Friday, March 31, 2017

My Health and Human Performance Internship: The Neglected and the Unnoticed Body Guards

By Andy Tobias

(L-R) George Coles, Jayson Shurland, Andy Tobias, Dashey Ramsey, Bryan Smith, and Cameron Clark.
As a former Ferrum College football player and soon to be Ferrum alumni, one last step before becoming a part of the real world is the completion of the Health and Human Performance internship. With me working towards a coaching minor, it only seemed fitting to complete this internship with the Ferrum College football staff.

This week consisted of me observing and learning about the jobs of the body guards, the offensive line men. Coach Summers is the one with his hands on the reins, meaning he is the one that teaches the meetings and he is also the Offensive Coordinator. Sitting in on these meetings gave me a different perspective of the sport of football. I’ve established that this group of kids do not get enough credit. This position works just as hard as other positions but they don’t get half as much the acknowledgement.

In the meetings, I learned there are two main jobs of the body guards, one being to protect the quarterback in pass protection then there is running back protection through run blocking. Inside of these two jobs, there is so much thought and skill that needs to be applied that allows an offensive lineman to achieve greatness. To be a good offensive lineman has a lot to do with good foot movement and good hand placement.

You may be wondering why I named this journal The Neglected and the Unnoticed, but you are soon to be informed. How many times a game do offensive line men score? How often do their names get yelled out over the intercom? How many times does the media blame a loss on the offensive line men not making their blocks? This happens, sometimes, if the offensive line group is really bad, but in that matter they are getting a negative side of praise.

They are neglected and unnoticed because most of the time the only time the body guards are noticed is when they are doing the wrong thing. For the amount of work, these guys put in they do not get enough credit. For an offensive lineman to get awards all of the coaches for different teams have to vote the player in to even get an honorable mention. The only real praise the body guards get is if they are the best of the best and they get recognized by all the surrounding teams. As a former body guard for Ferrum College, I feel sympathy for this group of young men.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Alternative Spring Break 2017: Hurricane Disaster Recovery Mission Trip to Virginia Beach

By Dr. Jan Nicholson Angle, Dean of the Chapel

Five students and two staff from Ferrum College gave up their Spring Break to travel to Virginia Beach where they assisted two families who are recovering from the effects of Hurricane Matthew. Hurricane Matthew struck the Virginia coast in October 2016. Ferrum College continues to be the only Virginia based United Methodist affiliated college team to volunteer with The Virginia Conference United Methodist Volunteers in Mission Disaster Recovery working to assist families along the Virginia coast who are recovering from both the September 2016 tornado and October 2016 hurricane.

Our Ferrum College team of seven persons arrived in Virginia Beach Friday at 11 pm. We were up Saturday morning and on our first work site by 8 am. We arrived to find a couple living in a trailer located in the driveway of their home. Previous teams had worked with them to remove and treat the water-damaged walls of their home. This family, paralyzed by the trauma of the hurricane, had moved only a portion of their belongings out of the house leaving many personal items and furniture still inside. Our job for the next two days was to support and assist this couple in moving the salvageable belongings to storage. More importantly our team truly set aside self and embraced other as we listened to this beautiful couple reminisce their favorite family memories, and shed silent tears as they came to terms in parting with family heirlooms that were too water damaged to be saved. With most of their belongings in storage, and the assurance of other work teams to follow, our team laid hands on the homeowner and the furnishings now moved to storage asking for God’s blessings and safe keeping over his family, his home, and his belongings.

The second family our work team assisted was an older couple who, as Hurricane Matthew bore down upon them, had helplessly watched the waters rise covering the entire first floor of their town home. When we arrived we quickly realized that this couple was at a different stage of recovery as they had already moved all their water damaged belongings out of the house, had the walls repaired, and were waiting on our team to install wood laminate flooring in both their living and dining rooms.

While the work we did and the skills we attained individually and as team were amazing, NOTHING could take the place of watching Ms. Eleanor at 70+ years of age do her happy dance on her new living room floor. As our final day of work closed, it was not only Ms Eleanor who was shedding tears as we stood hand in hand with her in her dining room. We praised God for bringing her safely through the storm and offering her hope for tomorrow. Ms. Eleanor said over and over again how she would have never been able to recover without us. Of course we all knew better, but are thankful that for this Spring Break we have had the opportunity to represent Ferrum College and re-present the love of God to those who now hold a very special place in our hearts.

