Blog

Reflection

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I think that over the course if this summer term, I have developed more as a writer. I always made my paper flow, however, I think that having the paragraph by paragraph structure allowed my paper to flow smoother, and the ‘moves’ that was needed in each paragraph made my paper much stronger. Being forced to do basic research made me more confident in the fact that I am capable of doing a research paper. The social justice theme made me appreciate the people who are making a difference in the world; for example, Blake Mycoskie. He wrote a memoir called Start Something that Matter and within his memoir, he talked about TOMS and why he created TOMS. Working on citations and the MLA writing format also made me more confident for the fall. I know based odd the classes that I will be taking in the fall MLA format will come in handy. Never in my high school writing was I required to use footnotes within a paper. I actually liked using footnotes because it’s like a fun fact or it help explain something more. Lastly, my paper on the Ann Arbor events and resources was very helpful to learn about. It made me feel more like a Michigan student. I think that all the components that we have learned within this term made me more prepared for the fall. Thank you!!

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This Bridge Called My Back

TBCMB

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The title of the book is This Bridge Called My Back. The book was editied by Moraga, Cherrie, and Gloria Anzaldua. The book was published in 1981.This book is an anthology. The book’s title refers to all the oppersion that miniority femminst women have to endure and the bridge represents the feminist women crossing over from their struggles to their victories. The point of view are in the editors point of view: Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua. The communities that are included and vauled are females of color and feminists.  In the article by Gloria Anzaldua, an example of feminist tone “’I’m more poor, more oppressed than you’, who give suffering and pain more merit than laughter and health” that shows feminist tone because instead of them focusing on their oppression they choose to focus more on the postivity. Cherrie also says, “And yet, it is true that our oppression is not the be-all and end-all. I worry about tendency in the movement where women of color activities seem to be enamored with our oppersion”( Moraga, “Refugees of a World on Fire” pg 258). I believe that means that women are bewitched by their oppersion and not actioning against their oppression.  You can tell when Latina women are speaking because she would be writing in spanish; for example Glori Anzaldua says “…estas hasta el pescuezo de sufrimiento, de contar las lluvais de sangre pero no las lluvias de flores(up to your neck with suffering, of counting the rains of blood but not the rains of flower)” ( Anzaldua, “Forewood to the Second Edition, 1983, pg 253). I can tell that was a Latina woman because she wrote in spanish and translated.

Work Cited

Moraga, Cherrie & Gloria Anzaldua, Eds. This Bridge Called My Back 2nd Edition. Boston:

Kitchen Table, 1983. Print.

Great Events at The University of Michigan

Campus Resources

The Arb or Nicholas Arboretum was designed in 1909 by O.C. Simonds (Wikipedia. par 2). The Arb is a place that Daniel and I did not even know existed, so it came as a shock to know that The Arb was located right behind our dorm. In the heart of the Arb is a very large river, but the walk to the river is definitely a struggle. For example, it was way too hot to be walking in the forest. Daniel just came from practice so he was already hot, tired, and hungry, and I, myself, just do not like nature. However, the sight itself is amazing; the flower gardens were gorgeous and smelled pretty nice as well. The buzzing of the insects in my face, the feeling of something crawling on my leg, and the fact that I was walking in open-toed sandals, just was not pleasant. Once we finally arrived to our destination, the sight was breath-taking. Daniel and I both felt a wave of peace and calmness come over us from the river.

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Every day, Daniel and I walk past the Natural History Museum; we never took the time to observe what was inside. The NHM is a building that is shared with three research museums (Anthropology, Zoology, and Paleontology) (Wikipedia. par 3), which is probably the reason it looks like a classroom from the outside. Walking into the NHM, it was hot. It was outside and hot inside, which is just not a good combination. On the other hand, the NHM was actually a nice place. The display of the mammoth was very 3D like. It just pops out in your face. The display of the wolf was ridiculously scary. The thing looked so real. If you made one sudden movement the wolf would just attack you. It was realistic for all of the other wild life displays, which Daniel and I found interesting. We found out information about Michigan itself; for example, that the grey wolf is Michigan’s largest predator. We actually enjoyed the NHM, it had lots of stuff animals such as: Foxes, coyotes, and certain kinds of ducks that we had never seen in person.

