As the school year comes to an end

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As the school year comes to an end summer is right around the corner for students of all ages.  However, summer means different things for people of different ages.

  • For elementary kids this might mean play dates, camps or going to the pool with mom, dad or a babysitter.
  • For middle school and high school kids this might mean hanging out with friends, working a summer job, playing an intramural sport or volunteering.

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However, for most college kids this means getting experience in the fields you are studying.  In some cases this might be volunteering or shadowing but in others this could mean working a forty-hour a week position.  Some fields where one might volunteer include:

  • Volunteering at a school (teacher)
  • Shadowing at a physical/occupational therapy unit (Physical/Occupational Therapist)
  • Volunteering at a nursing home (Nurse or physicians assistant)
  • Volunteering at humane society (Veterinarian)
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Some fields where one might need work experience include:

  • Working summer camp (teacher)
  • Working at kennel (vet)
  • Working at medical buildings (Doctor/Healthcare jobs)

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Although volunteering/shadowing and working are not the only way to gain valuable experience in a field you wish to peruse.  Another common opportunity for young people is completing and internship.  An internship is a position held within a company that teaches one the ends and outs of their company’s business and allows you to gain hands on experience in that field.  Most big firms have internship programs, which generally allows college sophomore, juniors and seniors to apply.  The most common time for students to take on an internship is the summers prior to a student’s junior or senior year and they generally run the duration of summer.  Not all internships are paid and some allow students to have more flexible hours than others, but all in all they allow students to gain experience they would not yet have.  Some big company’s who have internships include:

  • Edward Jones
  • Monsanto
  • Kraft
  • Google
  • Bank of America
  • Capital One

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To see the top paying internships in the US check out this website: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-02-14/the-25-companies-with-the-highest-paying-internships However, Internships are not always easy to get.  Most companies have high standards they look for in students that apply.  Some of these attributes include:

  • Communication skills
  • GPA
  • Work Experience
  • Volunteer work
  • Academic honors

There are many ways to research what companies are looking for in their potential employees.  Some websites that include facts on this are:

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No matter what your degree is, there is an internship, job, shadowing or volunteering opportunity for you! However, they will not just be handed to you.  You need to put in the effort to make it happen.  Take the time to update your resume, fill out applications and make connections with people in the work force.  With the job market the way it is today, it is vital that you have something to set yourself apart from other people in your same fields.  So don’t waste time! Look at the links above and start the process to getting experience prior to graduation.

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Tragedy in The United States

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Since 2013 the United States has seen a lot of tragedy among our own soil.  Although we are fourntate enough not to have a war being fought on our homeland, like many countries across the world, we have suffered because of people’s choices.  Since January first we have had multiple small killings/ wounding of innocent citizens and two mass devastations in our country.  The two biggest include:

  • Boston Marathon Bombing
  • Newtown Connecticut Shooting

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However, what is so sad about these horrible instances is not only the killing and wounding of innocent people but also that these actions have been put on by people living in our country, most even citizens! Although people are killed everyday all over this world many times mass devastation takes place because of actions or retaliation to another county.  However, in the above examples these tragedies took place because of someone’s senseless actions.  According to an article found on this website: www.thetrumpet.com in 2012 there were 10 school shootings that left 41 people dead and 13 injured.  That number is ridiculous because these shootings do not have to take place.  However, what is most shocking about all of this is that according to the article on www.thrtrumpet.com these unfortunate events have occurred more in 2013 than ever.  So why do these acts of terror take place?  Many people have different theories, however some of the most popular conspiracies include:

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  • Gun laws: Some believe it is too easy to obtain a gun in the US and therefore think many shooting happen because it is not hard to purchase a gun.  
  • Mental health: Some people believe that these devastations happen because people have mental health issues that are not properly treated.  In other words, they have a problem that needs medication and since it’s not properly treated their minds convince them it is okay to proceed with acts of terror.
  • Worldwide Attention: Others believe that criminals are seeking attention from journalists and people all across the globe.  Almost always when these tragedies take place the picture of the criminal is plastered all over newspapers, TV and social media.  This attention makes them thrive and encourages them in the process no matter the final outcome of their punishment. 

