A client of mine was thrilled when, after a recent run outside, he lost several pounds. He figured, as he put it, “losing any weight is good!” I hated to burst his bubble, but had to inform him, under no uncertain terms, that losing weight during exercise is caused by water loss and is not only unhealthy and hurts performance, but can kill. I work with many athletes to improve their tennis game or their running, for instance, in preparation for an important match or a marathon, and find that avoiding water losses — among other things — effects a huge improvement in their performance, and increases their energy levels and recovery time. Ignoring your hydration and nutrition needs as an athlete is a huge mistake. There have been many reported cases of teenage and adult football players who have died from heat stroke, which is excessive water loss caused by exercising without proper rehydration or cooling off. Football players are particularly vulnerable because of the heavy equipment and clothing they wear while playing outside in the heat. Sadly, simple measures can prevent these tragic deaths. I witnessed these techniques firsthand last year when I was assisting in the emergency medical tent at the Marine Corps Marathon. A couple of women staggered into the tent, their temperatures were taken and it was determined they were experiencing heat stroke. Their body temperatures were about 105 degrees; they were so disoriented, they didn’t know their own names or birthdates. Emergency measures had to be taken there and then. Luckily, the tent was equipped with absolutely everything needed, including some of the most compassionate, experienced and dedicated doctors I’ve ever encountered. The heat stroke victims were immediately dunked into one of the many ice water tanks in the tent and given IV fluids until their body temperature came down to the point when they could be rushed to the hospital emergency room. It took some time and a lot of hair-raising screaming. But it saved their lives. It’s important that all athletes have access to cooling areas, plenty of fluids and ice water tanks. These measures save lives, and they’re so simple. How you can avoid danger: Nutrients don’t only come in the form of food; water is the most important, and often most forgotten, nutrient. You can last a long time without food, but only days without water. Your lean body mass contains about 70-75 percent water, with fat containing much less, or about 10-40 percent water. Because of increased muscle mass, men’s and athletes’ bodies contain more water than women, overweight or older persons, because of their proportionately lower muscle and higher fat content. Water is: • The solvent for important biochemical reactions, supplying nutrients and removing waste • Essential for maintaining blood circulation throughout your body • The maintainer of body temperature. As you exercise, your metabolism and your internal body temperature increase. Water carries the heat away from your internal organs, where it can do serious damage (leading to heat stroke and even death), through your bloodstream to your skin, causing you to sweat. As you sweat and the sweat evaporates, this allows you to cool off and maintain a healthy body temperature, optimal functioning and overall health. Daily water intake must be balanced with losses to maintain total body water. Losing body water can adversely affect your functioning and health. Once you are thirsty, you’ve probably lost about 1 percent of your body water and are dehydrated. With a 2 percent water loss, you could experience serious fatigue and cardiovascular impairments. It’s important to note that individual fluid needs differ depending on your sweat rate, the temperature, clothing, humidity and other factors. It is important that you: • Drink enough water to prevent thirst. • Monitor fluid loss by checking the color of your urine. It should be pale yellow and not dark yellow, too smelly, or cloudy • Begin exercise well hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids the day before and within the hour before, during, and after your exercise session • Supplement water with a sports drink that contains electrolytes and 6-8 percent carbohydrates any time you exercise in extreme heat or for more than one hour. • Avoid alcohol the day before or the day of a long exercise bout, and avoid exercising with a hangover • Consider all fluids, including tea, coffee, juices, milk and soups, as acceptable sources of hydration (excluding alcohol, which is extremely dehydrating). The amount of caffeine in tea and coffee does not discount the fluid in them, even if they have a slight diuretic effect, according to the most recent report by the National Academy of Science’s Food and Nutrition Board • Eat at least five cups of fruits and vegetables per day, which all contain various levels of water. • For those who experience high sodium losses during exercise, eat salty foods in a pre-exercise meal or add salt to sports drinks consumed during exercise • Rehydrate following exercise by drinking enough fluid (water or sports drinks) to replace fluid lost during exercise. Replace fluid and sodium losses with watery foods that contain salt (soup, vegetable juices). Replace fluid and potassium losses by consuming fruits and vegetables. • Determine your individualized need for fluid replacement using the following method: During heavy exercise, weight yourself before and after exercise. If you lose weight, you've lost valuable water. Add 3 cups of fluid for every pound lost; use this figure to determine the amount of water you'll need to prevent pound loss during exercise in the future. Drink that water before exercise and sip throughout the exercise until you find the best formula for determining your personal water needs. Katherine Tallmadge, M.A., R.D. specializes in customized, easy and enjoyable athletic, weight loss and medical nutrition therapy programs for individuals and companies. She is the author of “Diet Simple: 192 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits & Inspirations,” and national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Visit www.katherinetallmadge.com or call 202-833-0353. Mention this column and receive a special 20 percent discount on your initial consultation!
