Last updateThu, 20 Apr 2017 10am

Top Banner Ad place


I don’t like goodbyes, so I will say see you soon... | Jessica Leahy's Senior Goodbye

4.19.17 J L 1I remember my freshman orientation over the summer like it was yesterday. I remember feeling insecure and nervous around so many smart and capable individuals. I was doubtful of my own capabilities at first, but once I started classes at Monmouth University, I saw how much I could achieve and I grew so much as a person during my time here.

I am proud of myself for remaining strong and pushing through to the end even when I felt like crumbling. However, I must owe a lot of my success and happiness to my family and my friends. I could not do anything without my family and friends by my side guiding me through and believing in me.

Mom & Dad: I want to thank both of you for always loving me and supporting me during my undergraduate career at Monmouth. Thank you for believing in me to achieve my goals and work toward a great future. I love you both more than anyone.

Michael & Anthony: You two are not only my brothers, but my friends for life. I know I will always have you two by my side. I cannot thank you enough for being such great younger brothers.

Krystina & Alyssa: I want to thank you both for being such amazing cousins. You are both practically older sisters to me. You are always there for me when I need you to give me advice, to hang out, to support me, and to have faith in me. Thank you both for keeping me calm throughout the application process for MU and also for graduate school at Rutgers University. Knowing I have two strong women on my side no matter what gives me strength to stand tall and stride toward my goals.

Read more ...

Closing Time…I Love You, Monmouth | Lauren Niesz's Senior Goodbye

“Closing time, open all the doors and let you out into the world…”

I am so lucky to have been a part of Monmouth University. I am so lucky to have been a copy editor, writer, opinion and senior editor at The Outlook. I am so lucky to have been a lead commuter student mentor. I am so lucky to have worked for the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering. The only thing I can really say definitively is that I am the luckiest girl in the whole world and I truly believe that.

There are so many people that were pivotal in making these past four years the most enjoyable and happiest four years of my entire life. This article is for you all because you are all so extremely important to me.

Alright, Drennan- you knew you’d be first. Thank you for sliding into my DMs Sophomore year and forcing me to be your friend. And thanks for screaming “Hey girl!” across the JP parking lot at me the first day of classes at 8:30 in the morning. I never thought that that “hey” would be the beginning of a completely unique and unbreakable friendship.

I already miss parking next to each other every morning at 8:00AM, me in my little red Mazda, Stacy, if you will, and you in your little convertible, Lulu with Lola dancing in the sun on the dash, screaming lyrics to whatever is playing on Hot 97 at the time (or maybe it’s Ride or Die) with our windows up.

And you know I will never forget Global Inequalities class, with Father B, our first class together, when we were not that great of friends yet. Remember when we didn’t know we could have study guides for the midterm exam and still got A’s?

If we didn’t have class together, we would stay in touch during our classes, of course. Whether it was your science class and my romantic literature class or my Spanish class and your literature class (I think? You know I already forget), but we would always complain together during class. Oh wait, and don’t forget Twerk Team Practice (TTP) every week, where we would get Dunkin’ and play hangman in the Pozyki conference room.

Read more ...

The Many Types of College Professors: This is What I’ve Learned...

Types of College Professors

In four years of higher education, I have had every kind of professor you can think of. From the super chill guy who’s just happy when you show up to class, to the really sweet one who seems easy but will take points off if you decide to slack off. There are tons of different types of professors.

There are so many types of professors and I just want to thank them all for not only teaching me the course objectives, but for teaching me a thing or two about life in some way.

Read more ...

Making a ‘Major’ Decision

One of the most challenging decisions that you have to make in college is choosing your major. With several different majors, concentrations, and minors that you can choose from, you can make your degree the perfect fit for you.

It’s stressful when you’re trying to declare your major because it’s important to most to try to graduate on time. A student at Monmouth can stay undeclared until their sophomore year, or when they complete 56 credits.

Monmouth has an office of undeclared services to help students who have not yet decided their major. They offer career planning guides and workshops that help students decide on a major and they are advised through the Center for Student Success.

Friends and family try to help, but sometimes their direction can lead you the wrong way. Those who care about you are usually trying to be helpful, but they may advise you to choose a major based on the average salary a person who graduates with that major makes.

Read more ...

Life Lessons for an MU Student From Lilo and Stitch

Life Lessons Lilo and StitchWhile, “It’s nice to live on an island with no large cities,” according to Lilo, we can’t all have that luxury. As the singing and pounding of drums in Hawaiian fashion hum in the background, Lilo and Stitch and their shenanigans share with us life lessons meant to last forever.

It’s okay to be a little weird or different.

We weren’t made to fit in, biologically, physically, emotionally, we’re all meant to be different. In a world where we are all the same, life would get boring quickly. Whether your interests include dancing, writing, sports, etc. follow them! Many people are afraid of following their passion because college is stereotyped as either the time to focus only on studies, or a time where everything lets loose--a happy medium is best for all. Find the balance between being passionate about your interests and focusing on work as best as you can. In fact, in Lilo and Stitch, we see Pleakley wasting so much precious time and energy into becoming something and someone he could never be--wearing different clothes, speaking differently, etc. We forget that we are the best version of ourselves when we learn to actually be ourselves.

Read more ...

Accepting Tattoos

Tattoos are becoming more common in today’s society and college students, recent high school grads and millennials are getting inked. The odds of knowing someone with a tattoo, or multiple tattoos are extremely high. It has become more commonplace for people to want to get something tattooed on their bodies and show off their personal artwork.

Personally, I never thought I would want a tattoo, but over the past couple of years I have actually gotten several. When I first asked my mother for permission for getting a tattoo, her response was, “Why don’t you just draw a picture of what you want and hang it on your wall? Don’t you think that’s a better place for art?” Clearly, her opinion on getting inked is very different from mine.

After a couple of conversations with her, she realized why I wanted one so badly, and she finally gave in. Originally, I thought I just wanted the one small finger tattoo and it would be done. Everyone said it was addicting and that I would want more, and it turns out they were right. Today, I have four tattoos and they all mean something different to me.

Read more ...

Life Lessons for an MU Student from The Office

For many people, spring break is a time of vacationing and tanning on a beach the farthest away they could get. For me, your local, lovable pal and Outlook writer, it was a time of binging. I binged Netflix shows until my eyes literally closed. Now that I have let you in on how cool I am, I’m going to share with you some of the life lessons I learned from my most recent binge: The Office.

“I am Beyoncé, Always.”

When talking to Michael Scott, Andy Bernard explains that he is Beyoncé because anyone who gets cheated on in the movie is the hero. So this makes Michael the Ali Larter (in reference to the 2009 film, Obsessed) in this case. But, about eleven seconds into this conversation, Michael lets him know he will always be Queen B. This mentality is important to carry into life. Be a queen. Slay all day and every day, even if someone thinks that you’re the Ali Larter.

Patience is key.

Jim Halpert is the picture of patience for so many reasons. He waited as long as he needed to for Pam Beesly to realize she loved him too. But on another note, he is able to pull off deceptively well thought out pranks on Dwight Schrute because he knows that slow and steady wins the race. Great examples of this would be when Jim puts Dwight’s stapler in Jell-O, or when Jim and Pam both trick Dwight into thinking he’s being recruited for the CIA.

Read more ...

The Importance of Physical Music

There is More to Music than Meets the Ear

My dad always says to me, “When I was a kid, we spent our money on vinyl records, not whatever you kids do today.” The act of listening to music was a huge part of people’s lives. More often than not, people would make an experience out of listening to a whole 45 minute or so album. Buying and listening to music used to be a big event for music lovers, which made the music more meaningful.

Music was made for the sole purpose of listening and experiencing the music. Now, music seems to be just the background noise in everyone’s lives. Many people only listen to music at parties or when they’re out just to dance or have something playing to fill the space. There’s nothing wrong with dancing to music, but there is so much more to it that younger people today don’t understand.

The world of music is similar today as it was during our parents and grandparents’ generation. There are still boybands, pop icons, rock stars, etc. The big difference is what is important to fans about these artists. In the 1960s when fan girls swooned over The Beatles members’ long hair and British accents; they weren’t only concerned with the band’s image, they were attached to their music. If you heard a song on the radio that you really liked, you would go find that song on whatever album it was on, then buy the vinyl record for it, and spin it until the record wore out.

Read more ...

Gym Culture: No Need to be So Intimidated

Gym Culture Dont be IntimidatedEvery day it seems like there is an overwhelming amount of new information emerging that has to do with health and fitness lifestyles. Whether it be our diets or what we physically do with our bodies, it is hard to get away from the conversation. Magazines, television, and social media (specifically, Instagram) are flooded with images of people at their peak performance, giving the impression that “gym culture” is now a significant part of our everyday life.

The media pushes this image on us, but the reality is that not everyone exists in a perfectly picturesque health and fitness bubble. Many feel as though joining a gym and being a part of that arena is intimidating for different reasons, such as learning how to participate and fit in to a new space that has been labeled “male dominated.” While there are some truths built into these statements, they should not be the end all be all to the decision to be a part of any “gym culture.”

The first step into this realm may translate into a few hours of the week and, as a busy MU student, this may help you decompress from the many stresses we experience in a positive and productive way.

Read more ...

Why We Love Dogs So Much

Why We Love DogsPlain and simple: dogs are God’s gift to this earth. There is nothing that makes a heart smile more than a dog with a cocked head and searching eyes does. There is something truly incredible about the way dogs make us feel and, simply put, it is therapeutic.

Around campus, dogs are usually greeted with gasps, pointing, and fawning. There is a reason for this obsession. According to an article on Psychology Today, there is a concept called “biophilia,” which means that we are all genetically programmed to interact with nature. We seek a connection and relationship with living things.

Read more ...

Life Lessons for an MU Student from Parks and Recreation

Although Parks and Recreation may have ended almost two years ago, the cast of hilarious and uplifting actors have brought about tears, joy, and many life lessons that are still valuable and applicable. Leslie Knope, Ron Swanson, Tom Haverford, April Ludgate-Dwyer, and the rest of the Pawnee Parks Department crew have offered some of their most coveted life lessons to society.

Leslie Knope has taught us all to be opinionated on everything. Whether it be a social norm, politics, or just a hairstyle you may or may not want, the fearless gal that she is has always taught her peers that being opinionated is never a bad thing. Today’s society is filled with news resources and outlets, social media, and many other platforms for us to become educated about whatever it is that we are even the slightest bit curious about; it’s time for us to research and be vocal and bold now more than ever.

April Ludgate-Dwyer has shown us, first-hand, that taking that random internship is completely worth it. In the beginning of the series, Ludgate is found as the most conniving and least dedicated worker in the department, but, as the show progresses, the audience is able to really see that her simple summer internship has lead her in the direction of her lifelong career.

Monmouth has an abundance of opportunities to offer its students. We constantly receive emails from Career Services and departments all over campus about internships, job opportunities, and volunteer hours that are at our disposal. Career and networking events happen frequently and are known to grab hold of hawks by the handful. Taking advantage of these opportunities is up to us.

Read more ...

Benefits of Service Trips

A Personal Look Into the Guatemala Service Trip

On my first day at Monmouth University, Dr. Christopher Hirschler, an associate professor and chair of health and physical education, recommended the course Guatemala Public Health. At first I thought the class was not for me because of concerns I had about the safety of traveling to Guatemala. However, everything changed fall 2016 when I took the class Health in Developing Countries. This class, taught by Dr. Kiameesha Evans, a specialist professor of health and physical education, emphasized the desperate needs of people living in other countries and how we can make a difference.

Later in that semester, I decided to apply to Guatemala Public Health, which was one of the best decisions I have ever made. On Mar. 11, as I looked upon Guatemala from the airplane window, I was in shock with the beauty of the land. As we began the journey into this amazing country, my concerns decreased because I felt safe and welcome at all times.

Nine students, seven health studies students, one psychology student, and one social work student, along with Dr. Hirschler spent eight days in Guatemala; I could not have been happier being part of such amazing group. We worked towards the same goal- to bring happiness and health education to women and children at a domestic violence shelter in Xela, Guatemala.

We also worked to improve the lives of families by building bunk beds. Some may think, ‘beds?’ Yes, beds! Families of six or eight people were sleeping in one bed. By building beds we were supplying a long-term solution that instantly improved quality of life.

Read more ...

Bringing Back Childhood Habits

Growing up sucks. There, I said it. Having to juggle school, work and friends can be exhausting and oftentimes, it leaves you yearning for the past in which you had little to no responsibilities and even the smallest moments could bring about immense joy.

As a child there was no greater feeling than receiving something in the mail, be it a birthday card, party invitation or a letter stating who your teacher would be for the upcoming year. While I am still guilty of being excited over receiving mail, that excitement fades once I realize the ‘surprise’ in the mail is nothing more than my bank statement (yikes) or perhaps a textbook shipped from Amazon.

Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, we have outgrown our childhood years and the realities of adulthood have either smacked us in the face or are looming ahead in the near future. The most crucial part, however, of becoming a mature adult and figuring out who you are or wish to be, is to never let go of your inner child. Let’s take a trip down memory lane, recall some of the best childhood memories, and figure out how we can still incorporate them into our daily lives as college students.

Nap Time

Remember the days when taking naps was not only encouraged, but enforced? Why did I ever take such an opportunity for granted? Yeah, learning the alphabet, colors and simple addition and subtraction was hard work, but by no means was it as stressful as daily college life is now.

Read more ...

A Review of the 1960s: Peace, Love, and Music

Review 1960 Peace MusicThe “Summer of Love” really sums up the history of hippie beliefs and fashion. In the summer of 1967 in San Francisco, over 100,000 people gathered to promote love and protest the Vietnam War. Monterey Pop Festival was another part of the Summer of Love that included a three-day music festival in Monterey, California. This festival had some iconic performances from acts like The Jimi Hendrix Experience and artists like The Who and Janis Joplin. A few years later in August of 1969 is when the most famous music festival occurred: Woodstock.

The emergence of these musical festivals that focused on peace, love, and music came along with the developing rock and roll counter culture. The conservative, “keeping up with the joneses” lifestyle of the 1950s was a perfect segue into the counter culture that came to be in the 1960s.

Although rock and roll began with artists like Chuck Berry in the 40s and even a little later in the 50s with Elvis Presley, the 1960s is most known for the solid rock and roll culture. Rock music helped to motivate young people to question their government and what was going on in the world.

Not only did the 1960s include the completely unjustified war in Vietnam where we sent thousands of American troops to their inevitable death, but our nation was also dealing with the unrest of the Civil Rights Movement. Racial tensions were high in the 1960s. Over 100 years after slavery was abolished in the United States, black Americans were still dealing with harsh segregation, which oftentimes landed them in jail, got them beaten, or even killed.

Read more ...

Beauty Standards

The internet is like your “best friend” from 7th grade that became too cool for you in 8th grade: two-faced. For goodness sake people, it is 2017 why do articles such as “35 Unattractive Things Girls Do That They Think Is Attractive (According To 35 Guys)” still exist? More importantly, who are the people behind these pieces of “literary” trash and what do I have to do to knock some sense into them?

Articles like the one mentioned above are ones that pop up on your Facebook feed as you aimlessly scroll through an endless amount of memes, Tasty videos, and status updates from your Facebook-loving grandmother in Florida. Under normal circumstances, I would usually scroll right past such an article and probably scowl for a second, roll my eyes, and move on by watching some silly video about a baby panda. But, for the sake of my journalistic duties, I had to muster up my strength and see what this ridiculous article was all about. “Perhaps it’s a parody article?” I thought to myself, but alas I was wrong.

So, ladies, listen up: if you want to be attractive to men and continue to serve the patriarchy, here are some absolute don’ts, as told by the experts themselves:

Don’t get tattoos

Don’t have short hair or bangs

Don’t wear lip-gloss

Don’t wear “high-top” jeans

And the list goes on…

Read more ...

Music Streaming: Exclusivity Could Be Hurting Fans

Music Streaming ExclusivityDrake, Beyoncé, Frank Ocean, Future, Kanye West, are just some of the major artists we love that have released exclusive music to their fans. Nothing captures our attention more than when we hear the word “exclusive.” When our favorite artists release a statement about this new music, it becomes a craze. Whether it be a new album, new song, or new feature, we’re all thinking, “this is going to be amazing.”

We get to hear something fresh, especially if it’s been a while since something was last released. We see our excitement shoot right through the roof, and the countdown starts. Yet, once we finally find out where we’ll be able to hear it, a lot changes. Some music is released as an “AppleMusic exclusive” or “Tidal exclusive” and then you think- wait… what? Your heart stops for a second. The only thing running through your mind is: “I don’t have AppleMusic or Tidal.”

If you’re a huge music fan like I am, then this situation sounds very familiar to you. When this happens, our hearts sink- no new music for us. Unable to enjoy this release, a large chunk of fans are being left out. The single platform limits a great deal of what an artist has to offer.

Streaming has transformed the way we listen to music, as well as how we share it. We now see artists on major labels sign deals that have streaming services make fans pay for a membership, which isn’t fair.

Read more ...

Response to Outlook Editorial: Monmouth is Green

We read the recent article regarding sustainability and wanted to share with you some of the University’s efforts to be green.

Monmouth University was the first private institution of higher education in New Jersey to enter into a voluntary Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), documenting our commitment as an environmental steward and pledging to reduce our carbon footprint. In addition, the University was the only institution of higher education east of the Mississippi to install a solar system in 2006. We have been included in the Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges several times. We are also members of Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and APPA: Leadership in Educational Facilities.

Our sustainability efforts are accomplished through the cooperation of multiple divisions and departments within the University. For example, Facilities Management organizes trash/recycling practices on-campus and coordinates our outside waste removal company. One of Gourmet Dining’s top priorities includes sustainable development, including purchasing food from sustainable sources whenever possible and by vowing to increase the amount of plastic recycled by at least 10% every year while sourcing alternative materials to replace the plastics used in their operations. Residential Life provides trash/recycling information included in their Residential Life Guidebook and hosts “floor meetings” during the first week of the Fall semester each year, and information is also included on bulletin boards and in hallways in residence halls. The Office of Off-Campus and Commuter Services also provides information regarding trash/recycling in their Guide to Living Off-Campus. Information Management handles recycling computer equipment.

Read more ...

Exploring Negative Effects of Social Media

Negative Effects Social MediaSocial media was created to allow people to get connected, but, ironically, people are becoming so distant from each other. Social media allows people to view the glamorous life of others from afar, but these glamorous posts only show what the person posting it wants viewers to see.

This causes a skewed perception of them, often making them see the one side of them that they portray on social media and not displaying the person who is posting’s actual character, their flaws or their misfortunes.

These images on social media convince people that those individuals are next to perfect based on seeing pictures of them appearing happy, wearing makeup, utilizing filters, and even looking insanely fit. When seeing these images, our minds often convince us that they are a superior being and that we are unworthy of knowing them. This causes people to be afraid to talk to them and just watch them from a distance because of their impending fear of being rejected by them.

This affects social interactions by causing people to be on their electronic devices, instead of being in the moment and actually talking to their peers. By engaging in these behaviors, it can lead to you feeling isolated, depressed, which could lead to low self-esteem. In time, it can trigger one to feel suicidal. These behaviors are linked together because when one feels isolated, they often have negative thoughts brewing in their mind leading to you to feel depressed, which makes them have a lower sense of self-esteem.

Read more ...

Final Thoughts: Tomi Lahren

When a person’s mind summons a millennial, social and political commentator in 2017, Tomi Lahren is probably one of the first names that comes to mind. Her brand of know-it-all conservatism has a pretty stable home on The Blaze, Glen Beck’s network. And her bit known around the world called “Final Thoughts” circulates newsfeeds on Facebook and Twitter daily with people either denouncing her, or agreeing. Today my comments will be addressing Lahren’s sentiments about an Iranian film director responding to the travel ban in the form of a political statement at the Oscars. So buckle up and “Feel free to disagree…” as Lahren herself often explains.

After the Oscars this past month, Lahren’s response to celebrities using the fact they have a wide audience to speak out against injustices like the travel ban put in place through an executive order by President Donald Trump was to be expected. She has a history of telling entertainers that they should “should stick to entertaining.” This tweet, “Foreign film translation: Iranian filmmakers don’t like the new POTUS because they’re used to former POTUS kissing their behinds” plus her “Final Thoughts” gave me agita.

This tweet from the night of the Oscars has a lot to unpack, let’s start here. Did former President Barack Obama personally bend over and kiss the behinds of all Iranians? I don’t think so. He treated them like people, unlike Lahren. The former president attempted to thaw icy relations with a nation. The United States’ relationship with Iran can be described as a great balancing in which the former president stepped with great care and tact. Let’s afford Asghar Farhadi the same justices, okay? He does not have to support every decision his government makes, so holding him responsible for the actions of the Iranian government as a whole is lunacy at best. Lahren spent the last eight years frazzled and made furious by the Obama administration.

Read more ...

Life Lessons For an MU Student from The Book Thief

It’s safe to assume that many of us have read a book and taken away some valuable life lessons. No different than the rest of the books we read, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is a book that produces some of these lessons. This is a poignant and staggering story about Liesel Meminger, a young girl living in Nazi Germany.

