7 things you should know about 7 things

1. How to advocate for yourself or a loved one in today's health care system.

Mary Toppi-Beane '74 is a professional geriatric care manager

  • Be prepared. Have the tough conversations among family members about what kinds of care you all want or do not want. These conversations need to be ongoing and very specific. Documenting them will help far away relatives understand what each individual's wishes are.
  • Accompany family members to doctor appointments if possible. Get to know the primary care physician and have the patient tell the physician that he/she trusts you. Ask questions and take notes for future reference. Keep an ongoing, accurate medication list with you.
  • If possible appoint a family spokesperson. Health care staff are very busy and do not want to ask the same question to several family members.
  • Understand the system. Health care staff are mandated to protect the patient's right to choice and right to privacy. Do not feel left out or defensive if the initial conversations are not aimed at you as a family member.
  • Make sure all the legal documents are in order. Everyone should have a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and Finances. This may include a living will. This will very clearly state who can make decisions for the patient if he or she is incapable of doing so.
  • Ask for help. There are geriatric care managers and hospital social workers who can guide you through this process. They are objective professionals who can talk to hospital staff if the family is in turmoil and cannot hear or communicate clearly. Their job is to understand the system and the resources available. (www.caremanager.org can locate a care manager throughout the U.S.)
  • Take a deep breath and be kind to yourself, to your hospitalized loved one and the health care professionals.

2. Best excuses for returning library books late

Submitted by Shelley Davis, Saint Joseph's librarian

  • I forgot they were library books.
  • No one else could possibly want to read it.
  • I felt the need to be rebellious.
  • I don't do well with deadlines.
  • I never know what day it is.
  • I thought the due date was just a suggestion.
  • I read slowly.

3. What is the college doing to become more sustainable?

  • To honor the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment that President Lee signed in April, we will require purchase of Energy-Star certified appliances and minimize waste by increasing recycling.
  • Single-stream recycling bin on campus sorted 30 tons of recyclables last year; recycling bins are now standard in each student room, classroom and office.
  • Composting of dining hall leftovers (food waste is given to local farms or used in campus garden) and reduction of food waste by introducing trayless dining.
  • Green Move Out to promote recycling when students move out of the dorms in May.
  • Use of green cleaning products in all campus buildings.
  • Student eco-rep program encourages recycling and sustainability education efforts, like the take-back-the-tap initiative to reduce use of bottled water, thereby lessening petroleum-based plastics; measuring electricity use by residence hall and sponsoring energy-saving contests between the halls. Starting this fall, a faculty-staff team will also promote sustainability among colleagues.
  • Purchasing 35% of food from within 150-mile radius to cut down on carbon emissions from transporting food, as well as growing food at the campus farm.

Go to www.sjcme.edu/sustainability

4. What are most popular books in cooking, food and wine on Amazon.com, midsummer 2009

  • "America's Most Wanted Recipes: Delicious Recipes from your Family's Favorite Restaurants" by Ron Douglas
  • "Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals" by Michael Pollan
  • "In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto" by Michael Pollan
  • "Eat This, Not That! Thousands of Simple Food Swaps that Can Save you 10, 20, 30 Pounds - or More!" by David Zinczenko
  • "Hungry Girl: 200 Under 200: 200 Recipes under 200 Calories" by Lisa Lillien
  • "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking" by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D.
  • "Cook Yourself Thin: Skinny meals you can make in minutes" by Lifetime Television