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The University of Michigan Art Museum is one of the largest university museum in the United States. The museum was originally built as a war memorial in 1909, for the university fallen alumni from the Civil War (Wikipedia par 1) Daniel and I are both not big fans of art. I really do not care for art; however, it was interesting to see what other consider art to be. What exactly is art? Art is anything you want it to be. For example, the light bulb. So how exactly is a light bulb considered art? We have no idea, but it is. We like how the place is air conditioned. It felt nice to come out of the heat to a nice air conditioned place. The art museum made me feel sophisticated and it made feel young again because he was curious about all of the art.

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There must be a correlation between the art fairs/museum visits and the temperature. The Ann Arbor art fair is one of Michigan’s finest summer traditions and of the largest outdoor fairs in the nation (Ann Arbor Art Fair. par 1).. On the contrary, the art fair was the worst of all the other places we visited. The whole weekend that the art fair was there, it was extremely hot. It was way too hot to be walking around with other sweaty people. Daniel and I found ourselves getting frustrated while walking because the sun was killing us. Everywhere you walked there was heat. No shade. No escape. The sun is frying us like bacon and every time you walked past someone their sweat will rub against you. Daniel and I both hate the feeling of being hot and sticky and that is exactly how we felt walking through the art fair. On the other hand, the people really did have some amazing art. Daniel saw a couple of painting that caught his attention because they were absolutely gorgeous, but it was too difficult to focus on the art when the sun is beaming down on you. We think that the art fair would have been a more enjoyable experience if was not so hot and sunny. A day when the sun and wind can work together.

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Conducting information for our survey was very difficult for us, because we only had eight people do it besides Daniel and I. We assume everyone went to the Arb, The NHM, The Art Museum, and the Art fair because we took a class trip to all of the following. Yet, everyone’s personal experience is different. It is hard to display our data when there is only so little. If Daniel and I could change the way we distributed our survey, we might have had better results. I believe that if we were given this project again we would have printed off our surveys.  On the other hand, the small responses that we did have showed that the students enjoyed the visit to the Arb more than the other places that we have visited.

With Daniel and my experience at all of these places, we can conclude that the overall experience was not the best. We feel the if it was a different day or the weather was not so hot our experience would have been a lot different. Even though it was so hot and uncomfortable, our experience was still a positive one. Daniel and I got to know each other on a much better level also. If we could go to one of these places again we would choose the Arb, because we can visit it any time of the year.

Power Point

Work Cited

 “Nichols Arboretum.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 07 Aug. 2016

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nichols_Arboretum

“Eat, Play & Stay in Ann Arbor!” Ann Arbor Area CVB. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Aug. 2016.

https://www.visitannarbor.org/artfair/

“University of Michigan Museum of Art.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 07 Aug.     2016

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Michigan_Museum_of_Art

“University of Michigan Museum of Natural History.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 07 Aug. 2016.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Michigan_Museum_of_Natural_History

“Eat, Play & Stay in Ann Arbor!” Ann Arbor Area CVB. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Aug. 2016.

 

 

A Toast Story

Failure with a side of Toast

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Antonio “Shades” Agee is a Detroit graffiti artist. He went through a lot of struggle in his life. At one point of time he was homeless. He had to find different girls at night just to have a roof over his head. He talks a lot about being a garbage man, which some people view it as a failure. Would not consider that a failure because in order for him to become a garbage man he had to sober up and get his life together. In the Failure Lab video, he mentioned how he became an artist was because he came from a family of artist(pars.4:05-4:11). He also mentioned in the video why he picked graffiti. In the video, he said that he picked graffiti because he liked the idea of being low-key(pars.4:19-4:30). Shades was then recruited by the Detroit Institute of Arts, where he made some amazing graffiti for the institution.

