Cold and Flu Season

Cold and flu season officially starts in October and lasts until April, but it is possible to catch the common cold or influenza any time of the year.

Not sure what you might have? Check your symptoms on the handy chart below from the U.S. National Institute of Health! In either case, you shouldn’t come to school if you’re experiencing a cold or the flu. Focus on recovery and try to keep from infecting anyone else. If you have to leave the house, consider wearing a face mask and be sure to wash your hands often.

Consult with your doctor if you have a health concern of any kind.

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

Papers Due? Try the Writing Lab for Help!

Do you have a paper to revise? Are you trying to figure out MLA and APA citations? Would you like to brainstorm ideas for a scholarship application essay?

The Writing Lab can help! Stop by the Center for Academic Success (CAS, Room D120), where the lab is located, to consult one-on-one with writing faculty:

  • Get help with everything from starting on your academic paper to citing sources correctly.
  • Faculty will not proofread for you, but we can help you learn how to proofread.
  • Sessions last 15 minutes on average. Bring your assignment instructions with you so that Writing Lab faculty can help you effectively.
  • You can also find many helpful writing handouts and tutorials online.

Take advantage of this FREE resource for Parkland College students. We’re here for your success.

Writing Lab Hours
Monday–Thursday, 9 a.m.–4:50 p.m.
Friday, 9 a.m.–1:50 p.m.

[Dr. Umeeta Sadarangani teaches English 101, Humanities 109, and a variety of literature courses, and she serves as the CAS writing specialist and the Writing Lab director.]

Music, art, fun, and social causes at Pygmalion 2017

Parkland College students and staff enjoyed the 13th annual Pygmalion in late September, an event that has outgrown its “festival” label, continuously expanding its borders into the arts and technology, while showcasing outstanding local and national musical acts and so much more. And did we mention the food and beverage options? Only the best! Great job, Seth Fein (Parkland alumnus – yeah!), Patrick Singer, Justine Bursoni, and all who put their hearts and souls into making Pygmalion one of the reasons we are lucky to live in Champaign-Urbana.

Parkland highlights:

Tech Fest
Parkland digital media student Ryan Marshall demonstrated physics and fluid simulations that he and other students worked on in class using Autodesk Maya. Ryan was in illustrious company – other demos were from Beckman Institute, NCSA, and Volition.

Made Fest
Parkland Art Studio Collective participated in this curated marketplace featuring handmade and vintage items, selling works in a variety of media made by Parkland art students. Running the Parkland booth gave students the experience of participating in an art fair. Art students Daniel Quinn, Erin Rogers, Clare Margiotta, Joan Gary, Neda Sroka, Ray Irani, and Ruta Rauber sold their exquisite artwork—jewelry, painting, ceramics, textiles—and put in long hours setting up, staffing, and tearing down the booth. Lisa Costello, Denise Seif, and Laura O’Donnell were Parkland faculty Made Fest champs for coordinating and running the booth.

Lit Fest
Parkland English Professor and #1 Pygmalion fangirl Amy Penne was on the Lit Fest bill—along with mega literary superstar George Saunders (Lincoln in the Bardo)—sharing her new short essay: “A Fluff Piece: Or, Where Does Sex Education End and an Oedipal Complex Begin? One Midwestern Mom’s Query.”

PygHack

New this year at Pygmalion, a 24-hour hackathon with the wide-open theme of engaging coders, designers, engineers, and dreamers with a challenge to come up with an idea that benefits the community. Sara Stone, Parkland’s Tech Services Desk coordinator, served as a judge alongside an illustrious panel of local tech rock stars.

Of 11 projects submitted, top awards went to a proposal for connecting surplus food at grocery stores with food pantries and a proposal for mapping safe routes in C-U using crime frequency data. The grand prize went to SpreadBread, an intuitive food-sharing app that connects eateries, restaurants, and grocery stores to local homeless shelters and foodbanks. Sara’s vote went to SpreadBread because it seemed to have the potential to make the most positive impact on the community. Check out all the entries at https://pyghack2017.devpost.com/submissions and prepare to be inspired by the passion, teamwork, and innovation you see there.

PygTech judge Sara Stone checked out the experimental sounds of Animal Collective on Pygmalion’s main stage on Friday night.

Thanks to all the Parkland peeps who participated, attended, and enjoyed Pygmalion! See you next year.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Thanks to earlier detection  (via screening and increased awareness) and better treatment options, a woman’s risk of dying from breast cancer has dropped significantly (38 percent between the late 1980s and 2014, according to the American Cancer Society). Another way of saying it:  over the last 25 years, 297,300 fewer people have died due to this illness.

Much more work must be done, however, as breast cancer is still the second leading cause of cancer death among women. The chance that a woman will die from breast cancer is about 1 in 37 (about 2.7 percent). Only lung cancer kills more women each year. A large racial /socioeconomic gap in breast-cancer mortality also remains, with African-American women having 42 percent higher death rates compared to whites.

If you or someone you love is concerned about developing breast cancer, have been recently diagnosed, are going through treatment, or if you are trying to stay well after treatment, please consult with your doctor and refer to recommendations set out by the American Cancer Society.

Interested in how to help? Visit the American Cancer Society’s “Get Involved” page for options on how to get involved:.

**The above information was compiled from resources available at the American Cancer Society. **

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

Why Texting + Driving = NO

***A number of blog posts will be repeated throughout the year. This post was originally published on March 30, 2017.***

Here’s a stat for you: Use your phone for anything while you’re driving, and you QUADRUPLE your likelihood of crashing.*

That means, if you do this, you’re four times more likely to receive serious injury (requiring hospitalization) than if you didn’t. Why?

Driving and cell phone conversations both require a great deal of thought. When doing them at the same time, your brain is unable to do either well. For example, it’s nearly impossible to read a book and have a phone conversation. So driving and using a phone often results in crashes due to delayed braking times and not seeing traffic signals.

Cell phone use is particularly dangerous because of how often and how long we use our phones when driving. Applying makeup, adjusting the stereo, or reaching for an object that’s fallen onto the floorboards are also dangerous actions when behind the wheel, but they’re typically executed in short bursts throughout a car ride. Cell phone use, on the other hand, is something that can fill up a whole trip, adding a sustained level of risk over a long period of travel.

Texting and driving is a serious problem, and one that almost all of us are guilty of. Too many of us subscribe to the “it won’t happen to me” mentality. Just remember that earlier statistic, though: While it may end up just being a fender bender, serious injury or death are probable risks as well.

Need some assistance keeping off your phone behind the wheel? You can download an app, like DriveMode for AT&T carriers, that prevents you from sending or receiving calls and texts when you’re driving. While it won’t prevent you from scrolling or checking social media, it’s a start.

*Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

Go ahead, get ahead.