Spring Break Here We Come!!!

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As you all know Spring Break is just around the corner! But while we are on break we still need to make sure that we stay safe and make good choices. Yes we can splurge on our diets a little, and not workout as much as we usually do because after all it’s a vacation! But, we need to make sure that we do things in a responsible manner because you never know who might be around to see what’s going on for all we know it could be a future employer!!

I know my break isn’t going to be fun like I hoped it would be. I have a lot of catching up to do with my homework and projects that need to be finished so I won’t be going to the beach, hanging out with friends (that much) or going to Kings Dominion or anything, but in my mind I will be there most of the time!

Some ways to stay safe over break is to remember to wear sunscreen if you are going to the beach. Even if it is not going to be that warm or sunny if you are going to be outside you need to be protected. The best time to get a sunburn is when it is overcast outside!

If you are planning on drinking alcohol please be responsible and don’t drive afterward! Even if you feel a little buzzed pleased don’t drive, call a cab, call a friend, anything but drive! Also, please remember to drink water as you are consuming alcohol because it will keep you hydrated and you won’t be impaired as quickly. When you drink water it also helps fight against a hang over the next day because you are keeping your body hydrated!

Make sure that you don’t go anywhere alone, especially when you are out and about in an unfamiliar place. Always use the buddy system to make sure that nothing happens to you or your friends. The most vulnerable time for people to get into trouble is when they are in a new place that is unfamiliar and/or they are impaired through alcohol or drugs!

Even though I don’t know most of you here on campus I would hate to see anything happen to you all that could’ve been prevented. I do want everyone to have a great time over break, relax and let loose so when you come back to school you have a fresh new mind and can tackle whatever the professors throw at you!


Happy Spring Break Everyone! See you in a week!

Ready. Set. Career!

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In the spirit of today being Career Services Day I just thought that I would talk a little bit about how we can all get prepared for life after college. Today was also the day for Departments to have their own Chapels and would have been a great time to go and hear how other students/professionals transitioned after college and how their faith influenced such careers.

So be sure to check out all of the vendors that are going to be set up on the track in University Commons to talk with employers to see what they are looking for in new employees. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, they like that! By going to the Career Fair you can get a head start at looking for a job in the specific department you are majoring in. Even if it doesn’t work out for this time, maybe you can still maintain a good relationship with the company to get hired after you graduate, you never know!

I lead my department’s chapel today and we had a guest speaker come in and talk to us about the transition from being a student to being an employee. It was very refreshing and she gave insight in to what she could have done more while in school to help prepare her a little more. The biggest thing she said to do is to don’t hesitate to ask questions of your supervisor or of your professors. These are the people that can give you the most answers about anything, and they love for you to ask the questions to make sure that you are following protocol and so forth.

Another thing that we could be doing right now as we are going through our college years is to continuously build our resume’s. As we go through our classes and are volunteering, doing practicums, etc. we can be putting these out there for potential employers to know. If you are like me and have no clue how or what the best way to put together a resume is, well you are in luck! Here on campus in the Student Life Suite, you can make an appointment with Jennifer Litwiller to help you create your Resume as well as cover letters, etc. to get you ready for life after college! She is located in the University Commons Room 224. She is by appointment only so be sure to call her at 432-4131, or email her at jennifer.litwiller@emu.edu!

These are just some very quick ways to get started, but be sure to talk with professionals and ask questions to see what they are looking for in an employee and build your resume to be what they are looking for!

Have a great week and take part in the Career Fair!

Getting your study on?

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If your anything like me, studying and getting your homework done is quite a challenge sometimes. Well for me this weekend was one of those weekends. I was not able to get to any of my homework done this weekend because of working. I know that there are many of you out there who are experiencing the same thing, working while going to school is very difficult!

I am consciously working to get better at balancing my two jobs with my schoolwork so that I can get the grades that I need and get my work in on time. So maybe together we can work on managing our time better and getting that homework in on time! One thing I have learned is that if I sit down that night for at least 30 minutes and work on a little bit of homework that I have from each class then it will help manage the time and get it done. Typically I’ll try and spend around 30 minutes per class working on reading, and assignments that are due. Also, working ahead helps me too because I don’t know about you, but I am a very good procrastinator! So if I can get a head start on something it tends to help me in the long run.

How about studying? Are you good at studying for tests/quizzes or just studying the material in general? I’m not. I am not good at studying at all. For me it is very hard to sit down and read over my notes and articles that my professors have given me. Even flash cards don’t help most of the time when it comes to learning terminology. This then affects my test grades because most of the time I just don’t study because I don’t know how!

