I’ve been back in the states for two weeks now, and it’s been kind of a whirlwind. I came home on July 4th, so it was nice to celebrate being back in America with other people celebrating America. The following few days were spent studying for the GRE. Word of advice: give yourself more than a couple of days to study for the GRE. I did fine, but it was a horrid experience, and soon after I caught a cold and was consequently stuck in bed listening to Beverly Cleary books on tape until just a few days ago, when I headed over to Williamsburg to start work on my Monroe project! It’s wonderful to be back and be surrounded by William and Mary friends. 🙂 Williamsburg is soo lovely. My study abroad experience adventure was great, and I learned a lot from living and traveling on my own, but there truly is no place like home.
Someone commented on my last post asking about my major and plans after college. Thanks Sam, that’s a great question! I designed my major sophomore year after seeing a special showing of Food, Inc. and participating in an engaged discussion with a panel of important people after the film. One of the members of the audience was a cardiologist, and he said something like, “I wish sometimes that people would pay their nutritionist or grocer instead of waiting to come see me.” It struck me that the effect food has on health was something that I really wanted to study. So, I found an adviser who agreed to work with me, and he helped me to design a major that incorporates all aspects of this issue, particularly science, sociology, and environment. I was lucky that William and Mary offered so many classes that seemed to fit. I’ve taken classes like sociology of food and food sustainability, which have been incredibly interesting, and I’ve also taken the science classes: science of nutrition, physiology of obesity, biochemistry. Geography classes–I’ve learned geographic information systems along the way, which has proven to be useful. And I’ve also been introduced to the field of public health–basically population-scale prevention of disease, which is also intricately related to food sociology.
Through William and Mary’s alternative spring breaks, I’ve gotten to work on a really cool organic farm called Lynchburg Grows, which was an awesome experience. Next semester I’m working on an independent study, working with an elementary school garden, filming a documentary, and writing a paper tying together everything that I’ve learned these past few years. It’s been quite an exciting adventure. 🙂 As for what’s next, I’m graduating a semester early, so this winter, and I’m going to try to get a job at the health department, work for a little while, and I want to go into public health to learn more about how social factors of food affect obesity. I’m still looking at public health masters programs, not really sure of anything yet. So yeah, as scary as it is that my time here is already coming to an end, what I’ve learned here has given me an incredible background and interest, and I’m ready and excited for the next step!