5. How education students knew that they wanted to become teachers

  • I knew I wanted to be a teacher when I started making up homework for myself when I was in kindergarten. (Iris Guimond '09)
  • I was influenced by my grade school teachers. They were all so wonderful. We would do creative activities related to themes we would study, like writing stories and making them into hard-covered books. My favorite teacher in grade school was Mrs. Oliver. One thing we did every week was write in a journal about what we were learning or what had happened to us over the weekend. She would write back a personal note and I still have mine to look back on today. (Nicole Chapman Ball '01)
  • I went to a Catholic grammar school a long time ago and the eighth-graders did a lot with the younger kids. At one point they had a first-grade teacher who was out sick and they couldn't get a sub, so they asked me to cover a first-grade classroom at age 13. I said yes ... and then I knew. (Tina Sharkey '74)
  • I originally came to St. Joe's as a nursing major and realized that it wasn't for me. I started to think about all of the things that really made me happy in life and they included working with kids, being creative, and improving the world around me. For me, teaching allows me to do all of these things and more ... plus I really love children's books. (Jackie DeFillippo '07)
  • I became a teacher because I struggled in school. I knew what it felt like to sit in the classroom and "not get it." I became a teacher because I wanted to help my students, so they never felt like I did in the classroom. My 4th grade teacher connected with me and explained things again when I was unsure. She made me feel like I belonged in the class. (Christine Hesler, M.S.Ed. student)
  • When I was younger, I used to come home and force my younger sisters to "play school" after we had been in school all day. As my sisters would say, I was always the teacher and the principal. (Sarah Bouchard '07)
  • My main reason I wanted to be a teacher: I struggled in school and had learning issues. Many of my teachers told me that I did not try hard enough and I would never make anything of myself. I wanted to make sure that every student I come in contact with will feel that they can make something of themselves and that they are not dumb. Everyone learns differently, just as we all look differently. I want every student to be able to raise his or her hand and not be afraid. (William DiMedio '08)

6. What do first-year students bring to college from home?

  • My iHome for my iPod and my teddy bear I got the day that I was born. (Alyssa Hopkins '11)
  • A few framed pictures of friends and family ... I always loved looking at them when I was having a bad day, or just missed home a little. I also loved having my friends walk directly to the picture of my whole family and saying "Wow, you look just like your mom!" or "your dad is the man, I love that suit coat," and just random comments. I also brought my favorite stuffed animal to college with me, a big brown dog that could qualify as a pillow. (Hannah McGowan '10)
  • I brought all my worldly possessions. I could say that the thing that helps me relax the most is my book collection ... authors from most genres that I have read multiple times throughout my life so far. Things like "Lord of the Rings", "Harry Potter", the "Eragon" series, and then some. (Noah Ebel '12)
  • I brought a poster that my best friend and I painted together. I also brought my best friend and immediate family to help set up my room, which created a good first memory for my new space. I know of someone else who brought a blanket that she had left by the woodstove so that she could have something that smelled like home. (Emily Dicentes '10 English)
  • My mom sent food with me, all my favorites from home, like chocolate chip cookies. Taste of home and great late night munchies! (Ashley Brown '10)
  • I decorated my room at school like at home, Red Sox stuff and dinosaur stickers everywhere. (Heidi Stucki '10)
  • I brought way too much stuff, and I learned to consolidate after that, because I don't need everything for all four seasons. (Sydney Mosher '10)

7. What makes a good résumé?

Pete Seavor '92 works in the Office of Career Services at Saint Joseph's.

  • Your résumé should interest the employer in calling you for an interview, not simply detail your past work history. Keep a positive and enthusiastic tone in your writing.
  • Develop and write an objective for your résumé that will focus on the specific position in which you are interested. Include what value you can add to this position.
  • Never use a résumé template. Create your own original résumé without the limiting functions of a template. Recruiters see template résumés all the time; if yours is different, it will stand out against the rest.
  • Be clear and concise. Use short, descriptive phrases with action verbs to describe your experience and skills. Write about your achievements when possible, as these will be distinctive to the reader.
  • Keep it short. Try to keep your résumé to one page if you are a recent graduate. Longer résumés are appropriate in some fields, or when you have more significant experience.
  • Pay attention to the details. Your information should be organized so that it is logical to you and the reader. Make sure dates and word spellings are correct. Have another person, such as a Career Services Center staff member, proofread and critique your résumé for you.
  • Print your résumé on high-quality white, off-white, or ivory paper using a standard, conservative font. use the highest-quality laser or inkjet printer you can. When e-mailing, send the résumé as an attachment with an appropriate subject line, such as "Applicant for marketing position."