Friday, April 25, 2014

State Champions

Thank you to first-year student, Micah Muma, for writing today's blog.

The whole basketball season was an amazing ride!  We had our problems, but we had fun the whole time. We went to the State Special Olympics Basketball Tournament and won. 

It seems simple as I write it, but when you think about it and look at how we ended up with a win in spite of all our injuries, I thank God for the whole team, for our amazing coach, Mr. Terrill, and to all of the other coaches for bringing us through it.  Congrats to you all! 

I remember the first game we played. We were a bit nervous and, when we won 2-0, that very day I said we’d be heading towards State as if it already was the conference game. But we had to keep our heads up.
We may have won all our games, but we didn’t do it without our God who gave us the chance, the teamwork, as well our coach. 

Next year is already in most of the basketball players’ heads.  It’s amazing how we won, and now we know exactly how to head toward State once more. I just want to thank our Coach, Mr. Terrill, so much for all the time he gave us and for giving us great advice as well. We can’t wait for next year.

For the players - let’s try to stay healthy as much as we can. 11-0 is a spectacular saying, and it feels great to ponder. All the time we played, we always came out saying, “Whether we win or lose, we are going to praise God. We are playing for God and Shepherds College.”  

We remember all the great plays, all of the yells Mr. Terrill had shouted at us, Coach Cronin for helping us and taking the place of Coach Terrill when he was away, and Alyssa Terrill for helping the team and writing down our faults for us to work on.

The day we went up to state, I honestly was a bit nervous, but when you have a great coach, great basketball team and a God who had been watching over us the whole season, you can achieve a lot.

At the dorms in Oshkosh, it was loud, fun and really smelly at times. And it was funny when we all watched the Kentucky versus Wisconsin in the men’s final four game (I was the only one who was for Kentucky). In all, it was such a blast to be at State for the very first time with Shepherds and be 11-0 all the way through State. Now that basketball is over for a spell and we can rest, we can look back and say, “We did it.”  I say when you “Think Big, Dream Big and Believe Big, you will have BIG results in life no matter the situation.”

Once more, thank you Shepherds for letting us play basketball this year. And to Mr. Terrill, thanks for coaching.

I’m looking forward to another spectacular year with the Soarin’ Eagles.

Congratulations to both the Falcons and the Soarin' Eagles for their wins at State!

Shepherds College - Guiding Your Transition to Appropriate Independence. Please visit us at

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Caught Between a Rye and a Hard Roll

My earliest food memory is a sandwich.

From the age of two and on throughout my childhood, my aunt, who was the pianist for the Milwaukee Ballet, would take me with her to performances at the Performing Arts Center. I loved every moment of it – getting ready in a dress and “big girl nylons,” honking our horn in the tunnel as we drove into the city, sitting dead center in front of the orchestra pit all by myself, watching the beautiful dancers on stage, and talking to Romney, Peter, Myron and the other performers after the show. 

As special as all of this was, my favorite part of each evening was walking hand in hand with my aunt to The Velvet Chair, a plush, dimly lit restaurant on the lower level of the PAC, and sitting at the bar. My aunt, in her flowing dress, with her dark hair tucked up in an artfully crazy bun and a long cigarette in an engraved holder perched between her red-tipped fingers, would wave the bartender over and order two BLT sandwiches, a Coke and a cup of black coffee. 

It could have been the 1940s-style elegance to the whole scene, or maybe the excitement of each occasion, but every time I took a bite of that BLT, I thought it was the best thing I had ever tasted. That food memory is tightly linked to joy, anticipation and pleasure in my mind, and even though decades have passed, I still can’t eat a BLT without remembering those long ago days with a smile. The sandwich is a bond to happy moments in my past.

These days, I count the BLT among my favorite sandwiches even though my tastes have matured and gotten more adventurous. I’ve tried everything from basic bologna to exotic camel and love to experiment with making mile-high creations for my family. My son, Nic, used to say, “You can tell how much Mom loves us. Just look at her sandwiches.” 

Recently, I received an email from Miss Van Oyen, the Culinary Arts Para. She was teaching the 2nd year students about sandwiches. I so wanted to be in their classroom rather than sitting behind my cluttered desk! I imagined wonderful conversations about fresh breads, new ingredients to blend into spreads, mayo versus Miracle Whip, soft versus hard cheeses, white meat, red meat or no meat, an endless variety of vegetable combinations, grilled or cold, cut in half or served whole… sigh. 

Miss Van Oyen had her students study sandwiches from top to bottom, then fill out a worksheet to create a café menu filled with delectable, delicious, delightful sandwiches. They needed to include all seven types of sandwiches - closed-face, open-faced, club, griddled, cold, hot, finger and tea sandwiches.  They also needed all four elements of a sandwich - bread, spread, filling, and garnish. 

Then they named their creations.  Here are some names and sandwiches the students came up with:

-      Wade named his sandwiches:
·         The Famous Chef Wade Sandwich
·         Bomb of the Year Sandwich
·         Creativity Sandwich
·         The Salami Supreme
·         The Best of the Best Cold Sandwich
·         The Best Creation on the Planet Earth Sandwich
·         Caribbean-Style Sandwich
-      Other names were The Gobbler and Tiny Tom.

-      The students used fillings such as hummus, guacamole, cream cheeses, flavored mayonnaise or butters, etc. Not just mustard and mayonnaise!

-      They used different breads like pumpernickel, rye, sourdough, baguettes, bagels, pita, rolls, and even Triscuits for tea sandwiches. 

-      The meat they were asked to use was turkey, but they used honey roasted, smoked, turkey bacon, and turkey hot dogs to add creativity.

It was a lesson filled with creativity and almost limitless possibilities.

I hope, through this exercise, the students developed fun memories of the sandwich that will make them smile well into their golden years. 

I hope that their family and friends will feel loved when they someday eat one of these fantastical creations made by their own skilled chefs.

I hope that one day I’ll stop by a café owned by Wade to try his The Best Creation on the Planet Earth Sandwich. 

I’m sure it will become my new favorite.

Just for Fun:

Our favorite sandwiches – 

Mrs. Harvey – Oooooh! One of my favorite sandwiches is a warm Reuben, or just about anything with sautéed onions and green peppers.

Mr. Gaschke – In the summertime, I enjoy a good BLT – garden fresh tomatoes, thickly-sliced bacon, dark, leafy lettuce and Miracle Whip.

Miss Houk - Jimmy John's Turkey Tom

Mr. DeCiccio – A Spicy Italian from Subway with pepper jack cheese, jalapenos, lettuce, oil & vinegar, and salt and pepper.

Miss Miles – I like grilled chicken sandwiches with lettuce, tomato and avocado on a pretzel bun.
Jimmy John's #9 on wheat

Mr. Canright – A Beach Club from Jimmy Johns! Sprouts, avocado slices, turkey, provolone… I like to sprinkle Jimmy’s jalapeno chips onto the sandwich. It provides a little crunch to the texture.

Mr. Andrus – Jimmy John’s #9 on wheat 

Mrs. Anderson - My favorite sandwich has to be a "fluffernutter." It has peanut butter and marshmallow fluff together.  It tastes wonderful!

Mrs. Konopasek - Turkey Panini!!  Yum

Panera's Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich
Mr. Kolkman - My favorite sandwich is the “Bacon Turkey Bravo” from Panera Bread. It has smoked turkey breast, bacon, smoked Gouda, lettuce, tomatoes, Panera’s signature dressing, all on Tomato basil bread. Love it!

Mrs. Kolkman - Panera’s Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich!  So yum!

Mrs. Luchterhand - Ummm… A turkey and cheese bagel sandwich… Or a turkey (Sun-Dried Tomato Turkey) and lettuce wrap.

Mrs. Patton - My favorite sandwich is a BLT with swiss.
Mrs. Wright - You choose – BLT, Tuna or Peanut butter with grape jelly.

Miss Pollard - My favorite sandwich is the “Bacon avocado chicken sandwich without bacon” from Chili’s. It’s faaaaaaaaaaabulous! 

Shepherds College - Guiding Your Transition to Appropriate Independence. Please visit us at

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Teacher Tuesday: With Respect to Advising...

Lauren Miles

Thank you to Lauren Miles, Student Advisor, and her Student Advisory Group for writing today’s blog.

It’s hard to describe the role of an Advisor. Every day, I seem to find out something new that falls under my title.  In fact, our title was changed from Academic Advisor to Student Advisor because we deal with so much more than just academics.

When I was hired, I was told to become the expert on my students - if there was ever a question about them I should be able to answer it.  While I would not consider myself an expert, I am sometimes surprised with how much I know about each student. 

A few things the Advisors do with the students include scheduling and taking them to the doctor, assisting them with budgeting and handing out their money every other week, setting and working toward goals, dealing with disciplinary issues as needed, communicating progress with their parents, and being the person they can come to whenever they need something. 

A tool that I have found to be very effective when working with my students is the Five Love Languages quiz.  I had each of my students take this quiz to determine the best way to love and encourage them.  This has been helpful when my students need a little extra encouragement. If their love language is words of encouragement, I can leave them a note in their mailbox; if it is quality time, I can stop by their residential area for a visit.  

I feel my most important responsibility as an advisor is seeing my student’s potential, even when they cannot see it themselves, and always pushing them toward it.  

I try to make every interaction I have with my students a teaching moment.  While we are not in a classroom taking notes and being tested, there are still so many opportunities to learn.  During group meetings, I address issues that multiple students seem to be struggling with including being kind to one another, being servants, learning and using the six character traits, and building their self-confidence.  We do this through journaling, service projects, writing encouraging notes to staff, looking up what the Bible has to say, and other fun projects I find on Pinterest.  

I also take advantage of teaching moments in the hallway, at lunch, and during residential life.  During lunch, we can talk about healthy food choices; in the hall, we can talk about being professional and greeting people as they walk by; and during residential life, we can focus on effectively completing daily living skills and working toward the goals the students set each semester.    

I meet with each of my students once a week, typically during lunch or right after classes, for about 30 minutes.  This is a time for students to check in and tell me how things are going.  We discuss classes, residential life, the future, their goals, medical issues… basically anything the student needs to talk about. If one of my students is struggling with something in particular, we use this time to problem-solve ways to fix the issue. 
Miss Miles with students at SkyZone.
I also meet with my entire advising group twice a week on Tuesdays for an hour and Thursdays for two hours.  During this time we talk about budgeting, fill out their student money request, give them their money, study for classes, and discuss important issues in their lives as a whole.  We also use this time to do team building activities and, every once in a while, run to McDonald’s for a treat! 

Recently, we talked about RESPECT in our Student Advising group.  I had the students write their thoughts about what respect is to them:


What is RESPECT?
“Respect – Recognizing and showing value to God, authority, others, property, and myself.  Being honest to God in order to show faithfulness.” Joshua Maher 

                                                                                                                                                                Why do we teach about RESPECT at Shepherds College?
“Respect is important in classes because it teaches you to be respectful to your boss or co-workers.  It helps you show kindness and that will get you far in life.  Kindness will help you get more friends in a job situation. You will be able to keep your job or get promoted.”  - Nikki Monroe
“Why?  Because in class talking to the teacher in a kind way with a right attitude and not using bad body language.  Being kind to students even though it is hard sometimes.  Praying for all people.”Sharon Ackerman

How do you show RESPECT at Shepherds College?
“Respect is honoring the other person.  When I respect the other classmates or roommates, I help with chores or homework.  By respecting and following the rules here in Shepherds College.”Micah Muma
“The class can respect the teacher by saying kind words, so that everyone can follow directions.  I think that to not talk while the teacher is talking.”Abby Grabinski
“How we use respect on the basketball team: To respect your teammates, to listen to them and to share the ball with your other teammates.  To be positive in the game and on the bench, then to be respectful to the other team who is playing us.”Christian Ladd

How can you show RESPECT when you leave Shepherds College?
“I can show respect in the future when I leave Shepherds by listening to others when people try to tell me something or how to do something.  Also, by having a good reaction when they do tell you something.”  - Katy Stengele
“You could show respect by working hard and staying on task when you’re at a job.  I could show respect by being honest and gentle to my boss and co-workers.”  - Charles Arnold


Shepherds College is grateful for the investment each Advisor makes in the lives of the students. We value the commitment the Advisors show in teaching, encouraging, disciplining and caring for the students as they grow toward lives of Appropriate Independence. We respect and thank Lauren Miles, Alyson Piatt, Daniel Gaschke, Laura Pollard, Elyse Cyr, Erin Luchterhand and Karli Luchterhand.

Shepherds College - Guiding Your Transition to Appropriate Independence. Please visit us at