Gamification of college courses

Tonight I pissed away two hours on the website,, where I thought about Spanish more critically than I have in years. It made me think, why don’t we incorporate gamification into the design of college courses? Surely I’m not the first person that has thought of this!

It’s so tedious and boring for me to engage in my online courses for my Master’s degree. Further, it’s almost impossible for me to remember what exactly I have to do and when. But, if I could earn a badge for completing my discussions early or contributing the most constructive feedback to my peer’s draft of her final paper, I would be willing to bet that I’d be more engaged with school. 

When it comes to college courses, is it ridiculous to gamify? Are we adults and therefore beyond extrinsic motivation? Is it crazy to wish that blackboard could offer an improvement on its poorly designed user interface? I don’t think so! 

Calling all entrepreneurs, please enact this business idea. 

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Making Homemade Strawberry Jam

Last week, I finally fulfilled one of my crunchy quests: to sign up for a farm share. I received my first box of goodies last Thursday complete with organic kale, lettuce, squash, blueberries and strawberries. I ate so many veggies this weekend. I polished off all of the kale in its nutritional-yeast glory straight off the pan this afternoon and ate a humongous bowl of strawberries, blueberries, granola and greek yogurt for breakfast today.

Despite the fact that I went on a fruit and vegetable bender this weekend, I still had pints of organic strawberries that were fading fast. I just couldn’t eat another strawberry, so I racked my brain for another way to eat them. I’m not a huge fan of strawberries in baked goods and didn’t feel like strawberry shortcake, so I decided to make jam for the first time in my life.

Today was Memorial Day and I just felt out of sorts. Sometimes that happens to me on long weekends. I don’t really know what to do with the extra time and feel disappointed in myself when I spend it sleeping and not accomplishing my big project goals. Added to that, I’m taking online classes for my Masters degree this summer so I spent most of the day glued to my computer contemplating cognitive structures of the brain. Fun times, I tell ya.

So, once my last assignment was submitted, I was in the kitchen. I made an apple crumble, the aforementioned kale chips and this jam. I felt so comforted by these activities. When I spend any significant amount of time in the kitchen, my thoughts always turn to my grandma Ross. She passed away when I was in high school and I wish that I had known her better. She worked on a farm in Arkansas her entire life. I’m sure she made jam. I imagine her standing over the pot just like I did today, her thoughts wandering just like mine do. What did she think about? I know her thoughts were drastically different than mine. I thought about my classes, the big brand plan I’m writing at work, my upcoming travel to Chicago this weekend. I’ll never know where her mind wandered when she stirred her boiling jam to make sure it didn’t stick to the bottom of the pan, but I’m happy that we had a shared experience tonight. I miss you Grandma Ross. I hope you’d approve of my strawberry jam.



  • Four pints orangic strawberries
  • Juice of a half lemon
  • 3  1/2 cups sugar

Slice your strawberries and mash them up with a potato masher until they’re as chunky as you prefer. Stir in lemon and sugar. Simmer in a large pan until sugar dissolves and then crank up the heat to medium-high and boil the heck out of those strawberries. Stir constantly until sauce thickens up, about fifteen minutes. Let cool until you can safely transfer to a jar. I didn’t preserve my jam because I know I’m going to eat it like a madwoman until its gone, but if you’d like tips on preserving, my friend Martha Stewart can help.

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This pizza is everything

One of my goals this year is to eat out less. With the exception of a few relapses, I’ve been doing swimmingly. Of course, this means that I have to cook more or else consume far too many cereal dinners. Now, I’ve had my fair share of toasted crunchy oats, but I have done a lot of cooking too.

My absolute favorite thing to cook is this zucchini pizza. It’s a recipe that I always have in my back pocket just in case I have to please a crowd. For example, when my boyfriend wakes up and decides that he’s going to invite ten people over for BBQ. I just whip this pizza up while everyone is waiting during the eternity that it takes him to cook a batch of chicken thighs.

ImageIt makes me seem like a dream in the kitchen. Let’s be honest, it makes the other ladies a little jealous. Most importantly, it tastes like a million bucks. Even though I’d never really want to eat a million bucks. Gross.

I really love this pizza because it’s meat-free and packs a little vegetable punch and it makes me feel like I’m doing something good for myself when I decide to make it instead of running down the street to Little Caesars.

How very crunchy of me, right?

How to avoid being an angry feminist.

