All posts by Shelly Hacco

Suns Out Paws Out: Summer Safety Tips to Keep Our Furry Friends Safe

By Makesha Conzuelo

Edited by Natalie Grace Sipula

If you’ve ever been to Washington state (or if you’ve seen any of the Twilight franchise films) then you’ll know the state is well known for its constant rainy days. Just as Californians always expect sun, we always expect rain. Being from Washington, I can attest that when summer rolls around, everyone makes sure to take advantage of the sunny days. Now that we’ve added our corgi Benji to the family, that means I’ve had the chance to learn about what I should do to keep him safe while enjoying the sun with us. Here’s a bit of what I’ve learned so far and what can help you as well if you’re a first time dog owner. 

While there are a lot of perks to summer, it also poses special risks to our dogs. More walks and longer outings can lead to an “…increased exposure to ticks and other insects, to sunburn, and even heatstroke.” (akc.org, 2019). A lot of tips can be applied to any pets you have in your household; making sure their water bowls are filled, providing shady spots to escape the sun. In particular, you want to make sure you open your car windows if there isn’t air conditioning-on a hot day, it can reach 100 degrees in just 20 minutes (akc.org, 2019). You can also research tips for your specific dog’s breed. 

 Family pet Benji 2yr, enjoying the sun at Lake Tapps

Since we commonly take our dogs out more than any other pet, there are more safety precautions we can take to make sure they are being safe in the sun. 

Going on walks

With the sun heating up asphalt and sand, prolonged exposure can burn their paws. If your schedule allows it, try walking them earlier in the day and later in the evening when temperatures will be cooler. If the ground is too hot for you to touch, then your dog probably shouldn’t be walking on it either. You may consider purchasing dog boots for them, however finding a brand that fits them well may be a challenge and your pet may not ever get used to them. As always, if in doubt, be sure to consult with your veterinarian.

If it’s not too hot out, then you might consider going for a hike.

Hiking may seem pretty straightforward, but there’s a lot of safety precautions to consider for both humans and dogs alike. For our furry friends, we want to make sure they 

  • Are up to date on their vaccinations
  • Have a good harness, not just their collar and leash combo 
  • Have a water bottle specifically for them 
  • Are a type of breed that will enjoy hikes 

Prefer the water? Grab that life jacket!

With it being cold and rainy most of the year, Washingtonians jump at the chance to go to the lakes and beaches to take a dive. 

Most dogs love it too, so make sure to get them a life jacket that fits them well so they too can enjoy the water in a safe manner.  It’s a good idea (once their life jackets are on) to introduce them to the water slowly and with positive reinforcement before having them hop onto a kayak or paddle board so they know what to expect in case they ever fall in.

My dog Benji sporting his life jacket enjoying a kayak ride with my sister at Lake Sammamish state park.
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Joining USC Clubs and Organizations

By Eric Chow

Edited by Natalie Grace Sipula

[3 minute read]

A hallmark of college life is the freedom that students get to pursue what they are interested in. Whether that’s lounging about in the library or going out with friends, the only limit to the activities that you can pursue in college life is your imagination. At USC, one of the biggest things student occupy their time with is joining and participating in clubs. USC offers a wide variety of clubs and organizations for students to participate in, and below, I have listed some clubs I personally recommend and my experience in them!

USC offers a variety of different clubs that range from marketing to philanthropy. Joining such organizations is highly coveted amongst the USC student community, as these clubs represent an avenue for not just your passion and interests but they also can provide valuable connections with other USC students and alumni. Because of these valuable resources and the breadth of experiences that you can gain from joining these clubs, the application process for them is highly selective and rigorous. USC has more than 1,000 student organizations. These organizations are responsible for most of the programs and events held on campus, including concerts, lectures, special events, spirit rallies, cultural and social events, and conferences.

Photo by Artem Kniaz on Unsplash

One club that I have joined is called Troy camp. Troy Camp is one of USC’s oldest and largest student-run philanthropies, providing comprehensive, long-term mentorship for students in South Los Angeles. We engage in educational, extracurricular, and leadership programs to foster personal growth and instill the value of learning. These programs include conducting bonding activities with younger students in the south LA area. I am a counselor for elementary school students, and I really enjoy my time hanging out with the kids and other counselors. We host weekly activities like origami folding or painting sessions. The community is so open and inclusive, and everyone feels welcomed. 

Another club that I recently applied for is the USC American Marketing Association. The American Marketing Association (AMA) at USC is a collegiate chapter of one of the largest marketing associations in the world. AMA provides networking and academic development for undergraduate students interested in the field of marketing and brings national AMA resources to USC students, including training workshops, professional speaker events, company tours, service and networking events, and consulting projects. This club provides unique opportunities for students who want to gain more experience in professional business fields like consulting or marketing. 

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash
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Developing Cultural Competency in Occupational Therapy

By Leah Mary King

Recently I have been having fascinating conversations about cultural competency and cultural awareness. I was first introduced to the idea of cultural competency a little while ago and found it to be an interesting and important concept. My understanding of cultural competency is as a way to understand and invite people to share about their culture in order for one to become more “competent” in that culture.

While I know this term was coined in an effort to encourage more cultural appreciation and inclusivity in education, research, and work, the word “competency” did not encapsulate the understanding of culture I was striving for. Just because I have a Bachelor’s degree in East Asian Area Studies, have traveled around the world studying culture, and shadowed patients from different cultures doesn’t mean I’m competent in their culture. I will never be competent in someone else’s culture. However, that doesn’t mean I’m not striving to be culturally aware and respectful. I constantly check my assumptions and try not to place my western viewpoints onto people I meet. 

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

As a conversation partner with the American Language Institute, something as simple as using Line, WhatsApp, WeChat, Or KakaoTalk instead of using text messages makes the students I work with more comfortable texting in English. As a future occupational therapist, I anticipate that I will work with people from very different language and cultural backgrounds. In my fieldwork and volunteer experiences I’ve heard many therapists and doctors say that “the client needs an interpreter because they can’t speak English”. Although it is probably unintentional, this Western viewpoint blames the clients we serve instead of working with them in a culturally sensitive way. Instead, the therapist must take responsibility for meeting the clients where they are by having an interpreter for the therapist instead of for the client. This is how therapists can build an empathic and cultural bridge when serving their clients. 

Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash
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