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Some articles on these topics include:

Regardless of the reasons why these terrible acts of terror take place, they need to be stopped.  In an article written by the Washington Post Brad Plumer writes about why mass shootings take place.  In order to stop these devastations we must first conclude why they are happening.  To read more on this article and help stop devastation in our own country check out these websites to see what we as citizens can do:

MU Moves To SEC

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With the 2012-2013 academic school year coming to a close I think it is important to highlight one of The University of Missouri-Columbia’s biggest changes this past year, joining the South Eastern Conference.  Since 1907 Mizzou has been apart of the Big Twelve Conference, which contributed to the University’s success in many sports titles, and academic honors as well as building many memories and traditions.  Some examples of these are:

  • Making it the elite eight in 2009
  • Sports games against MU’s biggest rival KU since 1891
  • MU baseball winning Big 12 Conference title

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However, joining the SEC has also brought many new customs to Mizzou.  Over the past year we stepped into a new realm of schools, regulations, and traditions and learned to handle the southern way.  In an article written by ESPN Georgia basketball coach Mark Fox said, “Mizzou adds more territory to our footprint, brings high quality academics and a good athletic program to our league.  As a former assistant in the Big Eight, and as a guy who grew up in that region, I think I understand pretty well that we’ve added a good one”.  Fox’s statement was right on, MU does have a lot to offer and that’s why our first year in the SEC was a good start.  Although we did not have much success in either our boys football or basketball season, we came into the games with a lot of pride.  Our fans were excited to start new traditions and supported our players no matter the outcome of the final score.  Some interesting articles about us joining SEC include:

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From the above articles it is easily seen there are mixed emotions regarding MU joining the SEC.  It is also clear that MU has a lot of work to do in regards to our athletic teams.  However, all in all there have been many pro’s to MU’s first year in the SEC and I think only time will tell how well we really “fit in”.
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Boston Bombing- Extra Credit

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Reflecting on the news coverage regarding the Boston bombing makes my heart grieve. I cannot believe the actions that two men took to harm so many people’s lives. However, from a journalist perspective I applaud all those who reported about this horrific event. Although there were a few hiccups with facts regarding how many people were killed/injured as well as details regarding the suspects all the facts were made clear in the end.

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 When the event first took place I found out from CNN and the Associated Press via twitter. Although tweets are not the most informative form of news coverage, I gained a lot of respect for these newscasts for getting the main details out quick. Also almost all of these tweets were linked to an article where I was able to read about more of the situation. All in all the majority of the information I gathered was via news coverage on twitter, websites and television.  As a college student I find myself struggling to stay up to date on things happening in the news via blog’s or news websites, so almost always TV and twitter are the best options. 

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After staying tuned into the news regarding the Boston bombing via twitter, in the near future I see myself using twitter more for news.  It is very easy to follow all different news organizations and bloggers and I felt as though I was continually up to date on all the new happenings.  I also enjoyed twitter because this was a resource I could use as I was walking to class or chatting with a friend because it is an app that can be put on my phone.  I believe if there were other apps similar to twitter people would also use them as places to view news. 

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Plagiarism

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As we recently discussed in Journalism 2150 lecture plagiarism has become a big problem among students.  Whether you’re in middle school, high school or even college not many students enjoy doing their homework.  However, students of all ages have found an easy solution for this problem.  This solution is known as plagiarism.  Due to the worlds advancement in online technology it is easy for people to find substitutes for their homework via the web.  Some examples of this are:

            -Math book solutions

            -Online papers

            -Science lab solutions

            -Foreign language translators

            -Online photos

However, what many people do not realize is the detrimental effects of choosing to use theses resources.  Many websites that carry this online information have some sort of Hoax, which can cause viruses on your computer.  Also many of these websites have incorrect information and facts that will cause you to receive bad grades on your assignment.  Lastly, copying word for word from these websites is plagiarism, which can lead to students getting suspicion or even expelled from their schools.  Some graphics from http://plagiarism.org/plagiarism-101/types-of-plagiarism, name the main reasons why plagiarism happen.  Here are the graphics found on http://plagiarism.org/plagiarism-101/types-of-plagiarism:

