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Features

Volume 83 (Spring 2012)

Skills That Will Score the Coveted Job

features-jobWith graduation impending for many in a matter of weeks, soon-to-be graduates are busy putting the finishing touches on their resumes in order to impress and hopefully get that sought-after yet very mythical callback. If one is lucky, they will be called for an interview.

What happens, though, as one is waiting in the office, sweating through the expensive suit or name-brand blouse waiting for their chance to astound? In today’s market, it helps to be different than the rest of the candidates in the pool and to be able to stand out among the rest. It benefits to know and possess some unconventional job skills in today’s working world.

So the day of the interview has finally arrived. Now what? Person after person, parent after parent, all have their two cents to put in when it comes to making an impression on the hiring employer. Many more people have seen the countless pages of news articles regarding what to say and what not to say at a job interview. Majority of the skills mentioned in said articles are generic and most often come across the minds of most people as common sense.

For example, in today’s technology-driven society and work force, it pays to know and be able to work with computers and the ever-growing social media movement. “Many employers today are using social media in the workplace, so a knowledge of how to use social media in a professional setting is helpful,” William Hill, Assistant Dean of Career Services said.

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The Evolution of Supercomputers

features-super-computerIf you bought a computer within the last few years, you probably realize that it can run circles around the old desktop you had lying around your house from a decade ago. The speed in loading webpages, playing games, editing media,and processing information has appeared to have exponentially increased compared to the ancient former.

Who doesn’t remember the days of using dial-up internet and hoping that no one would call home as the phone line was occupied by the modem? Then came DSL and fiber optics and our freedom of using the phone while surfing the web was established as a new norm. A few years down the road, the majority of advances of desktop computers, mainly processing power, had begun to migrate to laptops and recently, to smartphones.

This trend is the result of an observation made in 1965 by the cofounder of Intel, Gordon Moore, which is known as Moore’s Law. It states that the number of transistors per square inch on an integrated circuit will double every two years, according to intel.com.

Transistors are semiconductors which are the fundamental components of most electronic devices. They can act as amplifiers by controlling a large electrical output signal with changes to a small input signal (much the same way as a small amount of effort is used to allow a faucet to release a large volume of water). Transistors can also act as switches that can open and close very quickly to regulate the current flowing through an electrical circuit.

The evolution of supercomputers is no exception to Moore’s Law. The modern Cray XT5 Jaguar supercomputer performed 1.4 petaflops in 2008, whereby processing almost nine million times more flops than the famous Cray-1 supercomputer from 1976, according to cray. com. A “flop” is an acronym for a floating point operation per second which is a way to measure a computer’s performance, generally in processing power.

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How to Not be Treated Like a "Winter Rental"

features-winter-rentalIMAGE TAKEN from lovestorywedding.comSummer is almost here and “single” is in the air. All year long from the first week of September until Memorial Day weekend, we sit around pining for “the one.” But something about summer triggers a sense of freedom in the blood. Your friends are all coming home from school, you’re starting that new lifeguarding job, classes are over and any type of responsibility sounds like torture.

Those of us that are in rela­tionships suddenly feel trapped and those of us that are already single feel like we’ve hit the lot­tery. There’s no better time to be single than D’Jais opening week­end. “Last year, my boyfriend and I broke up in the beginning of May. It wasn’t the greatest relationship and I knew the summer was going to have much more to offer,” said Samantha LaRocca, senior.

So the real question here is: If you are one of those unlucky suck­ers who find themselves stuck in a relationship, how do you hold onto the love until September is in sight again? Chances are, at least one of the two people in every relation­ship is looking for an easy way out before June 1 hits. “Everybody breaks up in April or May. Most people don’t want to be held back over the summer,” said Dimitri Di­Marco, student at the University.

If fate has it that you are not looking to dance half-naked on the bar at Bar Anticipation every “Sun­day Funday” this summer and you actually like your significant other, I am here to teach you how to hold onto your beloved.

First, if you are in any way clingy, lay off immediately. No­body wants a needy partner calling them every five minutes while they are getting their tan on at 16th Av­enue in Belmar. Realize that you too need to enjoy your summer.

