E.l.f.

I am not a makeup artist, or know what I am talking about when it comes to comparing and contrasting makeup, heck, I can barely get my act together to run a brush through my hair everyday never mind mascara on the lashes or foundation to cover a blemish, so I beg of you that you do not continue reading with the assumption that I will be reviewing this brand with great cosmetic knowledge.

Although they have been around since 2004, e.l.f. (eyes, lips, face) is becoming increasing popular for a number of great reasons, only two of which I will focus on.

First and foremost, e.l.f. has great prices. A majority of products are $1, $3, or $6. College students and those alike are huge fans of these great deals, because it is actually decent quality stuff for less than $10 a pop. However, as someone who has been a consumer of their products, I have notices a jump in their prices within the past three years. (After some research, I can’t find any real reason why).

Second of all, e.l.f. is gluten free. Now, you might be reading this and think “well obviously makeup is gluten free”- but no. So my best friend has celiac disease, which in short means that she cannot touch, consume or even be around anything with gluten (like any disease this differs from case to case). Anyway, long story short, when something is marked “gluten free” it can still have a trace or certain percentage of gluten in it, and weird things that you think shouldn’t have gluten, can- like makeup. Well, e.l.f. is one of the few products that doesn’t contain a trace of gluten which means she’s able to use as much as she wants. Maybe it’s because she’s my best friend and I get excited for small victories when it comes to her disease, but nonetheless I think it is awesome what companies are doing for people with an array of diseases like celiac.

So while it is considerably cheap in price compared to other brands of makeup, e.l.f.’s quality succeeds its increasing price, along with its many brand benefits including being gluten free (and animal cruelty free) make it a great product all in all.

Live Your Dreams

Remember when you were a kid and you thought that you could be anything in the world? What was it that sparked those passions for you? I always wanted to be a professional athlete. One thing I noticed over time is that there are a lot of people that will tell you, you cant do something. Or, that dream is unrealistic! That one really gets me… Who can say what is realistic or not? Don’t let anybody tell you that you cant do something or that your not good enough. The number one reason somebody would put you down like that is, one, they themselves failed in life to be what they dreamed of being. And number, two, they themselves have let other people tell them in life what they can and cannot do. There are roots to everything and the reason somebody would tell you, you cant do something is because they themselves have experienced failure, and disappointment in life. We tend to carry and hold in things that have effected us in life and those things that we hold onto radiate off of us! So stick to your dreams, God can lead you in whatever your doing in life! Stick to it, and don’t let anybody tell you what you can and cannot do, don’t let other people control you, don’t let other people live your life, live out your passion, and let your passion radiate off you wherever you go. I was told in eighth grade by my teacher that I would never be able to play a college sport, he said its not realistic, he said other athletes are bigger stronger and better. And now I’m a senior in college and have played baseball all four year! Work hard, be thankful, be happy, be satisfied, and thank God for the passions He puts in our hearts, and lastly, pursue them!!

Proceed With Caution

After 10 years with ‘the beetus’ (diabetes), I’ve heard a lot of things, mostly de-motivational things, when it comes to my care and diagnosis. And over those 10 years, there are some that resurface that I try not to let bother me, but ultimately cause my brain to give this face:

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So here is that infamous list and my responses, yes that I actually give.

  1. “… I’d be the worst diabetic; I could never stab myself with a needle!”

Yeah, well it wasn’t my top choices of diseases, but death is a pretty big   motivator. So when it came to life or death, and it does every moment of every day, I go with life.

  1. “Diet soda is so bad for you.” I’m aware. But sometimes I really long to not have to give myself an injection. So if drinking diet means I avoid another shot, that’s what I choose.
  2. “If you eat/drink/use *insert natural remedy here*, you can cure your diabetes.” My pancreas is a dead organ floating in my body, and has been for 10 years. There is no natural cure (or any cure for that matter) that has cured any dead organ, not even a pancreas. There are ways to reduce insulin consumption, but not be insulin-free and ‘cured’.

