All posts by Madison Chiaravolloti

Humans Of E-town

By: Madison Chiaravolloti, Mike Garvey, Andrew Westacott, and Tim McParland

Meagan Halbleib is a resident of Elizabethtown and a mother of two beautiful girls. As a caregiver and woman, their are concerns that most cannot see that she sees very clearly through.

“I don’t believe that homelessness should be possible or even exist in the United States. The money that exists in this country…yet we help other countries improve on their homelessness issues. It seems we should be focusing on our own don’t you think?”

Meagan was able to speak simply on this manner, although a very complicated issue, she believes it could be fixed.

“The rich could help the poor. Their are empty schools, churches, and even stores that aren’t open 24-hours. I have no personal experience, but I know many people that have been homeless. You’d never know it with some. I think it would also make us a country more aware. This would assist in taking the, “hobo” stigma away and allow humans to see a human regardless of their living situation. When we, as average non-homeless people say, “oh my god I’m starving” or “freezing” realistically we have no clue what an empty belly truly feels like. We have no idea what true cold is.”

Meagan Halbleib

Kaitlyn Halbleib

Kaitlyn Halbleib thoroughly enjoys learning about exotic animals, specifically reptiles. She brought home her first snake at seventeen years old, a king snake. He unfortunately wasn’t the healthiest snake, and she gave him the best home until it passed. This began her love for rescuing animals from near and far. Now, she estimates that there have been around fifty animals that have come to her and she has successfully taken in and made them her own.

Katie and Lowkii

A New Adventure

 There are always some favorites though, one being her monitor lizard named, “Lowkii” that she has had from an adolescent stage. Once again, this became a “rescue” mission for her as the lizard wasn’t in the best shape coming from a local pet store. Through adopting this unique pet, Katie has learned how to keep and care for this advanced reptile. Lowkii, “…and I have always been on the same schedule. Monitor lizards are typically daytime hunters, but he conformed to my schedule, so no matter what job I had he would switch his schedule just so he could see me,” Katie said. The rescuing of these types of animals can be a lot of work, but, “it is relatively cheap, it only costs me thirty-nine dollars to feed everyone,” she said. Currently she has around forty to feed, but that may always grow in the blink of an eye.

Building A Family

As time went on, she has acquired other pets as well. This includes several cats and rats, along with her extensive reptile collection. Her interest surrounding breeding has increased over time, and she has learned a lot while researching various genes that snakes may carry. These unique genes can change everything about the animal at hand, so the possibilities are endless.  Although breeding can be looked down on, “I never wanted to do it for the money,” Katie said, “It is more about the amazing process of reproduction and the many different kinds that can be made.” Katie does not sell to just anyone but does look forward to finding the hatchlings a safe and happy home when they are ready. She describes it as, “Christmas day” when the breeding process is over, and eggs finally lay. It is a tedious and fragile process to make the breeding healthy for the snakes and the new life at hand. But with the experience in rescue and handling animals that most people would not, this process is all worthwhile. The real reward comes after the eggs have incubated, and Katie can finally see what she has made with her already growing family. Her love for animals in undeniable, but reptiles have her heart. As the journey of rescuing goes on, Katie is always, “on call” for anyone that can get in touch with her. If they need help removing a snake, her name very well might just pop up while someone is in a panic with a unique creature. Although this job of hers is unusual, she approaches animals with grace, and finds excitement in giving them the life they deserve.

What’s on Your Menu? Thanksgiving Dessert Edition

                There are only a few days left till Thanksgiving hits and everyone has the dinner we have all been waiting for. But what comes after is real star of the night. As your family departs after an evening of laughter and entertainment, leave them with something sweet!

I tested and tried a Blueberry Crumble Pie and a Pecan Pie to ensure the host this year gets all the credit. Though some are easy, and some take a bit more patients, each one of these options would be a great addition to your dessert table this year.

                    After some serious research, I finally got my hands on the crust recipe I’ve been wanting. It’s flakey but does not fall apart. It’s crisp, but not crunchy and off-putting. It uses all butter instead of margarine or lard, giving it this rich flavor that we all love. It is Thanksgiving after all! This crust was made the night before, so it had plenty of time to chill before rolling it out. Click the link to try it out!

The rolled out crust

I took some time on a slow, rainy, Saturday morning to put these recipes to the test.

After rolling out the crusts to about an inch thick, they were ready to be filled with the good stuff.

Although the fillings for these pies were not overly complex, they were extremely flavorful. Some of the recipes called for different ingredients then what I had on hand, but what I had seemed to do the job just fine. For example, the blueberry crumble pie called for fresh berries, but we already had some frozen for smoothies later in the week. The pecan pie also called for corn syrup, but I only had maple syrup which ended up being quite a nice addition to the simple flavors.

