Friday, March 30, 2012


In today's world it is estimated that every one out of three kids are overweight. Overweight kids are obviously malnourished, however; in America kids who are extremely underweight are considered malnourished as well. Kids are lacking the proper food intake that they are supposed to be consuming. Malnutrition and malnourishment does not imply that there kids are lacking food, instead malnutrition is a representation of a lack of nutrients and healthy choice foods. 

Majority of children in America consume an enormous amount of calories, however; they are lacking the essential vitamins, nutrients, and minerals that are necessary for the body. Vitamins are a tremendous part of nutrition because they maintain body regulation and a lack of vitamins can lead to significant side-effects, according to Mary Gavin, and expert from the Nemours Foundation. It is known that children who maintain insufficient diets are more susceptible to healthy problems, academic learning, and psychosocial behavior. Knowing these tremendous effects it is still hard to believe that there are so many malnourished children in our country and that we are doing little to prevent this. I have been observing several physical education classes over my years of experience as a teacher candidate and I have noticed a large number of obese and over weight students all over New York State. Lacking vitamins and nutrition is detrimental to healthy clearly, therefore we should be doing more to create awareness and to promote proper healthy more throughout the education system. 
Not only is malnutrition detrimental towards a child's health problems, academic learning, and psychosocial behavior, it  can also result in long-term neural issues occurring in the brain. These issues can have a huge impact on children's emotional responses, reaction to stress, learning disabilities, and various other medical issues. "In one study, researchers Margaret Lahey and Shari Rosen discovered that,  'Malnourished children […] were found to have delays in vision, fine motors skills, language skills and personal-social skills.' " Researchers have also determined that 1/3 of surveyed children reported to be effected by poor food habits, chronic illnesses, and lower school achievements. These results clearly indicate that there is a direct result between nutrition and how it is effecting students daily lives and academic performances. Food is easily available for students whether it is in the cafeteria, the vending machines, or fast food. These food resources are detrimental to our students and they are impacting them in the most negative ways. Regarding cafeteria food, I do not understand how schools who claim to promote the values of education and the importance of the students are still feeding the students grease and fatty fried foods. School districts need to step up in their meal plans and parents needs to stop feeding their children fast food because it is fast and easy.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Glucose Effects

Saturated fats and brain power have a direct link due to the effects of glucose and sugars in higher-fat foods. Glucose generally comes from carbohydrates, and although glucose and carbohydrates are essential for energy, it has been found that foods that are extremely high in glucose have a huge effect on the body's energy levels causing it to severely drop. People of all ages, adults and children are experiencing post-food crashes which occurs when the glucose intake is too high causing the body to shut down throughout the processes of breaking down the foods. Post-food crashes are direct results of the people's daily diets and food intake. In school cafeteria's children generally consume white breads, fried foods, sugary sweets, and sodas. These so called meals are the main cause of the tremendous drop in energy which has been proven to decrease the students ability to focus and their mental performance. There needs to be a change in the school cafeteria throughout the United States. School's need to add into their budget a plan to sell only healthy and smart food choices to their students. There are also other ways that school districts can help their students eliminate sugary food items, starting with clearing out the vending machines with sodas and candy. Instead the vending machines should consist of healthier choices such as water, vitamin water, gatorade, and juices, as well as other snacks such as pretzels, wheat thins, or nutrigrain bars. This is just the first step towards creating a healthier environment inside the school, which will hopefully, eventually proceed outside in the children's homes and daily routines as well.

Monday, March 26, 2012

School Cafeteria

Food take is vital for several reasons, such as to maintain a healthy lifestyle, to create energy, and for proper performance, just to name a few. Considering food is such an essential part of a child's diet, it still surprises me that cafeteria's are continuing to serve items on the menu that are filled with sugars, caffeine, chemicals, and sodium. Through researcher, it is known that these particular items are an unhealthy choice and will lead children towards becoming tired, unfocused, sick, and jittery throughout the day. One of my worst memories from public school was the food that they sold and provided us with. Everyday at lunch I was forced to eat unhealthy due to their lack of choices and their bad tastes. Food is essential for any growing child, which is why unhealthy foods can negatively impact students' grades, performance, their behavior, and their moods. According to the article "How Diet and Nutrition Impact a Child's Learning Ability", the "Society for Neuroscience, recent studies reveal that diets with high levels of saturated fats actually impair learning and memory."  Typically what would you expect to find in a school cafeteria? Pizza, hamburgers, french fries, chicken nuggets, tacos, these are all guesses that immediately come to my head, especially considering that they are what I was served throughout school. Cookies, pretzels, and ice-cream, these are all sugary desserts that are filling kids daily intakes and that are knowingly lowering the students brain power before they are sent back to class to continue their day's work. Teachers are constantly complaining about the students lack of attention, their behavior issues, their lack of determination and motivation to complete their work. After reading through these few facts, maybe it isn't the students fault after all. Could it be that the school cafeteria is actually what is hindering our students learning abilities? 

