Don’t Say This to Someone in Food Service

Alternate post title: What I Learned This Summer

1. “I’m gonna have (insert type of food here.) Is it good?” Do you really think I’d tell you if it was bad? Why would a restaurant sell food that is bad? There is so much wrong with this question. Instead, try “What would you suggest?” or “What is your favorite?”

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2. “Having a hard time counting back that change, huh?” I’ve actually counted back change 50 times today without problem. I just forgot how much your bill was. Thank you for that confidence booster, bud.

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3.  “I need a refill, but I already threw away my cup when I was here three hours ago.” Um… I’m still confused about this.

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4. “I ordered tea, not sweet tea.” YOU ARE IN THE SOUTH, MA’AM. “Tea” is sweet unless stated otherwise.

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5. “It’s so hard to eat out healthy.” But why do you act annoyed at me because of this?

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6. “What sides do you have?” Please refer to the menu.

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7. “Working hard today?” Please don’t ask this. Just don’t.

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8. “What is this?” *points to food or beverage* Please just say what is wrong with your order instead of expecting me to read your mind or guess.

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9. (Anything that could be taken as you making a pass at an employee.) Need I say more? I’ve never been more uncomfortable than when men I’ve never met give me creepy compliments or wink every time you make eye contact with them.

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10. “Hi! How are ya’ll?” “I’ll take a Coke.” Don’t worry, I was just trying to be nice. (Shoutout to Allison W. for reminding me that this is a daily encounter.)

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11. This isn’t actually something to be verbalized, but leave a tip. Anyone who is waiting on your table makes less than minimum wage (a lot less in most cases). Please try to leave at least a 15% tip as a general rule.

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Men’s Feminism

“You don’t have to be anti-man to be pro-woman.” –Jane Galvin Lewis

I wrote this last fall for my composition class, and watching Suffragette last night reminded me that I needed to share it (because I’m also very proud of this piece). Below is my essay on why feminism benefits women and men.

Citations and formatting according to instructions given by my professor.


4 December 2015

Men’s Feminism

Arguably, feminism was originally created along with the suffragette movement to benefit women’s advancement in society. The various women’s rights movements throughout the 1900s around the world also embedded the idea of feminism being a primarily female concept. Historically and currently, men and women have viewed feminism as the movement of women to positions of higher power and prominence in public. Feminism in modern society, however, is beginning to shift toward equality for both sexes. Feminism, therefore, is as much for men as it is for women, and men will benefit from it if our society will embrace what feminism seeks to create. If society’s view of feminism can change to an idea of equality, men will get the equity they need and deserve while also helping women.

In order to benefit men, society must change its view of feminism as a whole. We must first define feminism in a singular way that promotes equality for both genders and use ideas from different types of feminism to reach its goals. Once society has decided upon a goal of feminism and the way in which this goal is accomplished, men will be benefitted as much as women. Benefits of feminism for men include financial equality, self-expression, media portrayal, and a decrease in sexual violence while raising a new generation of feminist-thinkers. By gradually implementing this new idea of feminism into society and making citizens aware of feminism’s advantages, the ultimate goal will benefit men as much as women.

A singular definition must first be made and taught to our society in order to truly reach the goal of feminism as well as benefit men. There are many different definitions and ideas of feminism that are beneficial as well as detrimental to the concept and the goal feminism strives to achieve. Emma Watson defines feminism as “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.” This definition does not discriminate nor benefit a single gender group. If we define feminism in such a way as Emma Watson proposes, men and women alike will have the opportunity to achieve what they wish regardless of gender bias or restraint. This definition, most importantly benefits the group that most often feels ostracized and persecuted by the current feminism idea.

