Monthly Archives: July 2012

900 Medical Marijuana Stores Shut Down

Coming in to work today, it was a regular old Friday morning. Tired, ready for the weekend, and only a few sips into my coffee, I found myself suddenly very awake when I noticed this article in one of my usual listserv emails with alcohol & other drugs materials. With a tag line like 900 Medical Marijuana in Los Angeles were shut down this week, I have to say, they had my attention immediately.

Marijuana has been a tough issue to educate on because research is still highlighting what exactly pot does to the body and what affects this has long term. While research has been trying to catch up, there has been a huge national trend of more and more people using marijuana and more believing that there are no or very limited adverse side effects.

I hear students compare the drug to alcohol- you can’t overdose on pot like you can alcohol! I suppose you’re right, but when you consume marijuana in high doses, it can cause psychosis. Did you hear about the guy who ate another guys face? The only drug he was on was marijuana. So, yeah, you might not be able to overdose on it, but I wouldn’t want to eat someone’s face. Just sayin’.

When you compare marijuana to cigarettes, marijuana leaves five times more tar in the lungs… it also has the same chemicals that cigarettes do with many more… not everyone likes to think about it that way, though, because then the truth comes out. If cigarettes do as much harm as they do, and marijuana is worse….then I guess it isn’t a drug without any “problems” anymore.

There is value in aiding someone who is truly in deep pain and suffering from horrible disease. This is why medical marijuana use was originally supported 16 years ago when Los Angeles passed their bill. If someone has Cancer or AIDS they should have relief from their symptoms, and this should be something they work through with their doctors. Selling marijuana to anyone who has a “medical issue” is not something that I can support. Here’s why:

Marijuana is proven to cause the following:
Reduction in the ability to learn
Damage to short term memory
Trouble thinking and problem solving
Inability to concentrate
Alerted perception of time, distance, space, sight, sounds, and touch
Impaired judgment and decision making
Loss of coordination and reaction time

And that is just in someone who smokes every once in a while. Here are the long term effects:
Increased risk of cancer
Damage to the lungs and airway
Difficulty remembering things and concentrating
Lack of motivation
Risk of mental health problems (depression, anxiety, schizophrenia)
And the list goes on…

Let’s put it this way: “Smoking marijuana causes some changes in the brain that are like those caused by cocaine, heroin…” ( If you wouldn’t do cocaine or heroin, why marijuana?

I also hear people say that they know people who smoked it back in the 70s and they’re fine today. They may seem fine, but what all has changed between now and then (it is 40 years we’re talking about after all)?

I’ll tell you one thing that’s changed: THC is the stuff in marijuana that has the strongest effect on the body. In 1974, marijuana had about 1% THC in it. By 1994 there was 400 times more THC than in 1974. It has been 10 years since then, how much more has it risen? Here’s the other catcher, let’s say you’ve got some of the popular stuff, “Sinsemilla” (from the Spanish word “without seeds”). The levels of THC in that are 7.5-24%!! That’s 750 to 2400 times more than in the 70s. Of course how it reacted in peoples’ bodies back then was different than now. All I have to do is remember that the stronger levels are known to cause psychosis…I can’t believe that that guy ate someone else’s face…NO THANKS!


Running with Lynn Show

Good morning UND! It looks like another nice day today, a high of 80 and very sunny. The batman movie was a huge hit it made 160 million in the US. I saw the movie on Friday and it was real good, I am going to see it again in a couple of weeks. So if you have some time get to the movies and watch the Dark Night Rises. For the movie of the week,  I recommend the Dark Night and Ice Age Continental Drift. There’s nothing like watching a funny movie on the big screen the colors and special effects are a sight to see. Also get a drink and popcorn always make the movie more enjoyable.

This Summer Has Been a Test of Character

I have always been wishy washy about the idea that God tests us. I don’t believe that we have a God who desires for us to go through trial, to lose loved ones, to suffer or anything else along those lines. I believe that God experiences what we too experience. When we struggle, He is there watching every painstaking moment of it, like a parent watches over their child. I believe that there are times when He wants to intervene but He chooses, like a parent, to allow us to do for ourselves so that we can learn and grow. If He didn’t, what kind of a world would we live in? That is one of the most amazing aspects of the faith I believe in- it is 100%, purely, and truly MY choice.

What God does desire for us is to respond to all situations, be it trial, stress, anger, you name it, in a way that is pleasing to Him. He wants us to reflect on how Jesus lived His life while He was physically here on earth and respond in a similar way to the situations that we face. Sounds simple, right? Ha.

