Lake Superior State University
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Ben Mitchell

Ben Mitchell
Mechanical Engineering '06

Ben Mitchell grew up in a devout household in the central Upper Peninsula of Michigan where emphasis was placed on helping others. He traveled with his father to places such as Kenya and Peru on short-term medical missions. When he was in Kenya, a missionary explained that engineers have the greatest potential to influence the largest number of people. During high school, Ben participated in a youth mission trip to Tijuana. A result of the mission trips, his family decided to adopt three Vietnamese children when he was a junior.

All of these experiences had a great influence on Ben’s outlook on life. He decided to major in mechanical engineering and enrolled at Lake Superior State University. Near the end of his senior year, he decided to volunteer for the Peace Corps to help others.

His two-year commitment began in the fall of 2007 and took Ben to Burkina Faso in western Africa. He resides in the village of Tansila, population 3,000, approximately 10 km from the Mali border. His host organization is the local cotton growers union. It works cooperatively with other villages to improve and expand their production techniques. He serves as an agribusiness advisor as a part of the Small Enterprise Development program which helps create market linkages and assists with the advancement of business skills.

Archives: Banished Words 1998

Build to a Crescendo  - “The word is a musical term which means ‘gradually increase the volume.’ It is not possible to build to a crescendo as the crescendo is the process of building.” Paul Kinney, Westland, Mich.           

Da Bomb - (to mean ‘the greatest’) “Sounds stupid and makes no sense.” Chad Johnson, Port Hope School, Port Hope, Mich. “Is it going to explode?” Adam Trupish, St. Anne’s H.S., Tecumseh, Ont.

Ever - Michele Mooney, Los Angeles, sent many examples of the overuse of “ever” clipped from newspapers and magazines: “…drew its largest audience ever.” “…the best film adaptation of a John Grisham novel ever!” “It will be the first public display ever for the staff.” “The first-ever DNA extracted from Neanderthal bone…” “It was the largest gay and lesbian event ever in Alabama history.”

Gaming - “Used to seduce people into thinking they’re not really gambling.” Gene Quinn, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

Generation X  - “This group needs a real name now. Unfortunately there aren’t any ‘x’ words that would do the job. How about generation XOXO?” Michelle Batterbee Fox, Ellsworth Community Schools, Ellsworth, Mich.

Giving 110 Percent  - When considering the salaries paid to professional athletes many folks may start to expect that extra 10 percent. Mark Terwilliger, LSSU math professor.

Is Dead Tonight - “Whenever a well-known person dies, television news reporters tell the story: ‘Joe Blow is dead tonight at the age of 85.’ Do they expect his condition to change by morning? I have heard of one such case, but even that took three days.” David Downing, St. Paul, Minn.

My Bad - “Students and adults sound infantile when using this to apologize for a mistake.” Elizabeth Philips, English Dept., Cardinal Mooney Catholic H.S., Marine City, Mich. and many others.

Norming - “A planerese’ word. These folks do not give up. It supposedly means to make normal… ‘In a systems evolution concept of storming, forming, and norming…’” Huon Newburg, New Ulm, Minn.

Show Me the Money - “It was a funny movie; now people use it everywhere.” Mandy Denick, Thornapple Kellogg H.S., Middleville, Mich. Nominated by others, including The Flint [Mich.] Journal’s Jeff Karoub, who says “It’s destined to be the ‘Where’s the beef?’ of the 90s.”

Talk to the Hand - and variations of the expression used when someone doesn’t want to listen to what is being presented to him or her: “Talk to the hand, ‘cuz the face don’t want to hear it.” “Talk to the left (hand), because you know I’m right.” “Talk to the back, because you’re not good enough for the front.” – Christine Tankersley, St. Mary’s Cathedral H.S., Gaylord, Mich. Nominated by many others in Canada and the U.S.

Take it to the Next Level - “As in, ‘If we increase our focus and intensity, we can take it to the next level.’ This has seeped out of the mouths of coaches and athletes and crept into the parlance of too many sportscasters and writers.” Jeff Karoub, Flint, Mich.

Whatsup? - Sometimes shortened to ‘sup? “Everyone uses it just to start up a conversation.” – Carali McCall, Seaforth District H.S., Seaforth, Ont. “Just say hello.” – Tim Nelson, Mackinaw City H.S., Mackinaw City, Mich. “It’s passť.” – Greg Arceri, Northville, Mich. Nominated by many others.

Yadda Yadda Yadda - “An annoying way of making a long story short,” Richard Young, Nicolet H.S., Glendale, Wisc. “Used instead of ‘and so on.’” R. Forrest, Tempe, Ariz.

Majoring in Elementary Education...

Brittany Baril

Brittany Baril
Elementary Education
Sault Ste. Marie, MI

Easy to walk from class to class, all have close proximity. There are excellent professors. The Library and Learning Center are great resources! (Actually are a relaxing place to be.) [ more ]

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