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  1. “I hate getting that finger prick at the doctors.” Welcome to my life, but unlike getting it once a year at the doctors, I have to do it at least six time a day. I have calluses so thick on my fingers that I have to rotate fingers, hands, and arms. I am literally a human pin cushion.
  2. “Does that hurt?” (In relation to injections and finger pricks) Well, it doesn’t tickle. “Do you get used to it?” No. I am stabbing myself with, at times, a 4” long and 1/16” thick needle. It’s never painless, and I never get used to it, even after 10 years.
  3. “Why don’t you get a medical tattoo rather than wearing your medical bracelet around?” Simple. I have to inject myself with needles to stay alive, why would I want to do it for fun?
  4. “How’s the diabetes going?” What I want to say: What kind of question is that? We don’t ask someone with cancer “how’s the cancer”, or a person who is deaf “how’s the deafness going” so, why ask about how my diabetes is doing. First off that’s rude. Don’t address me by my disease and don’t think that my disease is a topic of conversation. Second, is any disease good, or going good? No. It’s a disease. What I actually say: Well, like any disease, there are good days and bad days.

 

I know that when these people ask, they don’t intend to come off as rude or ignorant, nor is it their job to actually know the facts. I like to use my disease as a teaching tool, but there is actually a line of someone wanting to know more and are willing to learn, and being omnipotent or crass. Here is a diagram to tell the difference

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With any disease, be courteous to how you address and inquire about their condition. You may not intend to be rude or arrogant but things of this matter can be a touchy subject. Everyone has different takes on their disease, so proceed with caution!

 

An Interview with Dr. Fortier

Dr. Fortier is a professor at DelVal in the Animal Biotechnology and Conservation department. He teaches two classes, Animal Behavior and Animal Training and Enrichment. He also helped to develop the Zoo Science program at DelVal. I sat down with him to talk about the training lab that accompanies the Animal Training and Enrichment class as well as his personal experiences with training.

 

Jenny: When did you first become seriously interested in training animals?

*Dr. Fortier: I have been interested in behavior since high school. Training started to become a focus once at DelVal. I started to learn about it more as I developed the Zoo Science program.

 

J: What were your undergrad/ grad/ and PhD degrees in?

Dr. F: Undergrad was in neurobiology and behavior. PhD was in behavior ecology.

 

J: What is the most interesting training project you’ve personally ever been a part of?      

Dr. F: Many farm animals have to go through a process called flooding. This is when an animal is tied to a post in order to halter break it. This process can be very taxing and stressful for the animal. While first at DelVal, I wanted to see if sheep could be clicker-trained to be halter broken instead of flooded. The hope was the make the process quicker and less stressful. Unfortunately, clicker training was not faster. This test was done at the farm on campus.

 

J: What other field-related jobs did you have prior to this one?      

Dr. F: Mostly academic. I worked as a lecturer at Boston University. I was then a visiting professor at Indiana University in Bloomington. After that, I was the Director of Behavioral Enrichment at Elmwood Park Zoo.

 

J: What made you come to DelVal?

Dr. F: DelVal is a teaching college so that is the primary focus. Professors don’t also have to do research or apply for grants. I also wanted to move back East. DelVal also gave me the opportunity to build the Zoo Science program.

 

J: How long have you been at DelVal?

Dr. F: I have been here since 1998, so about 18 years.

 

J: What is the most personally interesting class you’ve ever taught?

Dr. F: The Animal Training and Enrichment course.

 

J: Did you come up with the Training/Enrichment class?

Dr. F: Yes, as a part of the Zoo Science program.

 

J: Can you give a brief description of the Training class?

Dr. F: The class is structured so students learn how to train animals in the least invasive way. The goal is for the animal to no longer need to be restrained. All of this improves the welfare of the animal which is always the end goal in animal care.

 

J: Why did you choose to have your students train chicken/fish?

Dr. F: I chose chickens because you are able to house a larger number of animals. That way, there are more animals per students and each pair is able to have their own chicken. Chickens are also more affordable. As far as training goes, they learn well and are visual learners, as are people. Fish require a different training strategy because you can’t use a clicker so students must think about the training skills they’ve learned and apply them in a different way.

 

J: How do you come up with new training tasks for lab each year? (Example, **size discrimination)

Dr. F: I mostly find new training ideas from reading and journal studies. For size discrimination, I was helping a student with an independent training study and came across it in one of the   articles we were looking at.

 

J: What do you feel is the most important lesson for students to take from the training/enrichment lab?

 Dr. F: It is important for students to apply principles of training to improving welfare. The end goal for animals in captivity is welfare over use.

 

J: Why should students in the ABC department consider taking your class(es)?