As the old adage goes, “Those who can’t do, teach.” However, this is not quite the case for Tyler Herman, the 23-year-old theatre instructor of Washington’s acclaimed magnet school, School Without Walls. Referred to by students and faculty as “Walls,” the institution is well recognized as the best public high school in the District, and one of the best in the region. Established in 1971, SWW is of a certain Montessorian ilk, helping students to expand their education beyond the classroom “Walls” and turn the nation’s capital into an equal player in their intellectual cultivation. With a student body of less than 500, the students are afforded plenty of individual attention to help shape their futures. Backed by new principal Richard Trogisch and Chancellor Michelle Rhee, the school has recently been restructuring itself to achieve higher academic standards in an ever-expanding, open-ended classroom environment. The new building, in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood, forgoes lockers to keep the school looking less like an institution, and more like a welcoming environment for children to learn. SWW has a partnership with The George Washington University to provide classes free of charge for qualifying juniors and seniors. The newly established GW Early College Program offers students the opportunity to achieve an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts while they’re still in high school, granting them access to all the educational amenities that GW has to offer. The school’s Gilder Lehrman Initiative funds historic field trips around the region with visiting historians serving as guest lecturers and seminar leaders. The list of student electives — of which they are free to take plenty — rivals some colleges, and there are mandatory internships within the city for graduating seniors. Yet, as of last November, there was no theatre department. Enter Herman. A recent graduate of Cornell, Herman came back to the area, having grown up in Silver Spring. With a degree in theatre and dance, and a minor in music, he didn’t have much intention to teach upon graduation. “I wanted to be an artist,” he says. Picking up small work in a number of local theatres, he began instructing youth theatre programs part-time at Round House Theatre and other local high schools. “I had heard a lot of horror stories about public schools,” says Herman. “Students are unruly and uninterested.” But when Walls approached him to take on a position in their theatre program’s maiden voyage, he was surprised at what he found. “A 99 percent graduation rate, and a 95 percent college-bound rate,” he exclaims. “These kids are smart. And they want to learn.” Still, Herman maintained that he didn’t want to simply be a teacher. He laid out his objective in starting the theatre program as a working actor. “I’m big on creating work,” he says. “I am a working actor in this town, so I want to bring it around to the community, create a mindset of not just fun, but a career.” Herman’s mission is to use the school’s fresh program as a way to reach out to the community, producing relevant work with as much input from the students as possible. The productions are not just for the public, but are inspired from within the public. As SWW’s first main-stage production, Herman chose Molière’s “The Miser,” a satirical comedy about a rich moneylender and his children who wish to escape his penny-pinching household (allude away, my fellow metropolitans). However, the copy Herman had was a translation from the 1950s (Molière was French), which, according to Herman, “Felt stuffy, not very timely or relevant.” So Herman, fluent in French, took it upon himself to re-translate the show, change a few characters around, put in a song and dance break, and fill in plot holes from the original script. The style of theatre is actor driven, the leads played their own instruments, most being members of the high school band. Herman even decided to have the students play their own songs, which they began improvising onstage, creating a different theatre experience every night. In many sections of the new text, Herman would merely write down framework and recommendations, then had the students “Create their own moment.” “They made the show their own by crafting the characters they were creating, making it genuinely funny for them and the audience every night. Taking ownership of the theatre … I come in with my ideas, and they take it and do their own thing, and sometimes it’s even better. So, encouraging that creativity has become a huge part of the process.” He wants his students to tell their own stories. “I don’t want to create high school-level work,” he says. “I want to create real work that’s done by high school students.” Herman is now looking to get certified as a teacher — no teaching degree, just to be clear, but a vocation degree. As far as his own work is concerned, he is working through the summer with Young Playwrites Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Arena Stage, and Round House Theatre. He will soon be appearing in “In Faction of Fools” with Welders Theatre Company. A year out of school, and Herman is entrenched in theatre. He is beginning the framework of a winter festival at SWW with work primarily written by his students. A Shakespeare drama in the fall, a musical in the spring, all while working on his own theatre projects outside the classroom. If the old adage had come about with Herman in mind, it would surely read a little differently: “Those who teach, do.”
The Plains, the sleepy, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it country town visitors must wend through to get to Middleburg from I-66, jumped the gun last weekend on celebrating the proverbial “dog days” of August. Not that Adam, Annie, and a few dozen other shelter dogs were complaining. The July 24 “Dog Day in The Plains,” despite the oppressive heat and humidity, gave the Middleburg Human Foundation in Marshall, VA a chance to strut a number of its furry residents before the public. In all, the event lured in around 60 locals and out-of-towners with the prospect of ice cream, a raffle, a dog-themed puppet show for the kids (“The Barker of Seville”) and, of course, a chance to meet a few doe-eyed, lovable pooches in need of a good home. Not bad for a town with just one main road, which was practically melting that day. “As hot as it’s been, people have really come out and supported us,” said Linda Neel, who thought up the event as a fundraiser for the shelter. Her husband Tom, with whom she owns the art and design gallery Live an Artful Life, was more blunt. “Pretty good for a billion degrees,” he joked. Not surprisingly, ice cream sold fast and shade was a valuable commodity. In all, the three-hour event managed to raise an estimated $1400 for the rescue organization (the official total is still being