It’s not uncommon to find the fitness centre in Holland College’s Centre for Community Engagement comfortably full of people working on the various weight machines, bikes, and ellipticals, or to glance through the window onto the running track and see people of all ages walking and running, their earphones clamped firmly to their heads.
But when Holland College and the Seniors College teamed up recently to offer a series of fitness classes dubbed Let’s Get Physical, the balance tipped a little more toward the higher end of the age scale. About two dozen seniors took part in the classes, learning more about their own fitness levels, about how to properly use the equipment, and what sorts of fitness activities were of most interest to them. In addition to the workout equipment, the group has participated in Kettleball, Pilates and Zumba classes.
Joseph Mahar, a second year Sport and Leisure Management student, has been working with the seniors over the past few weeks.
He said that while they are enthusiastic about trying new things, they are a little more hesitant than some of the younger members of the gym.
“Some equipment can be intimidating to someone if they have limited mobility or haven’t been active for a few years,” he said. “We show them the safe way to use the equipment and how to make accommodations for their particular physical challenges.”
The participants have been enjoying the sessions. Maria Dowling, a retired project manager and a volunteer board member for the Seniors College, said the class was a popular offering.
“The course introduced us to a variety of exercises. Many people had never used gym machines or tried Pilates, Zumba, or Kettle bell. The music at the Zumba class made us dream of a Caribbean cruise! What a great way to workout and have fun. Some seniors are now dropping into lunch hour classes at Holland College to stay active,” she said.
For over 13 years, the Seniors College of P.E.I. has been offering a wide range of courses to anyone aged 50 and over. In 2013-14, more than 140 courses were offered in and around the Summerside, Montague and Charlottetown areas. Courses include topics such as computers, drawing, painting, literature, music, cooking, local history, hiking, yoga and much more! Emphasis is on personal growth in a casual, friendly atmosphere that encourages social interaction and having fun. For a registration fee of $152, college members are entitled to sign up for an unlimited number of courses over the fall, winter and spring terms. Seniors College is a volunteer-operated non-profit organization and membership fees are used solely to cover operating costs.
A full list of Seniors College courses, schedules, and descriptions is available on the Seniors College website. For more information on Seniors College contact Dee Davis at 894-2867 or send an email.
The pastry kitchen at the Tourism and Culinary Centre on the Charlottetown Waterfront was surprisingly quiet the other day, considering that seven of the Pastry Arts students were in the middle of a competition to create a signature sweet treat for Kitchen Aid.
The competition was the brainchild of Kitchen Aid/Whirlpool Territory Manager Lisa Gautreau.
“Kitchen Aid is a strong supporter of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation,” Lisa explained. “When I began my events for Kitchen Aid Cook For The Cure in New Brunswick and P.E.I. last year, I felt the need to have a sweet giveaway – something that would echo the Cook For The Cure cause and, of course, be delicious! I was having difficulty finding a local baker to help me out because, obviously, I would need hundreds of portions for some of these events and I wanted it to be something cheerful, fun and optimistic. I was at The Culinary Institute of Canada in P.E.I. one day when I happened to mention to the culinary program manager, Chef Austin Clements, and Chef Kevin Boyce the trouble I was having finding something to give away at these Cook For The Cure events and simply asked, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if we threw out a challenge to the students?’ Next thing you know, I was in the office of head Pastry Arts instructor Chef Richard Braunauer, and shortly after that, I was in front of the pastry class throwing them the challenge. Those chefs made this happen. Fast!”
The students appeared unruffled as they prepared their concoctions, all of which looked absolutely delicious when they were plated in preparation for judging. Then they left the kitchen while the adjudication took place.
Brad Hamilton and Jonathan Coates of Alpha Appliance Solutions, and Karen Mair, host of CBC’s Mainstreet, PEI’s afternoon radio show, were the judges. The three took their time sampling the students’ entries, which included Strawberry French Macaroons, Salted-Caramel Chocolate Tarts, Orange Shortbread Cookies, Bi-Layered Raspberry Marshmallow & Rose Water Fudge with White Chocolate, Lemon Cake Pops and Chocolate Filled Coconut Cakes.
The competition was close, but in the end, first place went to Keith Hanna for his recipe for Chocolate Filled Coconut Cakes . Take a look at the recipe, it includes his rationale for choosing this style of sweet…it’s really compelling! Anne Marie Woodgate’s Strawberry French Macaroons took second place, and third place went to Colbi Flanagan for her Salted Caramel Chocolate Tarts.
Keith’s biography and recipe will be posted on the Kitchen Aid website, and he will be invited to attend some of the gala events at which his sweet will be served. He also won a Kitchen Aid mixer. The runners up received Architect series 5-speed hand blenders, one of Kitchen Aid’s newest products on the market.
Chef Instructor Richard Braunauer said that participating in competitions is a good way for students to hone their skills and build their résumés.
“The students need to be organized and able to work under pressure,” he said. “A competition situation really drives that message home.”
Lisa Gautreau said that she hopes the competition will become an annual event.
“These students were keen, competitive and creative. Many of them told me that they were personally affected by breast cancer in their family and wanted to do something to help. I cannot tell you how proud I am for Kitchen Aid Cook For The Cure to be affiliated with this college and these bright young students to help our cause,” she said.
For the students, the competition was a hands-on learning experience and an opportunity to contribute to a great cause. But Lisa said she learned something from it, too.
“It may seem funny and simplistic, but this competition has taught me a valuable lesson. I have a very close friend battling breast cancer. I’ve wanted to do everything and anything to help her. But I am limited in my talents and capabilities. I am not an oncologist, a priest, a counselor, or a dietician. I am simply a lady who sells appliances. But what I can do is mobilize the people around me to inspire them to get cooking and help me raise money and awareness. I can do something worthwhile. And it will matter.”
Congratulations to Kieran Atkinson, a second-year student in our Tourism and Travel Management program, for earning his emerit certification as a tour guide. In addition to writing an exam, Kieran had to complete 60 hours of tour guiding experience. He also worked, for the second year, on the Points East Tulip Festival.
emerit Certifications provide employers with the confidence that an employee has the appropriate training for a position in the tourism and travel industry. In Prince Edward Island, th Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I. (TIAPEI) is the official supplier of emerit products and services.
For many Islanders Christmas and New Year’s are now in the distant past, the memories blurred by a couple of hearty snow storms and, for some, a blizzard of bills. But for Jing Yang, Xiangyu Ma, Nhung Dinh, and Hong Ying Dou, students at our Belmont Centre in Charlottetown, the biggest holiday of the year is just a few days away – the Chinese New Year.
The four women are all in one of the college’s Enhanced Employability Essential Language Skills class. Jing, Xiang and Hong are all from different parts of China, Nhung is from Viet Nam, and although they share many similar traditions there are variations, too.
The food that they will eat over the holidays is not just delicious, it is laden with significance. The long noodles that they will start their meals with represent long life. The fish they prepare will ensure that they always have plenty of the necessities of life, while the dumplings they will eat are shaped like money to bring them wealth.
Nhung, whose husband has returned to Vietnam to celebrate the New Year, said that the family eats traditional Vietnamese rice cakes to remind them of their ancestors and their family’s history, and the house is filled with cherry blossoms and kumquats.
“In Vietnam right now, every street everywhere is covered in cherry blossoms,” she said. “You bring them into your house and they bloom and bring you good luck.”
In China, Jing said, they place food on a table set to honour their ancestors, which brings them good luck.
Luck is an important aspect of the New Year celebrations. Hong Ying said that in her part of China at this time of year, people who are born under the same sign as the incoming year (this will be the Year of the Horse), must pay special attention to avoid misfortune.
“If this is the year of your birth, you must wear red to avoid evil spirits and bad luck,” she explained. We pondered about that for a minute. I thought that one should expect to have a lucky year this year if you were born in the Year of the Horse, but they assured me that it was a year of potential strife for Horses.
“Perhaps because you would be too proud,” Xiangyu suggested.
Whereas in Hong Ying’s home town people wear as much red as possible, Jing said that where she comes from, close to Beijing, people fend off bad luck with only a strip of red cloth tied to a belt loop.
New Year’s is usually between January and February, exactly when depends on the lunar calendar, and the celebrations last 15 days. Preparations started this year on December 8 with a meal of porridge.
It is believed that the kitchen god will leave your home after dark on December 23 to report to a higher deity. Since you want to make sure that his report to the higher deity reflects well on you, the cooking and cleaning begins after he’s gone!
“In the countryside, traditions are very important,” Hong Ying said. “You clean all of your house so that the kitchen god will give a good report. You prepare sweets for the kitchen god and hay for his horse, and you burn incense and pray sincerely. You get ready to welcome the kitchen god back and give the family a fresh start in the new year.”
Fireworks send the kitchen god to heaven, and then, on New Year’s Eve, welcome him back into your home. After the fireworks, the family eats dumplings that they made earlier in the day.
While luck and good fortune are important elements in the New Year’s traditions, it is the emphasis on family, both past and present, which is most important. I wondered if Jing, Xiangyu, Nhung and Hong Ying would be homesick. Jing is visiting her daughter in Cambridge, England for the holidays; but Xiangyu, Nhung and Hong Ying agreed that although there won’t be any large celebrations here in P.E.I., being able to use social media such as QQ (a popular social media site in China, where Facebook is banned), Facebook, and Skype to connect with their families, makes it easier. All of them have children and other family members here as well, and they are looking forward to celebrating with them over the holiday.
If you would like to find out more about Chinese New Year, this article has lots of interesting links.
Gong He Xin Chun!
Business Administration program hosts Colonel Gray High School students from new Academy Diploma Program
By Katherine Baird
The Holland College Business Administration program welcomed 25 students from Colonel Gray’s new Academy Diploma Program in Business and Innovation for a half-day visit on November 26. The visit featured program shadowing and student presentations.
The Academy Diploma Program (ADP) is a newly launched, provincially approved program that focuses on helping high school students with the transition into post-secondary education and the workplace. The program emphasizes specific, sector-related skills designed to prepare high school students to pursue their career of choice after graduation.
The ADP enables students to customize their education based on talents and interests while still meeting acceptable educational standards for high school diplomas. Students are also given opportunities to job shadow and volunteer within the community to gain experience in a variety of sector-related areas.
“The field trip to Holland College’s business department provided a valuable experiential learning activity for our students,” said Kevin MacLeod, coordinator for Academy Diploma Programs at Colonel Gray. ”Now that we’ve met with administrators and instructors of Holland College’s Business programs, we plan to call on their expertise in the future as guest speakers and perhaps advise us on various projects.”
During their visit to the Business Administration program, Colonel Gray ADP students were given a program presentation from faculty, a department tour, and a presentation from second-year Business Administration students. ADP students also attended a business studies class and had lunch with current students.
“The Academy Diploma Program is an innovative addition to Colonel Gray’s curriculum,” said Brian Murray, a business studies instructor at Holland College. “Students will leave the Business ADP with a clear focus toward their goals in the business sector. It’s exciting to see high school students passionate about pursuing their careers.”
Pathway exploration is an important component of the ADP in Business and Innovation. Students enrolled in the program connect their learning to potential post-secondary opportunities in the business sector to help them make more informed decisions about their chosen career path.
Learn more about Colonel Gray’s Academy Diploma Program in Business and Innovation here.
A joint research project between Holland College and Mount Saint Vincent University examines ways to support programming opportunities that encourage children aged two to four years old to broaden the type of outside activities they participate in.
Trial Balloons, a type of provocation concept developed by Dr. Beverlie Dietze, Assistant Professor in the Department of Child and Youth Studies at the Mount, “float” ideas to children as a way to trigger their curiosity and expand their play experiences. With the assistance of the Mount’s Industry Liaison Office and Holland College’s Applied Research department, the Holland College Early Childhood Care and Education program and the Holland College Early Learning Centre/Lab School have partnered with Dr. Dietze to test the trial balloon concept.
In all, there will be four Trial Balloons explored. The first Trial Balloon asked the question, “What do we observe if the outdoor play space is an option during area time?”
Previously, all 44 of the children would go outside at the same time, so outdoor play wasn’t an option for the smaller groups that are part of area time. Although it’s a seemingly simple alternative to include in the children’s choices, when one considers the logistics of ensuring that two to four-year-olds require a certain number of supervisors per group, that there may be an occasional diaper change that requires taking a child inside, and that, in addition to 10 to 12 children playing outside, there are 30 or so more playing inside that also require supervision, offering the outdoor option becomes a logistical challenge.
Sarah Riehl, director of the Early Learning Centre, said a fair amount of planning was required during the launch of the first trial balloon to ensure the appropriate number of early childhood educators were with each group. Additionally, there needed to be a way to regulate the number of children outside at any given time.
“We set up a ticket system. The child could pick a ticket to play outside when he or she arrived in the morning. Throughout the morning we check in with the children to see if they would like to go inside and ask those who are inside if they would like the opportunity to play outside. This helps to encourage more outside play as well as increases the fluidity within the day,” Riehl explained.
The children were thrilled to be able to play outside in smaller groups, and for many it became the highlight of their day. The first Trial Balloon was deemed a success, and now Trial Balloon 2 is being implemented: “When children are offered/provided with a variety of outdoor experiences, what do we see in their play?”
The project will run until the spring of 2014, and the results of the project will be used to influence best practices in Early Childhood Education.
Four second year Electrical Technology students had a real hands-on learning experience last week, when they installed and tested two Sun Country EV charging stations in preparation for the final leg of the world’s longest race for electric vehicles, the Sun Country Highway E-mazing Race. The trans-continental rally set out from Seattle on September 3, and ended on September 20 at the Summerside Waterfront Campus of Holland College.
Sun Country donated two of their state-of-the-art chargers to the college, valued at about $2,000 each, and the Electrical Technology students installed them.
“These chargers are now a permanent fixture, and can be used by any electric vehicle,” said Electrical Technology instructor Mike Nielsen. “The students volunteered their time for this practical wiring exercise, and got some great experience in the process. The college benefits by having the chargers and thus promoting electric vehicle technology.”
“The chargers align with the objectives of our Green Machine, the sustainability committee at Holland College,” said Sheen. “Exposing our students to emerging technologies and sustainable choices will help accelerate adoption.”
Sun Country Highway Ltd. is a progressive Canadian owned company leading the electric vehicle movement across the nation by raising awareness and promoting the adoption of zero emission transportation. Founded by president Kent Rathwell, Sun Country Highway was created to build the most sustainable electric vehicle infrastructure in the world.