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How Professors Get the Grade

Getting Familiar With Faculty Evaluations

Students always know when it’s about to happen. With less than two weeks left of classes, the professor wraps up one class a few minutes early, reaching for a manila envelope on their desk. A brief speech about something called the SIRs is brought to your attention as a questionnaire is distributed to you and your peers. The professor quietly leaves, giving you a few minutes to look it over and an­swer the questions laid out before you.

For once, you are the grader scoring your professor. Think hard about the last 16 weeks, because the “grade” you give your instructor and course overall turns out to be more significant than you thought.

According to Provost Thomas Pear­son, there was no formal student eval­uation system when he came to then- Monmouth College in 1978. However, there were ways students could leave feedback, such as a book of comments that he believes was placed in the Reg­istrar’s Office. “Students could come by and see what other students thought about faculty, courses, things like that. But it was very random, rather infor­mal and the comments to the best of my knowledge were not used in any formal way by faculty,” Pearson says.

Pearson says it wasn’t until the mid- 1980’s that a formal student evalua­tion system was introduced as part of negotiation for the Faculty Asso­ciation. The University saw this as important to evaluate faculty in order to make decisions in terms of tenure, candidacy, continuance and promo­tion. “Having a more formalized pro­cess was felt by the administration to be at the advantage of everybody.”

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Tests, Quizzes, Essays... and a Publication

Some students decide to get in­volved with student affairs, others with athletics, some with clubs, and then there are a few others who decide to write books. This happens to be the choice that Aziz Mama and Matthew- Donald Sangster made when they co-authored The Stranger Inside: Stories from Beneath the Mirrored Glass, published in May 2011 under their own publication house, Mama Sangster Publications.

The Stranger Inside: Stories from Beneath the Mirrored Glass is com­posed of nine short stories ranging in themes. “The plot of each of the stories is based in realism but subtly takes a turn towards existential understand­ing. Essentially, the aim of many of the stories is to outline the concept that no philosophical idea can be taken solely at face value,” said Sangster. He said that each one of the stories unfolds and in its own way and then ends by its own means, as is the way in life. He continued, “Doing so highlights the similarities between the stories: The significance and importance of a sec­ond chance. Through forcing the char­acters to grasp the subjective nature of the perceptions of life, they are al­lowed to see their circumstances with more optimistic tones.”

Mama said that all the stories speak for themselves, saying that the meaning of each story will be the reader’s own. “We had our own ideas and concepts which we put into the stories, but given the way we wrote they are still very much open to interpretation,” Mama said.

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Technology’s New Frontier

Google Unveils its Augmented Reality Glasses

features-google-glassesIMAGE TAKEN from nytimes.com

In 1991 when Arnold Schwar­zenegger walked into the bar in the beginning of Terminator 2: Judge­ment Day, we all glimpsed at what augmented reality could be like. In a crimson red background, the cy­borg’s biometric eyes studied the people in the bar using digitized checklists of countless algorithms, analyzing each individual from head to toe until the Terminator found his match and with a proba­bility reading of 0.99, saying “I need your clothes, your boots, and your motorcycle.”

Now in 2012, 21-years-later, Google has announced its own en­deavor, Project Glass, to bring to fruition the augmented reality op­tics Generation Y had always grown up fantasizing about, from futuristic movie series such as Star Wars and Terminator.

The prototype glasses that Google publicized a few weeks ago marked the company’s first steps in the ephemerally uncharted territory of wearable computing. Presently un­der development in Google’s secret research lab located near Mountain View, California, the glasses “can stream information to the lenses and allow the wearer to send and receive messages through voice commands. There is also a built-in camera to record video and take pictures,” ac­cording to the New York Times.

Isabelle Olsson, an industrial de­signer on the Project Glass team, said on the Project’s website, “A group of us from Google started Project Glass to build this kind of technology, one that helps you explore and share your world, putting you back in the moment.”

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The New Hollywood Film: Successful, Yet Risk-Free

While it seems that Hollywood has run out of ideas by the amount of remakes and sequels being released, the reasons why this occurs remains something of a mystery. One theory is that these recycled ideas and storylines internalize the fear of taking a risk on something with an unsure future.