counted), which relies on help from over 100 volunteers on its four-acre farm to manage its community of rescued pets and livestock, which includes everything from dogs and horses to more unusual critters, including donkeys and chickens. Perhaps more importantly, the gathering provided a venue for the shelter to show off photos and profiles of the animals under its care, and arrange live, in-the-flesh meetings with dog lovers who turned out that day (naturally, there’s no better way to get a pet adopted than to set up an aww-mom-can-we-keep-him scenario). Foundation President Hilleary Bogley was happy with the day’s results, saying that in a time of diminished financial contributions by the public, extra visibility always helps. “I hope it turns out to be an annual event,” she said. Her canine companions seemed to make an impression, too. A two-year-old puppy, Annie, was on her way to being adopted by that afternoon, pending a little paperwork — Bogley, the court-appointed humane investigator for Fauquier County, is known for her thorough background checks to ensure adoptees are headed for a responsible and loving family. The shelter also passed out fliers urging fans to vote in a contest that would make it a prominent feature in the upcoming mutt flick “Smitty” with Mira Sorvino. (Voters can visit www.middleburghumane.org and click on the red banner.) Dog day, indeed. [gallery ids="99177,103194,103197" nav="thumbs"]
It seems like the longer my wife and I are together, the less we make love. I always wanted more sex than she did and that felt bad. But in the last year, my erections aren’t what they used to be, and now she’s the one who wants to make love more and I’m not so sure I can. Is it too late for us? — Ray, 57 It can be very frustrating when you first realize that “old faithful” (your penis) can’t deliver like it used to. So what are you going to do, just give up on the party now that your wife is finally in the mood? Many people say that as they have aged, they have evolved new ways of being sexual. Instead of the super-stud, wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am sex of their youth, they have experimented with different permutations, positions and possibilities. For most people, the process can become slower, richer, fuller and better than ever. But the learning curve requires us to be more vulnerable and exposed, and that can be scary. Up to this point, most of us were too busy making our lives in the present to think about how to live them in the future. The word “intimacy” may not even have been in our life lexicon. Who had time or inclination? Performance-oriented intercourse, culminating in a predictable orgasm and a quick trip to the bathroom, does not always involve deep intimacy. Talking secrets together, cuddling, touching, caressing, connecting, kissing and allowing yourself to deeply melt into someone else who at the same time is melting into you, is a different experience — a deeper level of intimacy that you can have for the rest of your life, even as your body and health change. Getting from wherever you are to wherever you want to go will take some effort. But we don’t think it’s drudgery, do you? It’s both an inner exploration and an external execution that involves other people. There’s even opportunity to become more “holistic” and learn about the sexual arts from the East, such as Indian kundalini. In the last decade or so, the ancient Indian art of tantric sex has been quietly slipping into American bedrooms. Rather than the usual foreplay-intercourse-climax, tantric sex teaches lovers how to extend the peak of sexual ecstasy — sometimes for hours — so that both women and men can experience several orgasms in a single sexual encounter. Dr. Dorree Lynn is a Georgetown-based psychologist and life coach committed to helping people have better relationships fulfilling sex lives. She has appeared on “Good Morning America,” MSNBC, CNN, PBS and other major programming. She is the author of “Sex for Grownups,” available from Amazon.
Needless to say, this summer’s heat has been oppressive. But Mother Nature’s wrath has yielded one benefit: very tasty fruit. Apparently, this summer’s early rains promoted growth. Then the intense heat, sun, and drought concentrated the flavors and sweetness in fruits such as berries, peaches, melons, grapes and tomatoes to produce a most extraordinary crop. I have frozen several quarts of blueberries to save for the winter, and even frozen chopped-up cantaloupe and cherries for future smoothies and treats for my kitten, Abby (yes, she does eat cantaloupe every morning. She’ll even eat grapes, berries, and certain veggies, as long as I hand feed her). These fruits can add wonderful flavor to any dish. Add berries to your cereal, peaches alongside your meat dish or salad, cucumbers on your sandwich. You can also make a cool soup with any of these fruits. It is so easy to get your “five cups per day” (which does indeed help prevent cancer, heart disease, as well as keeping you slim), as they can be a part of every meal and snack. I have contacted a few local chefs for their ideas for keeping things cool, healthy, tasty and interesting: --- Todd Gray of Equinox Restaurant’s Chilled Sweet Melon Soup with Minted Yogurt Serves 6 • 1 sweet cantaloupe melon (such as a sweet dream), peeled, seeded, and cubed • 1 cup prosecco • 1 cup whole milk • Pinch salt & pepper • 2 cups small diced melons For the crème fraiche • 1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt • 3 mint leaves • 2 tarragon leaves • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil • Pinch salt & pepper For the soup: Combine melon and prosecco in a bar blender, puree till smooth. Add milk and seasoning, blend quickly to incorporate, remove and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. For the Garnish: Brunoise or finely dice the herbs and combine herbs with yogurt. Pour chilled soup into bowls. Drizzle herbed yogurt on top and garnish with diced or Parisian scooped melons. --- Laura Bonino’s Griffin Market Watermelon Salad Serves 6-8 1 (5-pound) watermelon 1/2 cup blood orange Extra virgin olive oil 20 medium fresh basil leaves Cut the flesh from the melon and cut into 1 inch cubes, removing and discarding the seeds, and set aside. Tear the basil leaves into small pieces. In a large bowl, combine the melon, olive oil and basil. Lest rest in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving. --- Chilled Cucumber Soup with Yogurt and Cilantro From “Cooking with Nora” by Nora Pouillon Serves 4 3 cups lowfat yogurt 3 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks 1 medium green pepper, washed, seeded, and cut into chunks 4-6 cloves of garlic, peeled Juice of 1 lemon Peel of 1 lemon 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/3 cup cilantro leaves 1 jalapeno pepper with seeds, stemmed 1 teaspoon