None in Eight

After months of organizing and advertising, handing out pink ribbons, attending skip a meals, collecting donations around campus, and hosting the first ever 50 Shades of Pink Color Run, the big week is finally here! IT’S BMOC WEEK!!

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The ladies of Zeta Tau Alpha put on the biggest philanthropy event of the year- Big Man on Campus (BMOC), a male talent show competition where contestants from different Fraternity’s at Purdue compete. This could be singing, dancing, or just being funny. It is more than just a talent show, this year Zeta and the contestants have been working really hard to raise money for not only breast cancer education and awareness but also new this year raising money for Purdue’s Cancer Research Center. This year’s BMOC will also be benefiting the Vision of Hope Women’s Cancer Research Group, which focuses on the prevention, detection, and treatment of breast cancer.

To get a better look into what BMOC is check out BMOC 2014!

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. That means within the Alpha Theta chapter at Purdue alone 18, yes EIGHTEEN women will be diagnosed within their lifetime.

The women of Zeta have been going above and beyond this year to help raise money to end this battle that many have to face. Throughout the semester there have been many different events held to help the cause of fighting to end breast cancer.

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Volunteered at the Colts game spreading awareness while working the crucial catch raffle. 

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Contestants decorated bras for Purdue students to vote on during October Think Pink Thursdays. 

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Attended the Purdue Woman’s Basketball Pink out game. 

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Contestants participated in a service project to help survivors and their families with chores around their homes. 

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Met with current fighters and encouraged them through their battle with breast cancer. 

Can you imagine one of your friends, family members, or loved ones being diagnosed with breast cancer?

As the days are numbering down to the big event, we are more than eager to exceed our last years total of $122,000. But we need your help!

Please join Zeta Tau Alpha in the fight of making 1 in 8 to none in 8.

If you would like to get involved with BMOC and join the fight against breast cancer you can go to http://www.bmocpurdue.com/ 

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First Time for FaceTime

Growing up, I’ve always been up to date with technology. Starting with AIM, then the texting on the pink razor flip phone, to now Iphones and Ipads. My grandmas both try to stay up to date with the always-changing technology tools. They both have their emails and their Facebook pages to keep up with the most recent jokes, and pictures of their friends with the occasional comment of “great picture.”

This Christmas we decided to update them again by giving them both Ipad Minis. And boy were they surprised! One grandma didn’t even know what it was when she first opened the gift. Once she figured it out she was elated!

They were both so surprised how they could now check their emails while sitting on the couch instead of sitting at their computer chair. They now had video cameras and new cameras that they could take anywhere and then they could show their friends the pictures right after! But the feature they were most impressed with was Facetime.

Watching each of my grandmas Facetime for the first time was so cool. It was the cutest thing hearing them laugh and repeatedly saying, “can you see me?” to the person on the other side of the camera. They both could not get over how they could see someones face on the other side and the fact that the other person could see them as well. They were just tickled to death.

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My cousins live in Georgia and were unable to come to Indiana this Christmas. So after I gave my grandma a quick lesson on how to use Facetime she was doing it to all by herself. She Facetimed my cousins down south and was able to see them! One of them even answered with a facial mask on, which my grandma got a kick out of!  By being able to see their face and talk to them even though they live miles apart was the best gift of all this Christmas. She can now see them and talk to them everyday even though they live all the way in Georgia. I think we take technology for granted sometimes. We are so blessed with so many different advances that help our world and create opportunities for others that we don’t always think of. Facetime is such an amazing feature that will now allow my grandma to talk and see all of her grandkids whenever she wants even if they may be having a little spa day!

Welcome to Indiana Basketball

The season openers are over and the first game jitters have passed! Basketball season is here folks!

Dating all the way back to 1891, James Naismith brought something to Indiana that all Hoosiers are passionate about and thats the game of basketball.

In most Indiana towns if you drive down any street you are likely to find a kid out shooting free throws, in hopes to play varsity basketball one day. They grow up watching the varsity teams play every weekend and attend all of the camps in the summer.

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In Indiana there is a unique passion for high school basketball. It may not be like it was back in the good ole days, like it shows in one of the most beloved sports movies. The movie Hoosiers portrays the best type of story, when the under dog wins like Milan did in 1954. Every team aspires to go to state and play downtown Indy and win a big state ring no matter the size of the school.