Team Members

Students: Stephanie Gibbs, a senior majoring in Health Sciences; Alexis Hatcher, a junior majoring in Religion; Mark Kellam a sophomore majoring in Environmental Science; Lukas McWhorter, a junior majoring in Environmental Science; and Ricky Phillips a sophomore majoring in Computer Science.

Staff: Assistant Director of Student Leadership and Engagement Daniel Kyle and Dean of the Chapel Jan Nicholson Angle.

View additional photographs from the trip here.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Life of Service

By Daniel Kyle

Today the team woke up eager to see who our next hurricane survivors were. After eating the delicious breakfast Jan cooked, we stopped by our rooms, grabbed our stuff and headed to the van. It was a long yet productive day as we met a new family who were survivors of Hurricane Matthews aftermath. They were such a beautiful couple. We were welcomed into their home and treated with a warm feeling of hospitality. There seemed to be a sense of purpose residing in each of us. As we worked throughout the day interacting with the family, we couldn’t help but notice the cheerful and joyful feelings the family expressed as we placed brand new floors in their house.

Mark 10:45 says,for even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Dwelling on this verse of scripture teaches us about living a life of service. Are we living a life of service? What does a life of service look like? It’s a refreshing feeling knowing that Jesus came to serve and not be served. This trip has taught our team about living a life of service in a variety of ways. Giving these families our time and assistance is a great way to live a life of service but most importantly, showing the love of Christ is the ultimate way we can serve them.

A life of service starts in our hearts that develop into actions leading to valuable relationships. Relationships lead to new conversations and new relationships but most importantly a life of peace (Philippians 4:7). When you are in the righteous will of God, you’re led to people who value your time and presence. People will value the love you show them through times of crisis and heartache. Your peace will come from helping others knowing that you’re pleasing God as well.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Letting Go: Trusting in God’s Plan

By Daniel Kyle

February 27, 2017:  Wow! What an amazing day! It was day three of our Alternative Spring Break Mission trip from Ferrum and it was nothing short of phenomenal. Today we went back to finish up the moving process with the family we were assigned to. We learned so much from helping the flood survivors from last year’s hurricane (Hurricane Matthew) at Virginia Beach that even after leaving their company, we were dwelling on the wealth of knowledge and wisdom we received from their beautiful spirits. We were in awe of how grateful and kind-hearted they were towards us. Stephanie, Jan, and Alexis worked with each other to organize and pack boxes extra heavy for the men, testing what little strength they had left after day one. Lukas and Mark put their “Boy Scout” skills to the test by securing boxes, with rope, inside the back of the truck. Ricky and Daniel did an exceptional job organizing the back of the truck to clear space for continuous oncoming traffic. Working together as a team never looked so good as each individual carried the motto “Not Self but Others” in their hearts and minds.

1 Corinthians 12 says Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. This verse exemplified how we felt as a team. Each of us had a different skill set or gift we brought to the table in order to accomplish the mission at hand. There were many times throughout the 2-day task we wanted to stop (because of fatigue) but the encouragement we received from one another gave us motivation to strive on. During our reflection period near the end of the day, a question was brought up in the discussion. In Jeremiah 29:11 God says He plans to give us a hope and a future, however, the question was asked how do you get to that future when you’re afraid of letting go? Looking at some of the flood survivors it seemed that some of them were reluctant to let some things go. Not just material belongings but emotional and sentimental feelings as well. We could only imagine what a lot of them have gone through in this past year losing their homes and personal possessions.

Sometimes it’s hard to find the right answer to tough questions but we took a stab at it with our thoughts on the day. First, understanding that things are replaceable. One of the survivors repetitively kept saying “It’s replaceable” throughout the day (referring to their possessions). It was almost like they were training themselves to believe what they were saying. That’s how God’s word works in our lives, by consistently reading it and dwelling on whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things (Philippians 4:8).

Secondly, being appreciative and grateful for what you have can help you move forward in life. The survivors consistently showed their gratitude and appreciation not only towards the team, but also towards the materials they still have. They found value in the little things and their faith in God showed us that even when the storm is over, we can still put our trust and faith in God to restore any brokenness we may have.

