11 episodes

The Bean Pot, a Podcast by Adam Drinkwater, a transplanted Pennsylvanian who made his home in the very deep American Southeast. An Ambassador, of sorts, for cultural understanding. His existential journey of self-reflection, and personal growth has led him to go further and dig deeper through the art of conversation.

The Bean Pot Adam Drinkwater

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 15 Ratings

The Bean Pot, a Podcast by Adam Drinkwater, a transplanted Pennsylvanian who made his home in the very deep American Southeast. An Ambassador, of sorts, for cultural understanding. His existential journey of self-reflection, and personal growth has led him to go further and dig deeper through the art of conversation.

    Emily Blejwas: The Story of Alabama in Fourteen Foods

    Emily Blejwas: The Story of Alabama in Fourteen Foods

    Hello everyone, and welcome back to Season two of the Bean Pot. I’m thrilled to be able to continue this journey for another season, and excited to explore several new topics that will, hopefully, help us all to see our world from new perspectives. My first episode of the season is largely about Food, and how it shapes and is shaped by our culture. It’s no secret that food is essential to all life. But, have you ever wondered why you eat the foods you eat? Why your parents, or grandparents made certain meals? Or maybe why the same food is prepared differently from one family to the next? 
    My guest Emily Blewjas, explores this fascinating intersection of food and culture in her book The Story of Alabama in Fourteen Foods. In this interview we talk about what led her to the idea for the book, and how her creative process and research brought the traditions and stories of the state’s past into focus. We talk about several of our favorite chapters, and stories, including gumbo, banana pudding, and boiled peanuts just to name a few. I don’t think I’ve ever dug so deeply into the back story of food before. I found it to be deeply moving to think about how creative people had to be in the past just to make tasty meals. We just take it for granted that we can walk into almost any store and grab a ready made meal that will feed our whole family. The process of where it came from, and how it was made is almost completely lost on us.
    And, honestly, we barely scratched the surface because I also wanted to talk about her non-fiction writing. We touched briefly on her most recent middle-grades book called “Like Nothing Amazing Ever Happened.” Which I highly recommend. It’s a story about a young boy, who’s father dies, and the complexity of how the people around him deal with the loose. And, beyond just being a well told story, Emily really challenges the reader to see the things that most people overlook. To really think about our life, and the rich history of the places we live and the people that came before us.
    Without a doubt, I finished this interview feeling inspired to be creative, and to explore my community and the stories of the people who lived here before. I hope that you will find something similar, and that you will read her books and recommend them to others.
    Please visit my web site adamdrinkwater.com for links to my podcast, blog, and social media. And check the show notes for how you can learn more about Emily, and her books at www.emilyblejwas.com.
    So, with that, let’s get started.

    Visit me at adamdrinkwater.com • Facebook •  Instagram • Twitter • Patreon
    Support the show 
    Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/adamdrinkwater)

    • 1 hr
    Dr. Jay Valentine: Philosophy, Buddhism, and Pandemics

    Dr. Jay Valentine: Philosophy, Buddhism, and Pandemics

    Dr. Jay Valentine is my special guest for this Season 1 bonus episode. He is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Troy University, and an expert in Buddhism, eastern religions, meditation, and philosophy. We recorded this episode just as Alabama began shutting down right at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. I really thought I’d have plenty of time to edit, and release it during the stay-at-home orders, but it just didn’t play out that way. And, Jay is such a cool guy that I hated to just not release it. Pre-COVID, we spent a couple hours at his office talking about world religions, and I asked him about his particular area of research, and he just blew my mind with his work on the Northern Treasure Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. It was such a good conversation that I knew I needed to record a podcast with him.

    World religions have fascinated me for a long time. The stories that people tell each other to explain life, and the world seems to be a universal human trait. These beliefs share elements of truth, and fiction that we can all learn from. We cover Jay's journey to university, and to study Buddhism and meditation. We walk through elements of meditation, and what it can mean for reducing suffering in our life. And, we talk about other ways that we can think about the world that might help us deal with the isolation, and the time alone during this pandemic.

    One last thing before the interview, I’ll be posting Season 2 of The Bean Pot beginning in January, so look for those updates as well.

