No faculty, no students.

What is the point in telling the students of 14 state universities to attend class if they know their professor won’t be there?

Sure the schools would be “open”, but no learning would be happening.

Today was the start of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties’ (APSCUF) strike against the Pennsylvania State System of Higher education (PASSHE).

As one of the 110,000 students at a PASSHE university this affects my education greatly. But I will stand in solidarity with my educators.

Last night, during the final countdown prior to the declared strike, Chancellor Brogan and the rest of PASSHE board of governors decided it was more imperative for them to get a good nights sleep rather than to negotiate with the APSCUF and prevent the strike from happening.

I thought it was the goal of an organization such as the PASSHE to help educate the people of Pennsylvania (and outsiders like me). But all they seem to want to do is prolong their negotiations and bargaining and prevent the students from the education they are paying for and deserve. The PASSHE hashtag is #infiniteopportunities. As far as I’m concerned they are not allowing for any opportunities. If they can’t give the educators what they deserve, how are they supposed to give the students the education we deserve?

It is my hope that Chancellor Brogan is able to come to negotiate with our educators so we can all get back to the classroom. Mr. Brogan, you cannot put students first if you put the educators last. When the PASSHE starts treating higher education as a priority rather than a profit, we will be able to move forward.

 

To the faculty who have boldly and proudly taken a stand against PASSHE:

Thank you for all you do on a daily basis for not only myself but all 100,000 students throughout all 14 universities. I stand in solidarity with my professors and all educators here at Cal U and all educators throughout the PASSHE. I am #withAPSCUF. Please continue to fight for what you truly deserve. Myself and many other students at PASSHE universities will continue to stand and fight with you.

 

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Never Forget

Fifteen years ago today, like every other day, I woke up in the morning and rolled out of bed. Little did I know my little world would change forever.

The day continued as normal. I  went to the kitchen and most likely had a bowl of cereal for breakfast. I got myself dressed and brushed my teeth. Soon enough my dad would come home from work and mom would be leaving soon for work. I would watch some Spongebob with my sisters and dad before I left for school that day. As normal, I would stop on my walk to pick up my neighbor friends and we’d walk to Lincoln Elementary together. My same daily morning routine.

After getting to school, I would play outside with my friends, then head in to Mrs. Oleson’s second grade classroom as the bell rang. I loved school, so I’m sure I was excited for another day there. The day continued as normal for about another hour or so.

During silent reading that morning, I remember hearing the announcement that there were attacks at the twin towers in NYC, and the pentagon as well. Little did I know this would change my world forever. I was too young to understand exactly what was going on, but I remember the impact it had on all of those around me and shortly began to see the effect on others in the United States and even world wide. I had no idea what terrorism was. I had no idea the world was such a scary place, and that it would only become scarier.

September 11 was just another day on the calendar until 2001. Every year following, it has become a day of remembrance. A day no one, not even I want to relive. I remember watching as the towers began to collapse. I remember watching video after video on the news that morning. I remember being picked up from school by my dad that day and coming home to watch the news and see more and more of the horrific scene in New York City.

Fifteen years later I sit here in remembrance of those who lost their lives that unforgettable day in September of 2001. I’m heartbroken by the fact that for the past 15 years this country spends every September 11th ultimately reliving the horrific events of that day, and in remembrance of the tragedy that took place that day. I sit here and pray for those who went through loss of loved ones that day, from people on the plane, to people working in the World Trade Center that day, the brave men and women who went flooding into the building to try to save as many people as they could but never found their way out alive.  My heart just breaks for all of those affected. I also pray for peace for those who lost loved ones, and those who still struggle. I pray for those who feel that terrorism is what their life is meant to be a part of. Like I said the world is truly a scary place, and it only continues to become scarier.

I find myself watching videos after videos of those towers falling again today. And videos taken by passers by of people in sheer panic. I watch countless documentaries on the day, and learn more and more about the tragedy. At 22 years old, I understand more of what took place that day, but still will never fully understand it. I don’t think anyone ever will. I can’t help but cry when I hear stories of the tragedy that day.

