Monthly Archives: February 2012

New Rights For Self Expression

The legalization of gay marriage is a hot topic lately, with many states aiming to protect individual rights and distribute freedom equally. Same-sex marriages are already recognized in six states and the District of Columbia, but Maryland is about to join in at number 8 on the list. This recent decision will hit close to home for many West Virginia University students because Maryland is a bordering state and some of our student body resides from Maryland. There will be some who are against the same-sex marriage bill, but others who will be very happy. This lets same-sex couples know that they don’t have to go too far from home to get married, but most importantly that lawmakers are on the right path to doing what’s right.

Here is a YouTube video that shows how people are reacting to the new bill and what it means to some personally.

Below is a map outlining the seven states that allow same-sex marriages and the five states that permit civil unions rights similar to marriage.

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Staying Informed

When I go to class, I usually feel safe and that I’m out of harms way. However, last Friday there was a chemical leak in Allen and Percival halls where some of my friends attend class. When I heard the news through the WVU alert system I was shocked because it doesn’t seem like a chemical spill could happen in a University building. Aren’t teachers equipped to prevent such things from happening? Thankfully, no one was hurt by the lingering gas but it’s scary to think of the risks associated with a poisonous substance floating around your classroom. I read that chlorine can irritate the eyes, nose, throat, lungs, and/or skin. It can also cause shortness of breath, coughing, nausea, and headache. These may all be minor side effects, but it does take a toll on your body, which should be important.

I thought this was a serious issue so I decided to look on the WVU Department of Environmental Health and Safety website to stay informed on the dangers of  hazardous materials (afterall, I’m enrolled in a science course this semester). I read over the procedures and safety tips because I don’t want to be inattentive when it comes to my own health and safety.

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Raising Awareness

It’s not always easy to find time to give back to your community but that’s exactly what I did yesterday. Many students including my roommates and I dined at Applebee’s to support rape and domestic violence victims. In fact, my roommate organized the event because he wanted to make a difference in someone’s life. I try to avoid eating out due to a limited budget, but it was nice to socialize with friends and have fifteen percent of our money going to a great cause. Think about what you usually spend your money on. Beer? Clothes? If something tragic happened to you, wouldn’t you want people to care? If you’re interested in making a difference, you still can by visiting the Morgantown Applebee’s on March 11th, April 1st, or April 16th. Hope to see you there!

Here are some eye opening statistics from the Domestic Violence Resource Center:

  • One in four women (25%) has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime.
  • One in five (21%) women reported she had been raped or physically or sexually assaulted in her lifetime.
  • Date rape accounts for almost 70 percent of sexual assaults reported by adolescent and college age women; 38 percent of those women are between 14 and 17 years old.
  • Studies suggest that between 3.3 – 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.
  • On average, more than three women and one man are murdered by their intimate partners in this country every day.

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YOGA For The Soul

So this week I decided to try a new form of exercise other than my usual cardio and free weights routine. I went to a yoga class at the rec center and loved it. It required a lot of flexibility, (which I don’t have) but I’ve already marked my calendar to go again. It was quite rewarding and I was amazed at how relieved I felt afterwards just by balance exercises and the practice of controlled breathing. It allowed me to forget about the stress of my midterms (and rising gas costs).

I actually researched yoga when I got home and found out that it’s been around for more than 5,000 years! I thought that was odd because it seems its popularity just spiked within the past couple decades. It’s always nice to discover something new, but especially when you have the opportunity to engage in it. It’s something to look forward to a couple times a week and I’m able to switch up my usual exercise habits. I won’t always have the luxury of free training, so I need to utilize the classes as much as I can.

I’d definitely recommend the class because not only is it good for your health, but it’s a form of relaxation and truly frees your mind. Running on a treadmill doesn’t give you the same fulfillment as yoga because this includes the mind, body, and spirit. It sounds cheesy, but as a student I wish I would’ve taken this class up sooner because it’s very soothing. Most girls love zumba, but I wasn’t able to follow the fast paced work out so well, so this was a nice change. I look at it as a bubble bath that’s long overdue. It’s not for everybody, but it’s definitely worth a try.

Courtesy of Google images.

