Monthly Archives: May 2014

Day in the Life of Forensic’s Field School

May 29, 2014 | Author: Ryan Kelly

You know you are at a forensic science anthropology field school when you are sitting at lunch eating chick with a bone and people start asking strange questions. What bone is it? What is it (chicken) ethnicity? Is there evidence of trauma or disease? Can we analyze it? Other items at the table such as milk bringing up conversations of tuberculosis and brucellosis. Tuesday in our morning class we talked about the process of washing and cleaning bones as well as bagging and labeling. It is very important to keep organized and label everything! Tuesday afternoon we started discussing how to determine the sex of the individual based on morphology, metrical and multivariate statistical methods. We were able to talk a lot about differences in the morphology of the bones between men and women. The pelvis is the most accurate indicator of sex followed closely by the cranium. Long bones are also sexually dimorphic, meaning that there are differences in the bones between men and women. I can’t wait to be able to apply what we’ve learned when we analyze bones!

Wednesday we took a day trip to the city of Gjirokaster to take a look at the ancient citadel, prison block and the city. It was such a neat little town! The citadel was filled with many canons and one tank from World War II. I found it interesting that the tank was made by Fiat! There was also an American plane that sits at the top. It was claimed by the communist that they shot the plane down. However that is untrue and likely that the pilot and crew ejected before the plane crashed. We believe it was a plane used in training flights and had technical difficulties. It was neat to see an old piece of American history sitting at the top of Gjirokaster!

Professor Washburn gave a presentation on the history of Albania which was fascinating as well as confusing. Albania has a very complex history I highly encourage you to read about it! There seems to be a common trend throughout the history of the country being under many different rulers and different forms of governments. There was quite a few shifts in the religion of the country as well. Albania was officially listed as an atheist state for a small period of time! It’s amazing to think that just in 1997 they were consumed in a civil war! This trip so far has been completely fascinating with learning forensic anthropology as well as the culture and history of Albania!

Wifi has not been very strong, unfortunately I won’t be able to post pictures in tonights blog. Hopefully I will be able to get some more posted soon!

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Greetings from Albania!

May 25, 2014 | Author: Ryan Kelly

I don’t think people realize how long 8 hours is until you are stuck on a plane for that long! I was extremely nervous for the international flight, but it went really well! The flight was nice and smooth and we were provided with endless amounts of in-flight entertainment! I watched 3:10 to Yuma, countless episodes of The Big Bang Theory and The Blacklist! Played some trivia, wordsearches, colored on my coloring app, solitaire. I attempted to sleep, but it didn’t workout very well. Sleeping while traveling is always a struggle for me. We have a total of 14 students! Only a few of us kind of knew each other, nothing brings a group of people together more than traveling halfway around the world! We have only known each other a few days, but we have had such a blast so far!

We are here in Butrint now! Getting wifi has been extremely tough here! I apologize for the lack of posts! We have now been here for 3 days. The trip from Tirana to Butrint took about 6 hours. We had the pleasure of traveling some unique roads. One was a little nerve racking, climbing the side of a mountain with winding turns and quite a ways to the bottom! The scenery of the Albanian countryside was amazing!!!! It’s absolutely beautiful! I am actually typing this on the lovely beach of Semil, about 2 miles from our hotel. Yesterday was our first day of class, which was held at the acropolis in the national park. Today we went through the bones that comprise the axial and appendicular skeleton. We were able to look at these bones from an individual that died about a 1000 years in Butrint. We are all very excited to have started the class portion and we are looking forward to analyzing and learning as much as we can!

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I am fortunate enough to have one of our professors run with me! We were able to run through Tirana and was able to see some statues and monument in the park. Yesterday we took a ferry across the channel and basically ran through farm fields and countryside! I’m extremely glad to have a running buddy with all the amazing food they have been feeding us!image

Off We Go!

May 20, 2014 | Author: Ryan Kelly

We are finally on our way! It still hasn’t quite hit me that I will spend the next month traveling and studying abroad! I’m currently sitting our chartered bus on our way to JFK. I’ve met a few of our expedition members Paul, Jess, Lea, Kaitlin, and a few of the professors that will be joining us! We are all very excited to get this adventure under way. I will admit that my packing skills are not up to ninja status! Packing was not fun at all! With all the luggage restrictions it was extremely hard to pack everything I wanted. I had to do some serious prioritizing. Hopefully I remembered all the essentials! We should arrive at JFK around 1/1:30 to meet with the rest of the members of the trip! Our flight departs at 5:25pm, we are traveling via Lufthansa #411. If you google our flight number you can track the flight! Make sure to follow me on twitter, I will be posting a lot on there. You can also follow our itinerary online, if you google Utica College Forensic Anthropology Field School! I was so excited this morning that I forgot to eat breakfast, hopefully we will stop soon! I’m still not positive what our Wifi situation will be once we get overseas, but I will try to post as much as possible when we get there!

