Anna Carrolling...

Last Spring I took a Seminar entitled The Politics of Food. The course discussed every aspect of food from the companies who make the pesticides used to spray the crops, to the marketing of goods in grocery stores, to how the body processes different food components. We based our studies on the works of Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser, and Upton Sinclair. Farmers, nutritionists, economists, and genetic scientists came and lectured the class on their specialty in the topic of food. It truly was a fascinating course, although I’m pretty sure that at some point in the semester every student developed at least a minute form of othorexia. Let’s just say that during this class vending machine guilt was at its highest rate ever. The seminar was instructed by an English professor, Dr. Gregory Tomso, and his Graduate Teaching Assistant, Anna Carroll.

I think that everyone has an Anna Carroll in their life. Someone you know not even all that well that just sticks with you and makes you smile. A brief interaction, but a lasting impression. 

Anna has a way with words. She’s one of those people who can make even the simplest of sentences sound intelligent. She’s a tremendous storyteller whose digressions are brilliantly entertaining; so good in fact that I’m pretty sure I’ve used her name as a verb. She is absolutely comparable to Rebecca Hertz of NPR’s Snap Judgment. During our breaks she and Julia, another English major in our class, would casually discuss works by Wadsworth, the Bronte sisters, Hemingway, and a whole slew of others. Their attention to detail and theories on story concepts were mind boggling. I often felt I had nothing to add to the conversation, so I’d just sit and listen.

A recent Faceboook invite reminded me that Anna will soon be packing up her bags and heading to the Pacific Northwest.  She was accepted at the University of Oregon and was awarded a full assistantship as a doctoral candidate in the english department. Dr. Anna Carroll. It has a nice ring to it.

She is my proof that it can be done. A Pensacola native can receive their Bachelors and Masters from the University of West Florida and then be granted a full assistantship to a doctoral program at a major university. Anna Carroll, you are hope!

I hope you like the change in location. I’ve only ever heard wonderful things about the state of Oregon.

Have a fantastic Wednesday! Enjoy!

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A Tuesday Melody...

Last month I drove out to Austin, Texas to visit my lovely sister Jessica at her swanky Residence at the Domain apartment that overlooks a Starbucks and an Apple Store. As I peered out the window of her third floor apartment, I noticed a new addition to the row of shops below: Anthropologie. Now I had heard great things about this store, but had never entered one myself. Needless to say I was giddy to head down and check it out. As I entered the store I smiled back to the young red-headed sales clerk, Hilary, and began to take in all that is Anthropologie. As I was perusing through their selection of dresses I heard a voice singing through the speakers overhead. I immediately stopped and asked Jessica if she knew the artist singing the song. She gave me her all too familiar “give me a minute” face and busted out her iPhone 4 to shazam the tune.

Melody Gardot...

As soon as we were back in the apartment I jumped on iTunes and downloaded the song. It’s smooth and jazzy, reminiscent of the greats such as Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, and Nina Simone. I love it.

I’ve deemed it the perfect song for a Tuesday. Enjoy!


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Welcome Back Knowledge...


I once saw a comedian at a CAB event at the University of West Florida. He was making a joke about how lame his high school mascot had been. They were the bees. He was going on about how most schools have fierce mascots like the gators, or the tigers, or the bulldogs. He again emphasized that his mascot was a measly bee. He then asked the audience what UWF’s mascot is. Someone from the crowd yelled to him, “The Argonauts.”


A blank stare crossed his face and he realized that the joke had been ruined. Apparently you can have a mascot that is lamer than a bee... an Argonaut. At least people know what bees are. Most students wouldn’t even be able to begin to explain what an Argonaut is. I’m here to help with that:

According to Greek Mythology, an Argonaut  is one who sailed with Jason on the Argo in search of the Golden Fleece. The word Argonaut can also be used to describe a person who is engaged in a dangerous but rewarding quest; an adventurer.

It’s as simple as that. Like my dear friend Maryanne Vaughn would always say, now you know and knowing is half the battle.

For all of you heading back to school, I hope you have a great first day!! Enjoy!

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It's a Sand Dune...

T-minus 3 days before the fall semester begins. Most students moan and complain about returning to the routine of classes, cramming, and exit exams, but not I. I’ve always been a bit of a nerd and have thoroughly enjoyed my experience with higher education. I'm ready to get back into a more consistent schedule and  am especially looking forward to being a Graduate Assistant this year and taking on the responsibility of teaching two labs. I figure that I will either love it or hate it. Let’s hope for the first.

To help get back into the mindset of school I have posted a short (but awesome... and corny, but still awesome) educational video that some friends and I put together last semester. I laugh a little each time I view it. We tried our best to make Geomorphology fun, but at the end of the day it’s still just Geomorphology...

Also, I hope to see you out at The Bridge Bar in Gulf Breeze tonight from 8:00-11:00. I’ll be  there playing some tunes.

It’s Friday! Enjoy!


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Operation Box of Sunshine...


Anyone that knows me knows that I love to bake cookies. They know that not only do I love baking cookies, but I love sending my freshly baked cookies to someone I love in hopes of brightening up their day. I dotingly call the package of cookies sent a Box of Sunshine.

I start Graduate School on Monday. Monday.  Ahh!!  I feel so prepared, yet so unprepared. When I start to think about it it’s a little overwhelming. But I’ve decided to take my mind off of what lies ahead and to soak up the last few drops of summer. To relax. To enjoy. To bake.

I used to bake a batch of cookies each week and send them off, however for the last two months this has not been the case. To remedy my cookie baking void I have decided to pull out the apron and head into the kitchen. I figure that I can send some freshly baked goodies to a different friend each week. I’m calling this venture: Operation Box of Sunshine.

If I posted this link on your Facebook wall, then chances are a Box of Sunshine may arrive in your mailbox sometime soon. (Note: make sure that I have your current address so that the cookies arrive in the correct location).

Now, I can’t talk about baking without posting a recipe or two, so I have posted below the recipe for my Super Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies (just in case you can’t wait and want to try it on your own):


2  cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda ,1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 cup (2 sticks) Land O’Lakes softened butter, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 3/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 large eggs, 1 1/2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Chocolate Chips


1) PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

2) COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

3) BAKE for 8 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. 


I think that this will be a fabulous way to keep up with my friends and family who are scattered about the country. 

Also I have uploaded a video of my music (here)!  

I hope you have a wonderful Thursday.  Enjoy! Related Posts with Thumbnails