1. 5 Music Artists That Will Put You at Ease

    By no means is this a “Top 5” list. It is simply five artists I suggest listening to if you want to relax.

    ·        Ben Howard

    o   An English Folk singer/songwriter who is known for using mostly an acoustic guitar to accompany some very serious lyrics. He’s been popular in England for a few years now, but only recently gained attention in the States when his songs were featured on episode of House.

    o   Album to check out: The Burgh Island

    ·        Florence and the Machine

    o   Also coming from England, Florence and the Machine have really only been around since 2009. They gained a lot of popularity thanks television both in England and the US. In the U.K., they gained a lot of support from BBC, promoting them on BBC Introducing, while in the US they received more recognition after Glee did a cover of their song “Dog Days Are Over”.

    o   Album to check out: Ceremonials

    ·        Allen Stone

    o   I have a feeling Allen Stone is going to become very big, soon. He is already praised by residents of Seattle, the city where he made a name for himself. He caught some more ears when he was featured on Macklemore’s album The Heist. The “hippie with soul” as he calls himself, is definitely one to check out if you’re looking for soothing, yet catchy soul music.

    o   Album to check out: Allen Stone

    ·        Lana Del Ray

    o   Possibly the most well-known artist on this list, Lana Del Rey comes from New York with a haunting, yet mesmerizing voice. It’s easy for anyone to like at least one of her songs, even if you only like one specific genre, because she joins so many types music together that you’re sure to like one of her songs.

    o   Album to check out: Born to Die

    ·        Bernhoft

    o   Bernhoft (Jarle Bernhoft being his full name) is a Norwegian musician who has been gaining fame through his YouTube videos, as well as appearances on Ellen and Conan. One of the coolest things about Bernhoft is his kick pedal loop machine. This device essentially allows him to be a one-man band by recording the sounds he makes and then playing them on a loop as he chooses.

    o   Album to check out: Solidarity Breaks

     

    I have also created a playlist on YouTube that features some songs from each of these artists for those that want to check them out.

    http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPPhDTUb0DEyvv3P_qkJW4sj-TNkEAG-m

     

    Written By: Patrick Ogden

     

  2. How to Traveling on a Budget

    Many of us love to travel, but on a student’s budget, that gets expensive fast. Use these tips to expand your horizons without draining your bank account.

    1. Transportation

    First, you need to figure out where you’re going and how to get there. If you’re traveling within Europe, try budget airlines like Ryanair and Easyjet. For other flights, be sure to use a price aggregator like Kayak to make sure you’re getting the best price.

    In the United States or the United Kingdom, try busses. Often, these are cheaper and just as fast as trains. Companies like Megabus (which runs fares starting at one pound/euro/dollar) and Bolt Bus often have deals. Actual rates I’ve gotten from Megabus include a $5 ticket from New York City to State College, PA, a $10 ticket from NYC to Baltimore, and a 4-pound ticket from London, England, to Cardiff, Wales. Consider finding a cheap fare and deciding your destination based on the cost of tickets!

    Trains are an option as well. They are more prevalent in Europe than in the United States; in Italy, for example, you can take anything from a rickety regional train to a high-speed train to many different destinations. The more local trains are slower and cheaper, but it might be worth the extra time to save a little money.

    Driving is also a possibility if you have access to a car. With several people traveling, the cost of gas might end up being cheaper for a group than getting tickets for another type of transport.

    Finally, be sure to map out your route using several different methods of transportation to figure out which one is actually the cheapest. You might be surprised!

    2. Accommodation

    After transportation, accommodation is probably the next most expensive part of traveling. If you know someone in the city that you’re visiting, see if you can stay over for a night or two.

    Hostels are a cheap alternative to hotels or motels, although the latter might be nearly as cheap if you have a group. Hostels are usually extremely inexpensive and you pay for only a bed to sleep in. Private rooms can be more expensive. While hostels are much more common in Europe, there are some in the United States as well, especially in urban areas.

    You can also check into camping. For the outdoors-minded, camping can be fun—but more importantly, free or close to it.

    3. Food

    Like transport and accommodations, food is a non-negotiable. Save money by packing lunches, buying at grocery stores rather than restaurants, and trying cheap local food, such as from a food cart. When I travel, I like to eat sandwich-type food for two meals a day and spend money getting something nice for the third meal. A bag of bread and a jar of peanut butter make a great cheap source of nutrition for those on a serious budget. Consider eating out at lunch (typically cheaper than dinner) or having picnic meals and splurging on a cheaper local delicacy, such as gelato or a croissant, for a snack.