Movies such as The Karate Kid, Arthur, and Footloose were all highly successful films when originally released. Because of this, big budget studios seem to have concluded that if it was successful once, it will be successful again.

Dr. Chad Dell, Chair of the Department of Communication, sees Hollywood remakes particularly as a business decision. “We’ve got remakes of 70’s and 80’s films that still have currency with today’s audiences. The studios see something that was a blockbuster in its time, so it already has that bankability,” said Dell.

Dell then explained that for studios, it seems easier to risk a certain amount of money on something that has already proven its success rather than something with an uncertain future.

Professor Robert Scott, professor of radio/television, also believes the need for film remakes are financial considerations. “It is typically easier to greenlight a project if the financial risk can be minimized,” said Scott. “By pitching a project with a proven track record, name recognition, and perhaps even iconic status, producers may feel they have a better chance of a strong return on their investment.”

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Overcoming the Obstacle of Writer’s Block

features-writers-blockIMAGE TAKEN from wordsmithbob.comThe vertical flashing black line in Microsoft Word is staring you down and reminding you just how little you have written thus far. Writer’s block can be downright demoralizing if you have an assignment due. Whether it is from distraction or procrastination, or your mind is at a standstill, writer’s block is frustrating when it refuses to relent. What is it that causes this bothersome problem and how can it be defeated if someone is stuck at a crossroads?

Writing involves many components that differ for individuals, ranging from purpose to mood to motivation. When something is missing from this mixture, writing can be impossible and panic can ensue.

“I think writer's block is caused by lack of inspiration sometimes. Other times I think it's stressrelated,” Nicole Massabrook, a sophomore writing assistant for the Writing Center said. Sometimes without that little “click” going off in one’s brain, words fail to materialize, which leads to even more worry about not being able to write. Massabrook continued, “Even with homework, sometimes you're just stressed by the fact that it's due soon and you have a million other things to do that you can only focus on the fact that it needs to get done instead of how you're actually going to do it.”

Dr. Heather Brown, assistant professor of English, said that when people talk about writer’s block, what they are really talking about is writing anxiety. “I firmly believe that a major cause of writing anxiety is the idea that one has to wait for inspiration to strike. Inspiration is great when you can get it, but it is even more important that you get your butt in the chair, open a blank document and just start typing. The best way to cure writer’s block is to write,” Brown said.

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Turning Tragedy Into Positivity

Linda Mussara, Supervisor at Einstein’s Bagels, Discusses ‘Relay’ Motivatiofeatures-linda-mussaraPHOTO COURTESY of Michelle Callas

One woman in the University community found hope after heartbreak. Having survived cancer, suffering the loss of her beloved husband and caring for her sick mother, Linda Mussara, supervisor at Einstein’s Bagels, turned her grief into something positive.

For the last five years, this strong woman has put her energy into the Desperate Mama’s Relay for Life team and turned her pain into motivation to help others. Mussara’s husband Joe suddenly passed away eight years ago from glandular cancer. Enjoying five years of marriage together, he was diagnosed on January 14, and after unsuccessful cancer treatments, died exactly three months later.

“That really put Relay at the front of my brain to say we’ve got to do something here,” his widow said. “If we can save one life it’s worth it.”

Mussara is one of many who have been saved from cancer. She fought her own battle against throat cancer 15 years ago. “I spent a summer getting radiated five days a week for 12 weeks,” she said. “They never tell you what the radiation is going to do to you later on down the road.” Relative five-year survival rates for nasopharyngeal cancer are 72 percent when diagnosed at stage one, as Mussara was, according to the American Cancer Society’s website.

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Who’s Checking You Out?

The Hidden Dangers of Online Dating

features-online-datingIMAGE TAKEN from freeonlinedatingsites.orgIn this fast paced world, everything moves at the speed of light, whether it’s your brand new iPhone or your Lexus Hybrid. Being that we are always on the go, it is that much harder to meet someone special.

