I love to find out why, be silly with my daughters, walk in the grass barefoot, think outside of the box, eat chocolate, and to sing and dance.

Pediatric Night Terrors

 Out of a dead sleep, she clamorously screamed. Her eyes were wide and her face blank. She was awake, it seemed, but unresponsive and her little body crashed violently against the rails of her crib. The soothing sound of a voice she knew from before birth, only seemed to aggravate her fearful state.

Her parents several attempts to calm their disoriented child were unsuccessful. The child became sweaty and her heart-rate severely increased. Fifteen minutes of the parents watching in horror, passed. Then, miraculously, the child simply closed her eyes and became the picture-perfect portrait of a calm, peaceful sleep. Her parents loved to watch her sleep, now, more than ever.

This is an example of a night terror. Children experiencing this sleep disorder often seem awake. Their eyes may be open, they sit up straight, and move violently, some older children also sleep walk. Technically, the child is still in a deep sleep. A person, who actively witnesses a night terror, will most likely be frightened. It seems as though the child is in an extreme amount of pain or that they are experiencing fear.

According to, night terrors happen in three percent of children age 18 months to 12 years. The cause for these frightening presentations is unknown, but there are several ways they can worsen or be brought on. These include stress, new medications, sleeping in a different place, or over-tiredness. Children, who have experienced them before have them more often when their normal circumstance changes.

Children affected by this sleep disorder are otherwise healthy and happy children. It has been biologically speculated that an immature central nervous system, enlarged adenoids or genetics could cause these night disturbances but it has not been proven.

If your child is experiencing night terrors, there are several ways to help deal with or eliminate them. Due to the various circumstances that can set off a night terror, it is beneficial to the child to have a regular routine.

Make sure that your child is on a consistent sleeping schedule, and also follow a similar routine before actually putting them to sleep at night. For example, you could have them take a bath, and then read a favorite book or even sing a favorite nursery rhyme. Having their night routine being as relaxing as possible may have some significance in treating night terrors.

Nightmares and night terrors are different. A nightmare is remembered after waking up, and while it is occurring a person does not actively participate in it. Also, after waking up from a nightmare, or in the middle of it, the person is consolable and communicative.

The typical duration of each episode is three to fifteen minutes. Afterwards, the children have no recollection and they fall back to sleep. Parents become more affected, from watching, than the child who is actually experiencing it.

Some children have only a few occurrences and others have them for years according to Dr. Stephen Krizar, a family practice physician. Children tend to experience them less as they age. For children who are experiencing them, it is also required that you make sure they are in a safe place so they do not hurt themselves. If your child is still sleeping in a crib, do not take them out when it happens, and make sure there is cushion around them says Joy Kipp, a pediatric nurse.

For parents, the main concern is how to put an end to these terrifying awakenings. Many parents become upset because they cannot calm their child, but in all reality the child does not even know it is happening. The best way to conquer and handle night terrors is to understand how they occur.

V. Mark Durand, Doctor, Author and Professor of Psychology at the University of South Florida, explains that the brain is like a computer. In order to stop a disturbance, you must re-boot. Night terrors happen in a deep stage of sleep, and usually within the first half of the night.

In Dr. Durand’s case study, he found that waking up the patients 30 minutes before their usual night terror resolved all occurrences, over a period of 12 months. By waking the child up before he enters the stage of sleep when most night terrors occur, the brain is being kept from entering that stage throughout the night.

For parents experiencing re-occurring night terrors, 15 minutes can seem like an eternity. Waking a child before it happens is natural, non-medicated, and a beneficial way of eliminating them.

Photo from

Durand, V. Mark. “Treating Sleep Terrors in Children with Autism.” Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions. 2002.  Hammel Institute on Disabilites and Sage Publications.

Durand, V. Mark and Mindell, Jodi A. “Behavioral Intervention for Childhood Sleep Terrors.”  Behavior Therapy (705-715). 1999.



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Reaction of UAlbany students to Obama’s win


President Barack Obama. Photo courtesy of

Some students had absentee ballots, some did not, and some drove all the way home to place their vote. The University at Albany students were all pleased with Obama’s win.

