Re-Framing the Education Conversation

 Features, Scene & Heard, The Well  Comments Off on Re-Framing the Education Conversation
May 092013
 

Author: Mary Willson

          In the US, the average life expectancy is 83 years, according to the US Social Security Administration.

       A college semester is four months, which is .6 percent of that average. A university bachelors degree is generally obtained in four years, just 4.8 percent of the general American life.

screen-shot-2012-05-03-at-7-06-43-pm

            Personally, I am finishing up my sophomore year. I have given 2.4 percent of my live to higher education to date.

 This identity of what I have become: class, exams, papers, extracurricular, jobs; internships seem to define me sometimes. All of the scholarly labels seem to be the aspects of me that my parent’s friends ask about. They don’t go around asking what I believe in, what I am passionate about, or what my favorite way to spend a sunny Colorado day is. They ask what I am studying, and what I want to do with the rest of my life. I find myself challenging this, wanting to lash out and rebel.  And then I remember, they are asking this because I am lucky. I am in college.

            As finals week comes into full swing, I notice social media highlights this negative conversation. Instagram snaps the scene of Morgan Library at 3 am, Facebook statuses about the burdens of hard tests, and twitter posts dedicated to hating chemistry or anatomy class. I am definitely guilty of this in one form or another as deadlines; finals and classes take their toll.

 Yet, the high traffic of this negativity we all show and feel toward the end of the semester causes an uneasy feeling every semester, and particularly this semester, as my life view has been rocked recently.

            This semester, I have completely been re-taught what education means to our world. I am from an education-focused family, my dad is a professor here on campus, my sister graduated from CU, and I have always been on the path to graduate from CSU. It is just how my middle class, Fort Collins raised life has been set. And there is nothing wrong with that, until I found myself forgetting I am lucky.

Francis and Isaya pose in December in front of a local school. Francis is finishing up his High School education this year and wants to get a degree in Agriculture and Tourism and become an educated tour guide in order to bring income back into his village.

Francis and Isaya pose in December in front of a local school. Francis is finishing up his High School education this year and wants to get a degree in Agriculture and Tourism and become an educated tour guide in order to bring income back into his village.

Brett Bruyere, Warner College of Natural Resource professor and Samburu Youth Education Fund founder talks with local teacher at a scholarship award ceremony in December.

Brett Bruyere, Warner College of Natural Resource professor and Samburu Youth Education Fund founder talks with local teacher at a scholarship award ceremony in December.

     In December, I traveled to Kenya, Africa through SLiCE’s Alternative Break Program. As cliché as it is to narrate how students will give anything to be in a classroom, to get the opportunity to have education–it is actually true. That played up sentence is not just from the Compassion International commercials. In fact, it is the reality of millions of normal college-aged students around the world.

     It is fun, energetic young adults, just like us—that are in love with education. The CSU group I was with became close with four students. These students have had their education funded by the Samburu Youth Education Fund—a donation based scholarship program set up by CSU’s Warner College of Natural Resources professor Brett Bruyere.

A doctor, professor, tour guide, and chef they want to become, and they all travel hours to days to get to school, where they stay for five consecutive months to learn. And they know they are lucky, because they are the only peers from their village to get this education.

            The passion felt for having a future outside of their environment in the rural bush area of Archers Post, Kenya was invigorating after I felt worn out from a rough semester of 18 credits.

            An additional wake up call I felt mid-college experience this spring is visiting my sister, who has dedicated two years to teaching low-income students in Charleston, South Carolina through the non-profit organization Teach for America (TFA). TFA places passionate post-grads or professionals and matches them with failing schools, in order to keep skilled teachers in the system. My sister’s sixth graders are all extremely low-income, extremely below grade reading level and math due to lack of school funding, limited parental support and little educational influence. These students have never felt they even have the option to get a higher education and most don’t know anyone who has other than their teachers. They aren’t on the college track like I was, and most unfortunately will not ever be.

