All posts by Lily Doerschuk

Alexa Habermehl embraces etown motto ‘Educate for service’

Elizabethtown, Pa. — For many college students, the weekend is a time to relax; a time to press pause on your responsibilities, recharge and hang out with friends. But for Elizabethtown College sophomore, Alexa Habermehl, the weekend is a time to give back. 

Every Sunday morning, Alexa commutes to the Penn State Hershey Hospital to volunteer as a Child Life Specialist. Alexa is an early childhood education major, but she is exploring the possibility of becoming a Child Life Specialist in the future. 

What is a child life specialist?

A Certified Child Life Specialist is a trained professional that helps aid patients and their families affected by illness and disease. Their goal is to guide patients and families to cope with the strain of chronic illness, injury or loss.

Since Alexa is simply a volunteer, her responsibilities are a bit different. Each day, her and the other volunteers will receive a short list of patients, which includes their age, condition, and something they like to do or play with, to visit.

Aside from visiting, other tasks include cleaning toys, playing games with children and holding babies.

The role of a Child Life Specialist appealed to Alexa due to her love of children and desire to serve others. However, the process of becoming one is competitive and tedious.

How to become a certified specialist

There is no such thing as a Child Life Specialist major. In order to get certified, you must earn the following:

  • bachelor’s degree in any area of study
  • specific classes through the Assoc. of Child Life Specialists (ACLP)
  • 100 hours of volunteering
  • 600 hours of unpaid internship

Since being a Child Life Specialist major is not an option, Alexa spent hours researching to learn more about the career path. She called several hospitals hoping to shadow a certified Child Life Specialist. Though she wasn’t given permission to shadow someone, the Penn State Hershey hospital invited her to come speak to a specialist to get a better sense of what they do.

During her meeting at the hospital, the certified specialist informed her of a volunteer position. She was quick to jump on the opportunity.

“I really wanted to at least volunteer and see what it’s like getting used to a hospital setting and that kind of stuff,” she said.

In order to become a volunteer, she had to submit a general application and a second application specific to the Child Life Program. She also had to submit her FBI clearances and get blood drawn. Once everything was approved, she had to have two one-on-one meetings/interviews, followed by a safety orientation.

Alexa’s Take

Though her scheduled volunteer hours and the commute to the hospital require her to wake up early, she said that it’s the highlight of her week. Being able to give her patients a visit and brighten their day simultaneously brightens her day.

“I think it’s really rewarding to actually be able to go and even if it’s something so simple as just holding a baby, that’s some extra love and attention that they wouldn’t be getting if you weren’t there,” Alexa said.

However, it’s not always easy. The reality is that these kids are sick. It can sometimes be challenging for her to be content in her current role.

“There’s really not much that I can do to help them in my situation besides just play with them and talk to them”

Nonetheless, her impact is anything but minimal.

Her time as a volunteer has been useful. Although she was hoping to get a degree in early childhood education while working towards her certification concurrently, it is not feasible at the time.

She plans to continue to study early childhood education. As for the child life program, she hopes to still be involved in the field in the future.

“Even if I don’t become a certified Child Life Specialist, I’ll definitely still volunteer.”

Lizzy and Parker’s petition for change

By: Katie Lock & Lily Doerschuk

Lizzy: I created this petition because I noticed the increasing number of students unable to live as they wish. If you’re not an upperclassman all students should be able to live as they choose and how they want to.

Parker: A main point of this was to push this to the administration who have stated that this is very important. However significant changes are not being made and questions about future plans are constantly dismissed or looted.

Lizzy: The proposal for this petition was purposely made to show how the changes being made are not benefiting the students. It was our goal to try to meet a common ground allowing seniors who choose so to move off campus.

Parker: Unfortunately these conditions were unable to be met. Small steps with no future plans leave students unsure about their housing situations in the future. We are aware that the administration is taking steps in the right direction but for students who are on campus now we are worried about the amount of time that this is taking for these changes to be made.

Lizzy: Students should be in favor this petition no matter their housing plans for the future. If students want to live off campus that is what this is intended for to build independency as a young adult and have the opportunity to do so. We shouldn’t have to bring this to our administration’s attention if students want to live on campus then more students living off campus provides them with the largest selection of dorms.

Parker: The number of students they let off campus without breaking contract is completely dependent on the amount of incoming freshmen. A student should not have to be the financial buffer for the university that they are paying for.