Life isn’t easy for her, nor is it easy for anyone during this time period, but Liesel and her foster family are put in danger when they begin to hide a Jewish man in their basement. This experience will expose Liesel to lessons she never knew before. These life lessons are applicable to MU students:

Accept Others’ Differences

When Liesel’s foster family take in Max, a Jewish man, they slowly get to know him. During this time Jews were demonized, but as Max opened up about his past Liesel learns that his differences didn’t make him a monster. Liesel learned to accept Max’s differences.

This is something every MU student knows because our campus is so diverse. No two people are the same and that shouldn’t be a problem; it makes life more interesting. Thanks to organizations, like the Gender Studies Club for example, at MU, which help promote these ideas and instill them into students, we have a rather accepting campus.

Stand Up for the Oppressed

In Nazi Germany, those who sympathized or helped the Jews could’ve been punished or killed. Liesel’s foster family takes in Max and risk their lives to help save his own. The Meminger’s stood up for what’s right just like those here at MU. Those who cannot or will not be heard in society need the help of those who can be heard.

Read more ...

Wearing What You are Comfortable In

Wearing Comfortable ClothingIn the last few years, acceptance of different gender identities and challenging of cisnormativity been seen across all media outlets. As more people are willing to share the details of their journey in finding their identity, they express themselves in various ways.

Whether it be through presentation online, creating artwork to express their struggles, or changing up their look, more people are experimenting with how others view them.

With large platforms utilizing their influence in order to represent marginalized people, people will feel more comfortable with their identity and feel accepted. Most notably, H&M, a fashion brand popular with both men and women, has introduced its campaign capitalizing on the importance of self-expression and wearing clothes that help illustrate one’s unique sense of style.

In turn, advertisements such as these celebrate the experimentation any person can have with the image they present to others around them, and create a safer environment for those that are typically the outliers.

By providing encouragement to step outside any preconceived notions on fashion, people can discover the flexibility of clothing regardless of the section to which it’s assigned.

Personally, I enjoy wearing flannels and sweaters from the men’s section of thrift shops because they flow nicely and add a distinctive silhouette to my ensemble, and draw focus to different areas of my outfit. Not having to limit yourself to certain patterns, styles or labels can allow for creativity in fashion and explore different parts of oneself.

Read more ...

Internet Sensation: April the Giraffe

April the GiraffeToday with the internet, it’s not uncommon to hear about people’s obsessions with a variety of things. Normally, it’s users who are obsessed with Facebook, social media, or people who are into online gaming that get hooked on these obsessions. Recently, there’s been a new craze that’s been circling the internet.

April is a 15-year-old pregnant giraffe that’s pulled in over 100,000 viewers at a time. The craze started when Animal Adventure Park, located in New York, put a giraffe cam on April for viewers to watch the birth for an educational purpose.

Local zoos like this usually expect their typical viewers to tune in and a few from further away. With April, it was a different story. The zoo put her camera up and announced that they would be live streaming the birth of her calf. When the news got to the media, it spread with headlines about how the giraffe was in active labor and she would give birth at any minute. However, all of these claims are untrue according to the zoo.

Read more ...

The American Boy Doll: A Step in the Right Direction

American Boy Right DirectionSince 1986, the American Girl brand has been producing dolls that represent diverse backgrounds and populations. These figures have stories, sometimes books, and movies to demonstrate the historical period in which they reside. These dolls have been a staple in the discourse of American adolescent girls since they made their debut in the mid to late 1980’s.

Some of the popular dolls include Samantha a turn of the 20th century darling, Kit Kittredge charming a depression era dreamer, and Addy a sweet Civil War era girl. All of these girls have something in common: their keen sense of adventure. The brand gives off the perception of diversity, but is not immune to criticism from parents who ask for something more. Parents are seeking dolls with more and more relatable experiences. They want their children to be able to see themselves within their toys. This request is reasonable.

Although these girls come from all over, they seem to be marketed at cis-gendered, adolescent girls; this has not changed since the doll’s inception. No matter the child, dolls should be marketed to everyone. Toys shouldn’t be gendered or aimed at a certain group and I think the American Girl Company understands that since they are opening up to that request with a new addition.

Soon, the American Girls will be joined by a boy named Logan. Adding a boy has been a request of parents for quite a long time, according to a representative from the company. So Logan, the new American Boy, is the company’s first 18 inch male doll. He comes equipped with a winning personality, and the company says that 2017 is the perfect time for his debut.

Read more ...

Effects of Dedication in the Workplace

As any college student knows, it is important to build up your résumé, so you can follow your dreams. Dedication is crucial to success. Many people have talent, skills, access to opportunities, good fortune, and connections, which are means to success. However, even if you possess two or three of these factors, if you are not dedicated to being the best version of yourself, you probably will not achieve continued success throughout your life.

Dedication is caring about something to an extreme extent. When you are dedicated, you give everything you have—all of your efforts—to a cause or to a task. This is an important trait to exemplify in the workplace in particular.

Setbacks occur, and if you are not dedicated, instead of stepping up, you will stay down and disappointed, which could lead you to quit. Job dedication allows you to be more likely to gain success, promotions, and the ability to work with difficult people. These life skills are beneficial for you to enjoy your job and be able to reach your highest potential. It is important for a company as well as co-workers to see eye-to-eye to ensure the highest success business wise and to create a positive work setting.

Job dedication teaches discipline, passion, and time management, which are vital to success. These ideas keep individuals focused on important issues and take your work seriously in order to make it the best it can be. In addition, some benefits you can receive through job dedication is respect, the ability to utilize your creativity, and flexibility.

These benefits allow you to be happier at your job and feel secure with your position knowing that you are valued. This, in turn, encourages employees to give 100 percent, because when you know your boss/company supports you, you go the extra mile. One of the benefits of having an intrinsic motivation is that you do your best because that is what you demand of yourself, even if those around you do not value or appreciate you.

Read more ...

Federal Holidays and Private Institutions

Do We Deserve More Holidays Off?

Presidents' Day, officially called “Washington’s Birthday” by the federal government, is a celebration for all the past and current presidents of the United States. The holiday is celebrated every third Monday in Feb. and has been celebrated on this day for over 100 years.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a holiday celebrating the extraordinary actions of a civil rights activist who played a major role in the American civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s. The United States has recognized this holiday since 1986.

There’s Labor Day, Veterans Day, Independence Day, Memorial Day, and many more national holidays recognized by the federal government. Despite certain holidays being federally recognized, individual states and their respected educational institutions regulate whether the schools have classes or not.

This past Presidents’ Day Feb. 20, Monmouth University, a private institution, did not have the day off like many other schools. Every student’s dream is to have classes off every holiday and as many holidays as possible within the school year.

While a break from work or class is worthwhile, are we truly celebrating these great feats and influential people?

One of the most common reasons academic institutions still hold classes during some of these holidays is to make up for lost snow days. It is up to the private institution or the public school district to hold classes on a holiday.

Read more ...

Benefits of Keeping a Journal

Benefits of JournalsThe art of writing, whether it be poetry, stories, plays, or simply writing our thoughts down, has been the most dependable and influential form of recording history and remembering things that are important to us. The Diary of Anne Frank is probably the most notorious in history and greatly broadened our understanding of what was going on and how people were feeling during such a trying time in history.

Diary and journal writing does not only have to be for historical figures. Often times, in TV shows and movies, diary entries are used to narrate and tell the inner thoughts of a main character. A diary or journal is something that is very personal and is a way for people to just write out how they are feeling.

In the 2006 Disney Channel Original Movie Read It and Weep, we follow the story of a young high schooler that wrote down all of her personal thoughts and feelings on her high school experience in her journal. Later in the movie, the story in her journal becomes a best-selling novel and, although the story was very revealing and may have even hurt some people, we learn how important journals are to help us express the troubles we face with everyday life.

Writing in any form is an amazing way for us to express ourselves. I, personally, have a song lyrics journal where I write things down that may be helpful or may inspire me to write a song. The words and feelings in these lyrics express what I am going through and what I am thinking in a more creative way.

Read more ...

Do We Complain Too Much?

“Ugh, I cannot believe I have to submit this newspaper article by Sunday. Not to mention I have so much other work like the gym, an interview, going to my job and of course the…” That right there is horribly negative. But is there really a positive way of complaining?

Well that depends on your interpretation of complaining. There are those who build up stress and tension and hold it all in, just to not complain or speak negatively; but, in return they are holding negative thoughts inside which is just as unhealthy, if not unhealthier.

Complaining can be damaging to your health, relationships, and final decisions on events you have in your daily life. Nonetheless, like everything, a little bit of moderation can go a long way.

The way you phrase your words while complaining could be vital for your own health.

One can vent and instead of splurging negative words such as “I can’t,” “this is the worst,” “why am I always so unlucky,” you can say things such as, “this may be difficult, but I’ll do my best,” or “this is an unlucky situation but time will pass as will this.” We, as a society, must realize there is always somebody who has it worse, and there is always something worse that could happen.

But that does not mean you should not be irritated or frustrated; after all, it is human nature and human right. It isn’t so much about complaining, it is more about how you complain and to what extent.

Read more ...

Celebrity Impact on Our Political Climate

Celebrity Impact Poltical SystemLately, because of the people like Tomi Lahren, an opinionated online video host, being a celebrity and using your platform to address a political belief or standpoint is a problem.

Being that celebrities are people, I feel like they are entitled to use their status to rally people around what they believe in. It is human and we all do it.

Of course, not as many people are listening to me as they are to say, Ashton Kutcher, but we are all entitled, nonetheless. Just because they have larger platforms than you and I does not make it wrong. Politics are for the people, for us, no matter who you are.

Celebrities and politics are synonymous and have been for quite a while. With all the complaining she does about keeping politics celebrity free, you could easily forget that Tomi Lahren herself comes from the party of Regan, movie star turned president and possibly the most famous example of celebrity turned political. But, as Lahren says, celebrities should just “perform” and keep their noses out of politics.

To quote her directly, Lahren says, “[In reference to Lady Gaga at the Super Bowl] she chose to just sing instead. What a concept? An entertainer just sticking to entertainment.” And currently, should I just forget the amount of times the 45th president spent on television? He is the first reality star turned president; I guess that is quite the accomplishment—emphasis on the “I guess.” I wonder what would have happened if former president Regan and current President Trump, stuck to entertaining.

Read more ...

“It’s Never Too Late”

Getting Involved Later in Your College Career

Never Too Late

After wading around the involvement fair in the fall semester, clubs and extracurricular activities can seem daunting and completely out of reach for some. With that overwhelming feeling comes pushing activities to the side to a later date. Come spring semester, your schedule seems a little barren; you start to wonder: is it too late to get involved?

The simple answer to this is that no, it is never too late to get involved. It could be the end of your college career and it still wouldn’t be too late to get involved. Whether you want to join an intramural sport, Greek life, or a club on campus, organizations are always happy to welcome you with open arms.

From personal experience, waiting around to find my spot within the community was difficult and usually excused as “I’m just too busy,” or left to the unwillingness to make the commute back to campus. Come junior year, I can be found spending most of my time at Monmouth in The Outlook office, running to classes, and getting more involved every day with personal training and even a handful of other clubs.

If getting involved doesn’t seem like it would be your ‘thing,’ another alternative is to buddy up with a friend who is involved in different activities around campus. Being taken to events might make you more interested in getting more involved in them as well.

Read more ...

Sibling Support On and Off the Field

Recently, legendary tennis star Serena Williams took home the trophy for her 23rd Grand Slam Tennis Championship. This prestigious title was the result of a fierce match with an even fiercer competitor: her sister, Venus Williams. Although they say that participating in sports with your siblings can breed a tense relationship, these two have shown us that supporting our brothers and sisters can help us to improve our skills and be the best version of ourselves.

When I was younger, my older sister Amanda and I participated in a recreational soccer league called Pinelanders. Initially, we entered into the league as uncoordinated children living out the dreams of our enthusiastic parents. Over the years, we had learned valuable skills like teamwork, accepting direction and streamlining our focus toward a greater goal, (no pun intended).

By being with other people, Amanda and I were also able to assess each of our strengths and weaknesses and pull our weight as teammates. We had gotten better at playing soccer and understanding the dynamics of the game; and being on the same team brought out a competitive edge that helped us be successful.

As someone who has always looked up to her older sister, being her teammate on the soccer team helped motivate me to become a better athlete. While she was on the sidelines, hearing her cheer me on and give me advice helped to challenge me to take risks, such as pulling new moves on the opposing team.

Knowing that someone in the group would always look out for me gave me confidence and self-assurance. With her support, I was able to focus less on how I made mistakes during the game, but rather how I could learn from them and fix them during scrimmages and practice.

Read more ...

Overfishing: Why Should I Care?

Overfishing Why CareOverfishing has been a drastically increasing issue around the world for over a decade. With the advancements in boat and industrial technology and the higher demand for seafood, the fish populations of the world have been more than cut in half, according to an article on Huffington Post. Due to the amount of fish caught in order to satisfy the consumer markets, we are putting them in danger of endangerment or extinction. Finding different sustainable practices in food production are of highest importance, especially when considering the wild populations of many fish species.

Sustainability means finding a way to meet present needs, while maintaining a symbiotic relationship between humans and nature, without compromising the needs of future generations. Sustainability of the oceans and the fish populations has been largely impacted by the food, retail, and tourist industries of the world’s major nations, but recent developments in aquaculture and aquaponics, as well as new ocean sustainability legislation and policy are giving fish populations the chance to reestablish themselves.

Industrialization and advancement of technology, transportation, and consumer markets globalized the food-fish industry. Boats became bigger in order to be able to catch and store more fish than in past years. Combined with the ability to travel farther distances in less time, as well as advancements in the methods to keep fish fresh in storage, fish have become an available commodity in all corners of the earth.

Read more ...

Life Lessons from Club Penguin

Life Lessons Club PenguinWhen Club Penguin announced that it was closing, people everywhere had their 12-year-old hearts broken.

Club Penguin is an online game where users could dress up their penguin, waddle around, and play games. You could interact with friends or even make new friends. The game was a part of growing up that almost everyone remembers. Unfortunately, it was announced that the virtual world of Club Penguin would be closing this March.

Since Club Penguin announced they would be closing their online server, a rush of memories came to mind and we can remember everything that we learned while pretending to be penguins online. In our memories, we can find things that are still applicable to our lives today.

There’s no limit to how many friends you can make: it didn’t matter where your penguin friend was from or what they looked like, if they were willing to race your penguin in a sled race, it was good enough. Each time you’d log on, you could find a new friend to waddle around with. In the real world, there’s no reason why you should not want to have the same approach and be open to being social every day. There’s no reason why you can be friendly in an online penguin game and not in real life.

There are so many opportunities at Monmouth to make new friends. For example, you can join any club or organization on campus and meet new people. All it takes is a little bit of extra socialization, just like our penguin friends on Club Penguin.

Read more ...

Effects of Celebrity Instagram Posts on Social Followers

Effect Celebrity Instagram PostsBeyoncé announced that she’s pregnant with twins at the beginning of this month, and the whole world completely stopped. Queen Bey has captured all this attention with her Instagram post that depicted her sitting on a bed of flowers with a veil over her head. A little extra? Yes! But we, as loyal fans, absolutely loved it.

What’s crazy is that fans all over the world have theories about the pregnancy, saying that the photo could have many different secret messages. One big theory being the colors she’s wearing: the pink bow on her bra meaning girl, and the blue underwear meaning boy. Is she poking at the fact she could be having fraternal twins? It’s possible, yet just a theory made by us fans, the Beyhive.

The Instagram photo currently has over ten million likes; she captioned the photo: “We would like to share our love and happiness.

We have been blessed two times over. We are incredibly grateful that our family will be growing by two, and we thank you for your well wishes. - The Carters.”

What other celebrity pregnancy could stop the world like Bey’s did? Not many. When a celebrity gets attention for certain things, some fans believe that they would get the same reaction as the celebrities do if they were to copy the celebrity’s actions.

Read more ...

Valentine’s Day: A Classic Hallmark Holiday

As Valentine’s Day draws closer, the palpable urge of people who do not have a significant other to splurge on them becomes the center of many conversations and social media feeds.

Around this time of year, we all hear that one friend saying stuff like, “the only person I have a date with tonight is Don Draper from Mad Men.”

Realistically, that is the only date that anyone should be looking for because Valentine’s Day sucks for so many reasons.

First, this Hallmark Holiday is a self-esteem steamroller for so many girls and boys, and it is so problematic. Unfortunately, the society we live in places a lot of value on a picturesque Valentine’s Day.

Watching people place their worth into overpriced boxes of chocolate as a result is kind of heartbreaking, but more than anything – unnecessary.

Also, the average college student is pretty strapped for cash. According to a 2016 Time Magazine article, the 55 percent of Americans that acknowledge the holiday spend about $146 on average. Just to put that cost into perspective, a textbook can cost around that much.

It would be so beneficial to take the focus off this holiday that only exists to pad the pockets of the candy, jewelry, and flower industry.

Read more ...

Valentine’s Day: A Day of Romantic Love

As we enter the second month of the year, the chaos and busyness of everyday life have already begun. Now that a majority of secular holidays have come and gone, the festivities have come to a close and everyone has acclimated back to work and school.

However, February still gives us the opportunity to decorate, be with our loved ones, and celebrate with one special holiday: Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is a day to reflect on the important relationships we have in our lives. It allows us to take away the fanfare of the past holiday season, and continue to focus on those that bring us joy and remind us that we are loved.

Although Feb. 14 is a day that is targeted toward celebrating romantic relationships, making plans to hang out with friends also reminds us of the shared love we have with people who truly understand us. If any of your friends feel down on being single this Valentine’s Day, cheer them up with some quality time together! It’s the perfect occasion to reminisce on all of the laughs, tears, and beautiful memories, all while creating new ones.

Also, it’s a great excuse to dress up in red and pink themed clothes and decorate your space to your heart’s content. While playing up the theme, a fun night in watching friendship-themed films (hello, Beaches remake!) with tasty treats can make for a gathering that’s the perfect substitute for a solo pity-party.

Read more ...

“The Keys to Success are Hard Work and Luck”

Is There Any Truth Behind This Outdated Adage?

Success Hard Work And LuckIf all you trust with your success is luck, you’re living in a sense of falsehood. The key to success is blatant and very straightforward: work hard, keep your head down, and keep pushing through while staying positive.


It is impossible to start your career if you’re lacking knowledge, and the only thing you can do is educate yourself for the position and work to qualify for it. We can’t just roll some dice and say whatever happens happens; we need to provide actions towards achieving our goals.

The harder one works, the more opportunities may rise, but that isn’t sheer luck, that is strictly dedication and hard work. This does not mean that people are never born with any special talents, but for people who don’t necessarily have a special talent, they can still reach the same level of success than those that do. Furthermore, they can exceed expectations with hard work.

People often have a misconstrued conception on luck; to some, luck is seen in people who are born rich, or the people who are born fit and healthy. This, however, is not luck. They are simply excuses that unsuccessful, lazy people use to feel sorry for themselves. But that is utter illogical nonsense.

Read more ...

Life Lessons for an MU Student from The Jersey Shore

There’s probably been a handful of times where your mother, father, or gentle gray-haired neighbor offered you some inquisitive words of advice. During these times you may have shaken your head, rolled your eyes, or even thought to yourself, “why does this weathered down baby boomer think their advice applies to my super trendy millennial lifestyle?” While you’re a little wrong, you are also a little right.

Today, our lives are so focused on our connection to the world through technology. Long gone are the days when you were only on television if you were an actor or someone of true importance. If you surf through your television channels (or just hop on Netflix), you’ll find reality shows featuring the least important people you can imagine. These people are able to have a television show centered around their ‘normal’ lives, so we should be able to find many similarities between their lives and ours.

These similarities provide us with many life lessons for us to learn from. But, what reality show can we most relate our lives too? Do we identify most with 200-pound southern trailer trash mother raising a sassy, chubby, child pageant prodigy? Or do you identify most with a group of twenty-something, juiced up, spikey-haired Italian Americans? I think for most of us, we might pick the twenty-something Italian Americans; so, what lessons can we learn from their successes and not so pretty mistakes?

One of the reality show’s most classic words of advice are: never fall in love at the Jersey Shore. These words of advice illicit a message you should consider emphasizing in your own life here at Monmouth University.

Read more ...

Groundhog Day Deserves More Love

Every year on Feb. 2 Punxsutawney Phil gets to shine like the star that he is and tell the people if spring will come early, or if there will be six more weeks of winter.

Groundhog Day is a tradition that began in America when most people thought badgers had the power to predict when spring is coming. This allowed them to decide when would be the right time to plant their crops. Because of the lack of badgers in Pennsylvania, the groundhog was used and thus became Groundhog Day.

Currently, Groundhog Day is a day of observation in the United States. When you think about it, there are a lot of ‘holidays’ that sometimes get ignored; Groundhog Day can usually be found on this list. Of course, Groundhog Day doesn’t have the same meaningful messages as holidays such as Christmas or Thanksgiving, but there’s no reason that we should forget about it.

Holidays like Groundhog Day do bring forward an important message, and it’s not whether or not spring will be here soon. They teach us the importance of animals and what we can learn from them. This can sound silly when you think about it, because what can you really learn from a groundhog?

If it weren’t for animals in the past signaling farmers when they should plant their crops, the farmers would have struggled with planting too early or late in the season. The groundhogs were helping the farmers even though they don’t realize it. It’s important to recognize that animals have helped us to get to where we are today, and the least we can do is revere them with the utmost respect.

Read more ...

A Call for Immigration Law Reform

Immigration Law ReformWhen I first moved to this country from a small town in the south of France called Gentilly, I never took into consideration how much the government has an effect on immigration. As a little girl, I did not understand the complications my mom faced when trying to become a citizen of the United States of America.

Now, immigration is playing a significant role in the news due to the policies created by our new President, Donald Trump. Trump has made it clear that his plan is to deport all illegal immigrants. He proposes that once the border is secured, there will be decisions made on any further action. Trump also plans to charge undocumented immigrants with legal felonies for being in the country illegally. He wants to raise the use of “expedited removals,” which allows officers to immediately force illegal immigrants out of the country.

Now more than ever, our immigration system needs to be reformed. State and local lawmakers have to look for solutions that promise fairness and opportunity for all Americans. Immigration policies have to offer a way to gain citizenship for all undocumented immigrants who live and work in this country.

When I moved here, my mom was struggling to keep our family here and paid thousands of dollars trying to become a citizen. At one point she considered getting ready to pack up our things and move back to the country we came from. Fortunately, I was lucky enough that my mom soon married a man who was a U.S citizen, so that our process was expedited to gain citizenship. However, this creates the question, why is becoming a legal citizen of the United States so tedious and costly?

Read more ...

2017: New Year, Same Stuff

A new calendar year has started and almost everyone has been working on being a better person this year. We either join a gym, vow to be a nicer person, or promise to do better in school. Whatever it is, every year we all decide that the month of January seems like a good time to restart our lives in one way or another.

In the world of news and entertainment, 2016 was a pretty crazy year. Every person who had influenced our lives greatly, from David Bowie to Alan Rickman to Carrie Fisher, and everyone in between has been taken away from us way too soon. We also have a new president coming to power who isn’t exactly conventional. We may not be able to compare him to our past presidents that we’ve learned about in history class or experienced ourselves. The world is changing—A LOT—and 2017 seems to be one of the most unpredictable years in our lifetimes.

Many people are uncertain about the outcome of the most recent presidential election and what this year has in store for us under the guidance of our newly inaugurated president. People are scared, frustrated, and confused—everyone wants to start this new year off fresh and with better intentions than the year before. We saw posts everywhere about how excited our friends were that 2016 was finally over and posts about how this year is going to be a year of great change. This attitude seems to occur every year, and every year we wonder, “Has there actually been change?” How do we know if we just keeping hoping for the year to be over by the end of it every time?

Read more ...

The Reality of Global Climate Change

Global Climate ChangeOver the past few years, there has been a distinguishable difference in the temperature throughout each season. As the summer approaches, intense heat lingers and rarely deviates from an uncomfortably high temperature; then the familiar chill of an autumn day makes a delayed appearance in the first weeks of October, raising even more questions.

Aside from personal observations of local temperatures, news channels continually report statistics from previous years to demonstrate the drastic change in our weather patterns. Scientists have closely monitored this change, and have connected it back to one central idea: global climate change.

This issue has been watched closely by many people, from meteorologists to presidential candidates, and has become a wake-up call for many people around the world. As defined by the Oxford Dictionary, climate change is “a change in global or regional climate patterns …attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels.” Although there has been dispute over whether or not this phenomenon exists, the world continues to suffer its consequences.

For example, we’ve been seeing rising sea levels, numerous natural disasters across the globe and deterioration of the ozone layer. While all of these serious issues arise, is there anything we can do to prevent any further damage?

Read more ...

A Look at the Effects of Breakups on Women

“There are Plenty of Fish in the Sea”

Break Up Effect WomenIce cream and exercising—every breakup article I have ever read has included both of these activities. When I was in a committed, loving relationship I would read articles like these and wonder why women didn’t just…suck it up? If all it took was mint chip and some sit-ups, heck, I was doing that already and I wasn’t even single. Nobody ever really talks about the turmoil you have to go through after a breakup to find balance. Everyone handles heartache differently, and it makes sense that no one would ever really want to publicize the deeply personal trauma that arises from a really bad breakup.

However, I think that as intimate an experience as it is, it pretty much happens to everyone. What’s strange is that nobody really talks about it, but everyone has an answer to it. The aftermath of a breakup is probably one of the ugliest, depressing, and mostly annoying times in one’s life, and it is frustrating that, as women, we’d rather hide it than talk about it.

Read more ...

Breaks with Books

Breaks With BooksA break from school is a sweet pocket of time where stressors are put on hold and time is used to catch up with friends, family, and sleep.

What exactly is a school break? Is it fifteen minutes between classes or the hour and 20-minute block when you don’t have a class? Could it be the weekends, days off from class, and time between semesters? A break can be any amount of time students deem fit for their own schedules. Each break, whatever the length of time, can allow for different things to be done.

School breaks are usually highly anticipated and counted upon to help students recharge. Being given a chance to participate in non-school related activities is, for many, a much-needed break. Breaks allow students to travel, go to concerts, work, and take part in so many other things. These experiences are important to help a student grow and enjoy what they’re doing, and they also help to foster interests in non-academic areas.

Read more ...

Life Lessons for an MU Student From Elf

Life Lessons ElfIt’s hard to believe someone that hasn’t seen or at least heard some quotes from the movie, Elf. But, just because you aren’t in the holiday-cheery mood yet, doesn’t mean you have to be a “cotton-headed ninny-muggins!” We can take away some pretty important life lessons from the movie Elf.

Buddy the elf said, “If you can sing alone, you can sing in front of other people. There’s no difference.” He teaches us that we should always be ourselves and to not let anything get in the way of that!

At Monmouth, we are incredibly fortunate enough to be able to join an insane amount of clubs or intramural sports from a wide variety of interests. From Club Volleyball, to Spanish Club, to Greek Life, all the way back to Student Activities Board (SAB), there is something that can suit every single interest.

While we aren’t elves who “try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup” like Buddy, we do get the chance to splurge on some good food every so often- we deserve it!

Read more ...

Are Good Manners Still Being Taught?

Good MannersAh yes, holiday season. The time of year that families all come together, in their itchy wool-made sweaters that their elders force them to wear, expressing thanks to families, and saying prayers for what they have. Immediately afterward, however, it’s every man for himself, scavenger hunting for the best deals online and in malls. Back in the 1850’s, if your father came home alive and healthy with a sack of salt you thank your stars for such a blessing; but in this modern age, if you buy your child the newest cellphone and get the wrong case color, you won’t hear the end of it.

As cliché as it gets, the apple does not fall far from the tree. The Observer did a survey asking, “Do you think children today are more polite, less polite, or the same as when you were growing up?” and they responded saying, “the 70 parents that responded, three-quarters answered that today’s children and adults are less polite than when they, themselves, were growing up.”

Read more ...

Holiday Season Joy

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

The holiday season has to be one of the best times of the year. There’s so much to do and everyone seems to be more joyful than any other time of year.

This is the point of the year where the semester is starting to wind down; things get stressful- writing papers, studying for finals, and getting everything done before the semester ends. At the end, it’s worth it because we get a few weeks off from school work and you get a fresh start with the spring semester.

Another great part of the holiday season is getting to see your friends from home. Of course, there’s nothing like the friends you make at Monmouth, but it’s nice to see friends that have been away at different schools. Being home for the holidays allows you to get together with friends and family that you might not be able to see during the semester, but now you’re able to give them a little extra time.

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season are all the seasonal flavors. Dunkin’ and Starbucks have so many different flavored drinks that it might take you all season to try one of each. There are so many holiday treats that go perfectly with each of these drinks. Seasonal foods and drinks are just another perk to help make this the most wonderful time of year.

Although it might feel like there’s not much to do because of the weather, there’s a lot that the winter can offer. There are always movies, shopping, or grabbing food with friends. During the holiday season, there are usually seasonal shows or light shows to attend, you just have to keep your eye out for when they are.

Read more ...

Are We Ever Really Satisfied?

Satisfaction in life can be subjective to how each person lives and where his or her wants lie. If people rely on physical objects to fulfill their life, their wants will be left unquenched. People will remain unsatisfied if they do not consider what would actually make them content outside of physical objects. Attempting to satisfy oneself with purchased items takes away from what people truly need.

The overbearing presence of materialism makes people believe they need the better and bigger version of something they might already have. We live in a technologically advanced age that relentlessly produces new items that are promoted as something we need. With upgraded phones, televisions, game consoles, cars, and computers, the idea of inadequacy of not only our things but of our lives’ is prompted in our minds.

As we move through a consumer focused world, we find our things representing us over our knowledge, accomplishments, ethicality, or morality—leading us to want the premium product telling the world who we are; this is mistakenly carried out by many people. When we consider what humans actually need, the list of items becomes much shorter.

Satisfaction is a state of mind. If we consider how Mahatma Gandhi simplistically lived out the latter years of his life, we can see another side to satisfaction for what we have. With only in possession of a few items before his death (including his shoes, glasses, and watch), we can see he had minimal material items he found necessary for everyday life.

Read more ...

‘Eleven’ Life Lessons for an MU Student From Stranger Things

Life Lessons Stranger ThingsMonmouth is no stranger to being caught up in a Netflix series, but the hype about Stranger Things has been incredible since its start in August of this year. Not only is the cast out of this world but the plot and storyline it follows twists and turns in more ways than I can count. The 11 life lessons that follow are only a few that come to mind when thinking and watching the cult series.

Stranger Things teaches us to stand by our friends. No matter what happens, we all have a close-knit group of friends that we can count on. The characters, Dustin, Mike, Will, and Lucas have such a special bond that they are hardly ever apart. It’s easy to say, “Hey that sounds like me and my friends,” but on campus, it is even more important to realize that you can be a part of something like that on a bigger scale.

Whether it is becoming a mentor, or joining a sorority or fraternity, the opportunities to join in on a friend group are endless! Joyce reminds us that, “You act like you’re all alone out there in the world, but you’re not. You’re not alone.” Building a bond with a group of people who love the same things you love can be such an enriching experience but to be able to keep those friends for the long run is something even more special!

Never giving up is a moral everyone can take away from the Netflix series. The way Will’s friends, his mother, and eventually Chief Hopper never stop looking for him is not only commendable but something we should all think more about. In our lives, it’s possible to think something is too difficult or too overwhelming to take on; it is also possible to believe that the things you are passionate about could never be taken on because of unpopular opinion. But, we should all take Joyce’s words into consideration when just the thought of not being good enough crosses our mind: “I don’t care if anyone believes me.”

Read more ...

The Differences Between Jobs and Careers

Doing What You Love and Loving What You Do

When you’re a freshman it’s easy to push off the idea of what you’re going to do with the rest of your life and just enjoy your college experience. But, before you know it, it’s your senior year and you’re stressing about getting a job after graduation.

It’s a tough choice when you need to get a job, but you also need to be able to afford life after graduation. You have to choose between doing something you love, most likely a career, and doing something that will make you enough money to get by right after college, a mere job.

This is not to say that you can’t love your job, but a career is more of a whole life goal. Careers are the epitome of a happy workplace; they coincide with your major and concentration in college. Jobs, however, are more of a temporary fix for money to pay your bills. While both are important milestones in life, a career tends to be where most students are aiming to achieve.

Most of the time, jobs we’re working at while in school are paying more than starting a new job doing the thing you really love. It can be a hard decision between making enough money to support yourself, and doing the thing you love. It is important to have the money to pay any bills you have, have somewhere to live, and have enough food to eat.

Read more ...

Life Lessons for an MU Student From Boy Meets World

Life Lessons Boy Meets World“Feeny! Fe he he heeny!”

The iconic name rings through the ears of the die-hard fans of the 90s television show, Boy Meets World. Cory, Topanga, Eric, Shawn, Mr. Feeny and the rest of the cast of the hit show have shown its viewers what life is all about: doing the right thing, being yourself, the importance of family and friendship, and education, all while integrating classic comedy.

Doing the right thing has always been ingrained into our minds since we could walk and talk, but, the right thing is sometimes hidden beneath a plethora of options. Mr. Feeny reminds us that, “A real hero is someone who does the right thing when the right thing isn’t easy to do.”

While this could be related to just about anybody, what is so special about Monmouth is that we have an abundance of faculty members and professors that want to see us succeed in all we do; we are fortunate enough to go to a small school where our professors not only know who we are, but, are able to take notice if we’re doing well or not.


Read more ...

Life Lessons for a Hawk from the Presidential Election

Life Lessons Preidential ElectionThe meme-worthy, anxiety-inducing, and most anticipated presidential election we have all witnessed is chock-full of life lessons we can all take into consideration this year and every year after. Whether we relate these lessons to our life, career, or take them into consideration for our future. Presidential candidates, Mr. Donald Trump and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have given us plenty to think about.

All throughout this election, we have seen both candidates debate until the death whether it be over policy conflicts, the economy, society, or other matters of importance. The one thing they have shown the people collectively is to not take anything at face value.

As Monmouth students, we have a wide array of options and resources to take advantage of as far as research is concerned. Whether it be utilizing the Commuter Student Lounge on the second floor of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center or spending all hours at our coveted library across campus, us Hawks are in a nest full of different assets to utilize. At times it may be hard to find “an ‘extremely credible source,’” as Trump would say, but at the library, we have hard-working staff and faculty members who will work around the clock to help you with any research.

Read more ...

Life Lessons for an MU Student From Friends

Life Lessons FriendsFriends always seems to be a go-to show for laughs and an easy night in. But, “They don’t know that we know that they know” that Friends is known for its continuous slew of puns, jokes, and Rachel-Ross drama. Friends has been around since 1994 and its die-hard fans can never get enough- myself included. There’s no shortage of lessons from the legendary television show, but, how easily are those lessons applied to Monmouth University students?

Living by the shore gives us Hawks easy access to all the hot spots by the ocean, but what Friends teaches us is that it’s okay to spend a Friday night in with our pajamas playing board games. Sure, it may be nice to get all dolled up and go out every weekend, but, a simple night spent de-stressing with your best pals is never a bad idea.

With workloads being at their heaviest this time of the semester, a night in may very well be needed. As Joey would say, “So why don’t you be a grown-up and come watch t.v. in the fort?”

Although some of our friends could be considered the frivolous spending Ross, Chandler, and Monicas of the group, there are still some of us penny pinching Rachel, Joey, and Phoebes of the bunch. As per “The One with Five Steaks and an Eggplant,” splitting the check amongst friends can be difficult at times to say the least, because just like Phoebe, “I wasn’t like you guys, okay? I didn’t eat gold and have a flying pony.” But, being honest and open about not having enough to cover a night out is always the best option.

Read more ...

Halloween 2016

Thoughts on This Year’s Costumes and Trends

Halloween 2016 1Now that Halloween has officially ended, it’s time to recap some fantastic costumes and talk about the different genres of costumes. Every year it seems like there are those who take Halloween to the max and those who take it pretty lightly. I have the utmost respect for those who take Halloween seriously.

To the girls and guys who have full-face makeup and do funky designs with body paint—kudos! People can get really creative with their painting. It’s really inspiring to see those who are artsy and/or experimental with their body paint. I know I would never be able to do it and even though I may try, it never comes out quite right.

Doing full-face makeup has two paths: artsy or scary. Some people do full-face makeup and their faces are absolutely horrifying and gory. Yet, on the other hand, I’ve seen some pretty interesting face painting that purely makes the character the person is dressing up as more realistic. For example, there are a lot of neat designs for being an alien or any type of animal. This artistic face painting was an extremely popular trend this year.

Read more ...

“Grab them by [Their Intellectual Brains]”

How Female Students Feel About Republican Candidate Donald Trump’s Sexist Remarks

Grab Them BrainWith the recent presidential race, Monmouth students are continuing to form plenty of opinions on the candidates. It is well known that Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, is a feminist. However, Republican candidate, Donald Trump, has been under siege by women across the country over his crude comments and questionable attitudes toward women.

This has been an issue surrounding Trump throughout the election process, but it has been resurfaced in a big way after a recent comment of Trump’s stating that he can “do anything […] grab them by the p***y.” With such sexist remarks, women everywhere have started to fight back at Trump.

What does a campus whose ratio, according to Monmouth University’s site, of men to women is 2:3, say about Trump’s attitude toward women? Let’s hear what some of our females on campus have to say:

Read more ...

Life Lessons for an MU Student From a Trip to Walt Disney World

Life Lessons Walt Disney WorldAs a student who is constantly working, going to meetings, and doing school work, any trip/ escape from reality helps. What we don’t realize about trips are that many of them can teach us some pretty important life lessons even while we are having fun and don’t actually realize it. Reflecting back on a Fall Break trip I took, I found that there are some pretty important and interesting life lessons I learned from my trip to Walt Disney World.

Planning makes perfect

Did you know that when planning a trip to Disney World you can make reservations for hotels 180 days in advance? And you can make reservations for FastPasses, attraction tickets that allow you to skip the stand-by lines, up to 60 days in advance! When planning a trip to Disney, there is a lot of organization and there are many deadlines involved. Keeping an itinerary and calendar are key to a successfully planned trip. This is also true to any Monmouth student! With deadlines, classes, meetings, etc. it can be difficult to keep up. What we can take away from a Disney vacation is that planning truly makes perfect and that goes for your daily life at Monmouth too!

Read more ...

Why I Love Sweaters

Oh, Let Me Count the Ways...

red sweaterFall, the best time of year for all of our wardrobes, has finally made its way here!

There’s nothing better than a wardrobe full of autumn colors, and of course the array of sweaters that we’re finally able to break out. Seeing everyone walking around campus in the brisk air wearing sweaters that match perfectly with the changing colors of the leaves is so pleasing.

Sweaters come in a vast variety for any type of day that fall throws at you. There are sweaters that are perfect for those mornings in the start of the season where it’s cool in the morning, but it warms up by the middle of the day. These are the perfect days to wear your light sweaters or just a cardigan to go over your outfit. There are also days where it’s cold and rainy this is where your big fluffy sweaters come in handy. The sweater will keep you warm all day regardless of how cold and damp it is outside.

Read more ...

Life Lessons for a Monmouth Student from Deadpool

deadpool imageIt’s impossible to get through the movie Deadpool without at the very least a chuckle, but just because it is prized for its comedic efforts doesn’t mean it doesn’t offer us some incredible life lessons. A movie doesn’t have to be a drama or a romantic comedy to offer up some valuable takeaways. There are two very strong life lessons that we can take from Deadpool. These include the fact that we shouldn’t take life too seriously and that a sense of humor is key in dealing with any and all situations and that we should surround ourselves with people who truly care about us.

It’s obvious that the first life lesson would deal with having a sense of humor, but it really is something that a lot of us, as college students, need to remember. With “real life” approaching quickly and so many adult responsibilities piling up each year we progress in school, it is easy to start taking life a bit too seriously. Internships, job applications, leadership roles, you name it! There are too many things going on that require a balanced head on your shoulders and a scholastic driven brain.

Watching Deadpool reminds us that no matter how tough life gets or how many responsibilities pile up, there is always a punch line and a way to laugh at a situation. In the film, main character, Wade Wilson (Deadpool), played by Ryan Reynolds, goes through a series of pummeling negative life events. He is diagnosed with thyroid cancer, gets conned into agreeing to enter a “treatment program,” which then, in turn, ends up completely ruining his physical appearance.

Read more ...

My Role Model: Demi Lovato

The definition of a role model, according to, is someone whose actions or successes can be emulated by others who find their actions or successes inspiring. Growing up, I was told that I could be anything I wanted to be, as long as I did it with all the love and passion I could possibly have. I went through many role models throughout my life that all had careers in the music industry because 7-year-old me swore with everything in her heart that I was going to make it big in the music industry.

One day while sitting in my room watching Disney Channel, an original movie premiered, “Camp Rock,” and my entire life changed from that moment on. I initially started to watch the movie because of the Jonas Brothers, because let’s be honest here, who wasn’t in love with Nick’s baby face, Joe’s sassy attitude, and Kevin’s amazing guitar skills? However, what got me hooked on watching the movie multiple times, even to this day, was Demi Lovato. From that moment forward, if it had to do with Demi Lovato, I cared about it.

Over the years, the love and inspiration I feel for and from Demi only grew with every song or magazine article. Her music makes me feel like I’m not alone and that I can conquer anything I’m going through. In 2011, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was admitted into a rehabilitation center in August of that same year. I remember, as cliché as this may sound, being there for her as she had been for me. She was there for me through a terrible breakup that took me forever to get over, when I had a car accident that shook my family, for graduation, college, mental breakdowns, and the happiest moments of my life.

Read more ...

Life Lessons for an MU Student From Grey’s Anatomy

Life Lessons Greys AnatomyIn March of 2005, Grey’s Anatomy took the world by storm and has continued to drum up revenue since its start 11 years ago. Actors have come and gone in this medical based drama, but their lessons continue to teach the audience values we would otherwise look past- not to mention bring out our ugliest of cries.