Dr. F: It’s really just a fun subject. It’s very engaging and it’s a topic that people like to learn about.

 

 

*Dr. Fortier’s answered were paraphrased for clarity.

**Size discrimination is where the chickens are presented with different sized circles and must be trained to only peck a certain sized circle.

 

Fall

Lately we’ve all been seeing a lot of fall related advertisement. Especially after the hot summer we had, everyone is very excited for sweaters, cool weather, and pumpkin everything. For weeks we’ve been seeing memes of jack-o- lanterns and Starbucks drinks and even summer people seem to agree that it’s time for fall. For me, however, the loveliest things about fall are much more simple. Yes, it’s nice to go pumpkin picking and decorate for Halloween, but the natural parts of fall, the parts that aren’t as commercial, are the best. I’ve compiled a little list of my personal favorites of fall. Feel free to disagree, but these are the things that really makes fall the best season for me.

  1. First off, the leaves. The absolute best part of fall is the changing of the leaves. It’s the best part of living in a place with all four seasons. Driving down the road through the woods or even just sitting and looking out the window gives you a beautiful view. Forget store bought decorations, nature basically decorates itself. Also, fallen leaves make for awesome leaf piles. It doesn’t matter how old you are, there is simply nothing more satisfying than jumping in a giant pile of multi-colored leaves. I feel like sometimes on social media, all we see are the Halloween advertisements and we forget about the biggest thing that makes fall special from every other season.
  2. The cooler weather. Most of the time, people hate the dropping temperatures of fall because that means winter is on its way. Of course this year is a little different because of the brutal summer, but generally, there is some sadness when the days get shorter and the mornings colder. To me, there’s a difference between cool and cold. There’s a certain temperature, a “crispness” some people call it that fall air has. It may be a little annoying to throw on an extra jacket, but I find it comfortable. Being able to wear a nice big sweatshirt and not feel like you’re going to die is a really great thing. Also, I no longer feel like a hermit in my apartment. I no longer have to keep the windows closed, shades down, and AC blasting just to be comfortable. I’m able to open the windows and blinds and look at all of the beautiful changing leaves outside my window.
  3. The smell. This one might sound a little crazy, but stay with me. Fall has a certain smell. I think I’ve decided that it’s a combination of the cool air and the fallen leaves on the ground. The air smells woodsier and clean. If you don’t know what smell I’m talking about, take a walk in the woods once the leaves start falling. There really is a particular smell that you don’t get any other time of year. For me, it’s always the best indicator that the season is changing.
  4. Apples! Ok fine, this one has been a bit more commercialized. Apple picking, apple products, apples galore. In my area though, apples are a big deal, more specifically, apple picking. You go with your family, with your friends, on a date. It’s just a thing to do. The best part is always eating one apple while you’re picking away in the orchard. For some reason, it always tastes better right off the tree. And the apples you get from an orchard are always 100% better than store bought. Some of my favorite fall memories are apple picking with my family and running around stuffing our bags with as many apples as we can carry.

Whether you love pumpkin spice, horror movies, or the changing of the leaves, fall is a great season. Luckily, although there is definitely commercialization, it’s not as overkill as other holiday seasons. And if everyone took the time to appreciate the more natural parts of fall that I listed, I promise that even the most stubborn summer lovers will appreciate fall too.

Fall Fest a Flop

About a week or so ago, having been tasked with covering a school event, I attended DelVal’s Fall Fest. Before I divulge my feelings regarding this event I feel that it’s a necessity to provide some information regarding my past experience. My high school had about 4,000 students in it, and was composed of two campuses a half mile from one another. After high school I attended Temple University whose student population is approximately twenty times that of Delaware Valley University. That being said, here are my thoughts.

Fall Fest flopped. When I first saw the colorful advertisement in the window of the student center, I thought it’d be a fun choice, but when I arrived it was far from what I’d envisioned. My primary criticisms are as follows..