Basketball in Indiana is a sport where your grandpa played, your dad played, you played and your kids may play someday! It’s a tradition that is passed on generation to generation. Everyone is passionate about the game and loves watching and teaching others about it. It brings the family together whether it be shooting around at home, coming to games, or all the long car rides to tournaments.

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You can easily see the passion for the game by looking at the size of high school gyms in Indiana. 12 of the 13 largest high school gyms in the country are in Indiana. Some of these gyms are bigger than collegiate gymnasiums. The crazy thing is, come sectional time these big gyms will be almost full. Everyone ready to see a good basketball game.

The coaches are the kings of the towns. Every grandma wants to know the starting line up when she sees the coach in town, and he better be ready for an impromptu interview for every time he makes an appearance in public because everyone wants to know what his thoughts are on this year program. Because in Indiana everyone thinks they are a basketball expert.

In Indiana anyone can be involved in the game of basketball the old boys and the young fans, whether it be outside on a barn with a goal attached or in a gymnasium. Its for the people that live in the rural areas and the urban. Hoosiers are knowledgable about the game and loyal fans. Even if its not for the same team, at the end of the day, everyone shares the same love for the game of basketball.

 “In 49 other states it’s just basketball but… this is Indiana.”

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That Water Tower Town

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When you see a water tower you just immediately get the feeling that your in a great community. You’re in a small town that everyone knows everyone, and if they don’t personally know you they know one of your relatives. You drive down the road and everyone waves with their two fingers over the steering wheel.

It’s that one flashing light town with one little convenient store and a little pizza place. On Friday nights in the fall the whole town is at the football game and in the winter they are supporting the basketball team.

It’s a town where traditions to paint the bridge still remain and your parents finding out about it before you even get home. It’s the place where you can count on everyone to be a friend.

The town where the only fun thing to do is drive around and have late night bonfires. It’s a place where retired men go and have their morning coffee at the gas station and find out the latest gossip. It’s the town where faces may change but the last names never do.

It’s a town where people come to reminisce good memories on how things used to be. And when you come back to town they don’t forget your name.

Water Tower Towns are hometowns. You are able to breathe and all your worries go away.

Athletes choose Milk

November is right around the corner and in Indiana many people know what is ahead… BASKETBALL SEASON!

The best time of the year!

My brother is a sophomore in high school and has been training for this upcoming season since the day after they lost sectionals last year. If he isn’t practicing on the court, he is outside shooting free throws. Every week he lifts weights and goes to speed school to improve his game. He is dedicated and wants to improve his skills any way he can.

During Fall Break, I went to our hometown gym to workout with him and my dad. You could  tell that I have been slacking and not been to the gym in awhile. The boys could lift almost triple me and I could not catch my breath after running. Right after we worked out my brother got chocolate milk from the gas station.

I was confused why he would get that instead of Gatorade or a bottle of water. He told me that chocolate milk is a really good recovery drink after having a tough work out. Chocolate milk contains nutrients like calcium, potassium, protein, riboflavin, niacin, vitamins D, A, and B12, and phosphorus. These nutrients help your body rebuild and refuel what your body may have lost during the workout.

So, not only is chocolate milk delicious but it also helps an athlete’s future performance. Some studies have shown that drinking low-fat chocolate milk after a hard workout can improve athletes power and even improve training times in future exercise. Also, it can reduce soreness the next day!

Chocolate milk is an easy and inexpensive way for athletes to improve their skill in whatever sport they may participate in. Chocolate milk has been able to keep up with the changing times by being easy accessible and it comes in a nice grab-and-go bottle. You can find milk anywhere! It could be at the gas station, a restaurant, or the grocery store. There are also different types of milk that everyone can enjoy and different flavors.

So, the next time you have a tough workout cool down with a refreshing glass of chocolate milk! Not only will your body thank you, but your teammates will too!

Facing Food Insecurity

Did you know that September was Hunger Action Month? The goal of Hunger Action Month is to educate the public on food insecurity and create a movement that has a lasting impact on others to help end hunger in America.

This past week I decided to accept the SNAP Challenge. What does SNAP stand for you ask? Its The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program … aka food stamps. SNAP provides monthly benefits to supplement the food budgets of families in need, but in many cases families are still struggling to put food on the table, even with these benefits. Many Americans benefit from the program; as of August 8th 2014 the average monthly participants in SNAP were 46.5 million people.