We must also acknowledge as a society that there are different types of feminism. All types of feminism view gender equality, eliminating stratification by sex, ending violence, and encouraging sexual freedom to be the primary goals, but they vary according to the extent and approach to accomplishing these goals. Among the many types of feminism are liberal, socialist, radical, and multicultural/global feminism. Liberal feminists believe that individuals are capable of advancing in society by their own talent and merit rather than as a collective group. Socialist feminists believe that their goals are accomplished collectively as a group and “replacing the traditional family” would “replace ‘domestic slavery,’” (Macionis 331). Radical feminists believe gender and gender roles must be eradicated altogether. Global feminism seeks to acknowledge and change how gender stratification is different across cultures (Macionis 330-2). Our society needs to use an amalgamation of these four feminism types in order to accomplish the new goals of feminism that benefit men. Individuals must have equal opportunities, and our society must become one that does not promote discrimination and collectively becomes a culture of feminists. The barriers that prevent gender equality across cultures and in societies other than our own must be recognized and improved upon.

There is ample evidence of the pay gap between men and women that favors the former. According to Charlotte Alter, “research from Wells Fargo shows that college-educated millennial men made $20,000 more per year than women with the same education level.” The problem with a pay gap among gender is that many women are becoming the breadwinners of the home now whether their husbands can not find a job or they choose not to work. If the female partner is the only worker, the financial burden will, on average, be greater than if the male was the sole source of money. If society’s definition of feminism was accepted as a goal of equality, then the pay gap would be eliminated and either partner in marriage would be able to not work for reasons such as staying home with children. This benefits men, especially, because the burden of finances would not be solely upon them who would otherwise have the financial burden to care for their family.

Our society’s idea of manhood is limiting toward men because they are not freely able to express their feelings and inner emotions. Men are expected to be tough because showing emotion is considered feminine. Tony Porter relates how his father being unable to cry in front of others influenced him to tell his young son to act “like a man” and calm down and stop crying. This prevention of emotion is unjust to men because they should be allowed to express themselves in the same way as women. Changing society’s definition and understanding of feminism toward equality between genders would prevent men from stifling their emotions. Expression would allow men to be open and honest, and this would no doubt better men’s overall mental health. Men have been at the greatest risk as a group for many years, and this no doubt is caused because of the pressures put upon them to “be a man” and act as if they do not have normal human emotions. Feminism would allow these men to discuss what they feel rather than feeling their only escape is suicide.

Changing the viewpoint and definition of feminism in society would lessen the objectification of women in media as well as prevent men from being viewed as sex-driven in the same respect. Currently, women are hyper-sexualized by the media, and men are seen as the main cause for this issue. The idea of manhood is men are “supposed to always be on the prowl. Women are objects, especially sexual objects,” (Porter). This creates an image of men where they objectify women, and this portrayal is also seen in media. A new view of feminism would create a need to fix the female image in media as well as male ideas of women, and ultimately the male image as well. By changing the way women are portrayed in the media, men as a whole would not be seen as the “pigs” that media makes them out to be. Men and women would be seen as equals to each other who’s worth is not determined by their bodies or sexuality as is portrayed by the media. A safe environment where no gender is objectified or seen as the objectifiers would accomplish feminism’s main goal of equality, for no one group is at fault.

The current idea of feminism no doubt makes many people uncomfortable— especially men. With the current preconception of feminism, many men feel that feminists are man-haters. Men also feel victimized by feminism in that they believe feminists see them as cruel, evil men who treat women wrong. Men are primarily the perpetrators of sexual assault, rape, and other acts of violence against women. We must create a society where all men are not viewed as evil villain-like characters who seek to harm women. A new definition and social acceptance of feminism would change this idea. Jackson Katz echoes this idea by saying that if men in our society held each other accountable about their treatment of women that those who do act in a violent manner toward women would “lose status as a result of it.” Men would be aware of their actions toward women and, likewise, women’s actions toward men.  There would no longer be a notion that men are all violent toward women making equality more achievable for each sex. This accountability should be encouraged in adult males to take immediate action toward the issue of violence against women, however, boys need to be raised to appreciate the value of feminism. Adults must raise their children (especially boys) to appreciate those of the opposite sex and to see them as their equals. The same accountability men must hold each other to must be expected of children.

Our society currently has many ideas about what feminism entails, therefore a change in the opinions of the entire population will occur at a gradual rate. Education from family, schools, and pop culture will need to influence adults and change their preconception of feminism’s goal. Children will also need to be brought up in environments that encourage feminism in a positive, equality-promoting way. These children will be the most important to educate in feminism to further our society’s feminism culture to benefit both sexes rather than singularly women. If children are raised with these ideas of equality, then they will rear more generations of adults who consider themselves feminists.