  1. The location was poorly chosen. They tucked the thing behind the stadium (where our soccer team was subsequently getting stomped by Immaculata) across the train tracks just beyond the furthest reaches of the student parking lot. When I first got out of my car I remember thinking Where’s Fall Fest? Oh, there it is.. I think. I’ll go ask.
  2. There was not enough going on. I couldn’t hear if there was any music from my car, and I can’t remember if there was any playing when I got there. Very few students were in attendance. There were several tables set up, a couple of moon bounce type-deals, a bean bag toss game, sack racing, and a pommel horse. There was free food, which I’d expected would draw a decent crowd, but I feel like most students here already have access to all the food they need with their meal plans.
  3. School spirit is weak. This is not so much an accusation of Fall Fest itself as it is of our university. As I alluded to earlier, I left at some point in order to watch the second half of our school soccer game. Not surprisingly, the soccer game also had a poor turnout. DelVal fans were clearly outnumbered in our own stands by Immaculata people.

Holding a Fall Fest seems like a great idea. It’s an opportunity for students to socialize and have fun for free. I feel like a large part of the problem was that Fall Fest (and the soccer game for that matter) were ineffectively advertised. I saw the ad in the window of the student center, but I don’t recall seeing any flyers anywhere or seeing anyone around campus promoting the event. Also, it seems like the quad would have been a much better choice of location. It’s got lots more space, and it’s much closer to student housing. I’d have tried to organize some sort of live music for the event, perhaps via a DelVal Battle of the Bands or something to that effect, and I’d have cranked the music up so loud that all of the campus residents could hear it.

Perhaps I’m alone in my opinion. There were thirty or forty students who seemed to be having a good time. Perhaps such is life at a small school, but I like to think that we can do better. Two stars.

-Drew Kirsch

9/11 Heroes Run

Today I ran the Travis Manion Foundation 9/11 Heroes Run with the Delaware Valley University team.  Delaware Valley University is a Gold Sponsor to this foundation.  There were booths at the start of the race with the different sponsors of the foundation.  Some of the other sponsors was the Holiday House, and orthopedics, a radio station, and more.  A couple of the field hockey girls and I participated the 5k together.  This was my second 5k run that I participated in.  It felt good to represent Del Val at an event like this.  The wrestling, girls’ lacrosse, girls’ basketball, and other sport teams from Delaware Valley University participated in this 5k.  The path the runners took was a pretty easy to follow which was helpful because then we wouldn’t get lost.  We were slightly confused in the beginning because there was a 1 mile run and the 5k run happening at the same time. Each run had different starting lines to try and separate the runners into smaller groups.  The starting line for the 5k run was still so packed, that it was really hard to start running until the pack thinned out.  I would definitely participate in this 5k run next year if my schedule allows me.

Confessions of a Serial Dater

Hello, my name is Aria and I am a serial dater. Or was. You get the idea.

This is the most single I have been in a long time. By most single, I mean I am not dating anyone, I am not “talking” to a soul, with no prospective matches even remotely on the horizon. This has been going on for quite a while and I gotta say I’m pretty darn happy.

Being with someone for the better part of four years, this lifestyle change was a lot for me. These past four years of being in a relationship (basically) have not been spent with the same guy, which is where the serial dating aspect comes in. I spent two years with one, one with another, then a series of failed attempts summed up the remaining year.

I obviously like to be with someone. It took me a long time to realize that being with the wrong person, in my opinion, is worse than being single. I used to hate the idea of being alone. I used to talk to guys just to have someone there. i would hop from guy to guy, almost always having one lined up right after the next. I could feel on some level that they were not the right fit for me, but I pushed through anyway trying to make it work. It took me twenty years of life to realize how I was living was not the healthiest.

I let guys into my life that had no business being there. I mean, I learned lessons from each and every one of them, but most of them are common sense (i.e. if a guy says he isn’t looking for a relationship and you are, please peace out and save yourself the grief). It took me a long time to be comfortable with the fact that I could be single and be happy. The two are not mutually exclusive.

I’m not saying I’m a completely reformed individual; of course I still want to be with someone. Those feelings have not gone away. Somewhere along the way though, I started to ask myself some hard questions. Like did I see myself with this person long-term? Or did I just want someone to cuddle and watch movies with? I have not been the best girlfriend by any means, so I figured it was better late than never for a little self-reflection.

These questions make me sound shallow as hell, but when I was in these relationships, I didn’t feel like I was in the wrong. I felt just fine. I was happyish. I then realized I didn’t want to be happyish. I want to be just plain happy. I know relationships are hard; they’re not always rainbows and butterflies. I fell in love with the idea of people, not the person they actually were. I wanted someone so badly I was okay with overlooking the little details.