I did follow the directions, but each filling came together differently. The blueberry filling is quick and easy, I just had to be patient waiting for the sugar to dissolve and bring out the sweetness in the berries.  but the pecan pie calls for tempering eggs into the hot syrup filling. This can be done by putting tablespoons of the hot filling into the eggs bit by bit, being sure to whisk well after each tablespoon. This will ensure the eggs do not scramble and helps bring them to temperature slowly. You are left with this glossy, smooth filling to pour over the crushed pecans begging for the oven.

The finished blueberry crumb and pecan pies

My roommates destroyed these pies in a matter of days, and it only took a few bites to get official approval. Not only were they gone quickly, but the feedback was better than expected. For a few simple ingredients, these tasted like bakery quality. I encourage all of you to give these a shot, even if it’s your first time baking pies. These recipes are easy to follow and turn out like a dream. If you want to bring something special to your holiday table, count these in!

Women’s Soccer Beats Scranton on Homecoming

The Elizabethton Women’s Soccer team went up against Scranton on Saturday October 19th in a Landmark Conference match up. As the Blue Jays celebrated homecoming, they were also able to celebrate a win against one of the best teams in the conference. Scranton has not lost a regular season game since 2015, but they fell short to the Jays 3-2 at the final whistle.

In the opening half, there were no goals on either side of the field. But after half time the action began quickly, and the pace continued throughout the remainder of the game. Approximately 50 minutes in, sophomore Leigh Ungerleider gave the Jays the lead. But not long after, Scranton struck back. Not a minute later, the Royals earned another quick goal. This allowed Scranton to take the lead 2-1 with plenty of time to go left in the half.

Around the 70th minute the Jays were tested defensively with consecutive shots fired again by the Royals, but the First-year goalkeeper Trinity Soto held her line strong and did not let their lead extend pass two. Soto earned six saves total against Scranton.

Halfway into the final half, senior Lydia Lawson saw an opportunity to cross the ball towards the far post; successfully finding her fellow teammate, senior Natalie Nye. Nye was able to take one touch and strike the ball out of the keeper’s reach, earning her first career goal.

“We’ve been practicing the way we want to perform and sharpening our skills,” Nye said.

The game was then tied as both teams went back and forth for a bit attempting to score. This was until the 76th minute, when Lawson gave E-town the lead 3-2.

“If we beat them we have a good shot at playoffs,” Lawson said.

This was Lawson’s sixth game-winning goal of the season; tying the school record. The 80th minute brought some of the last attacks on net Scranton could produce. There were a few corner kicks that came close, but the Blue Jays held their defense strong while the time ran out giving them the win.

Hear the interviews with Nye and Lawson in the link below.

Elizabethtown College Hosts Poverty Simulation for Students

Elizabethtown, Pa- Earlier this month Elizabethtown College hired the Community Action Partnership to come and set up a poverty simulation as an enriching and rewarding experience for students.

This event was held in the KAV and is an encompassing simulation of what a day looks like in the shoes of an impoverished person.

In a little over an hour, students are assigned “families” and are given a brief description of what their life journey has looked like so far. They are then put in high-stress situations and must figure out how to do daily tasks with little to no resources.

Students broken into their simulation “families.” Photo courtesy of Sharon Sherick.

There were various agencies set up along the perimeter of the simulation to enhance the experience for the students. Based on their assigned situations, students can utilize these agencies to complete a daily task such as picking up their child from “daycare” or even going to “work.” The structure of the simulation was meant to emphasize what it might be like to live a day in poverty and set up the most realistic exposure possible.

This assisted in the students’ involvement in becoming familiar with resources to help those who are in need, including how shelters operate and how to find transportation when you need to be somewhere.

Participants were also able to exercise positive decision-making skills when under pressure and in need. Furthermore, the students were able to benefit through a group setting while learning how to utilize help from the community when one is in a time of need.

Sharon Sherick is a program coordinator at the Center for Community and Civic Engagement at Elizabethtown College and oversaw the organizing and planning of this event.

Sherick had the to participate in several poverty simulations. “I took it years ago, and it was so impactful for me” Sherick said.

She explained how it gave the students the chance to truly sympathize for others in positions similar to theirs in the simulation. Sherick felt that this would be a great event to bring to the college because of its many benefits along with the realistic experience it provided.

Participant working with a caseworker in the simulation. Photo courtesy of Sharon Sherick.

Meghan Matje was a participant and has had the chance to attend the event twice now. Taking from both experiences, Matje praised how useful the resources provided truly are.

“You get a glimpse of what it looks like to walk in another person’s shoes” Matje said.

Those who participated in the simulation all felt that it was a stressful but very rewarding event overall. Tess Straight was another student participant and was able to speak on the benefits the program puts on perspective and sympathy for others.

“It makes you realize we don’t look at things from others’ perspective” Straight said.

The simulation was so realistic that many benefits had to be processed over a short amount of time. For many this included moments participants could reflect on the appreciation they had for the opportunity that was made available to them. It was a reminder that neighbors can help neighbors when reality is opened up and sympathy is shown.

Elizabethtown College Hosts Poverty Simulation for Students

Photos Found Above.