Sunday, March 25, 2012


The Cortland versus Ithaca rivalry continued yesterday in a huge match up between the two women's lacrosse teams. The Red Dragons hosted the Bombers and dominated them with a 17-6 win. Going into this game, we were very confident that we would be able to take care of this game and come out with the win, however; being that it was Ithaca, we new that this game would be challenging due to the rivalry. The Cortland Ithaca rivalry was introduced in 1959 by the captains of the two football teams. The Cortaca Jug was invented when Tom Decker, the captain of the Cortland football team in 1959 stopped at a yard sale and purchased a jug from a local farmer. Decker thought that the jug would be a great trophy for the annual games between the two teams. Decker met up with his friend, Dick Carmean, the captain of the Ithaca football team to paint the jug blue, gold, red, and white, in honor of both the schools colors. After each game the teams would write the scores onto the jug to showcase the annual celebrations of Cortland and Ithaca. The Cortland Ithaca football game is one of the most well known sporting events nationwide. Sports Illustrated titled the game "the biggest little game in the nation." The Cortland Ithaca rivalry still continues today and is encouraged through every sport, not just football. Every time the two teams go against one another in a sporting event, there is always a huge competition and battle till the end. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Generating Philosophy Perspectives

When it comes to education, I am a strong believer that physical activity and nutrition play a major role in a persons success and achievement. I believe that physical activity and nutrition are tremendous factors that influence cognitive learning in a school setting and that they have an extreme positive effect. For my research I am going to try and find sources to back up my belief that way I can share with others my own philosophy that I stand by. Physical activity and nutrition are essential factors in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. These factors also influence a persons daily lifestyle in several ways. For example, a physically fit person is obviously very active and   focused on generating positive energy for themselves. Generally someone who is physically fit is not the lazy type, instead they are determined and motivated. Physical activity goes hand in hand with education because those same people are determined and motivated to study and do well in school, in most cases. I believe that working out keeps the brian in tact, working well, and refreshes the mind in a positive way. Throughout my research I hope to find articles to back up my statements and show that physical activity has a strong correlation with cognitive learning. I also wish to find more research based upon the effects of good nutrition and education. What we put into our bodies does not only have a effect on our body image. The food we consume effects our body, our mind, and our physical well being. I believe that people who eat fast food frequently are effected by the oil, grease, and salt in various ways. Those who eat healthier are effected in a positive and healthy way created through good nutrition. These factors are all general points and areas that I look forward to researching more and finding out the basis of my beliefs to create my own philosophy in the future. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dergin Tokmak

After seeing the video that is at the bottom of this page, I was completely amazed at what I saw. I could not believe the talent and skill that one man could have performing on crutches. I was simply blown away by his ability to move that efficiently to the rhythm, his strength to carry and support himself, and his determination to never give up. Dergin Tokmak a dancer and acrobat has opened my eyes to endless possibilities, giving myself a whole new perspective on life. Tokmak contracted polio when he was just one year old. Poliomyelitis is a virus that attacks the nerves that control your muscles. Tokmak lost all control of his left leg and he lost some control of his right leg.   Dergin Tokmak underwent several treatments to restore his legs, however; when nothing worked and when all else would probably quit and give up, Dergin learned to walk on his hands instead. At twelve years old, Dergin was inspired by the movie "Breakin" at the part when one of the characters Eddie, "Handyman" Rodriguez, who had no use of his legs whatsoever performed an incredible break dance routine. Dergin was immediately inspired and began to study break dancing and hip hop in youth clubs and dance studios. Degrin Tokmak became incredibly successful and never doubted himself for one second that he would not be able to walk again. He received the "Limping Angel" told in Cirque du Soleil's show and became a worldwide hit. Dergin Tokmak's youtube videos have inspired myself and showed me how anything is possible and that greatness can be achieved. Anyone is capable of anything as long as they put their heart and mind into it. Wise words from Dergin Tokmak, "I want to pass on to the next generation ... so people can see that no handicap is too big or too limiting to dance. My message as an artist is to show the world that there is a creative soul in everyone with or without a handicap." A handicap should not be looked at as an ending path, however; it should be looked up as merely a speed bump in the road. 

