March 2010 Archives

The T-Shirts are coming! The T-Shirts are coming!

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Well, for us Senior Seminar students, the T-shirts are already here and they are fabulous!  I have attached some pictures at the bottom (they were taken on my BlackBerry so please forgive the blurriness).  When Erica brought them to class today, I was so excited!  They look so cute!  I had no sooner uploaded pictures of the T-shirts to Facebook when my aunt asked me if she could buy some.  We've only had the shirts for a day and they are already selling!

If YOU are interested in buying one of these T-shirts and supporting our Senior Seminar class, please be sure to stop by Lowe Dining Hall next week (starting on Tuesday, April 6th after Easter Break) to place your order with us.  We will be there during lunch from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. until the end of the week.  We may also be selling them the week after as well.  If for some reason you cannot attend our T-shirt sale, feel free to contact any of us who are in Dr. Droppa's Senior Seminar class and I am sure that we can make arrangements to order a shirt for you.  The shirts are $10.   

Click here to join our awesome Senior Seminar Group on Facebook.

Click here to RSVP to our T-Shirt Sale Event on Facebook.



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Are you nuts, are you nuts, picking up cigarette butts?!

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This past weekend the Seniors Helping Seniors group decided to help clean up local Greensburg parking lots, and I now believe that I have seen enough cigarette butts to last me a lifetime. 

Between the two groups of us, one containing myself and the leader of the project, Hallie Geary, and the other one containing Rob Vasinko and Kalie Mills, we were able to clean up four parking lots. 

I must confess that I did this partly out of guilt; I feel so far that I have hardly contributed anything to the efforts of this group to improve the community.  This is the frustration that comes with having so much of our project delayed, as we continue to try to coordinate our visits with senior citizens for the upcoming weeks.  Indeed, as a very busy senior who is about to begin rehearsing for a professional theatre production in Pittsburgh next month, I feel some trepidation when considering how best to fit all of these potential visits into my tight schedule.

So I attempted to absolve myself on Saturday by picking up litter, fallen tree branches, etc. from a nearby parking lot.  It seemed like an easy enough job; when we arrived at the parking lot I thought there would be hardly any work to do.  There were no huge tree branches, broken bottles, or toxic waste around, nothing that could cause anyone bodily harm. 

And then I started picking up the cigarette butts.  I first noticed just a few cigarette butts in a corner of the parking lot, so I picked them up.  And as I surveyed the rest of the parking lot, my eyes were truly opened.  Cigarette butts were in every nook and cranny of the entire parking lot!!  You can imagine my horror.  The more cigarette butts I swept into my dustpan, the more I was reminded of a delightful Youtube video I found of a performance on a public access talent show...a song that goes:

 "Why do you think you are nuts?  Why do you think you are nuts?

Are you nuts, are you nuts, have you lost your guts?

Are you nuts, are you nuts, eating cigarette butts?

Why do you think you are nuts?"

I can't say that I became so nuts that I actually ate the cigarette butts, but the more I picked up, the more that song became stuck in my head, and the more I could relate to the song. 

Moral of the story:  Please remember to put your cigarette butts in an ashtray.  And be careful which Youtube songs you get stuck in your head.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

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As the semester speeds along, we are encountering our first big challenges.  Originally, we had planned to begin our first home visits to seniors this week.  However, I (and I think most of the class) was forced into a bit of a reality check about the difficulties of coordinating everyone’s schedules involved.   

Nonetheless, we have not been idle (especially our wonderful group leader, Hallie).  We have been making progress towards achieving our mission.  Even if it has been small steps, I am not discouraged.  As Aesop’s fable, “The Tortoise and the Hare,” attests, even though we may be getting off to a slow start, it is still a steady start.  Like the tortoise, who plugged along, we will eventually meet our goals.

Saturday is going to be an important date for our class.  Our own Marie Salguero is going to be featured on Westmoreland Community Action’s radio show, Taking Action, this Saturday, March 27 at 8 am.  I want to encourage everyone to listen.  You can either tune in to 1480 WCNS or go to 1480wcns.com.  If you miss the broadcast, but are still interested, just click here.  Simply scroll down to the section labeled “Taking Action” and click on the link for Saturday’s show (once it has been posted).

Besides Marie’s radio debut, a group of us will be cleaning up debris from various places throughout Greensburg on Saturday.  It was a hard winter for everyone and Greensburg was no exception.  The mounds of snow have finally melted and we’ve been graced with several weeks of beautiful sunshine and warm weather.  However, the aftermath of the harsh winter has left branches, shale, salt, and other waste scattered about everywhere.  The class will be lending a hand to help clean up these unsightly remains of winter.

Westmoreland Community Action has graciously agreed to cooperate with us by providing us seniors who could use a helping hand.  Besides the home visits, the following events are in the works: selling t-shirts to raise funds, organizing an event at a high rise with an elderly population, cleaning up and doing repair work at a park in Greensburg, and organizing a final “party” which will unite all those who have participated. 