sea salt Cilantro sprigs for garnish Put the yogurt, cucumbers, green pepper, garlic, lemon juice and lemon peel, olive oil, cilantro and jalapeno in a blender. Puree until smooth. Season to taste with salt and refrigerate. Pour the chilled soup into 4 bowls, garnish with cilantro. Note from Nora: “Since the fruit I use is organic, I always use the skins. I zest or peel my lemons or limes with a vegetables peeler. Then I peel off the white pith from the fruit (you need a sharp paring knife) and put the whole lemon or lime and its peeled skin into the blender.” --- Katherine Tallmadge’s Fresh Mexican Salsa (From “Diet Simple: 192 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits & Inspirations”) Serves 22 Try this as a dip or accompaniment at your next party. It goes fast, so make plenty of it! You can also use it in scrambled eggs, tortillas or as a marinade or dressing. Throw it in plain yogurt or mashed avocado to make a dip. My measurements are the proportions I prefer, but you can vary any of the ingredients depending on your preferences. 1 large sweet “candy” onion (about 1/2 pound) 2 pounds fresh heirloom tomatoes, peeled, seeded and shopped (start with about 3 1/2 pounds. Use canned tomatoes, if good tomatoes aren’t available) 3-4 jalapeno peppers (1-2 ounces) 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste 3-4 tablespoons fresh lime juice (1-2 limes) Add the onion to the tomatoes. Finely chop 2 of the jalapeno peppers to start with. Taste. If you desire more heat, add more jalapenos. Mix in the cilantro. Add the salt depending on your taste. Mix in the lime juice. --- Susan Belsinger’s Simple Fruit Smoothie Serves 2 About 1 to 1 1/2 cups fruit, such as peaches and berries, cut into chunks 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey 1 cup cold soy milk 3 to 5 ice cubes 2 drops pure vanilla extract Put the fruit in the blender. Drizzle the syrup or honey over it. Add the ice cubes. Pour the soymilk over all and add the vanilla. Blend until pureed and frothy. Serve immediately in a tall glass with a straw. Carol Cutler’s Berry Granita (From “Diet Simple”) Serves 8 Grated zest and juice of one orange 2 teaspoons orange liqueur 20 ounces frozen berries (or other fruit) Sugar or sweetener to taste (optional) 8 mint sprigs (optional) Place berries in freezer until frozen. Put 8 small sherbet dishes in the refrigerator to chill. Put frozen berries into a food processor. Add the orange zest, juice, and liqueur. Pulse for about 30 seconds to break up the chunks, then process on high until the mixture is smooth. Taste and adjust for sweetness, if necessary. When the mixture is pureed, spoon immediately into the chilled dishes and place in the freezer. If the granite has been frozen for more than 6 hours, remove it from the freezer 10 minutes before serving time. If desired, decorate with the mint sprigs. Katherine Tallmadge, M.A., R.D. will customize an easy, enjoyable wellness, nutrition, weight loss, athletic or medical nutrition therapy program for you, your family or your company. She is the author of “Diet Simple: 192 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits & Inspirations,” and national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Contact her at email@example.com or 202-833-0353. Mention this Georgetowner article and get 20 percent off your first consultation.
If you asked most people what Middleburg, VA has that can’t be found anywhere in the U.S., you’d probably hear something sounding a little like a travel brochure. Something like: a thriving equestrian culture just an hour outside the city, a chummy community of tavern owners, vintners, billionaires, and shopkeeps, a tradition of rustic living held onto as tightly as horse reins. What you probably won’t hear about is the nearby, near-priceless cache of books in the National Sporting Library and Museum’s basement. But you should. The library’s trove of rare books and art, everything from first editions of Hemingway and Walton’s “Compleat Angler” to the paintings of sporting artist Alfred Munnings to Paul Mellon’s collection of antique weathervanes, gives you that surreal, ghostly feeling you get around something beyond your age and time. Embrace it. The 56-year-old library’s holdings are the envy of scholars across the Old and New Worlds, and in the esoteric worlds of classical sportsmanship — that is, angling, foxhunting and the rest — the collection there reigns supreme. And just in time for summer’s proverbial dog days comes the library’s newest exhibit, “Lives of Dogs in Literature, Art and Ephemera,” a one-room shrine to man and, more importantly, man’s best friend. “We decided to focus this on the complex relationship between humans and dogs and show, over 400 years, some of the examples of how people related to their animals,” said Mickey Gustafson, the library’s communications director and curator of the exhibit. The inspiration came from a lecture at a library symposium last fall by gallerist William Secord, whose book on the dog’s historical role in art caused such a stir it prompted staffers to dive into the archives looking for more artifacts to make into an exhibit. They soon found their cup running over. “It was culling, narrowing down,” Gustafson says. “We had over 75 [dog] collars, for example, and you’ve seen how many books we have. Within the books, choosing what page to have open, and finding relationships between all these things … That’s fun. To me, it was like creating an installation, like an artist, almost.” Actually, it would be hard to deny any claim to artistry or history, especially since the exhibit — and museum — are practically alive with it. Founded by sporting enthusiasts George Ohrstrom and Alexander Mackay-Smith in 1954, the collection that started with 7,000 assorted volumes has grown to 17,000 meticulously categorized titles, some dating back to the 16th century. The library is open to the public, who may freely browse most stacks, but may not check out items. The main floor, appointed in wood boiserie, is stocked with books on everything from bullfighting to fly fishing, but it’s the rare book room on the bottom level, temperature controlled and sealed behind glass, that should get the bibliophile’s juices flowing (tours are available by appointment Tuesday through Friday). “This is really unique material, and a lot of this has never seen the light of day. There’s lots of that kind of stuff here that people just aren’t aware of,” said the library’s Chief Operating Officer Rick Stoutamyer, born and raised a sportsman in West Virginia before entering the rare book business. Besides a healthy collection of first editions throughout, the rare book section houses the library’s oldest volume (on dueling, dating to the 1520s), along with an original manuscript penned by a young Theodore Roosevelt, in which he wrote about Long Island