

Conclusion –

issue of men vs. women in sports has been an ongoing well-known battle, but transgender people face this battle silently. Many cannot be identified as transgender by their appearance so even though they are clearly male/female, regulations may require them to compete with the gender they were born as. Transgender issues are very political, and discussed in great depth involving military, marriage, and basic human rights. Sports equality is an aspect of basic human rights that is often not acknowledged and not well understood.



October 16

RCL #8 – Paradigm Shift Essay Draft

Women’s clothing sizes are an aspect of culture that is often unacknowledged and its changes though time often go unnoticed. The truth behind this common practice can be found through its history, sizing methods, and mental effects it can have on women. Shopping for clothes can be a mentally and physically exhausting process. People can fall in love with one item that they believe is their size, only to leave with utter disappointment when it doesn’t fit. Feelings of self-doubt begin to stem from their height, weight, and overall body shape. Surprisingly, these internal signs of defeat are not always created by the person’s weight or size fluctuation. They may in fact be the product of a long history of inaccurate and inconsistent sizing scales for women that has shifted greatly through time.

Women’s clothing sizes were originally created with nonscientific and racist practices in the late 1950’s as a result of the changing culture. During this depression era, women were generally smaller in stature and weight due to malnourishment and various sources of stress. Due to some extreme measures during this time, a typical woman of this era would not be representative of the size of a woman in the 1980s. With this being said, the women’s clothing size scale was the same for both decades. Created in 1958, the National Bureau of Standards’ “Body Measurements for the Sizing of Women’s Patterns and Apparel” was used widely across women’s department stores and clothing manufacturers until 1983. To create the standard, 15,000 women were surveyed and measured to define the “Average American Woman”. While this may seem like a fair judgement, with this survey taking place in this era, most women measured were underweight and the entire survey population would have been white, given the present state of segregation. This categorized measurements on a scale from eight to 42 as the first modern women’s clothing sizes.

Although this primary scale was finally ditched in 1983, clothing sizes remained utterly confusing for decades longer. To compare our present day widely used sizing scale, today’s size eight would register as less than a size double-zero in 1958. To further analyze the inaccuracies and inconsistencies in women’s clothing sizes, the methods in which sizes are created must be investigated. In recent surveys, many people point the blame of changing clothing sizes to the physical size change of women, specifically in weight, through the past decades. While there is some merit behind this claim, it is not supported by substantial evidence as the largest factor involved with size changes. Due to the current sizing standard being a voluntary code, many manufacturers are non-compliant to follow the universal sizes.

October 9

RCL #7 – A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words

Throughout Addario’s novel, she includes several of her awe inspiring photographs from years of her career as a photojournalist. The two images that strike me the most are very different, yet I think that they both summarize Addario’s career and personal struggles immensely well. The first picture is found on the 11th page of pictures in the third section. It is a picture of a mother sitting with her two children in the cover of their home. At first glance, this image means relatively nothing to the reader, and may not mean anything to people in our class who have yet do actually read this book. Yet, it portrays one of the most powerful stories of women oppression in Africa and was the most influential part of the book for me.

The two children with the 20 year old mother, Kahindo, were born of rape.

She was kidnapped in 2008 and held for three years while being raped repeatedly. Addario includes several stories of rape victims from the Congo, and each is more vile than the next.

The second image that I found to be especially important was found on the 22nd page of the third section of images. While this photo is not from her many war photographs, I believe it is one of the mot important images to understanding Addario’s life. It depicts her and new husband, Paul, on their wedding day. They both have such genuine smiles, and for the first time in Addario’s life, she has something figured out. Through the chaos and turmoil, she found Paul and couldn’t be happier than on her wedding day.

Photographs play an essential role in making your audience feel what you are trying to say. They capture not only life events but also emotion and passion. I can incorporate several images to convey new levels to my blog posts and make the audience truly see and understand my perspective.

October 4

RCL #6 – Conflicted

Addario’s life is filled with conflicts including actual war conflict and personal and emotional conflict. In part III of It’s What I Do, she talks about her conflict with making a profit from others’ misfortune and oppression. In this section, Addario talks about shooting refugee camps in new ways that would attract the eyes of new readers. As a photojournalist, her job is not only to capture events happening around the world, but to capture them in a way that can hold the attention of an audience. These images from a place of such conflict created paradoxical beautiful scenes and colors and were requested as fine-art prints for thousands of dollars each. Addario found herself in a moral conflict when she was making money off of these people’s conflict and terror.

Was it right to elicit a profit from conflict of others?

This conflict can be made relatable to the audience because Addario conveys her inner struggles and moral dilemma of the situation in a way that makes her readers understand that none of her decisions were easy but these images were ultimately worth producing because they helped to spread awareness of the refugee crisis by compelling readers to take a closer look and ask questions.

To convey beauty in war is a very powerful statement for Addario to make and this is one of the many reasons for her success as a photojournalist. It is important to understand the dilemmas she faced daily. I can relate to her inner conflict especially when thinking about my passion blog. Sometimes, I am conflicted when addressing my dietary needs to others and advocating to get gluten free food provided. Although I know that by advocating it will not only help me but other gluten free people down the road, I still hesitate because of the trouble it might cause me.

Part III of Addario’s story contains numerous external and internal conflicts, but she perfectly names the section “A Kind of Balance” to show how important balancing conflict and the eventual outcomes can be.

October 1

Persuasive Words of Nutrition

Walking through the grocery store, I notice that all the foods stocked neatly on the shelves contain the same few words that are highlighted. Words like “organic”, “all natural”, “multigrain”, and “sugar free” instantly make the foods seem more appealing as I throw them into my shopping cart. Why do these nutrition claims sway my opinion of the food? How can a simple word instantly decide whether or not I will spend more money on my grocery bill for the hope of being more healthy or sustainable?

As a society, people are always looking for quick-fixes that will improve their overall health and well-being. These “buzz words” seen frequently on products in the grocery store can often convince the consumer that the food will be a healthier option.

I, like every other person, love a quick fix to my issues. But I can assure you, eating an “all -natural” cookie will not save you.

So, here’s the issue with these health claims. Most of these claims are not supported by the FDA by any measurable requirements. This allows marketing production teams to literally take full control of what the consumer will think about the product. If the first thing you see on a box of gummy snacks is “made with real fruit”, then you may be less inclined to check the nutrition label for the shocking amount of sugar that accompanies this so called “real fruit”.

The number of these persuasive nutrition claims is expanding daily, but there are a few that are extremely common on products across the globe. These include ploys for sugar free products, organic, all natural, vegan, multigrain, free range, fat free, and light/low calorie products.

There are also several claims that are accurate and beneficial to economic and individual health such as Fair Trade in foods like coffee and chocolate. People are more inclined to buy foods with the official Fair-Trade seal because they know it will actually make a difference in global production of the ingredients.

It is important as a consumer to understand these persuasive methods used by food production companies in all parts of the world. If you can educate yourself on the truths behind these nutrition claims, you will be able to become an effective consumer and avoid spending too much money on false claims.