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The graphics from plagiarism.org do a good job of showing all the different angles of plagiarism.  As seen above it is easy to not do your own work and instead copy someone else’s.  Although you might not think it is a big deal to take someone else’s work and ideas, it is not fair to that individual to “steal” their handwork. Taking someone else’s work is no different than taking a t-shirt from a department store without paying, it’s stealing.  Plagiarizing should not only bite your integrity, but also make you realize how proud you should be of your own work.  No matter if your writing a paper, taking pictures or solving a short answer you should take pride in the work you create.

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When it comes down to it, do the right thing and don’t plagiarize.  Although it might not seem like a big issue to get suspicion for a couple days or get a zero on your assignment, you will not always get off this easy.  In college the consequences can be much more serious and adults in a professions can be fined for plagiarizing and potentially even lose their jobs.  Also there are websites all over the web that can check for all types of plagiarism, so don’t think that you can just get away with it.  Many schools are now requiring students to submit their assignments through these websites, which shows what percent of your work was plagiarized.  Lastly, this can easily become a habit.  Once you get away with plagiarizing once you are more app to continue do it, which can cause further consequences. 

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Some examples of websites that check for plagiarism include:

There are many articles all over the web that talk about plagiarism and the effects it has on both the author of the work and the person stealing it.  Some examples of good articles include:

Greek Week 2013

Mizzou Greek Town Serves Columbia, MO

MU’s Greek town was founded in 1899 and today 28 fraternities, 15 sororities and almost 27,000 undergraduate students make up the Greek community. Each year sororities and fraternities come together and participate in numerous philanthropic events. This month the Greeks put on their annual Greek week which kicked off April 8, 2013. Sororities and fraternities were paired together and throughout the week they participated in sports tournaments, the Red Cross blood drive and service projects that fundraised for local Columbia, MO beneficiaries. MU student and Greek member, Dani Wilkerson, said she enjoyed Greek Week because she “was able to meet lots of other Greeks while also serving the Columbia community.” According to Wilkerson Greek Week is a fun and memorable experience that all Greeks look forward to every year.

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2013 Greek Week T-shirt, Columbia, MO, April, 16 2013.

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Can’s collected by members of Kappa Alpha Theta, April, 16 2013, Columbia, MO.

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Dani Wilkerson talks about MU Greek Week and Greek Life on April 16, 2013 in Columbia, MO in the heavy rainfall.

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MU Greek Town in the pouring rain in Columbia, MO on April 16, 2013.

Changing the World

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I believe change happens one step at a time.  All throughout my life I have tried my best to give back to those less fortunate than myself may that be volunteering, severing, or campaigning for an organization.  Every since I was little I have had a easy life, always given more than I needed and raised by parents who would do anything for me.  However taking notices to how blessed I was, made me realize how much I could give to those who have less.  Therefore I spent a lot of my time volunteering at homeless shelters, hospitals, nursing homes, serving on mission trips and campaigning to raise money for organizations such as Invisible Children and water projects for Kenya.  While with each of these projects I was only able to make a small dent into the lives I served I feel the impact was huge; as the world’s problems only get solved with baby steps. Not one person can change the whole world, but I believe people working for the good of others in small things makes a huge difference. Each time I volunteered at one of these places the people were brightened by my positive spirit and thankful for my help with any tasks. These jobs included organizing health kits in the hospital, playing bingo with the old folks, sorting food cans in a homeless shelter, and raising money for organizations at a carwashes and fundraisers.  To some these tasks seem tiny but to people in need these tasks mean a lot.

Some places that need volunteers in Columbia, MO include:

In 2007 I went on trip with World Changers to Puerto Rico and myself and a group of 15 other people built a whole house in one week for a family who had lost there home.  This instance had to be one of the most impactful experiences I was able participate in as I watched life come back to this family and their community.  Each family member was so thankful for the work we had done; and shared with us how they wanted to help others in their community by opening this home to the homeless.

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Trips like mine to Puerto Rico take place all throughout the year in Columbia, MO and cities all across the USA.  Some programs include:

While my missions trip and volunteering did not change the globe, I know from my direct contact with the people I served it made a difference.  To me each of these scenarios is a “pay it forward” deal. When I made health baskets at the hospital or sorted food at the food bank others watched and either were given the urge to help out too or will tell others about my service, which encourages them to serve. While in the nursing home the people I served might not be able to help in the future, these folks have possibly already served or the employees at the nursing home see the impact we are making and feel compelled to do the same.   When one decides to help those around them it encourages others to help as well as the person you served to help.  This “serving” can become an on going cycle and with one person serving at a time it can impact many.  Therefore I hope to have affected those people who I served so now they will serve in their own ways.  I have seen the affect of others “paying it forward” and I hope that my affection to those in need only further benefited the cause of service to the world.  The world’s problems can only be solved with others help and one step at a time we can make a huge impact.

Throughout the Internet there is numerous articles talking about changing the world, volunteering and mission trips.  Some of the ones I found most impactful include:

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The Social Media Realm

Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Instagram or something else, social media seems to be at the height of its success.  No matter where you are around the world everyone is familiar with these websites and most people are also very involved in them.

Here are some statistics about the worlds involvement:

  1. Facebook:  1.06 billion monthly active users and 680 million mobile users
  2. Twitter: 500 million total users and more than 200 million active users
  3. MySpace: 25 million users
  4. Instagram: 100 million users

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http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/resource-how-many-people-use-the-top-social-media/

The four social media sites I listed above are only a handful of hundreds, check out the link above to see others.  However, what is so fascinating about these networks is that they are growing and improving so quickly.  I can remember several years ago when I first heard about Facebook and it was more of a college thing.  Students would get online and make a profile to talk to other students that attended their university.  However, it is easily seen that Facebook has expanded their audience to people of all ages and they are not stopping there.  Facebook and all other similar social media websites are creating new innovative links, applications and groups that are attractive to people of all ages, ethnicities, backgrounds and hobbies.  Their goal is to have the most engaging network to draw in interest from people across the globe. Today, many sites are  focusing their time to a specific consumer resource (ie: pictures, videos, statuses) in order to have the most advanced technology for consumers.

Some good examples of this are:

  1. Linked-In: Business Professional Network
  2. Facebook: Personal Profile
  3. Fouresquare: “Check-in” for various consumer locations
  4. Instagram: Photos
  5. Twitter: Statuses

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A more recent social media site is Vine.  Vine is focused on allowing users to make short videos of things they are doing.  The actual Vine description says: “The best way to see and share life in motion” (http://vine.co/).

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Here a couple Vine examples:

https://twitter.com/vineapp/media/grid

However, these social media websites are much more than just a tool they have become a way of life.  Each of the users on these networks meet people, engage in conversations and rely on these sites as a way to find out information.  According to a pole taken in 2012 by Statistic Brain 56 percent of the world uses some kind of social network each day.  This pole also showed the top ten most social media engaged countries:

http://www.statisticbrain.com/social-networking-statistics/

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  1. Isreal
  2. Argentina
  3. Russia
  4. Turkey
  5. Chile
  6. The Phillppines
  7. Colombia
  8. Peru
  9. Veezuela
  10. Canada
  11. United States

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Each social media site also has numerous other links and pages to other users, different websites and advertisement.  These links are why many of sites have been growing at such a fast rate.  Word spreads quickly espically when it is traveling over the internet full of billions of users.  Here are some interesting facts about websites links:

  1. Instagram: 4 billion photos
  2. Facebook has more than 50 million pages and 10 million apps
  3. Foursquare: 1 million business
  4. Flickr: 8 billion photos

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http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/resource-how-many-people-use-the-top-social-media/

However, social media sites that expose all of these “links” can also be a disadvantage to users applying for jobs.  As we talked about in J2150 lecture a couple weeks back, many employers are now looking to these sites to find information about potential employees.  Companies are looking at things such as your pictures, statuses, and things posted on your wall.  Therefore it is important that people on these social media websites are careful of the things they are posting because you never know where that link could end up.

There are many interesting articles regarding social media and up and coming websites.  To read more about the social media realm, the benefits and also the cons check out these links:

1. http://www.businessinsider.com/fragmentation-in-the-social-media-war-2013-4

2.http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324432004578304740861400194.html

The Info graphic below came from the following website:  http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com/infographic-social-media-statistics-for-2013/

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Spring Break is Finally Here!

Whether one is headed to the beach, mountains or just a relaxing week at home I think every student can agree they are ready for spring break! With the week just around the corner many students are ready to start the vacation they have been planning since last semester.  Although some would say their bodies are not in the best shape for swimsuit on the beach, most agree their mind could use a couple days rest from schoolwork.   However, a lot more planning goes into spring break than one would think.  You not only have to pick a location, but decide on your choice of transportation and book a place to stay all while staying in a tight college budget.  While this might seem like a slice of cake to some people, it can be complicated for a first timer.  Some of the more recent college “hot spots” includes:

  • Panama City
  • Golf Shores
  • Destin
IMG_3272 by melbGuySpring Break Panama City Beach Florida 2010 The Sandpiper Beacon (113) by Sandpiper Beacon Beach ResortSpring Break in Panama City Beach by panamacitybeachcvbSpring Breakers huddle up in Panama City Beach by panamacitybeachcvbPanama City Beach by heytampaSpring Break Beach_0519 by i_shoot_a_d7000Spring Break 2012 Pensacola Beach Florida April 1 2012 by worldstreetphotos.comSpring Break 2012 April 1 Pensacola Beach Florida. by worldstreetphotos.com

 

Although each of these places sound like a great retreat anyone that has been would agree you’ll need your party hat on.  The shores of these beaches are consumed with crowds of college students for most of March when Universities all over the country have their spring break.  Also the large amount of people that fill these sandy beaches are generally under the influence of alcohol which reaffirms the acquisitions of big party.  But for a college student what sounds better than that? Before anyone is ready to head on their trip there a couple things to think about:

  • Exercising:
    • Who wants to go on spring break out of shape?  Go to the gym and get your body in shape for a swimsuit or site seeing! Even if it’s just a small workout getting your heart rate up burn calories.  Plus going to the gym makes you feel positive about yourself.
    • Dieting:
      • Eat smaller portions; this can be easy by choosing a smaller plate for your food vs. a large plate because you are forced to get less food.  Also eat healthier things, you can’t just eat junk food and expect to shred the pounds.  Maybe instead of choosing a bowl of ice cream for dessert have a cup of fruit.  Choosing to eat better will pay off when you want to look good in your spring break clothes and it will also give you more energy.
      • Planning Ahead:
        • Just because you get a week off school does not mean you can blow off school.  Its important before you leave to think through the homework you are going to have when you get back from your vacation.
          • This especially applies to those of us in the Journalism 2150 class.   With all the projects we are assigned to work on we really need to start early.  The week we return from spring break we have the TV news style video due during our first lab.  Since the date is such quick turn around we need to have thought through and potentially started the project before we leave.   This can be hard to do since the due date is far away, but important if you want to have a good project to turn in.
          • Although I used journalism as an example this rule applies to all areas of studies.