In the past 15 years, the world of online dating has exploded and become a trend that many Americans have begun following. According to the Chadwick Martin Bailey Study, one out of every five singles is dating online. Online dating services are everywhere we look. If it’s not a commercial for eHarmony or Match.com, it’s a side bar ad on our Facebook for Christian Mingles.

 “Everyone knows someone who met on a dating website. It’s so popular it’s becoming a norm,” said Michele Ventricelli, junior.

These websites practically sell themselves too. Nobody wants to be alone, and making a profile takes five minutes. So what’s the harm in seeing what’s out there? Well that’s a question Americans should take into serious consideration before heading down the path of online dating. The bigger question is, how do we really know who we are talking to when we’re speaking to someone we met on the internet?

According to William McElrath, Chief of Police at the University, the main concern is that you really don't know too much about the "real" person you're meeting online. That person could easily be married or have intentions of taking advantage of your wallet. The person could also be dangerous and looking for easy victims.

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Look for the Ones in the Pink Jerseys

The Stigma Faced by Female Sports Fans

algeria-fansThey cheer right along with everyone else, shouting and applauding, booing and sighing, sitting on the edge of their seats as a pitch is thrown, holding their breath as the ball hits the backboard and bashing the referees for making bad calls. They talk sports, are up-to-date on all of the latest trades and stats of players and team rosters, and are able to participate in heated conversations. They wear their team’s colors and their favorite jersey, usually with their favorite player’s number displayed on the back. They jump up when their team scores, rounds of high fives going around. They are the female sports fans, and are as well-versed in sports as many other die-hard sports fans out there.

The stigma of being a female sports fan has plagued many. Women do not watch sports purely for the sake of pleasing a boyfriend, but watch sports because they want to. Nicole Keslo, junior psychology major and Yankee fan said, “The worst thing has got to be the stigma against hardcore female sports fans. Whenever you say you like a team there's always that guy in the crowd who makes a snarky remark about how girls don't understand sports. Sorry guys, you're sadly mistaken!”

Marilyn McNeil, Director of Athletics, still sees that some women like teams to please their significant others. “I think this is a sociological issue. Women still tend to be fans of what their boyfriends or husbands, want to do. And those ‘others’ aren’t willing to include the women’s game in their choices,” she said.

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The Dropping Cost of Gene Sequencing

A Subsequent Rise in Medicine Personalizatio

As the lines separating biology, chemistry and computer science have yet again been blurred, new roads have been paved for the scientific advancements of tomorrow to begin today.

Genes are the units of heredity in living organisms. They are composed of stretches of DNA and RNA that code for other RNA chains and proteins, one of the chief building blocks of life. A decade ago, an international collaboration of scientists in the Human Genome Project successfully mapped and identified all of the genes that make up the human genome, the aggregate sum of all our genetic makeup – the cost of doing so, however, ran in the billions of dollars.

Recently, Bill Banyai, an optical physicist at Complete Genomics, designed a factory that, according to the New York Times,“automated and greatly lowered the cost of mapping the three billion base pairs that form the human genome.” His company is pushing to reduce that cost to under $1000, the applications of which are simply jaw dropping.

Young fields such as personalized medicine, gene therapy and genetic counseling will mature into integral parts of tomorrow’s medicine, branching out new lines of careers in bioinformatics, applied computing and molecular genetics, to name a few.

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Guiding Students to a Healthy College Experience

Meet Kathy Maloney, Director of Health Services at the University

KathyPHOTO COURTESY of Jenna IntersimonFor Kathy Maloney, Director of Health Services, it has been 11 years of transforming students from adolescence to adulthood in terms of their health.

She’s cared for patients withdrawing from heroin, struggling from rape, sick with the stomach bug, and facing a variety of physical and mental health problems. She says, “We have had it all. We never really know what comes through the door.”

However, there is one event that Maloney said absolutely takes the cake.

She describes it as the “Pinewood Illness.” “A few years back, two girls [residents of Pinewood Hall at the time] came into the office with the most horrible looking throats. Red, swollen, horrible looking. Then, they started to break out in rashes all over. Itchy, itchy, itchy rashes. We could not figure out what it was. Then all of a sudden, other people on the same floor of Pinewood started having similar symptoms. And before you know it, it was almost the entire floor. We didn’t know if it was something in the floors, or something in the vents. The Department of Health was here and Facilities Management did testing of the vents.”