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How To Save A Life

This past weekend I made a big/great decision to become an organ donor. When I first got my license I never really looked into it or cared about what it meant because I was simply excited to start driving. Now, that I’m older, I realize that life is a ticking time bomb and you never know when it’s your time to go. Statistics show a new name is added to the transplant waiting list every 13 minutes. To me, that translates to there’s a lot of lives at stake and I’m willing to donate my organs to someone who needs them long after I’m gone.

There are many myths surrounding the decision to become an organ donor, which leave some people less willing to make the personal sacrifice. For instance, some people think if you’re involved in a medical emergency, the hospital personnel will be less willing to save your life if you’re a donor.  However, this is false and there are no downsides to becoming an organ donor (I researched it before filling out a card). It’s a personal choice, but it’s a wise one because thousands of people die waiting for an organ but never receive one. If you’ve never seen the movie John Q, I suggest you watch it. It’s based on a true story about a young boy who is in desperate need of a heart transplant. Your eyes will be welling up with tears before you know it. It only begins to stress the importance of saving a life.

If you want to learn more about being an organ donor visit their webpage.

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The Appreciation of Cooking

One of the major downfalls of college is missing out on all of those home cooked meals that you’re used to growing up. My mouth waters at the thought of my mom’s baked lasagna with a side of asparagus. When I’m able to travel home for the holidays, it feels great to taste something besides food off of the dollar menu at Wendy’s or the infamous ramen noodles. Just recently, things have changed and I don’t have to go far in order to eat well.

Thanks to Well WVU’s brilliant idea of cooking classes, students are able to adjust to healthy eating habits and resist the urge to eat junk food all the time. With only thirty spots available, the class filled up quickly, but I plan to attend one in the near future because I want to discover a variety of healthy foods, while becoming a better cook in the process. Students don’t think about the long term health risks that are associated with repetitive and unhealthy eating habits. Often times, fruits and veggies are never even considered. In fact, WellWVU has found that students consume only around 2 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, when they should be eating between 5 and nine servings daily. If you’re not careful, you may end up with diabetes, heart disease, and at the very least you could become severely overweight.

Choosing wholesome foods makes you feel better about yourself (working out can only get you so far) and has the advantage of keeping you well nourished. Studies show that eating foods high in trans-fats can lead to depression. Granted, indulging in your favorite cheesecake once in a while is okay, but it’s not a good routine. With that in mind, I’m going to try to gather a few friends to go to the next cooking class because I don’t remember the last time I ate three healthy meals in one day. I’m also not the best cook in the world, so it would be nice to learn from the best (and it’s free)! Students need to start familiarizing themselves with healthy lifestyles and this is the perfect opportunity to start. So in closing, put on your apron (or chef hat) and start combating fast food.

If you’re interested in attending a class, you can fill out a form by visiting WELLWVU COOKING CLASS. 

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Jogging My Memory

For the past week, our interactive journalism class has been expected to blog every day. When the assignment was first proposed, it seemed impossible due to the fact I have other classes and homework. Luckily, blogging daily wasn’t as difficult as I anticipated it to be, but it wasn’t easy either. I take my blog seriously and want to do a good job so it takes me a good hour to write a thorough post. Since I’m interested in health, coming up with ideas about what to blog wasn’t a difficult task. There are always health concerns and improvements being made to enhance our lifestyles. The real challenge was having enough hours in the day to balance out classes, homework, studying, blogging, and well even eating. I learned that I’m becoming a better writer by exercising my thoughts and writing whatever comes to mind. I used to just sit there and panic but if I just start writing, it will all come full circle.

I enjoy blogging because it’s personal, yet public and holds so much room for opinion. I’m very outspoken, so expressing what I feel about various subjects isn’t a tough chore. Over time, I’ve learned that if you put enough effort into what you’re doing, hard work will pay off. I signed onto Twitter last night to see someone had retweeted one of my blog posts. It was a great feeling  knowing someone cared to read about what I had to say. I also learned that blogging isn’t just about your own outlook, but why it’s important to the overall community. When this class this started, I was completely lost, but I finally feel like I’m getting the hang of things and I think this assignment helped.

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