I’ve had string after string after string of days where I just don’t know what to do next. I want to cry. I want to pull on my worn sparring gloves and have another go around with the punching bag, I want to run, hardlongandfast. I want to pull up my book and get lost in someone else’s world so that the stress of my own can melt away for a while. But this isn’t always what God wants me to do. He wants me to hold my head high. Allow myself to cry when the situation warrants it, because with deep passion comes deep emotion. But He wants me to quiet the defensiveness that rises up inside of me and thank the person instead, because regardless of how very hard the situation is, I still have a choice in how I react.

How do you react when you feel completely disrespected, devalued, and well smushed like a bug you can tell the other person just couldn’t stand?

My family would yell, scream, take it out on someone else. But I refuse. People ask me, those who know my whole story, and there are only a rare few, how I made it through that hell. I say it’s because I could see what was going on, but what isn’t always clear in my response is that what was really going on was God working within me. I’m not always sure I would live it all again, but its summers like this that I am thankful for the acquired ability to set myself aside and let God act instead.

I’ll say I’m sorry, even though I am deeply hurt. I will ignore the voice in my head that says all the words of what I think is going on, and instead look for what you need from me. I can’t remember Jesus asking for what He needed…but I remember Him selflessly giving to others over and over again. He gave to them even when they struck Him, dishonored Him, turned against Him, or didn’t even believe in Him. Who am I to say that I cannot do the same?

I heard a line on the radio the other day that has stuck with me. A woman was telling a story about her child and how she was hoping that she would come to be a Christian, but she was old enough now that the mom couldn’t do much more than be a role model anymore. Introducing God into the girl’s life and sharing her beliefs was done. It was time for the girl to work through the thick of it to figure what she believed and how to get through life when you readily fall into the “band nerd” (or insert any other like term here) category. And the mom said that one day her daughter just looked her dead in the eye and said, “Jesus has a thing for dorks, doesn’t He?” I couldn’t help but laugh.

Whether we’re dorks or we’ve been on the wrong path and done things that lead us to wonder why we have all that we have now, Jesus still chose us. He picked out the prostitute, the begger, the sick, you name it. I’m supposed to live my life like that.

This is a concept that I knew long before I knew I had a life for God. But I knew it in a different way. I thought the only way I could walk a life like Jesus did is for me to go out and find a homeless person and help them get work, a home, food, clothing, etc. I thought I had to travel the world to places where others have nothing in comparison to the riches we have here. But this isn’t the plan that God had for me, and it’s not the plan that He has for many others also. He does have this plan for some, and I am thankful that He does, but you see, God will work through us in HIS own way. Not mine. But I have to be willing to let Him. And sometimes the most difficult time to let Him to work through me in HIS own way is when we feel like we just can’t catch a break.

When I look at my summer and I look at the things that have been happening and the amount of stress I have felt…ug, I wanna stop typing right there. But if I dig deeper, if I put myself aside, take myself out of it completely, I see something different entirely. I have been given the chance to show the love of God. When I was in that meeting, what He wanted me to show was the passion I had, the passion that came from Him, and my willingness to push past myself into something else. He wanted me to allow His presence to be known. But it was up to me to allow it to happen. All it would have taken was one move for it all to be washed away, but I chose Him. “You handled that with such GRACE”. No I didn’t. God did. That wasn’t me. That was God. It was His grace. I chose to let Him lead the way. I don’t know how I do it, in fact I know that I cannot do it, it’s God that does it through me. But what I know is that if I allow Him to work through me in this way, my life will be changed and so will the life of all of those around me. Why else would I then end up back in PT and the first conversation we have is about God?

It doesn’t matter that more happened before this event and that more keeps on rolling in after. It doesn’t matter that I don’t always know how I can keep my head cool and the list goes on and on. What matters is that I can see that God has something in mind that He would love to accomplish. But He needs me to do it. I can’t believe that someone as big and as grand as He could need or want someone as simple as one person like me to do His will, but that is the beauty of how He works. He wants me to show His presence in this place and He wants me to demonstrate that His love is real, that He is love. He wants to show me that there is another set of life experiences that He will walk me right through- helping me to forget just how difficult they were and remember instead how awesome and all powerful that He is.

He wants to love me. And He wants others to witness it. He doesn’t want me to experience strife. It is a test in character; do I want to allow God to work through me and to blindly trust Him no matter what? Or do I want to be selfish and try to handle it on my own and be left with nothing but stress, fear, and pain? What I know is that I have chosen to let Him lead. And every moment when I make this same choice again, I have peace, love, and wholeness. I’m not sure that I need anything else.

Workout like an Olympic Track & Field Athlete!

Every four years, professional athletes around the globe gather to test their skill in a variety of sports. While many Americans spend weeks watching the competition on TV, the American Council on Exercise decided to use it as motivation to get moving. Reinvigorate your workout with exercise programs inspired by some favorite sports. Now you can train like your favorite athletes!  Try out the Track & Field Inspired workout today!

