Feb 052013
 

Author: Allison LeCain

As college students, it may seem like we can’t get enough safe-sex education. The fact of the matter is, most people at this stage in life are trying to prevent pregnancy.

 

With Valentine’s Day approaching, now is as good of a time as ever to make sure that young love stays just that – young. College is stressful enough without having to worry about unplanned pregnancies, and everyone can play a part at prevention.

 

With so many types of birth control to choose from, it’s important to go to a doctor to talk through the health risks and benefits of each prevention plan, according to Sharon Kennedy, a nurse practitioner at Hartshorn Health Center. Here College Avenue has laid out the contraceptive options to help people choose.

 

The Pill

 

The pill must be taken every day at the same time to be the most effective. It is easy to get with a prescription and can be as

 

Different kinds of birth control pills.

Different kinds of birth control pills. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

cheap as $10 a month. The pill is taken by females and contains hormones already found in the body – estrogen and progesterone. The regulation of these hormones keeps eggs from leaving the ovaries and also makes cervical mucus thicker, making it harder for sperm to swim through. The pill is one of the most common forms of birth control and is extremely effective.

 

“I know it’s over 99 percent effective, unlike condoms,” said Tiffany Martinez, junior graphic design student. “I feel like anything can happen with a condom, so I trust the pill.”

 

While this birth control is 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy if taken correctly, but about 9 out of 100 women on the pill get pregnant due to not taking as directed. It’s important to be aware that some medicines, such as antibiotics and anti-seizure medication, make the pill less effective. There are some side effects to the pill, but there are so many different kinds of dosages to choose from if negative effects occur.

 

“I think the pill is popular with a lot of women because there are a variety of pills on the market. So if one doesn’t work we can usually fix whatever side-effect they’re having and find a pill that does work for them,” Kennedy said.

 

NuvaRing

 

This is a small ring that is self-inserted into the vagina once a month that stays in for three weeks at a time. It is left out for a

 

Image of vaginal birth control device NuvaRing

NuvaRing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

week, and then a new one is inserted. You can get it with a prescription and the cost ranges from $15 to $80 a month. It works the same way as the pill and is just as effective. The ring is good for people who can’t remember to take a pill at the same time every day.

 

Kennedy explains that it is very easy to take in and out yourself and doesn’t require a doctor’s help like an IUD does.

 

“You can’t put it in wrong. I have women take a tampon out of the applicator, put the ring in the applicator, and just stick it in like a tampon,” Kennedy said. “It doesn’t matter where it is in your vagina. If you can’t feel it, it’s in right.”

 

Patch

 

This is a small plastic patch that sticks to your skin. It can be put on the abdomen, hip, arm, or lower back. It is best to put it somewhere with little fat because then the estrogen and progesterone are easily absorbed. They cost $15 to $80 a month with a prescription and need to be changed every week for three weeks and left off for an additional week before restarting the cycle. It is also 99 percent effective if used correctly.

 

Implant

 

The implant is a match-sized rod that is placed inside the arm, just under the skin. It’s inserted by a doctor and can be left in up to three years. At that time a new one can be put in if desired. While it costs $400 to $800, it’s a one-time fee instead of a monthly cost. This birth control only contains progesterone, so it is good for people who have negative reactions to estrogen birth control. It’s 99 percent effective. One of its benefits is that you never have to worry about taking something every day, every week, or even every month for pregnancy prevention.

 

One of the downsides to the implant is that women may experience a lot of irregular bleeding.

 

“Some will not long have periods, some women will have monthly periods, and some are more irregular,” Kennedy said.

 

Sponge

 

This is made of foam containing spermicide. It is inserted into the vagina before intercourse and should remain in for a few hours after to be effective. It’s about two inches in diameter and has a loop attached for removal. A pack of three is $10 and can be bought without a prescription. The sponge prevents pregnancy by preventing the sperm to get to the egg by covering up the cervix, blocking the uterus and releasing a spermicide that keeps sperm from moving. When always using the sponge correctly it is about 91 percent effective. When used incorrectly it’s only 88 percent effective, so following the directions is very important.