fox hunting for the now-defunct Century Illustrated magazine. “The thing that’s really cool about it,” said Stoutamyer, “is if you look there’s very few corrections, really. He pretty much knew what he was going to say when he sat down to write it.” Not bad for a budding president. Elsewhere, readers can find an original set of John Audubon’s “Birds of America,” the riding tutorials of Vladimir Littauer — who brought to America the idea that riders ought to lean forward on horseback — and a beautiful collection of fore-edge paintings, jargon for watercolors painted over the edges of a book’s pages. Inside “Lives of Dogs,” entrants are greeted by a bronze bust of a foxhound, its expression etched somewhere between curiosity, drive and affection. It forms the center case in a square room, surrounded by other boxes of glass tucked against the walls. Within each sits an antique dog collar or two, some picked for their craftsmanship, others for quirks. One collar, built for hunting, sports a row of sharpened metal teeth to protect the hound during a scrape with pugnacious wildlife. Another, daintily built of sterling, bears the Tiffany’s stamp and, not surprisingly, a Gramercy Park address. Throughout the cases are books of sketches and paintings and scenes of the hunt, the infectious excitement and pandemonium enough to move even 21st-century eyes. One engraving by the Belgian Johannes Stradanus, for instance, shows a royal hunt reaching crescendo: the lord holds his spear aloft, his hounds nipping at the stag’s heel. In his “Booke on Hunting” Englishman George Turbervile extols the culture of the hunt, well over a decade before Shakespeare even lifted a pen. And on the walls you have the paintings, including Oudry’s “Poodle Flushing a Heron,” displaying the flourish that made him a favorite of Louis XV. “The king of France became really fascinated by [Oudry],” says Gustafson. “He would invite him to the palace and have him paint portraits of his dogs while the king watched and talked to him. He was immensely successful. In the development of European art, there’s this sense of eventually becoming interested in depicting things realistically and then also with a lot of drama and decoration. Things are not as easily defined as we often think.” You could say that again. In the painting, a poodle has cornered a large heron, reared up in a fashion starkly frightening and primal, a kind of rage at wit’s end. On the adjacent wall hang a few (gentler) landscape works by John Emms — pastoral, faintly sentimental and, of course, crowded with dogs. As a whole, the exhibit serves to remind us of the animal that touches and shapes our lives, sometimes as much as people do. Since it opened in late May, it has proven a hit, not least among dog lovers. “I think it’s really a rich environment, and we’ve had a lot of people who come to see it, and they seem to spend quite a bit of time here,” says Gustafson. “A woman was here the night we opened and she really knew dogs and [pointing to a painting] instantly said, ‘That’s a French dog, a French beagle.’ … Some other people came in and talked about the collars. Different things were appealing to different people.” “Lives of Dogs” is on display until Dec. 11 at the National Sporting Library, 102 The Plains Road, Middleburg, VA. Admission is free. This article appeared, in condensed form, in the Aug. 11 issue of The Georgetowner. 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As citizens around the globe continue to put efforts into preserving the environment, individuals living and working on college campuses are among the leaders of the pack. With energetic and invested students and supportive faculty, many campuses in the D.C area are paving the way for future environmentalists by making their campuses green. The Georgetowner took a look at the environmental efforts at three local universities — Georgetown, American, and George Washington — and compared just how green these well known campuses are. From recycling to transportation, food to solar energy, we found that each of these three schools thrives in some area of environmental preservation. Georgetown University --- Green: Recycling Not So Green: Long Shuttle Routes Georgetown University’s budding recycling program is what makes its green efforts unique. Ever since Recycling Manager Bill Del Vecchio took over the recycling department three years ago, the University’s recycling program has grown immensely. Along with the help of Georgetown’s student environmental advocacy club Eco-Action, Del Vecchio established a recycling outreach program and tracked which areas of campus were most populated to ensure that additional receptacles were placed there. (All the receptacles look the same and are therefore easy to identify.) It appears to be paying off — the recycling rate at Georgetown rose from 12 percent in 2007 to 45 percent in 2010. Cardboard, plastic, batteries and electronics are only a few of the items that Del Vecchio says are recycled. “Since I’ve been at school, our recycling program has expanded and developed beautifully,” Eco-Action president Kristin Ng says. “When I started here, we had to sort out all of our plastics and only certain things could be recycled. Now, after a huge renovation of the system, it’s super easy to recycle anything on campus.” Georgetown received a large grant for recycling in the fall of 2009, at which point the university replaced many of its outside bins with Big Belly Trash Compactors. These solar powered trash compactors are attached to two recycling bins, making recycling a convenient and prevalent option around campus. Recycling bins can also be found in all faculty member offices, and next year the University will place bins in the rooms of all on-campus residence halls and apartments, says former Eco-Action treasurer Jonathan Cohn. In addition to day-to-day recycling, the University encourages students to preserve their unwanted items through its annual move-out drive. This event allows students to donate items around their dorm rooms that would have otherwise thrown out. As a result of the University’s efforts, Georgetown moved up in this year’s Recyclemania, a competition that measures colleges recycling rates over a 10-week period. Georgetown ranked 37 out of 267 colleges and universities in the grand champion category. Though technology has been helpful in improving recycling at Georgetown, Del Vecchio says that student and faculty support is what makes the program top notch. “Faculty, staff, and students all participate in recycling and understand the importance of environmentally sound practices on campus,” he says. Beyond recycling, the University has also made strides in improving sustainability through the installation of energy monitors in every residence hall. These monitors allow students and faculty to see how much energy their