I have had many passions in my short life. I slip easily into obsessions, fervently learning about my current interest until I’m bored with it. Feminism, though, didn’t follow my usual pattern. Over the past few years, I’ve slowly peeled back layers on feminism and understood just how passionate an advocate I actually am. 

The problem with feminism, though, is that it makes me angry. Like, outrageously mad. It’s not like any other passion I’ve ever had.

Basically, I get angry any time I read a magazine or newspaper. I get mad when I watch tv. I get supremely pissed when a man treats me inferior. 

Of course, my anger is justifiable, but it just isn’t sustainable. I will suffer if I allow my anger to take over, and so I’m contemplating the ways I can manage and channel it appropriately. 

This blog is the answer to my anger. I handle my emotions best when I write them out. I don’t want this blog to be a rant; rather, I want to use it as a positive place to share my experiences as a woman in the hope that it will educate and encourage other men and women on their journey. That’s why I’ve created The Crunchy Feminist. 

How do you handle anger? 

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Food as medicine

Despite my best efforts, I eat pretty crappy. Too much processed junk, too few fruits and veggies, heavy on the sugar, swimming in the diet coke.

Yesterday, I came across this quote and found it pretty affecting:

“The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” -Ann Wigmore

I’ve never really thought of junky foods as poison, but that’s exactly what they are. That pizza doesn’t feel as delicious when you think about it as poison. Those vegetables don’t feel as undesirable when they’re carrying vital medicine.

I think, subconsciously, that’s why I started the “crunchy” part of The Crunchy Feminist. I really feel like limiting my impact on this planet and taking responsibility for what goes into my body is an imperative for me at this point in my life.

It’s going to take a bunch of baby steps, but I’m excited for the journey. Thanks for reading along.

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Spanx you very much, but this feminist is saying no to spanx

A quick google search will tell you that the feminist world has varying, passionate opinions about whether or not feminists should be wearing spanx or not. Really? We’re passionately infighting about people’s underwear choices? How about we channel that energy toward pay disparities in the workplace instead?

Nevertheless, I just have to say:

I hate spanx. 

I’ve worn them a handful of times and I seriously suffered. I felt like I couldn’t breathe, like my rib cage was being excruciatingly pushed into my spinal cord. I didn’t do suffer through spanx because I liked the way I looked in them; I donned them because I felt like I needed to spare society from my lovely lady lumps. 

No more. 

I refuse to deal with that discomfort to conform to some stupid ideal about what I should look like. I have important shit to do at work and in life. I just can’t do it when I’m having trouble taking a deep breath because some stupid underwear designed to “smooth me out” is stressing me out. 

Keep your stinkin’ spanx. Thanks. 

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I should have called this blog ‘confused feminist’

I just spent two hours perusing blogs and websites to improve my understanding of modern feminism and my head hurts. It actually aches.

I don’t understand why the most straightforward of concepts – equality for women – feels so hidden in the conversation surrounding feminism.

Feminists are talking to each other, deep in the rabbit hole of their intellectual pursuits, when they need to be talking to the huge number of women that don’t know a thing about feminism and shun the title.

Am I missing the blogs and websites talking about feminism in a straightforward, non-jargony, practical way? Please direct me to them!

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This cookie gives the term crunchy a bad rep

I’m always looking for a healthy, portable, delicious on-the-go go-to breakfast. You know, something I can rely on to taste good and satiate me, but not clog my arteries and contribute to my high blood pressure?

This cookie is definitely not it.

disgusting healthy breakfast cookie


I read this post this morning and thought I had found “the one”, my oft-dreamed of perfect breakfast. It was healthy, it was easy, I had all of the ingredients in my kitchen.

Yeah, except it tastes disgusting. Like chalky, flavorless, ickiness. There’s nothing “cookie” about it.

Recipes like this are why it’s just hard to live a crunchy lifestyle, but I just started this blog today so I’m not giving up hope quite yet.

Do you have any go-to healthy breakfast recipes?

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Why do you describe yourself as a wife first?

I have an issue with the twitter profiles of my fellow females. So many amazing women, doing absolutely phenomenal things professionally, creatively and personally use one adjective to describe themselves first in their twitter profile:


Now, I’m not a wife. At least not anymore – that’s a story for a different day. But, I take issue with the fact that so many women feel like their marital status is the first and best way to describe themselves. 

Men don’t do this. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve seen a male describe himself as “husband” first in his twitter profile, I’d have about a quarter. Tops.

What gives? 

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