In a way, I can relate to Shades’ story. I have been through some struggles in my life growing up on the south-side of Chicago and my mom having me at a young age. My mom had me when she was only 16 years old, which put some struggles on her because she was just a child having a child. It was a struggle because my mom and I clashed a lot of times, which made it difficult growing up. In many ways, the struggles that I encountered shaped my life into the person I am today or the person who I want to be when I get older. Additionally, I always wanted to learn how to draw. I like to draw or doodle, so I can understand why Shades fell in love with graffiti, and why he wanted to do it. I further my knowledge more about Detroit Institute of Arts, and I learned that the museum has been around for over a century. On the website, it says, “among the top six in the United States” (DIA. par 3). Now that I am living in Michigan, I think that I need to get out of Ann Arbor and go see this amazing museum!

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Shades’ success story reminds me of another successful person named Giulietta Carrelli. Giulietta Carrelli is a woman who owns a coffee shop named “ Trouble”, she also suffers from a mental disorder called schizoaffective disorder[1], and she has been dealing with this since she was in high school. Giulietta comes from a family that of Italians, and for the most part they did not eat American food other than cinnamon toast, which is one of the options on the Trouble menu. A little later in Giulietta life, she met an older man named Glen, who then helped her start her own coffee shop. In the article, A Toast Story, the author says “And the brief menu, toast was a standalone item- at $3 per slice” (Gravois. par 2). This toast that was getting provided from Giulitta was ridiculously expensive! I guess if a coffee shop primarily sells toast, then the price of it has to be expensive.

Giulietta’s story is amazing and inspiring. She has to struggle so much and deal with a lot of mental and emotional distress, yet she finds way to cope and keep a sense of herself. She is inspiring because if she gets up every day not knowing what to expect, who are we to complain about the little stuff that life throws at us. When you are given bread, make toast! Speaking of toast, toast was San Francisco’s artisanal food trend. I researched some more about other food trends in 2016. On the Global Food Forums, it says that savory yogurt is the next kale in 2016. (Global Foods Forums. par 3). What is surprising is that there has not been a lot of news about popular food trends, especially savory yogurt. Giulietta is a perfect example of a person who made something out of herself and made a successful business. In a way, she is almost like Blake Mycoskie, the creator of TOMS.

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In Mycoskie’s memoir, Start Something that Matters, he created a new definition of what success of what success meant. He says that success meant working on one’s own terms and contributing to the world (Mycoskie 16). I think that Shades and Giulietta both fit into Mycoskie’s definition of success. Shades give back to Detroit by contributing his artwork to the art of institute. On the other hand, Giulietta fits into Mycoskie’s other definition of success, which is working in one’s terms. Giulietta owns her own business, so she decides when she wants to come to work and when she wants to open her shop. There are some similarities between the three, yet there are some differences as well. One of the main differences between the two is that Shades and Giulietta had some kind of struggle in their lives that got them to their success; whereas, Mycoskie grew up very privileged and probably did not have to struggle as much as them.
My own personal definition of success is getting my major in psychology and actually growing up to become the person that I want to be; however, I am still in that process of finding who I am. I plan on being a psychiatrist when I grow up. So my own personal success would have to involve me furthering my education and going to college. I need to go to college in order for me to have the life that I want to live where I don’t have to need or want for anything because I already have it. Also, another part of my success definition is to have a successful life. I do not want to bring children into the world without without having my life together. Shades and Giuletta had a struggle in their life, yet I cannot relate neither of them. My definition of success is different from their own definition of success and what it means to be successful. My takeaway from the TOMS reading, Shades, and Giulietta is make the best out of life. When life throws you apples, smash it and make apple sauce.

Work Cited

Agee, Antonio Shades. “Failure Lab Grand Rapids.” YouTube. May 23, 2013. Web. 20 July 16

2016 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNvonl9d7M8

“The Cultural gem of Detroit-Museum Info.”  DIA-Detroit Institute of Arts.  DIA, n.d. Web. 25 July 2016. http://www.dia.org/about/history.aspx

Duron, Alexandra. “The Next Kale? The Foods You’re Going To Be Hearing About Constantly

In 2016.”  Global Food Forums.  Global Food Forums, 4 January 2016.  Web. 25 Jul

2016 http://www.globalfoodforums.com/food-news-bites/2016-food-trends/

Gravois, John. “A Toast Story.” Pacific- Standard. Jan 13, 2014. Web. 18 Jul. 2016. https://psmag.com/a-toast-story-df3b8e99d07f#.5smf0s6y2

Mycoskie, Blake. Start Something that Matters. New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2011. Print

 

[1] Schizoaffective disorder is a disorder in which a person experiences a combination of schizophrenia and mood disorder.

