Friday, March 24, 2017


And Stanza Saturday is Free Verse Friday
(at least for today)

We will read some POEMS written by 3 freshman woman.


(and thank you Gina, Caroline, and Julia)

She rolled out of bed:

It's 6 AM.
She was restless.
Her mother and father are still sleeping.

He needed to get ready for school,
But he didn't see the point.
He wasn't up to the standards
And he didn't have the motivation to be better.

They walked the halls;
Tired, careless, and irresponsible.
They never shared their feelings.
People started to wonder.
But at the end of the day,
Mother and father are sleeping.

Gina Schreiber


They rounded us up
And tested for disease
But something about it
Set me off ease

Their sickness
Was called feeling
And it wasn’t until now
Did I realize my heart
Was screaming

I didn’t like to feel
I didn’t like remembering
Until I found a girl
Lonely and trembling

She could feel too
So together we hid
They said we would die
And we very well did

On the outside
That is
Euphoric were our hearts
Until their analysis

A cure was created
So we planned to escape
An unlikely ally
Wore the hero’s cape

But something went wrong
And she was stolen from me
I could no longer live
I could no longer flee

This agony would last
So I asked for the cure
Hours would pass
Before I would again learn to endure

But then she came back
And I was beyond remedy
I held her that night
For soon I would become her enemy

And then it was over
I could no longer feel
I could no longer remember
I had left her

But she refused to leave
This girl whom I no longer knew
Escaped with me
Where we started anew

Caroline Kominick

.for the longest time, 
i thought being in love was like a car accident. 

i thought love was twisted and charred metal, sharp and blackened and hot to the touch. 

i thought it smelled like blood and alcohol; thought it left bits of glass on the roadway like so many prehistoric teeth. 

i thought love burned you beyond recognition, mangled fingers reaching from warped metal cages.
for the longest time, i thought someone loved you only if they stabbed the gearshift into your back like a knife.
even now, long after the wreckage of our accident has been cleared,
i can’t understand a love that doesn’t leave skid marks on the road; 
that doesn’t smash through the guardrail and over the cliff’s edge;

that doesn’t kill you

Julia Pickard

"A Nurse will always give us hope, an angel with a stethoscope."
-Carrie Latet, American author

I'm sure many many families have looked to my friend and former student, Kaela Ward, as an Kaela's case, an angel to help keep their babies safe and healthy. Kaela is a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse at Inova Alexandria Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia.

What does it take to be a nurse? 
First, the education. 
Kaela, a 2010 graduate of Central Catholic High School, earned a B.S.N (that's a Bachelor of Science in Nursing) from Seton Hall University in 2014. Her training there included classroom settings (studying anatomy, physiology, psychology, organic chemistry), lab settings, and technology simulation.  A very important part of nurse training is the rotation of hands-on experiences at not just hospitals, but also community health centers, schools, clinics, and hospice care, which is specialized care for the sick, especially those who are terminally ill.

After the requirements are fulfilled and even after a degree is awarded, the nurse must still pass the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination.) This is a difficult exam; many nurses take review classes just to prepare! Many questions are situational, presenting possible scenarios with patients and their symptoms and medical histories.  One can take the test up to 8 times in one year until he or she passes---Kaela aced it the first time !

Kaela worked on a Medical Surgical Unit at Inova Hospital for ten months before the position opened at the NICU. After a 12 week orientation program there (she also had a 12 week orientation at the Medical Surgical Unit) she was ready to take care of those babies!

Chat Conversation StarWhat is Kaela's day like at the NICU? (Or to be accurate, her 12 hour shift: Kaela works 3  

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Owen puts the PERSONAL in Personal Trainer
"Success in reaching goals doesn't come from big gestures and one herculean effort. If comes from constantly being just a little bit better than you were before."
(Move Better 570 Facebook page)

Meet Owen Christman, personal trainer and Program Director at Move Better 570, a training facility in Wilkes- Barre, PA. I first met and taught Owen when I he entered  6th grade at Holy Guardian Angels School.  His class was the group that had the "extended version "of Mrs. Hartline: I taught him in 6th,7th, and 8th grades, and then again as a sophomore at Central Catholic when I made the change to high school. I can just hear their thoughts: "Oh no--just when we thought we were over sentence diagrams."

Owen got through those diagrams and continued his education at Penn State University, first at Penn State Hazleton, then at Main Campus. He graduated in December, 2004 with a B.S. in Kinesiology, the study of the mechanics of body movement.

Owen was very close to a career as a Health and Physical Education teacher; he even completed his student teacher rotation. He was a bit discouraged, however, when he realized the time constraint impeding the activity in the gym. As we all know, the teacher must factor in clothing change time, roll call, etc. before the activity actually takes place. He wanted more time with his students/clients, and he felt he had to find a place that would fulfill those needs.

Owen had the opportunities to work in a variety of gym settings after graduation, which leads to 

                    GET EXPERIENCE: He says to find someone who is doing well, someone with at least       
                     6-7 years experience, and ask questions and observe and soak it all in.  Owen did this, 
                     as well as holding various positions at different health clubs and a physical therapy 

In Owen's current position at MoveBetter 570, the emphasis is personal training and even better (in Owen's opinion) semi-private training.  In this situation he can have close contact with his clients, but the cost per client is less expensive, thereby making it more motivating for people to return and invest in the program. A typical session involves massaging muscles with foam rollers in preparation for stretching, then some activities that improve range of motion. After that, participants are up and moving (Owen calls it "Power"): plyo (jump training), agility ladder, bike sprints, sled pushes, battle ropes, rowing...Phew!!! This is the abbreviated explanation; it's all done in 60-70 minutes.