Everything seemed to be better when people were not on that floor in Pinewood, Maloney remembers. “People would get better when they went home, and got worse when they came back. Then we started to do a diagram,” she explains, tracing a chart with her finger on her desk. “We plotted out the rooms, and what happened was the girls in the center room had the worst symptoms, and as you went further out, those girls had less symptoms. And no one could figure out what was going on.”

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Celebrity Culture: The Worldwide Obsession

What Fuels Our Fascination With Celebrities?

CelebritiesIMAGE TAKEN from starcasm.netWhat do you see when you walk through the checkout aisle at any grocery store? You are bombarded with tabloid magazine upon tabloid magazine with the face of a Kardashian plastered on the front cover. Although we would like to think that we have the willpower to turn our heads as we impatiently wait for the cashier to finally reach us in line, the truth of the matter is that some people give in to their curiosity and pick up the occasional Us Weekly or People magazine. What is it that draws us to celebrities and makes us incapable of completely ignoring them?

“Many members of the general American public are intrigued by the lives of celebrities for a variety of reasons,” said Mary Harris, public relations professor. “The media, at times, glorifies the rise and fall of famous individuals, including actors, singers, reality television personalities, athletes, politicians, and talk show hosts. Average citizens may be intrigued by the idea of the unique and almost unrealistic lifestyles of some of these celebrities.”

 Oftentimes, people look to celebrities to be the trendsetters. Although the Oscars are meant to be an evening to honor the great works in the film industry, most of us only watch the red carpet to see what Angelina Jolie or Jennifer Lopez is wearing.

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You Could Lose More Than Just Weight With Diet Pills

It’s that time of year again: Spring Break has ended and summer is around the corner. The birds are chirping, the trees are green and little string bikinis are scattered in the display windows once more. At this point in the year, one might think it is time to hit the gym, but no; students are heading to CVS to pick up the latest and greatest diet pill to hit the market, such as Hydroxycut and Trimspa.

Mary Lou Dalessandro, a Nurse Practitioner at the University, said, “Because obesity is an important health problem in this country, the desire to become thin is often a primary goal of college students. However, being thin and being healthy are not often the same. Many students turn to over-the-counter diet pills to achieve quick results.”

In some cases, diet pills are just the trick to lose that extra winter weight students are carrying around. Alex Cohen, a graduate student at the University, has taken diet pills and supplements for several years now. “I started taking Xenadrine to lose the small percentage of body fat that I had left. As a result I am now a personal trainer at the New York Sports Club. Without Xenadrine, I’m not sure I could have sculpted my abs enough. It was worth the risk of experiencing side effects,” said Cohen.

However, these little caffeine capsules do not always work so well. Kayla Nennecke, senior at Seton Hall University, knows all about the diet pill hype. “Last year I wasn’t quite ready for the summer so I decided to take Hydroxycut, which my friend had recommended,” she said.

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Ink: A Lifetime Relationship

A Bond With the Artist is Just as Important as the Tattoo

03.21.12_Page_14_Image_0001PHOTO COURTESY of Michelle CallasTommy Hare lies on the bench while tattoo artist Jason McGrady shades dimension into an angel’s wings. The ink on his skin is a reminder of his source of strength during his son’s battle with cancer. His entire left forearm, covered in shades of black and grey, represent’s Saint Michael and the word “Believe.”

Hare’s son was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer mostly found in infants and young children, when he was just six-anda- half-years-old. Hare explained that prayer helped his family endure the difficulty of dealing with his son’s illness. “We always believed that he would make it,” he said. Now, his boy is a cancer-free nine-year-old.

Getting such a large tattoo is not a one-time sitting and it requires hours in the chair. The meaning of tattoos penetrates more than skin deep. People often get tattoos that represent or express something of significance in their life, but the ink is not the only thing that is meaningful. The tattoo artist behind the art can be just as important to the customer. Artists and their regular customers build a relationship in and out of the shop that keeps the tattooed coming back and the artists earning a living. Artists work hard to make their customers happy and take special care of the familiar faces.