    And now, the interview you’ve been waiting for, here’s Dr. Jay Valentine.

    Dr. Valentines’s email jvalentine@troy.edu

    Visit me at adamdrinkwater.com • Facebook •  Instagram • Twitter • Patreon
    Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/adamdrinkwater)

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Dr. Aaron Hagler: Middle East History, Israeli–Palestinian Conflicts, and Peace Process

    Dr. Aaron Hagler: Middle East History, Israeli–Palestinian Conflicts, and Peace Process

    In the July of 2000, President Bill Clinton hosted a summit meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat. Five months later, in December, President Clinton, and the two leaders publicly announced that they had a peace agreement. But, shortly after the statements were released it became apparent that the public didn’t support the agreement and the deal fell apart.

    When we think about big events like this, we tend to oversimplify the groups involved into good guys and bad guys, right and wrong, black and white. But, the reality, and backstory is often much more complex and murky than we like to think. It’s easy to see why our individual support for one group over another tends to line up with what we already believe about the world. It’s a lot easier to take sides than to  dig through all the layers of complexity to reach a deeper understanding of the debate. The history of the Middle East, and the conflict in Israel is no different. The reality is that you probably fall on one side of the conflict or the other because of how you were raised, how you feel, or what you’ve heard from your favorite news outlet. Part of the problem is that when we chose sides like this, we risk invalidating the other side’s real life experiences. We risk the nuance that comes from testing our views against opposing views. We run the risk of confirmation bias.

    Dr. Aaron Hagler sat down with me to discuss the long, complicated history of the Middle East, and the events that have lead to the modern tensions that we see in that region today. He shares his personal journey, and the path that lead him from being a theater major to a professor of history. Then we follow the course of history from the fall of the Roman Empire, and the spread of Islam into Europe. We consider the Christian Crusades, and what that means to various groups. We talk about the Rise of the Turks and the Ottoman Empire, and how European economic interest affected the formation of the nation states we now see in the Middle East.  Dr. Hagler concludes the interview by giving his perspective on which characters are acting in bad faith and making lasting peace more difficult, and how we can educate ourselves with the valid points that are coming from both sides.

    Dr. Hagler’s attention to detail, and his honest, balanced approach is refreshing. I hope you enjoy the interview, and get a new perspective on this region. I’ve included some of the items we discuss in the show notes, so be sure to look at those if you’d like more information.

    And now, my conversation with Dr. Aaron Hagler.

    Dr. Hagler’s email hagler@troy.edu
    One land, Two stories, by Shaul M. Gabbay and Amin M. Kazak
    https://www.amazon.com/Land-Stories-Shaul-Gabbay-Kazak/dp/0985196106

    Visit me at adamdrinkwater.com • Instagram • Twitter • Patreon


    Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/adamdrinkwater)

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Dr. Govind Menon: Black Holes, Plastics, and STEM

    Dr. Govind Menon: Black Holes, Plastics, and STEM

    It’s hard for me to imagine a world where everyone believes the earth is basically shaped like a snow globe. That water is trapped above a dome, and it rains when windows open in the sky to let water in. That the lights in the sky rotate like a wheel. That the earth is flat and has corners. These ideas seem absurd to us modern humans thanks in part to civilizations like the Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Chinese who developed the early ideas that led to Astronomy.

    New ideas are continually changing the way we understand our role on this planet and our place in the universe. Take for instance the speed of light. Light travels at about 186,000 mi/s. That means we can measure how far light will travel in a minute, a month, or a year. It also means that if a star is 55 million light years away, it has taken 55 million years for the light from that star to reach us. Which also means anyone from that solar system would be seeing the light from our sun just how it appeared 55 million years ago. Think about that for a minute.

    I bring up that specific number because that’s the distance to the first black hole ever imaged. My friend Dr Govind Menon is an expert in Black Hole Astrophysics. He is the Director of the School of Science and Technology, at TROY University, and he chairs the department of chemistry and physics . In this interview We talk about his path into math and physics. He helps me work through big concepts about black holes and galaxies. We talk about how our solar system was formed, and why scientists think our sun is a second generation star. We talk about some of the exciting plans the university has for plastics research. We wrap up with some very helpful suggestions for parents who are interested STEM resources for their own kids.

