By Valerie Polite
On Wednesday, May 2, you can be one of the many volunteer donors of Suffolk’s Riverhead campus and change someone’s life. Eastern campus Health Services will be sponsoring a blood drive in conjunction with Long Island Blood Services between the hours of 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM and encourages all eligible students to give an hour of their time to save a life. The blood drive will be held in the Peconic building, room 100.
Any questions should be directed to the Health Services department at (631) 548-2510, or in person in room 115 of the Peconic Building.
Sitting on the couch eating my lunch, I am already thinking about what we will eat for dinner. It’s only Saturday afternoon. Rich is eating salad with some sort of leftover chicken added to it. Crumbled gluten-free crackers are his croutons.
“What do you want for dinner tonight?”
“I don’t care, it’s lunchtime…”
“Where do you want to eat?” “Do you want to eat out?”
“I don’t care. Whichever you feel like….Mama’s or Outback?”
The truth is we really don’t have much choice and it’s not because we live in the boondocks. These are the only two restaurants we have found in our neighborhood that offer a safe dining experience for my husband. After years of calling ahead, talking with managers and owners of various restaurants, and then carefully explaining the reasons for this precaution, we’ve simply decided to stick with restaurants that offer a gluten-free menu. It’s just too risky at times, to step out of that comfort zone. Rich has celiac disease and so does my daughter. So, when we choose a restaurant we have an interesting set of criteria. Have we eaten there, AND has Rich gotten sick after eating there? What should be a fun social event, most of the time, is not. Who wants to eat out and get violently ill afterwards? Rich has often asked the question, “Do we really have to go out, tonight?” My response is always, “No,” even though I am lying.
If we are feeling particularly adventurous, we may take a long ride to PF Chang’s. They offer Asian-themed gluten-free food, but with a disclaimer on their menu that goes something like “We will do our best to accommodate the dietary needs of our customers.” The ride to Westbury is quite a trip, and this restaurant is always crowded at dinnertime. We always wait at least a half hour or more to be seated at this restaurant. But they offer this gluten-free menu and, more importantly, Rich hasn’t gotten sick after eating there.
Sometimes I notice a look of isolation in my husband’s eyes. After packing his clothes for a business trip, his next chore is packing enough food to get him through the trip just in case he can’t find an Outback in town. I’ve never really asked him how it all feels because I am aware he doesn’t like to talk about it. Occasionally, he will send a text, “Good news! I found an Outback on the way to the hotel!” and I will sigh with relief. He is a really good sport about this lifestyle and, fortunately, he is one of those people who “eats to live” and not “lives to eat.”
Another fortunate turn of events recently has been that gluten–or rather, gluten-free–is being mentioned much more frequently these days in the mainstream. Television shows such as Parenthood, the Celebrity Apprentice and Man Up, have turned it into a punchline. The shows make fun of the food or the person that needs the special food, especially if this character is causing a dining-out annoyance. Chelsea Clinton caused a media frenzy when she ordered a gluten-free wedding cake. Celebrities such as Elizabeth Hasselback, Zooey Deschanel, Keith Olberman, Gywneth Paltrow and Miley Cyrus have gone gluten-free. Food manufacturers are jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon, too. In fact, Chex is labeling their newest cereal gluten-free. It’s not really new, though. They just removed the malt barley ingredient that contained the gluten, slapped a new label on the box and raised the price. Could this newest food trend be something more? There is a buck to be made here, and by golly, these manufacturers will make it. Just double the price of your original product, meet the gluten-free requirements set by the FDA and wait for celiacs to buy it. They have no choice because their life depends upon it.
According to Celiac.com, celiac disease is identified as genetic disorder that affects 1 in 133 people. It is an autoimmune disease that is triggered by ingested gluten. This trigger, a protein that is contained in wheat, barley, spelt and rye grains, produces antibodies that circulate in the bloodstream and cause an immune response in the body. This immune response is an internal war of sorts, whereby the body begins to attack itself. In some individuals, the response to the gluten affects not only their digestive organs, but other organs in their body as well. These symptoms can be neurological, gastrointestinal, or appear as skin rashes that may cover parts of the body. There are many individuals who may not realize they have the disease and can be outwardly symptom-free, but their gastrointestinal system is damaged and goes undetected. The symptoms are varied and, without an endoscopy, you may never know you have celiac disease. There are no medications to cure this disease. To say the least, the disease is cured by removing gluten from your diet.
