The featured reader from our February 2016 First Wednesday series is Charin George. Charin is a native of Brooklyn, New York, and has lived in Warren, Ohio since 1989. She is the daughter of Sharon George, D.O., who is the first black female family physician in the Mahoning Valley. She is also the proud parent of her son, Dominic. Charin is currently the office manager at her mother’s family practice and is pursuing a BSAS in Dietetics at Youngstown State University.
Here is the video of CROW editor Angela Messenger introducing Charin to read her essay about why she decided to study dietetics.
We asked Charin to answer a few questions for our readers.
Why did you decide to share your essay?
I decided to share my essay publicly because my instructor encouraged me to. Once my essay was picked for publication, I decided to read at Suzie’s in order to completely embrace my accomplishment in spite of my distaste for public speaking. I thought it was great that people were interested in what I wrote and in what I had to say.
Do you have a favorite food or recipe?
I can’t say that I have one specific favorite, but I do have recipes that connect me to different people and different experiences in my life. My baked beans and baked macaroni and cheese recipes remind me of the many times I spent in my Godmother’s kitchen listening to wisdom and venting about life’s problems. My recipe for arroz con pollo, which is Spanish chicken and rice, reminds me of time spent with my grandmother and of the richness of my afro-latino heritage. My tuna salad recipe reminds me of the years I spent working as a nail technician. My coworkers and clients loved my tuna salad recipe and nicknamed it “tuna jambalaya.” Like most foodies, I have a love for all food and food cultures.
Do you have a food or recipe that reminded me of your friend Reese, who is a key person in your essay?
When times were hard for either one of us, we would make strawberry cupcakes with vanilla icing. We would put our children to sleep and enjoy the cupcakes all by ourselves, sip tea, and talk into the late hours of the night. There were also times that we would share our “pink cupcakes” with other women and young ladies that were close to us. It became a ritual, that whenever someone needed encouragement, support, or a shoulder to lean on, we would declare a pink cupcake night and be there for one another.
What do you plan to do after you complete your degree?
After graduation, I plan to start a program that offers dietetic services to patients with chronic and terminal illnesses. The program will go a step further than just offering dietary counseling or advice. I plan to provide a healthy cooking service in addition to dietary counseling. Patient meals will be prepared according to their dietary needs and also according to their personal tastes. I believe that patients will be more apt to follow the diet that is advised because healthy food is being prepared for them. Hopefully this will help patients who are too sick to cook for themselves or who lack the culinary skills to cook creatively.