Junior Year: A Closed Chapter

May 17, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

Junior year was definitely an interesting year for me! The fall semester started out rocky being a Government major, but then I finally found my place in Public Relations and now, I could not be happier!

I have to say (really for the first time in my college career) that I’m actually going to miss this semester. I met so many great people, and learned so much about myself in the process. I also grew a passion for writing – which I never thought I’d enjoy so much.

I couldn’t wait for the fall semester to end. Then come January, I never expected to love the courses that I was taking….and of course, I never expected to become a student blogger, which I obviously enjoy greatly.

Now, it’s so weird to think that it is a closed chapter in my book. For anyone who has told me that college goes so much quicker than high school was right; especially if you’re loving what you’re doing! It’s definitely strange to know that my college career will be over this time next year.

So, a note to all incoming freshman, or just any students in general….these are just some things that I’ve learned in all of my 3 years here, but especially during this year.

  • Work hard in your curriculum, do your assignments, and do them on time.
  • If you’re unhappy in your program, change it. It is never too late.
  • Take your time before choosing a major – read through all of your options and then decide. Don’t go into anything blindly.
  • Once one semester ends, a new one begins. Leave the old one behind. If you’ve made mistakes, learn from them and try not to repeat them. Always make a fresh start.

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Happiness Tip #2: Forgiveness

May 16, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

One of the hardest things to do in life is to forgive someone who hurt you. It doesn’t matter if it’s a family member, friend, co-worker, enemy….and so on.

That old saying “sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you” isn’t exactly the truth. Words hurt, and unfortunately can stick with you for a long time. The key is, to let whatever they said, go. Easier said than done, I know.

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In order to live a happy, peaceful and successful life, we must forgive those who do us harm. It can be extremely difficult, but so freeing.

Instead of cursing those who hurt us, bless them instead. It takes a strong person to forgive and just move on. But, it is so necessary for our own health and well being.

When we forgive others, we are giving them absolutely no power over us. By holding on to anger, we only hurt ourselves. Life is too short for that.

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One of the best days of my life was when I learned to move on from all of the people who did me wrong. With the help of some great people, I came to my senses and realized that harboring bitterness was only ruining me, not them.

Moral of the story: do you want to travel the road to happiness? Learn to forgive and make peace with people and your past. You’ll be surprised how much better you will feel.

Reflection: Freshman Year

May 16, 2014 | Author: LaShanna Saunders

tumblr_m7do3d3slc1r115hxo5_250Freshman year started off just like you see in movies, fall semester was ridiculously fun. From parties  to late night walks and dinner dates let’s just say fall semester was one that as a freshman you will never forget. You have just arrived at college, your first time away from mom and dad, you are  nervous about making friends everything is  handed to you at once, it is a scary amazing feeling. Fall semester of your freshman year  is always the most fun. Everyone is eager to be in college and most importantly ready to be an “adult”. I put adult in quotation marks because that is how a lot of us feel, we feel as if we are grown and ready to eat life’s challenges for breakfast. But let me be the first to tell you the way you ENTERED freshman year will be completely different then the way you LEAVE freshman year. At the end of freshman year  19 or 20 year old you will look back at your self and feel like a stranger to the person you once was. I have learned so much about myself it is scary to think I knew who I was.Even with  the amount of maturity that I came to college with I still feel as if I grew beyond my expectations, I really surprised myself at how much I had evolved. I evolved into this confident, well-spoken, involved, even more ambitious then before and amazingly beautiful young lady.  I now like to look at  myself as a Pitbull in a dress because I have become so hungry for success and  developed a kind of power and strength I never knew I had. College will teach you things about yourself, it will help you become a women/man. Going away to college or living on campus is the only way you can get the full college experience.The ability to discover who you are is something that everyone should want to do because if you dont know who you are, your dreams and goals are going to impossible  to reach. A huge goodbye to freshman year for all it has done for me and taught me.

Life Hacks: Health Edition

May 16, 2014 | Author: Ghedion Behonegne

Life hack-noun. informal. a strategy or technique adopted in order to manage one’s time and daily activities in a more efficient way.

I have a confession, I have not always been as wise and all knowing as I am now. I have assimilated a wealth of knowledge that will become useless the day I graduate, so here is my gift to you underclassmen and incoming students; l present the most time saving and headache curing tips and tricks. This post shall concern general health, well being and fitness related advise.