“Just eat gluten-free, “ the doctor says. This sounds so simple. Living gluten-free requires more than just eliminating gluten from your diet. It requires a spirit of adventure, commitment and a willingness to be unafraid to try new tastes. Sometimes, these tastes include things someone would never be willing to try before a celiac diagnosis. It is a lifelong commitment to this gluten-free diet.
Before purchasing any food item, the ingredient list must be read. So, food shopping is now a literary event as well. Every food purchase, meal preparation, business trip, vacation and every dining out experience requires careful planning, research and time. I can still remember standing in the grocery store, trying to find safe foods for my family, and the tears welling up in my eyes. “What am I going to feed them?” I shudder when I recall these moments. It has become much easier now thanks to “trendy” eating styles and clever marketing trends. Many supermarkets have now incorporated health food aisles. Just recently, Stop and Shop announced their stores have begun labeling their gluten-free items with a blue and white labeling system to assist with customers’ shopping selections. Times sure have changed in the twelve long years since my early, tear-filled shopping trips.
“So… let’s eat out?” We feel like going out to dinner. But it is still a question. Deciding on what kind of food is irrelevant. Adding to a stressful situation, I know I will check out the gluten-free menu and try to imagine what I would order if my life depended on it. The silent prayer that begins in my head goes something like this, “Oh, please, kitchen person, pretend your life depended on this meal. For GF’s sake, don’t cross-contaminate!”
Rich is so sensitive to gluten at this point in his life that a few crumbs of wheat bread, or even a spoon that has stirred wheat pasta that might again be used to stir his gluten-free pasta, will cause severe gastric disturbances and flu-like symptoms that can last for the rest of the evening. So much for a relaxing dinner out with my husband. Half the time, I would rather stay home, mess up the kitchen and open a bottle of wine. Twelve years later and we are still navigating through the fog. The headlights are on, but it’s so difficult to see what’s really on that menu. The menu does not tell you that Chico in the kitchen can’t tell gluten-free bread from wheat bread.
There are times I pray in my own kitchen over my meal preparations. Once while I was preparing gluten-free pasta and wheat pasta side by side on the stove, I mistakenly used the same spoon to stir both pots. Needless to say, dinner that night was a disaster. Trust me; it’s no fun poisoning your own family. Wheat pasta is a now a thing of the past in our kitchen. The kitchen is almost entirely gluten-free. There is a lone “gluten” cabinet containing a loaf of wheat bread, a box of granola bars and a bag of pretzels, but that’s about it. Because fast food is a minefield that the entire family simply avoids, our Friday pizza nights have changed a bit. Rich often tells me I make a terrific homemade gluten-free pizza. My daughter has even suggested that I should write a gluten-free cookbook. As I recall this compliment, the edges of my lips curl into a smile.
The great thing about gluten-free dining is that when it works, it works so well. This is a disease that is entirely curable with diet. How fantastic is that! No drugs, no special treatments, just safe, healthy dining. Oh yes, and a bit of careful planning.
By Valerie Polite
In 2012 the American College Health Association National College Health Assessment revealed a study that publicized an increase in the percentage of overweight college students in recent years. The College, in observance of these studies, has encouraged students to make healthy choices and provides various opportunities in an attempt to lower the rising percentages.
Studies show that, in 2010, more than 28.3 percent of men and 18.3 percent of women were classified as overweight, up from results of 28.0 percent 17.7 percent in 2009. More than 7.2 percent of college students were categorized as obese opposed to 6.8 percent in 2009. More recent records indicate numbers have only increased.
The Office of Health Services, located in the Kreiling Hall of the Ammerman campus, hosts a program, known as ‘Nibblers’; a weight clinic offered to all administrators, faculty, staff, and students in an attempt to lower the rising percentage of student obesity.