Some tips that I have learned in the past have been to set a routine. Establish a specific time to study on certain days and stick to that. Also, switching up where you study can help your brain retain the information because of the different stimuli around you. And if you’re anything like me, you hate tests! But it is good to remember to quiz yourself on what you have been studying because it will let you know what you need to work on before test time. Don’t be afraid to ask your professor for help when it comes to studying or the information that you are learning in class. Nine times out of ten they will be more than happy to help you, they are here to make sure you succeed, not fail! And the number one tip that I never remember to utilize is when you are studying be sure to drink plenty of fluids, water if you can, and eat healthy snacks to ensure total body health to help the brain retain the information!

So let’s try some of these tips together and see if it helps us retain more information, get better grades and to most importantly get our homework in on time!

Good Luck!


Go Red!

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As many of you may already know February 1st was the National Wear Red Day. But do any of you know exactly why we do this? Well if not I’ll tell you. The National Wear Red Day is a campaign that has been going on for about 10 years to raise awareness about the number 1 killer in women, Heart Disease! February recognizes the Go Red Campaign all month, so it’s not too late to get involved!

According to Dr. Jennifer Mieres, Professor of Cardiology attending cardiologist and Senior Vice President of Community and Public Health at North Shore, an estimated 43 million women are affected by heart disease in the U.S., but only 1 in 5 think that it is their biggest health threat. That’s a staggering number of people, but together raising awareness we can slowly change that so every woman is looking for the signs and preventing heart disease. And just because this targets women doesn’t mean men can’t get involved either, they can advocate just as much as women can.

The first step that everyone needs to know are the signs of a heart attack and they are different in women than they are in men. For women, these are some of the signs that you will see:

  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or feeling lightheaded.

If you or someone around you is expressing these signs, here is what you need to do:

  • Do not wait to call for help. Dial 9-1-1, make sure to follow the operator’s instructions and get to a hospital right away.
  • Do not drive yourself or have someone drive you to the hospital unless you have no other choice.
  • Try to stay as calm as possible and take deep, slow breaths while you wait for the emergency responders.

There are many ways that we can get out there and help prevent heart disease from overtaking our life together! Men and women both can take part in these activities because men can experience heart disease as well, but it is more prevalent in women. So here are some steps we can take to lower our risk:

  • Don’t smoke
  • Manage your blood sugar
  • Get your blood pressure under control
  • Lower your cholesterol
  • Know your family history
  • Stay active
  • Lose weight
  • Eat healthy

Just remember to stay informed, educate yourself and others around you and let’s join forces and work to knock out heart disease! Show your dedication by wearing red this month and speaking out to others on the causes, prevention methods, and what we can do to help. For more information on what you can do, check out the Go Red Campaign’s website at http://www.goredforwomen.org

Who’s Ready for Some Football??

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That’s right! This coming Sunday is the Super Bowl!! I know I am so excited, I love me some football! As we approach this iconic American holiday, let’s keep in mind to stay safe and healthy.

I know that the best part of Super Bowl Sunday is to partake in very good, yet not so healthy foods. My favorite football food is wings! My friend’s mom made the BEST teriyaki wings, I would eat and eat on those the whole game. I know that it wasn’t the best for me, but they were just so darn good! So as we start planning our parties and what we are going to eat, let’s try and incorporate some healthy choices as well. For instance if I choose to make wings, I will bake them instead of frying them, that way I won’t have all the added grease.

I don’t know about you, but I also love to eat chips and salsa/guacamole. (Did you know that experts estimate that Americans eat around 11 million pounds of chips during the game! Wow that’s a lot of chips!) The only bad part is all the carbs that you are taking in from the chips. I got to thinking, maybe we could try some multigrain chips instead that way you are adding some fiber to your diet as well.
Another thing that you can do is to make your own chips! It’s really not as hard as it seems! I would recommend using corn tortillas and cutting them into smaller triangles. Then just lay them on to a baking sheet and bake them at 350 for 10 minutes and flip them once so they get good and crispy on both sides! Voila you have made your own healthy tortilla chips!

Also, don’t underestimate the power of a simple Caesar Salad! Everyone loves this classic salad and it will cut back on the amount of calories you’re eating while watching the game because it will start to fill you up. Another tip to help make sure not to consume as many calories is to only eat during halftime. This way you aren’t eating the whole way through the game!