On April 6 to April 9, we will be selling t-shirts to raise money, so that we can truly help the seniors in whatever ways possible.  We may need to buy paint or other supplies to complete our goals.  In order to do this, we request that the Seton Hill community support our efforts to create better relations between us and the Greensburg community by purchasing a t-shirt.  The cost of a t-shirt will be $10 each.  We will be selling them in Lowe Dining Hall from 11-2.  If we find that there is an overwhelming interest in the shirts, we are going to increase the number of days we sell them.  The shirts will be turqouise-colored with a design created by Seton Hill’s Graphic Design club. 

We would also like to invite any members of the Seton Hill community who are not in our class, but would like to be involved in our project, to get in contact with one of the members of the class.  I also want to encourage anyone who has a facebook to join our group.  The more help we have, the bigger of an impact we can have in inspiring change!

To read the previous blog entry, click here.

~“Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  ~Margaret Mead

(Picture: from left to right, top row: Marie Salguero, Amanda Manley, Angela Palumbo, Gabby Scanga, Nathan Errett, Rob Vasinko, Lauren Miller.  Bottom row: Erica Gearhart, Breanna Wong, Greta Carroll, Matt Henderson, Hallie Geary, Alex Christoff.  Absent from picture is Kalie Mills)

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The 14 of us sat in silence, glancing around at each other, waiting.  Who would make the first move?  Who would make a suggestion for our Senior Seminar service project?  With a group of such diverse people, the dilemma of what to select was very real. 

I enrolled in Senior Seminar grudgingly.  All I knew about the class was from what the course description told me and what upper classman had whispered.  The course description told me that the class is, “A capstone seminar which provides students an opportunity to examine personal values in relationship to society. Students reflect on their discipline, pursuit of knowledge, and personal life philosophy.”  I couldn’t help but groan.  It sounded like one of those classes that you drag yourself to and write the papers for, just to get them done.  One of those required classes that I have to cram into my already hectic schedule.  The main question on my mind was, “Will this class be worth it?  Or will I spend the whole semester lamenting the loss of the class on the contemporary novel, I really wanted to take?”

Now, as I looked askance at my fellow classmates, I crossed my fingers and silently pleaded, “No one suggest anything ridiculous.”  As a class we need to do a service project, I wanted the service project to be something meaningful, yet not one out there in la-la land.  The choice of the class project is what would make or break the class.  If we picked something I didn’t like, I could kiss any chance of enjoyment of the class goodbye. 

So, the discussion began.  Suggestions were made.  I listened…and sometimes added my two cents.  I heard ideas that really inspired me and I heard some that didn’t so much.  Our list of ideas included: a day of silence, talking to seniors about their lives and making a website, an art scholarship for local youth, rounding up and spaying local cats, and an “Extreme Makeover” Greensburg edition.  By the end of class, it looked like we would be doing the Extreme Makeover project.

While at first this seemed like a great idea, after a little reflection, I soon found myself rewriting “The Night Before Christmas” with my own words…and they were not cheerful words.  I repeated to myself, “Twas the night before Senior Seminar, when disrupting my reading, visions of lawsuits and litigation danced through my head.”  I could just see it: I’m painting a wall when the unsteady ladder trembles and falls.  Blue paint speckles the piano behind me.  Meanwhile, Angela struggling with some electric cords gives a gasp, as she accidently puts the red and blue wires together and the power goes out. Lauren, in the bathroom, is fighting with the plumbing, when with a bang the pipe comes lose and water sprays everywhere.  The cheery old woman when we first came, turns into a fire breathing dragon as she sees her house fall to pieces as we “fix it.”

As the next morning dawned and I trudged to class, discussion began in earnest.  And what I saw happen, shocked and amazed me.  The class, as a whole, was willing to have honest discussions, make concessions, and take risks.  The class knew what they wanted.  We wanted to reach out to individuals in need, and help them increase in unity and awareness. 

As other classmates and I expressed our concerns, the idea slowly began to morph.  No longer was the little old lady snarling flames at me, she was smiling and appreciative.  We finally had came up with a unified idea—an idea we could all share in (including me!)  We decided we would come into someone’s life, form a relationship, blog about it, and help them as needed.

We determined that we wanted this “someone,” to be senior citizens.  We felt that there is a disconnection between college students and seniors (and the community as a whole).  We want to try to break this impasse, while doing what we can to help these seniors in whatever way possible.

We concurred that we wanted to partner with some other organization such as Westmoreland County Community Action or Meals on Wheels in order to have the most rapport with and make contact with the seniors. 

As we work towards getting the preliminary components of our project in order, we keep our criteria for the project in mind:
    -We will all work on the project together.
    - We will have impact on others that won’t end when we leave Seton Hill.
    - Our project will reflect our core values.
    - We will inspire, rather than just serve others.

These criteria are summarized well in our motto: Helping Hands Make Happy Hearts!  And we aim to do exactly that!


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This page is an archive of entries from March 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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