 

TOMS Paper

Tomorrow’s Shoes

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Blake was on the TV show called The Amazing Race. Blake’s shoes TOMS, stands for “Tomorrow’s Shoes”. His friend Alejo was originally his polo instructor, who then became his partner in the creation of TOMS. Blake said that the best “consultant” is the consumer and that just might just be your friend or acquaintance. Also, Blake went to American Rag to sell his product because his friend suggested it and because he found out that emails wasn’t getting him anywhere, so it was best to go talk in person. After TOMS was featured in the LA Times, Blake then went to Craigslist to post an ad for jobs or interns. One celebrity that was spotted wearing TOMS was Scarlett Johansson. During Blake’s first shoe drop off, he became very emotional due to the fact that his idea was now a reality and he was helping millions of children in need of shoes. Blake then created a new definition of success: contributing something to the world and living and working on one’s terms (Mycoskie 16). Towards the end, Blake mention “six key traits” of stating a successful business: “having a story may be the most important part of your new venture; that fear can be useful; having a vast resource is not as critical as you might think; simplicity is a core goal in successful enterprises; that trust is the most important quality you bring to your company; finally, that giving maybe the best investment you’ll ever make” (Mycoskie 18).

I enjoyed reading the story behind the creation of TOMS. I like the idea of why Mycoskie wanted to create TOMS. What surprised me is that Mycoskie kept his promise of what he was going to with the money that he made from TOMS and the fact that it wasn’t a onetime thing. In his story, Mycoskie said, “Luckily, my friends loved the story, loved the concept of TOMS, and the shoes” (7). I like that quote because sometimes your friends’ opinion matter, and for the fact that if his friends would not have liked the shoe, Mycoskie probably would not have wanted to pursuit to sell the shoe because he would have felt discouraged. Reading the story of TOMS made me want to buy a pair and the fact that Mycoskie did not let the money get to his head and he expanded his product more. Mycoskie did not just say that he wanted to change the world but actually found ways to improve it.

I expanded my knowledge more about TOMS and found out that TOMS is more than a shoe company. They also sell glasses, bags, and backpacks. In one of the sections on the TOMS website it says that they give away shoes from toddlers to teenagers (“Giving Shoes” par. 1). Something that I found that was also very interesting about TOMS is that they sell glasses to help those who actually need surgery because they have bad vision. On the website, it also states that their glasses restore sight to individuals through sight-saving surgery, prescription, or medical treatment (“The Gift of Sight” par. 2). The TOMS website also gave insight on the amazing ways on how they contribute to the world through the products that they sell. TOMS products help the TOMS Roasting Co. create a clean well system for those who need water (“The Gift of Water” par. 3). A purchase of TOMS bags provide training for skilled birth attendants and the materials needed to help women deliver safely (“Gift of Birth” par. 4). Lastly, by purchasing a TOMS backpack it provides training for school staff to know what to do when someone is being bullied, which I believe to be a very universal problem (“Gift of Kindness” par. 5).  TOMS do more than many people like me would assume. It is not about the money all the time, sometimes it is best to give back to the world that gives us so much. Who would have thought that just by purchasing a TOMS backpack or glasses that you are helping those who cannot see really well or helping a school staff prevent bullying.

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Additionally, there was a man who created a business that is similar to TOMS. Paul Newman, the creator of Newman’s Salad Dressing.  Paul Newman did not originally want to be in the food business, it just sort of happened. He started off his business just by making salad dressing for neighbors as Christmas presents. Just by making salad dressing for his friends and neighbors it then became something more. Even though Paul Newman was starting his own food product, he still kept his original job, being an actor.  All of the profit that he made from his product, he gave it away to charity. He created a camp for children who had life threatening disease. Until this class, I have not heard about Paul Newman or the salad dressing that he created. Additionally, I have not tried his product either, which I believe is because I am more of a ranch fan.

