Options News

Founder’s Feature – January Edition


Throughout the academic year, Melinda Giampietro, Options Founder/President, will share some of her favourite things in her monthly Founder’s Feature. Melinda loves reading, data, research, and following academic and adolescent news around the world.

Over the holiday break, I read and loved The Latecomer, by Jean Hanff Korelitz. It was a story about families and siblings and coming together. There is a lot of heartbreak, but there is also a lot of hope. I found it a warm, welcome respite from the busy, vibrant holiday season. I am so excited to read The Plot, another of her novels next. I’ll report back on that one.

January’s Featured Cookie Recipes

In our household, every month is cookie month. This December, we tried many, many different versions for our annual holiday cookie platters. Some of our new favourite finds:

Italian Ricotta Cookies. I will be making these year-round with different coloured sprinkles. They are so good; I have made them four different times in a month. 

Christmas Monster Cookies (they have pretzels!). Those of you who follow along know, I love Half Baked Harvest and Tieghan Gerard. This is from her 2022 cookie box. 

Maple Brown Sugar Cookies. These were my son’s favourite (I think it is because he loves a good drizzle). I love anything with maple syrup in the winter. They look much fancier than the time it takes to make them. 

January Featured Planners

I love, love, love planners, pens, paper products and organizing. I spent a hefty amount at the Rifle Paper Company Boxing Day sale, and my most shopped site is probably Sugar Paper.

So, I really appreciated it when a friend’s husband sent me this article from the Strategist ranking the best paper planners. Thanks, Fred! Notice, our often featured (September and December Founder’s mentions) JStory brand makes an appearance.  

January Featured YouTube Channel

I have been trying to modernize and have been using certain YouTube channels as great sources of information. This is my favourite for keeping up with issues and events in collegiate sports. As the NCAA prepares for its annual convention in San Antonio this week, many of us interested in sports and recruitment are watching closely. This reminded me to share the NCAA Social Series.

Some of my favourite episodes have been: NCAA Academic Advising Roles, Division II,  Careers in Sports, The State of Women in College Sports, The Coach-Athlete Relationship, and Supporting Mental Health. 

January Featured Articles (about Language):

I love words. My favourite university electives were linguistics. 

This article is a fun one, and, truthfully, also a little horrifying. Can you pick out which of these ten banished words I often say in session? YIKES! This article gave me something to think about regarding my use of language and its connotations. 

This one is more serious. Stanford’s IT department released a list of harmful language words on its website. It caused quite a reaction, and it was taken down. I followed this release and subsequent debate closely. This article from the Stanford Daily summarizes the debate and timeline, and it includes a link to the original list of words document via the Wall Street Journal website.

To read more Founder’s Feature, check them out under the Options News category

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