“Nibblers is a 12 week program and is offered every semester although, only a handful of students sign up for it”, said Agnes Hahn, Director and founder of ‘Nibblers’ and registered Nurse of the Ammerman Campus. “Those few students that do take advantage of it benefit by learning healthy eating and exercise tips, as well as portion control and calorie information according to their body structure. ‘Nibblers’ encourages realistic weight loss with a weight loss goal of 10 lbs. in 12 weeks.”
Some students are reluctant to join simply because they feel uncomfortable about sharing personal information; however, Hahn strives to keep all information gathered during the 12 week cycle completely confidential.
“I keep all members’ information on index cards and log any progress or improvement on them. They get locked up at the end of the day so the only person who you’re sharing your information with is the designated nurse recording your weekly weigh-ins,” Hahn.
To guarantee accurate results it is mandatory for each participant to provide their goal weight loss (minimum of 10 1bs) at the first weigh-in, which will take place in the Office of Health Services. A nurse must verify each weigh-in to determine the accurate amount of weight loss at the completion of the program.
“Unfortunately there are no weekly meetings for ‘Nibblers’ because it is difficult to find a day and time that corresponds to both student and faculty/staff schedules so we try to keep our members motivated to keep coming back in other ways,” Hahn said. “We try and give gifts to the participants to keep them motivated. Usually at the start of the program, everyone that signs up gets a journal or a pen to track their weight loss status. In the middle of the 12 week cycle those who lose half the encouraged weight (5lbs) get to choose from our selection of recipe books, recipe folders, and recipe boxes.”
‘Nibblers’ fees include a $0.50 contribution to the program, per person, collected at each weekly weigh-in. At the conclusion of the program person(s) who meet their goal(s) are awarded for their dedication and share the total money collected over the course of the clinic. Penalties do apply however, that may result in a higher money pot when it comes time to distribute it. A penalty of $0.10 will be charged to each student or staff member for each pound or part of a pound gained from the previous weigh-in, as well as a $0.50 charge for each missed week.
“There’s no better way to see results than to throw in a cash reward,” said Hannah Gordon, a future student, looking to major in Business Management. “Just look at “The Biggest Loser”. Granted the contestants want to lose weight to look and feel better and healthier but that prize money plays a drastically motivating factor. Honestly, who doesn’t want to lose weight and win money for doing so? It’s a win win situation.”
‘Nibblers’ also promotes healthy living by encouraging students to take advantage of the Brookhaven Gymnasium, located on the Ammerman campus. The Brookhaven Gym is available to all students Monday through Friday between the hours of 11:00 AM and 5:00 PM.
The Grant campus, correspondingly with the Ammerman campus, contributes to the promotion of healthy living via the College’s newest facility-The Health, Sports and Education Center (HSEC). The 250,000 square foot building contains 22 general-purpose classrooms, a 150-seat high-tech lecture hall, computer labs, state-of-the-art laboratories for health sciences and education, a 60,000 square foot field house, and a modern fitness center, available to all students and staff with a valid HSEC membership.
Through both indoor and outdoor facilities the HSEC provides its members with extensive weight-loss opportunities and areas designated for athletics such as basketball, tennis, baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball, swimming, and track/field.
To obtain a HSEC membership on must fill out a Health Club Membership Application and Agreement and agree to the terms and conditions as well as the rules and regulations of the facility. The application can be found at WWW.SunySuffolk.edu/HSECenter under the “Health Club Application” link.
Through motivating and continuous weight clinic programs, new campus facilities, and gym membership opportunities, the College hopes to establish prospective results reflecting a decrease in the rising percentage of student obesity.
By Mike Monti
On Sunday April 29, the Grants men Lacrosse team will be taking on Hudson Valley. The game will be held at the Grant Campus in Brentwood, the game it set to go off at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Coach Brendan Chamberlain is looking to lead his team to victory past Hudson Valley right now the team’s record is 9-3. The men’s home record is 4-1 along with their road record of 4-1. The men’s team also is 1-1 on neutral field and in their conference 1-0. Look for a good defensive game from sophomore defender Nico Governara. A good all-around player and a key defense-man for the Sharks. Also look for a big offense game from sophomore midfielder Santino . The team is looking to continue its amazing season so for and have a good run for the championship.