Paul Newman was creative with his food product. I like how it started off simple, for example, he really got started just by creating the salad dressing as a Christmas present. I admire the fact that he did not get into the food business for money but because creating salad dressings is something that he enjoyed. The Newman website stated how he actually gave his money to charity. I wonder why Newman did not expand his business. Why did he stick to creating salad dressings and not something else. I also read that Newman died some years back, however is business is still opened. Does the money that the company makes still go to charity, and if so, how often? The difference between Newman’s and Mycoskie’s stories is how they came about their companies and why they created their companies. Newman basically got into the food business on accident; whereas, Mycoskie wanted to get into the shoe business, even though, he got into the business for a good reason. They both did something fantastic with the profit that they made from their business, which is amazing. The difference between the two business is what they did with the profit that they made from their business. With every pair of shoes that Mycoskie sells, he donates another pair to a child who needs it; on the other hand, Paul Newman just donated the money to charity, which does not really tell us much. I would have to say that Mycoskie’s idea was more socially minded. He received a lot of media attention for his idea.

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I read more information about TOMS and something that I found that was interesting was that TOMS have a wedding toolkit. The wedding toolkit is basically a different selection for those who are tying the knot. The wedding toolkit matches the wedding dress to a TOMS product and the same for the groom’s suit.  They have a selection for everyone who is participating in the wedding, a kid’s selection, bridesmaid, and groomsmen. I like the TOMS wedding toolkit because I do not know too many companies who have this selection other than bridal stores. It is actually a creative and bold move to make. Who knows how successful this selection would be and how people would respond to it. However, I would not use the TOMS wedding toolkit for my own wedding. I would not want not want to wear TOMS because I see TOMS as a playful shoe not a wedding shoe. I see TOMS as a carefree shoe as well, for example, a shoe just to throw on not a show that I want to walk down the aisle in. However, I would not mind have the children dressed in TOMS for the simple fact that TOMS is more a kid shoe and a shoe that kids can feel comfortable in.

It is a hard decision to choose between TOMS and Newman business model because they both created a successful business. Unfortunately, I have to choose the TOMS business Model because I absolutely love the story behind TOMS. I have never owned a pair of TOMS, but reading the story behind TOMS actually made me want to go purchase a pair because I know exactly where my money is going. Paul Newman made a good choice of donating his money to charity; however, that’s not specific enough for me. I would love to work for TOM’S company as well because I will be able to see the difference that I am making to the world. That does not mean that I have to be the person who makes the shoe, I can be the person who helps an angry customer because her shoes haven’t delivered yet. Little things like that can make a real difference. TOMS practice ethics the most because they kept their promise, which is kind of like their morals that they set for themselves.  I personally do not believe that TOMS is a derivative of Newman’s. They have two completely different business and their business are handle in two completely different ways. There are a lot of people who are struggling or want to create their own business. There is also a thing called good and bad advice. At the end of the TOMS reading, Mycoskie gave some good advice.  I would say to those who are trying to create their own business should take Mycoskie’s advise but do not model their business after TOMS or Newman’s. I would not recommend to do that because people love creative and hearing about creative ideas, so to model a company after TOMS or Newman would not be so creative or impressive. I think that the key way to create a successful business is to have a story. The story sells the product. 

Work Cited

 “Giving Shoes.” “The Gift of Sight.” “Gift of Water.” “Gift of Safe Birth.” “The Gift of Kindness” TOMS Shoes. TOMS.com. 2006-2016. Web. 7 Jul. 2016.http://www.toms.com/what-we-give

Mycoskie, Blake. Start Something that Matters. New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2011. Print

“Our Story.” Newman’s Own Inc. Newmansown.com. 2016.Web. 7 Jul. 2016

http://www.newmansown.com/our-stories/