From its very first episode, ‘Grey’s’ has instilled the idea of making new friends and to keep your real friends and never let them go. Students often tend to forget who to place our value in or if a certain person is worth giving our all for. If we think about it, we’re lucky to have such a humble and open campus that we get the chance to meet such an unimaginable number of people.   We continue to see their face in a crowded Student Center or happen to pick them out of the mass of people walking to class; whereas many other campuses have twice or three times the amount of students that Monmouth University has. Sometimes it may feel that being alone is the better option, but, as Izzie Stevens says, “Everyone needs help from time to time. Someone to look out for them. Make sure they’re OK.”

Between being caught up with Meredith’s lovers and Alex’s fits of rage, there is no shortcoming of fighting, though the characters aren’t just fighting with each other, they are fighting for who they love, fighting for what they love, and so on and so forth. Grey’s Anatomy has proven over the years that they are all about expressing love and passion in whatever form is most comfortable for them; their motto has always been to fight for what they want. Cristina Yang tells us, “If you want crappy things to stop happening to you, then stop accepting crap and demand something more.”

Read more ...

TMI: Too Much Information

How much Information is Too Much Information When Meeting New People?

The first time you’re meeting someone, it’s typical to give them general information about yourself. My name is Amanda Drennan, I’m a senior at Monmouth, and I have an undying love for dogs.

But now with social media there’s a lot of information about ourselves that can be found online, and it’s usually easily accessible. If someone takes a look at your social media page, they can see almost anything you’ve posted since you started your page. It’s not only what you post on social media that’s out there, but also what other people post about you. It all lends to to what a person can learn about you without actually ever meeting you. We’ve all been there, looked through someone’s page before we actually get to know them (and don’t act like you’ve never lurked through someone’s page to learn more about them).

It’s easy for us to word vomit information about ourselves to people when we first meet them, especially with so much about ourselves being available online. But what’s too much to tell people? There’s nothing wrong with being open, but some things are just better off kept to yourself. The first time you meet someone it can be overwhelming if they’re just spewing information about him/herself at you.

When you’re first getting to know someone, it’s better to start off with basic information about yourself. This can help you find common interests with the person. If you start off telling them your whole life story from birth to today, don’t be surprised if they’re staring at you like you have two heads.

Read more ...

A Decade Review: The 80s

Thanking the 80s for its Contributions to Today’s World

Decade Review Metallica

It’s hard to believe that the 1980s were about 30 years ago, especially with glimpses of the decade emerging in today’s pop culture. Honestly, I never really liked the 80s. I always thought the decade was corny and obnoxious- from the oversized shoulder pads to the oversaturation of bright neon.

I still do for the most part, but I’ve come to realize that its obnoxiousness is what made it one of the most memorable decades in recent history. It’s much more than just the surface trends I mentioned before. In fact, there were a lot of other firsts that we have to accredit the 80s for making popular; a lot of the things we enjoy today wouldn’t have existed or been discovered.


Read more ...

Life Lessons for an MU Student from Gossip Girl

Life Lessons Gossip GirlHey, West Long Branch residents! As the Fall semester is now officially in full swing, Gossip Girl has a few tips for all students looking to be as successful as ever this year and every year.

Common knowledge tells us Gossip Girl is most famous for its attractive cast and endless drama, but, there are some great takeaways that we miss amongst the Lonely Boy vs. Chuck Bass battles.

Although Gossip Girl may have started in 2007, the cast proves in every episode that fashion is the top priority. Early 2000s style may be a little outdated, but, Blair Waldorf taught the audience that first impressions via wardrobe say more about you than anything else.

Being college students, most of the time, our wardrobe consists of Monmouth t-shirts, shorts, sweats, and plenty of hoodies, but going into an interview for an internship or just a part-time job means dressing the part. There aren’t any rules against certain clothes, or rather, there aren’t any written rules, but it is crucial to be taken seriously in situations like interviews or job fairs. Messy buns, sweatpants, and ripped jeans or tees are on the ‘Do Not Wear’ list, but, wearing a blouse, khakis, or skirts mean you’re willing to look the part and be professional in any setting because, “It shows the world who we are and who we’d like to be.”

Read more ...

“Brangelina” Under Scrutiny

Test of True Love in the Limelight

I was sitting in one of my English classes listening to my teacher talk about one of Shakespeare’s plays when I found out that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt filed for divorce. Since it happened, there has been non-stop coverage of their messy divorce. With headlines about how they will split their assets and all these speculations about what caused their marriage to end, it is getting just as much coverage as the ongoing presidential election between Trump and Clinton.

On one hand, I’m really sick and tired of the way the media constantly publicizes the personal lives of celebrities, but this also makes me wonder whether true love exist anymore if you’re a famous figure? This question has a bit irony in it because one of the discussions we had in my Shakespeare class is whether Shakespeare was the forerunner of writing about “true love.” Is the concept of true love something that many famous people cannot find given that privacy and maintaining a sense of normalcy is off limits because they are always in the spotlight?

I remember when Jolie and Pitt’s speculated romantic relationship was all the buzz after the 2005 release of the film Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Their chemistry was okay in the movie, but I did not follow the speculations that these two actors were getting chummy off screen. I didn’t pay much attention to the buzz surrounding them until news broke that Pitt divorced his then wife Jennifer Aniston and about a month later he was with Jolie.

Read more ...

Participation: A Valuable Skill in and Beyond the Classroom

Classroom ParticipationThe idea that an 18-year-old student is paying thousands of dollars to sit in a classroom and listen to someone talk about a topic for 3 hours is supposed to make you ready for the real world is really a crazy concept when you think about it. This is a reality for many college students (and even kids in high school and grade school) who do not care about school and think they can get by just sitting in the back of the room and not participating.

An emphasis on participation may be seen as unnecessary and trivial to some students, but really participation is the best way for a professor or teacher to see that you are actually learning something and getting something out of the class.

Read more ...

Gotta Catch ‘Em All

Pokemon GoIf you see herds of people walking around with their heads down staring at their phones, there’s a good chance they’re playing Pokémon Go. The app was released in July and it’s been a pretty popular game since then.

The app uses GPS tracking to tell where you are and allow you to catch Pokémon that have spawned in your area. This means that in order to catch new Pokémon, the user literally has to walk around. There are landmarks that are called “Pokéstops,” which allow you to collect items like pokéballs, to catch your Pokémon. This app, like most, has a good side and bad side.

This app creates a new problem for users that, for most video games, isn’t a huge problem. The game requires you to walk around, which doesn’t seem like a problem at first. The drawback to this app is the users who are walking around looking down at their phones for Pokémon. They aren’t always paying attention to their surroundings.

Read more ...

Life Lessons for an MU Student from Legally Blonde

Legally BlondeIt’s no shock that Legally Blonde has some of the most memorable quotes in movie history, but it’s deep-rooted life lessons are what make the movie that much ‘funner’!

Do you know that internal churning and sweaty-palmed feeling when a professor calls on you and you don’t know the answer? No? Just me? Well, Elle Woods had the exact feeling when she didn’t read, or for that matter, even have her textbook before class.

Our professors tend to drill into our brains that we need to be ready for class, that we need to be prepared and have our books for class no matter what, to avoid that pre-court Elle Woods feeling, but we don’t always listen. The worst case scenario happened to Elle; she was kicked out of class because she wasn’t properly prepared.

To avoid that major embarrassment, always have your textbooks/notes ready for class and try not to avoid questions, but rather boldly try to answer a question even if you aren’t positive that you’re right. The worst that can happen is you’re wrong and you’ll end up learning something new.

Read more ...

Life, Liberty, & the Pursuit of Social Justice

A Look on Colin Kaepernick’s Recent Stand (Pun Intended)

The First Amendment in the Constitution has always been viewed as one of our most important rights as an American citizen. Recently, our right to freedom of speech and expression of thought has created great controversy in the case of San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick.

The football player has been refusing to stand for the national anthem in protest of police brutality. Kaepernick said, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

Liam Frank, a senior music industry student, explains, “I know that Colin Kaepernick is a talented quarterback with a good amount of fame surrounding him, and I think that he has brought attention to a controversial, but important, issue in America. He’s donated to causes supporting minorities mentioned in his protests, and used his fame as a venue for social justice advocacy.”

The problems of police brutality and minority oppression in this country are very real and cannot be ignored, however, does Kaepernick have the right to express his political views during the playing of the national anthem? Sydney Underhill, a senior on the Monmouth University softball team and a graduate student in public policy program said, “I believe that the flag protects his right to do just what he and the other athletes who have followed suit have chosen to do.”

Read more ...

Life Lessons for an MU Student from Family Feud

Family FeudFamily Feud has been one of America’s favorite game shows for a very long time—back to when Richard Dawson was the host. Even as a child, I was a big fan of Family Feud—to the point where I even downloaded the app and played by myself. I know, riveting childhood I had; that being said, I think that there are definitely some valuable life lessons one can learn from the game show.

One lesson that can be learned from Family Feud is that you should take loss with grace; simply, just don’t be a sore loser. Many times, families on Family Feud lose by even one point, which is totally devastating. Regardless of how they really feel, they take losses with a smile and laugh it off (hey, they do get to come back the next week). The same goes for families who lose the first round and don’t even get to go to the Fast Money Round. They don’t get to come back, and they’re still all smiles.

Another life lesson that can be learned from watching Family Feud is that no matter how many times you do lose, that you should just keep trying—perseverance. I’ve seen episodes where the same family comes back multiple times and they just keep losing. Honestly, it’s inspiring how much tenacity they have to keep coming back and never giving anything less than 100 percent.

Read more ...

Is Facebook Logging Out?

Though many social media sites come and go just as fast as they appeared- I am talking to you Myspace- there are some that stick around for the long run.

Facebook has been a vital part of my life ever since I joined back in my middle school years. Being that I live far away from most of my family members, Facebook is an easy way to see what everyone is up to. As of late, many have been saying that Facebook is a dying force. I happen to believe otherwise. In fact, I would go so far as to say Facebook has been gaining a new popularity amongst the general public ranging anywhere from about 18-25 years old, the traditional college-aged adult. I was talking to my mom- the same person who used to religiously play “Farmville” and now simply uses it to share ridiculous amounts of videos- about Facebook’s relevance when I realized I was clearly talking to the wrong person.

Some may be wondering: “Well, I don’t use it much, I don’t see how it’s popular anymore.” Have you noticed that one of the main ways our Monmouth University community sticks together is Facebook? We have groups such as: “Monmouth University Class of 2018” and “Monmouth Commuter Students,” or even “NSO Blue Squad,” and so on and so forth. We have continually used Facebook for all Monmouth necessities, as luck would have it, even for writing topics within The Outlook itself for different sections like Opinion and Features use Facebook. There are limitless opportunities we have taken advantage of within Monmouth while weaving Facebook into our plans and it would seem as though we won’t ever stop- cue the chorus of “We Can’t Stop” please!

Read more ...

Is there #JusticeForHarambe?

A Look at the Effects of Social Media on the Cincinnati Zoo

HarambeThe name “Harambe” has been plastered on social media a lot lately. A few months ago a young boy fell into the gorilla cage at the Cincinnati Zoo. Unfortunately, the zoo was given the ultimatum of either saving the boy’s life or shooting the gorilla. The zoo officials decided that the life of the little boy would be saved, and the gorilla, Harambe, died.

The child fell into the enclosure, and the gorilla was dragging him around. The zoo officials feared that if they tranquilized the gorilla he would have become more enraged and hurt the child before he would be saved. Something needed to be done quickly about the situation and the zoo staff thought that this was the best way to handle it. There were several staff members from the zoo that spoke about the situation, all agreeing that the right thing had been done in this situation.

Read more ...

MU Surf Refines Competition

Competition. It is a term that follows most, if not all activities. Competition is a way to understand who is the best. The Broncos won the Super Bowl and are regarded as the best team in football. The same can be said for the Golden State Warriors after their championship run last year. However, asking who is the “best” surfer will not offer the same clear-cut answer.

From a young age, competitive surfers enter contests in order to qualify for competition in the World Surfing League (WSL). The WSL aims to give the world of surfing their very own Peyton Manning or Stephen Curry. However, in the surfing industry, contests are not the only way to make a living. Freesurfers make up the other half of the surfing world. These surfers choose not to compete and instead gain exposure and sponsorships through photos, video edits and surfing films.

Whichever side you fall into, the tough question still exists, “Who is the best surfer in the world?” Adriano DeSouza tallied the most points on the World Championship tour last year, however that may not make him the best surfer... Can we deny the Craig Andersons and the Asher Paceys of the world their shot at being the best? It’s a tough call.

Sophomore student-surfer, John Waldron offered his opinion, “Adriano rips, but a world title doesn’t mean he’s the best. Freesurfers go for broke every time they take off on a wave because they don’t have to worry about scores and judges.” Waldron continued, “Competitive surfing works if it remains unique. As soon as surfing becomes football, I’m out.”

Read more ...

Commuting: The Best Of Both Worlds

With a love large enough to say, “If I could live here, I would,” many of us commuters still choose not to live on campus at Monmouth. My love for Monmouth is completely indescribable; I cannot imagine myself as happy as I am anywhere else. The desire to spend all the time I have at MU makes others question my choice to commute to school.

At least three out of the five weekdays you can find me eating all three of my meals at school (yes, if you were wondering, that means I have 8:30 a.m. classes every day of the week, so breakfast on campus is a must!) and you’ll most likely see my face on campus on the weekends too. I genuinely cannot get enough of our beautiful campus. So this urges many of my friends and family to question this choice to commute.

“You are on campus for 12 hours a day anyway, you might as well live there,” is a comment I get quite a bit. It would be much more convenient given all the things I am involved with on campus for me to live here, but I find that commuting, aside from being cheaper, is a more liberating college experience. Not that you can’t have a car when you live on campus, but I truly feel as though I have a lot more freedom being a commuter. It really prepares you for the future—time management is very important to handle when you commute. This is a skill that commuting does nothing, but enhance. This skill, then translates to a greater understanding of real adult responsibilities.

Now, this doesn’t mean that time management and responsibility aren’t enhanced when living on campus, but the levels of each are different for each student. It is very difficult to compare and contrast a resident student and a commuter student because they both have a different set of needs and there are benefits and handicaps to both lifestyles. But, speaking from a commuter standpoint, I can only give positive reviews for commuting to MU.

Read more ...

Summertime & The Living’s (Finally) Easy

Summer is only a few weeks away and even if you don’t have anything planned, it’s better than school work and studying for finals. After classes end it’s great to have a few weeks off to relax, especially after the stress of finals. With more than three months off from school, there’s a lot you can do with your free time.

If you’re lucky enough, you might be able to get an internship over the summer. Although working through the summer might not be the most fun, it’s a great opportunity to make some extra money. Being able to work in an area that interests you is great, especially when you don’t have school work to worry about. You might not be relaxing on the beach or having a break like it seems like everyone else has, but it is a great experience.

The summer time is perfect to take a vacation. Not being in school gives you a lot of free time to plan a trip. There are no classes to miss during the summer time so you can take a longer more relaxing vacation. You can come back and not have to worry about any work that’s due or what you missed in classes. Of course, with the weather in the summer, even a staycation at the jersey shore could be the perfect place.

The beach is a destination that everyone would like to get to at least once over the summer. It’s a great place to socialize with friends, tan, swim, and just relax. There are free beaches, or if you can’t find a free beach, there are always beaches with free parking. If you can get a few friends together and split the cost of parking, it could make for a cheap day of fun.

Read more ...

The Struggle of Picking Classes

Sometimes the most stressful things at the end of the semester are not finals, but scheduling your classes for next semester, especially here at Monmouth. Making the perfect schedule and also getting all the credits you need to graduate is close to impossible. There are so many stipulations we have when we’re creating our schedules for the upcoming semester, and it’s hard to apply them all to one schedule. Making your “perfect” schedule is easier said than done, especially when the classes you need to take aren’t scheduled at the ideal time or with that professor who has the highest rating on

Monmouth requires 128 credits to graduate as an undergrad, as opposed to other schools that only require 120 credits. If we, students at Monmouth, come in with no credits, we’ll have to take more than the standard 15 credits at least one semester to graduate in four years. There’s always the option of summer classes, but we all know that those can get expensive. So, we’re stuck cramming our schedules with enough credits (and still trying to get a day off).

It’s stressful when all of your friends are talking about when their registration time is and you feel like your registration is a million years later. Opening your email from the registrar that tells you when your time to register is such a nerve-racking ordeal. Are you going to have to be late to class so you can register? Do you have to wake up early? Do you have to register during another class? Should you just skip class to register? It feels like the time you do get to register is always the most inconvenient.

Read more ...

Is A College Degree Worth It?

College Degree Worth ItA college education is a colossal investment, but many have begun to question its worth.

In today’s world, landing a job is a difficult feat. Back in the day, a college degree was your ticket to a well-paying job. Recent studies have revealed that most college students will not receive a return on their college investment until they are middle-aged. Many have not seen their college tuition dollars reimbursed into their paychecks because they are working minimum wage jobs due to their inability to find a position after graduation. The barista at your local Starbucks might have a business degree, but due to their lack of experience within their field of study, they cannot land a job. Nearly half of college graduates are underemployed and working jobs that do not require a bachelor’s degree.

Exactly six months after you moved the tassel from right to left and proudly walked off the stage with your diploma in hand, your gift from the government finds its way to you in the form of federal loans. Your government federal loan payments begin with an average interest rate of 4.29 percent and up. Once your decades of payments begin you may ask the question, “Was my education worth the cost?”

Read more ...

Mother Should I Trust The Government?

Quite recently, it has been discovered that the government has easy, convenient access to the private lives of basically all citizens of the United States. There is said to be a massive building in Utah where the government monitors everyone’s social media, webcams, cell phone text messages, calls and other data. While there is much speculation and debate on the subject, the government should have every right to peer into any individual’s Internet use, or private cell phone information.

To start off, it is well known that there is a sizable party against the National Security Agency (commonly referred to as NSA) being able to access to United States citizen’s personal information. There is a very negative connotation that comes with a government viewing conversations and information. A lot of people relate it to George Orwell’s famous ‘Big Brother’ character in his novel 1984. Some might argue that this is an outrage and an invasion of privacy. However, I find all these uncertainties and fears are ridiculous. The only people that should be worried are the people that are involved in any kind of suspicious activity; people who are abiding by the law should have nothing to hide. Ben Franklin once said, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety,” and while it may have been relevant and true in the seventeen hundreds, it is not now. We live in an entirely different day and age with all our technology and advancements. The people are not giving up their liberty, and the safety is permanent, not temporary anymore.

Read more ...

But First... Let Me Take A Selfie

Mona Lisa SelfieA “selfie” is defined as a picture of yourself, typically taken by yourself. They date back centuries when great leaders of our world had their self-portraits painted. Nowadays, our self-portraits have taken on a different form and have become quite an epidemic. Candid photos, duck faces, bathroom mirror pictures, and many other poses that are taken with a front-camera are regularly strung across our feeds on a variety of social media platforms. Wherever you go, there are constantly people using their front camera to snap a picture of their “good face day.” Millennials have been renamed the “selfie generation” due to the high level of narcissism that is present within our society.

Selfies have been deemed responsible for more deaths than shark attacks. This may be due to the fact that most individuals take pictures of themselves while driving or even walking across the street. It really is just that important to get that perfect snap of your face while swerving in and out of traffic or almost getting hit by a car.

Personally, I do not have an issue with selfies in moderation. Taking a picture of yourself when you have a good hair day, at an event, or even on a holiday is more than acceptable. However, I feel that when people are constantly posting pictures of themselves it becomes an issue. If a person’s Instagram consists only of pictures of themselves, their selfie privileges should be revoked.

Read more ...

Construction Disruption

Campus ConstructionMonmouth’s picturesque campus is one of its bestselling points and most desirable characteristics for perspective and current students alike. But now with the massive construction happening between Howard Hall and Edison Hall, it seems like Monmouth gets uglier the further you walk down towards Pollak Theater. I completely understand that half of what I see on Monmouth’s beautiful campus had to be built at some point, but I wish this current construction weren’t happening while I am here. To be blunt—the construction is an eyesore that a simple “Pardon our appearance while we renovate” sign doesn’t excuse.

It isn’t just the sight of the construction that is leaving a bad taste in my mouth; it’s the dangers of the construction, the noise, and the impedance on my travels from class to class. Construction is a dangerous job for the workers themselves, but it is also dangerous for those of us traveling around it. The various construction vehicles roaming around the south side of campus count on you, the traveling student, to watch where you’re walking. They don’t have a huge regard for people walking around them.

The noise is also starting to ware on me. I have had many classes in Howard Hall since the start of the construction and the noise of the construction itself, while I understand it is wholly unavoidable, is very loud. Furthermore, the noise of just the workers in general can be distracting. For example, I was in class one day and I heard a worker turn on a radio and, while the song that came on was good, was distracting me from paying any attention in my class.

Read more ...

Is Chivalry Dead?

The best and most common way to describe chivalry is Noah Calhoun from Nicholas Spark’s The Notebook. Noah would move mountains for Allie Hamilton. A real man totally devoted to making a woman feel that she is cared for. A man who would not let his man hood feel threatened over proclaiming he loves a girl.

The more time goes on, the more rare acts of chivalry have become. It begins to make us ponder, has chivalry become nonexistent?

In some essences of the word, yes, chivalry is dead. Its technical definition being ‘the medieval knightly system with its religious, moral, and social code.’ The more urban definition refers to chivalry as morally treating someone with utter respect. No longer is it common for men to chivalrously court women in these long drawn out theatrics of affection. Honestly, to some extent I think that is good thing. I mean why do we as women think we are entitled to be the only ones whom chivalry should be directed at?

Watching my friends in mature relationships, I see a give and take in the romance. On one occasion someone will be romantic, and the other will put on the romance on the next occasion. In today’s society chivalry is no longer a one way street.

While back in the day, a man would be the one to put the effort into the relationship, while a woman accepted the chivalry. It is now much more evenly distributed. I think this is in part due to woman’s newfound independence and the popular feminist movements.

No longer is the man the only one in a relationship bringing in money, therefore giving him the power to be chivalrous. Now a woman brings home her own paycheck and can afford acts of chivalrous. The male does not always have to get the bill anymore.

Read more ...

Spring Break

The week before spring break everyone is sitting in class thinking of what to do when you finally do not have school work due the next day, and actually have some time to breathe. But what do you really do with your time off? Day dreaming during class about everything that you’re going to do during break is much different than what actually happens when you are finally at home. It’s easy to picture yourself on a beach somewhere, soaking up the sun while you are sitting in a class. You might want to do everything, or you might want to do nothing. Regardless, things don’t always turn out the way you planned.

Expectation: You will see all your friends from home that you haven’t seen since winter break. A whole week off from school means you will have more than enough time to catch up with your friends you haven’t seen since the beginning of the semester.

Reality: Your friends probably don’t have the same time off as you. Your friends that don’t go to Monmouth probably don’t have the same week off of school as we do. And honestly, what are the chances that you really want to get out of bed and leave your house?

Expectation: You’ll take at least one day of your break to do the work your professor assigned you (even though you are supposed to be on a break from school).

Reality: You totally forget about all that was assigned over break until Sunday night. Just as you are about to fall asleep you’ll remember those assignments you got over a week ago and have to rush to get everything together before your Monday morning classes.

Read more ...

The Conflict of Being a Vegan... But Loving Bacon

Veggie HeartA group of crossfitting vegans walk into a bar—which lifestyle choice do they tell you about first?

Well, it can go one of two ways:

1. The more hardcore crossfitter will preach about how alcohol is “totally going to sabotage my morning workout swell.”                

2. The more hardcore vegan lets everyone in the bar know “I can’t eat THAT because I’m a vegan.”

Just the mention of crossfit is guaranteed to make eyes roll, but the vegan answer is more in depth.

The latter of the two responses can be received as standoffish or aloof, even if it’s delivered in a chirpy manner. Onlookers are often confused as to why anyone would openly reject a commonly accepted food and suggest a different, healthier, choice.

Simply put, it’s a combination of laziness, peer pressure and personal drive that often determines why people choose a nonvegan path.

I did the whole vegan thing for 12 months—it was great removing dairy and meat from my diet, I had a lot more energy and I was in better shape. But sometimes life gets in the way.

Commuting from work to an internship and school makes it tough to stay true to hardcore veganism. Cost of healthy foods can be outrageous, and convenience of less healthy options throughout a busy day makes it almost unrealistic (thanks a lot, Jersey Mike’s).

Read more ...

Does Age Matter In a Relationship?

Does Age MatterForming relationships and dating is a common part of life. It’s a natural proclivity to want to share happiness with someone else. That is one of the many functions of human interaction on Maslow’s hierarchy of what people need as they grow into adulthood. When I think of what is the appropriate age to be in a relationship, I think of someone who is mature enough to understand what they are stepping into and what they will potentially have to do in order to keep the relationship healthy. So to answer the question of does age matter in a relationship? My answer is yes. The worst thing that can happen is a minor in a relationship with a legal adult. That can lead to problems, we see it happen on a daily basis.

Age should be an important factor in a relationship because people never stop learning. Life to me is a learning curve, and you are always learning something new about yourself even as you grow older. It is possible for a younger person to be more adept and mature than an older person. I can name plenty of young people who are more mature than Donald Trump, for instance. I also think that “maturity” is like a raft in a vast ocean full of unknown experiences. Explaining my analogy, you can be mature a person, but still not have the experience to know what it takes to make a relationship work. There can be a certain innocence when young people enter a relationship because they are in love and so many exuberate feelings, especially if it’s your first real relationship. Everyone has worn those rose-tinted glasses before and sometimes being naïve can lead to unhealthy relationships. Experience is the counter-argument for age in my opinion. With experience, you gain intuition and with intuition you gain a better understanding of what makes a relationship healthy and what makes your partner of choice someone who is compatible. That way you can meet each other’s needs.

Read more ...

Balancing It All

Maintain a high GPA, attend all of your classes, work so that you can spend your money when you go out, keep your room clean, pay your bills –sounds like a piece of cake, right? This life of a typical Monmouth University student calls it the norm – and finding a balance between it all can be extremely stressful.

When I began at Monmouth as a transfer student over a year ago, I had already tried to “balance” my life. Working 30 hours a week, going to school, and trying to maintain a social life was hard. Coming to Monmouth, it was even more difficult.

Many students nowadays, college students in general, are feeling the same way. There are such high expectations for us –get good grades, keep your GPA high so you can move out after college, get a job, keep your job until you can afford everything you want, but I have something to say about that: why? Why stress yourself out when you still have your college experience.

Our generation has been exposed to a new sort of college environment. When our parents went to school, there was far less pressure and far more partying. Now, college is something that really can actually determine the rest of our lives which is an intimidating thought.

My advice to all of you is this: if you do not need to work, do not. Or if you do decide to work for some extra spending money, just take it easy on the hours.Coming from someone who is a workaholic, this is big. However, I feel that because of the fact that I missed out on so much of my time here a Monmouth because I was working so hard at my low-paying job. You do not want to look back at your college experience and just remember slaving away! So I stress to you: enjoy your time here and really work on finding that balance! Your time here will fly by before you know it!

Want to know what to do in the meantime?

Read more ...

The Importance of Traveling

Traveling is a great way to expand your view on the world, and if you have the opportunity to travel, you should take it.

Being at Monmouth, it’s easy to forget that there’s a whole other world outside of our little niche. The surroundings we’re used to at Monmouth can feel like it has it all. There are shops, restaurants, and having our own beach doesn’t hurt. Unfortunately, Monmouth doesn’t have everything. There’s a lot that you can learn when you’re outside of your niche. It might not seem like it, but people who live even a few hours away live a different lifestyle than we do.

When you’re traveling you’re learning. When you visit new places, you’re learning the history of them, which seems like a much better lesson than a history class. The lessons you learn when you travel are a whole different learning experience because you’re making yourself familiar with a new environment.

Traveling is a good way to mature. You might find yourself in a new culture when you arrive in an unfamiliar place, and it is important to be respectful of these peoples’ cultures.

When preparing to go somewhere, a lot of planning and coordination goes into your trip. Organizing a trip can help you learn new responsibilities because you’re responsible for yourself and catering towards your own desires. If it’s also a good way to test your responsibilities. You are out on your own, and you are totally responsible for yourself and all of your needs.

Read more ...

Are Best Friends Our True Soul Mates?

Friends SoulmatesYou’re walking up the endless flights of stairs of Wilson Hall to get to your first class of your freshman year at Monmouth University and you finally get to room 312. You bond with the student sitting next to you (“Oh my God, I am so out of breath from those stairs”) and you two keep talking. Soon enough, the next thing you know, the two of you are inseparable. When you are not together, people wonder where the other is. The second you’re not together, you’re snapchatting and texting each other that you miss each other—it can be seen as pathetic, but you know it’s true!

Many people don’t believe in the concept of soul mates because they limit themselves to thinking purely of romantic relationships, but I am here to convince you that you’re thinking too narrowly. Open up your mind to the idea that a soul mate can be a non-romantic relationship. I truly believe that your soul mate can be your best friend. As a generation that has placed more and more emphasis on hooking up, getting into relationships seems to be more difficult. And, as we get older, we start to focus on finding “the one” and settling down.

We start to pressure ourselves into thinking that the perfect one doesn’t exist. What we fail to see is the one person that truly has been your soul mate throughout your search for “the one” –your best friend.

Things that you would imagine your significant other “soul mate” doing are things that your best friend already does for you! Your best friend is always there for you when your search for “the one” ends up dry. S/he is there when you’re crying your eyes out and cursing the boy or girl who broke your heart. Your bestie is the one who is there for you with unconditional love.

Read more ...

“Love Yourself,” They Said

Contouring Before AfterI’m not sure if it is just me, but does anyone remember when we were told to love ourselves and the way we look? We were told not to worry because no one is perfect. We were told to own what we have and be proud! I can’t be the only one confused by the contradictory message being thrown at us from these contouring and other new makeup trends attempting to achieve this previously said ‘impossible perfection’.

Contouring is a new makeup trend which creates an illusion of sculpted cheekbones and chiseled chins by enhancing them with bronzer and dark makeup in the shadows. It’s almost scary to see the layering and blending steps of the ‘clown like’ makeup that must be applied to the face. There is also a new trend of thick, perfect eyebrows, in which you more or less draw in most of your eyebrow. I would like to clarify that I am not in the slightest against makeup; there’s nothing wrong with a little highlight here and there. However, this attempting to sculpt yourself into a different person thing is starting to make every day feel like Halloween.

Read more ...

Is Donald Trump Making America a Joke?

These days, if you turn the TV to any news station and wait about 15 minutes, you’re guaranteed to hear the name Donald Trump. The current presidential candidate has captivated the world of politics, but I think it’s an area that he should stay far, far away from.

The upcoming 2016 election is anything but a sleeper. America is full of great political figures, however, almost none of them are actually running. Is it a joke? Not really. A satirical reflection of American culture reflected by both the Democratic and Republican parties? Maybe. Let’s take a look at our current candidates:


- Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, NY

- U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, VT

- Rocky De La Fuente, CA


- Dr. Ben Carson, FL

- U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, TX

- Gov. John Kasich, OH

- U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, FL

- Businessman Donald Trump, NY

Read more ...

The Challenges of Being a Starbucks Barista

Starbucks BaristaWhether you work for Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, or Rook, baristas know what it’s like to handle people who want “their” coffee. If you took a look behind the counter, you’d realize it’s not as easy as one might think to work in a coffee shop. It’s not simply pouring coffee from a pot and handing it off—that’s a really insulting assumption. Everything is complicated, whether you’re cleaning, making drinks, calling the line or working the register. Baristas are excellent multi-taskers, and I pity the person who thinks it’s a brainless activity to work in a coffee shop.

It will be two years in June that I’ve been a barista at my local Starbucks. In that time, I’ve learned the ins and outs of the job. For example, let’s talk about steaming milk. You probably think that one could just stick the milk under the steamer and walk away, but this is a misconception. Depending on what drink you are serving, there is an individual countdown of how long you need to hold that pitcher while keeping the steam wand just so, before you can place the pitcher down to steam until it’s the appropriate temperature. There is a huge difference between making a latte and a cappuccino, but most people do not know the distinction. Often, customers don’t even know what they want to order, and rely on their baristas for a recommendation.

Instead of ordering blindly, I suggest that you at least know flavors you like. We have all been stuck in line behind the person that has never been to a coffee shop and requires 15 minutes of guidance before placing an order. As baristas, we sigh and cringe inside, try to smile and do our job. We are here to educate. That line out the door isn’t our concern; each individual is our concern.

People get really angry about waiting on a long line, sometimes getting out of the line and cutting everyone else just to yell. But baristas are people too, and it’s a very self- centered perspective to think that we exist solely to make coffee. Dealing with impatient costumers is one of the many challenging aspects of the job. Is it really fair to go and scream when you don’t receive your drink immediately? Again, we’re people too. It kills me when some says that we’re not paying attention, or not taking enough care when fulfilling an order. It’s impossible to get across to every customer that you care about his or her order. Yes, we make your coffee and yes, we sell you our pastries or bagels, but we’re not there to be your perception of the overly peppy salesman, the one that looks more like enslaved happiness. We are respectable people who work in a job that requires us to politely and properly do our jobs and not be overly hyped work-monkeys.

Read more ...

Is ‘Dating’ Still A Thing?

Online DatingHookup culture, love it or hate it, it seems as though it is here to stay. I rarely hear of anyone actually asking someone on a date anymore, but I have faith that there are some people out there that still have date nights and actual conversations about life. So many of us ~romantics~ find it hard to catch up with this hookup culture.

It seems a lot like people aren’t “asked out” anymore, but instead they are DMed, direct messaged, or swiped right on Tinder for an implied hook up. There is something so impersonal about the way that boys and girls today get together. It isn’t the cheesy romantic comedy pickup line or the simple “hi” in person. Instead it’s the creeping around social media and dating apps.

Honestly, I think that DMs and dating apps are just excuses to avoid person-to-person conversations. Sometimes, yes, it is easier to DM someone because you can really think about what your responses will be, but isn’t that the best part of getting to know someone? Seeing whom they really are when they have no time to plan out what to say.

Furthermore, it seems like our generation doesn’t like to label things anymore. If you’re hooking up, it’s nothing to anyone. If you’re hooking up and hanging out it seems like you’re just “talking.” But, what does that even mean? What it means is that you’re not labeling anything because you’re keeping your options open. Again, with hookup culture, we aren’t limiting ourselves to just one person to spend time with. Therefore, we donned the potential partners in our lives as someone we are just “talking” with.

Avoiding labels gets us into some tricky situations. If you’re “talking” with someone does that mean that you can’t hookup with other people, or is that cheating? Would the person you’re “talking” to get upset about that or are they hooking up with other people too? And if they are, are you okay with that, or do you want something more from them? All of these questions, which are just scratching the surface of all the confusion, float in your head when you’re in a just “talking” relationship (a “relationship” like a connection you make on Linkedin, clearly not a holding hands relationship).

Wouldn’t it just be easier to ask someone on a date and give a real relationship a whirl? I feel like it is easier to know if you like someone for who they really are if you spend more personal time with them. You waste less time getting to know someone than you do trying to figure out what your “relationship” is.

Read more ...

Lives of Reason Review

Former MU Professors Collaborate To Write An Enjoyable Play

Kenneth Stunkel and Robert Rechnitz, both retired Monmouth University history and literature professors, respectively, have lent their refined sensibilities to spoofing the intellectual scene in a witty and humorous play.

The play, which is titled Lives of Reason, is set at a party thrown by the English Department of the fictional Livingston College (though several of the fictitious professors eerily mirror Monmouth scholars) amid a power struggle between professors to be dean of the school. The intellectuals are all too representative. The old scholar, the Marxist poet, and the post-modern deconstructionist all serve as the targets of the play’s acerb witticisms. The real heart of the show is the tempestuous Ilona who is unhappily married to one of the English teachers yet in love with an old flame, Matthew Livingston, whose father happened to have founded the college. Ilona represents riotous affairs and all the enflamed sexual power and insatiable lusts (“I’m on fire,” Ilona says, “It feels like there’s fire under my skin”) the English professors cannot fathom.

The only character to appreciate David Hume’s “Reason is a slave of the passions” maxim, Ilona punctures Ivory Tower pompousness with ease. The post-modern English professor is quickly dismissed: “it takes a semester or two to explain what he does.” Unfortunately, not all of her lines are so barbed. Self-pity and indulgence mixed with men, liquor, and firearms hasten Ilona’s downfall, but the most unpardonable sin is her stilted dialogue. The Ilona character is also overwrought, swiftly lapsing into maudlin speech where profound insights were probably intended. The difference between brazen hussy and alluring femme fatale is perhaps a matter of degree if not sensibility, (male sensibility that is) but this writer was leaning toward the former by the end of the show.

Read more ...

MU Bookstore: Y U Expensive?

It’s time for a new semester and you have almost everything you need. You’ve pushed it off for as long as you can, but you can’t avoid them: textbooks.

Semester after semester, students are required to buy their own textbooks with little or no help from the University. Furthermore, these aren’t your cheap textbooks: students are encouraged to purchase books from the bookstore, where prices are so high that students would rather wait and order their books to be shipped almost a week after classes begin.

Why is it that the University requires us to not only pay for classes, which as we all know are extremely expensive to begin with, but we have to pay for textbooks and supplies, too? I do not think that it is at all fair that we have to pay for textbooks, especially since we don’t even receive a discount when we buy them from the University bookstore. Furthermore, some classes require that the students pays for supplies as well.

When the semester ends and we finally go to sell our books back, the bookstore won’t even take it for half the price. For example, last year I bought a $200 textbook and the University bookstore only gave me $50 for it, while some of my books weren’t even accepted.

As much as students would like, the bookstore will not budge its prices (if that were the case, I don’t think I would be writing this article.) So, here are some great places to get textbooks if you don’t want to deal with the skyrocketing prices of the bookstore.

Read more ...

Mattel Introduces New Figure for Barbie Doll

New BarbiesSince 1959 Barbie has been known her as the doll who was tall, blonde, skinny, and essentially the definition of perfect. Barbie literally has it all. There is not one package of accessories I can think of that doesn’t exist. There is everything from Malibu Barbie to President Barbie; is there anything she can’t do? This figure is someone that most young girls have wanted to be because she has always had the freedom to be whatever she wanted to be.

Barbie has obviously played a role in the way young girls view their bodies. No matter the age, girls are concerned with their weight, and having a Barbie doll with an unrealistic body doesn’t help. Barbie’s image isn’t the only thing that would influence girls to think their bodies aren’t “normal.”

When you look back to Slumber Party Barbie, she came with a scale set to 110 pounds. She also came with a book about how to lose weight and the only thing written in it was “DON’T EAT!” It’s very true that a Barbie doll acts as a role model to many young girls. This was sending the wrong message to girls, telling encouraging them not to eat and providing them the “perfect” weight. There have even been lawsuits against Mattel, the company that makes Barbie, because of the image they are presenting to girls to be a standard.

When playing with their dolls, children create their own fantasy world and for many, Barbie is the main character. I think it is about time Barbie dolls started looking like the kids who play with them. If they don’t look like this ideal figure, they could become unsure of their own bodies.

Just recently the Barbie doll has had a major transformation. After over 50 years of her signature look, new looks have been introduced. The Mattel Company decided that they were going to allow Barbie’s look to be more versatile. There are over 33 new dolls, and Mattel is calling it an evolution.

I think the changes made to Barbie dolls is going to have a great impact on young girls and the way they view themselves. I know when I was growing up and playing with dolls, I wanted to live that kind of fantasy life. She could do anything she wanted, which made me think I could do anything I wanted.

Read more ...

Here Comes Valentine’s Day!

Keep an eye out for Cupid’s arrow because Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Love it or hate it, the Valentine’s Day season has begun. The debate continues every year that questions that validity of the holiday. Is it purely a “Hallmark holiday” or is it a legitimate holiday?

My personal take on this question is that Valentine’s Day technically is the feast day of St. Valentine, that doesn’t make it a legitimate “holiday.” Christian churches celebrate many saints’ feast days, but we do not consider any of them legitimate holidays. For example, even one of Catholicism’s most beloved saints, St. Francis of Assisi, doesn’t have his own widely celebrated holiday. The average person doesn’t even know who St. Valentine was and why he is affiliated with Valentine’s Day (including myself!), besides the obvious affiliation of his name.

So, a brief history: St. Valentine was a priest when the emperor, Claudius, was persecuting the church and preventing marriages. St. Valentine married couples in secret because of his strong belief in love and marriage. Valentine’s last written note before his execution was supposedly signed “from Your Valentine.” This is where we get the tradition of love and notes/valentines associated with the holiday.

Most every saint has an equally beautiful and heartwarming story, but it seems that the consumer industry has taken St. Valentine’s story/feast day and turned it into a huge “holiday.” Before Valentine’s Day was the holiday it is now, there weren’t any holidays devoted to love. The only way couples celebrated their love was through personal anniversaries, so, the consumer industry decided to profit off of everyone who was in love at the same time. So, Valentine’s Day was born.

And, as with any holiday, comes the decoration and gift overload. I think it was the week before the spring semester began that I started seeing the Valentine’s Day decorations and candy out in Walgreens. Then the commercials and ads start pestering you to buy your Valentine’s Day gifts. And, of course, nothing is cheap! I think that the price tag consumerism puts on holidays is a bit disheartening and makes holidays feel less genuine.

Read more ...

Is Steven Avery Innocent or Not?

Making a Murderer is a documentary series that has been getting a lot of attention recently. This 10-episode series focuses on the conviction of a Wisconsin man, Steven Avery. The Netflix original series became available this December, and since then it has had a lot of people talking.

The series begins with Avery being released from prison after a wrongful conviction of 18 years. After this, Avery began a $36 million civil suit filed against Manitowoc County. While in the middle of this, news came out about the death of Teresa Halbach, a local woman. Avery instantly become a suspect in the case and later police found signs that pointed to Avery committing the crime. The show goes in depth analyzing the court case surrounding the death of Halbach.

The show consists of actual court footage and interviews with almost everyone involved in the case. As the viewer you are presented with both sides of the story, allowing you to form your own opinion on whether you think Avery is innocent or not. The most important evidence is that the body of Halbach was found on Avery’s property. Opposed to this, there are many instances where it looks like some blood evidence could have been planted on the scene.

There are a lot of loose ends in this case, which gives the viewer so much room to form his or her own opinion. While the police evidence looks like it could prove Avery guilty, the opposing side shows there is a possibility some of the evidence could have been tampered with. Avery is also not able to provide a good alibi. Besides the evidence making Avery look guilty, there are some people saying they saw him do it. His nephew Brandon also made a confession to the police saying that he was there when Avery killed Halbach.

After watching the series, most viewers have expressed that they do not think Avery is guilty, and some have even gone as far as making petitions to get him a retrial and possibly out of jail. I just do not think there is enough evidence that proves Avery did not do it. Yes, I agree that there is some evidence presented by the police that doesn’t add up. I do not think Avery has enough evidence to support that he is innocent, especially with inconsistent confessions from his family. I think the documentary focuses a lot on the police and that they could have planted evidence in this case in order to prove Steven to be guilty. Although there is nothing right about the police planting evidence, there is nothing that can prove Avery had nothing to do with the murder.

Read more ...

The Family You Love to Hate

Kardashian GirlsThere’s nothing better than spending a lazy Sunday binge-watching your favorite shows. Netflix slyly asks if you’re still watching and without any shame you click continue and move to season six of your favorite show, because you’re a champion.

There’s a lot of guilty pleasures that come with binge- watching, especially in particular genres. Reality television stole my heart from a young age as I was horribly influenced by crappy shows on MTV like The Real World or The Challenge, and now I just can’t get enough of indulging myself in other people’s lives. Cue Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

Whether you love them or you hate them, the Kardashians are a household name. America as a whole can probably agree they are a family famous for absolutely nothing of true value and somehow found a way to turn that into a net worth of close to 100 million dollars. That’s pretty impressive and all of us cynical people are jealous of their luxorious lifestyles. I know I am.

I started out like one of you, hating the Kardashians for their fame and fortune. One day I stumbled upon E! Network and found myself laughing harder at a show than I had in a long time. First of all, Scott Disick is actually hilarious and always calls the family out for acting spoiled. Second of all, if you can’t find a way to laugh at all the first world problems encountered in an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, I don’t know what’s wrong with you. From Kim losing her $60,000 earrings in the ocean in Bora Bora, to not being able to agree where the family should vacation next, to the group of women trying to figure out if they have enough money to afford their own private jet, it’s sure to give you a nice laugh. Here I am, a broke college student, struggling to afford anything that would be remotely fun and this family potentially has the money to finance a private jet. Kourtney deserves at least some credit considering she’s the only sister with a college degree, which came from University of Arizona, while Kendall and Kylie graduating high school actually made breaking news.

While the family is most famous for their sarcastic attitudes and nude photo shoots, the sisters have accomplished a decent amount of success outside of the show. Kourtney, Kim, and Khloe are all business owners of their clothing store DASH, which expanded to two other locations after the show’s launch. The women also had a child-clothing store called Smooch, which was closed to expand DASH to Miami and New York.

Read more ...

The 2016 Oscars Cause Controversy

The Oscars 2016What’s with the lack of diversity amongst the 2016 Oscar Nominees? This has been a question that many people have been asking since the list of the 2016 Oscar nominees was announced two weeks ago. All 20 nominations in the Best Acting categories went to white actors or actresses. The recent news has some black actors like Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith boycotting the ceremony because of the lack of diversity. Others like director Spike Lee have also refused to go to the ceremony due to the way the Academy has voted. I’m sure this will also put Chris Rock, who is the host of this year’s Oscars in an awkward situation, but he is a comedian, so he will laugh it off and most likely make a joke out of this controversial debate.

I do understand why the Oscars is such a big deal for artists in Hollywood. It is the crowning achievement an actor, director or screen writer can get. This stamp of recognition that once you are at least nominated, you’ve made it amongst the elite in show business. You will be mentioned in the likes of all the great actors, directors etc. past and present. It seems like a validation, but when you look at the history of the Oscars, the odds have not been in favor of people of color. For all the white actors that have won Oscars, only a small margin of people of color have won the award: Hattie McDaniel, Sidney Poitier, Rita Moreno, Louis Gossett Jr., Denzel Washington, and Morgan Freeman to name a few. Halle Berry was the first black actress to win Best Actress in 2002.

For an awards show that has been in vogue since 1929, it is questionable and a bit ridiculous that it took until the new millennium to give a black actress an Oscar. I feel like black artists have become the most outspoken because racial issues in this country have always been between black vs. white, but I have yet to see Asian actors or Indian actors win either. I think it is a diversity issue that the members of the Academy have not addressed in full.

Read more ...

New Year, New Me?

Year 2016Let’s have some real talk about new years resolutions. People make new years resolutions every single new year. There are some common ones such as losing weight, saving money, eating healthier, etc. The great thing about these new years resolutions is that they are always very positive.

At first, most people start out strong with their new years resolutions—*new year, new me*— but, after some time, people lose motivation. It is around this time in the new year that this starts to happen. But, it doesn’t have to happen to you! While you really can’t be a “new you,” there is a definite possibility for you to better the old you. It is important not to forget in your “new you” who you really are.

Don’t make ridiculous new years resolutions that you can’t follow through on. You should be realistic in your resolutions. Just because it is a new year, doesn’t mean that the “old you” who couldn’t run a mile in four minutes, can run a marathon the next day as the “new you.”

I think that is the biggest mistake when it comes to new years resolutions. Instead of trying to alter your appearance all at once, I might suggest that you work on strengthening your mind also. For example, I am terrified of the dentist, so, every year I make it my new years resolution to schedule my dentist cleanings for the year.

Read more ...

Tackling Depression in the Media

Owen Wilson. Demi Lovato. Gwyneth Paltrow. Brooke Shields.

What do all of these celebrities have in common? All have struggled with depression and all have been open about it.

Depression is defined by the U.S. National Library of Medicine as “a state of mood of low aversion or activity that affects a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings, and sense of well-being.”

More and more, celebrities like Lovato and Paltrow have stepped forward with this issue. It is probably wise to say that it has had a positive effect on fans and the public eye and that being in the public eye itself makes managing depression more so a positive thing than a negative one.

For one, it helps those who cannot speak for themselves. Fans of these celebrities often look to them as role models. When they come out as having a mental health issue, it shows that they too are human and makes them relatable.

Being in the public eye also creates awareness about the subject. Depression is not something that is a light topic, but with public figures starting to speak about it, it creates more awareness about the topic. When Lovato came out as bipolar and depressed, immediately the press picked up the story about her going to rehab and soon after, she shared her story. Between interviews on ABC and even writing her own memoir, Lovato has provided more awareness about depression and mental illness than ever before.

Read more ...

Papers Vs. Exams

Papers and ExamsThere are so many different pros and cons to having your final exam be an essay you write at home or having it be a traditional exam you take at school. In a way the two are almost incomparable because they are in such different leagues, but it is worth taking a look at the way they measure up.



Wiggle Room—with writing an essay, it seems as though professors can be more lenient with grading. There is more wiggle room for you to get a better grade when writing an essay because it is a more subjective way of assessing knowledge.

More Time—if you are assigned the essay in advance, you know exactly when it is due and you usually have multiple days to complete it. Therefore, it is easier to get the essay exactly how you want it.

Don’t Have to Come in on Final Day—for many professors, if they assign an essay as the final assessment in lieu of an actual exam, they won’t make you come in for the scheduled examination period. And, if they do make you come in, it is usually just to hand the essay in and say goodbye!


Time Consuming—writing an essay is a time consuming process, so if you are a perfectionist, this make take a chunk out of your studying time for other courses.

More Pressure for Perfection—yes, having more time is both a blessing and a curse. You do have more time to get the essay done, so professors are expecting a spotless essay.

Second-Guessing—when you are given more time to do things, you may end up second-guessing your essay topics or evidence choices within the paper. When writing a final essay, you may be more inclined to change your topic various times, mostly because you have that luxury of extra time.

Read more ...

Preparing for Finals

Finals GraphIt’s that time of the year again - something that every college student dreads: finals. It’s that point in the semester that makes you question all of your life decisions and wonder why you ever chose the path of going to college. Although finals can be described as an accurate depiction of the underworld, if you prepare for finals the right way, you may be able to walk out them alive, and with a decent grade.

Here are a few ways to prepare for finals:

Get Organized - One good way to start preparing for your finals is to get organized. Sit down and write out each final you have and what it covers.

“For some of my classes, I don’t have a final. As for the finals I do have, some of my finals are cumulative and some only cover specific chapters. I like to sit down, look at my class schedule, list which classes I have a final for and what I need to cover for each of those finals. For instance, my communication ethics class final is based on the entire semester but my public relations final is based on just the last three chapters from the textbook,” said Madison Dorn, a junior communication major.

By getting organized you are preparing yourself for what you need to do, so that you aren’t scrambling when time is running out.

Outline Your Material - Once you have compiled a list of what you need to study for each final and how much time you need to spend studying, it is time to actually outline those materials so you can begin studying. One of the best ways to study is to make an outline. As you read over your textbook, class notes, and handouts, write a brief summary for each topic. Highlight the areas in your outline that were most troublesome. When you have finished with all the material, you will have an outline you can review and make flash cards out of.

Start Early - Start the studying process as early as possible before it’s too late. What’s difficult about finals is that you have multiple tests that cover multiple areas. Once you have compiled a list of what you need to study for each final, how much time you need to spend studying and outlined your materials, it is time to actually study. The sooner you start studying, the better. You are going to be covering a lot of material and you need to give your brain time to process all of that material. Do not leave studying until the last minute, it’ll only be harder for you to memorize and understand everything.

Read more ...

Invisible Illnesses, Not Invisible Symptoms

According to Molly’s Fund, a charity that supports invisible illnesses, “Invisible disabilities are chronic illnesses and conditions that significantly impair normal activities of daily living. In the United States, 96 percent of people with chronic medical conditions show no outward signs of their illness, and 10 percent experience symptoms that are considered disabling.”

Invisible illnesses like anxiety, depression, ADHD, and chronic pain are very present in many people, but you often wouldn’t know by looking at someone – or even talking to them. They are diseases that run under the surface, and are often hard for people to understand. These invisible illnesses are tough – not just for the people that have it, also for the people that stick with them – while they’re going through it. Invisible illnesses are emotionally taxing on both ends because it can be difficult to open up about. How do we introduce the topic when we meet someone new? Do we even introduce the topic at all?

There are things to remember when approaching the topic of invisible illnesses. Having anxiety, depression, or ADD/ADHD is physically demanding at times, and obviously even more mentally demanding most of the time. When you have a mental disease, emotional needs can change daily, even every few hours. Here are some things to understand about invisible illnesses:

“But you don’t look depressed? You look fine.”

Read more ...

When Books Turn Into Movies: Should You Be Excited or Weary?

TPeter Lannisterhe last film in The Hunger Games trilogy, “Mockingjay: Part 2” just hit theaters on Nov. 16. Based off the bestselling book series by Suzanne Collins, Katniss Everdeen is the fierce heroine played by Jennifer Lawrence in the film adaptations. The movies have garnered a lot of attention and soared in popularity since the first movie was released in 2012.

Strong female heroines are the kind of characters that are in demand right now, but as someone who has read the book series, I was very surprised to see that there was no opposition to the casting of Lawrence. In the books, Katniss is described as a 16-year old girl who has straight black hair, gray eyes and olive skin. Sounds like Katniss has features in common with a Native American Indian, doesn’t it?  Jennifer Lawrence is beautiful and a great actress, but does not fit this description. Even though she died her hair a darker color, I still can’t help feel that the casting was off. I remember the uproar over the young black actress (Amandla Stenberg) casted as Rue. It was disappointing to see the double standard of views when Jennifer Lawrence does not look anything like the book description of Katniss.  For the record, I thought Stenberg made an excellent Rue by the way.

Shouldn’t physical appearance matter just as much as acting talents when you are casting for a movie based off a book? I think casting directors should try to remain as true to the books as possible. When I read books, I like to be able to envision a character on screen the way I see them on page. It definitely makes me feel more appreciative that the casting director of studios go out of their way to cast an actor/actress that look, move, and interpret a character just like the books.

Read more ...

The Introverted/Extroverted Dichotomy

Part of anyone’s personality is his/her tendency to be either introverted or extroverted. Not to say that people cannot possess qualities of both.

According to the Myers Brigg Foundation, extroverted people are usually seen as outgoing, are comfortable and like working in groups, have a lot of friends and acquaintances, and are more action-oriented than an introvert. Introverts, on the other hand, according to the same foundation, are seen as more reserved or reflective, are more comfortable doing things on his/her own, prefer to know a small amount of people very well, and sometimes think too much about things and end up missing out.

Both personality types are very different, but a person does not have to be purely extroverted or purely introverted. For example, I would identify myself more as being introverted, but that does not meant that I am comfortable being alone. I like to have my few close friends around me whenever I can. The same can be true for extroverts. Just because you are an extrovert does not mean that you love group work. I have a friend who is an extrovert who hates group work. If you ask me, we are all a mix of both. But, yes, there is usually one type that takes the majority of a personality.

Read more ...

Almost to the Finish Line

Almost to Finish LineWake up, go to class, attend extra-curricular meetings, work an on-campus job, call my off-campus job to tell them I’ll be running a little late, do homework, go to sleep, repeat for the next four days. This constant running from place to place has become a normal routine in my chaotic life. I wonder so much of the time, why do I do this to myself? Working one less job wouldn’t hurt me and I could always cut back on the extra-curricular activities.

But no. I am woman, I can do it all. On top of that, I can even have a social life. At least, that’s what I tell myself when I’m awake at 2 am finishing a homework assignment that I didn’t have time to do during normal human hours.

As a college senior with any hope of having a successful future after graduation, I am constantly torn between writing that five page paper and eating a meal that isn’t either cooked in a microwave or cereal. As much as I enjoy Frosted Flakes, sometimes real food is just top priority.

Read more ...

Staycation, All I Ever Wanted

StaycationWhen I was little there were few things I looked forward to more than the family vacation. Every summer we would go out of state, often going to Myrtle Beach, SC or Fort Myers, FL. For such a wide eyed kid as me it seemed like we would never run out of places to explore. Compared to places like Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, or the majestic beaches of FL, Monmouth County seemed dull by comparison. Even today I enjoy going out to see the world beyond NJ, but as I grew older I began to realize that these extravagant journeys were not always feasible- they simply cost far too much. Last summer it got even worse: air fare soared to prices that neither my family nor I myself were comfortable with. So we drove all the way to FL. Those two days stuck in a car with my grumpy family were not fun.

The world beyond our state’s borders is an exciting one, but contrary to my childhood biases Monmouth County is actually quite far from boring. Let’s face it, we’re not in NY, but we aren’t in one of those giant rectangular states in the Midwest that no one can remember anything about either. Enter the staycation, which is in essence giving up faraway landmarks in favor of more local hot spots. Monmouth is a county with a lot of history behind it, as well as a lot of things to see and do. Granted some of these depend on the season, but nevertheless none are really worth not doing at least once.

Read more ...

College vs. High School

Going from college to high school can be difficult for some, but to say the least, it is a progression for everyone. There are several things like time management, academic independence, and living situations that are very different between college and high school that take some adjusting.

Time management changes drastically in college because of the independence that comes with college. High school is an environment where you don’t have a lot of privileges, but college is your world of freedom, which can be dangerous. In high school there are clocks and bells everywhere, guiding you from one class period to another and no two classrooms are that far apart. But in college, if you are late there is a good chance you could not be allowed into class. There is no one there to remind you that you have to go to class and complete your assignments – that is your job for yourself. You must manage your time and sometimes sprint all the way across campus within a short period to make it to your next class on time, there are no bells or clocks, and each professor goes by his or her own time.

Academic independence from high school to college dramatically changes as well. In high school students are usually given a guideline to make sure you are on the path to graduate, your grades are being maintained, and your school and personal life are balanced. In college, students meet with an academic adviser once a semester, but the burden to take the right classes and be on track to graduate is entirely in your hands. If you are not on top of your academic audit, where your credits are and if they are on track with graduating on time, you can be in trouble. When you are in high school you are also living with your parents, who are usually there to help guide you, and be really annoying about your assignments. When I was in high school I played three sports, so all my assignments were written in weekly format and posted on the fridge so my parents could monitor my school life and athletic career. Now, my parents just try to make sure I get to class every day.

Read more ...

Coming Soon to a Kid Near You

Retro TVRemember when you would go home after elementary school and directly sit in front of the television for the next few hours? For many, this was their daily ritual. For most of us as well, our parents would join. Today, however, this isn’t true.

Children’s television today is completely different than what the “90’s kid” generation grew up with.

For one, when we grew up, most of us were watching with our parents. Our childhood shows, like Nicktoons such as “Hey Arnold”, “SpongeBob Squarepants”, “Ren and Stimpy”, or “The Fairly Oddparents” included references that kids wouldn’t understand but adults totally did.

Today, kid’s television is dumbed down. Due to the fact that fewer parents are watching television with their kids, media companies have caught on. Cartoons contain fewer references for adults, and contain more straightforward humor for kids.

Read more ...

The Many Genres of Gifts

Gift GenresAs the holidays are creeping up on us, I thought we could discuss gifts. There are so many different types of gifts to give someone. There’s the sentimental gift, the extravagant gift, the homemade gift, etc. You can even combine these few categories; you have an extravagant sentimental gift or even a sentimental homemade gift.

There are different levels of how personal each type of gift can be. Yes, a homemade gift is most likely the most personal gift you can give, but it doesn’t mean that buying an extravagant gift can’t be personal. Homemade gifts can be very thoughtful, especially if it comes from a child. But, as we get older, homemade gifts aren’t really that common. It would be a little awkward to give a friend, say, a tissue paper flower as a birthday gift.

But, on the other hand, if you are artistically talented, a homemade gift could be absolutely spectacular! It could also be quite a bit cheaper. Personally, I am still on the tissue paper flower level, but I would love to get a gift from someone who is very into art.

Read more ...

Beauty is Pain

Beauty Pain“Pain is beauty and beauty is pain” is an old saying often used to explain the trouble women goes through to maintain their looks. Compared to men, women spend a greater amount of time and money on their appearances. Between makeup, nail care, hair care, and clothing (just to name a few), you’re looking at a lengthy daily routine and an empty wallet for the average woman.

In August, Cosmopolitan published an article about Kim Kardashian’s daytime makeup routine, which costs over $1,700 in products and hours worth of time. Kim Kardashian may seem like an extreme case, but she’s actually not far off from the average woman. In 2013, InStyle reported that women spend upwards of $15,000 on beauty products in their lifetime, and in 2012, Jezebel noted that the cost of the average woman’s health and personal hygiene upkeep totaled over $2000 per year.

The debate if it’s more expensive to be a woman has been argued before. As a woman, I thought about what I spend on myself monthly. First, I wrote down everything I buy for myself: Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, dry shampoo, face wash, Clarisonic, tea tree oil, razor, toothbrush, toothpaste, Chi serum, rose water, glycerin, body lotion, face lotion, primer, foundation, blush, highlighter, eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara, lipstick, lip gloss, eyebrow palette, eyebrow gel, hairspray, perfume, manicure, pedicure, makeup setting spray, nail polish, and makeup brushes. And then I thought…well shoot.

Read more ...

The Odyssey at MU

As a college student, finding content online that comes from a fellow college student’s point of view is golden. College students understand what their peers have to deal with on a day to day basis. This is what makes The Odyssey Online so great. It is a website that has articles written by college students from all across the United States. To top things off, they have articles on virtually every topic. So no matter what you are interested in, it is virtually a guarantee you will find an article of interest.

Do you ever feel like you are the only one who deals with certain problems as a college students? Well you certainly are not and it is always nice to read about people with similar issues. Usually those types of articles are done with a comedic tone, making you feel a little better about your problem. Whether it is something like “Things You think About When You Are Late for Class” or “How to Stay Awake in Anthropology,” the writers totally understand where you are coming from because they are living it too.

It is more than just the typical college life that is talked about at the Odyssey Online. Maybe there is a big news story that you are really intrigued by. So would you rather hear about it from the point of view of some politician you do not know on TV, or read about it from a fellow college peer? Personally I would rather take it from the perspective of someone I think I can relate to.

Read more ...

So You Didn’t Cheat, but You Did

The meaning of dating has changed so many times that it’s hard to keep track anymore. Millennia’s have stretched the term ‘dating’ to the furthest contexts, to the point where “Netflix and chill” could even be considered a first date these days. Imagine explaining “Netflix and chill” to your grandparents who lived in a time where dating meant actually going on dates. Dating as in getting picked up at the front door, going to the movie theatre, actually watching the movie, kissing goodnight on the porch, and waiting for a call saying he had a good time. Back when there were no cell phones, relationships started with actual attraction and communication in person rather than scrolling through Tinder and hoping a hook up turns into more. The way we fall in love and fall out of love has changed so drastically over the years that it only makes sense that cheating has as well.

The problem with cheating is that no one knows what cheating means anymore. There’s no universal decision about what constitutes as cheating. Many people would consider having sex with someone else to be cheating, but obviously there are many different forms of physically cheating. Even flirting crosses some type of line despite the fact that there’s no physical boundary being passed. The act of physically cheating on someone is discussed so often that emotional cheating is often unheard of. Maybe your boyfriend or girlfriend didn’t have sex, make out, or even kiss someone else, but they’ve been thinking about someone else since they met him or her. What does that count as? It’s emotionally cheating.

Read more ...

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...Already?

Santa TurkeyChristmas is my favorite holiday—hands down. I am guilty of listening to Michael Bublé’s Christmas album all year round. But just because I listen to this all year round doesn’t mean that I am totally okay with how early Christmas is advertised in ads, stores, etc. My rule of thumb, if you will, is that it is okay for Christmas to be advertised and generally thought about after the first day you put your heat on. For me that day was Oct. 17. When you first smell and feel that heat kick on, that’s when it really starts to feel like the Christmas/holiday season is beginning. I am guilty for being overly enthusiastic about the holiday season, but it does make me upset that we glaze over Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is also one of my favorite holidays (okay, I just love holidays in general). Thanksgiving to me is the epitome of family. Yes, Christmas is about family too, but sometimes buying and giving gifts get in the way of what is really important. Thanksgiving has no gift-giving element; therefore, Thanksgiving is much more focused on the family. So, when stores and commercials start to advertise for Christmas at the end of Oct., I feel like they don’t even give Thanksgiving a chance to be popular, which is a shame if you ask me.

Read more ...

Modern Day Role Models

When I was a little girl growing up in the 90s there were many positive role models. I remember cuddling in front of the TV to watch Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Sister, Sister. Melissa Joan Hart and Tia and Tamera Mowry were the kinds of girls I wanted to emulate. They were brave, smart, funny and caring, but not without their awkward or vulnerable moments like every young girl has to endure at one point or another in their life. The most important thing is that I could relate to them and learn lessons about growing up. This makes me disappointed when I look at the scarcity of positive role models on television for young girls and boys today.

Parents back in the 90’s did not have to worry too much about their children being exposed to a Disney child star turning into Miley Cyrus. I often wonder how “Hannah Montana” fans feel about Miley Cyrus now. If Cyrus “twerking” on a man her age was not shocking enough then maybe her recent onstage spat with Nicki Minaj at the MTV Movie Awards was. There were children that looked up to her as a role model and it must be difficult to read all the salacious news about her now. 

Today, the reality is very different than it was 10 or 15 years ago. This digital age of media has made it more accessible for kids to be caught up in the latest popular trends and celebrities. Back in the 90’s when shows like “Smart Guy”, “Captain Planet” and “Harriet the Spy” were about children trying to make a difference in their community, today we have “Toddlers in Tiaras” about self-entitled princesses. Who can forget “Honey Boo Boo?” I still can’t believe how popular that reality show was. Today we idolize anyone or anything that makes it into the first headlines of Entertainment Tonight or E! News. It is very discouraging to see.

Read more ...

If Life Were an 80’s Movie

80s MovieI am a sucker for a great 80’s movie—okay, an 80s movie directed by John Hughes. My friends are definitely sick of me saying, “I wish my life was an 80s movie,” but, I’m not kidding. The plot lines, the characters, and, of course, the music leaves the audience in such a state of hope and whimsy. Movies such as Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, etc. are timeless, but they’re also movies that I, personally, base some life lessons off of. They all have such beautiful messages.

It always brings me back to Olive Penderghast’s comment in the movie Easy A: “Whatever happened to chivalry?...I want Jake from Sixteen Candles waiting outside the church for me…Just once I want my life to be like an 80’s movie, preferably one with a really awesome musical number for no apparent reason. But no, no, John Hughes did not direct my life.”
In a time of sexual freedom, these movies from the 1980’s were surprisingly chivalric. That’s the first desirable trait of living in an 80s movie: true chivalry. Yes. Sixteen Candles—my favorite. Jake Ryan, besides being a beautiful specimen of the human race, is the most adorable and determined future/hopeful boyfriend to Samantha Baker.

Read more ...

What Happened to Reading for Fun?

ReadingThe 21st century is full of technology to keep us busy. You can relax while watching a movie on Netflix or scroll through Twitter to easily pass the ongoing hours of the day. It’s rare to see someone just lounging around with a book in hand. Paperbacks have gone by the wayside only to be upstaged by the glow of a small screen.

As a child however, everyone used to read all the time, at least I did. It was really the only form of entertainment when you had just one television and one computer in the house, and your older siblings and parents always got first priority.

So books were really the best form of entertainment for our generation when we were kids. I guess I stopped reading when I got my first iPhone in freshman year of high school. Who needed books when you could have games and social media and could be in contact with your friends 24/7? It was this whole new world that had opened up, and every teenager wanted to explore it immediately. Everything was at your fingertips and it was this amazing new technological masterpiece.

Read more ...

On Vs. Off Campus Living

When it comes to living off campus and commuting, it should be broken down into two categories: living with parents and commuting from home or renting a place off campus nearby. Since coming to Monmouth, I’ve done both and there’s a lot to say about the pros and cons of each. Residential life, however, also has its perks. Which is better? You decide.

1. When you live at home with your parents, you can almost always count on a home cooked meal and your laundry done: Living with your parents (most of the time) means that (hopefully) you have dinner made for you and your house cleaned. While you may have to help out along the way, it is nice not to have to worry about it from time to time.

2. Traffic: Living off campus and on campus brings different parking issues. While living on campus entails walking to class from the dorms in the rain or the snow, which is difficult at times, commuting entails the struggle of traffic – often Cedar Ave is backed up both ways, or traffic can make us late to class.

3. Parking: Just like traffic, residential life is more favorable. Residential life enables students to park in spots closer to their buildings, while commuters must struggle to find spots in a crowded parking lot. This, again, causes problems when it makes students late for class, and they must settle for the valet parking that the school offers.

Read more ...

Are You Seeing Anyone?

Seeing AnyoneExpectations for finding a significant other come in many different forms from a variety of people in your life. There is always the ideal significant other that others see for you: your friends have theirs for you, your family has theirs, society has its, and then there is yours—the most important one.  

In my life I have always had the support of my parents no matter what, so it is the same for significant others. I’ve never been in a serious relationship, so I can’t say I know for sure that they’re truly okay with anything, but I have a feeling they seriously would be. I think my biggest critic would be my big brother, because as much as we may hate each other at times, we want the best for each other. We are both overachievers, so finding a significant other will be hard for us: high standards. If I come up with anything less than the star of a sports team or a boy with a bright future in a lucrative job market, he’s going to judge. But I don’t blame him because honestly I would do the same to him.

Read more ...

College: Expectations vs. Reality

Expectation RealityAs a new school year begins, expectations run high amongst students, especially freshmen. Students begin to envision a new semester with nothing but perfect days ahead. Does college really live up to these expectations? Or are the standards too high? Social media, movies, TV shows, and all those people telling you it’ll be the best four years of your life can create very unrealistic ideas when imagining what your college experience will be like.

Yes, you will have tons of freedom and no parents present to tell you what you can and cannot do; yes, there will plenty of fun parties to go to and yes they are themed. Your time on campus will definitely be enjoyable and life changing, but you should always have a realistic approach to what it will actually be like. Here are some of the expectations about college versus the reality of what it is really like:

Expectation: Your dorm will look like it came from PINK or Pottery Barn Teen.

Reality: You will see a bed with risers to make room for the boxes of Ramen Noodles under there, with bulky, mismatched, awfully colored furniture. And, maybe a few Beyoncé posters.

Read more ...

Realistic Accounts of Senior Year from an Actual Senior

SeniorsGoing into senior year is basically the same as going into freshmen year. You’re a naïve student who thinks the world is right at your fingertips. Everyone you’ve ever talked to tells you how easy senior year is, and you believe them. This is going to be the best year ever, you tell yourself as you move into your off-campus apartment or house for the final time. I worked really hard last year and took extra classes just so I only had to take eight classes this year. It’s going to be so easy.

Okay, no. You were wrong. So very wrong. Yes, you only took four classes this semester, but you took the four hardest classes you possibly could’ve taken all at once. Throw in the fact that two out of the four classes are writing intensives (thanks Monmouth, the only school that finds this necessary) and you should literally just give up, especially considering one of them is your thesis.

Because Monmouth is the school where leaders look forward, we’re all involved in some extracurricular activity. Whether you’re an athlete, a member of Greek life, or a member of a club on campus, you have to be on the executive board to make yourself somewhat stand out amongst the other desperate seniors looking for a job. That’s approximately another 15 plus hours a week to add on to the endless hours of homework you’ve been doing.

Read more ...

All About Fall

Jack o LanternIt’s that time of year again. The leaves are starting to change color, college is back in session, the comfy sweaters are breaking out, and the air is becoming cool and crisp. Fall is by far my all time favorite season for a number of reasons. 

First, pumpkin everything! Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin picking, I could go on and on. I absolutely love sipping on a pumpkin spiced latte while sitting in an early morning class, or picking my own pumpkin to bring home and carve into a Jack-O-Lantern for my front porch. The best part is that because pumpkins are only around in the fall, it makes it special. I would love to have pumpkin all year round, but then it wouldn’t be as fun to go pumpkin picking or pumpkin coffee wouldn’t be as delicious. Having it limited to a specific time makes pumpkin that much better. 

Read more ...

Weighing the Pros and Cons of 8:30 Classes

Lecture Hall SleepingWhen making my schedule at Monmouth for the first time I was sure I wanted to try the evening classes and sleep in like any incoming freshman would want. But to my surprise, it was my days with the 8:30am classes that were the best days. Of course there are some pros and cons to every situation; for 8:30am courses here is what I came up with:


1. Parking—If you are a commuter like I am, you will know that the absolute best part about 8:30am classes is the parking situation. You can basically park in absolutely any lot and spot that you want. Parking is such a struggle, and with the current freshman class commuter body being larger than usual, parking has been especially tough this fall semester. 

2. Your Day is Shorter—It may seem like it would suck to have just one 8:30am class on one day, but, personally I loved that. Your day is so much shorter than everyone else’s. Think about it.  By the time you finish your day, the majority of students are only just starting. And, if you only have that one class in a day, think about all of the on-campus errands you need to run that you can get done afterward. And it always leaves time to go out for breakfast…Did someone mention Turning Point? You can feel accomplished because you’re already done with classes for the day (or for a while at least). 

Read more ...

Chivalry Isn’t Dead...Yet

An Opinion on How Hook Up Culture May Hinder the Dating Process

ChivalryAn Opinion on How Hook Up Culture May Hinder the Dating Process

He was a boy. She was a girl. Can I make it anymore obvious? All Avril Lavigne references aside, what happens next? For college student these days, we all know what happens.

They hang out, “Netflix and chill,” and things happen. And then they never speak to each other again. Or, they continue to “Netflix and chill” and do so until someone wants more.

This, my fellow students, is called hookup culture, and it’s happening around all types of colleges and universities. Coming from someone who has been to two different universities in a small matter of time, I can tell you hookup culture is big anywhere you go. It makes sense, though – we’re only in college for four years and this is the best time of our life – so we shouldn’t commit to anything serious, right?

Wrong. Hookup culture is destroying the way traditional dating has shaped us socially.

Read more ...

Marriage Equality Ruling Brings Positivity

Rainbow FlagOn June 26 2015, the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage around the country, meaning that regardless of state laws, same-sex couples could marry in all states.

Previous to the ruling, same-sex marriage was legal in 38 states, as well as the territory of Guam and the District of Columbia. The public response to the unions has been becoming increasingly more and more positive.

The ruling passed with a five to four vote, with four judges voting against it and five voting in support of it. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, one of the most liberal members of the court, and one who was widely outspoken about same-sex marriage, was the deciding vote. Justice Kennedy was the author of all three of the Supreme Court’s previous gay rights landmarks, such as when he struck down a federal law that would deny benefits to same sex couples in the United States v. Windsor two years ago.

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Steven G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagen joined Justice Kennedy in voting for the majority opinion. Justices Samuel A. Alito, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Chief Justice John G. Roberts voted against the ruling. 

Read more ...

The Best Nicknames in the MLB

Shoeless Joe JacksonThis list is dedicated to the greatest MLB nicknames. Some of these ballplayers made their debut in 1886 while others remain on the diamond today. Some may not be the most creative such as Mordecai Brown but some may have interesting explanations such as Walter Johnson. Whatever the case, here are the top 20 nicknames in professional baseball. 

1.) Ted Williams 

“The Splendid Splinter”

Arguably the best hitter of all time, Williams received his nickname because he was tall and thin like a splinter.

2.) George Ruth 


Read more ...

Why I Love Monmouth

As my four years here at Monmouth come to a close, I look back at my entire college experience and cannot imagine how it could have turned out any better. 

I truly do believe Monmouth is one of the greatest universities you can attend. 

Granted, my views may come from a very biased perspective. I have never went to another college, and I do not know enough people at other colleges to really grasp what attending a different college would be like. 

What I do know is what I have seen these past four years. This being said, I cannot imagine how the college experience could get any better anywhere else.

First off, there is the community at Monmouth as a whole. Greek life, psych major, athlete, commuter, the list goes on. I have friends who fit into all these categories. 

The thing about Monmouth is everyone here has his or her main group, but at the end of the day, we all come together as one. 

The school  is large enough so you can meet new people everyday, but small enough where you can still run into a different friend everyday. 

Read more ...

Why Monmouth Was Not Worth My Money

By October of my senior year of high school, my kitchen table was already littered with postcards, letters, and magazines of potential colleges. Being from North Jersey, I could have easily went to Montclair State or William Paterson and lived at home. But I wanted to go away, to experience college life, and to spend some time away from my parents to grow into an ‘adult.’ I wanted to go far enough to live at school but not far enough to where I couldn’t hop in the car and get home whenever I needed a break.

One day, in the middle of the table, sat a post card from Monmouth University, showcasing the words ‘study at the beach’ and that it was ‘only less than a mile away!’ I obviously liked the beach but I was still a little skeptical. My dad convinced me that we should go and check it out, if anything, I got to miss a day of school. I agreed and we set out early one Fall morning, making our way down the parkway, to take a tour of the campus.

As soon as I set foot on the manicured path, I fell in love. The campus was beautiful, full of colorful flowers, pretty buildings, and helpful students. We toured the communication department, where all the staff seemed eager for you to come to their school. I went home that night, paid the $50 for the application fee, and sent all my information in for early-action (hopeful) acceptance. I should have stopped there.

Throughout my college experience at Monmouth, I’ve seen and learned a lot. Yes, the campus is still beautiful. Yes, we are still close to the beach. But that’s about where my past expectations end. Throughout the last four years, my parents and I have poured enough money into this school to buy another home. And in my eyes, it has absolutely not been worth it. 

Read more ...

Is Having a Competitive Nature the Key to Success?

success wolfMy family has always been extremely competitive. We’re talking hardcore mock-Olympics and ruthless basketball games in the driveway. My dad and I were always the more outwardly competitive ones—don’t talk to us if we lose! 

Yet, my brother and mom are more inwardly competitive. I think that is a big difference. My brother internalizes his competitiveness and uses it to fuel his desires and drive him through his ultimately ambitious life goals.

 I, on the other hand, am very obvious about my competitiveness. I’ve been called a sore loser many times, and honestly, it doesn’t bother me!

 I show my feelings of defeat, while my brother and mom, just accept a loss graciously, on the outside that is. 

But, just because we lose doesn’t mean we can’t be successful. I could lose a game of basketball, but be an overall successful basketball player. So, what does the concept of competitiveness, outward or inward, have to do with success? Are the two linked? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word competitive most nearly means, “having a strong desire to win or be the best at something.” 

If you encounter someone who has a “strong desire to win,” it is extremely difficult to stop him/her from fulfilling this desire. Desires are internally driven. Things that occur within someone are a part of his/her mental make-up; therefore, a competitive person could arguably be a person destined for success. 

Read more ...

'Slut' Up: Stop Shaming Sexual Females

 slutshaming2 3There’s a question that I’ve considered since before I entered college four years ago. What does it mean for a girl to be a “slut”? The word is so vague, yet used in so many contexts, which are almost always negative. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve used the word countless times. More often than not, I say it with no harm intended to my friends. And I know I’m guilty of looking in the mirror before the bar and asking my friends if my outfit was too “slutty” without even considering the negative connotations associated with it.

Just last month, a Bloomsburg University baseball player attacked famous Little Leaguer and thirteen year old, Mo’ne Davis, on Twitter. He tweeted “Disney is making a movie about Mo’Ne Davis? WHAT A JOKE. That ‘slut’ got rocked by Nevada.” Really, how is Mo’ne Davis by any means a “slut?” 

“Slut” by Google definition: “a woman who has many casual sexual partners.” I’m going to go ahead and say Mo’Ne Davis is the farthest thing from that.

Read more ...

The Million Dollar Question: Can Ex’s be Friends?

exAsking whether ex’s can be friends is like asking whether the chicken or the egg came first: a never-ending argument. It is not a simple yes or no answer.

Personally, I have met individuals that can attest to both sides: some will argue that ex’s can be friends, while others will insist that it is impossible.  I believe both are absolutely correct. Ex’s becoming friends is one of those scenarios in which more than a single factor must be taken into consideration.  

For instance, how long were the parties involved in a relationship for, what caused the breakup, was there dishonesty?  Did one of the parties involved end with a complete broken heart, or was it a mutual agreement? 

 Every couple has its own history, and the history developed post breakup is absolutely unique to each case.

I believe that the chance to be friends with an ex-partner depends on whether the couple was ever friends with one another. If the couple met and immediately fell into a “love” scenario, skipping the whole friendship stage, they will probably not be able to hold a friendship after the break up. 

Read more ...

The Not-So Typical American Family by Today’s Standards

famI think we can all agree that there is no longer the “typical American family” in today’s society. That era of the nuclear family, the father who went to work from 9 am to 5 pm: a mother who stayed home and did the house cleaning, the car pooling, and the cooking, and the children whose focus was completely on school work is no longer existent. 

Lately, most families have both parents who have full time jobs, which are typically outside of the home. The question is, what has changed?

According to Philip Cohen, sociologist at the University of Maryland and author of The Family: Diversity, Inequality, and Social Change, three big changes in family life have occurred over the past 50 years.

 The first change that is occurring in families: the decline of marriage. In 2010, 45 percent of households were headed by a married couple compared to 66 percent in 1960. That is a huge difference. 

What this means is the divorce rate has increased significantly. We all know that couples are having trouble staying together in today’s society and everywhere we look another couple is breaking up or getting divorced. What we didn’t realize is that this is affecting the “typical American family.”

Children are growing up with their parents living in two separate houses. Some children don’t even get to see both parents on a daily basis. Some children grow up not ever meeting their mother or father. 

Read more ...

Proud to be a “GDI” (G*d D*mn Independent)

gdi jpgdocxI live with the president of a sorority on campus. Next year, I’m living with two girls in that same sorority. So let me preface this by saying that I in no way, shape, or form, am knocking Greek Life. Instead, I propose this: It’s very possible to get through your undergraduate years at Monmouth without being involved in Greek Life.

I transferred schools and I was in a sorority before that happened. I know what it’s like, as most of Greek Life has the same rituals and processes (loosely said). You go through recruitment for girls or rush for the boys, you then pledge for the sorority or fraternity you want, you get initiated and boom: you have fifty close sisters or brothers that you can never imagine your life without. Or can you? 

After transferring schools, the 126 girls that were in my sorority disappeared. Except for one or two of the girls, nobody spoke to me. I didn’t get asked how I was doing or if I was coming back (even though I made it pretty clear I wasn’t). Those girls who I had been so close with seemed to evaporate in thin air just because I was not involved in the sorority anymore. 

Was my pledging, my time, my effort, and my money worth it? No. That is why I fully decided when I came to Monmouth that I was going to be a GDI (also known as a “g*d d*mn independent,” a sarcastic twist on the slang for fraternities and sororities). 

Read more ...

The Achilles Heel to the Philadelphia Phillies

philliesPhillies General Manager, Ruben Amaro Jr., needs to be fired, but this is much easier said than done. He has been part of the Phillies front office since 1998 and has held the GM position after the team won the World Series in 2008. 

A security guard at Citizens Bank Park who wishes to remain anonymous said Amaro will never be fired because he is part of the “inner circle,” a group of employees who chief owner Dave Montgomery refuses to let go. While it is unlikely Amaro will be fired, this does not keep fans from discussing the endless reasons why he should be fired.

The Phillies had 2.4 million fans pass through the turnstiles at Citizens Bank Park in the 2014 season, a significant drop from the 2013’s total of 3 million fans. The influx of money has been decreasing from year to year, yet Amaro seems to spend like it is 2009 all over again. As fans show up on game days just to witness loss after loss, their opinion of the team changes and eventually they lose interest. 

Anyone who actively follows the game must notice that Amaro believes pitching is the reason teams win or lose. Since Amaro has confidence in this theory, he uses all resources available to construct what he views as an elite pitching staff. 

If we retrace what seems to be some of Amaro’s most well-known pitching acquisitions, we would find relatively disappointing figures and a grim hope for the future of the team. Let us examine three of these examples:

1.) Chan Ho Park

 Prior to the 2009 season, Amaro promised fans a veteran reliever and with no time to spare, he found the then 36-year-old Chan Ho Park. Chan Ho Who, you say? Why, the veteran reliever Amaro promised 2009 fans of course! 