Here’s the scenario, it’s winter (I know that we are closer to summer, but bear with me) and if you are a man this means one thing, its bulking season.

How to bulk like a boss:
Step 1. Lift heavy things.
Step 2. Eat lots of (healthy) food so you can refuel muscles to repeat step 1.
Step 3. Sleep an adequate amount so you can return to the gym, refreshed and ready to repeat step 1.
Step 4. Repeat step 1.
Step 5. Repeat this whole cycle.

But how do you maximize on calories so you can improve on step 1? Using this recipe a close friend of my mine has come up with:
Bulking Shake:
1.5 cups milk (chocolate if you can)
1 cup pre-ground oats.
2 frozen bananas.
1 scoop protein.
2 tbs peanut butter.
Throw all these in a blender and voila. If my calculations are correct (They always are), this will come out to approximately 1300 calories and 64 grams of proteins. Have one of these between meals and one after you work out, your muscles can thank me later.
Broke and can’t afford things? You can get peanut butter, chocolate milk and bananas from the cafeteria (Disclaimer- I do not condone nor condemn these actions. Sodexo do not come after me).

Of course you have to supplement this with a quality diet high in protein. But Ghedion, what foods have a high protein content and are delicious you ask? Lean meats like chicken, turkey and fish are a staple in bulking diets. However things like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and mixed nuts and eggs don’t get as much attention and should also be included in any serious amateur body builders diet.

Fast forward 6 months later and you are a behemoth of a human being and could stand to lose a few (a lot of) pounds. The new recipe and regime:

Cutting Shake:
1 cup low fat milk.
1 scoop protein.
1 banana.

Step 1. Lift lighter things, a lot more times and more intensely.

Step 2. Do cardio.

Step 3. Recover, drink plenty of water and eat a minimal amount of carbs and skip the burger/fries/ice-cream/soda combo.

Step 4. Repeat previous steps

Step 5.  Say thank you Ghedion :)

40 Ways to Keep Ryan Occupied on a Plane

May 14, 2014 | Author: Ryan Kelly

I can’t believe we are leaving in less than a week! I’m getting extremely excited, nervous, and a little anxious. I hope this next week flies by! For those of who that know me, you’ll know that sitting still is not one of my strong suits and neither is flying! Good thing I’ll be spending over 18 hours on a plane over the next few weeks! I’m a little nervous about the flights so I thought it would be a good plan to come up with a bunch of things to keep me occupied and distracted. I am going to try and accomplish as many of the items on the list as possible! I’m really hoping I will have a window seat; it would be amazing to watch the sunset over the ocean! Please feel free to give me some suggestions! 5 days, 17 hours and 49 minutes!!

  1. Color
  2. Listen to music
  3. Word search
  4. Make shapes out of the clouds
  5. Watch the sunset
  6. Watch Frozen
  7. Read a book
  8. Take a nap
  9. Write a blog
  10. Take a deep breath and enjoy the view
  11. Look for whales (Yes, from 30,000ft!)
  12. Take a walk
  13. Play solitaire
  14. Read the Sky Mall Magazine
  15. Download piano app and create a masterpiece
  16. Have a conversation with a planemate
  17. Download and play trivia app
  18. Eat food
  19. …Watch Frozen again
  20. Take pictures
  21. Daydream
  22. Start a journal
  23. Read coursework material
  24. Plan meals I want to cook
  25. Play card games
  26. Find someone to play card games with
  27. Count to 1000
  28. Contemplate life’s mysteries
  29. Try to understand men…
  30. Take another nap
  31. Plan fun summer activities
  32. Play plants vs. zombies
  33. Download paper app and doodle
  34. Get as far into the impossible quiz…as possible
  35. Play Angry Birds
  36. Make friendship bracelets for the track team
  37. Design shirt logo for track team
  38. Watch bridesmaid
  39. Learn how to card count
  40. Try to accomplish this entire list!

Need Something to do this Summer? (Part 2) Arts and Entertainment

May 14, 2014 | Author: Joseph Fryc

Being a local, I get asked a lot by my fellow students where they can go to entertain themselves while they are here for the summer. Maybe you’re taking a summer class, maybe you’ve just gotten an apartment here, or maybe you’re just stuck here because of a job. Either way, you’ll need something to keep yourself busy until classes start up again in the fall.

Arts and Entertainment

All too often the numerous Art venues in the Utica area are overlooked, maybe because they are seen as boring. However, you could easily spend a day venturing into the depths of arts and become lost in their charms. Keeping that in mind, here are a few suggestions of some easy trips you can take to enjoy the arts.

