Cooking and Composition

adventures in discourse and dinner

Reactions: The Wonder Nail Polish to Prevent Sexual Assault — August 29, 2014

Reactions: The Wonder Nail Polish to Prevent Sexual Assault

Since I first heard about the date-rape-drug detecting nail polish Undercover Colors on Wednesday, I’ve had a lot of conflicted reactions and thoughts. I seriously cannot stop thinking about it.

Last night, my partner and I had a thought-provoking conversation about our reactions, other people’s reactions, and the necessity of this kind of product. 

My initial reaction on Facebook.
My initial reaction on Facebook.

My thoughts and ideas sort of went down the rabbit hole quickly, from feeling generally positive about the product to anger about the world we live in and the constant urge to place the brunt of responsibility on the survivor, not the perpetrator.

This isn’t fair, but it’s definitely something that happens.

I’m still sorting through all of my thoughts about Undercover Colors. While I ultimately want to commend Ankesh Madan, Tasso Von Windheim, Tyler Confrey-Maloney, and Stephan Gray for what is, truly, a good attempt at creating a tool that integrates with someone’s lifestyle in order to help prevent a disastrous situation.

First, full disclosure: I am a survivor of alcohol-related sexual assault. My drink was not drugged. Society tells me I should be more responsible, more aware, and less trusting if I do not want this to happen to me; otherwise, society places part of (or all of) the blame onto me. This experience definitely affects my reactions to and opinions of Undercover Colors. Continue reading

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On Being a Young Academic — August 27, 2014

On Being a Young Academic

The start of the school year reminds me of one thing: I am young.

Well, not really. But at least in terms of professionals teaching university classes at my particular institution, in my particular department, I am a baby.

Hi, I’m your composition instructor!

I frequently get asked if I’m a student, and sometimes my students forget that I am, in fact, their instructor. It does afford me a different relationship with them than, say, my 40-year-old colleagues who are greying and haven’t sat in the classroom in fifteen years.

But I become acutely aware of this every time I step foot into my 300-level composition class. I have to start this by saying that it’s absolutely my favorite class to teach. I have a blast doing it because I teach using discourse community theories with a strong focus on bolstering reflection and metacognition. In short, I get to geek out.

And that geeking out about my academic interests helps because I’m pretty close in age to these students–who have to have a certain number of completed credit hours (which usually puts them at junior-level status). And at an institution where there are many nontraditional students and many students who simply take longer than the “typical” four years to complete a degree, this means that I could be the same age and even younger than the majority of my students in these classes. Continue reading