Taco Literacy, WRD422, has been a great class. Solely judging by the title of the course, it could be easily mistaken as a class where students eat tacos and talk about them. Yes, there is no denial that it was a big part of the class. Professor Alvarez sometimes brought savory Mexican foods to class and I was introduced to an amazing tamale, pineapple empanada, and corn tortillas. If the class was all about eating tacos and finding good restaurants, however, I could walk away with only fun memories. Yet, this is just a revealed part of a large iceberg.
Awesome part of Taco Literacy class is that it is very academic and open to diversity. The class covers not only Mexican foods but also history behind them, their meaning to society, social issues such as migration and NAFTA, and identity of Mexican and Mexican Americans. Since food can be fun and easy topic to talk about to most of people, Mexican food functions as a gateway to all these various topics. For example, corn was mentioned a lot in class discussions since it is essential to Mexican foods, and it led the class to another topic about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This had me interested in NAFTA and I did further research on it. Another topic I really liked was researching relationship between Arab foods and Mexican foods. According to my major – International Studies with focus are on the Middle East and Africa – I naturally found some similar foods of these two different culture and Taco Literacy provided an opportunity to fill my curiosity and further my interest in my field.
I loved the way our assignments were done. Everyone create his/her own Word press blog and Instagram account, and all the assignments are posted and communicated through these two methods. Living in a society with highly advanced technology, it is crucial to be comfortable with using social media in order to communicate with people. Blog I created for this class was the first one I’ve ever made and it becomes my portfolio which I can be proud of at the end of the semester. By sharing newly found amazing restaurants or Mexican foods on Instagram, I learned how to share and use information more effectively and properly through a social media. Another technology using teaching method was skyping in people relevant to the class; skyping in Javier Cabral provided a new perspective on “there is no such thing like exotic food”.
Through Taco Literacy class, I learned the impact and networking power of foods in our lives which I have been taking for granted. Especially for someone who only knew Taco Bell and Tex-Mex, this class was an eye-opening for acquiring a better understanding in Mexican culture and its food. Also, having Mexington where I can taste one of the best burritos in the U.S. is a blessing to Kentucky.
Lastly, the atmosphere of class was really encouraging. Professor Alvarez sincerely cares about each students and his/her growing throughout the semester as a writer and as a person. Having a small class helped getting to know other classmates and more actively participating in discussions.Taco Literacy class is one of the best classes I’ve taken in my college career.