 

“It’s just like a condom or any kind of spermicide barrier you use – you can’t put it on after you’ve had sexual contact,” Kennedy said. “Even if I was advising somebody about using the sponge I would still advise them to use a condom as well.”

 

Cervical cap

 

This is a silicone cup that’s inserted in the vagina and must be used with spermicide gel to be effective. It lasts up to two years, costing between $60 and $75. It works by blocking the opening of the uterus and releases spermicide to stop sperm from moving. Although it helps to preventing pregnancy, it is not as effective as other methods. When using the cap, 14 out of 100 women will still get pregnant.

 

Withdrawal (pulling out)

 

In this method, the man will pull his penis out of the vagina before ejaculation. While the idea of this may seem sound, it is not a very effective use of birth control as there is semen in pre-ejaculation fluids that can get a woman pregnant. Even though it’s not very effective, Kennedy said that almost everyone has used this as a form of birth control at least once in their life.

 

“It isn’t 100 percent effective, but unfortunately people still use it,” Kennedy said. “It’s not very effective. Around here we call those people ‘parents’.”

 

Abstinence

 

Abstinence is the most effective form of birth control. People who abstain from having sexual intercourse have zero risk of pregnancy. There is no cost associated with this method and no medical side-effects.

 

Prezerwatywa, z angielskiej wiki

Condom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Male Condom

 

Condoms are the only birth control method that protects against sexually transmitted diseases for sexually active individuals. Latex condoms are worn by men to collect pre-ejaculate and semen when a man ejaculates. As long as people are not allergic to latex, condoms are safe for everyone to use; plastic condoms are a good alternative for those who are allergic. Condoms are 98 percent effective when used correctly, but that number can increase if used with other birth control methods.

 

There is a risk of the condom breaking. In the case that this happens, women should look into emergency contraception options. Condoms are one of the few birth controls that is used by men.

 

“The thing with everything else aside from the condom, is I feel like it’s too much of a responsibility on someone else,” said Niles Hachmeister, sophomore psychology student. “ I would like to take my ownership into my own hands.”

 

Condoms do not require a prescription and they are relatively inexpensive. Depending on the package size, condoms can cost from a few dollars each to less than a dollar. They can be bought at drugstores, family planning clinics, supermarkets, and some vending machines.

 

Morning-After Pill

 

If a woman did not use any birth control or her birth control method failed (condom broke, diaphragm slipped out of place, partner didn’t pull out in time), an emergency contraceptive is a smart option. Up to five days after unprotected sex, the woman can take the morning-after pill.

 

The morning-after pill is not an abortion pill, but instead it is a progestin pill that works by keeping a woman from ovulating. The sooner the pill is taken after unprotected intercourse, the more effective it is. It does not protect against STDs. Women can get the morning-after pill without a prescription as long as they are over the age of 17. The pill can cost anywhere from $10 to $70.

 

IUD

 

An IUD, or intrauterine device, is a “t-shaped” device inserted into a woman’s uterus to prevent pregnancy. There are two types of IUDs: Mirena, which is made of plastic and is effective for five years, and ParaGard, which contains copper and is effective for 12 years. Mirena affect the sperm’s access to the egg either by thickening a woman’s cervical mucus, blocking the sperm’s movement. ParaGard is hormone-free; copper, acting as spermicide, is released continuously into the body to prevent pregnancy.

 

Less than one out of 100 women get pregnant when using an IUD and the ParaGard IUD can even be used as emergency birth control (reducing risk of pregnancy by 99.9 percent) as long as it is inserted within five days after unprotected intercourse.

 

Most women are able to use IUDs, but women should talk to their health care provider to determine if an IUD is safe for them. IUDs do not protect against STDs and there is a risk of the device falling out, so it is important to check every few days for the first few months. IUDs also must be inserted by a health care provider.

 

“It is a misconception that only women who have gone through childbirth are eligible for an IUD,” said the Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ Quality Management Team. “IUDs represent one of the safest, most reliable and cost effective forms of reversible birth control on the market.” The price is a one-time cost averaging $500 to $1000, which includes the cost for the medical exam, the IUD, the insertion of the device, and follow-up visits to your doctor.