    I owe much of my own interest in science and space to a teacher who was much like Govind. He was the coolest teacher I ever had, who made learning science fun and interesting. This podcast is dedicated to the memory of John Eliason, Jr., or Mr. “E” who died in 2004. He was an inspiration to me, and I’m thankful I had the opportunity to learn from him.

    I hope you learn something from this interview, and I hope you enjoy my conversation with Dr. Govind Menon.

    Find more about Dr. Govind Menon http://spectrum.troy.edu/gmenon/
    Troy University receives $3.2 million grant for Center for Materials and Manufacturing Sciences
    Testimony before US House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
    Other Helpful Links: click here

    Visit me at adamdrinkwater.com • Instagram • Twitter • Patreon
    Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/adamdrinkwater)

    • 58 min
    Stephen Stetson: Beyond Coal

    Stephen Stetson: Beyond Coal

    My guest today is Stephen Stetson, who is a Senior Campaign Representative for the Sierra Club, covering Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia. The Sierra Club, is America’s oldest and largest environmental organization. Stephen's primary focus is the Beyond Coal Campaign, which focuses on retiring coal-fired power plants, and bringing clean energy and green jobs to the Southeast. 

    And so, in this conversation, we discuss his upbringing in Alabama and how that shaped is desire to pursue a degree in journalism, and later a law degree. We talk about the things that led him to join the Sierra Club in 2017. And, a good portion of our conversation is about where our electricity comes from, why that is changing, and how it might change even more in the future. We talk about water issues that cross state lines. We touch on transportion, and what might be different for the next generation of drivers.

    I appreciate Stephen for taking the time to listen to my questions, and I hope you get something useful from our conversation.
    You can follow Stephen Stetson on Twitter @stetsonstephon.
    Beyond Coal - Sierra Club
    Visit me at adamdrinkwater.com • Instagram • Twitter • Patreon
    Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/adamdrinkwater)

    • 1 hr
    Tori Lee Averett: The Importance of the Arts

    Tori Lee Averett: The Importance of the Arts

    Thank you for joining me on this journey of self-reflection and personal growth. I’m enjoying making this podcast, and reflecting on the things that are important to me. I want to keep improving the podcast and you can help me do that by visiting Patreon.com/adamdrinkwater and taking a few minutes to give me your feedback. There are few quick polls there, that are open to everyone, and it will only take a moment to answer. If you like what I’m doing, please consider supporting the show by joining one of my Patreon Tiers. Also, please subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss an episode, and follow me on twitter and instagram @adh2o.

    My guest is my good friend Tori Lee Averett who is the Chair, for the Department of Theatre and Dance, at Troy Univeristy and Coordinator of the Theater Education program. She is a dreamer in the best meaning of the word. She’s the kind of friend that I can talk to for hours and totally lose track of time. She inspires me to think deeply about myself, and my place in the world. She inspires me to be creative, and to express myself.  I think she brilliant, vibrant, and fun in so many ways.

    I hope you enjoy this special extended episode with Tori, where we dig deep into what inspires us both about the arts. The first hour we spend talking about her humble beginnings in a small, country community in Alabama. We discuss how she fell in love with music as a child, and discovered a love for teaching others. And, we talk about how her travels took her to new places, introduced her to new people, and connected her deeper to her roots. The second hour we get deeper into what the arts mean to us as individuals and to our communities. We discuss how having the arts in our lives helps us to find meaning and purpose. And how art enriches our neighbors and gives us an opportunity to pay it forward to the next generation.
    Follow Tori Lee Averett on Twitter @torileeaverett

    Visit me at adamdrinkwater.com • Instagram • Twitter • Patreon
    Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/adamdrinkwater)

    • 1 hr 58 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
15 Ratings

15 Ratings

DuncanLindsey ,

Troy, Alabama Folks Should Subscribe

Podcasts are an excellent medium when traditional local media outlets are unwilling to produce content that is relevant to our community. Adam is an excellent conversationalist and I highly recommend subscribing.

LR36081 ,

A high quality listening experience!

Really interesting guests, and I love Adam’s sexy voice.

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