Owen and other trainers typically see about 35 people in 7 hours. Move Better 570 is not just for a stereotypical athlete. They do offer Sports Performance programs from middle school to the college athlete, but they recognize that not everyone is playing a sport. This gym is about improving the quality of one's life. We all need to be mindful of avoiding injury when we are working out, but even more so when we are running to catch up when we're late, playing (or working) in the yard, or even the dreaded snow shoveling.

So you can see, Owen sees a variety of people in a week's time, which lead to 
ADVICE #2 : 
                   (Actually he added something about putting down a cell phone.....) but his point is to
                    learn to talk to people. It's like Mr. Balistrere  (BC Principal) says: People like to hear 
                    their names. In Owen's case, they realize that a positive life and being fit (being WELL)
                    goes hand -in-hand.  If your trainer takes an interest in your gym life, he or she 
                    becomes part of your real life as well.

There are obvious rewards as a personal trainer. Owen loves to see people leave happy after achieving their goal (or even as they are working towards it.) There are challenges of long days, split hours, and finding time to work out himself, but the end result is worth it.

Owen is NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) certified; this involves renewing the certification to enhance his career. 

This of course is necessary, but Owen has something that no certification can give: people skills. 

(Although he can box jump a 35 inch box!) 
Imagine sitting down with your high school teacher who you literally did not see for about 20 years--and picking up like it was yesterday. Owen has what it takes to succeed as a personal trainer. I bet his clients leave feeling not just stronger, but purpose-filled in life. Now THAT'S my idea of wellness.


I'd like to take the time to give a shout out to the many people I may see in a week's time at Flying Hills Fitness and Colonial Fitness. These are dedicated individuals who obviously love what they are doing; they motivate me and keep me on track and I am very thankful for their presence in my life !
Ethe, Andrea, Bryon, Kate


Sunday, March 19, 2017

It had to be the spinach cupcakes

I'm sure they were the inspiration....for a career as 
a Registered Dietitian for Emily (Hartline) Craft!

Let me explain....
When Emily was in kindergarten I wanted to send her to school with a healthy snack, so I BAKED (didn't buy) spinach cupcakes. Fun! (said no one ever). I was teaching in the building at the time, and I just happened to go to the kindergarten classroom just after snack.  I proudly asked her teacher, Ginny McCartin, how Emily liked her snack and Ginny said, "Steph, I told her, 'Honey, you don't have to eat that.'" Ginny gave her a substitute treat, and it's only because Ginny is my dear friend that I could accept that.

Perhaps this started Emily on a mission to make sure that NO KID EVER had to endure this maternal well-intended torture.

Emily, (Central Catholic class of '06---yes, I taught her Freshman English), is a 2010 grad of the University of Delaware. She earned a B.S. in Dietetics; after graduation she completed a 1 year internship program where students experience rotations in clinical (hospital), food service, and community components of this profession. Upon completion of the internship and after sitting for boards (which means passing an extensive exam), Emily was now a Registered Dietitian.
Emily furthered her career scope by earning a Certification in Pediatrics. She also became licensed in her state, making her:

Emily Craft, RDN, CSP, LDN......That's a lot of alphabet!

She is currently working on her Master's Degree in Health Education from St. Joseph's University; this will open up even more opportunities.

One of Emily's first jobs was at Dupont Children's Hospital in Wilmington, Delaware.

There she was an Outpatient Pediatrics Weight Management and Adolescent Bariatrics Dietitian. (To clarify, bariatrics is the branch of medicine that deals with the control and treatment of obesity.) She saw patients at the hospital in conjunction with their pediatrician. She helped manage the children's food choices as well as educate both the kids and their parents about a healthy diet. Working with adolescents was a common ground for Emily and me, although she was preparing them for a serious surgery that could help them physically.

After 4 and a half years at Dupont, Emily Hartline became Emily Craft....and this involved a move to Baltimore, Maryland. Time to for a new job----still as a Dietitian, but with a different approach to healthy eating.

She is now a Retail Dietitian for Giant Foods. (Fortunately we were already Giant shoppers, so no loyalty switch was involved!)

Emily is a Giant Wellness Ambassador! Part of her 
job is seeing clients in the store. With them she
discusses concerns with diabetes, weight management,
picky eating, and heart-healthy choices. 
She conducts store tours to guide the clients to the 
"right" area of the store, and often has sampling
events and cooking demonstrations.

Emily especially enjoys the community outreach aspect of her job. She manages visits to schools (from preschool to college), rehab centers, and health fairs. We enjoyed  hearing her "Cooking With Beer" presentation last fall at the Annapolis Beer Fest!

Other presentations include " Label Reading for Health," "Oh Baby-- First Foods and More," Thriving with Diabetes and Pre-diabetes," and "School Time Nutrition."


There is even a glamorous aspect as a career as a Retail Dietitian. There are media events: she has contributed to an article in Prevention Magazine (April issue), and writes for online publications, including a blog.
Emily has appeared several times on a morning segment at Fox45News Baltimore.

This was a New Year's segment "Eat Healthy 2017."

There are many opportunities for Registered Dietitians. They can work in hospitals, schools, long-term care facilities, and sports centers. Some individuals choose a private practice. Some add classroom teaching to their repertoire! Emily says wherever food is involved, it is overseen by a Dietitian.

On a personal note, now my friends and colleagues can see why I have quinoa and chickpeas in the fridge and I choose oatmeal over home fries. Is there any other choice?

...although I do have my dark chocolate every night --  my Dietitian says it's OK ;)