By Erin Thompson, Broadside Correspondent

Hi, my name is Erin Thompson. I am a senior at the Mason LIFE Program. I would like to share my residential dorm life experiences.

Mason LIFE Program has a residential program as a component that continues to build upon the foundation fostered in the independent living and community access classes as taught in the academic program.

While one-third of the Mason LIFE students commute to the university, at least two-thirds are residential students who live on campus.
But I am actually enjoying myself in the dorms. The reason I decided to live on campus is because I always wanted to be independent and hopefully to move out of my parents’ house.

My parents always taught me how to be independent, like taking my own responsibility, doing my chores (including homework) and making sure that I take my medication ever morning. Also, making sure that I get to bed on time.

In the Mason LIFE Program, we have a 102-dorm class that involves friendship, roommates and residential assistance. We usually meet every Tuesday from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

This class will help us learn more and be very independent in our dorm room. We have a common area where there is a TV and a table to study and do our homework. But the things that we can’t get out of are cleaning, laundry and studying time for homework.

But right on the hall we have a calendar to see what’s going on. The RAs take their time by planning events for the Mason LIFE Program.
I will give you an example: on Monday night, we usually have Monday Night Football for the boys but the girls like to watch different shows besides sports.

Hi, my name is Erin Thompson. I am a senior at the Mason LIFE Program. I will be discussing the major issues about pollution.

I have seen a lot of people putting trash on the grass, even though people shouldn’t be throwing things on the floor. I wish people could do a better job making sure they throw their trash out. The worst part is that people don’t take the responsibility and care for our animals.

Where can animals find a home, and how are they going to find food? There are about 200,000 animals out there finding food to eat. Most
of the animals live underwater like dolphins, fish, walruses and other animals.

Pollution is contamination by a chemical or other agent that renders part of the environment unfit for intended or desired use. It deserves emphasis that the environment also refers to the place where you live. And natural processes have released toxic chemicals into the environment throughout the history of the earth.

Currently, the pollution generated by human activities presents the most serious problem. Did you know pollution can take many forms in the air we breathe, the water we drink and the ground where we grow our food?

Of the pollutants that taint urban air, fine suspended particulate matter sulphur dioxide (S02), and ozone pose the most widespread and acute risks. However, airborne lead pollution is a critical concern in many cities. Recent studies on the effects of chronic exposure to air pollution have singled out particulate matter as the pollutant most responsible for the life-shortening effect of unhealthy air, although other pollutants may also play an important role. These pollutants cause respiratory and other health disorders.

Besides increasing blood pressure and stress levels, noise pollution can also have deleterious effects on hearing. There are two categories of hearing loss resulting from noise exposure. The first, acoustic trauma, is hearing loss resulting from a single exposure to a very loud sound such as an explosion. The second, noise-induced hearing loss, is hearing loss arising from repeated exposure to moderate noise.

The latter is the more common form of hearing loss due to noise pollution.

Water pollution infects the water and renders it unfit for drinking and other purposes; it is also a major cause of most of the waterborne diseases.

Reducing pollution from fossil fuels is critical to preventing further damage to the environment Fossil fuels are not renewable and may soon be gone. These fuels, which include coal, crude oil and natural gas, took millions of years to make and cannot be relied upon as a major energy source. Fossil fuels cause more than 90 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to global warming. If steps are not taken, mankind may be in a bad situation.

Fossil fuels cause acid rain. Smog, air pollution and other problems need more government regulation and steps taken by individuals can help a global switch to alternative energy sources that are renewable and friendly to the environment.

But what can we do to help reduce pollution? Reducing pollution can be done by everyone. Buy a vehicle that is a hybrid or one that uses biofuels or other alternative energy sources. Carpool or ride a bike when possible to cut down on the amount you drive. Plant trees and plants whenever possible and keep plants in your home as well. These are natural pollution reducers and, in exchange, they provide oxygen recycle whenever possible.

Using alternative energy sources, conserving energy when possible and taking other steps to reduce pollution will help make the earth a better place for everyone, including future generations.