The SNAP challenge encourages its participants to gain a sense of what it is like for millions of Americans that live on a low-income budget that face hunger each day. This past week I chose to commit to two days of eating my meals from a limited food budget comparable to a SNAP participant that would live on $1.50 a meal. During the challenge I could only spend $4.50 per day on all of my food and beverages and I couldn’t use previously- bought food.

This task was harder than I thought. The first day I chose to eat yogurt for breakfast, and drank a glass of water, which I normally do. But once lunchtime rolled around and all I had to eat was Ramen Noodles, it began to sink in. I was still hungry after that meal, and dinner was far away. After breakfast and lunch I had already spent $1.74. I wanted to eat a snack but they were almost more expensive than a dinner meal. For dinner I chose to eat a microwavable meal of cheesy rice and chicken.  The total cost of my meal that day was $2.93. By the end of that day I realized I could spend more, but by the time I pay for a product plus tax I would be over budget.

That next morning I woke up pretty hungry. I woke up and had my everyday yogurt for breakfast and went on with my day. By 11 a.m. I was ready for a big home cooked lunch but had to stick to the challenge by eating a bowl of the discounted chicken noodle soup, which I could have ate 10 more cans of! By this time I was getting grumpy because I was hungry and just annoying the person sitting next to me in class because my stomach was grumbling. I was realizing the struggle that many have to go through on daily basis. It was so distracting because all I could think about was my hunger. Finally dinner rolled around, and I was able to have a little bit of meat in my system. I had a microwavable chicken potpie and a glass of water, finishing the day with only spending $3.37.

After doing this challenge, it was a wake up call. The meals I was eating were neither nutritious nor fresh. It was hard to imagine that many of all ages have to eat this way constantly and some may run out of food before they can receive more for the next month. I also couldn’t imagine the stress of living this way; not only does a person have to worry about managing their money on food but also other expenses life throws their way like rent, medical issues, car payment, gas, etc.

I decided I wanted to do a little research into food insecurity in my area. I  realized that there are many misinterpretations of hunger. When I think of hunger, I think of the sad commercials that are  shown on TV of the starving children playing in a dirty environment. But I was wrong! Hunger happens to families that are just like mine! I found that 70% of SNAP participants consist of families with children or ones with disabilities or have an elder person living in the household. Not only that, but many people that use the program have jobs and are making an income.

 

Next, I wanted to look into what is happening in my area to help with this big issue! I found that there are shelters and facilities in West Lafayette that help with these issues like Lafayette Transitional Housing. I also found that the Indianapolis Colts are partnered with Indiana farmers through Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana Corn Marketing Council doing a project called “Tackling Hunger.” For every tackle that Cory Redding and the Colts defense makes this season, the Colts and Indiana farmers make a donation to Kids Against Hunger of Central Indiana. How cool is that?!

So what is happening in your area to end hunger?

Five F’s of Fall

Summer is officially over… where did it go? That means fall fun is here! My favorite time of the year! Bring on the falling leaves, apple cider, and full moons! But the most important parts of fall are the 5 F’s of Fall!

Football

Football isn’t just right without it being a little chilly, so fall weather is just perfect! Tailgating is in full swing you have the perfect weather for a game, crispy air in the morning but it feels just right come game time. You can wear your fall boots and cute sweaters to the game! But nothing beats the bonfires that night.  You share laughter, listen to country music and have a beautiful view of the perfect fall night sky with your friends.

Farming

Its harvest season! Fall is a busy time for farmers. Farmers share many moonlight dinners in the fields with their wife that she was happy to make. They are up at the crack of dawn and have many late nights getting the crops out of the fields before winter approaches. Combines are cutting in a staggered line and air smells fresh as the corn is being cut. Tractors and trailers are lined up at the elevator each night waiting to unload so they can make it home and do it all over again the next day.

Festivals

In Indiana there are festivals all year round but fall festivals are my favorite. One of Indiana’s largest festivals begins October 10 and runs through the 19th. The Covered Bridge Festival is right around the corner where you can enjoy a wide array of shopping and other attractions like the historical covered bridges, Amish country and try the maple syrup. So before your schedule gets too busy be sure to make time to hit up at least one Indiana fall festival.