Nutrition Prior to a Game

Proper nutrition should be a part of an athletes every training guide and routine. Athletes need to be more aware of nutrition the effects of how eating healthy can enhance and improve performance. As a coach, teaching your athletes about good nutrition is just as important as teaching them fundamental skills and having a game plan to succeed. Coaches frequently overlook the value of nutrition and focus on the game, thinking that is there best route to success. Little do they know that success is stimulated and derived from good nutrition and how athletes take care of their bodies. Knowing how much to feed athletes, what to feed them, and when to feed them is extremely important. Especially in the college setting, the timing of when to eat and what to eat can be crucial or detrimental to performance. Before any game my coach enforces us to eat exactly four hours prior, a healthy meal such as a turkey sandwich, a granola bar, and water or gatorade. Her philosophy is that four hours prior to a game is enough time for the body to break down the food, store it as energy, and that it will be enough time to prevent food cramps or fullness. She has bought into the four hour prior to a game system and so have we as her athletes. We trust our coach and value the intelligent directions she leads us in. Healthy high carbohydrate snacks for athletes are a great source of energy. These snacks include whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk, low-fat fruit flavored yogurt, peanut butter on whole wheat toast and half an apple, graham crackers, animal crackers, and an low-fat pudding bagel. These small snacks are just a short list of healthy go to snacks for athletes of all ages. 

Tebow to the Jets

Tim Tebow, a Florida Gators football legend broke the news today that he will be playing for the New York Jets this upcoming season. Tebow joined the trading market on Monday when his former team, the Denver Broncos, secured free agent Peyton Manning to a five year $96 million contract. What will be the most interesting this upcoming NFL season will be to see the relationship between Mark Sanchez, the returning starting quarterback and Tebow. Who will start? Who will take the Jets to a possible Super Bowl Championship this year? Tebow's contract with the Jets will be a challenge of the best quarterback and it could potentially commence a quarterback controversy between the two all stars. For the Jets, cornerback Antonio Cromartie tweeted before the trade, "we don't need Tebow." Cromartie expressed his belief in Sanchez returning to the lineup and his confidence in the team that he already had before Tebow's trade. How will the Jets adjust to a new quarterback? These are all questions that are flying through players, coaches, and fans heads as they try to wrap around the endless possibilities. The Jets are looking to become a stronger power house as the used to be, therefore they are looking for answers and for fresh new talent. Will the Jets be the "it" this year? We will have to wait and find out. 

p.s. GO GIANTS!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cortland Beats Rival TCNJ!

Saturday was a day for many celebrations in Cortland, NY. St. Patrick's Day was celebrated by the irish and those who wish they were irish for the day and the Cortland varsity women's lacrosse team celebrated their victorious home opener versus all time rival, The College Of New Jersey. Every year we battle against TCNJ for the opportunity to have bragging rights all over again. The trend seems to be the home team takes the win, for my freshman year we won at home, last year my sophomore year we lost away, and this year my junior year, we sealed the win on our own home turf. TCNJ was ranked number 2 going into the match and we were ranked number 4. Being the underdog and beating a team with a higher rank, especially our rival team, was one of the greatest feelings. We have worked so hard for two and a half months straight, practicing 6 days a week, lifting all the time, and conditioning for unlimited hours. It was great to know that all our hard work paid off on Saturday. Our win against TCNJ did not come from a signal person or play, it was an all around team win that was achieved through greatness. Our team has great potential this year and I invite everyone to come to our home game tomorrow on the stadium versus St. Lawrence. I assure you the lady red dragons will not let you down!

Midway 355 Observations

This past week has marked the midway point for my 355 observations at Parker Elementary School in Cortland NY. I have observed nine hours of elementary physical education over a course of time and I already have learned so much about physical education in the elementary years. I have never really worked with younger students for a long period of time, which was why I was nervous in the beginning. I did not know how I was going to be successful connecting with students that were so young and dependent upon what I was teaching them. I quickly learned that there was nothing to be nervous about and that if I was just simply myself and taught my style of physical education, then I would be successful. Immediately I was able to connect with the students and asses their skill levels. I became aware of their strengths as well as their weaknesses and I got to know the students on an individual basis. There are several students that are much more gifted in the skill department compared to others, however their is much to still be learned. I also learned several lessons on how to maintain behavior and how to control situation when a student becomes out of control. My host teacher has been a great example and mentor so far and I look forward to spending the next few weeks with him. Learning from great teachers really does make a difference and impact my outlook on the type of teacher that I hope to become in the future.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Working out and Working in School