Together in Boise

Top row (left to right): Sophia Borgen: cousin (Boise, Idaho), Sarah Borgen: me (Grand Forks, North Dakota), Zachiory McCann: brother (Wasilla, Alaska), Darby McCann: cousin (Portland, Oregon), Bottom left: Riley McCann: cousin (Portland, Oregon), Not pictured: Chuck McCann: brother (Wasilla, Alaska).

The last week and a half is one that I will never forget. My cousins, brothers and I are getting older, to the point where we know this may be the last time we are all together again. College, future careers and families will complicate our get-togethers.  We all live far away from each other. If it were not for my grandmother, we might not have even met or had such tight friendships.

The cousins, brothers, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and I rendezvous in Boise, Idaho. We spent three nights at the Owyhee Plaza Hotel. During our stay we enjoyed dunking one another in the pool, jumping on the beds, eating new foods, going to art co-ops, learning from the Basque museum, playing monopoly and clue.

Tears were in everyone’s eyes as we were saying our good-byes. I headed out on a two-day drive back to Grand Forks. The rest of the gang, except Sophia who lives in Boise, headed out to Oregon. We may be going in different directions, but we will always be together in our hearts.

The best kind of Therapy.

Do you ever get so lost in your own thoughts that when you “come to” you struggle to put the pieces together, like how much time has passed, maybe how far you’ve ventured from home, how you could’ve possibly missed the ringing of your phone?

This happens to me. A lot. It’s almost always brought on by the same things:
exercise + good music + nature.

I swear I go into a trance.

I was out on the Greenway one day and actually jumped as a person passed me in the other lane. I was thinking about life, about love, about people… and all of a sudden a girl jogged past me and my rollerblades literally left the pavement.

Oh- Hello there, Reality!

Sometimes life sucks. It just does. You do really bad on a test, your car breaks down, your hair won’t work, you sleep through a big meeting, you get into a fight with a loved one, your morning coffee is now down the front of your shirt, you lose your pet… the rain just won’t seem to quit!

In those moments, I get a choice. In those moments, I have become totally and completely aware of the choice I get to make. This awareness has resulted mainly because of a 16+ year food battle.
1. I can eat my way through the emotions. I can quiet those voices that used to tell me it was the only way and listen to the ones that tell me I’m worth so much more than an entire package of cookies and the guilt that ensues.
2. I can explode on some unlucky recipient because it just becomes too much to hold in. “I SAID NO ONIONS ON MY SANDWICH, HOW DARE YOU?!” Ridiculous… right?!
3. I can lace up my shoes, grab my iPod, and cover some ground. (My family jokes that I am the “philosopher” of the bunch- I love quotes and emotions and talking and people.) I’ve discovered that my Greenway visits fill my soul like nothing else. There have been times when I’ve walked for over 4 hours without even realizing it- just thinking about life. When I return home, almost Army crawling because my legs have had it, I feel refreshed (and usually really thirsty)! 

Whether it’s walking, running, rollerblading, biking, lifting weights, playing tennis, shooting some hoops, joining a kickboxing class, or whatever else gets you up and off the couch and clearing the clouds out of your mind… Just do it. Trust me. You’ll feel so much better mentally, physically, and emotionally when you finish; the best kind of therapy.

Weekly Update from Work Well


Take a Culinary Corner class this summer:

  • Cookin’ with the Kiddos (July 10th, 17th, 24th, and 31st at 6pm)
  • Protein 101: (July 12th, 19th and 26th at 6pm).

Learn more by clicking HERE!


Andrea Chaput, a College of Nursing student is helping Work Well this summer to update resources available on the Work Well website that relate to the 7 dimensions of wellness (physical, social, emotional, spiritual, environmental, occupational and intellectual) for staff and faculty.

Prior to taking this survey, please review wellness tips and updates made to the website. Then, help us by completing this voluntary post-assessment of your knowledge of campus and community resources. Your answers are confidential and the data collected will not be shared with the public, only used by Work Well to update resources. Please complete the survey by Monday, July 16, 2012.


  1. VOUCHERS: Please submit any vouchers by August 15th, 2012.  This is for attending Work Well events that were offered between July 1, 2011-June 30th, 2012. Your maximum of points of 1,000 will be downloaded into your HealthyBlue account by November 1,2012.  You will need to redeem your points for prizes or gift cards by December 31st, 2012.  It is a Use-it-or-Lose-it System. If you don’t know how many points you earned through Work Well or need vouchers sent, you can contact us at: 701-777-0210 or

Have a great Tennis Shoe Tuesday!  If you think it is too hot to walk outside, don’t skip it, just fit in a 10 minute walk by going back and forth to a drinking fountain.  That way you can hydrate too!

Summer Mindfulness

Suddenly there’s talk of “mindfulness” all around us. This spiritual practice really does help us reduce stress, respond maturely to hard situations (instead of spouting something we’ll regret later!), and find more peace and joy in our lives.

