Honoring the Memory of Your Lost Pet

Anyone who is a true animal lover will tell you that the loss of a pet can sting every bit as much as losing a human friend or family member.Unfortunately the sad truth is that most pets don’t have the same type of life span as a person. This means that losing a pet is often inevitable. For those who feel the loss of a pet, pet memorials can offer a sense of closure. It’s important to remember that a beloved pet is just as much a part of the family as any human being is. Honoring pets with pet memorials gives grieving family members the opportunity to come together and say goodbye.We have memorial services when we lose friends and family members, to have one for a pet is a normal part of the grieving process.Just because a pet was an animal does not reduce the significance that they had in your life. You can form a loving bond with a pet that can be very painful when it comes to an end.As pets get older there may come a time when an especially difficult decision must be made. When a beloved pet is suffering due to age and injury it is in the best interest of the animal to consider euthanasia. Although the thought of losing a pet may seem like it is too much to take, keeping a pet around that is suffering isn’t fair to the animal.When the time comes, euthanasia is a way for you to allow your pet to rest in peace and escape the suffering that age can bring. You can choose to take your pet to a local vet, or many vet offices will even come to your home to perform this merciful and compassionate service for you. Although the pain may be overwhelming at first, you can take comfort in knowing that you have done what is right for your pet. Your pet is no longer suffering, and can finally rest in peace.Once your pet has passed away it’s possible to still feel close to them when you choose pet cremation. Cremating your pet allows you to keep their remains in a manner which is legal and safe. Burying your pet has health issues and there are often laws in place that prevent you from doing so. Instead of burial you can choose to cremate your pet and keep their remains, and memory close to you. There are many types of urns for pet ashes that can be purchased allowing you to keep the ashes of your pet nearby. Memorial pet urns are a way to remember your pet and give them an honored place in your home.You can place a pet cremation urn on your mantle, or in another place of significance, allowing you and your family to remember how much your pet meant to you.Loss is a part of life. All of us lose loved ones and friends over time, and the loss of a pet can be just as painful. Why not honor your pet by choosing pet cremation? Your pet was a part of your life, for many people a pet could have been a companion for many years. You owe it to your pet to make certain that the end their lives with dignity and respect.When the time comes, and your pet is no longer healthy enough to function normally, you may have a difficult choice to make. You may have to choose euthanasia. Know that while this choice may be painful, it is the right choice to make. Even after yourpet has passed away you and your family can still feel close to him by placing his remains in one of the many pet memorial urns that are available. With your pet’s ashes nearby you and your family will be reminded not of the pain of losing him, but of the joy that he brought to your lives.Your pet probably spent most of his life in loyal service to you and your family. He probably wanted nothing more than to please and protect his human masters. By having a memorial service for him, and choosing pet cremation, you can honor him in the way that he deserves.

Miscellaneous Supplements – Sports

Structured Lipids- Increased Protein SynthesisAdvances in the technology behind lipid synthesis led to the development of structured lipids (SLs). A structured lipid (SL) is a triglyceride that includes both medium (8-12 carbons) and long-chain fatty acids (14-22 carbons) within the same triglyceride. Emulsions including SL have demonstrated increased protein synthesis and increased nitrogen balance (NB) in burned animals The SL has also been superior to medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) and long-chain triglyceride (LCT) emulsions in stimulating muscle protein synthesis in animal studies.The use of SLs has been primarily limited to clinical and experimental settings whereby it has become necessary to develop medical nutrition therapies that minimize the adverse effects of high lipid feedings and maximize the positive outcomes. Such positive outcomes include increased protein synthesis, enhanced immune function, decreased risk for cardiovascular disease, and improved glucose homeostasis. The ability to increase protein synthesis, maintain the health of the immune system, and stabilize blood glucose are factors that can also play a role in improving athletic performance. Research on the application of this clinical technology to athletic performance is not available at this time.Peptides- To Provide Glutamine to TPN PatientsIn an effort to provide glutamine to TPN patients in a form that can remain stable in liquid, the amino acid has been bonded with other amino acids, such as the dipeptide alanyl-glutamine. This combination can preserve muscle glutamine levels and muscle protein synthesis after surgery and improve whole-body nitrogen balance. This finding is supported by research on rats with peritonitis Alanylglutamine increased protein synthesis in the liver and skeletal muscle, protected the morphology of the intestinal mucosa, and improved survival in protracted bacterial peritonitis. The researchers concluded that alanylglutamine supplementation may be useful in septic patients.Role of Glutamine as Glucose RegulationThe role of glutamine regarding glucose regulation may be important in exercise-trained individuals. Its function in gluconeogenesis (formation of glucose) and glycogen repletion may serve as a useful function during and after exercise. Gluconeogenesis from glutamine can occur without changes in plasma insulin and glucagon levels, providing evidence that glutamine itself can regulate gluconeogenesis.Nurjhan et al. compared the contribution of alanine and glutamine to glucose formation in postabsorptive (fasted) normal human volunteers and found that the amount of glucose carbon that came from protein­derived glutamine was 100% greater than from alanine. Varnier et al. studied the effects of glutamine, alanine plus glycine, and saline infusion on glycogen accumulation in subjects who cycled for 90 minutes. Two hours postexercise, glutamine infusion resulted in a twofold greater concentration of muscle glycogen than either saline or alanine plus glycine infusion. In postabsorptive humans, glutamine could be more important than alanine for glucose formation derived from proteolysis. Further, glutamine carbon can be directed to glycogen accumulation in skeletal muscle that had been previously glycogen depleted.In mice that were genetically predisposed to being overweight and hyperglycemic, the administration of glutamine in conjunction with a high-fat diet resulted in a reduction of body weight and a drop in hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia. The mechanism for a glutamine­induced weight reduction is not known, though it may be related to the ability of glutamine to lessen the insulin resistance induced by a high-fat diet. Further, the administration of glutamine to lipid-based TPN can prevent glucose intolerance and insulin resistance.

Do You Know How to Be an Engaging and Highly Effective Educator?

Anyone can teach. We teach each other every day. For example, we give instructions to each other for such things as cooking, putting together furniture, and completing household other tasks. However, teaching someone is different than the process of educating someone. Consider the difference between informal learning and formal learning. An example of informal learning would be following a recipe to learn how to cook. In contrast, formal learning occurs within a classroom and usually is accompanied by evaluation and assessment. It may seem that teaching and educating are the same thing; however, the difference has to do with the place or context for learning.This is the same distinction can be made for teaching informally (giving instructions) and teaching students in a formal classroom environment. A person enters the field of education as a profession – either full time in traditional academic institutions or as an adjunct (or part time) instructor. The reasons vary for why someone would choose to be in the classroom. A traditional full time professor may likely be responsible for conducting research, teaching, and publishing scholarly work. An adjunct instructor may teach in a community college, traditional college, or an online school. When someone teaches students in higher education he or she may be called a facilitator, instructor, or professor. This is important as there isn’t a job with the word educator in the title.The questions I would like to answer include: What then does it mean to be an educator? Does it signify something different than the assigned job title? What I have learned through my work in higher education is that becoming an educator is not an automatic process. Everyone who is teaching adult students is not functioning as an engaging and highly effective educator. However, it is possible to learn how to educate rather than teach and that requires making a commitment to the profession.What Does It Mean to Teach?Consider teaching as part of the system of traditional, primary education. Those classes are teacher-led and children as students are taught what and how to learn. The teacher is considered to be the expert and directs the learning process. A teacher is someone who is highly trained and works to engage the minds of his or her students. This style of teacher-led instructional continues into higher education, specifically traditional college classrooms. The teacher still stands at the front and center of the class delivering information, and students are used to this format because of their experience in primary education. The instructor disseminates knowledge through a lecture and students study to pass the required examinations or complete other required learning activities.Within higher education, teachers may be called instructors and they are hired as subject matter experts with advanced content knowledge. The job requirements usually include holding a specific number of degree hours in the subject being taught. Teachers may also be called professors in traditional college classes, and those positions require a terminal degree with additional research requirements. For all of these roles, teaching is meant to signify someone who is guiding the learning process by directing, telling, and instructing students. The instructor or professor is in charge, and the students must comply and follow as directed. Here is something to consider: If that is the essence of teaching, is there a difference between that and educating students? Is the role of a teacher the same as that of an educator?What Does It Mean to be an Educator?Consider some basic definitions to begin with as a means of understanding the role of an educator. The word “education” refers to giving instruction; “educator” refers to the person who provides instruction and is someone who is skilled in teaching; and teaching is aligned with providing explanations. I have expanded upon these definitions so that the word “educator” includes someone who is skilled with instruction, possesses highly developed academic skills, and holds both subject matter knowledge and knowledge of adult education principles.Skilled with Instruction: An educator is someone who should be skilled in the art of classroom instruction, knowing what instructional strategies are effective and the areas of facilitation that need further development. An experienced educator develops methods that will bring course materials to life by adding relevant context and prompting students to learn through class discussions and other learning activities. Instruction also includes all of the interactions held with students, including all forms of communication, as every interaction provides an opportunity for teaching.Highly Developed Academic Skills: An educator must also have strong academic skills and at the top of that list are writing skills. This requires strong attention to detail on the part of the educator and in all forms of messages communicated, including anything written, presented, and sent via email. The ability to demonstrate strong academic skills is especially important for anyone who is teaching online classes as words represent the instructor.The use of proper formatting guidelines, according to the style prescribed by the school, is also included in the list of critical academic skills. For example, many schools have implemented APA formatting guidelines as the standard for formatting papers and working with sources. An educator cannot adequately guide students and provide meaningful feedback if the writing style has not been mastered.Strong Knowledge Base: An educator needs to develop a knowledge base that contains subject matter expertise, as related to the course or courses they are teaching, along with knowledge of adult education principles. I know of many educators who have the required credit hours on their degree transcripts, yet they may not have extensive experience in the field they teach. This will still allow these educators to teach the course, provided that they take time to read the course textbook and find methods of applying it to current practices within the field.Many schools hire adjuncts with extensive work experience as the primary criteria, rather than knowledge of adult learning principles. Those instructors I have worked with who do have a strong adult education knowledge base generally acquired it through ongoing professional development. That was my goal, when I decided on a major for my doctoral degree, to understand how adults learn so that I could transform from an instructor to an educator.Becoming an Engaging and Highly Effective EducatorI do not believe that many instructors intentionally consider the need to make a transformation from working as an instructor to functioning as an educator. When someone is hired to teach a class, someone other than a traditional college professor, they often learn through practice and time what works well in the classroom. There will likely be classroom audits and recommendations made for ongoing professional development. Gradually the typical instructor will become an educator as they seek out resources to help improve their teaching practices. However, I have worked with many adjunct online instructors who rely on their subject matter expertise alone and do not believe there is a reason to grow as an educator. For anyone who would like to make the transformation and become an engaging and highly effective educator, there are steps that can be taken and practices that can be implemented.Step One: Continue to Develop Your Instructional PracticeWhile any educator can learn through time on the job, it is possible to become intentional about this growth. There are numerous online resources, publications, workshops, webinars, and professional groups that would allow you to learn new methods, strategies, and practices. There are also social media websites such as LinkedIn and Twitter that allow for the exchange of ideas and resources within a global community of educators.You can also utilize self-reflection as a means of gauging your effectiveness. I have found that the best time to review my instructional practice occurs immediately after a class concludes. That is a time when I can assess the strategies I have used and determine if those methods were effective. Even reviewing end of course student surveys may provide insight into the perspective of my students.Step Two: Continue to Develop Your Academic SkillsI know from my work with online faculty development that this is an area of development that many educators could use. However, it is often viewed as a low priority – until it is noted in classroom audits. If an educator has weak academic writing skills, it will interfere with their ability to provide comprehensive feedback for students. For online instructors, that has an even greater impact when posted messages contain errors with spelling, grammar, and formatting. The development of academic skills can be done through the use of online resources or workshops. Many online schools I have worked for offer faculty workshops and this is a valuable self-development resource.Step Three: Continue to Develop Your Subject Matter ExpertiseEvery educator has subject matter expertise that they can draw upon. However, the challenge is keeping that knowledge current as you continue to teach for several years. The best advice I can offer is to find resources that allow you to read and learn about current thinking, research, and best practices in your chosen field. This is essential to your instructional practice as students can ascertain whether you appear to be current in your knowledge, or outdated and seemingly out of touch. Even the use of required textbooks does not ensure that you are utilizing the most current information as knowledge evolves quickly in many fields.Step Four: Continue to Develop Your Knowledge of Adult LearningThe last step or strategy that I can recommend is to gain knowledge about adult learning theories, principles, and practices. If you are not familiar with the basics there are concepts you can research and include critical thinking, andragogy, self-directed learning, transformational learning, learning styles, motivation, and cognition. My suggestion is to find and read online sources related to higher education and then find a subject that interests you to research further. I have found that the more I read about topics I enjoy, the more I am cultivating my interest in ongoing professional development. What you will likely find is that what you learn will have a positive influence on your work as an educator and will enhance all areas of your instructional practice.Working as an educator, or someone who is highly engaged in the process of helping students learn, starts with a commitment to make this a career rather than a job. I have developed a vision related to how I want to be involved in each class I teach and I recommend the same strategy for you. You may find it useful to develop teaching goals for your career and link your classroom performance to those goals. For example, do you want to complete the required facilitation tasks or would you rather put in the additional time necessary to create nurturing class conditions?After developing a vision and teaching goals, you can create a professional development plan to prompt your learning and growth in all of the areas I have addressed above. While this strategy may require an investment of time, it is helpful to remember that we always make time for whatever we believe is most important. Being an educator is not sustaining a focus on job functions, rather it is cultivating a love of what you do and learning how to excel for the benefit of your students. Becoming an engaging and highly effective educator occurs when you decide that teaching students is only part of the learning process, and you work to transform who you are and how you function, while working and interacting with your students.