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Will a Face Mask Help With my Allergies?

This never would have even occurred to me to ask if it hadn’t been for the covid-19 pandemic, but since wearing face masks is a thing in North America now is there any chance they will improve my allergies? Dror et al (2020) found that nurses with chronic rhinitis including runny or plugged nose, sneezing, … Continue reading

Why I love grading

I have always found grading students uncomfortable, so I adjust or change the assessment in courses whenever I can. I inherited a course once that had a paper, but writing a paper wasn’t a relevant skill for the course so I took it out and replaced it with a video which related to the presentation … Continue reading

Reparations and Community Health

It is well documented that Black and other marginalized communities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Rates of infection, hospitalization, and death are all higher for individuals who are Black compared to white. A new study led by Harvard Medical School examined how monetary reparations to the descendants of Africans enslaved in the US could … Continue reading

Why I give a group assignment

The introduction to sustainability course I teach has one group assignment that students need to do if they want an A in the course. (I use a grading approach called specifications grading where letter grades are determined by the amount and type of work rather than the overall quality which all must meet a particular … Continue reading

Wandering Brains

When I was a camp leader we used to joke that the secret to being a good leader was having a shorter attention span than the kids in the camp. I use a variation of this same philosophy in my teaching. I try to use a variety of different approaches to teaching and learning, and … Continue reading

All about puppies

I have an 8 week old puppy in the house and he’s making writing my blog post this week a little more challenging, so I thought I may as well use him for inspiration. I’ve noticed that if he can see the training food pieces he doesn’t really care that I have one in my … Continue reading

Birds that change colours AND wear snowshoes

I find ptarmigan quite fascinating. They live in alpine and tundra areas. These areas are not typically bird habitat, but ptarmigan like grouse primarily live on the ground. They walk around foraging for plants and occasional insects. They will live in these barren areas all year round, so it isn’t surprising that they are well … Continue reading

What kind of workout is cross country skiing?

On the surface, cross country skiing seems akin to something like running. You primarily work at a steady pace with occassional extra effort on a climb or a brief moment of respite downhill. However, competitive cross country skiers in both sprint and distance events have a much more variable output. In most races, the terrain … Continue reading

Do you feel safe enough to be active?

I am fortunate that I feel fairly comfortable being active outside on my own, but I know many women who are not comfortable going for a run alone in their neighbourhood, or who won’t go explore the amazing river valley through the city on their own because of safety concerns . This of course isn’t … Continue reading

What if we got rid of the allergens?

I am deathly allergic to peanuts. I have wondered for some time if I’m allergic to all peanuts or whether certain strains of peanuts might be more or less likely to trigger my body’s overreaction to what should be a mundane protein. This, it turns out, is the focus of some research recently presented by … Continue reading

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