Now though, I really know what I am worth. I thought I knew before, but I was wrong. Not everyone needs to be single to realize this, but I really did. I needed that clarity, and now I finally have it. I am not jumping into a relationship headfirst like I used to, or stick around when I shouldn’t. I still want a relationship, but I am finally okay with waiting for that special someone to come into my life. I’ll probably be waiting a while, but I know it’ll all be worth it in the end. Go me.

 

 

Not your typical college football game recap

I am in no way a sports fanatic, but I really do enjoy some good football. I don’t follow it religiously or know every technical term, but I do like coming together with a large group of people, all wanting the same result. A win. Yesterday, September 24th, 2016, the Delaware Valley University Aggies acquired their first loss of the season against the Albright College Lions. It started off with the Lions setting the tone with the first play of the game being a touch down.

I was a little upset. I knew how seriously most of the guys took the game, and I knew what their reactions would be.

Division III football is very interesting to watch, at least in my opinion, and especially at DelVal. Here, you can see players who take their sport extremely seriously, and some even harbor dreams of eventually going on to go professional. You see them in your Intro to Fine arts class or bond over how much you hate the dining hall food.

Here I was thinking we would blow Albright out of the water, much like we have been doing for our other games, winning easily by double digits. That was not the case though, as we lost it in the last minute, the score becoming 20-17. Our defense though, had a pretty good game, with them being on the field for most of the time.

There was a lot of back and forth between the two teams, the Aggies scoring a touchdown here, the Lions scoring a touchdown there. They only won by a field goal.

Being friends with some of the starters on the team, I listened to a lot of what they were saying after the game to see where their heads were. Quite simply, they were livid. The general consensus was that they were disappointed in their performance, as they played down to the other team’s level.

My dear friend and fellow Delaware Valley University junior John Walsh and offensive lineman eloquently said, “It wasn’t the outcome that we wanted but we’ll persevere and come back even stronger next week.” It was a hard loss, but I was generally impressed with how the guys reacted with poise after the defeat.

Keep your head up boys; it’s only one game.

My view of the game on Saturday, September 24th at home against the Albright College Lions. Look at all the little munchkins. image1.jpeg

Running Buddy

After I graduate college, I think that it would be really cool to participate in marathons.  Running with someone or a pet would make these runs more enjoyable.  I tend to not run with an iPod that plays music so having a dog with me would make that experience more fun.  Furthermore, they would give me the encouragement and motivation to keep running every day.  I would have to give them exercise so I would not have the excuse of “I will run tomorrow.”  As my coach would say, “tomorrow turns into next month, which turns to two months, etc.”

In order to find the perfect running dog, you need to know which breeds would be the most suitable for you.  Some dogs are more suitable for trail or tough terrains and some are better in the cold. Furthermore, not all dog breeds are good running dogs.  For example, you would not bring a little Chihuahua for a 5 mile run at a fast pace.  The dog would not be able to keep up and will get injured.  In the next paragraph, I will discuss the top five dog to go running with starting with the least to the best.

German Shepherds are a breed that has a strong and durable build.  German Shepherds can keep pace with the best of them.  They are also good with kids and can follow commands very well because they are eager to please.  Australian Shepherd is a herding breed so they are used to running and being active.  They are also adaptable so they are good for anyone who likes to explore different kinds of terrain.  Border Collie are very agile runners and they like to have a job to do.  This means they don’t like to sit still for long periods of time.  They are one of the most intelligent breeds, so they would be able to learn commands very well.  Weimaraners are very versatile because they can do quick, short bursts of running or they can pace themselves for long distance running.  They are one of the breeds that would be best in the warmer climates because they have a shorter coat.  They are also able to navigate rough terrain or trails because they are fearless.  Also, you would be able to easily train them to follow your commands.  Rhodesian Ridgeback were originally bred to hunt lions so they are used to running very fast for long distances.  They are really good with people and have a short coat to run in the hot climates (Berger and Schuler).

Running with your dog can be really helpful and beneficial.  You have to make sure that you are understanding your dog’s needs and ability.  Finding the right dog breed is really important to keep in mind when looking for a perfect running partner.  Always make sure that you and the dog are safe at all times while on a run.

Works Cited

Berger, Erin and Mattie Schuler. The 20 Best Dog Breeds for Runners. 2016. Web. 21 April 2016.