    4. Attractions

    Attractions are one of the easiest ways to save money while traveling. Plan in advance. Check the websites of places you want to visit to see if they have free or reduced admission at certain times—the Guggenheim in New York City is free one night a week, while the Vatican museums are free on the last Sunday of each month. Some places accept donations, so you can give as much or as little as you want. The Internet is chock-full of resources for travelers: check Groupon, Google Offers, and Trip Advisor for coupons and ways to save money.

    5. Souvenirs

    Everyone wants something tangible to remember their trip by—but it doesn’t have to be a $25 t-shirt. Try collecting something small, cheap, and easy to carry. My boyfriend gets postcards; when I was in Italy last semester I collected a saint card from each church I visited. Save your ticket stubs and metro passes. Take lots of pictures and buy a frame to put them in. If you can paint or draw, get a notebook and draw what you see. Pick a pretty flower from a place that’s special to you and press it to preserve it. Get some candy or lotion at a grocery store, rather than from a souvenir shop. Or, get something you’re sure to use over and over, like a sweatshirt or an umbrella. Stay away from expensive tourist traps and street stands; instead, get off the beaten path and find an original souvenir.

    Be creative, and you’ll discover the perfect trinket to bring home.

    Written By: Olivia Cunningham

     

  3. Growing up is hard for our parents, too

    Believe it or not, our parents have trouble growing up.  Throughout our teenage years, they were just waiting for us to leave the nest and get out of their hairs. Yet, as we age and get older, they do as well and have a hard time letting go from their parenting role and transitioning to their new role.

     Finding themselves

    For the past 18 or so years, they have catered to our every needs and have provided us with everything that we could dream of. They were the caretakers and have flourished in their role as parents. However, now it’s time for their role to change. Just as we kids are trying to find ourselves in this new world that we are discovering, so are they. In the time period where they have no grandchildren and no kids at home, it can be lonely. They have to search for a new identity and a new purpose.

    Letting go

    The twenties brings fourth a lot of uncertainty.  There are career paths to figure out, relationships that have potential longevity, and our lives are finally starting to take the course that we want it to take. All that said, in order for our lives to go on our parents have to let go. That means forming a family that doesn’t directly include them, having a career that they know nothing about, and starting a life different than what they imagined. They have to let go of the old and embrace the new.

    Start Living 

    Our parents have worked their whole life, now it’s time to live.  If they’re a good parent, they have put a lot of their time and energy into their kids. Now, it’s time for them to refocus that energy into themselves. Your kids don’t want you to just sit at home, your kids want you to enjoy your life so that we can feel like we can enjoy ours, too. Become our role models by doing those things that have always been on your bucket list and you have always wanted. Growing up is hard, but living should be easy.

    Written By: Andrea Bazemore

     

  4. Cities can be green, too

    When you think of Los Angeles, New York City, or even where I’m from, Houston, the first thing that might come to mind is pollution. Large cities like these are filled with people, which lead to massive amounts of pollution. What some people don’t realize, though, is that there are places within these cities that are considered “green” and environmentally friendly.

    Houston, for example, has the wonderful Discovery Green Park located in the heart of downtown. Surrounded by large buildings and skyscrapers, this green plot of land brings nature to the most populated city in Texas. Filled with beautiful landscape, trees and greenery, this park has something for all ages to enjoy. Families can sit back and enjoy a free concert, have a picnic on the lawn, play on the playground and the Gateway Fountain, or even go kayaking on the lake. The park is filled with awesome artwork and sculptures, too!

    I am thankful for this park not only because it’s green, but also because it allows people to de-stress and enjoy the natural environment. That is something that people forget to do, nowadays.

    My friend Aerin and I took a trip to Discovery Green Park the other day, and it was like being on vacation in our own city. If you are in need of a “green” day, search for and visit a local park or conservatory. It’s so refreshing!

    Written By: Sydney Stavinoha

     

  5. Protecting the Rights of Parents with Disabilities

    What defines a parent? Is being a parent about whether your limbs work perfectly? Is being a parent about using the same techniques as everyone else, even if different ones work just as well? I think most people will agree that being a parent is about being able to love and provide for your children. Despite this, evidence has come into the limelight recently that parents with disabilities are highly likely to be discriminated against or have their parental rights disrespected.

    First of all, there aren’t as many limitations for parents with disabilities as you may think. For many years, there has been assistive technology for parents with disabilities, and this technology improves every day. For people who have problems reaching over a crib there are special cribs that open from the side, and have special child locks. Blind children and parents are given toys and baby supplies that come with audio assistance technology, and babies of blind parents learn to guide their parent’s hands to milk bottles. Not to mention, who hasn’t used a nanny every once in a while? There are even cases of “able-bodied” parents using techniques of parents with disabilitiesto make raising their children easier. For example, even though many deaf parents are viewed as incompetent, many hearing parents teach their children sign language so that they can communicate.