hall is using at any given point. The university also built a LEED Silver-certified business school building in the fall of 2009. Despite its many green initiatives, Georgetown still has work to do towards improving sustainability, particularly for campus vehicles. Former Eco-Action member Carter Lavin notes, for instance, that the shuttle bus route to the Dupont Circle Metro stop is unnecessarily long. Because West Georgetown residents complained about the busses constantly passing through the neighborhood and shaking their door frames, all University buses going to Dupont Circle during off-peak hours leave from Reservoir Road and take a left on Wisconsin, which, Lavin says, prolongs the route substantially. --- American University --- Green: Transportation Not So Green: Lack of compost system for food Amid the lists and descriptions on American University’s sustainability Web site lies an overarching slogan declaring that “The American Dream is Green.” Thanks to both the University’s active environmental club Eco Sense and its sustainability department, AU’s green initiatives are continuously expanding. The Sustainable Endowments Institute acknowledged AU’s achievements when they gave the University an “A” for environmentally friendly transportation on its 2010 green report card. AU’s green transportation policies significantly help lessen fuel consumption on and around campus, according to former Eco Sense treasurer Stephen Bronskill. A complimentary shuttle service takes students to and from the nearest Metro stop. “The shuttle is used for the vast majority of students commuting into D.C.,” Bronskill says. AU Sustainability Director Chris O’Brien notes that the University provides several incentives for students and staff to use public transportation, such as payroll deductions for employees who take Metro. “Use of the free campus shuttle has doubled in the past 10 years, showing that more and more people are choosing to take Metro and then our free shuttle to campus rather than drive personal vehicles.” O’Brien says. If traveling by train isn’t an option, students and staff can turn to the on-campus Zipcar service, which enables students to rent a car for specific time slots rather than purchasing and bringing their own car to school, making for fewer cars polluting D.C. streets. In a further effort to keep cars off the road, AU offers a condensed work week option for staff members and 10 complimentary bikes for students to rent. “We have a very impressive and innovative bike lending program that allows students to rent bikes for the day,” Bronskill says. “The plan is so successful that there are plans to double it in size.” But AU’s green ambitions extend far beyond environmentally friendly transportation options. The University’s Climate Action plan lays out four basic strategies that will help the University to become carbon neutral by 2020. Eco Sense President Jennifer Jones also notes that Bon Appetit, the company that supplies the food at AU, frequently uses locally grown organic food and that students run a community garden. Still, she says, there are steps the University could take to become more sustainable, including initiating a compost program for pre- and post-consumer food scraps. Though Jones knows that students and faculty still have work to do in terms of improving green practices, she says she is confident in what the future holds for AU in terms of sustainability. “There is always room for improvement, especially because environmental information is progressing so quickly,” she says. “But between the Department of Sustainability and Eco-Sense, there are a lot of people at AU trying to make us more sustainable.” --- George Washington University --- Green: Food Not So Green: Lack of alternate energy sources For those looking for an environmentally friendly lunch spot, the George Washington University’s dining hall may be the perfect location. The University, which recently received an “A” for environmentally friendly food on their 2010 green report card, strives to serve locally grown, organic foods whenever possible and works to ensure that dining hall products don’t produce excess pollution. The fact that GW spends 160,000 annually on locally grown foods such as apples, tomatoes and onions indicates that purchasing these foods is a major priority. The University’s organic purchases are also plentiful, with a total of 250,000 worth of organic foods bought and served yearly. But GW doesn’t just buy locally grown foods, they also compost them. The University currently composts all pre-consumer food scraps on the Mount Vernon Campus, and will strive to begin post composting next year, according to Sophie Waksow, the stakeholder engagement coordinator with the Office of Sustainability. In an effort to alleviate pollution caused by excess petroleum, the University has decided to place biodegradable plates in certain campus dining halls. The switch, Green GW President Justin Fink notes, was initiated by a group of students and faculty, and is expected to eliminate close to 600 pounds of petroleum-based serviceware from campus. “On campus, our dining services have been become increasingly more environmentally conscious over the years,” Fink said. “This past year, leaders of environmental student organizations and administrators have collaborated with Sodexo, our main food provider, to put in place a program to use biodegradable plates and hopefully flatware as well.” In addition to its green dining options, GW’s buildings are also very environmentally friendly. In September 2009, GW opened South Hall, the first LEED Gold-certified University building in D.C. history. Among its many green attributes are walls with high insulation and bamboo paneling as opposed to hardwood floors, GW Today reported. Student involvement in environmental initiatives is no rarity at GW. There are a total of 12 student environmental groups on campus, many of which have individual Web sites. Though Fink points out at that the university should improve its green efforts by introducing alternate energy sources like solar energy or biodiesel on campus, Waksow says that students’ continued commitment to environmental preservation indicates just how energized the GW student body is as a whole. “While universities have a relatively small physical footprint, we have a large impact on the current dialogue and the next generation of leaders,” she says. “GW has a culture of political and civic engagement: our students exercise their leadership skills in sustainability through their activities outside the classroom and in their careers.” [gallery ids="99187,103289,103297,103294" nav="thumbs"]