         My sister works hard to remind her students they can go on to be a college student, her room is decked out with Buff swag, her alma mater, and she is constantly highlighting students who have beat the odds like she believes they can. Yet, the culture shock she has felt moving from her college-dedicated life in Colorado to the juxtaposed life in South Carolina has sparked my realization as well: we are all an exception.

My sister, Laura, also coaches a cheerleading team as a TFA teacher.

My sister, Laura, also coaches a cheerleading team as a TFA teacher.

            I am currently in a mentorship program through CSU’s Access Center called the Dream Team, which was started at Washington State University, and has grown nation wide throughout the last years. The program’s objective is to give guidance, support and resources to higher education to first generation high school students in the community. Through this program, we have a weekly class in which we learn about the education system, identity and ourselves.

        Through the astonishing statistics about the nations true education system is daunting after growing up in suburbia Fort Collins, with the excellent Poudre School District.

            Overall, through these experiences, the reality of my college experience seems damn great compared to what the majority of countries, states, demographics and individuals face. I am in college, and I will graduate—just like most of us reading this.

            While the stress of school is real, and the dedication to education is widely apparent on campus, I cant help but think what if we all reframe the conversation. Together, we could change the conversation from negativity, to positivity. Instead of “finals will be the death of me,” what if we all reframe it to be “I am lucky to be working hard to get my education,” because the reality is, we are lucky.

Backpacking essentials for survival

 Beats, Features, Goods & Gear, The Well  Comments Off on Backpacking essentials for survival
Feb 222013
 

Author: Allison LeCain

Backpacking pack at REI. Photo by Allison LeCain.

Backpacking pack at REI. Photo by Allison LeCain.

It’s always better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it when it comes to backpacking. Unfortunately you can only fit so much in a backpack. Boy Scouts are always prepared, but if you don’t have a Boy Scout in your life, turn to this guide to supply everything you may need for a spring backpacking adventure.

First things first — get a quality backpacking pack, preferably one with an attachable water-proof cover. These can range from $60 to $300. A backpacking pack is definitely an investment, but when you’re stuck on a mountain in the pouring rain, you’ll be glad to have a pack that could fit everything you need.

Sleeping bags are necessary for overnight backpacking trips. It gets really cold at night, even in the summer. Most sleeping bags are around $75. If you’re looking for true comfort, get a sleeping pad for $40.

For long trips, a water purification and cooking stove will be a must. Starting at $60, these allow you to cook food, so you’ll be eating more than just trailmix. Make sure to buy cooking fuel, as well.

First aid kits are necessary and can be made for cheap from things around the house, starting at $7. You never know what you might get into on a backpacking trip, so it’s important to be prepared for injuries. You’ll be far away from a hospital and may not have cell phone reception, which may require you to play doctor for the weekend.

Water bottle is the most essential item while backpacking. Photo by Allison LeCain

Water bottle is the most essential item while backpacking. Photo by Allison LeCain

Bear-proof food containers are required when backpacking in a national park, such as Rocky Mountain. These are pricy, running for $80, and won’t fit easily in a backpack. To avoid this issue, backpack in a non-national park area. Other options to avoid interactions with bears include tying your food high on a branch, away from your camping area.

One of the most obvious, but also most needed pieces of equipment, is a water bottle or bladder. Staying hydrated is key is remaining healthy and fit for the hike. Other much needed items include a compass, a map, sunscreen, insect repellent and soap.

While The Weather Channel is helpful, it can be hard to predict what type of clothes you may need while backpacking. Bring layers, including one that is waterproof, and roll them instead of folding them. This will save space in your backpack.

Invest in a Swiss Army Knife. These knives come with seven or more different tools and cost about $30. This single tool can open a can, cut meat or fabric, pick out a splinter, and even open a bottle of wine. Genius.

A headlamp will come in handy while backpacking. Photo by Allison LeCain.

A headlamp will come in handy while backpacking. Photo by Allison LeCain.

There’s no electricity in the wilderness, and the best hands-free way to light up the world is a headlamp. A headlamp can be as cheap as $20 and will really come in handy. Using a headlamp is also a lot safer than starting a fire in a forest, although it’s good to bring tinder in case a fire is necessary. Bring extra batteries too, just in case.