Back to school, spring break is over, and it is crunch time trying to compete all the assignments, papers, and projects that are due over the next few weeks. With only about a month and a half left of school, it is easy to stress out over final exams and projects, though there are also several methods that can be used to relieve that stress. Working out and exercising is a great way to relieve any built up stress and it is also a way to prevent stress from occurring. Being active and living a healthy life style is extremely beneficial for the mind and body. When you are over tired, stressed out and feel as if you are never going to finish anything, sometimes working out for 30 minutes will produce the energy you need to get through the day. Taking time out your everyday routine to add in physical activity is extremely important and will help you improve throughout your daily work and assignments. Now that the weather is getting warmer and the sun is out more there are various activities that can anyone can do to stay active. For one thing, going for a run around campus is a great way to get outside and smell the fresh air. Also, anyone can get a group of people together and play games on Davis field such as football, soccer, lacrosse, ultimate frisbee, or any other game that is interesting to you. The spring semester is always my favorite because I remain very busy, active, and on top of my school work throughout the entire semester due to lacrosse. I am always active, running around in practice and or games through lacrosse which is great workout. Because of lacrosse, I am also always extremely busy staying on top of my school work. I truly believe that success in school does come from responsibility, determination, and hard work, though I do also believe that exercising daily will have a permanent effect on ones work and progress in school as well. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cortland Lax Goes to the USNA!

Yesterday, our Cortland Women's Lacrosse team took a trip to Annapolis Maryland and toured the U.S. Naval Academy. Our team has been connected with the Naval Academy as of last fall when one of our teammates brothers, Brendan Looney, was unfortunately killed in a helicopter crash due to unfortunate circumstances. Immediately my team took charge and decided that we were going to dedicate our season to Brendan Looney and play for him as well as the other lives that were taken that day. The Navy has many sayings that they live and stand by. "One Troop" is one of the sayings found on the Navy Seal coin that stood out to us the most. From then on, we knew that was going to be our team motto for the year. One Troop, one team, one heart, one goal, that was our philosophy for last years journey to the final four. We had shirts made to wear in Brendan Looney's honor as we warmed up for every game and him and Kellie, our teammate were always on our mind and in our hearts. Being able to view the campus of the U.S. Naval Academy was a very special privilege for our team, knowing the history that is amongst the campus grounds. Tomorrow night we will be playing Salisbury, a great team that will be a very challenging and exciting game. Tomorrow night is our night and we will fight hard once again in Brendan Looney's honor. 

Photo Credit: (

Friday, March 2, 2012

Cortland's W.LAX

The Cortland  women's lacrosse team opened up their season today with a big win against Union College. The Red Dragons started off slow in the first half, though eventually picked up their momentum ending the game with a 14-6 win. Cortland had many players score including, Senior Lindsay Abbott who led the Red Dragons with eight points on four goals and four assists and senior Erin Kollar who recorded three goals and two assists. Junior Gina Campesi had two goals and two assists, junior Maria Di Fato scored twice and juniors Mary Hartzeim and myself each scored a goal, as well as freshman Chelsea Martin. Freshman Mariyln Farrell collected two assists and junior goalie Shauna Hutchinson had 12 saves for the Red Dragons. Cortland has a returning and very experienced team entering this years season and we are expected to have tremendous success in our future. Although today was a bit of a rough start, we have great potential and will put this first win behind us and begin to work hard for our next game. We will be traveling to Maryland on Sunday to prepare for our huge game against #5 ranked in the nation, Salisbury. Being #3 and going up against a #5 team is going to be a battle, though it is a challenge we are excited to take. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Game Day Eats

On the day of a game, it is extremely important to be aware of what you are eating and putting into your body. An athletes performance on game day will be effected and dependent on the foods that they have eaten over the past few days and the day of. By paying attention to the food you intake on game day, performance will be enhanced. Athletes should strive for a game day diet to include many carbohydrates, moderate amount of protein, and foods that are very low in fat. There are a few guidelines and rules that are known facts to athletes about eating prior to a game. These simple guidelines are important to maintain in respect to what you know your body needs to be completely fueled and energized. One guideline is, eat a meal 3-4 hours before a game. Choosing a protein and a carbohydrate meal such as a chicken or turkey sandwich, cereal and milk, or yogurt are great sources of energy coming from healthy foods. The meal prior to a game should not be heavy, but instead light that way all the food is not sitting in your stomach as you are running. Another piece of advice athletes follow on game day, is eat a snack less than 2 hours before the game if you do not have time to eat a full meal. Light snacks such as fruits, vegetables, crackers, or yogurt are great substitutes for a meal and they will provide you with the proper nutrients that you will need. Eating an hour before game play is cutting it way too close and you will not acquire the proper energy needed from breaking the foods down. Eating right before a game may also cause a bloated, full, cramp, and sick feeling which would be detrimental to any athlete. The most important thing to remember as an athlete eating on game day, is that everyone is different and you must do what is necessary for yourself. One person may not be able to eat a huge meal a few hours before, while others require a snack a few hours beforehand. Everyone is different and as an athlete it is your job to find out what works best with your body type.