September 11th 2001 is a day that will forever be engrained in my mind. I will never forget how I felt that day, the feeling isn’t much different today 15 years later. Sadness. Anger. Confusion. Disbelief. That doesn’t even begin to describe it. It is sad that terrorist attacks are becoming “normal” in todays society. We are no longer surprised when we hear of these tragedies on the news. I only hope that some day this world can find peace. I hope that human kind can come together and be one. I hope that one day terrorism won’t be a topic of every day conversation, and will no longer be a threat worldwide.

September 11th 2001 is a day myself, and many other Americans will never forget.

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Thankful.

As I sit here in my apartment with clothing to wear, a functioning bathroom, electricity, clean running water, a refrigerator full of food, and a bed to sleep in I remind myself how lucky I am. Over the past 4 days I have been reminded how fortunate I truly am.

Sunday evening, the town of Connellsville, the town that is the home to the school in which I work, was hit terribly by the storms that rolled through. Late Sunday evening, and early Monday morning Geibel went from a 2 hour school delay to being closed for the next few days due to the closing of Connellsville Area High School from the damage they received from the storms. Due to the damage at Connellsville, Geibel has been forced to remain closed until Tuesday, September 6th due to transportation issues to the private school. Much of Connellsville was affected by the flash flooding that occurred. Many homes and business were also severely damaged. Luckily Geibel didn’t have much flood damage, but they did have some damage due to the rain that fell. (Over 5″ of rain in the matter of 2 hours.)

The amount of destruction to this town is absolutely devastating. My heart aches greatly for those who endured such great losses due to this tragedy.  If you would like to make a donation of any kind to the community please contact me at annaduffrin@gmail.com and I can give you some more information on how you can help out this community.

Through this tragedy I have found myself very very thankful for things in my life that I normally take for granted.

I’m thankful that I have a place to rest my head at night.

I’m thankful for clean running water.

I’m thankful for electricity.

I’m thankful for a car to get me where I need to be.

I’m thankful my family is alive and well, and doesn’t often have to deal with tragedies such as this.

I’m thankful my athletes have survived and are healthy.

I’m thankful my school didn’t suffer much damage.

I’m thankful I have a place to go to work.

I’m thankful for the ability to serve a community in need and show them the love of Christ through my actions.

I’m thankful for all of the people in this community willing to raise funds and donate their time, talents, and abilities to help out those in need.

Please join me in lifting this community up in prayer through this time while they work to rebuild their homes, their town, and their lives.

A new beginning..

Just a little background on the past few years of my crazy but blessed life..

For those of you who don’t know, I recently moved from a tiny town, just north of Milwaukee, WI to the Pittsburgh, PA area.

Growing up in such a small, friendly town I was lucky to know most people I would see on a daily basis. They were either people I personally knew from school, dance, soccer, you name it. Or they were people that knew my parents. I couldn’t go anywhere in town, or in Ozaukee county without people asking “You’re Leo’s daughter right?” Sure am, and am proud to be. I knew my surroundings, I knew people, I just knew things and felt comfortable with that truth.

When it was time for me to move on and go to college, I went and toured a few schools around WI. Three of them to be exact. I toured Marquette University in Milwaukee, Concordia University Wisconsin in Mequon, and The University of Wisconsin – La Crosse in La Crosse. At that point in time my dream was to one day become a physical therapist and I knew all three of those schools had great programs for me to pursue my dreams at. I fell in love with the Marquette campus. I knew immediately that if I was accepted there, that’s where I’d spend the next six to seven years of my life. I also enjoyed the Concordia campus. Beautiful campus right on Lake Michigan and just like home, and so close to home. Just a little sense of that comfort of home. An extra perk? I never needed to walk outside in the bitter cold winters of WI. So of course I applied there. My final visit was to UWL. It was so beautiful there. The bluffs, the river, a typical college campus. BUT, it was 3 hours from home and at that point in my life I was not ready to move that far away from home. So, the summer before my senior year of high school I applied to Marquette and Concordia. I was accepted into CUW, and was unfortunately wait listed at Marquette. I decided I was content at CUW and turned down my wait list spot at Marquette. I was so excited to start my new adventure at CUW.