Dehydrated foods are best to pack because they don’t take up much weight or space. This includes foods such as granola bars, oatmeal, dried fruits, hard cheese, sausage and pasta. All of these options can be eaten raw or cooked with a portable stove.

**Editors note: prices shown were gathered from REI and may vary in other outdoor stores.

V-Day: An Open Letter to the Loveless

 Features, The Well  Comments Off on V-Day: An Open Letter to the Loveless
Feb 142013
 

Author: Jack Krause

Dear whoever finds themselves alone on Valentine’s Day,

Another year has come and passed and the dreaded holiday that celebrates those who can manage to support a relationship and alienates those who can’t is upon us. I’m here to tell you, it’s not so bad. For those who fall into the latter category, here are some tips and bits of advice to let that day come and go.

Remember one thing, your life is incredibly cheaper when out of a relationship. Cheaper in a monetary sense, but also in a time sense. Your time is yours and your money is spent how you want. When you want to do something, it isn’t up for debate, and you have the excess money to pay for it. You have the ability to work on yourself and not worry about another’s romantic emotions.

The other benefit to being single on Valentine’s Day is the fact that you have just joined a large club. This club is filled with other people like you, single and possibly ready to mingle. The ocean is filled with hope and you’ve been given the tools to reel in the right person for you. Also, remember one thing above all else. Love is not defined as being between two people; you are not alone because you have friends and family that love you all the same. Take that normally sorrowful day and make it one of celebration. A happy time for those who may not have romantic love, but more than enough people to call their own.

2013 is a year of new beginnings and fresh starts, make the most of it, and appreciate the present moment. Keep your head up, and love will find you.

Seven Sex Positions to Try With Your Valentine

 Features, Fit & Fine, The Well  Comments Off on Seven Sex Positions to Try With Your Valentine
Feb 052013
 

Author: Allison LeCain

Roses, chocolates and love poems are typical Valentine’s Day presents, but action speaks louder than words and material possessions. Spend some quality time on Valentine’s Day week and spice up your love-life with these seven sex positions. They’ll be sure to fill your week with love, (or lust).

The Ape

Start off with the man lying on his back with his knees pulled up against his chest. The woman then sits down backwards and is propped up against the man’s feet. For balance, the woman should hold onto her partner’s wrists and rock back and forth.

The Curled Angel

The woman will lie on her side while pulling her legs up to her chest. The man will spoon her and come in from behind. This is a very sensual, close position.

The Bridge

The man starts by lying on his back and then pushes himself up making an arch. The woman straddles him and takes most of her weight off her feet. This is a challenging position that requires a strong, flexible man.

The Glowing Juniper

This begins with the woman lying on her back with her legs spread apart. The man will be sitting in between her knees with his legs stretched out. He then guides her hips up and down and may reach down and kiss her stomach if flexible enough.

The Magic Mountain

This requires three pillows stacked on top of each other. The woman will get on her knees and rest her torso face-forward on the mountain of pillows. The man will kneel behind her with his legs on the outside of hers. This works best with firm, thick pillows.

The Body Builder

This position starts with the woman leaning up against a wall and lifting herself up to straddle the man. The man should support her by holding her upper thighs while the woman raps her arms around his neck and her legs around his torso.

The Koala

Begin with the man squatting down.  The woman will sit in his lap as they embrace each other. Holding each other tightly, the woman will rock her pelvis while squeezing her muscles.

Seven Sex Positions to Try With Your Valentine

 Features, Fit & Fine, The Well  Comments Off on Seven Sex Positions to Try With Your Valentine
Feb 052013
 

Author: Allison LeCain

Roses, chocolates and love poems are typical Valentine’s Day presents, but action speaks louder than words and material possessions. Spend some quality time on Valentine’s Day week and spice up your love-life with these seven sex positions. They’ll be sure to fill your week with love, (or lust).

The Ape

Start off with the man lying on his back with his knees pulled up against his chest. The woman then sits down backwards and is propped up against the man’s feet. For balance, the woman should hold onto her partner’s wrists and rock back and forth.