I know that a lot of these things may seem a little disturbing to some and may not want to take part in the “healthy” fad, but if you try and least one of these tips, you may just change your mind! Also, if you are planning on drinking please do it responsibly and whatever you do, PLEASE don’t drink and drive!

Enjoy the game and have fun!
Allison 🙂


Welcome Back!

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As we start back to our school routines, there’s one day that we should all keep in mind, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (this Monday). There are a lot of events going on that day for us to be able to get involved in and really understand the legacy that he left behind for us. Also, there are cultural activities planned for students, faculty, staff, and the general public to attend on campus and in the surrounding areas.

Here are some of the events and activities scheduled for the day:
10 a.m.-Chapel, with guest speaker Shane Claiborne talking about MLK’s legacy and relating it to our culture today
10:40 a.m.- Faculty (from the Education Dept.) talk back to debrief the message heard during Chapel
12 p.m.- Lunch Conversations within the community, either in the Caf, or at OCP
4:30 p.m.- Shane Claiborne will wrap up MLK day events in Lehman Auditorium

Be sure to go to Sprague’s Barbershop (Downtown, next to Jess’ Quick Lunch, 6th floor. Look for the red/blue spiral stand in front) to hear about modern day peacemaking, and to get a haircut from my friends Sammy or Tyrone!! Tell them Allison recommended you!

These are just a few events going on across campus for more information please check out the following site with the complete list of events and activities.

Did you know:
1. Before it was known as MLK day, the third Monday in January was originally called Lee-Jackson Day. But eventually it was moved to the Friday before MLK Day and it is only observed in the state of VA. Lee-Jackson Day was created, in 1889,  to celebrate the birthdays of Civil War Confederate Generals,  Robert E. Lee and “Stonewall” Jackson.

2. The only place outside of the U.S. that observes MLK Day with equal importance is in Hiroshima, Japan. The Mayor holds a banquet in order to honor MLK’s message of human rights to unify his country over peace.

3.  Because of the boycott of MLK Day, the 1993 NFL Superbowl was moved from Phoenix, AZ to Pasadena, Cali.


Personally I love the idea of the whole country getting together on one day to provide services to others. I think MLK was a very intuitive person and was way ahead of his time when it came to civil rights and the equality of everyone. Being from Virginia, and a person who was raised to appreciate our country’s military, I am sad that not many people know about Lee-Jackson Day and what those Generals did for our country as well. I hope that you all take advantage of the opportunities that are being provided to us on campus and throughout the area to learn more about this day and things that MLK did for us and how they may or may not have changed from then until now.

–Blessings, Allison


Christmas Eve is coming…

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Christmas break is almost here! I probably shouldn’t have told you that for two reasons, a) you probably already know…and b) whatever homework you were just doing now won’t get done for another couple hours because your mind is probably now thinking about all of the wonderful things about break; Christmas lights, candles, presents, family, card games, cookies, mashed potatoes, pleasure reading (what is this?!), mistletoe, evergreen, holly, poinsettias (keep these away from dogs and babies!),  movies, catching up on TV seasons, and I could go on and on and on and on…

So the purpose for this message is to give you hope! Do what you need to do to get your homework done, study up for those finals, but if you’re ready to give up…don’t! Remember that you will have all the time in the world to play video games and watch those TV shows that are taunting you with their charm AFTER finals…they will still be there after next week!

Make sure that you take care of yourself as best you can these next few days.  With finals looming, eat a hearty breakfast the morning of and get a good night’s sleep (as good as you can) the night before as it will allow you to be on top of your game and make your brain as sharp as my Cutco knives (ask me about this sometime, they’re sharp.)  And then you can skip away from school and have a solid three weeks off and then return and do it all over again! As a senior, I’m realizing how much of a blessing it is to return to school after being on a break…enjoy it.

This is my last blog post as I am graduating *tear* after this semester.  Rest assured though, another able-bodied/minded individual (perhaps more so than myself) will be taking over as soon as we (you) come back!  Blessings to you and yours this coming season as we embark on a new year (if we make it past this one…)



“An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day…” -Irv Kupcinet

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It’s getting to be that time in the semester when we start to make Thanksgiving plans…you may even be getting e-mails from moms right now asking opinions for what you can make or what you can help with.  Personally, my favorite part of Thanksgiving is the garlic mashed potatoes, YUM! It’s also not Thanksgiving without pie, ANY kind of pie; pumpkin, apple, oatmeal, tollhouse, you name it, you gotta have it.  So in all honesty, how many people actually watch what they eat on Thanksgiving day? Even those who are following a strict diet will often times say that Thanksgiving and Christmas are the two holidays during the year that they will break their diets (I would include Easter as well 🙂 ).  So to give you a little “food” for thought, I found a blog called “fit bottomed girls” with a post that contains multiple Thanksgiving Food Facts by “Jen”

She writes:

3,000: Calories are consumed by the average person at Thanksgiving dinner.