If you want some help planning your spring break you can also check out the below websites.  Each of the websites gives information about booking spring break for a large group of people as well as finding the best location for your trip.  Although you will still have to put in a lot of work yourself, these websites will help you get started:

However, crazy spring breaks are not for everyone.  If your not the partying type, it might be a better fit for you to go on Alternative Spring Break.  Alternative Spring Break is an organization that takes college students from universities all over the country, to a community in need.  Over the course of the week students are able to provide assistance to those in need including things like building houses and schools, working with kid or handing out medical kits.  This opportunity is awesome because you are not only able to have a fun spring break and meet a lot of people, but also give back to a community in need.  Although I have not been on alternative spring break I have done several similar mission trips and understand the reward you feel when giving back to those less fortunate than yourself.  To learn more about Alternative Spring Break and how to apply check out these websites:

Alternative Spring Break 2006 by Lesley UniversityAlternative Spring Break 2006 by Lesley UniversityAlternative Spring Break Volunteers by vastateparksstaffAlternative Spring Break Volunteers by vastateparksstaffAlternative Spring Break by hofstrauniversityAlternative Spring Break by hofstrauniversityAlternative Spring Break by hofstrauniversityAlternative Spring Break by hofstrauniversityAlternative Spring Break by hofstrauniversityAlternative Spring Break by hofstrauniversityAlternative Spring Break by hofstrauniversityAlternative Spring Break by hofstrauniversitySpring Break in Appalachia by Saint Anselm CollegePomona College Alternative Spring Break at Heron's Head Park by metroblossom

No matter where your spring break destination may be make sure you keep your social media classy.  As we learned today (3/18) in lecture what you post on social media can leave a trail that follows you the rest of your life.  Businesses and companies all over the United States are scanning social media sites before hiring potential employees, and you would not want something you posted to affect you being hired.  Therefore make sure you are smart about the pictures, statuses and tweet you chose to post so this scenario never applies to you.  Here are some things not to post:

Our Drinking Buddies on Orient Beach after Dark by Steve EgglestonDrinking On the Beach by twonjoshdrunk girl on beach by arslion

Spring Break 2003 by mikeedesign

Weather Changes

The recent fluctuations in the weather from week to week are starting to get on most Columbia, MO residents nerves, especially the students.  Although college students all over the world face the challenge of dragging themselves out of bed and walking to class, cold weather does not help the cause.  In the past two weeks, University of Missouri-Columbia students have faced several issues, because of the snow, such as three snow days and power outages.  While missing a couple days of school is a nice reprieve for both the students and faculty it starts to become a nuisance when tests, quizzes, projects, and homework have to be rescheduled along with other school related events.  However, changing the due dates on a course syllabus is not the only issue the weather fluctuations have caused.  Many students have caught sinus infections, the flu, strep throat and mono, including myself.   Therefore many people have found the student health center and local urgent cares to be their most recent “hang out” spot. 

 

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Due to the amount of illnesses spreading around campus I did some quick research about what causes them, how/if they spread, and how to treat them. Some of the results include:

 

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Mono:

Sinus Infection:

  • Congestion and discharge
  • Caused by weather changes or allergic reaction
  • Symptoms: Bad breath, fever, headache, coughing, and sneezing
  • Treat with antibiotics and over the counter drugs such as Clairton and Advil Cold and sinus
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001670/Image

Strep Throat:

  • Viral Infection
  • Contagious
  • Caused by person to person contact with fluids from the noise or saliva
  • Symptoms: loss of appetite, sore throat, headache and nausea
  • Treat with antibiotics and pain relievers such as cough drops
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001663/Image

Flu:

  • Viral Infection
  • Contagious
  • Caused by person to person contact
  • Symptoms: sore throat, congestion, coughing, discharge, sneezing and fatigue
  • Treat with antibiotics and other the counter drugs and pain reliefImage

            Although things will probably not change overnight, it is important to see a physician once you start to feel one of the above infections coming on.  A doctor can then write you a prescription to treat your symptoms instead of you further infecting yourself or someone else.  Also because we have already missed a couple days due to the weather you do not want to fall even further behind.   As we have heard the past couple weeks in lecture, Journalism is a hard degree.  Therefore, it is important to stay ahead in your workload, especially in this multimedia class! Since all of our projects are dependent upon other people schedules you have to be strategic in your weekly planning and time management.  One day out because of sickness could potentially conflict with an interview or editing your work.  Some tips on how to professionally set up and interview or manage your time include:

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Time Management:

Setting up Interviews: