Thursday, February 19, 2015

Something about February

By Coasterman1234 at en.wikipedia (Transferred from en.wikipedia)
[CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

If the academic year was described as a roller coaster, February would be the ascent to the largest hill.

That time when the cars jerk as the chain catches and struggles to pull thrill-seekers to the apex. It’s been a while since I've ridden a coaster, but I’m imaging the Millennium Force at Cedar Point.

This morning as I worked through the emails that accumulated in the inbox since last night, there were many – MANY – tweets, retweets and favorited tweets hoping – begging – for snow day.

“It's not too late to cancel classes tomorrow, @BlufftonU. #wishfullthinking @BlufftonDean”

For only having 28 days, February always seems to be the longest month. While this may be universally true, it is even more so on a college campus where cabin fever and a lack of sunshine is compounded with projects, mid-terms, etc.

Hang in there. As sure as a coaster will reach the top and gravity will take over. Spring will come. As of today, there are:

  • 8 days until Spring Break
  • 17 days until Daylight Savings Time begins
  • 21 days until the Beavers’ home opening softball game
  • 23 days until the Beavers’ home opening baseball game
  • 29 days until the first day of spring
  • 51 days until the Riley Creek Festival
  • 73 days until graduation

Yes, February is a struggle. But just like a coaster after that split second where those in the front car feel suspended in mid-air when the cars finally make it to the top, the chain lets loose and gravity takes over. Then it’s up, down, spin right, through the tunnel, spin left and pull into the station. The ride is over.

Then we jump out of the car, a little breathless, definitely exhilarated, and run to get back in line to do it all over again.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Go Beavers!

2014 Nutrition and Fitness Fair
It’s easy to cheer student success on the athletic field of play, the stage or the exhibit hall. Unfortunately, ongoing student achievement in the lab, the library or the classroom often goes under-recognized.

That changes this week as student research is highlighted during the second annual Celebrate the Library week

This afternoon Matt McCoy, Daniel Piero, Carly Unruh and Amanda Bartel will present “Student Research and Scholarly Experiences.” This event will be much like a faculty author events but with students instead.  

Thursday’s recognition will include a poster-session-style research fair showcasing work by 35 students and “Five Minutes of Fame” where eight students nominated by faculty will give five minute presentations on their research or creative work. Students in Nutrition Education and Communication and in Personal Training and Exercise courses will join forces to present a Wellness Wednesday Nutrition and Fitness Fair complete with cooking demos and fitness tests.

Personally, I’m most intrigued by Thursday’s events due to the wide variety of research, projects and creative work scheduled to be presented.

For instance, just check out this list for Thursday afternoon’s “Five Minutes of Fame”
  • Mathematics of crochet art – Jennifer Brumbaugh
  • Adoption through the eyes of children, with her original children’s book “After All” – Lauren Dickerson
  • 1 in every 68: a study related to autism – Shae Golden
  • Examples of work in graphic design – Abby Graber
  • From Dracula to World War Z: The transition from individual to societal fear – Taylor Humphreys
  • Original jazz composition “Matt’s Nightmare” – Kyle Johnson-Evers
  • Original compositions for voice “Speak to me, Lord” and brass quintet “A Journey to the Unknown” – Ashley Musgrave
  • Taking a closer look at English-only in education – Julia Thomas
The same variety can be found in the research fair presentations, for instance a selection of the topics include:
  • The History of the Uklulele  - Kenny Beeker
  • Connection between different parenting styles and the risk of childhood obesity – Calista Dowdy
  • The Vagina Monologues – Rebecca Juliana
  • Depression and the dark night of the soul – Sara Klenke
  • Lunchtime Politics: US schools and the national school lunch program 2004-2014 – Aimee Lugibihl
  • Living in a database: the impact of corporate data-mining on personal liberty – Greg Seymour
  • Approaching the achievement gap: a transformation of mathematics teachers – Nathaniel Haas
    >>> full list of research fair presentations
Guess where I’m going to be Thursday afternoon?

>>> complete Celebrate the Library schedule