12: Million turkeys are sold by Butterball each year.

675: Million pounds of turkey are consumed each year.

50: Million pumpkin pies are eaten at Thanksgiving.

350: Approximate number of pounds the largest pumpkin pie ever made weighed. It used 80 pounds of cooked pumpkin, 36 pounds of sugar, 12 dozen eggs, measured 5 feet in diameter and took six hours to bake.

40: How many million green bean casseroles are made.

100: Age of some of the oldest cranberry beds—and they’re still producing!

72: Millions of can of Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce purchased each year.

565: Number of times a line of all the cranberries produced in the U.S. would stretch from Boston to Los Angeles if you lined them all up, end to end.

Wow!  www.healthdiaries.com shares more facts:

The first Thanksgiving in 1621 probably did not include turkey. Roasted goose and duck were most likely eaten.

About 272 million turkeys were raised in the United States in 2007.

About 45 million turkeys will be eaten this Thanksgiving.

Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Virginia, Missouri, and California raise more turkeys than any other states.

Michigan raises more organic turkeys than any other state. The state raised 56,729 organic turkeys in 2005.

Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird.

Tofurkey, the vegetarian turkey, was first sold in 1995.

It is estimated that 270,000 Tofurkeys will be sold over the 2007 holiday season.

Another name for cranberries is “bounce berries” because of the fact that they bounce. They bounce because they contain pockets of air.

The first commercial canned cranberry sauce was put on the market by the Cape Cod Cranberry Company in 1912.

690 million pounds of cranberries will be produced in the United States in 2007.

Wisconsin in the nation’s #1 cranberry producer and is expected to produce 390 pounds this year. Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington also crank out millions of pounds of cranberries.

1 billion pounds of pumpkins were produced in the U.S. in 2006.

Illinois is the nation’s top pumpkin producer, growing an impressive 492 million pounds of pumpkins in 2006.

1.6 billion pounds of sweet potatoes were produced in 2006.

North Carolina, the nation’s top sweet potato producer, produced 702 million pounds.

California ranks as the nation’s second top sweet potato producer, producing 381 million pounds in 2006.

The average American consumes 4.5 pounds of sweet potatoes per year.

The average American consumes 13.1 pounds of turkey per year.

President Truman pardoned the first turkey in 1947. It has since become an annual White House tradition.

Keep some of these facts in mind this year when you choose whether to indulge or limit yourself a little this month 🙂

Exercise! Say what?!

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Exercise is a journey, not a destination. –Unknown Author

Raise your hand if you exercise. Now hold it up over your head for a minute, see if you can…Come on, just try it, what will (another) one minute of exercise hurt after a 24 hour day?  You may be rushing through this blog entry because you have somewhere to be, if that’s the case, sorry, I’ll try and keep it short! Also if that is the case, is that how an average day goes for you? You hurry, hurry, hurry everywhere and frequently arrive late and feel like you have NO time to finish anything!  It seems as if most college students could relate to this I think…

Let me ask you one more question, how much time per day do you spend on Facebook? Twitter? Myspace (anybody anymore?) How about watching movies or catching up on TV shows?  It’s nuts!  I was thinking this morning about how I literally [yesterday] spent most of my free time on my computer.  Granted, I was doing quite a bit of homework, but I also watched two TV shows that I missed (Gossip Girl and The Voice).  Then I felt kind of discouraged because all I did that was active yesterday was walk my two pound poodle in which his sprint is the speed of my dawdle…So…not much of anything.

I am the type who used to go to the gym regularly…like 6 days a week regular with 45 minutes to an hour on the treadmill of eliptical, now, as a senior, I feel like I’d be embarrassed to hop back on one of those things because it’s been so long and I don’t want to die in front of other people (though that would be better than alone.)  My husband and I did insanity this past summer and it was truly insane…it was like the best thing ever though and we felt so amazing after we completed it. And then what happened? We felt so accomplished (I should speak for myself…) that I took a week off…and then another week, and another, and another, etc. And now I’m right back where I started.  I am declaring right now that I am going to restart the insanity program and be accountable to all of you who read this! When I go home today I am going to do it, and not sweat about it (no pun intended.)