The Curled Angel

The woman will lie on her side while pulling her legs up to her chest. The man will spoon her and come in from behind. This is a very sensual, close position.

The Bridge

The man starts by lying on his back and then pushes himself up making an arch. The woman straddles him and takes most of her weight off her feet. This is a challenging position that requires a strong, flexible man.

The Glowing Juniper

This begins with the woman lying on her back with her legs spread apart. The man will be sitting in between her knees with his legs stretched out. He then guides her hips up and down and may reach down and kiss her stomach if flexible enough.

The Magic Mountain

This requires three pillows stacked on top of each other. The woman will get on her knees and rest her torso face-forward on the mountain of pillows. The man will kneel behind her with his legs on the outside of hers. This works best with firm, thick pillows.

The Body Builder

This position starts with the woman leaning up against a wall and lifting herself up to straddle the man. The man should support her by holding her upper thighs while the woman raps her arms around his neck and her legs around his torso.

The Koala

Begin with the man squatting down.  The woman will sit in his lap as they embrace each other. Holding each other tightly, the woman will rock her pelvis while squeezing her muscles.

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.

 

What’s Love Got to Do With It?

 Beats, Features, In The Know, The Well  Comments Off on What’s Love Got to Do With It?
Feb 032013
 

Author: Anna Palmer

Friends, Stephanie Lesar and Lauren Clark, show that love comes in all various forms.  Photo by Anna Palmer.

Friends, Stephanie Lesar and Lauren Clark, show that love comes in all various forms. Photo by Anna Palmer.

“Happiness can only come from inside of you and is the result of your love.  When you are aware that no one else can make you happy, and that happiness is the result of your love, this becomes the greatest mastery: the Mastery of Love,” wrote don Miguel Ruiz, spiritual teacher and world-renowned author.

Born into a family of healers, Ruiz’s parents instilled into him the teachings of the ancient esoteric knowledge of the Toltec people who lived thousands of years ago in southern Mexico.  For centuries, the Toltecs preserved their spiritual knowledge in an attempt to safe-keep this wisdom from those who could intentional misuse it.

As the world has moved forward into an age of change and new beginnings, this knowledge has seeped forth from spiritual teachers such as Ruiz, who now openly shares this authentic way of living that is embodied by inner happiness and love.

In this day and age, it seems that just about everyone is searching for love.  From dating and love advice in books and on the internet, to those who have made it their career helping others find and maintain love, it seems that such superfluous amounts of advice would guarantee love for just about anyone and everyone.  With online dating sites at the tips of people’s fingertips, love appears to be right around the corner for all who seek it out.

Despite the thousands of books and talk shows dedicated to solving this mystery of love, the only real way to know love is to practice it.

“Love in action can only produce happiness.  Fear in action can only produce suffering,” Ruiz wrote.

Giving his input on what makes a relationship last, Curt Schwader, senior English major, said, “There is no such thing as a successful relationship without communication.”

From this perspective, communication may just be one of the keys to opening the doors to finding and maintaining a relationship, romantic or not.

Other words of advice revolve around the concept of timing and simply letting things flow.  Anthony Radney, senior graphic designs major said, “Don’t try so hard.  You’ll find a relationship when it is meant to be.”

Stemming off of this, it appears that a romantic relationship finds you when you’re least expecting it and the trick is to not go looking for that special relationship, added Brianne Thayer, senior English major.

Yet, it seems that all too often people are searching outside of themselves to find that love, to validate their own worth.

“If you open your heart, you already have all the love you need.  There’s no need to go around the world begging for love.  We have love right here inside us, but we don’t see this love,” Ruiz wrote.

Ruiz advises all to accept and love themselves first and foremost, before accepting and loving someone else. Lauren Clark, senior journalism and technical communications major, maintains the view that above all, being a solid independent person who doesn’t have to rely on others for happiness is key.

“You need to be okay being alone before you can be with someone else.  If you can’t be alone with yourself, how can you expect anyone to want to be with you?” Clark said.