Hare and McGrady’s relationship did not begin at Adrenaline in Brick where McGrady has worked for the last 10 years. They met on the golf course. “There’s not a lot of heavily tattooed people running around the golf course,” McGrady said with a smile. The two hit it off after spending hours together playing on the green. “He ended up coming in and getting a bunch of work.”

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Are You Falling Asleep in Class?

The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Students

03.21.12_Page_14_Image_0002PHOTO COURTESY of Tammy SybelThey are everywhere: walking zombies roaming the halls on their way to class in a trance-like haze. They are easy to spot, sporting heavy bags under their eyes, hair askew and wardrobe disheveled as if they got dressed with the leftover clothes scattered across their bedroom floor. Many can relate to this feeling, or appearance, because lack of sleep can affect anyone. Cramming for exams, staying up late to finish a paper due the next morning, or just having too much on the mind can affect sleep. If not kept in check, sleep deprivation can lead to many effects that can harm you in the long run if not taken care of when they first appear.

Sleep deprivation can be brought on by many differing factors. Kathy Maloney, Director of Health Services, said that some of the contributing factors are overuse of stimulants (caffeine-related drinks especially taken late in the day/night) anxiety and depression, and stress. Many of these indicators are evident in students’ lives. It is easy to point out the victims of lack of sleep in many classes as well. Maloney said that some other effects of sleep deprivation are falling asleep in class, irritability, bloodshot eyes, bags under the eyes, and inability to focus.

According to webmd.com, the average adult needs about seven to eight hours of sleep a night, though some can function on less. Many students view the weekend as a chance to recuperate and get caught up on missed hours of shut-eye. Maloney said, “There is a misconception that eventually people can ‘catch up’ on their sleep at some point in the future. College students especially perceive themselves and their health as invincible and that nothing bad is going to happen to them despite their lifestyle choices.”

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Einstein is Proven Right

Experiment Shows the Speed of Light Cannot Be Exceeded

03.21.12_Page_15_Image_0002PHOTO COURTESY of nationalgeographic.comLast September, an international collaboration of 160 physicists from eleven countries at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, reported to have clocked subatomic particles known as neutrinos break the universally ubiquitous threshold of the speed of light, which is approximately 300 million meters per second.

In this experiment, known collectively as the Oscillation Project with Emulsion-Tracking Apparatus (Opera), the particles were fired a distance of 454 miles from an underground research laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland to another in Gran Sasso, Italy at a reported 60 nanoseconds faster than the cosmic speed limit postulated by Albert Einstein in 1905.

This miniscule result had inundated seas of skepticism among the world’s scientific community. For if these results had held true, Einstein’s theory of relativity would have been directly contradicted, bellowing pretty much a Hurricane Katrina at the entire foundation the house of modern physics is built upon.

To the delight of the aforementioned skeptics, a research team led by Nobel Laureate physicist Carlo Rubbia reported recently that neutrinos do not, in fact, travel faster than the speed of light, reassuring Einstein’s theory that nothing in the universe can travel faster than the speed of light in a vacuum, according to the New York Times.

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Living With a Severe Food Allergy

An Inside Look from a Student Who is Allergic to Peanuts

03.21.12_Page_15_Image_0001PHOTO COURTESY of babble.comImagine having to walk through each day of your life worrying that anything you eat could end your life. Every time you go food shopping, you have to read the ingredients and make sure whatever it is you are allergic to is not found in that product. Imagine going out on a first date and you have to have the waiter check with the chef to make sure the food they are cooking does not contain the allergen as well. This is a small example of what it is like to live your life with a food allergy.

According to the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), 15 million people across the country have food allergies. Some of these allergies people are born with, but they can outgrow them. However for others, there are certain food allergies that are so severe that they are often lifelong. The one that I fall victim too is a peanut allergy, which according to the FAAN is one of the allergies known for being lifelong.