 

Diaphragm

 

This shallow, silicone cup is inserted into the vagina to block the opening to the uterus, preventing pregnancy. The effectiveness of the diaphragm is dependent on correct usage. If women always use the diaphragm as directed, only six out of 100 women will get pregnant annually. Effectiveness can also be increased by making sure that the cervix is covered before you have sex.

 

It is recommended to use spermicide in conjunction with a diaphragm as birth control. Some benefits include immediate effectiveness, no effect on female hormones, and it can be inserted hours ahead of time. Because the woman inserts it herself, it is convenient. Be careful though; the diaphragm can be difficult to insert, pushed out of placed and it must be inserted each time a woman has intercourse.

 

To get a diaphragm, women must visit a health care provider to get a prescription. An examination costs between $50 and $200, but the diaphragm itself only costs $15 to $75.

 

Shot

 

For those not afraid of needles, the birth control shot may be a good option. The shot is an injection of the hormone progestin into the body. The shots are effective against pregnancy for three months and if a woman gets the shot within seven days after the start of her period, she will be protected immediately. Less than one woman out of 100 gets pregnant when they use the shot.

 

“Most patients request that the Depo Provera birth control injection be given to them in their arm, but some patients experience less discomfort receiving the injection in their hip,” said the Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ Quality Management Team.

 

Like any other medication, there are risks. Irregular bleeding is the most common side effect and it does not protect against STDs, but the shot is overall safe and simple. The shot does not contain estrogen and is a good choice for women who cannot take estrogen.

 

Before getting the injection, women must get a prescription from their doctor or health care provider which costs $35 to $250. After the examination, the shot itself costs between $35 and $100 each visit (keep in mind you must get a shot every three months for it to be effective!

 

Spermicide

 

Spermicide is a cheap birth control method that women insert into their vagina. Spermicides are available in different forms (creams, films, foams, gels, etc.), but they all contain chemicals that stop sperm from moving. According to the Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ Quality Management Team, spermicide alone or combined with withdrawal is not as effective as other birth control methods; even when women use spermicide as directed, 15 out of 100 will get pregnant annually.

 

Spermicide does not have an effect on a woman’s hormones and it is very easy to get. It does not require a prescription and applicator kits cost approximately $8. Spermicide is available at family planning clinics, drugstores, and some supermarkets.

 

Spermicide does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases and women need to wait 10 minutes after insertion to have sex. Spermicide is also only effective for about an hour after it is inserted.

 

To make an appointment to obtain a birth control prescription or talk with an expert, call the Women’s Clinic at Hartshorn Health Center at 970.491.1754.

 

Contraceptive choices: Your right and responsibility to choose

 Beats, Features, The Cache, The Well  Comments Off on Contraceptive choices: Your right and responsibility to choose
Feb 052013
 

Author: Allison LeCain

As college students, it may seem like we can’t get enough safe-sex education. The fact of the matter is, most people at this stage in life are trying to prevent pregnancy.

 

With Valentine’s Day approaching, now is as good of a time as ever to make sure that young love stays just that – young. College is stressful enough without having to worry about unplanned pregnancies, and everyone can play a part at prevention.

 

With so many types of birth control to choose from, it’s important to go to a doctor to talk through the health risks and benefits of each prevention plan, according to Sharon Kennedy, a nurse practitioner at Hartshorn Health Center. Here College Avenue has laid out the contraceptive options to help people choose.

 

The Pill

 

The pill must be taken every day at the same time to be the most effective. It is easy to get with a prescription and can be as

 

Different kinds of birth control pills.

Different kinds of birth control pills. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

cheap as $10 a month. The pill is taken by females and contains hormones already found in the body – estrogen and progesterone. The regulation of these hormones keeps eggs from leaving the ovaries and also makes cervical mucus thicker, making it harder for sperm to swim through. The pill is one of the most common forms of birth control and is extremely effective.

 

“I know it’s over 99 percent effective, unlike condoms,” said Tiffany Martinez, junior graphic design student. “I feel like anything can happen with a condom, so I trust the pill.”

 

While this birth control is 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy if taken correctly, but about 9 out of 100 women on the pill get pregnant due to not taking as directed. It’s important to be aware that some medicines, such as antibiotics and anti-seizure medication, make the pill less effective. There are some side effects to the pill, but there are so many different kinds of dosages to choose from if negative effects occur.

