Tag Archives: SCSU2NMMU

Our Journey Back to MN

Here’s a video compilation of our long trip back to Minnesota from Port Elizabeth.  We flew from PE to Johannesburg. From Johannesburg we flew into Dulles (Washington, DC).  Then we got a shuttle from Dulles to National Airport to avoid a 12-hour layover.  Then from National we flew into Minneapolis.


Everything is awesome

This makes me think of my time here at NMMU in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The group of fellow SCSU students I was here with were awesome. The students I met and lived with were awesome. The new friends I made at university were awesome. This was a dream of mine to come here and everything was awesome!!!


My heavy heart

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As I get ready to leave South Africa my time could quite easily be consumed with marking a list of lasts.  But then I would forget to marvel in the beauty that each new day brings. I keep thinking that this is a bittersweet moment. However, today I had a realization, my heart is not heavy from sadness. On the contrary, I leave South Africa with my soul opened, a wealth of new experiences, and friends. My heart is heavy with love.


It tastes like ‘Merica

Today, I did a rare thing. I spent most all day at a mall. Honestly, I do not think that I have ever done this before. When I lived in Greensboro and Jennifer would want me to go shopping with her I’d end up ditching her and her mom in favor of Barnes and Noble. As a backup plan I had a copy of my thesis with me this afternoon to work on edits for that moment I was sure would come and I’d duck out of this shopping activity. But it never came. We had a totally chill day at the Walmer Park Mall. I picked up a few necessities and found a blouse on sale that was a want not a need. We had a great lunch, I had an ostrich wrap (as you can see below).

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Then we stopped in the Brittish treat shop that specializes in sweets, teas, and cake mixes from the U.K. I hadn’t realized the other times I had been in this shop that they also carry a couple of items from the United States. So, I got a Dr. Pepper (better than in the US ’cause its made with cane sugar and not corn syrup) and a package of Reese’s Cups. I was pretty excited after this little purchase and opened them in the bookstore we went to next. As I took the first bite I said, “That tastes like ‘merica.” Before I ate all 3 of the Reese’s cups, I was back in the store buying two more packages of them. I was holding the last bite in my hand as I brought the other two up to the cashier and had a huge guilty smile on my face. The cashier was awesome and said, “No judgement here!” I now have the Dr. Pepper in my fridge and the Reese’s cups are getting even more chill in my freezer!

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Cubata, where even Germans eat with their hands

Cubata Portuguese Grill was definitely an experience for the senses!  A big group of us went there last night and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. `One of the girls who got there first and was familiar with the restaurant ordered for the whole group. The owner asks only how many people are in your group and what meat you want and then he takes it from there.
This is a picture of me with the owner.

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Here is a few pictures of our food. The consensus at my end of the table was that these were the best chips (fries) we’d had since landing in South Africa.

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It was quite a feast!

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Yes, photographic evidence of two of the Germans eating with their hands! We’ve been a good influence on them 😉

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Very happy and full group of people!

Oh, but we did have a little room left for ice-cream.

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Africa’s True Size


Feedback is a gift

feedbagIs it?

I can still see the poster neatly hung on the wall of my manager’s cubicle at American Express.  It was in full color and showed a single daisy in a terracotta pot.  However, my understanding of feedback has stayed rooted in corporate America’s space.  In my mind thinking of feedback as a gift always felt as genuine as those uber motivational posters every business major had in their dorm rooms in the 1990s. Feedback in work never felt like a gift but rather it always felt judgmental and punitive.  Feedback was given with performance reviews where you were told if you were going to get a raise or explained why you were not receiving one.  Feedback in school is generally tied to a grade and also feels punitive.  The feedback is an explanation of what you did wrong.  I’ll also say that receiving feedback in school had its own problematic roots that I’ve already delved into a bit. So, neither experience (work or school) had positive roots for me when it came to receiving feedback as a gift.  Until recently.  Over the past five semesters I have worked in a writing center, four semesters at SCSU’s The Write Place and one semester here at NMMU’s Writing Centre.  Through my immersion in the writing center culture, pedagogy, and practices I realized that feedback can be a gift.  I asked two of the people I’m working with this semester at NMMU to read through my thesis chapters and give me feedback on what I had written.  When they returned them to me with detailed comments I felt like I had been given a gift.  I read through the comments carefully taking in what they had to say.  They were deliberative and inquisitive and I processed each one individually.  I have now been both a manager and a consultant in the writing center where I gave feedback to employees and students.  I hope that as I move into the classroom I can help my students understand how to receive feedback but more importantly, I hope I can model a healthy manor to give feedback as an instructor.

 


Carpe Diem, it’s not what you think

Last week, in a writing center workshop my supervisor told us about reading Harry Eyres’s book Horace and Me: Lessons from an ancient poet. Eyres retranslates Horace’s famous line “carpe diem” from seize the day (which is how most of us know it if from nothing else, we know it from dead Poets Society)to “taste the day.” The new translation has been rolling around in my head for a week or so now and it fits my time here perfectly. Seizing the day seems like such an aggressive translation while tasting and it’s synonym savor are enjoyable actions. Actions of appreciation and delight. Appreciating each day as a gift can get overplayed in our daily grind of life. But removing the grind and taking time to truly taste the day is also an active role in the appreciation. Appreciation can feel passive because it is a mental and spiritual act, whereas tasting requires physical movement. It intertwines the body with the mind and soul to make ethereal moments palatable.

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Good Morning, PE

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Another view of NMMU


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