“I am really proud,” George Sacco, 19 said when asked how he felt about Obama winning presidency. Then in the second breath he revealed, “I drove all the way home just to vote, because I was too late to receive an absentee ballot.” It was truly admirable how dedicated this young man was to making his vote count for the election.

Out of the 5 students I spoke with, Obama was their choice for president from the start of the election. It seems to be true that he has won over the young people of the country.

“I had tears coming down my face when Obama spoke,” Cheyenne Whitfield 20, of Jamaica Queens, New York said, “It really touched my heart.”

Obama’s victory speech was what affected most students, because he was so genuine, heartfelt, and sincere on dealing with so many personal issues. America seems to want someone who has feeling for the lives of Americans; that is what Obama has offered.

The atmosphere on campus was very overwhelming, every student was anxious to speak about the newly elected president.

Although some students could not vote due to their age, they still watched with anticipation that Obama would win.  “I wanted to vote,” said Celine Ordioni 17, “but I am just happy that he won.”

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Ethics in Journalism

Before reading in class a section called “ethics”, I thought the only ethics in journalism was informing the public of the truth. I also understood that if I revealed the truth then I can not be held liable, unless of course if I swear to secrecy with a source. Then I would give the information, but without the sources name. In my first journalism class at SUNY Albany I was shown a picture from the Oklahoma City bombing. This picture is when I realized, wow, journalism is not supposed to be nice and “cherry-coated”. Reporting the news is supposed to be honest, truthful, and most of all it must strive to portray the most accurate vivid view of the story.

The most memorable picture of the Oklahoma City bombing. An infant who died due to the explosion. Photo courtesy of

The most memorable picture of the Oklahoma City bombing. An infant who died due to the explosion. Photo courtesy of

The mother of this young infant that died when a daycare was blown up (among other buisness) said that she was happy that the photo was in the public eye. She felt that her daughter would be remembered and also that the Oklahoma City bombing will never be forgotten. It revealed to me, after  finding out how the mother felt, that the truth is what makes the story.

It is not that you should try and offend the reader, but if the news you are writing about is disturbing, there is not much that you can do. The world is filled with as much bad as there is good, and things will happen that are wrong, it is your job as a journalist to give justice to those harmed in the story and write their story.

In the reading for my journalism class, journalist, author, and writing coach Roy Peter Clark said:

“Never put something in your story that hasn’t checked out. The new media climate makes this exceedingly difficult. News cycles that used to change daily now change by the minute or even second. Cable news runs twenty-four hours a day, while more and more stories have been broken on the Internet in the middle of the night. The imperative to keep news up to second grows stronger and stronger. Time frenzy is the enemy of clear judgement. Taking time allows for the fact-checking and proportional coverage.”

Revealing the truth is what makes you a good journalist; think of it as the key to success. It will help you gain respect from others whether it is sources, readers, viewers, or your place of work. It also helps you feel respect for yourself.

Clark explains that getting the story out first is a necessary stress, do not let it stress you out. Focus on the best way to paint the picture of what really happened, and you find this out by spending “time” REALLY trying to find out the truth. It is better to get a true story out a little late then a false story out instantly. Clark puts the portraying of the truth beautifully:

“The stories that we create correspond to what exists in the world. The words between the quotation marks correspond to what was spoken. The shoes in the photo were the ones worn by the man when the photo was taken, not added later.”

If you think that your story is not good enough to print then maybe you need to do more research. The conclusion that you draw from a story not being “good” should not be “Oh I will just make up some quotes and exciting elements to add to the story.” There is always a story that no one else has written or discovered, it is just your job to reveal it.

A Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson won for her compelling story titled “The Manful LIfe of Nicholas, 10”. To obtain the information from this story she had to spend time with him on a daily basis. Wilkerson was  really trying to put herself in Nicholas’ “shoes.” While working with a child, it is very important to really understand them. She did this by simply speaking and understanding Nicholas and his actions. She was very careful in her understanding of this young boy because most 10 year-olds will tell you anything that you would like to hear.

Isabel Wilkerson. Photo courtesy of
Isabel Wilkerson. Photo courtesy of

Wilkerson explains that it is difficult to make the interviewee feel comfortable just because you are a “journalist,” so it is important to help them feel comfortable. She says, “We must learn the subtle rules and hierarchy of the world we have stepped into, adjusting ourselves to it and finding a place in it by responding in natural and human ways,” overall, just act helpful, concerned, attentive, and reasonable when around the subjects being interviewed. Put yourself in their shoes, and be open to them.

It is not that in every story you have to try to help the subject in your story, it is that you need to portray the truth. Knowledge is power and getting knowledge out to your readers is your main target. Wilkerson also says, “It is not our primary job to help the people in our stories, but there is nothing wrong with showing our humanity and lending a hand where apropriate.”
It is very difficult to obtain consent from your subjects because they could potentially have their name out in the public’s eye, which could cause embarassment. The best way to get consent, which is very important, is to tell them flat out how the story may effect them publicly. If they agree then you are off to a good start, if not then try to find another source or another story within the story. Tracy Kidder, a journalist and Pulitzer-prize winner, said he tells his subjects “I can’t pay you for this (information). This has to be something you’re doing of your own free will.”
Honesty is the most important idea that you need to convey when writing as a journalist. Remember that to be a good journalist it takes an honest journalist, and with this in mind you will succeed. It is very important to get to know who you are writing about so do research until you feel that you can not find anything else that would make your story more honest.

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Jimmy Vielkind at UAlbany


Jimmy Vielkind, journalist. Photo courtesy of

Jimmy Vielkind 23, a formal print journalist transferred to on-line journalism; which seems like a lot of people are doing these days. Unfortunately it harder for the older people who have difficulties using computers, but the younger people “under 30” are having no problem going to the digital news media. “We were raised on computers, its in our blood,” Vielkind said about young people.

The thing is that most younger people look to the Internet for their daily dose of fast news, and almost none reach for the daily paper. The web has the ability to post things quickly, almost instantaneously when things occur; whereas newspapers have to wait for the “old” printing press to print the papers and then for the trucks to deliver them out to all of the consumers.

“Print costs a lot of money,” Vielkind said, you have to pay the gas for the delivery trucks, the ink and paper for the printing press and the actual printing press is also extremely expensive. “Newspapers will become a niche,” and they may even become extinct Vielkind said.

There is still the memorabilia aspect to newspapers that people still are holding onto. I explained that when I had my daughter the Times Union mailed me an actual print out of the day of my daughters birth with her new beautiful name, date and time written on it with a pink border; it was special and a keepsake. I also will say that it newspaper is something you can hold on to and it is very sad to realize, that myself as a “scrapbooker” (lol), will  be sad to see the day when these keepsakes are no longer available.

Vielkind recently worked at the Times Union newspaper writing the police blog, but anxiously left to go work at the He realized that the world is turning to online sources and that newspapers would most likely not be around in 10 years or more. The internet output of news is something that he wanted to become part of. “Internet is an amazing tool… it can give (the news) to you more quicker and easier than newspaper,” Vielkind said.

His prescense in class was awesome, he spoke very confidently and understanding. He is a good source of information for journalism students today who will be faced with the internet world of media coverage.

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For prospective University at Albany journalism students…

     The Journalism Department at the University at Albany in Albany, New York was founded in 1973, by a man named William Rowley who was former editor of the Knickerbocker Press and he retired in 1984. Another important person in the role of the journalism program was William Kennedy, author and professor, who worked with Rowley from the beginning, and until 1982.
     Professor Rowley said the stated mission of the program was that, “ Our primary task is to provide a liberal education and to preserve and nurture our humanistic culture.” Even today, the campus is still striving for this goal.
Author and Professor William Kennedy, who still is involved in the University informally. Photo courtesy of

Author and Professor William Kennedy, who still is involved in the University informally. Photo courtesy of

Although the department was small and only consisted of a few classes when it first began, it evolved into a well-respected minor in the English department. The enrollments of students have also increased every semester.

     The University at Albany also earns credibility for hiring two professors who are highly respected in their field, amongst many others. The first is Professor Nancy Roberts, who was director at the University of Minnesota’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and the second is Professor Thomas Bass, who directed at the Hamilton College Program in New York City. These two professors, as many other of the professors at Albany, are also well-known authors.
Professor William Rainbolt. Photo courtesy of Edwina Smith.

Professor William Rainbolt. Photo courtesy of Edwina Smith.

Another very important person, who has been here the longest,  is Professor William Rainbolt, he has been there for 24 years. He has grown with the program and helped it become what it is today.  Although he has recently handed his title of director over to Roberts, he is still teaching classes and advising students. When he is not teaching he is learning to help people who are dealing with Bereavement and Grief. After he retires at Suny Albany he hopes to become a counselor in this field.

The journalism program at the  university had graduated 800 journalism minors in 2005, and Professor William Rainbolt said that, “Even though it was only a minor, the students called themselves journalism students,” proudly. Also in 2005, there was over 500 media-internships for  journalism students.

Rainbolt is also very excited for the improvements that he has accomplished. He said, “Those that apply themselves can get a lot out of it, you just have to produce,” speaking of the students taking advantage of the journalism program. If journalism is what you are really interested in, then you will enjoy the experience at the university, the teachers expect you to work hard and write a lot.

To be a journalism major there are several requirementsthat you need including 30 credits in a Jrl courses, 6 credits in another department or program in the student’s concentration. There are 4 different types of journalism concentrations offered which include: Public Affairs Journalism; Science and Technology Journalism; Visual and Digital Media; and General Journalism. The concentration General Journalism is an array of courses designed to embrace learning reporting and writing.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

With two thirds of the alumni working in the journalism field it is safe to say that the journalism program is a success today. Journalism in 2006, finally became a choice for students to major in, after 33 years of being a minor. Today there are 28 sections (topics of classes) being taught to students.

The classrooms are taught by almost 75% of adjuncts; which consists mostly of  professors who also work full-time positions in the real world of journalism on a daily basis. As a student, I will say that this aspect is my favorite of the journalism department. There is nothing like attending a class about journalism when the professor has just left their journalism job and can give you the breakdown of their day.

Daryl McGrath professor, journalist, and freelance writer, has been an adjunct at the University “on and off ” since 1988. She has worked at the Boston Globe, The Record-Journal, Times Union and participated in an internship at the Chicago Tribune. She is freelancing currently and writing a book.

Being that she is part of many adjuncts at Suny Albany she said “I think all of us could do a better job if teaching was all we were doing. It is a struggle to give students the best they deserve.” In my opinion, after taking a class with her, she did a very well in-depth job of teaching me the history of journalism and portrayed what was to be expected of me as a journalist. This is just an example of how dedicated the professors are, they always think that they could do better.

Professor and Director Nancy Roberts. Photo courtesy of

Professor Nancy Roberts. Photo courtesy of

“Given the complex issues of the day such as war and terrorism and global warming, there’s never been a better time to study and practice journalism,” said Nancy Roberts. Other reasons that now is a great time to study journalism are President-elect Barack Obama, and the new world of journalism on the Internet. Even though newspapers are at their downfall, many publications are turning to the Internet.

In one of my classes Professor Michael Huber, who also works at the Times Union newspaper in Albany, said to us “Why are you (students) studying to be journalists, when so many jobs are being lost?” Many people who work for newspapers see print journalism as the only way of journalism, but just because newspapers seem to be coming to an end, does not mean that journalism is. A whole new door has been opened for journalists, they just have to learn how to put their journalism on the Internet in an attractive way.

The program at Albany’s University teaches students to use blogs; which are one of the many ways of “new journalism”. With this aspect under student’s belts’ it is a guarantee for success. You have to know how to use journalism on the Internet because the people who hire you will want to see this as a  credential.

Journalism is changing every day, literally. Professors at the university are aware of this and create their classes to keep up with all of the changes. Huber said, many news organizations are putting their news onto a website because they realize that this is how their readers prefer to gain their news.

For example Professor David Washburn has an advanced class where students write, edit and package magazine length stories for the web. It is all hands-on, because students need to be learning how to multiple tasks.

Here are a list of full-time journalism professors at the University at Albany and their colleges they graduated from:

Professors College attended
Thomas Bass, Ph.D. University of California, Santa Cruz
Nancy Roberts, Ph.D. University of Minnesota
William Rainbolt,Ph.D. University at Albany
Rosemary Armao,M.A. Ohio State University

Then here is a list of part-time professors at the University at Albany:

Professors College attended
Bill Ackerbauer, B.A. Union College
Steve Barnes, B.A. Ithaca College
Sebrina Barrett, J.D. Southern Illinois University
Benning De La Mater, M.S. Syracuse University
Richard D’Errico, M.A. Empire State College
Dennis Gaffney, B.A. Wesleyan University
Sebrina Barrett, J.D. Southern Illinois University
David Guistina, M.A. University at Albany
Michael Hendricks, B.A. University of Michigan
Michael Hill, B.A. SUNY Geneseo
Ronald Kermani, B.S. Syracuse University
Stephen Leon, M.S. Northwestern University
Darryl McGrath, M.S. Columbia University
Holly McKenna, B.A. University of Tennessee
Thomas Palmer, B.S. Auburn University
Shirley Perlman, B.A. SUNY at Buffalo
Claudia Ricci, Ph.D. University at Albany
Christopher Ringwald, M.S. Columbia University
Katherine Van Acker, B.S. Montana State University
Laney Salisbury, M.S. Columbia University
David Washburn, M.S. Syracuse University

The University has also recently received a grant from  the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation to invite science writers and well-known journalists to the campus. They are going to be participating in seminars, events and classes. The hope is to give the journalism students a chance to discuss certain important topics and get an idea of how to relate them to the public.

“This is a timely gift that enriches our curricular offerings in science journalism,” said Bass. “The grant confirms our view that the Journalism Program, while extremely popular, is also extremely important. We’ve been spotted by a foundation which recognizes ethics and excellence in Journalism, and this is what we do.”

With the university constantly improving  it is hard to pass up the opportunity of participating in such a well thought out program. I will take responsibility as a student and say that I recommend this program highly to any one who is serious about receiving a prestigious degree in journalism. The classes are fun, hands-on, challenging, up to date with today’s journalism, and a irreplaceable experience.

If you are interested in finding out about the classes offered at the University at Albany journalism department you can check out this page. Also if you are interested you can look at the video below to learn more about the University as a brief overview and find out some quick facts.

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Shepards’ interpretation on grading students

A’s for Everyone by. Alicia C. Shepard

It seems to be very drawn out. There is too much research, if this is possible, on instances that had happened with professors. It is hard to draw out the simple facts. I guess what I am trying to say is that there could be several stories from all of the information that is given.

A reader could have got the point in the first two pages. So this article is very long, and hard to follow. Although there is some very good information on grading students.

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Pothole budget has failed to reach expected outcome

     The city has already spent 1.3 million of it’s special budget for potholes, and with 39% more potholes to be filled and rising, it seems the problem will never be completely resolved. The city, along with everyone, will be experiencing cuts due to the economic crisis; so the funding of fixing the potholes will also be cut.

     Money is needed to repair all of the potholes in the Albany area and it is not present. In 2003, the city decided to give a 1.5 million budget to the fixing of all of the potholes. Over 3 years the Albany department of roads and traffic have only fixed 61% of what was set out to repair, and there also is more potholes being produced as time passes.

     The first snow is falling, and the roads will be more dangerous for motorists, biciclyists and pedestirans. The unexpected pothole only worsens this problem in the city of Albany. There is just not enough money to re-pave all of the roads in Albany, so the city has to resort to just “filling the potholes” with Ashpalt.

     Certain areas are worse than others, including the downtown area of Central Avenue. There was a pothole that was fixed in this area that was 16 by 10 feet. This setback in the budget for repairing the roads will result in the roads of Albany being more dangerous.

     Rhonda Houston 58, Deputy Director of Albany department of roads and traffic said “This is a battle that’s never completely done,” and it seems to look this way. “We try to tackle the big problem roads first,” Houston said, explaining the hope that the roads will atleast be a little safer.

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