By Mike Monti
Not many professors care about their students as much as they care about their own life. However, there is one professor at the college that does.
Professor Alan Weber, assistant professor of health and human services. Weber has had an effect on most of the students that he has taught in his teaching career.
One class that Weber taught was in the College Success Program. It was in this class that Weber had an effect on the lives of three of his students, Gina Luciano, Nico Governara, and Stephanie Hymowitz. It was in this class that Weber taught these students important life lessons on how to succeed in college.
“P. Webs turned out to be an amazing professor,” said Luciano. P Webs was the nickname that was given to Weber during the 2009 College Success class. “He taught you important steps on how to become a good college student.”
“The one lesson I remember the most and still use is the one he taught us on were to sit in the class,” said Luciano. “He told us that the best seat in the class to sit in were the front and down the middle. He referred to it as the T.”
“I remember the first day of class,” said Governara.
“I didn’t want to be there at all and the fact that I didn’t know anyone made it worst. However, P. Webs had a lot of different ways to get each student’s interact and get to know each other.”
“The way he taught was really interesting,” Governara said. “He didn’t move on until everyone knew what the lesson was about. One of the best things about his classes was he related them to life experiences.”
“The best project we had in this class was when we had to bring in something we do outside of school. I brought in the T-shirts I design. P. Webs can help me out on how I can expand my designs and gave me ideas on what to draw,” said Governara
“P. Webs really helped me,” said Hymowitz. “He helped me realized the kind of student that I am. By taking this class with Professor Weber, he showed me the best way to study and be a good student.”
“I think he cares a lot about his students,” said Hymowitz. “It is like his students are his kids. He does not want to see a student fail and he will help the student so they don’t. If he thinks you are having a trouble in the class he will make time to make sure you get it. This is something most professors don’t do.”
“I never want to see someone failing,” said Weber. “When my classes start I pretty much can tell which student will have a hard time. Some-times, not all the time the student might prove me wrong.”
“I like it when the student proves me wrong, it goes to show that the say you can’t judge a book by its cover is true,” Weber said.
“When I notice a student struggling I will make sure I don’t move on until they understand what we are learning. I try to relate the subjects to life events so the student can relate to what we are learning.”
Not many students have a friendly bond with their professors. However, for Professor Weber does to the point where his students came up with the nickname P. Webs for him and refer to him a P. Webs all the time. That is something really special.
By Julianne Mosher
Gym is often dreaded for the people who were never the athletic type. In order to graduate with an associates degree at this college, students are required to take 2 gym electives. These credits can be intimidating especially when there are so many different options.
On the Ammerman campus alone, there are over 100 different courses available for gym credits. Classes like badminton, body sculpting, yoga, and spinning are a few which are possible to take. However, because the demand is so high for gym electives, the “easier” classes such as yoga and power-walking fill up quickly. But what students are unaware of are the different types of gym classes which are available to them that are different and fun.
Social, club, modern, and jazz are the 4 dance courses that are eligible for the 4 credits that are required to graduate. Social and club dancing are offered to students and are taught by adjunct professor, Mark James.
Professor James began dancing at 23 and holds titles from multiple championships. He is also the 6 time American Star Ball Theatrical Champion and has been teaching ballroom style dancing for 25 years. He has been teaching Suffolk students since 2002.
He said that students should definitely at least try dance as a gym elective because there are many benefits in doing so. They help, “develop a positive self image with essential life skills, build self-confidence, and cooperation with the opposite gender” and also give a “lifelong hobby of salsa, ballroom or Latin dance for increased physical and emotional well-being.”
Professor James enjoys teaching students. “They generally want to learn and want to forget about their day, so dance and movement is the perfect remedy,” he said.
Student, Jessica Ferraro, took social dance with Professor James. “I just looked through the gym options and wanted to try something new,” she said. She also said that she was surprised about how much she learned throughout the course of the semesmster. “I never danced before and I was nervous but he made it fun!”
In social dance, Ferraro learned the cha-cha, tango, meringue, foxtrot, and waltz. “Besides dancing, I learned about myself like I can do more than I thought I could,” she said.
The class was Jessica’s second gym class for her Suffolk career. First semester she took spin so dance “was a nice change of pace.”
Professor James’ classes has even caught the attention of gentlemen looking to learn something new. Giuseppe Scalzo, another student who took James’ club dance course said that the class caught his attention because it was something different to do. “Most of what I learned is going to stick with me for the rest of my life,” he said.
While registration is still up for the upcoming fall semester, students should definitely try something new and exciting. Look for Professor Mark James’ classes on the roster and experience a fun way to build not only your social skills, but get fit with something different.
If students are still interested in learning these styles of dance but already completed their gym credits, check out Professor James’club, Shall I Take the Lead, every common hour. Here he teaches students along with his dance partner, Karen Lupo, the same dances as his classes with no registration required.
By Julianne Mosher
Shakespeare’s famed comedy, As You Like It, will be preformed at the Shea Theatre on the Ammerman Campus for 9 performances.
The play, directed by Steven Lantz-Gefroh, is a humorous creation about Rosalind and Orlando, two people who meet in a forest. Rosalind disguises as a boy and teaches her love how to win her heart yet he has no idea that it is really her. As You Like It is one of the most celebrated feminine creations that not only makes the audience laugh but acts out typical shrewd observations about human nature.
Show dates begin on April 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, and 28 at 8 P.M. Two afternoon shows will premiere on Sunday April 22 and 29 at 2 P.M.
Suffolk students are eligible to receive one free ticket with current ID. General admission is $12 but discount rates are available to students, faculty, staff, SCCC alumni, children and senior citizens for $11.
Make sure you come to this exciting event and don’t miss out on a great performance of a Shakespearian classic! Any questions can be answered at the theatre box office at (631) 451-4163 or at http://www.sunysuffolk.edu/spotlight
Suffolk presents their fifth annual Creative Writing Festival, which will be a six-day event, held from Monday, April 23 to Saturday, April 28, 2012 at the Ammerman campus.
This year’s week of festival activities include: readings by critically acclaimed authors, lecture and panel sessions, student, alumni, and faculty readings, creative writing workshops, creative writing awards for college writers, and a catered complimentary lunch with keynote speakers.
The conference day on Saturday, April 28, is an all-day affair and begins at 9:30 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. Participants might want to get there earlier for registration and sign-in at the Shea Theatre lobby where they will be welcomed with a complimentary breakfast.
Preceding the sign-in will be a welcome address and reading with Rachel Eddey and Judith Baumel in room 117 of the Islip Arts building. Both women are featured readers of the festival and have successful careers in journalism.
Eddey is an author of several books who graduated from Binghamton University with a BA in Creative Writing and Comparative Literature. Her essays have appeared in many publications such as Newsday and The New York Times. Eddey says her memoirs class at Binghamton helped prepare her for the eventual journey of writing a book.
“[In the class], I felt so overwhelmed because I didn’t know what I wanted to write about,” Eddey said. “I learned that it doesn’t have to be your whole life story. Running of the Bride [her latest book] is not my whole life, but it’s one experience I was able to parlay into a book because it’s an interesting story.”
Baumel is a poet, critic and translator. She is an English professor and was Founding Director of the Creative Writing Program at Adelphi University. She also lectures on modern and contemporary American poetry at Oxford University. Her work has also been published in The New York Times, among other places.
“The passionate and personal poems in Now, Baumel’s second collection, often unfold in long sentences that picture the world in sometimes harsh detail. But if they reflect an essentially troubled view of life, they also articulate a readiness to be astonished by beauty heartened by love,” said Jonathan Aaron, writer for The Boston Globe.
At 11-12 p.m., guests can choose one of many panel discussions and workshops to attend. At these workshops, participants can learn tips and tools on how to write a great story, poem, or book. Each workshop is unique and spans from writing about your life in memoirs and personal essays to writing haiku’s and even how to publish your work.
In room 202 of the Islip Arts building, Diana Gallagher will be talking to guests about writing essays and how they’re not as scary as they sound.
“I work as a freelance editor, sharpening sentences, reshaping paragraphs, and chopping pages,” Gallagher explained. “Hey, sometimes its gotta happen.”
Gallagher holds an MFA in Creative Writing and Literature from Stony Brook University. She writes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and plays and teaches creative writing to a diverse group of middle and high school students, as well as first-year composition to the college crowd.