Feminism has been considered as a way for women to advance in society and have equal opportunities, but it is becoming a goal of equality for men and women alike. Modern society must acknowledge feminism and change how it is viewed to a central idea, and this goal can be accomplished. Feminism is as much for men as women, and its goal can be accomplished with a new conception of the movement.

Word count: 1565

Bibliography

Alter, Charlotte. “Millennial Women Are Still Getting Paid Less Than Men.” Time. 13 June 2014. Web. 2 December 2015.

Katz, Jackson. “Violence Against Women—It’s a Men’s Issue.” TEDxFiDi Women.                       San Francisco, CA. November 2012. Web. 1 December 2015.

Macionis, John. “Gender Stratification.” Society: The Basics. 13th ed. New Jersey: Pearson, 2015. 330-2. Print.

Porter, Tony. “A Call to Men.” TEDWomen. Washington, DC. December 2010. Web. 1 December 2015.

Watson, Emma. “Gender Equality is Your Issue Too.” UN Women. New York, NY. 20 September 2014. Web. 30 November 2015.

Quest for a Ponytail: Chapter 1

Not too long ago I stated how I could never go back to long hair in a vlog, but here I am saying I’m growing it out.

Let me begin by saying I’m already so over letting my hair grow. Short is definitely the way to go if you hate maintaining your locks. I’m just at a point where I’ve had a pixie-ish style for half a year and want to shake things up. My plan is to grow my hair into a chin-length bob through the fall (and maybe winter) then chop it all off again.

I thought this might be helpful to someone who stumbles upon my blog if they’re like me and looking for stories of hope from other women trying to grow out their hair.

And here’s the update: Two months since last full cut. Already approaching mullet territory. Ready to give up but remaining positive. Bobby pins on hand.

Stay tuned.

The Thing About Divorce

I’ve lived with my mother my whole life and my step-father since I was in third grade. My biological father has only been involved in my life for about a year when I was five and hasn’t made any contact with me in the almost fifteen years since. I am no stranger to divorce, and I know what it’s like to live with a single parent as well as a blended family.

Let me begin by saying divorce does not give children a reason to hate either of their parents. I am a child of divorce (and though one friend told me my experience does not count because I was young when my parents split up, I feel being abandoned by a biological parent gives me warrant to have this opinion.) I have a complete memory of the split, but it has not negatively affected my view of my mother or made me angry at her.

The thing about divorce is people don’t do it for petty reasons or because of anything their children do. People divorce because they are incapable of being together, no longer love each other as they feel they ought to, or because they are in unhealthy situations. Divorce is a means for people to separately continue their lives in a way that promotes their happiness. I know my mother is happier apart from my biological father, so I have no reason to hate her or him for being separated. I find it incredibly selfish of my friends who resent their parents for divorcing because, just as parents want their children to be happy, children should want their parents to be happy as well. Adults have a right to joy as much as children as long as those children are safe, cared for, and loved.

Lives are not destroyed by divorce. I think many children believe a split will change their world, but that’s usually not the case. Yes, some parents have custody battles and smack-talk each other (and to those people, why is it necessary?), but most people will continue as normal. Children may have two houses to carry their belongings between and may have four Christmas parties to attend, but it’s not the end of the world. Divorce taught me the importance of independence; I know how to stand on my own when I need to.

In no way am I so naïve to believe all splits are clean and easy and no one gets hurt. I’m only saying children of divorce should try to evaluate what they are resentful about. Are they forgetting their parents happiness and well-being? Are they upset their family picture looks more like a Venn diagram of his, hers, mine, theirs, and ours?