Munson WIlliams Proctor Arts Institute

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The Art Museum at Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute is a great place to spend an afternoon enjoying  both classical and contemporary art as part of their permanent collection. Plus, its free for the public. The museum also holds special exhibitions that you can view for only $10. The museum is open weekly on Tuesday – Saturday from 10am-5pm, and Sunday from 1pm to 5pm. If your hungry you can stop into Terrace Cafe featuring made-to-order sandwiches and daily specials. The Terrace Cafe is open from 11am to 3pm, Tuesday – Saturday, every week. Munson Williams also offers a performing arts series with performances weekly, as well as movie screenings all summer long.

Want more info, Check out Munson Williams at: http://www.mwpai.org/

 

Corning Museum of Glass

The Corning Museum of Glass is truly a New York State treasure. The museum displays nearly 3,500 years of history through glass. In addition to the great art work, the museum offers glass blowing demonstrations daily to educate visitors on the process. After you’re done browsing the museums extensive collection of glass work, stop by the gift shop to see the hundreds of handcrafted glass pieces for sale. The museum is open from 9am-8pm, every day, all summer-long. Admission is $16 for adults, $13.60 for college students, and free for anyone 19 and under.

Want a preview? Check out these photos from my last trip to the museum:

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Want to know more, Check out Corning Museum of Glass at: http://www.cmog.org/

 

Barrett Art Gallery – Utica College

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Alright, time for some shameless self-promotion. This summer the gallery will, for the first time, be holding an exhibit during the summer for students and community members. “Art in Between” is a collection of works from local artists, exhibiting a range of artistic mediums. Artists include locals, Mary Murphy and J.D. King, Gallery Director Carolynne Whitefeather, Kyle Riecker, Administrative Assistant in the Education Office, as well as professors from the college, Steven Specht, Larry Pacilio, and Nancy Hardy.   The exhibit was organized by yours truly, as part of my summer internship, under the supervision and assistance of gallery director, Carolynne Whitefeather. “Art in Between” will be on display from June 2 through July 25th, Monday-Thursday from 12-4pm.

Check us out at: http://www.utica.edu/academic/as/fine_arts/gallery/index.cfm

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Edith-Langley-Barrett-Fine-Arts-Gallery/241248979265223

Twitter: https://twitter.com/UCBarrettArt

Instagram: http://instagram.com/ucbarrettart#

If Galleries aren’t really your speed, you could catch a performance at The Other Side or the Stanley Theatre in Utica. Or watch a movie at the Marquee Cinema.

Stay Tuned for the final post of this series “Fun and Games”, where I will highlight a few great places in the area to have fun.

Bloom Where You are Planted!

May 14, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.” - Walt Disney (Mulan)

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That quote speaks so much to me. In fact, it’s one of my favorites. Why do I love it? Well, I think this phrase fits so many people out there today, me included.

I used this as my senior yearbook quote back in high school, and several people were confused by what it meant. It’s pretty simple, to me anyway.

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all”….well, I look at that as the flower that dares to be different from the rest, is unique. So, let’s liken that to people.

I’ve always been different from the rest of the crowd. I was never one to follow what others were doing, and I sure am not about to start now! I do my thing, what makes me happy…and, if that means reading a Nicholas Sparks novel rather than going out to a party, so be it. That’s where I was “planted” so to speak.

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Which brings me to my next point, bloom where you’re planted.

In my opinion, it is so beautiful to see somebody be themselves…and be content with that. Bloom where you are planted. If you’re different than the rest of the people you know…who cares? So what? That makes you unique. Congrats…you’re a fruit loop in a world filled with cheerios!

Never, I repeat, never let anyone tell you who you have to be or what you have to do. Give up the thought that you must fit in with the crowd because you don’t. It sounds so cliche, but it’s true. Why fit in, when you were born to stand out?

My point for this: I see so many people trying to change who they really are just to please other people or to look cool. I’m sorry, but that’s crazy. It took me a few years (and some lovingly advice from my parents) to figure out that by changing who I am OR by choosing to disassociate myself from something I loved was only harming me….not helping me.

I’ve loved country music since high school and so many people laughed at me because of that (and funny, they are the ones who love it now..;)) so, I did what I thought was best: gave it up. I tried listening to everything that was “cool”, but it was totally the wrong move. Eventually, I outgrew the need to care what everyone thought about it and just did me.

*Okay, I know that seems like a corny example, but I think it makes my point!*

So, bloom where you’re planted. Grow where you are meant to grow. Don’t worry about what anyone else has to say, or what anyone else does for that matter. Remember: the flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful.