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.

September 19

Civic Artifact Speech Draft

Summary: I want to analyze why people will wait in the Starbucks line in the Hub for 30 minutes each day for overpriced coffee. This also includes an analysis of why people drink coffee in general, and whether this trend has changed over the years.

Intro: Why do people drink coffee? As I walk through the HUB daily, without fail there will consistently be a line of 30+ people waiting for their overpriced, sugary coffee with a butchered name on the cup. So my analysis stems from my curiosity, why do people drink coffee? As a disclaimer, I’m not much of a coffee drinker but I find myself wanting to consume this tasty beverage at times for odd reasons. Sometimes I’m tired and I feel the need for an extra boost. Other times, I just want to fit in with the rest of my friends. When 3/4 of my 9am class comes prepared with a variety of coffee beverages, I find myself wondering what it is about this “magic juice” that entices people to burn their dining dollars before the second semester even begins. 



Point 1: What are the reasons for drinking coffee?

            – status symbol (makes you seem more sophisticated)

            – connects you to other people (coffee dates, peer pressure)

            – Solves your problems!  tired = drink coffee, hungover = drink coffee

            – Coffee = maturity, adulthood

            – Society wants us to be mature, civic duty to be mature & hardworking –> drink                       coffee!



Point 2: What is the role of advertisements for drinking coffee?

Talk about advertisements & what they mean (All adults in advertisements!)

Comfort, warmth, peaceful way to wake up

working people drink coffee, people need coffee in the morning to function

mature and sophisticated people drink coffee (accent)


Point 3: So who consumes coffee? Has this changed over time?

– Everyone, adults, college students, parents

– More sugar, can’t drink black coffee


Point 4: What are the different meanings behind drinking coffee?

– Different meanings? Seen as status symbol – power, authority, comfort, hardworking

– Commonplaces? Adults drink coffee, professional people drink coffee, coffee =                                      maturity


Conclusion: How does coffee relate to being civic? Coffee makes people function, socialize, and work hard. Aren’t these the exact qualities people look for and expect to see in adults? While it may go unnoticed, coffee plays an important role in cultures across the globe and contributes to civic life. Every day, pressures of society push people to get jobs and work harder, and a symbol equated with these ideas is coffee! The drink of choice by successful business men and struggling college students, coffee can truly be “the best part of waking up” for many, even if it means paying a lot and waiting in a long line for one cup. 

September 11

RCL #3- A Vivid Image

When reading It’s What I Do, It was incredibly easy to find myself lost in the images Addario was portraying to her audience. Scenes of war and terror fills the pages of her book, but one scene in part 2 was incredibly vivid and memorable for me. The chapter is titled, “Please tell the woman we will not hurt her”, but all that was racing through Addario’s mind was the thought,

“I am going to die.”

In this scene, This seen is so powerful because through all of the chaos, confusion, and terror, Addario can’t stop thinking about all of her cameras and gear that is now in an unknown location. Despite the complete fear of being discovered as Americans and being killed, she is still focused on her career and passion and not just focused about herself. This is an especially important writing strategy to think about when writing my passion blog. The deepest passions are found within a person when they believe they could lose it all in a second.

What makes you hold on and appreciate your passion and career is what sets it on fire and gives you a deeper purpose for pursuing it. Through Addario’s countless encounters such as this one, she never loses focus on why she came in the first place: to document critical situations in areas around the world. Her passion is to make sure that these stories are heard, and even if her life is put in danger, the stories are worth the effort. Although I have never taken death-defying acts to pursue my passion, I remember times when I took the extra effort in pursing it to make it more important to me.

September 5

RCL #2- No Regrets

In Part 1 of It’s What I Do by Lynsey Addario, Addario recounts one of the most memorable pieces of advice given by her Nana. Nana’s story was about her missed chance at love with her young lover, Sal. Unfortunately, while Sal had passion and intimate love, he had neither money nor a stable future ahead for Nana, so she chose a man that could support her financially, Earl. While Nana has happy with Earl and their life together, he never showed her the passion and fire like Sal. Because of this, she always regretted her missed chance at love.

When Addario recalls this story, she simply states, “I never wanted to regret the kisses I missed”. This story applies to her life both in her relationships throughout her life and her career. With everything in her crazy life, she never wanted to regret missing a huge opportunity. For her career, she would often make extremely risky decisions in hope of a successful outcome that would not be available if she didn’t take the initial risk. This story also provides some background to Addario’s tenacity in pursuit of her passion. It always provided her with an incentive to push harder and take the risks.

For my passion blog, I am writing about my life with Celiac Disease. Honestly, I didn’t have much say in being gluten free, but I was able to decide whether or not I could use it in a more positive light and pursue it as a passion of mine. One event that had a great impact on me and helped to shape my passion was shortly after I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I remember feeling sorry for myself that I couldn’t eat pizza when I encountered a girl in my high school with various intestinal disorders.

She was only able to eat food through a tube in her stomach.

When I saw this, I recall putting my thoughts of self pity into perspective and remembering that at least I could still eat food. At that point, I was able to see this burden in a new light and eventually my passion started to fall into place from there.

For the remainder of my passion blog posts, I am going to talk about different stories I have about being gluten free including moments like the one mentioned above, and different interesting aspects about Celiac Disease that many non-gluten free people are unaware of.

August 24

RCL #1-It’s What I Do

“But when I am doing my work, I am alive and I am me. It’s what I do. I’m sure that there are other versions of happiness, but this is mine.” -Lynsey Addario

At this point in my first week of college, finding my passions and things that make me happy can be overwhelming at times. Coming from a high school graduation class of less than 100 to a class of 8,000 is completely terrifying.

So what am I going to pursue as my passion in college? What makes me happy? In high school I played a sport every season of the year ranging from field hockey, to swimming, and track. I am a runner, I love making food for my family, I am above average height (6’2″ to be exact), and I love the outdoors. I also have Celiacs Disease (fancy way of saying I’m gluten free) so basically all of the signs around campus advertising “free pizza” kind of suck. And that’s basically me in a nutshell (my favorite nut is a cashew, in case you were wondering).

Anything that keeps me active and in a role where I can help others makes me happy. Also, I can find humor in some of the simplest situations so that keeps me happy too.

I’m thinking of either writing my passion blog about being gluten free (and all of hilarious and tragic stories that come along with it) or exercise and healthy eating. Either way, they are both aspects of my life that are very important to me and make me who I am. Let me know which one you think I should do!