 

“I think the pill is popular with a lot of women because there are a variety of pills on the market. So if one doesn’t work we can usually fix whatever side-effect they’re having and find a pill that does work for them,” Kennedy said.

 

NuvaRing

 

This is a small ring that is self-inserted into the vagina once a month that stays in for three weeks at a time. It is left out for a

 

Image of vaginal birth control device NuvaRing

NuvaRing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

week, and then a new one is inserted. You can get it with a prescription and the cost ranges from $15 to $80 a month. It works the same way as the pill and is just as effective. The ring is good for people who can’t remember to take a pill at the same time every day.

 

Kennedy explains that it is very easy to take in and out yourself and doesn’t require a doctor’s help like an IUD does.

 

“You can’t put it in wrong. I have women take a tampon out of the applicator, put the ring in the applicator, and just stick it in like a tampon,” Kennedy said. “It doesn’t matter where it is in your vagina. If you can’t feel it, it’s in right.”

 

Patch

 

This is a small plastic patch that sticks to your skin. It can be put on the abdomen, hip, arm, or lower back. It is best to put it somewhere with little fat because then the estrogen and progesterone are easily absorbed. They cost $15 to $80 a month with a prescription and need to be changed every week for three weeks and left off for an additional week before restarting the cycle. It is also 99 percent effective if used correctly.

 

Implant

 

The implant is a match-sized rod that is placed inside the arm, just under the skin. It’s inserted by a doctor and can be left in up to three years. At that time a new one can be put in if desired. While it costs $400 to $800, it’s a one-time fee instead of a monthly cost. This birth control only contains progesterone, so it is good for people who have negative reactions to estrogen birth control. It’s 99 percent effective. One of its benefits is that you never have to worry about taking something every day, every week, or even every month for pregnancy prevention.

 

One of the downsides to the implant is that women may experience a lot of irregular bleeding.

 

“Some will not long have periods, some women will have monthly periods, and some are more irregular,” Kennedy said.

 

Sponge

 

This is made of foam containing spermicide. It is inserted into the vagina before intercourse and should remain in for a few hours after to be effective. It’s about two inches in diameter and has a loop attached for removal. A pack of three is $10 and can be bought without a prescription. The sponge prevents pregnancy by preventing the sperm to get to the egg by covering up the cervix, blocking the uterus and releasing a spermicide that keeps sperm from moving. When always using the sponge correctly it is about 91 percent effective. When used incorrectly it’s only 88 percent effective, so following the directions is very important.

 

“It’s just like a condom or any kind of spermicide barrier you use – you can’t put it on after you’ve had sexual contact,” Kennedy said. “Even if I was advising somebody about using the sponge I would still advise them to use a condom as well.”

 

Cervical cap

 

This is a silicone cup that’s inserted in the vagina and must be used with spermicide gel to be effective. It lasts up to two years, costing between $60 and $75. It works by blocking the opening of the uterus and releases spermicide to stop sperm from moving. Although it helps to preventing pregnancy, it is not as effective as other methods. When using the cap, 14 out of 100 women will still get pregnant.

 

Withdrawal (pulling out)

 

In this method, the man will pull his penis out of the vagina before ejaculation. While the idea of this may seem sound, it is not a very effective use of birth control as there is semen in pre-ejaculation fluids that can get a woman pregnant. Even though it’s not very effective, Kennedy said that almost everyone has used this as a form of birth control at least once in their life.

 

“It isn’t 100 percent effective, but unfortunately people still use it,” Kennedy said. “It’s not very effective. Around here we call those people ‘parents’.”

 

Abstinence

 

Abstinence is the most effective form of birth control. People who abstain from having sexual intercourse have zero risk of pregnancy. There is no cost associated with this method and no medical side-effects.

 

Prezerwatywa, z angielskiej wiki

Condom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Male Condom

 

Condoms are the only birth control method that protects against sexually transmitted diseases for sexually active individuals. Latex condoms are worn by men to collect pre-ejaculate and semen when a man ejaculates. As long as people are not allergic to latex, condoms are safe for everyone to use; plastic condoms are a good alternative for those who are allergic. Condoms are 98 percent effective when used correctly, but that number can increase if used with other birth control methods.