Four wheeling

My all time favorite thing of fall is to go four wheeling at the Badlands in Attica.  I love the adrenaline rush you get but also getting a little dirty in the mud.  All while riding you get to enjoy the beautiful scenery around you of the leaves changing and enjoy the beautiful weather.

But the best part of fall is spending time with your Family. All of the “F’s” would not be as fun if you did not have the ones you love around you to share them with.  Spending time outdoors enjoying the crisp fall air ,whether it be at a football game or at festival be thankful for the traditions you may share.

& Enjoy the Lake

  Labor Day Weekend, “a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well being of their country.” So what is the best way to celebrate your hard work? Going to the Lake!

There is no better place in the world than relaxing on the water.  Listening to music and soaking up the sun, all while enjoying the beautiful view around you. You get a nice tan and never get too hot because you have the cool breeze blowing through your hair riding around on the boat. But if you do start to feel the heat, no worries just jump on in!

Go tubing, skiing and wakeboarding with your friends even though you may feel it tomorrow! Try to catch a fish for dinner or just go out to eat on the lake.

There is no dress code and you don’t have to worry about bringing a watch because you run on lake time! Enjoy the ones around you and share a few laughs. Take a nap, enjoy the sunset, and take a lot of pictures because these memories will last a lifetime.

So this Labor Day, put your feet up, take a break, sit back and relax, and enjoy the lake.

“Twas the night before the Indiana State Fair

After a long day preparing for opening day of the Indiana State Fair, my fellow intern Armenda and I crafted this fair-inspired re-make..check it out! 

‘Twas the night before the Indiana State Fair and all through the grounds, the only thing you could hear was Lynard Skynard’s rockin’ sound. Antique tractors lined up by Pioneer Village with care, in hopes that fairgoers would soon be there.

4-H’er’s were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of purple banners danced in their heads. And pigs in their pens and cattle at the tie-outs had just settled down for a cool summer night out. 

When out on the midway there arose such a clatter, I came out of the Glass Barn to see what was the matter. Away to the golf cart I ran in a dash, grabbed my camera and quickly turned on the flash.

When what to my wondering eyes did appear, but the midway arch sign lit up all bright and clear! Everyone was in awe of the bright shiny lights, but what they loved most was the new coliseum at night.

 I took one last look around this beloved fair before I come back tomorrow when the balloons will be up in the air.

Don’t Worry Be Happy

This week I attended Ag Media Summit, which is a meeting of ag industry’s top writers, editors, photographers, publishers and ag communicator specialists. Going into the Summit I hoped that I would make a lot of great contacts within the ag industry, which I did and I could not be more thankful for  that opportunity but little did I know that the keynote speaker, Craig Zablocki (who was not in the ag industry) would make me think about life completely different.

He spoke about how people lead by example.. He did an exercise where he told everyone to make a fist and put it on his or her chin but when he said that he put it on his cheek. A group of highly educated leaders did not listen to him, but did exactly what he was doing on stage… putting their fist on their cheek. As he pointed it out the room was full of laughter.

His next topic was about children. He shared with the group that children laugh around 300-400 times a day! That’s is a lot of laughter compared to the adult who laughs only 15-20 times a day!  Children are not scared to say what might be funny in their head or how they are feeling at the exact moment even if it may sound ridiculous. They have courage to do anything.  They are not scared to speak in front of crowds or dance when they feel like it. They don’t care what others think of them. They are fearless.

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This got me thinking. He was right! Why do we care so much about what others think… why don’t we make ourselves happy? Why don’t we laugh more often? Why don’t we sing in the car more often? Why don’t we smile at strangers? Why don’t we just dance in random places? If you’re having a great day show it! Wake up with the attitude that you’re going to make it a great day! Lead by example have a smile on your face! Say good morning to your secretary or your professor. LAUGH! Why be stressed over something that you can’t do anything about? Start living your life fearlessly! What is the worst that could happen? He then went on to talk about as we grow older our lives as adults become very busy and stressful. We don’t take time to enjoy the moment in life we are living. We don’t take steps out of our comfort zones because we worry about what others think. We constantly worry about things that are completely out of our control.

Are you going to have a bad day here and there? Yes we all do. But don’t dwell on it. Its in the past. You cant do anything about it. Live in the moment!

Spend time with your family.

Be silly with your friends.

& Enjoy life.