Thursday, January 26, 2012

Teach the world to sing

Funny thing happened last year in the PR house as we were brainstorming for the 2011 Christmas video. We knew we wanted a candle involved and started thinking about the CocaCola “I’d like to teach the world to sing” commercial. 

One of our student assistants was pulled into the conversation. “Do you remember…” “Um. No. I wasn’t born in the 70s.” Ugh. As the conversation continued it came to light that she was born the year I returned to Bluffton as a staff member, the year my son turned 3. Oh my achin’ head.

Funny I don’t feel like I could be our students’ mom. I like to think of myself as an older sister; or maybe the cool aunt. Yea, that’s it, the cool aunt who you can be real with and who shares advice based on life experiences without being a bore. That sounds better.

I’ve been enjoying the comments posted on the employee photos on Facebook. And I know the faculty/staff have appreciated them as well.

Keep them coming. Better yet, “buy a Coke” for someone who made a difference in your life “and keep ‘em company.” There is no doubt that you will make their day.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Call me!

Friends reconnect at R&R for Women 2011.

I walked into work the other day and received one of those “other duties as assigned” projects – to work on text for the R&R for Women  brochure.

Now I’m familiar with the annual R&R event, an alumnae reunion, which was introduced in 2010. Originally known as Reconnecting and Reaching Out, it was an afternoon of reminiscing, programming and entertainment planned especially for Bluffton University women.

This year’s event has been expanded to a full day of sessions of interest to women and presented by alumnae, Bluffton professors and students. I am fortunate to have worked on the brochure text because I may have skimmed over the day’s agenda had I not.

It’s going to be an interesting day with pertinent topics and knowledgeable speakers, at least in my opinion. Maybe it’s just where I am in life right now, but gaining tips to organize and secure important documents (including passwords), insurance needs, self-care, nutrition, relating to “crazy kids and grumpy grandmas,” it all sounds really helpful.

And what women’s conference would be complete without ample time to visit and shopping opportunities – can anybody say new Bluffton University sweatshirt?

So, who wants to go with me? We get a group discount if three of us to sign up together!

More about the R&R for Women conference on March 24, 2012, including online registration.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Back to the Future

Just like the life change created when George McFly stood up to the bully in the classic 1980s flick, the choices we make now definitely shape our future.

Yesterday’s Forum speaker, Tom Hafer, physical therapist and ordained pastor, started his presentation by complimenting current student-supported sustainability initiatives. He then went on to compare sustainability with wellness. Both efforts are in effect taking steps today to be better prepared for the future. His stated topic was “Fitness as a Spiritual Discipline.”

“We all know what we need to do,” he said. Very true. How often do we talk about eating better? eating less? exercising more? “reducing our carbon footprint?” recycling? reusing? We have the head knowledge. What we need is the motivation to actually put that knowledge into action. And by we, I mean I.

Instead of “getting in shape” for self-centered reasons, to feel better, to look good in a pair of jeans, Hafer challenged the full Founders Hall crowd to take steps to be healthy in order to better care for those around us.

I’ve often heard how important it is to care for yourself so that you can care for others. Just like directions given by airline stewardesses to put your own oxygen mask on before helping those around you in an emergency. (If you pass out for lack of oxygen, who are you going to help then?)

Consider a torn rotator cuff which often requires surgery and physical therapy. Hafer said there are four muscles that support the shoulder. If those four muscles are strong it is less likely that you will have a torn rotator cuff. The same is true for knee and hip problems. OK, you’ve got my attention.

It’s never too late to start caring for yourself, for showing by your actions that you believe the body to be the Temple of God, for seeing fitness as a spiritual discipline. By staying strong and healthy in order to care for others, we are in effect expressing gratitude to God for the body and the abilities He gave us.

Now that is motivation.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Together we can

We are four days into the New Year. Are your New Year’s Resolutions still intact? I have no sound scientific research to back this up, but I suspect “get healthy (lose weight)” is among the top three resolutions, right next to “get organized” and “get out of debt.”

Isn’t it curious that what these three goals have in common is the need for self-discipline, will-power, stick-to-itness. Hmmm. I’ll leave that to the social scientists to contemplate.

Several events are scheduled in the next couple months to support our quest for health and/or wellness and to uphold this year’s Civic Engagement Theme of Health: Promoting Wellness for Self and Community.

We start out with “Fitness as a Spiritual Discipline” as the first Forum of the new year. The concept of pulling together physical and spiritual fitness? OK you’ve got my attention. And I’ve got my calendar marked for Tuesday, Jan. 10, Yoder Recital Hall.

A few weeks later Shelly Weaverdyck Ph.D., 1977 Bluffton alumnae and director of EMU/HW Alzheimer’s Research Program, will talk about “Wellness in Aging.” None of us are getting any younger, so guess I’d better plan to attend that one too – Tuesday, Feb. 7, Yoder Recital Hall. Wellness at any age is a good thing.

“Prelude to a New Program: The Bluffton Dietetic Internship” will be presented Friday, Feb. 10, in Stutzman Lecture Hall by Bluffton professor Deb Myers. Much work has been going on behind the scenes to establish a post-baccalaureate dietetic internship program at Bluffton which will begin fall 2012. An internship after graduation is a requirement for dietetics majors to become registered and licensed dietitians.

Finally, the Women’s Council has expanded the annual R&R for Women event to include multiple presentations around the theme of “Balancing your World; Caring for Yourself.” Alumnae are invited to spend a day on campus reconnecting with friends old and new, and gaining tips for security, financial preparedness, nutrition and self-care, and being pampered (massages will be offered). March 21 is the registration deadline for the event which takes place Saturday, March 24. Call a couple friends and register as a group to enjoy a $15 per person discount on the registration fee.

Need more hands-on motivation? Team Andy continues through July. You’re invited to sign up and report every 30-minute session of activity in a quest for the Bluffton community to get to the finish line before Bluffton’s Ironman-in-training. You’ll be supporting Andy while he motivates you to get active.

It’s no secret that trying to reach a seemingly unreachable goal by yourself is very difficult. So turn to Bluffton to gain motivation to achieve wellness in 2012.

Together. We. Can. Do. This.