Ball State Sophomores, You should enter this contest!

Ball State University, in my hometown of Muncie, used WEARING as a freshman read last year, and this year they are using EATING. They are having a whole host of EATING related events, and on April 16th I’ll be on campus to speak at Pruis Hall.


WIN $500


In conjunction with all of these events, the Freshman Connections program is hosting an essay and video competition for sophomores. Here are all the details:

This contest is designed to provide students a platform to use creative video to demonstrate this year’s Freshman Connections theme, The Difference You Make, and the themes of the book Where Am I Eating? By Kelsey Timmerman, who will be visiting Ball State April 16, Pruis Hall, 7:30pm.

The short film and/ or essay…

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In which I tell NPR listeners I am not naked

Do you ever listen to the radio and wonder if the person speaking is naked?

Well, apparently I do because I went out of my way to tell the listeners of this hour-long interview on Lehigh Valley’s NPR station that I was, in fact, not naked.

Do you ever say dumb things? I do…like constantly.

For the most part, I managed to not make a complete fool of myself. Regardless, I’m really looking forward to speaking, on stage, wearing clothes, at NCC’s 4th Annual Peace & Justice Conference next week.

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Caffeine: Made in China?

Think your Coca-Cola is America’s nectar? Wrong!

I never really thought where caffeine came from (and I think about where stuff comes from a lot) until I heard Murray Carpenter on NPR this morning discussing his new book Caffeinated: How Our Daily Habit Helps, Hurts and Hooks Us.

Caffeine comes from plants and acts as an insecticide. So it can be natural, but most of the caffeine in soft drinks is produced in a factory, and the largest caffeine factory in the world is in…. China.

Carpenter described the factory he “got close to one”:

It was sketchy. It was not what I expected. It was sort of a run down industrial park.

I’m drinking caffeine right now, and you probably are too. Carpenter’s interview is worth a…

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My Snatch (it’s a CrossFit thing, sicko!)

I’ve been working out at The Arsenal, Muncie’s only CrossFit gym. since July. After nine months this is my snatch lift (wide grip, from ground to overhead). It’s come along way, but still has a lot of work. I bend my elbows too early, and I don’t get under the bar enough.

This morning, starting at 6 AM, we completed 6 rounds of 2 reps. I matched my personal record of 105 lbs. I was hoping for 115 lbs. This is what I like about CrossFit. Your technique and strengths are measurable. In that way it’s not like writing at all. I can’t quantify my writing to see improvement. I believe that my writing continually improves…

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Look out Norfolk, San Diego, St. Louis, San Francisco, Dayton, Indianapolis, Galesburg, Muncie, etc., here I come!

I’m speaking all over the place this spring — east coast, west coast, and middle coast! If I’m in your neighborhood, come see me or meet me for a fair trade coffee or whatever.

I’m looking forward to criss-crossing the country several times to share the stories of the folks I’ve met on my travels. If you’re interested in having me speak to your conference, university, school, or event, check out my speaking page.

March 27 4th Annual Peace and Justice Conference, North Hampton Community College Bethlehem, PA

Event Description

Public event sponsored by Northampton Community College’s humanities and social sciences division, political science department, communications department, Political Science Club and the NCC Forum…

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Including an author in the common read experience

One of the coolest experiences I get to have as a storyteller is when one of my books gets used as a common reader in a community or as part of a first year experience on a campus.

When I started to get invites to common reading programs, I couldn’t believe it:

“You want me to visit with and speak to a few hundred or a few thousand folks who’ve read my book?”

That’s like the best day of an author’s life, right?

I enjoy diving deeper into a discussion with folks who’ve read my work, and exploring larger takeaways from multiple disciplines and perspectives. Participating in common reading programs has enhanced my understanding of my work. I’ve had the chance to talk with historians, philosophers, economists, and freshmen across the…

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This one is for you Harper

I’ve spent roughly 37 days (that’s 24 hours X 37 days, or  888 hours) of my life since Disney’s Frozen came out performing the songs from the movie. You see, I have a five year old daughter, Harper.

Sometimes we pick individual songs from Frozen and just dance and sing.  Other times we play the soundtrack from start to finish and act out the parts.  I don’t mean to brag, but my rendition of “Do you Want to Build a Snowman” literally moved Harper to tears. (Dear Broadway producers, I’m available when you get to casting the musical.)

In honor of Harper’s love for all things Frozen, I’m posting two performance of Idina Menzel singing “Let it Go.”  The first is her recent performance with Jimmy Fallon and the Roots on…

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The 3 Pitfalls High School Sweethearts Face, and How We Overcame Them

I married my Homecoming date, Annie.

This despite the fact that I wore a sweater vest to the Homecoming dance and that we dated for 11 years before getting married. That’s right…11 years! That’s totally a record, and one that I might add, I came very close to not achieving.

Each year I get invited to speak at 20 to 30 universities across the country about my travels and my books, which are regularly selected as the common reading books that all incoming freshmen are supposed to read. And each year there is one question that freshmen women who are still with their high school boyfriends want me to answer:

“How did Annie put up with you?”

Only Annie can truly answer that question, but this…

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UK class reminds me to never be afraid to do stuff I’m not good at

A class at the University of Kentucky took some of the themes I write about in Where Am I Wearing? and turned them into art.  It’s awesome when something you made inspires other people to make things, but that’s not what I love most about this project.  That would be the fact that many of these students weren’t art majors.

From University of Kentucky News:

The UK Core “Pathways to Creativity” course awakens in some students new interests and talents.

“I really have absolutely no art background, and I kind of surprised myself in this class. I really liked working with watercolors, because you kind of have the most freedom to do what you want. I actually did a painting that almost got submitted to an art contest,” said business management…

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Why now is the time to start drinking Fair Trade coffee

Being a coffee farmer isn’t easy.

This was one of the thoughts racing through my head as I straddled a shivering coffee tree on a steep, crumbly volcanic mountainside in Colombia’s Narino district. However, mostly I was thinking: “Don’t die! Don’t die!”

The “grande Gringo” as I became known to my coffee farmer hosts did not fall to his death, but, following my visit, coffee prices did.

In 2012, while I traveled to Honduras and Colombia researching my latest book Where Am I Eating? An Adventure Through the Global Food Economy, the global price for a pound of coffee beans stood at $1.60 . By November of 2013, prices fell to $1.00 per pound a six-and-a-half year low.

When I read the reports, I couldn’t help…

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