 

There is a risk of the condom breaking. In the case that this happens, women should look into emergency contraception options. Condoms are one of the few birth controls that is used by men.

 

“The thing with everything else aside from the condom, is I feel like it’s too much of a responsibility on someone else,” said Niles Hachmeister, sophomore psychology student. “ I would like to take my ownership into my own hands.”

 

Condoms do not require a prescription and they are relatively inexpensive. Depending on the package size, condoms can cost from a few dollars each to less than a dollar. They can be bought at drugstores, family planning clinics, supermarkets, and some vending machines.

 

Morning-After Pill

 

If a woman did not use any birth control or her birth control method failed (condom broke, diaphragm slipped out of place, partner didn’t pull out in time), an emergency contraceptive is a smart option. Up to five days after unprotected sex, the woman can take the morning-after pill.

 

The morning-after pill is not an abortion pill, but instead it is a progestin pill that works by keeping a woman from ovulating. The sooner the pill is taken after unprotected intercourse, the more effective it is. It does not protect against STDs. Women can get the morning-after pill without a prescription as long as they are over the age of 17. The pill can cost anywhere from $10 to $70.

 

IUD

 

An IUD, or intrauterine device, is a “t-shaped” device inserted into a woman’s uterus to prevent pregnancy. There are two types of IUDs: Mirena, which is made of plastic and is effective for five years, and ParaGard, which contains copper and is effective for 12 years. Mirena affect the sperm’s access to the egg either by thickening a woman’s cervical mucus, blocking the sperm’s movement. ParaGard is hormone-free; copper, acting as spermicide, is released continuously into the body to prevent pregnancy.

 

Less than one out of 100 women get pregnant when using an IUD and the ParaGard IUD can even be used as emergency birth control (reducing risk of pregnancy by 99.9 percent) as long as it is inserted within five days after unprotected intercourse.

 

Most women are able to use IUDs, but women should talk to their health care provider to determine if an IUD is safe for them. IUDs do not protect against STDs and there is a risk of the device falling out, so it is important to check every few days for the first few months. IUDs also must be inserted by a health care provider.

 

“It is a misconception that only women who have gone through childbirth are eligible for an IUD,” said the Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ Quality Management Team. “IUDs represent one of the safest, most reliable and cost effective forms of reversible birth control on the market.” The price is a one-time cost averaging $500 to $1000, which includes the cost for the medical exam, the IUD, the insertion of the device, and follow-up visits to your doctor.

 

Diaphragm

 

This shallow, silicone cup is inserted into the vagina to block the opening to the uterus, preventing pregnancy. The effectiveness of the diaphragm is dependent on correct usage. If women always use the diaphragm as directed, only six out of 100 women will get pregnant annually. Effectiveness can also be increased by making sure that the cervix is covered before you have sex.

 

It is recommended to use spermicide in conjunction with a diaphragm as birth control. Some benefits include immediate effectiveness, no effect on female hormones, and it can be inserted hours ahead of time. Because the woman inserts it herself, it is convenient. Be careful though; the diaphragm can be difficult to insert, pushed out of placed and it must be inserted each time a woman has intercourse.

 

To get a diaphragm, women must visit a health care provider to get a prescription. An examination costs between $50 and $200, but the diaphragm itself only costs $15 to $75.

 

Shot

 

For those not afraid of needles, the birth control shot may be a good option. The shot is an injection of the hormone progestin into the body. The shots are effective against pregnancy for three months and if a woman gets the shot within seven days after the start of her period, she will be protected immediately. Less than one woman out of 100 gets pregnant when they use the shot.

 

“Most patients request that the Depo Provera birth control injection be given to them in their arm, but some patients experience less discomfort receiving the injection in their hip,” said the Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ Quality Management Team.

 

Like any other medication, there are risks. Irregular bleeding is the most common side effect and it does not protect against STDs, but the shot is overall safe and simple. The shot does not contain estrogen and is a good choice for women who cannot take estrogen.

 

Before getting the injection, women must get a prescription from their doctor or health care provider which costs $35 to $250. After the examination, the shot itself costs between $35 and $100 each visit (keep in mind you must get a shot every three months for it to be effective!

 

Spermicide

 

Spermicide is a cheap birth control method that women insert into their vagina. Spermicides are available in different forms (creams, films, foams, gels, etc.), but they all contain chemicals that stop sperm from moving. According to the Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ Quality Management Team, spermicide alone or combined with withdrawal is not as effective as other birth control methods; even when women use spermicide as directed, 15 out of 100 will get pregnant annually.

 

Spermicide does not have an effect on a woman’s hormones and it is very easy to get. It does not require a prescription and applicator kits cost approximately $8. Spermicide is available at family planning clinics, drugstores, and some supermarkets.

 

Spermicide does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases and women need to wait 10 minutes after insertion to have sex. Spermicide is also only effective for about an hour after it is inserted.

 

To make an appointment to obtain a birth control prescription or talk with an expert, call the Women’s Clinic at Hartshorn Health Center at 970.491.1754.

 

A colorful blend of beliefs and the universal spiritual journey

 Features, The Cache, The Well  Comments Off on A colorful blend of beliefs and the universal spiritual journey
Dec 042012
 

Author: Mary Willson

At the Shambhala Stupa, in Red Feather, Prayer flags serve to promote peace, compassion, strength and wisdom.

At the Shambhala Stupa, in Red Feather, Prayer flags serve to promote peace, compassion, strength and wisdom.

The Earth’s population lives on a single mass of land, yet through cultural divides it

Michael Lichtback lights a menorah at the Chabad Jewish Center located in campus west shopping area. The menorah is part of Hanukkah, an eight day Jewish festival also known as “the festival of lights,” which falls over finals week this semester.

Michael Lichtback lights a menorah at the Chabad Jewish Center located in campus west shopping area. The menorah is part of Hanukkah, an eight day Jewish festival also known as “the festival of lights,” which falls over finals week this semester.

can feel as if the seven billion inhabitants of this seven continent globe are disconnected by galaxies.

Through the religious divides based on morality, upbringing, culture and political pressure—society and religion can easily become intertwined. The melting pot of the United States and a very diverse campus blurs these lines and creates an accepting atmosphere. Despite the commercial Christmas trees—red, green and white merry making—and the overwhelming Christian symbolism throughout the winter months, diversity is celebrated—a unique asset in the grand scheme of the world.

“I feel like I can practice my religion freely here in the US,” said Fares Alotaibi, freshman computer engineering and computer science major, whom is here from Saudi Arabia.

“You can see that in said Arabia they say that Muslim is 100 percent  of the population, but I think that is impossible,” Alotaibi said. “I think you need to accept that there are other people and religions.”

Alotaibi will work for an oil company in Saudi Arabia when he graduates, an opportunity only the top 3 percent of a national test get the opportunity to do. His main objective for a United States education is for the degree, yet the accepting culture is something that has changed his own perspective on the way humans view each other. Which, as a practicing Muslim, comes as a pleasant surprise.

“A different country means different culture, so you get used to it,” Alotaibi said. “That was a big change, I love the US in the way that everyone can practice their own religion and people respect all religions. I respect that. If you people respect my religion, I will respect yours.”

Culture, family roots and society are three main assets to the formation of personal spiritual beliefs. Yet, within the realm of college and a fresh slate for personal growth, new paths can be shared creating new belief systems.

“It kind of started out with not necessarily agreeing with everything that came with the Catholic or Christian religion in general,” said Darrel Suer, junior marketing and CIS business major.

Suer started the Meditation and Buddhism Interest Club on campus last year after becoming passionate about the Buddhist belief system from a series of CSU religion classes. He was raised Catholic.

“The Catholic Church is very hierarchical. I don’t think that’s the best way to practice religions because then it feels almost like government rather than spiritual. At the end of the day, we’re all the same,” he said. “You’re a person, I’m a person, we should be treated that way.”