Plans are underway for Headwaters Foundation’s 13th Annual Taste of Rappahannock, widely considered one of the county’s most popular fundraising events. This year’s event, which will be held at Belle Meade Schoolhouse on Sept.11, beginning at 6 p.m., promises to be an exciting evening. “We’ve hired Red Apple Auctions of Alexandria to help us with both the silent and live auctions, and they have some great new ideas that we are implementing,” said Toni Egger, executive director for Headwaters. Nearly 50 one-of-a-kind items will be auctioned. Already on the bidding list and sure to cause competitive bidding are a week at Le Silence, a charming, five-bedroom farmhouse in the scenic countryside of Burgundy, France, a trip to Cancun and a theater weekend in Washington, D.C. Guests may bid on other experiences, such as a helicopter ride and accompanying gourmet picnic, a cooking workshop and dinner with well known chef and writer Hi Soo Hepinstall, a behind-the-scenes tour and tasting at Copper Fox Distillery, original art from a number of Rappahannock County’s most accomplished artists, and more. Rappahannock County’s students have always been the primary beneficiaries of the Taste, and this year, more than ever, they will be a part of this time-honored event. Students will be involved in every aspect of the evening, from greeting and chatting with guests to serving hors d’oeuvres to helping prepare and serve a wide selection of dishes of locally sourced foods. A musical ensemble from Rappahannock High School will provide live background music. During the formal dinner program, one student will share how his experience with Headwaters has made a difference in his life. Funds raised during the annual Taste of Rappahannock are crucial to underwriting the enrichment programs offered to students by Headwaters throughout the year. This year’s “Challenge” will, in fact, be a challenge — thanks to generous donations by Rappahannock resident Mitzi Young and the late Took Crowell — and should generate significant contributions. High level challenge donors will be honored with a champagne reception. The funds raised this year are more important than ever, as Headwaters looks to expand its outreach efforts. In addition to supporting its robust, long-lived programs, including Farm-to-Table, Starfish Mentoring,, and Next Step, and its supportive teacher mini-grants and complimentary staff development efforts, funds are needed to develop new programs. “Rappahannock County has a new school administration with new ideas and programs they will want to launch. We want to be ready and able to help,” Egger said. “We would like to create an opportunity fund so that we can respond to developing needs and ideas for programs at all levels of school.” In the planning stage is an after-school program for elementary school children. Egger said that a survey will be sent in August to elementary school-age children and their parents. “We want to learn from the parents and students what they would like to see in an after-school program before we build it and will incorporate their thoughts and suggestions,” Egger said. “We hope to start such a program in January.” She credits Headwaters volunteer Philip Strange for outlining a proposal for the effort. Demand for tickets this year will likely be greater than ever, in part because of advertising support in Flavor magazine, which reaches some 50,000 people throughout the region, including D.C., Maryland and northern and central Virginia. Details of this year’s Taste are online at Headwaters Foundation’s Web site, www.headwatersfdn.org. Event Co-Chairs Cheri Woodard, Terri Lehman, and Ashleigh Cannon Sharp said that invitations to the 13th Annual Taste of Rappahannock were sent out in early August. Tickets are $150 for individuals. Patron tables of 10 are $2000. Sponsored tables are $1200 and include two tickets to the event. No doubt, the event will sell out as soon as invitations reach the mailbox. To participate, e-mail your name and address to Toni Egger at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Toni at 540-987-3322. Tickets are $150 for individuals and tables may be sponsored. Event sponsorships are also available. The Grand Prize: One week at Le Silence, a charming five bedroom farm house in central Burgundy’s Parc Naturel Régional du Morvan. The property, originally part of the famous Manoir de Ruères, is situated in the quiet hamlet of that name midway among the historic cities of Avallon, Saulieu and Vézelay. Within easy driving distance, one may find the renowned wine regions of the Côte de Beaune, Côte de Nuits, Côte d’Or and Chablis, and somewhat further afield, Beaujolais and Sancerre. Several of the world’s greatest restaurants are within a half an hour, including Marc Meneau’s L’Espérance and the late Bernard Loiseau’s Côte d’Or; and smaller but superb establishments abound nearby. Though 220km from Paris, Le Silence is connected by a near-by major auto route (circa 3 hours driving time), and for those wishing a long day or two in Paris, by a high speed train from nearby Montbard deposits you at the Gare de Lyon in one hour and one minute. The immediate environs of the house boast many of the poignant monuments to the World War II French Resistance, and the region is dotted with memorials to brave Americans and Britons who perished supporting them. The Musée de la Résistance in nearby Saint-Brisson is especially moving. The house itself, which has been in the Wimbush family for nearly 30 years, sits on four hectares of wooded farmland. It has been substantially modernized and is fully equipped. For local color, fine food and wine, history and culture, and the upmost tranquility, Le Silence is hard to match. This is a unique opportunity for one or several couples, or a larger extended family. Bidding starts at $5,000 (for use of the house only; does not include travel). [gallery ids="99190,103304,103307" nav="thumbs"]
Roaring Red A savvy commercial photographer once shared the secret of his success. “It’s simple,” he confided. “I always try include something red in every photograph.” ? Red. It’s the color of sunsets, the color of passion and, in China, the color of good luck. Red is the badge of courage, the color of royalty, of power and of sex. Apparently red is more “primary” than the other two colors in its category, yellow and blue. ? Here’s something new about red: According to the results of a study published in the latest issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology, women find men in red to be more attractive, more powerful and more sexually desirable. ? In the study, women were asked to rate the status and sexual desirability of men pictured wearing different colored clothing. They rated the men wearing red as being higher status and more likely to earn a better living, as well as more appealing. ? Even when the comparison was made between pictures of men merely surrounded by a red matte with those of men surrounded by a white matte, the women rated the men surrounded by red to be more pleasant and more attractive. The difference was small —just one point on a nine-point scale — but it was statistically significant. Remarkably, the appeal of red held true for women in the U.S. and England, as well as in Germany and China. ? The authors speculate about why women might prefer red. It seems other female primates do, too. The authors say that the red preference goes even further down the evolutionary scale, with some red-roaring crustaceans, fish and birds! ? Are women just hardwired to be attracted to red by the blind call of biology? Or is it culture that draws their attention, having taught us to associate red with power and status and fame? Who hasn’t watched the glamorous stars walk the red carpet to get to the coveted prize, the Oscar? ? Men write songs about women in every color. Their Devil can have a Blue Dress On. But if these researchers are to be believed, women have eyes for red. ? So, men, if you’re planning to buy something new for the new season, keep science in mind when considering your wardrobe choices. That shade of brown may bring out your eyes, and black may make you look slimmer, but a little touch of red is where you want to be; it will get her attention and make you look your best. ? Although we can’t be sure of the reasons, we now know this to be true: women go for the guy in the red tie. Love Potion #9: The Dark Side of Love Oxytocin is the original love potion. Oxy (it’s the “love hormone,” so I’ll give it a friendly nickname) has its way with us by working down deep, below consciousness, beneath intuition. When oxy speaks to us, we “just know” it’s true. Released in the brain, this love hormone generates trust and empathy and promotes bonding throughout our lives. It encourages intimacy. It increases altruism. Oxy makes us act generously to strangers, and romantically toward lovers. ? Oxytocin is released during childbirth. It was first identified by its association with lactation, and the deep, adoring bond of mutuality between a mother and her breastfeeding infant. The discovery of the love hormone made the magic of mother-infant bonding just a little less mysterious, but no less marvelous. Not just for moms and little babies, oxy also plays a role in sex, friendship and social ties of many kinds. Oxytocin is the organic love potion we make ourselves. ? The more we learn about the love hormone, the better it looks. It promotes monogamy. It makes us feel secure. It brings us contentment in our relationships. As they once used to say in L.A., it’s all good. ? Or is it? Centuries of poetry warned us of something that biological research recently confirmed: love has a dark side, too. ? When subjects inhaled oxytocin before playing a competitive game they became more envious when their opponent won, and more gloating when they were ahead. Although it may not seem like a match made in heaven, love and jealousy are the conjoint oxytocin twins. ? The hormone plays a role in international affairs as well, a recent Dutch study suggests. Even as it influences people toward self-sacrifice on behalf of their own group, it also encourages them to be aggressive against a threatening outgroup. Oxytocin is why conflicts between groups escalate when the other group is perceived as threatening. Happily, when physical barriers or other means of separation makes them feel less threatened, conflict escalation is less likely. ? Here in D.C., where politics rule, we ignore biology at our peril. Biology is not essentially political, and it does not take sides. But it does help point a way. What are our bodies telling us, and what does science say, when it comes to playing it right in love, in friendship, even in international relations? ? Since I have no wish to be a guru, I will warn you that the answer is deceptively simple: it’s more of a direction than a destination. ? The answer is balance. Philosophers and poets would agree, yes, being close is good — oh yes, very good — but closer is not always better. We each need to keep our balance with the light and dark sides of love. We need to season oxytocin’s closeness with the right amount of distance. The very same hormone that inspired Shakespeare’s sonnets of love is the one that reminds us to heed Robert Frost’s wise advice, as well: Good fences make good neighbors. Renee Garfinkel, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist practicing short-term, solution-oriented psychotherapy in downtown D.C. She is affiliated with the Institute for Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management at The George Washington University. For more information, check out therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/69148 or www.sleep-dc.com.
I’ve been married for 32 years and have four grown children. I’ve had sex countless times in my life but I’ve never had an orgasm. What’s wrong with me? — Jane, 57 Some people just never have orgasms and they come to accept that. If you are one of those people, there may be nothing at all wrong with you. On the other hand, there may be something you can do if you want to have an orgasm. If you can climax while masturbating, but not during intercourse, then the issue is learning how to repeat that with your partner. Have you been too shy to talk about it or show him what you enjoy? Satisfying sex with another person, especially with someone you share a long-term commitment with, take communication (verbal and nonverbal), negotiation (sex changes as we change), and most of all, courage! None of us are getting any younger. If this is an experience you want to have, now could be a great time to begin actively pursuing it. If you have never experienced an orgasm, even by yourself, and want that to change, the key is to masturbate. Choose times when your privacy won’t be interrupted and perhaps experiment with a vibrator or using water pressure in the tub or shower. Be patient and persistent. For added stimulation, maybe try reading some erotic literature or watching pornography geared for women. If unwanted feelings arise, keep a journal nearby to record them. And consider seeking help from a counselor if memories of adult or childhood trauma or abuse are getting in your way. Once you clear what’s blocking you and learn how to wake up your body, that elusive orgasm you seek might well become a regular part of your love life. If you are on of those who have never been orgasmic, no matter what you do, it may never happen. Sometimes hormones are the reason, or psychological blocks, or a host of other possibilities. So what? You are fine just as you are. Remember sex is more than penetration and certainly more than a few quick muscle contracts at the end. In fact, many who espouse India’s version of tantric sex believe focusing on orgasm as the end goal diminishes the opportunity for total body enjoyment. So whether or not you are orgasmic, enjoy every bodily sensation.