Others take the broader viewpoint of love not being limited to the scope of romance.  “People think of love in only one way.  Why can’t you love things like nature or life itself?” said Stephanie Lesar, senior anthropology and sociology major.

Whether it is love between two partners, two friends, or outside these person-to-person confines, love in its pure form is in essence the same love, according to Ruiz.  All love stems from the same source, the love that is inside each and every person just waiting to be accessed.

“There are millions of ways to express your happiness, but there is only one way to really be happy, and that is love,” Ruiz wrote. “There is no other way.  You cannot be happy if you don’t love yourself.”

What’s Love Got to Do With It?

 Beats, Features, In The Know, The Well  Comments Off on What’s Love Got to Do With It?
Feb 032013
 

Author: Anna Palmer

Friends, Stephanie Lesar and Lauren Clark, show that love comes in all various forms.  Photo by Anna Palmer.

Friends, Stephanie Lesar and Lauren Clark, show that love comes in all various forms. Photo by Anna Palmer.

“Happiness can only come from inside of you and is the result of your love.  When you are aware that no one else can make you happy, and that happiness is the result of your love, this becomes the greatest mastery: the Mastery of Love,” wrote don Miguel Ruiz, spiritual teacher and world-renowned author.

Born into a family of healers, Ruiz’s parents instilled into him the teachings of the ancient esoteric knowledge of the Toltec people who lived thousands of years ago in southern Mexico.  For centuries, the Toltecs preserved their spiritual knowledge in an attempt to safe-keep this wisdom from those who could intentional misuse it.

As the world has moved forward into an age of change and new beginnings, this knowledge has seeped forth from spiritual teachers such as Ruiz, who now openly shares this authentic way of living that is embodied by inner happiness and love.

In this day and age, it seems that just about everyone is searching for love.  From dating and love advice in books and on the internet, to those who have made it their career helping others find and maintain love, it seems that such superfluous amounts of advice would guarantee love for just about anyone and everyone.  With online dating sites at the tips of people’s fingertips, love appears to be right around the corner for all who seek it out.

Despite the thousands of books and talk shows dedicated to solving this mystery of love, the only real way to know love is to practice it.

“Love in action can only produce happiness.  Fear in action can only produce suffering,” Ruiz wrote.

Giving his input on what makes a relationship last, Curt Schwader, senior English major, said, “There is no such thing as a successful relationship without communication.”

From this perspective, communication may just be one of the keys to opening the doors to finding and maintaining a relationship, romantic or not.

Other words of advice revolve around the concept of timing and simply letting things flow.  Anthony Radney, senior graphic designs major said, “Don’t try so hard.  You’ll find a relationship when it is meant to be.”

Stemming off of this, it appears that a romantic relationship finds you when you’re least expecting it and the trick is to not go looking for that special relationship, added Brianne Thayer, senior English major.

Yet, it seems that all too often people are searching outside of themselves to find that love, to validate their own worth.

“If you open your heart, you already have all the love you need.  There’s no need to go around the world begging for love.  We have love right here inside us, but we don’t see this love,” Ruiz wrote.

Ruiz advises all to accept and love themselves first and foremost, before accepting and loving someone else. Lauren Clark, senior journalism and technical communications major, maintains the view that above all, being a solid independent person who doesn’t have to rely on others for happiness is key.

“You need to be okay being alone before you can be with someone else.  If you can’t be alone with yourself, how can you expect anyone to want to be with you?” Clark said.

Others take the broader viewpoint of love not being limited to the scope of romance.  “People think of love in only one way.  Why can’t you love things like nature or life itself?” said Stephanie Lesar, senior anthropology and sociology major.

Whether it is love between two partners, two friends, or outside these person-to-person confines, love in its pure form is in essence the same love, according to Ruiz.  All love stems from the same source, the love that is inside each and every person just waiting to be accessed.

“There are millions of ways to express your happiness, but there is only one way to really be happy, and that is love,” Ruiz wrote. “There is no other way.  You cannot be happy if you don’t love yourself.”

In Love With Colorado

 Features, Fit & Fine, The Well  Comments Off on In Love With Colorado
Feb 022013