Within the worldwide pie of major universal religions, Christianity makes up 33 percent, Islam makes up 22.5 percent, Hinduism makes up 13.6 percent, Buddhism makes up 6.7 percent and Judaism makes up .3 percent according to Britanica.com, an online encyclopedia. Although these international numbers do not depict the personal lives committed to a certain belief system, through cultural pressures based on location and communal practices, religious pressures many times follow.

As December 24 comes around the corner, Christian churches see their pews fill, and a weeklong shift into religion many times takes place. This is just as prevalent as ever, even with different religions and in difference practices.

MacMcGolrick, a religious studies professor, is focused in teaching eastern religions and personally practices Buddhism.

“Religion and culture are extraordinarily important, and the religion and expression there is similar to the practice and expression here,” he said.

Through the hype that is depicted from the societal-made holiday, Black Friday, and onward through New Years, commercialism and present giving is ballooned into an economical monster. Yet, when pulled back inward it is structured on the practice of giving, a universal act.

“It’s just a matter of keeping it in perspective, I mean this was one holiday that used to mean something else. Its not a bad thing, I just think sometimes people mis-proioriatize what is going on,” Suer said.

Suer’s mother is Catholic, but feels her spirituality within herself, and it is not based on going to church or other societal practices.

“She feels so strongly that there is a god—she beliefs in that so strongly. I have a lot of respect for that,” Suer said. “She has just as strong of a faith as anyone else. I think that’s more the emphasis, the family sides of things.”

Although within the US, an attitude of acceptance is practiced and felt overall—the logistical side of a diverse practice of religions can ignite logistical problems for holiday practices.

Michael Lichtback, senior mechanical engineering major and president of the Jewish club, had an engineering exam on Hanukah last year, and regularly have important schoolwork on equally important religious holidays. His family is culturally and religiously Jewish.

“We just have to negotiate all kinds of things. It really bothered me when I was younger and classmates would say ‘Merry Christmas’ and I would respond with ‘you know everyone doesn’t celebrate Christmas, right?’ I would be really bitter,” he said. “And now I’ve kind of come to peace and it doesn’t bother me as much because they have good intentions.”

Through the explorations of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism, which have been taken on at CSU with confidence, the spiritual journey seems universal.

“It’s not about this practice or that practice because someone said so,” Suer said. “It’s about what is most effective for the person. There might be really great facets of all religions for human beings living in all different ways, but it’s about incorporating and not divisive in any way.”

Through the search for fulfilling spirituality, exploring out of ones culture can be revealing, whether to commit yourself to the roots personally, or to grow within a practice that has been within oneself all along.

“I think there’s a negative mentality where we need to appease everyone,” Lichtback said. “There’s this binary idea where you’re either religious or not. I think of it as more of a continuum where you can just do whatever you want.”

And for some, a path for change motivates pride in religion. Through the world of college, a melting pot of religions, ideas, ages, life stages and places are mixed together. With acceptance as a goal, there is always progress to be made.

“In the last 10 years there been a big bad idea about Islam. I know there are bad Muslims, but there are a lot of good ones,” Alotaibi said. “I think it is kind of going away, I am very grateful for that. You never know what a person is or who people are unless you go and talk to them. That’s the thing I want to bring to this conversation.”

In a diverse world full of seven billion unique and differing personalities, minds, soul and hearts, just as many belief systems manifest themselves. What is key is that the importance of our colorful world is never lost.

“I am learning diversity and actually when I get back to my country I will try to change the point of view,” Alotaibi said.

Getting back to the roots: Ski bums of the baby-boomer generation

 Features, The Cache, The Well  Comments Off on Getting back to the roots: Ski bums of the baby-boomer generation
Oct 162012
 

Author: Cassandra Whelihan

The reasons behind why people spend their winter seasons chasing blue bird skies are unbounded, but one thing is for certain, they are passionate.

“I think the world is a better place with people who are in love with the mountains, as simple as that sounds,” said Jeremy Jones, a professional snowboarder, in an interview conducted by Transworld Snowboarding.

English: Mountaineers, leaving the top station...

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Born in 1976, Jones has been shredding since the age of thirteen. He has taken part in the perpetual transformation of the ski industry and has also recently challenged more people to hike for their lines (back country mountaineering) in place of resort and competition skiing. Nevertheless, this industry is forever evolving and has come a long way.