The beginning of a band

By Katie Lock and Lily Doerschuk

(Music fades in)

Jax: I’m Jax and this is Frankie. We both play guitar. We’ve been playing ever since we were young. We met each other at college and started playing from there with other people. Nick, I don’t know who else…

Frankie: Nick Delise, Parker Tribble, and that’s about it right now. We’re hoping in the near future to hopefully perform in like a basement gig or some small venue to get exposure and just start playing more often. But we’re at the beginning stages right now I would say and we’re hoping to expand in the near future.

(Music fades out)

Brandon Berry: The impact of basketball

By: Katie Lock & Lily Doerschuk

Brandon is a 2019 Elizabethtown College Graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a minor in French language studies. He played on the Men’s Basketball team all four years that he studied here. He is currently studying in Ireland to earn his Master’s degree in marketing through a program called “Sports Changes Lives,” where he is able to study, continue to play basketball and mentor young local athletes.

“Basketball has taught me valuable life lessons.  I’ve learned the importance of hard work, dedication and the value of working within a team. It has allowed me to meet many of my closest friends.”

“Basketball has [also] taken me around the world to my current position of being a Victory Scholar in Ireland as a member of the Sport Changes Life program. We play for our universities as well as a national league, earn a masters and coach/mentor youth in the community.”

“Elizabethtown prepared me for where I am with their motto to educate for service.  This has stuck with me and really pushed me to apply for the Victory Scholar program to be in a position to give back through the sport of basketball.”

“Hopefully basketball will be able to have the same positive impact on the people here as it did on me.”

New Luke Combs: Can his sophomore album live up to his first?

If you’re familiar with country music, you’re familiar with his name: Luke Combs. He is the first country artist to simultaneously top all five Billboard country music charts at once. His debut album, released in June of 2017, featured 12 songs — five of which reached the number one spot on country music charts.

Earlier this month, Luke released his second album “What You See Is What You Get.” This album features 17 songs, including five that were released earlier this year on an EP titled “The Prequel.”

Though Luke is relatively new to the country music scene, his booming success following his first album indicates that his work has been well received. But this begs the question, can his second album top the success of his first album?

Here’s my take: the album is exactly what one would expect from Luke. There’s power country ballads like “1, 2, Many” and “Does To Me.” There’s slow acoustic love songs like “Better Together” and “Nothing Like You.” There’s drinking songs and thinking songs like “Beer Never Broke My Heart” and “Dear Today.”

There are three songs in particular that I think are worth noting. The first one called “Does To Me” features Eric Church. It’s about learning to embrace the things that you are proud of, even if other see them as insignificant. 

“So say I’m a middle of the road… underachieving, average Joe. But I’m a hell of a lover, a damn good brother.” It’s a reminder that we are not defined by our successes or by others’ perceptions of who we our.

The next song, titled “Better Together,” is a charming love song that reminds me of the song “Beautiful Crazy” on his first album. It’s a piano heavy ballad — something that is a bit unusual for Luke, as most of his songs are guitar based. 

Nonetheless, it’s one of the few songs that I suspect will become a number one. If you’re in love, it’s a song that will resonate with you. And if you’re not in love, it will make you want to be. “If I’m being honest, your first and my last name would just sound better together and probably always will.” 

The final song, my personal favorite, is “Dear Today.” It’s a letter that Luke has written to himself. He sets the scene and opens with, “Dear today, tomorrow here. I was just checkin’ in, hope you’ve been well.” 

The lyrics are a bitter-sweet reminder to himself and listeners to stop taking our time here for granted. “Stop takin’ me for granted like I’ll always be around, ‘cause even as you read this, boy, that clock is tickin’ down.” It’s a humbling song to remind ourselves our time is limited.

Aside from the lyrics, the production of the song is what drew me in when I first heard it. It begins as a raw recording. No band, no added effects; just Luke and his guitar. This technique really helps illustrate the vulnerability and emotion of the message.

After the first chorus, the full band fades up. The shift from a raw recording to a mixed, full-band sound can be hard to pull off, but the transition was seamless. 

Overall, the album is well-written and well-produced. It’s much less of a concept album as some artist’s typically aim for and more of a collection of singles. Nonetheless, I project its impact on country radio will be massive.