All freshman are required to take two courses: Images of Nature and Voices of Community. Freshman generally take Images of Nature in the fall and Voices in the Spring. When I walked into my first Voices class, I had no idea what to expect. I knew it was more focused on writing, whereas Images was more directed towards reading. But that was the only thing I knew. I was pretty excited though, because I love to write and always tend to do well on papers.
Eleanor Tison introduced herself and told us about the class. She explained that each Voices class focused on an specific topic throughout the semester and most of the reading was related to that topic. Our topic was food. I was intrigued and surprised. I knew a fair amount about food, but couldn’t figure out how we would be spending an entire semester on it. Well, that’s what we did.
We read “The Revolution will not be Microwaved” by Sandor Ellix Katz and another book, which I am totally blanking on. We watched Fast Food Nation and King Corn, two documentaries about the food industry in America. We went on a tour of the farm, which was a great way to spend a class period, especially since I hadn’t really had a tour. My best friend from high school had come to visit me that day and was included on the tour. She left GMC with an awesome story about how we have a farm and took a class period to go tour it.
Voices of Community taught me how to be a much better writer. We wrote two five page papers and one final paper. I wrote one of my papers on grassroots health activism and did extensive research on community-based health and healing. I discovered that when some people are sick, they just drink an entire gallon of water and focus on herb/food healing and cure themselves. I knew some information about that topic, but after writing that paper, I was well-informed.
Our final was a paper, where we could write about ANYTHING we wanted to. It just needed to be a well-constructed research paper. I wrote about orphan trains. It was one of my best papers because I was able to really get into the research and use what I has learned in the whole semester to make a really good paper. We also had to present on a chapter of Katz’s book with a group, and my group chose the chapter on fermenting food. For our presentation we brought in sauerkraut and took everyone out to the farm and made yogurt.
Looking back, I really enjoyed that class. It was a lot of work and writing, but it taught me how to be a much better writer and thinker. Becuase of Voices, my writing skills improved drastically throughout my college career. Eleanor Tison is one of my favorite professors and thanks to her, I am a much better writer. I also know so much more about food, alternative medicine and have changed my lifestyle.