What many people haven’t considered is what skiing was like back in the baby boomer generation. During that time, a ticket for night skiing at Moose Mountain was three dollars and a full day ticket to Wildcat was $10. Today, tickets are easily $100 per day, and that’s with owning your own equipment. Aside from price, however, what else distinguishes the past from present?

Skiing in New England back in the 60s was a lot different without snowmaking.

“There was a lot of what we used to call blue ice, where the springs would freeze up,” said Gary Cassily, 54, owner of Fryeburg Glass in Maine.

Cassily, an esteemed ski bum, has spent his life out in the mountains. He can’t recall a time when he hasn’t skied; it’s been a long time.

Back in the grunge phase, as Cassily likes to call it, his experiences were a lot different than simply resort skiing. Without a lot of money but determined to shred the rad, Cassily hooked up with a group of similar minded guys and set out into the wilderness.

“I don’t mind lift service, but I’ll hike for it,” Cassily said. “I got into the ski mountaineering part in my late twenties, early thirties. I was into telemarking and skiing with backpacks, going on two to three day tours which were just out of this world, crazy.”

This was a time when backcountry was not yet widely recognized.

“The people I hung out with were not like the normal people – we were always outside and camping out in the winter time,” Cassily said.

Mountaineering is not for the faint of heart. It requires sleeping outdoors, survival skills and hard work. No doubt, the rewards include nature, adventure and memories; however, it’s not for everybody.

Farther advances include the gear available to snow enthusiasts. Throwback times when rolled up dungarees or colorful onesies were the norm and people rocked Nordica Astra Salomon boots.

“The equipments come a long way. I want to catch up with it a little bit,” Cassily said. “To climb in the future I need to get set up with a releasable heal binding and some skins and a wider board just to make it easier.”

Like most equipment, the technicality that gear has undergone enables current mountaineers to explore as far as their imagination allows, and that’s just what Cassily did.

“When I was in high school, I used to build jumps in the back of my house and do all kinds of crazy stuff. We were at the cutting edge of all the craziness and extreme skiing that’s going on now. The X-Games and all that – we were pioneers,” Cassily said.

The innate desire to explore must run through snow-goers veins. Why else would they yearn to spend the winter seasons repeatedly clambering up and down mountainsides? Jones describes it as ‘white moments’, when the mind and body come together, working as one – it’s as simple as breathing. It seems to be a deeper spark, a connectedness with oneself and with nature that keeps people chasing after the perfect winter.

The freedom and challenge are also motivators, according to Cassily.

“Ah, the freedom: Freedom, the outdoors and the mountains. Skiing is an individual sport. It can be a team sport, like racing, but it’s up to the individual to push his or her own limits and I love that part of it,” Cassily said.

Even as a child he has loved the sport.

“When I was a kid I was so excited. If I was skiing the next day I couldn’t even sleep and it’s never failed – I’ve never lost it. That’s what drives my whole life, that’s how I operate. Just the other day I was thinking, Jesus, I feel like I’m skiing. I was driving on a tight corner road and I was going too fast,” Cassily laughed.

Schitour am Hochkönig (Österreich)

Photo credit: Wikipedia

This concept of freedom while riding also resonates with long-time, East Coast boarder, Paul Trull.

“The freedom when I’m out there and I’m on my board, I definitely don’t notice anything else that’s around me and it takes me somewhere else,” Trull said.

Park Manager of Ragged Mountain, Tim Donahue, has continued boarding all these years in the name of fun and progression.

“Other than the fact that it’s really fun, boarding is just one of those sports that feel natural to me and I can always learn or do something new,” Donahue said.

Furthermore, the communities out on the mountains are all encompassing. Cassily said he likes the people he has met throughout his years of snow covered memories.

“I just like the people that are out there. Outside – if it’s cold, if it’s rainy, if it’s snowy –they’re still out there,” Cassily said. “It seems to be a pretty good class of people. I’ve made some really good friends in the ski industry.”

Spending the last moments of his father’s life with him on the bunny slope is proof that the mountains are not just for the young and the love for them never dies.

According to Jones, “Just being in the mountains is really fulfilling; it makes me feel good at the end of the day.”