    Secondly, when a parent or would-be parent with a disability is discriminated against or has their parenting skills brought into question, it is rarely done so using concrete evidence. In 2010, Erika Johnson and her husband who are both blind gave birth to a daughter. Erika had trouble nursing her daughter. The nurse soothed Erika by telling her that many mothers have trouble nursing at first, which is completely true. The nurse then called CPS. Their daughter, Mikaela, was put into foster care for 57 days. The Johnson’s were able to get Mikaela back, but every moment spent with the parents is vital to a newborn.

    There is also no evidence that a parent having a disability negatively affects the child.  In fact, there is evidence to the contrary. Children of parents with disabilities grow up with the disability, so they can’t tell the difference. In turn, this causes children of people with disabilities to be more open-minded and kind towards people that society perceives as different or strange. Also, many children of parents with disabilities learn to be more independent. This isn’t because their parents aren’t taking care of them, but because independence is extremely important to people with disabilities, and children learn from the example their parents set.

    I and many other people with disabilities want to be a dad someday, but there are a lot of barriers to knock down before that happens. Discrimination against parents with disabilities needs to be stopped before it has the chance to occur. We cannot to have more parents and children hurt by the ignorance and fear of people who know very little about them.

    Written By: Eric Edling

     

  6. The Fear of Commitment

    We aren’t born with the knowledge of how to be great at relationships, but we aren’t born with the fear of relationships either. That fear is grown out of our own experiences. Things that we’ve seen in our lifetime have allowed us to have fears of commitment. These fears allow us to break it off before something gets too serious, convince ourselves that dating short term is best, and delay us from finding true love. Welcome to the world of commitment phobia-the fear of commitment.

    The reality

    Relationships aren’t a walk in the park. There’s so much work that is put into a relationship, it’s understandable that people would have their fears. We have this fictionalized idea of a fairytale romance or a romantic love story like the Notebook. What we fail to realize is the reality is much more bleak. The idea of only having one person in your life for the rest of your life can be daunting.

    Believe

    Despite all of our fears with commitment, it isn’t a death sentence. It’s not the end of the individual, and someone out there can value you for who you are. There’s a special person out there that will treat your heart right and gain your confidence back about love. You are worthy of love and love is worthy of you. But before you find love, you have to believe in it.

    Only when you are ready

    Don’t fear commitment but only commit when you are ready. It’s a big decision to be with someone for a long period of time. You’re deciding to not to be there for the present, but stay for the future. You will endure the good, the bad, and the ugly, which is something you might not be immediately prepared for. The longer you are in the relationship, the more your love will grow and so will your heart.

    Be comfortable with commitment

    Commitment is an idea that you have to be comfortable with. The idea of being with someone for a long period of time is incredibly nerve wrecking. However, the reality of being with someone for a long time is incredible. When you find that person who will love no matter what and be with you through it all, it will eliminate all your fears and allow you to do nothing but love.

    Written By: Andrea Bazemore

     

  7. Debunking the Protestant Work Ethic

    We have this idea in America that if you’re not working, then you are useless to society. A once dashing employee can go from somebody to nobody the instant they are unemployed. This mantra that we have is not only hurtful but it’s incorrect.

    It’s everywhere 

    It’s why we think the elderly are useless, why we don’t take vacation days, and the reason we don’t allow ourselves to breathe. We are an on-the-go society and if you’re not working harder, better, faster, stronger, then you are going nowhere. This kind of ideology hurts our society because it makes those who are out of work at the moment feel like they can’t contribute to society because they don’t have an employer. This feeling can also hurt the younger generation as well. If the youth only sees work, they will only become work. Feelings and emotions get tossed aside because it’s not valued in the workplace. Our society starts to breed employees and stops producing people.

    Think about it

    Just become someone is not employed does not mean that they are worthless. Employment doesn’t equal value; employment only guarantees a paycheck. And if it’s money that we are so concentrated on, then it’s time for us to reevaluate what we are treasuring in society today. Working a stressful job for less than you deserve isn’t worth the work at all, in fact, it can be damaging. Performing tasks and getting a wage that doesn’t amount to the work put in can leave someone feeling satisfactory. This feeling makes people not value whoever they are and denies people of what they are really worth.