I became aware I had this allergy when I was just ninemonths- old. My mother gave me peanut butter on a Ritz cracker, but instead of eating it I thought it would be a great idea to rub the contents of the cracker all over my face. When I did this, I broke out in hives. My mother called the doctor and gave me Benadryl and the reaction subsided. Had I eaten that cracker I most likely would have died.

It wasn’t until years later that doctors’ then told my mother that I had a severe peanut allergy and that I was going to have to take several precautions throughout my life when it came to eating food.

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Exoskeleton Gives Paraplegics a Chance to Walk

Ekso-Bionics Brings Freedom to Wheelchair-Bound

Most of us took our first steps as toddlers as we were watched excitedly by our parents in the comfort of our homes. As the days passed, we gained experience and walked upright, pushed our chests out and marveled at our own accomplishment.

As the days turned to years, some lost that privilege and were told by the doctor that we could not walk again. Car accidents, construction accidents surfing accidents, and skiing accidents among a myriad of others have robbed them of the freedom of walking free.

Recently, that freedom has not only been restored, but has been revamped like never before.

A collaboration of professionals in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, programming and medicine in the Californiabased

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Our Neighbors in Sandy Hook

The Harbor Seals of Point Pleasant

The mackerels were flying back and forth, bubbles were being blown and fins were flapping. Then, I got a kiss from a harbor seal; a soft, moist velvet kiss on my forehead. So excuse me if I seem like a sucker for these guys, because I am.

But my story doesn’t start with the kiss. It starts at Sandy Hook on a January morning during low tide. A warm day for that time of year, the sun seemed to rise just for me, following my footsteps as I walked towards the sand bar on the bay side of Sandy Hook. T he sunbeams warmed me and I left my jacket unbuttoned.

New Jersey’s beaches in the winter are beautiful, unbeknownst to most local residents or seasonal tourists. Sandy Hook is no exception. While the “bennies” are back home in the north, hundreds of seals take to the sandbars and seas. The most common species is the Western Atlantic Harbor seal, but grey, harp, and hooded seals are also seen. All of these are categorized under the mammal subheading known as pinniped, which means “fin-footed” in Latin.

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What to Know About Living Off-Campus

As students move up in their college careers, many develop a desire to live off-campus. While many look forward to making the transition from on-campus to off, there are responsibilities and things to keep in mind that go into living on your own.

Finding a Rental

There are multiple things to consider when looking for a rental. Numerous and varied housing options are offered to students and those should determine what type of housing they want before contacting landlords and realtors.

One of the options is to live in an apartment building; which there are many large and small apartment buildings in the Monmouth University area. Apartment buildings generally contain studio to two bedroom units. Houses are another option where you can find single, two, and three bedroom houses in areas surrounding the University.

“I like living in a house because there is more space to move around,” said junior David DeSimone.

You may also find apartments or houses that may already have existing tenants that are looking for a roommate. Some people choose to work in exchange for room and board. This may require 10 to 15 hours of services such as childcare, eldercare, tutoring, housekeeping, chauffeuring, and general maintenance being exchanged for room and board.

Reviewing your finances is another good step to look into where you want to live. It is important to decide what is feasible and affordable for you to live as well as thinking about your expenses such as food and gas.

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Former Hawks Take Over Seaside Park and Become Nostalgic of MU

Two Hawks, two generations and two winnings for the Seaside Park Council. That is the story for alums Robert Matthies, class of 1972, and David Nicola, class of 2000. Both individuals ran for the Seaside Park Council this past November; Matthies was elected as Mayor and Nicola as Councilman. With just a few months under their belts in their new positions, the two former Hawks had some time to discuss serving Seaside Park, as well as to recall some fond memories on the Monmouth campus.

This is not the first time Mayor Matthies has represented Seaside Park in an executive capacity. He was Mayor from 2004 to 2007, chose to take a few years off, and has now reprised his role. “I ran again because of the strong support of the community. I’ve been in elected council for 20 years, and I’ve always felt obligated to my community, and if that means being in a leadership role, then so be it,” Matthies says.