Summer is a great time to try out mindful practices. There’s so much beauty around us in summer’s natural display, that it’s easier to find something special to notice – a bird, a butterfly, a flower, a dog loving the park. The first step is to pay attention – really pay attention – to just one thing for a few minutes. Breathe slowly and think about how greatful you are to be alive in the presence of this beauty.

You don’t have to make a big deal out of this practice or draw attention to yourself in any way. Just slow down a little along the sidewalk and take a break to appreciate what you see. You’ll be glad you did!

Riding with Paul Bunyan

This past weekend, I decided I wanted to get outdoors or go for a bike ride or something.  I wanted to get out of the Grand Forks area, but I also didn’t want to drive 6 hours.  I wanted a day trip.  So after looking at some brochures that I got when I first moved to Grand Forks, I found just what I was looking for, the Paul Bunyan State Trail!

The trail itself is a classic Rails-to-Trails Conservancy project, where old railroad beds are converted into biking and walking trails that can span for miles and miles.  The Paul Bunyan Trail’s first segment opened back in 1988 starting in Brainerd, MN, but recently in 2011 a segment was completed to connect Bemidji State Park to the trail.  That is a total of 112 miles of trails and once completed it should be 120 miles AND connect to the Blue Ox Trail (of course Paul Bunyan would connect to the Blue Ox) that goes all way up to Canada!

So late Friday night I got all of my equipment and food together and prepared to leave early Saturday morning for Bemidji.  After waking up and getting on the road by 7:15am, I was on my way to ride with Paul Bunyan.  The drive was 2 hours (give or take), which may sound like a long drive, but it went surprisingly quick and it was nice to go through some small towns and seen of the neat prairie landscapes that the western part of Minnesota has to offer.  Once I got to Bemidji, I was able to find trail parking fairly easily with the directions I printed out and after changing into my biking gear I was all set to take on the trail.

The plan was to bike from Bemidji to Walker and back.  Unfortunately, I started in the wrong direction, but once I found a map and got on the right trail it was smooth sailing.

The trail is completely paved, so it is great for any type of non-motorized transportation.  I saw people using road bikes, mountain bikes, recreational cruiser bikes, inline skates, and some just walked or ran.  Truly, anyone could use this trail.

As I biked, I got to see the damage from the recent wind storm that passed through the area and noticed a lot of sticks and a few bigger branches on the path, but almost all of the big stuff had been removed so there was no need to get off the bike to climb over a downed tree, except once.  As I pedaled, I went through lush wooded areas of pine trees and even got to see a deer bound across the path in front of me, but I also got great views of lakes, prairie, and quaint little towns along the way.  One town, Laporte, was even setting up for their 4th of July Celebration with a parade through the main street.  There were locals selling crafts and families getting the best viewing spots for the kids.  All in all a neat little town.

So I finally made it to Walker after 30 miles and started back to my car.  As I went along I decided to take it slow and really soak up being out in nature.  I made frequent stops on the way back to take some pictures (or because I was tired, I forgot the exact reason). 

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Once back to my car, I realized that I was tired, but also energized.  I had just traveled 60+ miles by bike through some of Minnesota’s most beautiful state parks and forests and got to see deer, snakes, lakes, and trees the entire way.  I felt truly revitalized.

Even as I drove the 2 hours back to Grand Forks, I thought to myself that people need to be out in nature even if just for a little while.  It allows us gain the balance that many of us are searching for in our life.

So get outside, take a walk in the woods or hike through a prairie.  Go check out Turtle River State Park a mere 30 minutes away from Grand Forks or watch birds at Kelly’s Slough National Wildlife Preserve, which is even closer or ride the Paul Bunyan State Trail.  Regardless of where you go, I am sure you will return energized from the experience and as always be prepared, be safe, and be a good steward out in nature.

Maximize Your Workout with Protein 101 at the Culinary Corner

Are you interested in leaning out, building muscle or looking your best for the lake? If you answered yes to any one of these questions, you are probably on a strict diet and exercise regimen. With all the talk about increased protein for athletes and active individuals, the options out there are endless. Protein shakes, supplements, diet pills and special foods – which one does the trick? More importantly are these healthy and will they work for your body?

At the Culinary Corner (located in the Wellness Center), we believe that a huge part of wellness is nutritionally based. To answer your questions and help you get started on a healthy workout and lifestyle, the Culinary Corner is hosting “Protein 101”, a series of classes held Thursdays in July. At just $7 per person, these classes offer a variety of tips and suggestions and teach you to make all your favorite foods with healthy alternatives that are rich in proteins.

Eat the food you love. Reach the goals you crave.

Attend three classes and get the fourth class FREE!

To register, go to

[Jason McCoy contributed to this post]

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