I’m wondering what it would look like if we each sacrificed one computer session, TV show, or one extra hour of sleep (for those of us who actually have sleep time to spare…anyone?) in exchange for a 45 minute-1 hour workout session?  Or even if while we are catching up on our favorite TV we get down on the flower and do a few sets of push-ups and sit-ups, or even just start with a stretch.

Here’s some stuff to consider:

  • BLT Sandwich-437 k cal=45 mins tae bo
  • Mozzarella, Tomato & Pesto Panni-457 kcal=1 hour and 15 minutes hill walking
  • Quarter Pounder with Cheese McDonalds-515 kcal =1 hour and 20 minutes of cross training
  • Pepperoni Pizza, Dominos (1 Slice)-198 kcal= 28 minutes of boxing

Check this website out for more!: http://www.dietandfitnessresources.co.uk/fitness_exercise/activities-to-burn-calories.htm

The Case for Alcohol…

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So we’re all well aware that EMU has a vast variety of student types, and we’re aware that EMU doesn’t support the use of alcohol or tobacco. But since we’re a university that attracts a wide array of people, I think it’s important to cover our bases and make sure we’re all up to date with our alcohol info. We attract a Mennonite crowd, an athletic crowd, the local community crowd, a non-Mennonite Christian crowd, and even people who came because they want to stay in state. With a wide variety of students, there is a wide variety of perspectives on alcohol use. There are plenty of people here who say “no, absolutely not, won’t touch it,” there are also those that say politely, “no thank you, I don’t drink,” there are also your casual drinkers with dinner (off-campus of course!,) social drinkers with parties, and then those who drink heavily, sometimes daily. No matter what kind of “relationship” you have with alcohol, as college students we have all most likely encountered it at one point or another. So it is relevant. Even if you don’t drink, my guess is that you probably have at least one friend that does.

I’m going to make a serious attempt to make this NOTHING like a middle/high school health class.

SO, first of all, a “Did You Know…” fact sheet:

-Over 2/3 of all U.S. college students choose NOT to use or abuse alcohol if given the opportunity.
-On a typical weekend night 1 in 10 drivers on the American road is drunk.
-It doesn’t matter how much or how little we drink. The question is: What is our drinking doing to us? How is it affecting our lives?
-Binge drinking is considered four drinks for women and five for men.
-Binge Drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning!
-Unlike most foods, alcohol can be absorbed into the bloodstream in its natural states. It is carried to the brain immediately where it first impairs judgment, then physical responses.
-The ability to do two things at once-such as braking and steering-is impaired at a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of only .02%!

Woah…So these statistics are alarming, and worrisome. It kind of makes you second guess yourself for a late night IHOP run (which none of us do, right?)

So for the science-y part of the case on alcohol, it’s a central nervous system depressant. It travels from the bloodstream straight to the brain.It blocks messages that go to your brain and alter perceptions, emotions, vision, hearing, and coordination.  In the long-run, heavy drinking can cause cancer of the liver and cirrhosis.

When I was in high school we had an afternoon called “Prom Promise.”  It was a form we signed that promised to not drink on prom night, and if we did, then we would do it “safely” and avoid driving home.  This was an incredibly emotional event for my high school for a number of reasons.  They brought a truck to our parking lot that belonged to one of my friends’ boyfriends before she was killed in a driving accident.  Her and her boyfriend had been drinking and were driving in his truck when he ran a stop sign and were T-boned by a driver on the passenger side.  My friend was in the passenger seat, not wearing her seat belt, and she was thrown from the car, killed immediately.  Her boyfriend lived.

Prom Promise was in May and the accident was in March. Her mother spoke (and cried) to a blank faced crowd begging us to not make the same mistake that her baby did.

Drinking is serious business.  It’s something people do for fun and to have a good time, but if you are going to use it in such ways you need to understand how dangerous and life-changing it can be.  To write this article I reread numerous articles about friends I had that were killed in car accidents.  As a high school student, we had one person die every single year in automobile accidents, and every year since.  Alcohol was involved in most of those deaths whether they were my classmates drinking or those who hit them.

After college starts we begin to think we’re invincible because we’re out of our parent’s homes and a lot of us are turning 21 so everything is fair game…That is NOT true. We are now more responsible then ever before to make sure that we are not putting ourselves or others in harms way.  Please be respectful of the lives around you and please don’t drive if you’re going to drink.