I’m tickled that other Tumblr-ites have ignited the messy hair revolution. It’s about time others realize that letting your hair dry au naturale is a much needed break for dry, damaged locks that can’t stand up to everyday styling. Don’t get me wrong, my inner-perfectionista has a difficult time overlooking the frizzy little imperfections that come with air-drying—I love a sleek and simple straightening because it leads to less messing and fixing—but the benefits dramatically outweigh the costs. I gradually rediscovered my wavy locks my sophomore year of undergrad by letting my hair dry with a little help from Garnier Fructis Curling Spray, and it didn’t look half bad, a decent alternative for my increasingly busy schedule. But after a few months and a few days when I forgot to spritz, I realized that my waves were a lot softer and less frizzy when I wasn’t adding in the spray. The chemicals and salts in the spray were actually drying my hair out, too. I started going without and loved the results! Not only was I spending less time styling and fewer dollars on beauty products, but my hair was softer and longer than ever before. Yes, longer. (I spent all of high school and undergrad fighting to grow my hair past a certain length and I just couldn’t.) Now, sans daily heat treatments, my hair is incredibly long, sometimes growing faster than I can manage. But all of that length makes for a lovely curled look when I attend more formal events. And most importantly, I love coming home and hearing old friends say, “You’re hair is so long!” Vanity aside, there’s one more benefit to this new trend, an environmental one. My thick, long hair can take at least half an hour to straighten and much longer to curl. Air drying saves me a little on my energy bills and a little energy for the environment. What’s more, listening to Jillian Michaels’ podcast has me worried about the toxic, and highly estrogenic chemicals used in most beauty products, hair products being no exception. I’ve yet to discover a safe styling product I’m in love with, but to be honest I haven’t been looking very hard. When I do come across one, I’ll be sure to share with ya’ll. Until then, give your hair a break at least one day a week, maybe more, and see the difference.

The “Embrace Messy Hair” revolution

Eating Well’s Healthy Choc-Chip Cookies

Eating Well’s Healthy Choc-Chip Cookies

Collegiate Culinaire: A Healthier Choc-Chip Cookie It’s the holiday season and chocolate chip cookies are a festive staple. Oftentimes though, whole wheat flour modifications on the traditional chocolate chip cookie are a no-go. Folks don’t like it, and no amount … Continue reading

St. Louis Style Gooey Butter Cake

St. Louis Style Gooey Butter Cake

Collegiate Culinaire: St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake A classic St. Louis dessert, straight from my mama’s cookbook! If you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out a uniquely sweet treat. It’s not really a cake, but not really a breakfast pastry … Continue reading

Whole-Wheat Brownies

Whole-Wheat Brownies

Collegiate Culinaire: “Better-For-You Brownies” Let’s talk brownies. I’d be lying if I said I don’t love a good brownie, but I hate making them, mostly because I’m not good at it. The middle comes out too soft, the outer edges … Continue reading

One of the woman writers who made me fall in love with writing, Margaret Atwood, has sung the praises of Twitter and the Internet for boosting literacy in today’s youth. Of course, there will be naysayers who will dismiss her as misguided or radical. But her point, it seems to me, is that any contact with reading and writing is beneficial, particularly contact that is voluntary, not forced. We may assume, too, that even if this contact isn’t “correct” according to (white) English standards, it is still equally valuable. She also points out that Twitter writing is quickly developing into its own genre, or perhaps a corollary genre from other short story/ poem genres. To see one of my favorite examples, check out @VeryShortStory. Lately I’ve been pondering the use of Twitter in my composition classes next semester. In an informal class poll my students overwhelmingly said that if they could choose one new media source to incorporate into their curriculum, it would be Twitter. I’m thinking about using it for reading response. Either by having them tweet from their own accounts or by tweeting from a collective class account, and @ing themselves if they so choose. I can’t imagine a greater way to teach brevity… Find me on Twitter, @JackieHoermann, to let me know if you have any ideas. Happy tweeting! -Jackie

Margaret Atwood Praises Twitter as a Means of Acquiring Literacy

Candied Pecans

Candied Pecans

Collegiate Culinaire: Old Fashioned Roasted Pecans Once again, I’m in the midst of potluck madness this week. Another reliable standby is this roasted pecans recipe, which always seem to be a big hit with more mature crowds (children aren’t big … Continue reading

Our alphabet soup of English literacy proficiency is impressive—ELL, NNES, L1, L2, NFL, and more—but are you hip to DSL? DSL stands for “digital as a second language.”  The genesis of this acronym shows that we’re beginning to embrace this generation’s new literacies both in the composition classroom and beyond.  Despite rampant nihilism and hopelessness about “the leaders of tomorrow,” I can’t help but feel excited about this new epoch of communication we’re entering, a new chapter in rhetoric and composition studies’ history. And what’s more, I appreciate that the formulators of public opinion—at least in this article, in the U.K.—casted the future of digital literacies in a positive light. 

Teachers of Writing! Are You Hip to DSL?

Mini Pumpkin Tarts

Mini Pumpkin Tarts

Collegiate Culinaire: Mini Pumpkin Tarts If you’re experiencing the holiday season like I am, you have 5 or more potlucks this week, and probably a few others you don’t know about yet. I have never actually tried one of these … Continue reading

Quotables

It’s never crowded along the extra mile.

Wayne Dyer

One of my favorite quotes that I often share with students who want to know about page length requirements or word limits. I also love it because it fits nicely with my teaching philosophy of active engagement, synergism, and building intellectual stamina.