Tuesday, April 30, 2013
For the Floridiana Book journal, I decided to write about the fiction novel, Stormy Weather, by Carl Hiaasan. I came across this story in highschool and I ended up creating a presentation for my sophomore year english class based on it. The book is set in Miami, Florida and it takes place during and after Hurricane Charlie. This novel tells a story of tourists, native Floridians, scam artists, and insurance adjusters as they interact in it's aftermath. Hiaasan is a very sarcastic writer which makes this book fun and upbeat but the majority of his characters had a somewhat annoying quality to them. They were either dull and boring or purposefully ignorant; neither of which I found attractive to read about.
Within Stormy Weather, in addition to the criminals, there is a newlywed couple, Max Lamb and Bonnie Lamb, who split up because the groom is inclined to take photos of the storm instead of wanting to go to Walt Disney World with his new wife. There is a character named "Skink" who was a former governor of Florida who ends up kidnapping Max Lamb in order to drive home the point that the natural ecology of Florida must be preserved. The various characters and subplots eventually intersect in the novel and come together to form a witty novel with a great ecological message.
Word Count: 226
The abundance of group work and group presentations was equivalent to a needle in the eye: painful and useless. I work five days a week and the majority of my group partners also had a full schedule, so it was increasingly difficult to find times to meet up and write a coherent paper or put together a presentation with a random group of students who have a million other things on their plates at that moment.
Although I didn't enjoy that class, I thought it's service learning component was helpful for graduation and volunteering outside was a rewarding way to earn those hours. It turned me on to the food forest and it's mission and accessibility, and I have attended a few harvests since my volunteer date.
Over all, Professor Headen was terrific but the subject matter and strict rules for the course were dull and over-bearing.
Word Count: 275
The Sanctuary was founded in 1954 and is approximately a vast 14,000 acres. It contains the most capacious virgin Bald Cypress forest in North America. It is an attraction spot for tourists, photographers, and bird watchers. The boardwalk was formed in the wake of a series of controlled burns to form one of the five habitats that are located in the sanctuary, and it is frequently altered to make room for the incoming and presently growing cypress trees. In the near future I plan on visiting the Sanctuary again but this time I will bring my camera and capture the relentless magic of nature.
A meaningful quote:
We believe in the wisdom of nature's design. We know that soil, water, plants, and wild creatures depend upon each other and are vital to human life. We recognize that each living thing links to many others in the chain of nature. We believe that persistent research into the intricate patterns of outdoor life will help to assure the wise use of earth's abundance. So we will be vigilant to protect wilderness areas, refuges, and parks and to encourage good use of nature's storehouse of resources.
-statement of Audubon philosophy from "Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, a Self-guided Tour of the Boardwalk," 1960.
Word Count: 314
ECHO (Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization) is a non-profit, inter-denominational Christian organization located on a demonstration farm in North Fort Myers, FL. ECHO exists for one major reason, to help those working internationally with the poor, especially in the area of agriculture. The program provides help through education, innovative options, and networking.
Education: They offer internships and hands-on training and workshops
Innovative options: Seeds of underutilized crops and their technical response unit
Networking: Annual conferences/ community gatherings
It was extremely interesting to walk through the ECHO farm. The class was introduced to many “old-school” agricultural inventions:stoves, looms, water-purifiers, etc. from the nineteenth century. I connected many of the plants and ways of farming (permaculture) to the service learning hours that I performed at the FGCU Food Forest (meringa, jujubee, tomatoes, citrus fruits). It was nice to be able to take the information that I gained from volunteering and apply it to ECHO's message.
ECHO started off during the early 1980's. The farm that we visited was created with a land grant for global farming and they currently offer a seed bank, bookstore, and farm tours at their location on Bayshore Road. They are primarily and openly a Christian organization, which I find to be somewhat controversial for those who would like to volunteer to help other countries or simply take a workshop to start sustainably farming or gardening on their own. Religion really shouldn't have anything to do with wanting to help feed the world.
Word Count: 245
Conservation 20/20 is a program that was mentioned. It was founded in 1995 and it's mission statement is as follows:
“To acquire properties of environmental significance, restore those lands to their natural state and condition, manage them in an environmentally acceptable manner and provide public recreational opportunities that are compatible with protecting the natural resources.”
Those involved in the program were and are concerned with conserving Florida's land that was originally set aside for conservation.
I have always been one for snacks and since I was a child my favorite has always been Pepperidge farm Goldfish. Goldfish contain the following ingredients:
Wheat Flour Unbleached Enriched (Flour, Niacin, Iron Reduced, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vegetable oil (Canola oil, Soybean oil, Milk , Salt, Contain 2% or less of the following: Yeast, Leavening, Baking Soda, Monocalcium Phosphate, Sugar, Spice (Onion, Powder)
- Reduced Iron- Product of rust that has been "de-rusted" by applying elcetricity and hydrogen
- Folic Acid- Product of bacteria treated with multiple acids until only Folic acid is left
- Annatto- Is made from achiote tree. It is mostly used to color cheeses orange (like cheddar). In its pure form it tastes lightly sweet and peppery. Some people say that it tastes similar to nutmeg. Annatto is one of the top 10 food allergens in America.
- Soybean Oil- Oil is squeezed from the soybean when it is pressed.
heir Goldfish catch phrase is "The Snack that Smiles Back", which goes along with what they write at the top of the ingredients listed on every bag: "Made With Smiles". Goldfish are a relatively healthy snack but they are still not organic or natural. They are processed. I feel that Pepperidge Farm makes a good effort with their slogans, commercials, and games on their boxes to rope in children and parents who are looking for a cheap cracker.
Word Count: 270
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
I grew up in Down Town Ft. Myers. I can remember thrifting through uninteresting stores as a child with my family; my grandmother in particular. We would sit and talk with the dock master on First Street and walk up and down Main. In the fifth grade I took a field trip to the Edison home and Ford Estates so I had a bit more background knowledge on the Down Town area than most. My weekends are usually spent at the City Tavern and I have tasted almost every flavor of Pizza that Down Town has to offer. I find it strange how I still visit almost every week but the activities that I partake in are so much different from those that I took part in before; where I used to attend art and flower festivals, I now head down town for after-hour frivolities and maybe an occasional tattoo. I was excited for this field trip. Maybe to find out a little more about this place that I seem to spend so much time in. Although I had already heard a majority of the information, I still took away a few key points. For instance, I never realized that in the "Unlikely Friends" art piece, there were so many references to Florida life, and I was delighted to finally know the history of the old theater. I also became aware of a number of new, local clubs and bars that I would be interested in going to. The aspect of personalization that our professor put in to explaining the history of down town as well as activities that specifically appeal to our age group was refreshing. It made the whole experience of this "madatory field trip" much more enjoyable.