While at Concordia, I was still in Ozaukee County, just the other end of it and I still saw people I knew out and about in Mequon. I was comfortable there as well, I was also able to go home when my schedule allowed. Freshman year at CUW, was one I’d love to forget. I learned a lot about myself, and grew so much from that experience but am SO glad it is in the past. At the end of my freshman year I applied to and was accepted into CUW’s Athletic Training program. I was one of twenty students accepted into the program. I was ecstatic as this was my first step to becoming a PT, a solid stepping stone, and wonderful learning experience before diving into the world of physical therapy. Sophomore year was rough school wise. I learned so much about the human body, and about myself as a student, but by the end of the year I was ready for it to be over and SO ready to welcome my junior year. I quickly fell in love with the athletic training profession and all it has to offer. Junior year was nothing special, I had some unbelievable learning experiences, attended the Wisconsin Athletic Trainers’ Association meeting, did some networking met some amazing people. This is when I started to realize that maybe PT wasn’t what I was meant to do, wasn’t what God put me on this beautiful earth to be.  Fast forward to senior year in the program. I worked my tail off, had the privilege of working with CUW’s men’s and women’s cross country teams and also the CUW Acrobatics and Tumbling team. Through working with both of these teams, I was able to really realize how big of an impact what I did on a daily basis made in the lives of the athletes I worked with. I saw them at their worst, helped them through those rough days of injury, worked with them daily to help them get healthy, and celebrated with them during their victories both small and large, both on and off the field. This is when I really learned I wanted to be an athletic trainer for the rest of my life. So, with that decision in mind I knew I needed to continue to further my education and achieve a masters degree.

Mid december of this past year I applied to two Graduate Athletic Training programs (Western Michigan (2 year program) and California University of PA (1 year program). In February I sat for my board exam and much to my surprise I had passed the exam on the first try and upon graduation  I would be a certified athletic trainer. While on vacation in Utah with my boyfriend and his family over spring break (Mid March), I found out I was accepted into the CAL U program, and immediately knew this was where I would spend the next year of my life working and learning and achieving my Masters of Science degree. I was so excited to finally be accepted into a post-professional program and to finally be on my own. I was excited to move on and and out of Concordia. I learned so much about myself, my profession, and life there but it was time to move on. I was so happy that things were finally starting to fall into place and God had started to show me his plans for my life and my future. I graduated from CUW with my bachelors of science degree in athletic training this past May. Finally, I was able to get out of there…

At the same time I was nervous to move so far from home (10 hours, almost 500 miles). I was leaving behind everyone and everything I knew. I left behind my sense of comfort in little ol’ Wisconsin, and was moving to a brand new state, a brand new place I knew very little about. I left behind my family, I left behind my boyfriend, and I left behind everyone I knew and loved, and also left behind the comfort I was surrounded in back home. However, I was supported by all of my friends and family and couldn’t be more thankful for their love and support along this crazy journey. Soon after arriving here we were given our placements for our graduate assistantship. I had hoped and prayed that I would be working with an on campus sport, I would have taken any one of them. However, much to my dismay I was placed at a high school. Soon to find out it has been one of the biggest blessings. I was placed at Geibel Catholic Junior-Senior High School. Im telling you, God knows what he’s doing. He wouldn’t have put me somewhere I wouldn’t make a difference in the lives other people or I wouldn’t grow as a professional or as a person.

I’ve learned SO incredibly much already. I’ve started my new job, working on my own for the first time as a licensed athletic trainer in the state of PA. I love my athletes, I love my “boss” the athletic director at Geibel. Im so blessed to be surrounded by the people I am. Ive met some very incredible people I’m happy to call my friends and colleagues, Ive made some networking connections, and have some amazing professors and colleagues. Moving to PA was a huge leap of faith for me, but it has truly, truly been one of the biggest blessings. Just have had to keep the faith, trust in Gods plan, enjoy my new surroundings, and make the best of every opportunity I have been given.

 

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