Blessings

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On Good Friday, our yorkie of 12 years, Zelda, passed away from congestive heart failure. Zelda was more of a fur baby than a dog in our house. We loved her more than we do most people if I’m being honest. I’m almost certain my mom loved her as much as (if not more than) me. I don’t remember much about life before she came into our lives, so the loss of that precious baby was heartbreaking. I just kept praying to God for strength and comfort.
We knew it would be incredibly lonely in our house without little pattering feet running around, so adopting another dog was inevitable. We just didn’t realize how soon that would be.
While looking at puppies online, we found a possible choice not too far away. A phone call later (which was only intended to see if there were any puppies left and when we could see about adopting one), and we were on our way to pick up a little female chiweenie (chihuahua and dachshund).
Sweet story so far, right? A death and resurrection (if you can use symbolism for adopting a puppy) all during Easter weekend. Let me get to the even better part now.
When my mom talked to the owner on the phone, he told her that God had told him to hold on to the last puppy because someone really needed her. As soon as my mom said our yorkie of 12 years had passed away, the man said he knew she was a good person and needed a new puppy to lift her spirit.
And if that wasn’t beautiful enough…
The puppy was born on January 20th— my mom’s birthday.
God works in mysterious ways, friends.

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Meet our little girl, Fifer!

I’m Thankful, But…

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During high school, I had the opportunity to earn 38 college credit hours through a dual-enrollment program with a local college. This allowed me to enter my first year at university as a sophomore. This is great because I can (Lord willin’) graduate a year early with a degree. And I’m thankful for all of this. I’m thankful that I was able to get a year behind me while in high school. I’m thankful for how those dual-enrollment classes prepared me. I’m really thankful I have music appreciation behind me (ha!). But this has its disadvantage.

My last two years of high school I knew I would major in chemistry and go into pharmacy. In fact, I was dead set on this and really irritated when people told me I might change my mind. Fast-forward to this past fall during my first semester at university. I called my mom crying almost every night. Literally. I was very bored and completely stressed at the same time in every science class. I loathed the pre-requisites and knew I would be miserable if I took any more. I needed creativity. I decided to change my major within the first half of the semester. I had changed my mind like I was told I might. I was done.

The problem here lies in the fact that I had no clue what I was going to like once I entered college (for real). For me, the structure of science courses didn’t work, and I also wasn’t interested in anything I was learning. My English and debate classes, however, were my favorites. I realized I’m really interested in social issues and creative outlets— not whatever the Krebs Cycle is (I somehow made an A in biology, though).

Dual-enrollment made me feel like I had to know what I was going to major in as soon as I came to college. It meant that I had one less year to figure out what I was into, then I had to start classes in my major. I knew that after this year I needed to have a plan. It would all be fine if everyone knew exactly what they wanted to be when they grow up (and stuck with it,) but a lot of people end up changing their minds.

I’m really thankful to have a year of college behind me, but it also pressured me into making some big decisions about my future earlier than I was ready for. I still suggest taking dual-enrollment classes as a high school student, but I think more students need to know it may cause them to feel hurried through college.

Dating Myself

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For a little over a year now I have been what I recently dubbed “dating myself.”

What, you may ask, do I mean by this? Well, I’m taking time to really get to know myself while many others my age are getting to know a boyfriend/girlfriend.

I’m having a lot of “me time” and going places to eat and have coffee by myself. I’m not focusing on a boyfriend right now in order to really figure out what I want as an individual (because I really have no idea yet.) I’m taking time to enjoy what I like. I’m trying new things and making new friends. I’m being a little selfish, honestly.

Mostly, I’m having a lot of fun.

I’m not waiting on texts or calls from a boy. I’m not constantly trying to plan around someone else’s schedule. I’m not sacrificing anything I want for another person. I’m not being anyone’s girlfriend with any kind of responsibility for a relationship.

I’m being me.

I don’t feel lonely or jealous when I see couples, nor do I feel resentful. Personally, I do not want or feel the need to be in a relationship at this time in my life, but many others my age think otherwise. To each be their own.

In no way do I mean to offend anyone who is in an actual relationship with another person. I have close friends who are married, engaged, or in dating relationships that extend beyond a year, and I’m happy for them. That’s what they want, and it’s not what I want. We are all happy here.

I’m mostly writing this to that person who A) is perpetually single for the meantime, B) just got out of a relationship, or C)  is like myself and needed a term to coin their “status.” To the A person, you go! Take this time for some self-discovery and own it. To the B person, welcome. Maybe you’re not entirely happy that you and your significant other are no longer… er… significant (?), but maybe you need some time to reevaluate and prioritize what you are seeking in life. Being with someone else a lot can and does change you/your goals.