Friday, February 24, 2017

My Health and Human Performance Internship: Yard Sale Prep

By Jessica Turner '17

During my 5th week of my HHP internship at the Franklin County Perinatal Education Center I have worked most of my time on preparation for the spring yard sale. The FCPEC is a non-profit organization so they have to fundraise to get a majority of their money. The yard is one of their biggest fundraisers of the year. So I helped to sort some of the donated clothes into winter and summer clothes based on their sizes. They have a fall and spring yard sale, so they try to only have out summer clothes during the spring yard sale and winter clothes in the fall yard sale. I also have to make sure that the clothes don’t have too many stains or too worn out. If the clothes are have stains or too worn out we either throw them out or donate them to Goodwill. I also got to test out the electrical appliances that have been donated. I tested everything from irons and microwaves to bacon cookers and Christmas lights. I spent two of my days testing all of the different electronics and most of them worked.

During my 6th week, I worked more on the yard sale items. I got to measure and package curtains that were donated. At the beginning I was struggling trying to figure out the best way to measure and fold the curtains because they are so long. After about two or three tries I got it down and was on a roll. I also started organizing childbirth care packages that I had made into girl or boy and winter or summer. I had to figure out the best way to storage them. I found these giant plastic bags labeled them and put the specific package into the big bag. I’ve made so many of these care packages that mothers will be getting these after I finish my internship at FCPEC. That is a very exciting thought for me, that I will be making a small impact on this place even after my internship is up.

The FC Perinatal Education Center is partnered with Bath and Body Works and Tuesday Morning in Roanoke and they will donate items. When the stores get returns that they can’t put back on the shelves they will donate them to us. So there are some very nice and high quality things donated to them, like comforters and lamps. Amy goes and picks up carloads from both stores at least once a week.

I feel like I’m getting into a flow now, I feel comfortable going in and doing whatever Amy asks of me and she can leave me to do it. I’ve been learning how much work goes into putting on a fundraiser and keeping a non-profit running. Amy runs everything basically by herself, does paperwork, sets up classes, and does fundraisers. She has one lady that comes in twice a week to help price and sort donations for the yard sale and another lady that comes in during the mornings and helps answer phones and helps mail out postcards. Other than them, she does everything. You can really see her love for what she does, she never complains about all the work, besides paper work occasionally. She always has a smile on her face and had such a positive attitude.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

My Fulbright Experience

José Gutiérrez at Philpott Lake near Ferrum.

By José Gutiérrez

Hi. I am José Gutiérrez. I am from Chetumal, Mexico. I am the fourth Fulbright Spanish Teaching Assistant (TA) in Ferrum. As part of the Fulbright program, around 400 teachers from all over the world come to the United States every year to teach their language as TAs. I hold a bachelor’s degree in English language and a master’s in Education, and I taught English in my hometown for two years before I came to the United States.

This exchange program was not only a great opportunity to refine my teaching skills but also to broaden my knowledge of American culture and customs. Precisely, the first-hand experiences I had last semester helped me to learn more about the culture. Thanks to television, movies and music, I had an idea of how big cities look like but I didn’t know much about the countryside. Last semester I attended some folk festivals in cities and towns like Salem, Martinsville and Greensboro, and I enjoyed the music, food, exhibitions, and crafts of the region, especially bluegrass music. I loved it! It was a semester full of first-time experiences: college football, Halloween, Thanksgiving, the fall, and lately the snow. And the cold, well, I am still working on that.

I also celebrated Día de Muertos and enjoyed the altars that students made as part of a contest. It was nice to see altars outside of my country. I have also encountered many Spanish speakers in Virginia and some neighbor states. It has not been really difficult to get authentic food from my region in Mexico, and I get to see how people have mixed their Latin American culture to the American one. Overall, this experience has made me appreciate more my culture.

Students at the Tertulia.
Last semester, I taught two sections of Spanish 101 and ran speaking workshops called “Tertulias”. Moreover, I took courses on American studies. This semester I will have more assistance duties and continue working on the “Tertulias”. I hope to have a great semester and to enjoy both the Spanish assistantship and the courses I will take.