A complimentary lunch will be served from 12:15-1:45 p.m. with a keynote address from Cornelius Eady in the Montauk Point Room of the Babylon Student Center.
Eady is the author of several books of poetry in which he has won many awards for. In most of his poems, there is a musical quality drawn from the Blues and Jazz. He is a cofounder of Cave Canem, a national organization for African American poetry and poets. He has taught at numerous universities and currently is an English professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
“I really enjoy the idea of the language that’s inside of music itself,” Eady says of the musical references in his poetry. “The idea that maybe when you hear a jazz solo, or when you’re hearing a good saxophonist, or a guitarist, that you’re actually hearing that person’s story.”
From 3-3:30 p.m., there will be a coffee break and book signing in the Shea Theatre lobby where participants will have the chance to get their books signed by the festival’s featured authors.
To end the event, closing remarks and writing contest award winners will be announced at 4:40 p.m. in room 117 of the Islip Arts building.
Everyone is encouraged to attend and must pay the appropriate registration fee the day of the event. All undergraduates are allowed to attend the Conference Day events for free, as are SCCC administration, faculty, or staff, but everyone will need to complete a separate registration form for each individual attending to guarantee a seat at the luncheon.
If you have any questions about registration, please call the Ammerman English Department at (631) 451-4159 or contact the Creative Writing Festival Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The spring 2012 semester is drawing to a close as students scramble to finish their last term papers and anticipate summer plans and festivities, but why wait until the last day of classes to take some time out of your hectic schedule to enjoy yourself.
On Thursday, April 26, the Campus Activities Board is hosting a school trip to the Imperial Theatre in New York City to see the new Broadway play, “Nice Work If You Can Get It”. The show starts at 8:00 PM and transportation is conveniently provided for all those interested in attending. The bus will leave the Grant Campus at precisely 4:00 PM but picture ID is required so please remember to bring your Student ID Card.
Tickets go on sale March 26 for students and April 7 for faculty and guests. Tickets for Full-time students are $42, Part-time students-$44, and Faculty/Staff- $46. Tickets are non-transferrable.
To buy tickets or if you have any other questions or concerns please contact the Campus Activities Office at (631)851-6702.
Bixby’s Rainforest Rescue brings the rainforest to the Brentwood Grant campus’ Van Nostrand Theatre on Saturday, April 21, 2012.
Through the use of comedy, puppetry, audience participation, and a variety of animals, “Bixby and Friends Rainforest Rescue” is a stage show that brings the excitement of conservation, preservation and going green to venues around the nation.
Bixby, the founder of the show, invites audiences to join him on his adventure as he tries to save the rainforest. While watching his show, children and families will learn the value of and basic ways to save the rainforest and the environment in which we live.
“It was vital that, as a team, we brought to life the rainforest in a way that would touch the hearts of young and old alike,” said Barry DeVoll, executive producer and director of Blue Trunk Educational Series, creator of Bixby’s Rainforest Rescue. “It was also important that we inspire the audiences to take action, regardless the magnitude or scope. I truly believe ‘Bixby’s Rainforest Rescue’ will change the lives of all who see the show.”
Bixby has loved going to museums ever since he was a child. He envisioned that one day he would build a museum where children could explore the exhibits with hands-on, interactive involvement and that he himself would bring these exhibits to life so that he could take children on a magical journey directly into the exhibit. His goal is to now save the rainforest from its continued destruction, almost 46 million acres a year.
“Many people aren’t aware of what is happening in the rainforest and the environment which surrounds them,” said DeVoll. “It was our primary focus to bring to life the story of the ongoing destruction and de-forestation of the rainforest.”
There will be special appearances by Bixby’s many rainforest animal friends: Treetop the singing toucan, Allie the 18-foot Albino Burmese python, Juan the Green-winged Macar, and Tikatu the Kinkajou.
The show begins at 2:00 p.m., but audiences should arrive by 1:00 p.m. to see Bixby’s live animal exhibit.
General admission is $11 and SCCC students with a current ID will receive one free ticket.
You can order your tickets online at the following links:
For more information, call (631) 851-6589.