Monika Wanis - Why I like extreme sports!
Hi! My name is Monika Wanis, I am a second year Biocultural Medical anthropology graduate student. I am originally from Cairo, Egypt but have lived in Columbus, Ohio for the past 20 years. I attended The Ohio State University for my undergraduate degree in Anthropology, Psychology, Integrative Medicine and Neuroscience. I speak Arabic, English, Spanish, and Russian. I am also currently a TA for 2 sections of Cultural Anthropology. My favorite hobby is doing any extreme sport. I went skydiving on August 27th of this year for the second time for my birthday! According to Tinbergen's 4 Questions Why, here is why I like extreme sports: Proximate Causes Mechanism - Physiologically, extreme sports often involve behaviors that increase your heart rate and produce a surge in hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline and neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine and dopamine. These... read more ❯
Red or Green?
I was born and raised in Las Cruces, New Mexico. It’s hard to pick out what I miss most about this gorgeous little city nestled in the desert. Perhaps it’s the overwhelming friendliness--the way that people aren’t afraid to joke and laugh with total strangers. Maybe it’s the 350 days of sunshine a year and the blissful ability to perceive the 70's as brisk weather. Or, it might just be that little green pepper, the one that tastes like pure happiness and instantly transports me back home--Hatch green chile. I am about to make a claim that will sound utterly ridiculous to most people and completely mundane to any New Mexican: My favorite hobby is tracking down and consuming Hatch green chile. [caption id="attachment_724" align="alignright"... read more ❯
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
I feel a little silly writing a personal post about travel- like the typical millennial blog about why you should travel to every country before you turn 30 (if you are blessed with money and time). Honestly, I'm not sure I would even call traveling a hobby and I don't think I would consider myself a "wandering soul" or someone with the "travel bug." I am perfectly happy nesting in my bed during my vacations. Most of the hobbies I consider essential to how I define myself are personal, and, usually, things that no body knows about me. That's what makes them special. However, I do think traveling has had some impact on the person that I've become and the way that I view things. Plus, it's the only thing I have original images of so.... Historically: Ancestrally, I suppose... read more ❯
Final Day at Arcadia Spring 2017 - Food! A Team Teaching Effort
So for our last day at TMSE we talked about food and how it is a thing that gathers everyone together in all cultures. But, first we started off with a short quiz about everything we covered in the past weeks at TMSE to determine what information was being absorbed and remembered. Each of our little clans had some very good scores on the quiz and the top three individuals who scored the highest were rewarded with gummy worms and gummy bears. Next, we went into the PowerPoint lecture which discussed foods from different areas around the globe as well as how these foods related to the culture they came from. One of our examples was the Margherita pizza, named after Queen Margherita, and we discussed how she liked it because it reminded her of the Italian flag. We also talked about how, in Indonesia, a... read more ❯
“Good morning” “GOOD MORNING!” “What is your name?” “My name is BELLA!” “Your name is Bella. And where do you live Bella?” “I live in SHUABB!” “I love you Bella.” Bella is six years old. She is one of 15 students, ranging from six years of age to 13, who attend Shuabb elementary. I am a gringo. I am working on my doctorate in anthropology from the University of Alabama. I work at the elementary school every weekday. The students here take classes in their native Bribri language and culture. They also have classes in traditional subjects such as math, science, geography, history, and Spanish. I teach English, supervise an ethnography project in which the older students are creating video blogs, and offer workshops in other subjects ranging from ethnobotany to cosmology. The community of Shuabb lies within the poorest district in the country of Costa Rica. The school receives minimal... read more ❯
AiE in Madagascar IV: Centre ValBio & Night Walking with Mouse Lemurs
See previous post I, II, and III in this series, or related posts to this month-long trip here and here. Note in our previous episode that I wasn't sure if I had meetings set up, with who, or about what when I arrived at Ranomafana. I received a message from Dustin that I had a 10AM appointment, but he had not been able to confirm, so I should just ask for Maya Moore or Pascal Rabeson. When I arrived at Centre ValBio (CVB), Maya had left for Tana and Pascal was in another village until later in the day. Nevertheless, I was able to get an appointment for later in the day with him. In the meantime, I explored the village, taking photos. I came across one of the silk making coops. I couldn't afford to buy a scarf but was given permission to take photos. However, I overstayed my welcome, taking so many... read more ❯
AiE in Madagascar III: Road to Ranomafana
See previous post 1 and post 2 in this series, or related posts to this month-long trip here and here. The drive to Ranomafana is about 12 hours. After experiencing the Tana roads, I thought maybe it was close via bad roads, but it's really 12 hours in a 4WD at relatively high speed but through winding roads. For 12 hours, I was tossed side to side, tires screeching on the road. I was very passive in this adventure, which is ironic when I think that this project arose because the TMSE PTA asked me to offer an anthropology course several years ago when my kids were in 3rd grade. I didn't want to do it because I didn't have the time to take on any more service, but I wanted to do it because I wanted to be able to share what I do with my kids and help their school.... read more ❯
AiE in Madagascar II: Studying & Teaching Abroad Opportunities in Madagascar
The first post of this series is at http://evostudies.org/2017/03/fleeced-at-the-palace-of-the-mad-queen-other-poignantly-colonial-experiences-in-madagascar/. I’ve been jet lagged from the 8-hour time difference and keep waking up at 2:30 AM, unable to go to sleep. After a day or two, I remembered I have Starbucks instant coffees in my bag. I got some hot water from the sink and hazarded a coffee in the middle of the night to get me going enough to get some work done. Later I checked and learned that the water has some dirt in it, but, according to Jurgen, the owner of Villa V where I am staying, the German Embassy actually had it tested, hoping it would be found undrinkable and merit them getting raises for working in an undesirable location. It’s got some silt in it but is fine otherwise. No raises for them, no dysentery for me. It says 37 minutes but generally took over... read more ❯
Race at TMSE - What is race anyway? - A Team Teaching Effort.
Today at TMSE we discussed race and human variation. The lecture covered the intricacies of how we perceive race in America by addressing what anthropologists view it as. It is important to know that race is a social construct, rather than based in biology, which means that while it appears natural and factual it is actually largely reliant on the interpretation of the individual. In addition to having no biological, scientific basis, anthropologists do not use race as a definable category because our perceptions can so easily differentiate. Instead, we recognize that what is perceived as race (i.e., skin color), is due to our ancestor's adaptations to different environments. For example, lighter skin developed further away from equator to facilitate the absorption of vitamin D, while darker skin developed along the equator to protect from the sun's harsh UV rays. Further, rather than classifying or categorizing people based on race, we... read more ❯
Evolution at TMSE - Adapting Animals by Madeline Anscombe
Today at TMSE we taught the students all about the theory of evolution and let them see how this theory transcends into their own lives. Teaching evolution was an important topic to teach our third graders because not only is it important when dealing with anthropology, but it allows us to see how each individual is somehow tied together. The lesson opened up with talking about the history of the theory and Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species which took 22 years to write! Our young anthropologists learned that because evolution is a theory, it has been tested hundreds and hundreds of times and has never been proven false. This gave us some validation in order to support some examples of how different animals are able to change given... read more ❯