As Mayor, he is Chief Executive Officer of the borough representing citizens of the Seaside Park community. Although the town’s population is 1,500 in the offseason, there are around 40,000 full-time residents in the summer – which does not include visitors to the beaches.

Nicola is in charge of multiple duties in Seaside Park. As Councilman, he oversees the annual budgets for the town as well as the operations of the police, fire and first-aid departments, public works department and beach control. “Basically all of the issues in-between, like how the residents are doing, if there are any issues in town they need to be made aware of, and just overseeing a tremendous amount of people and information.”

 

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Twins: Double is Better

What it’s Like to be a Twin

They always say two is better than one, and boy, are they right. Double the trouble, double the noise, double the mess, just double everything. When one thinks of twins, some first thoughts may be that they finish each other’s sentences, read each other’s minds, and even dress in coordinating outfits. But beyond the surface of similar features and mannerisms lies many other characteristics that aren’t displayed straight out of the gate.

To those who grew up with large age gaps in between siblings, twins are born with a built in playmate. Michael Pearson, senior communication major and a twin, said, “I was never bored growing up, because my brother was always around. We didn’t have to play video games all the time because there was always someone to play catch with or play sports against. Also, my brother and I were always on a team against our parents during arguments, so it was good to have backup,” he said.

A common question asked of twins is, “Do you ever get bothered by being associated with each other?” Josh Lewis, senior business major, said, “When I was growing up, I went through periods of time when I hated being associated with my twin, Ben. I always tried to be independent and never liked being referred to as one of ‘the twins.’ Now though, I don’t mind it.” Lewis also said that since both his brother and himself have gone to college, they have actually grown closer than they were before.

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A Separation from Divorce

How Divorce Affects Students and Society

divorce-cake

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the current divorce rate in our country is up to 50 percent. That means that when a couple gets married, there is a 50 percent chance that the marriage will end in a divorce.

Alan Foster, sociology professor, said that part of the problem with divorce is that it is too easy to get married in this country.

“You don’t have to take a test and all you need is a couple of bucks and a license. We have a lot of freedom in this country to marry anybody we choose, which could be part of the reason why people get married for the wrong reasons,” said Foster.

Foster also suggested that maybe there is a need for some sort of a pre-marital test to see if people are prepared. People need to make sure they’re with the right person, they have enough money, and they are ready and mature enough to handle being married.

When a family goes through a divorce, they must experience the pain that both sides go through and the sadness that is felt if children are involved. They no longer get to grow up in a normal household, but instead have to live with one parent and see the other one from time to time. It changes everything for everyone involved and can leave a lasting effect. 

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Blinded by the Light: The Real Cost of Indoor Tanning

tanningIMAGE TAKEN from rhinoplastyinbeverlyhills.comIt’s burning up more and more by the second. The bright lights blind you, but you don’t want to place the eye protectors across your eyelids in fear of leaving spots or an uneven tone on your face. You lie there, completely at peace with music playing above your head, outside the box. Twelve minutes pass, the lights come down and immediately, you feel a rush of cool air as the heat vanishes. As you’re getting dressed, you catch a glance of yourself in the mirror, let out a sigh and smile, thinking it’s all worth it. Even in the early weeks of spring, you’re magically walking around with a sun-kissed tan as if you just came back from the Bahamas. Fact check: that invigorating feeling of confidence may not last as long as the chemicals in your body will.

Indoor tanning is said to be as danger as it a luxury for people. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, more than one million people tan in tanning salons. Moreover, 70 percent of patrons are women aged 16 to 29, ages that include college students.

Melanie Ratajczak, a sophomore education and spanish major, has been tanning indoors for three years and believes she has become addicted to the way she looks with a tan. “Initially, I started to get a base tan before vacation. Naturally my skin is pale, so a base tan helps in order to avoid sun poisoning.”

A frequent customer at Beach Bum Tanning Salon for their “reasonable prices,” Ratajczak explains she normally tans on level one, the lightest and weakest level, in 15 minutes intervals. She says she also goes tanning to relieve stress and insists it helps with acne breakouts and covers up scarring.

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Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication 
and Instructional Technology (CCIT) Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey 07764

Phone:(732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu