No reason … just because

For no particular reason, I cannot stop laughing at this. It seems the more you watch it, the funnier it gets.

Spelling and grammatical errors: there just two annoying!

Funny Spelling ErrorWhoa, there! Don’t start ranting about my spelling and grammatical errors in the title just yet. Where are my fellow grammar and spelling fanatics? I read this article on Ragan (I know, it’s becoming a pattern) about annoying writing habits; I couldn’t help but wince at many of the mistakes that we commonly make when writing and how they drive me crazy (especially when inadvertently committed by me)!

See if these “pet peeves” are common in your writing; they are helpful reminders that can lead to you becoming a stronger writer.

Oreos, you can’t have just one

oreoJunk food is addictive. I don’t think anyone was under the impression that it isn’t and I surely did not need anyone to do a study to tell me about it. Nonetheless, someone found it necessary and the results are in!

In a breakthrough study conducted by a team at Connecticut College, researchers determined that Oreos were preferred over rice cakes. Shocking, just shocking.

Today wrote a quick story online about the study’s findings. If your interested in reading more obvious statements, you can read the article on the website.

Instant stress reducers

I found this article just in time for midterm exams, which are right around the corner. I am always looking for ways to manage stress levels and I have tried everything from yoga to meditation to special diets. It all helps to some degree, but it can be time consuming and expensive. T

his article about reducing stress now offers some interesting suggestions for beating stress quickly (screaming in the car, reading, singing loudly, mini-dance parties – just to name a few)! Read the rest of suggestions or add your own on the Huffington Post’s website. 

Get involved!

As a full time college student, I have been struggling to find time to participate in volunteer events. It’s one thing if you’re an incoming freshmen and get the full university rundown; it’s an entirely different thing to be an incoming transfer student. We’re like the red-headed step children of college students, only getting the bare minimum of information that is available to us.

The result: we don’t learn about awesome individual student programs or groups dedicated to community involvement and volunteerism. So, we miss out completely on tons of opportunities.

Luckily, last year I learned about the SLiCE (Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement) office when they were hiring a special volunteer events coordinator. What a great opportunity – volunteer events and work combined! Long story short, now I work at SLiCE and get paid to coordinate volunteer events.

Today was the 27th Annual Cans Around the Oval food drive, my first official event at SLiCE; I thought I’d share a little about the event in hopes that it will inspire others to volunteer their time.

The Cans Around the Oval drive was developed as a student initiative back in 1986. The original goal was to line our campus Oval with cans as a way to promote food bank donations. The first year it took place, students lined the Oval all the way around (with cans spaced five feet apart)! 🙂

Since that time, the event has grown significantly to become Northern Colorado’s largest single-day food drive with more than 50,000 pounds of food and $39,000 in monetary donations collected this year.

Jen Johnson has been the assistant director of volunteer programs at SLiCE for nearly 10 years and has seen the growth and development of Cans throughout those years.

“Over the years the event has grown hugely and the focus has changed,” Johnson said during an interview. “One of our biggest years in terms of cans donations was 135,000 pounds of food; since that time, our focus has really changed to cash donations since the food bank can make more use of them.”

Jenn Rieskamp, who is new to the SLiCE office this year as the special events coordinator, showed no doubts about reaching this year’s collection goals, despite all of the flooding the county has seen.

“We have a unique opportunity this year with all of the flooding that happened,” Rieskamp said during an interview earlier in the week. “Folks have been asking, ‘is that going to minimize the amount of donations or is it going to maximize them’ … I have a feeling from where we are that we are going to see a big increase.”

Although the event itself has become a tradition in the community, the underlying message cannot be understated. The goal of SLiCE and the Food Bank is to raise awareness of the issues surrounding hunger.

According to the Food Research and Action Center, one in six Americans struggled with hunger and more than 48.9 million Americans lived in households fighting hunger in 2012. Of those households, children make up 15.8 million. What’s more, the overall rate of food insecurity has remained more or less unchanged since 2008.

Rebecca Robinson, a student volunteer at the event, kept that thought in mind as she worked to help collect donations at the Oval.

“Cans is one of those events that has such a huge impact on the community, it’s impossible not to want to help out,” Robinson said. “I think people have really come through this year and the underlying message has really gotten through to everyone and they all just want to help with hunger relief.”

During Collection Day, more than 200 volunteers and SLiCE staff coordinate with Food Bank employees to collect donations at the CSU Oval. All donations are dropped off, weighed, packaged and lined up around the oval between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., then transported to the Food Bank where they are distributed to Larimer County households.

So, on that note I encourage you all to get involved in your community events! Every place has something great to offer for volunteers and the reward is the satisfaction that you get from knowing you made an impact in your community.

Contaminated chicken is not being recalled

Image

Photo by Rich Pedroncelli, Associated Press

I went to my freezer yesterday to pull out a package of chicken breast I bought from King Soopers the other day thinking I was going to make a delicious spinach artichoke casserole. Fortunately, my boyfriend saw what I was doing and informed me that the news said that there had been a case of chicken being contaminated with a deadly strain of salmonella. I thought the chances of me having a package of chicken from that factory in that state were slim to none, but what the heck, I looked it up anyway. 

I felt pretty good about checking when I saw that the numbers on my package of chicken matched the exact numbers of the packages that were found to be contaminated by the CDC. It’s from the manufacturer Foster Farms and here’s the kicker: it’s not even being recalled! The company says “just cook it thoroughly.” A deadly strain! Anyhow, let’s not get into bad PR practices. 

Some stores are taking it upon themselves to recall the chicken. Find out if your store offers a refund and, more importantly, if you have what could possibly be contaminated meat at www.oregonlive.com. I would also recommend signing up for recall updates at www.recalls.gov

Other really good resources for recall information: FDA, CDC, & HHS

Reminisce your way to a job

It’s very coincidental that I found this article on Ragan today about storytelling during interviews, seeing as how I was just talking to someone yesterday about how I was hired on to my last job. I am a media intern for the Colorado Eagles Pro Hockey team. The thing is, at the time I was hired, I knew absolutely nothing about Hockey.

Rather, I was upfront about what I did not know and I focused on highlighting what I did know. That’s important, but equally important is how I highlighted it.

An interview is essentially an awkward first date. Neither of you know each other and the last thing you want is for someone to drone on about how they are great communicators or they can type 80 words per minute. People want storytelling. They want funny, interesting tales of past failures and successes. Don’t just say “I have great attention to detail;” say, “In my previous job at blah blah, I was in charge of updating the statistics every day to reflect time allocations and company progress” or tell the funny story about the time you caught what could have been a disastrous error that your co-worker wrote on a press release before it went out to the media.

So, before your next interview, don’t just reflect on your skills, reflect on how you’ve acquired and used them in previous situations and be ready to reminisce with what will hopefully be your next employer. I would also recommend that you read the article on Ragan.

Procrastination station

For those of you who follow my blog or have at least noted the last few posts, you may notice a pattern: it’s no coincidence that my posts are heavily weighted towards the end of the week (for example, Sundays seem popular).

And, if you happened to read the section of the blog titled “Read Me,” you may have already put two and two together. If you haven’t, let me fill you in: I am a student blogging for a class. Although it is fun and has become quite enjoyable, I am still pressed for time like many other students (and, let’s face it, humans in general). So, like many others, I procrastinate.

Two blog posts due every Sunday = write two blogs every Sunday

I will say, it usually works out quite well for me; I do some of my best work the night before it’s due. However, if you’re not quite the same and your grades are at the mercy of your homework habits than maybe this article about beating procrastination can be of some use to you. Nicely timed too, seeing as how it’s nearing midterms for most of us …

 

Are you living in a state of debt?

I came across this USA Today article listing the top student debt states; it’s actually pretty surprising. (Those of you in Utah or Arizona will be pleasantly surprised, though!) It would be interesting to learn more about why the states listed are the top states. Also, there is an immediately apparent geographical pattern …

For those of you just reaching the end of your high school careers and pondering college, the list is definitely worth consideration; and, for those of you reaching the end of your college careers … I hope you chose well!