    Revitalizing our idea of work

    Working is good, it can provide us with a feeling of satisfaction, but working isn’t everything. A job isn’t people’s end all be all, it’s just a job. When we devalue the people who are out of work, retired, or taking some time off, we are taking value away from being human. You can work your whole life for a company, and still lose everything. A job is just a title, and a person is more than a title; a person has a purpose. Of course we need money to survive and we need people to have jobs, but there is life beyond a job or a career. Life doesn’t start and end at your job title; it starts and ends when you allow yourself to live.

    Written By: Andrea Bazemore

     

  8. Conservation and The Lorax

    About a hundred people of all ages gathered in Milford, PA on Saturday for an outdoor showing of the film The Lorax.

    Based on the Dr. Seuss book of the same name, the movie focuses on the importance of conservation. It depicts a world in which all of the trees have been destroyed, and one boy’s quest to discover what happened to them and how to create a better world. The film showing took place at Grey Towers National Historic Site, which is fittingly known as the birthplace of the American conservation movement. Grey Towers was the home of Gifford Pinchot, governor of Pennsylvania and founder of the National Forest Service.

    Some say that title character the Lorax, the furry, mustachioed creature who “speaks for the trees,” is based on Pinchot, who experienced firsthand the dangers of deforestation through his family’s logging business and went on to fight for the creation and expansion of the Forest Service.

    The Lorax tells the story of how a young man set out to make his fortune, unintentionally harmed the environment, and then, powered by greed, systematically deforested the area. Years later, a teenage boy, motivated by romance, sets out to find out about the deforestation and plant a new tree. He must go up against a powerful businessman, whose business will be ruined by the non-polluted air produced by trees. The animated movie has a strong and diverse ensemble cast, featuring Danny DeVito, Ed Helms, Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, and Betty White, among others.

    The Lorax was the second of three films in the second summer of free outdoor conservation offerings at Grey Towers. Interpretive director Lori McKean said that it was the first family-oriented movie that was chosen. It seemed to be a popular choice: many young families were there, sporting Lorax mustaches made by the Forest Service staff and decorated by the children.At a time in which forest fires are raging in many areas of the country, it is as important to be conservation-minded as it was for Ted in Thneedville or Gifford Pinchot in 1910.

    How do you promote conservation in your community? Leave a comment and tell us!

    Written by Olivia Cunningham

     

  9. Avoiding boredom in a relationship

    A relationship should be full of passion, excitement, and fun. Yet, for a lot of couples, this just isn’t the case. We have this ideal of what a couple should be, how they should act, and we adhere to these strict standards. This is why so many couples are in a rut and the reason why so many couples don’t survive. The spark is crucial to having a relationship survive; without it, a relationship is doomed. This is why we must avoid boredom in a relationship at all cost.

    Use your imagination

    If you are constantly doing the same things, you will definitely get bored. We know this very well from childhood. Whenever we got a new toy, we would be bored a week later. The spark of a relationship lasts a lot longer than getting a new gadget; yet the rules are still the same. There has to be an interest or there will be nothing at all. When we were young we couldn’t get a new toy every week, we had to use our imagination and find new ways to enjoy whatever toy we had. This is exactly how we have to reshape our thinking about relationships.

    Set a new schedule

    One way to stop the boredom is to stop being predictable. If people know every move that you’re going to make, there’s no element of surprise. Eventually, people will get stuck in a rut and search for something more. Get out of your shell and try something new. Life is an adventure so be adventurous.

    In order to live, you have to trust

    In order for adventure to happen in your relationship, you have to learn to let go and to trust. It takes a leap of faith to go beyond the ordinary and experience something new. You have to put trust in your partner that they will have your back no matter what. Also, you have to trust yourself that you can have a good time outside your comfort zone. It can be scary at first, but a little faith can go a long way.

    Forget what you know

    We have this ideal of what is “couple” behavior. Holding hands, romantic dates, and lavish weekends are nice, but they get old. Forgo what’s acceptable and stop being ordinary. Go exercising together, learn a new recipe, or stay in and play Xbox together. What ever you do, do it. Step into the world of the other person in the relationship. If one person likes to do arts and crafts, makes something together. If the other is into comics, go to a comic book store together. A relationship is two lives together, not separate.

    The solution

    Keeping a relationship interesting shouldn’t have to be a lot of work. It should come naturally. Loving someone doesn’t start when they pick you up at 8 or end when a goodnight kiss is given. Love is alive no matter what. Ditch the stereotype of what a couple should do and start loving life together. Whether it’s sweating up a storm or shining like a star, the solution to always staying interested is always doing something interesting.

    Written By: Andrea Bazemore