And to the C person, you already know how sweet dating yourself is, and you’re probably reading this during your coffee date for one.

 

Special thanks to my friend, Kellie, for listening to me talk about my opinion of dating one’s self and supporting it. More time with your friends is just another perk of dating yourself.

Being a Teacher’s Kid

Yes, it involves as much construction paper and glue as you’d expect.

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       I’ve been a teacher’s kid since birth. I’ve literally grown up in school, and I have more years in the education field than many tenured employees. Ask any child that has grown up with at least one parent who teaches, and they will tell you teachers’ kids are a different breed of human. Those like me who have spent a lot of their time in school with a parent who teaches know this truth particularly well.

What a lot of outsiders (in this case those who do not live with an educator or actually teach themselves) fail to realize is how much time teachers (and subsequently their children) spend at school. If you’re a dedicated teacher, it’s not the 8-to-3:30 job of assigning chapters to read. A normal day usually begins around 7:30 at the latest and ends at 4:30— and that’s on a good day. And the teacher’s kid is there the whole day, everyday until they finally reach the age that they can drive themselves (!!!). And if one of your parents has worked on a Masters or National Board certification, you know the absolute horror of primarily living at school (I’m only slightly kidding about that, too).

Teachers’ kids are not allowed to skip school. This is probably the most universal rule for us. I could probably count the number of times I missed school between kindergarten and graduation on one hand. You have a cold? You’re okay. As long as you’re not throwing up, you’re going to school.

Being a teacher’s kid means you are more likely to get along with adults than people your own age. It’s not because you don’t know how to interact with your peers, but rather you are around adults more often and find them more comfortable to be around. I’m certain this never wears off because my list of friends in high school included many of my teachers (called by their first names, not last) at the top.

You also learn to accept you are the prime helper with crafts/projects. You can assemble models, dioramas, and locker decorations like no one’s business. I’m actually still recovering from an incident in August in which I cut out way too many construction paper cellular organelles with left-handed scissors (and I am definitely NOT left handed).

You learn how to do tasks that would qualify you to be an excellent secretary in any office by age ten. I can scan, copy, and print papers like it’s my job. I knew how to answer phone calls professionally and transfer them before I knew how to multiply. And yes, I can use a fax machine.

You know what your teachers are like outside of their “school mode” when you’re a teacher’s kid because you’ve been to every faculty social/Christmas party/end of year celebration held. You know that part in Mean Girls when Janis says, “Oh, I love seeing teachers outside of school. It’s like seeing a dog walk on its hind legs?” Yeah, I don’t get that.

The blood-born pathogens video is permanently etched in the teacher’s kid brain, and you will never un-see those images. I’m not going into a lot of detail with this— it’s too terrible to explain. Just know this: don’t play around with a commercial paper cutter. This tip sponsored by teacher’s kids everywhere.

Being the child of a teacher, you begin to recognize the “teacher voice.” It’s a very distinct, clear, and loud voice that your parent uses when they have phone calls with parents or talk to their students. The average person or teachers themselves would probably not notice the difference, but the teacher’s kid hears it (and maybe cringes at the sound).

Finally, being a teacher’s kid means you have little to no privacy. Most recently I walked into my mom’s classroom, and the first thing a student said to me was “we saw your selfie of your alfalfa.” Yes, my “I woke up like this” selfie of my crazy hair had been shown to her entire classroom. Strangers even ask me informed, personal questions about myself/school all the time because their student is in my mom’s class. They’ve seen my picture (or embarrassing selfie), but I have no idea who they are. I just go with it now and hope they’re not going to kill me later with information I give them.

In the end, it’s all worth it for summer vacation and holidays off with your parent (though you’ll be in school for at least part of that time). It also means I have someone who is educated in different areas and can help me in various ways. In my case, I have a personal editor for everything I write, and someone to discuss which area of science is the most interesting.

If you don’t believe all of this is true, go to Twitter and search #teacherskidprobs. You’ll see.