During his one season stint as a Philadelphia athlete, Park went 3-3 and posted a 4.43 ERA. By no means was he the worst pitcher off the bench that season. We were all eye-witnesses to Brad Lidge’s 2009 crumble when he went 0-8 with a 7.21 ERA, a pitiful performance compared to the previous season’s perfect 48-for-48 saves. 

With this said, can Amaro somehow justify paying $2.5 million for the mediocre Park? When the city’s beloved Jim Thome was re-signed, he was only paid $1 million for a one year contract. Thome, unlike Park, was signed as a mentor and first baseman. Park, who was flakey on the mound, deserved an equivalent to Thome’s salary or less, but certainly not more. 

The $2.5 million given to the South Korean native could easily have remained in our farm system, which now has little to no prospects on the horizon. This acquisition ignited the trend of signing pitchers who were 30+ for much more than their worth. How do you measure one’s worth? In baseball, it is simply looking at the statistics produced. Park’s irrelevance to the ball club is displayed in his .500 record and high ERA. 

Read more ...

College Campus Debate: Small vs. Large Universities

What are some of the thoughts students have when choosing a school?  Perhaps, both campus size and classroom size, professor to student ratio, party life, food court options, campus life are largely deciding factors that come to mind.

Whether looking into undergraduate or graduate school, the questions roaming our minds remain the same, and at the end of the day, the school we end up choosing depends on the answers to those questions in order of relevance to our liking.  

US News lists some solid reasons to go to a small college such as “you’ll have more opportunity for one-on-one contact with your professor,” and “your work will be evaluated more carefully.”

As a graduating senior in high school, I was left choosing between Rutgers University-The State University of New Jersey (New Brunswick) and Monmouth University. Now, these are two Jersey universities, but with obviously different campus sizes.

Half of the people I told about Monmouth University did not know what it was or where it was located-and the other half only remembered Monmouth College and warned me of the “party school” it had been known to be. 

What finally made up my mind was the small classroom sizes Monmouth offered: a roughly one-to-twenty professor-to-student ratio (just about the same as my high school, and even lower). 

Always being the type of student to take advantage from office hours and forming an academic relationship with professors and classmates, I had a feeling deep down that Rutgers did not stand a chance against Monmouth during my decision making process.

Read more ...

Success Calls for You to Leave Your Comfort Zone

Make Simple Changes Now to Prepare You for the Next Stages

ODC groupTime and time again as I have grown up, I have heard people say, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Like most things in life, it is much easier said than done. As the end of my academic life approaches, I find myself longing to make this last semester last as long as possible. 

I am scared to leave the comfort of school five days a week, meaningless group projects, summers off, and the only routine I really know. It is important for me, as well as all young millennials, to remember that as life goes on it is imperative to constantly move away from our comfort zones. 

Comfort zones are nice. They are safe places we have experienced so many times. We know them like the back of our hands. The problem with them is that they can make any other situation seem scary and daunting. 

Great Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, “The only thing that is constant is change.” Life is not a stagnant thing. You have a past self, you have the person you are now and you have the person you are going to become. 

Think about it. No one really wanted to leave the comfort of their elementary school, but since leaving look at all the good that has happened. Same goes for high school, one of the hardest places to move away from, but look at how much greatness college has afforded you. 

Read more ...

The Tale of Alzheimer’s

M: Did you have enough to eat today? You have to have some food in you for energy.

G: I am not sure, did I eat today? Where are we going?

M: To the gym. What did you yesterday?

G: Let me try to remember.

M: Did you go to the gym this week?

G: Your mom would know. Where are we going again?

M: The gym.

G: Oh that’s right. Yahoo.

As myself, my mother, and my grandpa take the five minute commute from his house to the gym, this has become a daily occurrence. He always remembers his children, but cannot name even half of his grandchildren. He cannot remember what he ate for breakfast. He cannot remember words to his favorite songs. He cannot even remember the date, the month, or the year. He has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

My 84-year-old grandfather is slowly losing control of what he considered his greatest asset: his mind. He is not nearly a needle in the haystack when it comes to Alzheimer’s. A little over five million Americans are currently living with this disease. Not only are people living with the disease, but many are also dying from the disease. Yes, it must seem odd that simply forgetting parts of one’s past can ultimately kill someone, but it is more than that.

Read more ...

Just go to Sleep Already! Why Napping is Great

How great do you feel after you wake up from a nap? Do you feel refreshed? Do you feel like you can function again? Don’t you just feel awesome? Well you should.

A study reveals that napping during the day after an uneasy sleep from the previous night, can actually be beneficial to your health according to an article published in New York Magazine. According to the article, the study consisted of 11 participants that engaged in this sleep deprivation experiment. The individuals were allowed two hours of sleep one night and the following day they were allowed two 30-minute naps to help recover from their lack of sleep. The study found that those who took the naps found themselves sleeping much better than the previous night and their stress hormones were at a healthy level.

Though the study only consisted of 11 people, it reveals a lot about how we function as human beings. It serves as a reminder that we are not machines and we need to take the time to take care of ourselves.

College is a place where the term “all-nighter” is used quite frequently in everyday conversation. We live in an environment where it is socially acceptable to deprive ourselves of sleep to get important things done and that’s not healthy. What’s even better is that people actually brag about how much they didn’t sleep because they were too busy doing work. How is that okay? 

It’s not. Plain and simple. How is it fair to stay up all night working on a class assignment that will most likely never be relevant to your life after the fact? And, yes, I understand professors do not encourage this behavior, but many professors don’t do anything to prevent it from happening either. It’s not that our educators are conspiring against us, but if they expect anything to get done something has to be sacrificed. More often than not, sleep is probably sacrificed the most in our lives and we don’t even realize it. 

Read more ...

Ringling Brothers Plan to Remove Elephants from Circus

elephantsIf you are on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and see a picture of an elephant, I can almost guarantee you it is because of me. If we’re ‘friends’ or ‘followers,’ you must know I have been overly obsessed with elephants and the symbolization they embody. That’s why when I heard about The Ringling Brothers deciding to phase the elephants out of “The Greatest Show On Earth,” I was insanely thrilled. 

I read up on the articles and could not believe how many mixed reviews on the decision. Decades of treating an endangered species as actual show animals, leaving them in cages, and shipping them off from location to location, is finally coming to an end and people are actually complaining? 

One-hundred and forty-five years of this to be exact. It doesn’t exactly add up. Reading some of the negative comments had me a little skeptical as well, and really got me thinking. Except, unlike those seemingly upset and aggravated over the fact they will no longer see the elephants parading around at the circus, I am pretty upset and aggravated at The Ringling Brothers.

I cannot lie: the circus is part of the reason I have loved elephants since I was young. They look absolutely adorable with their headpieces on and the women who accompany them look like they are having a legitimately amazing time. I am fully aware that elephants are some of the smartest animals known to man. They can even identify different languages.   For a long time, I believed that this intelligence was the sole reason these magnificent elephants were able to put on such amazing performances. 

Read more ...

The Classroom Matters

We greatly appreciate the thoughts that The Outlook staff writer, Katherine Jaffe, shared in her opinion piece titled, “What Really Matters: GPA or Activities?” Three main points framed Ms. Jaffe’s opinion: 1) grades should not define students; 2) grades are unimportant because of grade inflation; and 3) hands-on and work experiences are more valuable than classroom learning. As educators and administrators from two different content areas, we felt compelled to respond and offer some of our unified thoughts. There are no easy answers to questions regarding the relationship among grades, classroom learning, and out-of-class experiences. To be worthwhile, experiences both within and outside the classroom have to be transformative for students. We have seen students transformed through course readings, lectures, class activities, written assignments, and educational experiences outside the classroom. There is no one best method of learning for all students, which means that professors must provide a diversity of opportunities within their classes for students to learn in a variety of ways. There are many ways to encourage students to think in new ways about issues with which they are familiar (what sociologists call “making the familiar strange”), and to think about issues that they have never considered. 

Regardless of the subject, a strong classroom experience should help students expand their abilities to answer serious questions in innovative and creative ways based on evidence that can help improve upon the worlds in which we all live – not just for themselves, but for others as well. To present classroom learning and experiential learning as separate and unrelated entities creates a false and harmful dichotomy. The two need to be connected – and indeed are often connected – in most university missions and realities. Furthermore, one of the concerns we share about project-based learning is that professors who do not have experience with such modes of education may require professional development to be able to execute such endeavors with a high level of competency and confidence.  But we also recognize that given the current technologies, there are so many innovative ways to bring project-based and group learning into our classrooms. Unfortunately, many students are uncomfortable with the grading of group work. 

Read more ...

If You Could Live in a Different Decade, Would You?

I’ve always been the first one to say that I would LOVE to go back and be a 1950s housewife with the white picket fence, golden retriever, and perfect cooking skills in the suburbs. But I never really gave any thought about the reasons why. I should learn to love the era in which I live. So many of us complain and wish we could live in the 1920s, 1950s, etc., but I don’t think that any of us have actually thought about what that entailed. 

It wasn’t until I heard someone say, “If I could go back in time, I would just go back to yesterday. We have it so good in the world we live in today.” This got me thinking. So many of the things that we would list as “necessities” in our lives, we wouldn’t even have access to in the 20s, 50s, etc. 

For example, admit it: you can’t live without your phone. But it isn’t just the phone we can’t live without. It’s the social media platforms, texting, Internet, and email that we wouldn’t be able to part with. Wi-Fi is king nowadays, but in prior eras, phones were landlines and Internet was only in its earliest stages of development, if that! It’s not just our technological advances that make the world we live in today so much more convenient than that of the earlier eras, it is our social advancement too. 

So, why would I want to live in the 50s? Or even the 20s? Especially when we are so lucky and blessed to be living in the era we live in today.

Part of the reason we are all so intrigued by these eras is because of popular decade depictions such as The Great Gatsby and Grease. Books and films such as these make those eras look only desirable and glamorous. Who wouldn’t want to be Daisy in The Great Gatsby? She is loved by the hopelessly romantic, (and did I mention rich), Jay Gatsby, (played by Leo Dicaprio, of course)? And to live a life full of luxury and frivolous spending? Sign me up for that! The 1920s seem simply fabulous through the eyes of Daisy Buchanan. 

Read more ...

Why We Need to Travel to Find our “Happy Place”

travel“Travel far enough, you meet yourself,” the British author, David Mitchell, once advised this to the world. To be honest, this quote couldn’t sum up my latest travel experience anymore perfectly than I could. I met my better, happier self. Because of this, I now know that traveling has the power to change you as a human being.

I have always had wanderlust. Unfortunately, I have never studied abroad. I’ve traveled a decent amount for vacations, mostly on the east coast. As a kid, I experienced going out of the country in Canada, Aruba and Mexico. I have always had an urge to see the unfamiliar. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve lived in the same town my whole life.

Since I chose my college major, I’ve thought that whatever I end up doing, I want to be able to travel for my career. As I reach a terribly confusing time in my life, the urge to see the world is the greatest it’s ever been. I attribute this to my recent trip to Los Angeles with The Outlook for the Associated Collegiate Press National College Journalism Convention. 

The people I met, the scenery I experienced and the overwhelming positive energy I felt during my stay in Los Angeles still has me in awe of the happiness which I am capable of. At this stage in life, I thought I’ve experienced a decent amount. As it turns out, there is so much more out there for me to reach.

Read more ...

Shopaholics Anonymous

Step one is admitting you have a problem, right? Well, my name is Lauren Niesz and I am a shopaholic. I get high off not only the idea of saving money, but spending it too! I don’t think I have purchased something that wasn’t on sale. 

I might be wearing a Kate Spade bag and donning Coach shoes, but, honey, I can assure you that I did not pay full price for them. This feeling of euphoria that I get when I purchase things for myself is indescribable. 

Many students are probably experiencing the same exact thing when they head over to the mall or shopping center.

Being a college student, I am constantly engulfed in mass amounts of classwork and homework. My stress levels are through the roof! So, to manage this, I often engage in retail therapy. My love for shopping comes through when I need to relieve this stress.

I always thought that retail therapy worked for me because shopping/bargain hunting simply made me happy. 

Well, according to a study done by the University of Michigan, the happiness factor isn’t the only positive psychological impact shopping has on one’s mind. 

The main reason that many of us experience anxiety is because we have a loss of control in certain situations and their outcomes. 

Read more ...

Your 20s: The Time to Make Yourself or Break Yourself

Throughout life, we hit these milestones that are often looked forward to. We begin as young tots when we look forward to turning 13 because we’ll officially be a ‘teenager.’ Then there is 17, the year we get behind the wheel and cause our parents more gray hair. 

Some say 18 is a big year because you’re a legal adult, whatever that means because nothing changed for me when I turned 18 except for the fact that I was that much closer to my 20s. 

As a young female, growing up in my teens all I did was adore older girls who were in their 20s. In my eyes, these girls were fresh out of college, pursuing their careers, getting cocktails with their friends and looking glamorous through it all. I couldn’t wait to enter this phase of my life. Becoming of legal age to drink only added to the anticipation. 

My mother, an independent, saavy, strong woman always instilled in me that one’s 20s are their make it or break it years. Adding to my mother’s mantra, I say your 20s are also your selfish years. Don’t worry, I say selfish in the nicest way possible but we’ll get to that later. 

As the years went on and I got closer to crossing that line from my teen years into my 20s, my mother wised me up on the years to come. Yes, your 20s are like an experimental phase as your exploring, trying new things and figuring yourself out. 

In the first few years of your 20s, you’re finishing up school and trying to grab a hold on what it means to enter the ‘real world.’ You’ll probably take a few different jobs, figure out what you love and maybe don’t really care for. You’ll date, try new relationships and figure out the hard way that the edgy tattoo-covered poet is not the guy you’re going to spend your future with. To look at the glass half full, after a few heartbreaks, you’ll know what you really want in a partner. 

Read more ...

Sports Illustrated: Beyond Size 10 and Beautiful

Robyn Lawley Shawn Johnsons The Body Department1

The media has always given the public a very clear image of beauty since the beginning of time.

The image created for our viewing pleasure is normally of a smaller woman, preferably sample size, with light skin and a perfect complex and a perfectly proportioned body. At least that’s what we’ve been seeing, up until now.

Recently, Sports Illustrated hired a “plus size” model, Robyn Lawley, in their annual Swimsuit Issue. Lawley is an Australian model who happens to be a size 12, the requirement for a plus size model is that they be “beyond size 10,” according to an article in USA Today

On the topic of Sports Illustrated featuring a plus sized model, New York Magazine stated that this is the first time in the publication’s history where they will be featuring a model who is “beyond sample size,” which traditionally is around a size 2.

This is a major turnaround for the world of modeling and entertainment. Having a plus sized model featured in a magazine known for sexualizing women has actually done something positive. It is making the average woman feel sexy.

Plus size model, Ashley Graham, who has appeared in a Calvin Klein ad in Sports Illustrated, told CNN that “the average American woman is size 12-14,” and strongly emphasized the point that “women want to see themselves in magazines.”

Read more ...

Modelling World Makes Positive Move Towards Showcasing Disabilities

disabilities modelingThis year the fashion industry has made significant moves for representation equality during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in NYC. To begin, mega-retailer Macy’s premiered last week with their “Go Red for Women” campaign on the catwalk, showcasing a line of clothing (all stunning red dresses) in the first-ever collaboration to fight against heart disease in women, backed by The American Heart Association.  “Macy’s has brought awareness [of heart disease] to consumers across America and has raised $46 million for the cause,” stated. 

It is only appropriate that the American Heart Association had a part in kicking off this year’s show, because shortly after fashion week began things started to look a bit…different. 

On Feb. 12, 2015, a new campaign was launched on the runway. Role Models Not Runway Models by designer Carrie Hammer set the stage by showcasing her line modeled by people with disabilities. This included American Horror Story actress Jamie Brewer, who is now, remarkably, the first model with Down syndrome to strut down the runway during Fashion Week. 

On Feb. 17, Brewer’s debut was followed by FTL MODA which incorporated models in wheelchairs to raise awareness on spinal cord injuries by teaming with Fondazione Vertical. “One cat-walker, who was missing part of her arm, strutted in a black cutout outfit and her muscular body was spray-painted silver,” US Magazine commented of the show. 

Read more ...

Live Like Peter Pan

tinkerbell silhoutteThis month marks the 62nd anniversary of Disney’s release of Peter Pan. I believe we all need to be like Peter Pan. No, not exactly Walt Disney’s Peter Pan. I am talking about the cocky little bastard Peter Pan that J.M. Barrie created in 1904. Peter embodies enough confidence to inspire thousands and does whatever he wants, no matter who is watching.

As we grow up, we tend to lose our confidence and our untroubled way of life. We no longer can approach a random person in the middle of a park and ask if they would like to be friends. While at my age, the park setting may be altered to a bar or party setting, the case remains the same. We no longer have the self-assurance nor the carefree sense of nature to approach a complete stranger. It is of my observation that we have become far too concerned with the thought of being judged to release our carefree, confident side.

One of my favorite quotes comes from PJ Hogan’s 2003 adaptation of Peter Pan. Wendy begins to discuss the topic of love with Peter, and he responds, “Why do you spoil everything? We have fun, don’t we?” 

Why can’t we just have fun? I am not suggesting that the idea of love is appalling; for everyone wants to be in love and be loved in return. I also am not suggesting that we abandon our responsibilities just so we can have fun; after all, Peter is in charge of protecting the lost boys who reside in Neverland from Captain Hook, an act he successfully carries out. However, why can we no longer have fun in the process?

Read more ...

Declining Dollar$ Lose Value by Restricting Solely to On-Campus Use

Monmouth University currently has “declining dollars” available for students in their meal plans. Declining dollars can be used at a few areas on campus including Java City, the Student Center, Convenience Store, Jersey Mike’s, and Shadow’s. Different meal plans give different amounts of declining dollars. 

According to the University’s website, the Carte Blanche meal plan includes $50 worth of declining dollars, the 225-meal plan includes $90 worth of declining dollars, the 195-meal plan includes $95 worth of declining dollars, and the 105 meal plan includes $170 worth of declining dollars. 

What if Monmouth University developed a plan where declining dollars could be used at participating local businesses in West Long Branch such as Scala’s, Surf Taco, and Top It Frozen Yogurt? 

Many of these specific businesses already do offer a student discount, for example, Surf Taco gives students a 10 percent discount on their food purchase with a Monmouth ID. This is quite a deal for college kids looking to switch it up and eat off-campus on a budget. However, collaborating even furthermore by incorporating the University’s declining dollars within these local businesses could be even more beneficial to many students.

Steven’s Institute of Technology is a university located in Hoboken, NJ, that has implemented a plan similar to this where students can use “duckbills” at participating local businesses. 

Read more ...

Op Ed to Previous Story: Why You Should Not Fear Studying Abroad

Being Afraid To Leave Your Comfort Zone Restricts You More Than You Realize

“Sometimes, we find ourselves in the middle of nowhere. Sometimes, in the middle of nowhere, we find ourselves.” Our entire lives, we live in fear of death. It is the shadow that lurks behind us no matter what we do or where we are. 

Our lives are so fragile. So many people are dying to live, but simply not seizing the day. They are just living to die. It is often that we cling to what we know because that is what we are comfortable with- with comfortability, there is no unknown. Sure, that may be appealing to some. 

But is that a life you really want to live? Do you want to die, only having seen the comforts of your own home because you are scared of the unknown? Comfortability does not show us the true wonders of life and the world in which we live. It does not help us grow and find ourselves. In retrospect, it keeps us in the same place for the entirety of our lives. 

We were not born with roots. We are fortunate enough to live in a country where almost anything is possible. So many people are homesick for places that they do not know. Fear cannot stop you from living your life. With that being said, fear cannot stop you from studying abroad. 

Read more ...

Through The Eyes of a Transfer Student

The parking lots are terrible, the traffic around school is terrible, and everyone already seems to know each other. This may not be surprising to you, but it is to me. 

No, I’m not antisocial. I’m just a transfer student. 

Now, I come from a small private college tucked away in the mountains of Southern Connecticut, so I’m pretty used to the small college deal. I was not expecting a state school feel at all and in fact I was expecting Monmouth to be slightly similar.

There are so many things that I should know about this school that all other juniors seem to know. Yet, I feel like more of a freshman than I did when I actually was one two years ago. 

For one, everyone already knows each other. They have found some type of niche where they fit in and have formed a group of people that they call friends. They recognize faces on campus and are comfortable in their surroundings. People have joined their sorority, fraternity, or some other organization. 

Where do I fit in? I left my old sorority and don’t want to join another one out of respect and while I’ve made attempts to get involved, after a semester I can only count my friends on one hand. People are not as welcoming as I had hoped. 

I was never anticipating anyone to roll out the welcome wagon or have a welcoming committee sing me to class. At this point, the “unwelcomeness” has actually formed another “clique.” For those who have not yet noticed, most of the transfer students seem to flock together—we are going through the same transition after all. 

You may say to me—“you sound like a freshman”—but that even furthers my point.  Even the freshmen have a different, welcoming aspect to them. They’re interested in making friends because they are similar to me. They also (most of the time) come here not knowing anybody, but there is enough of them that they all want to make friends and people have seemed to be more accepting if they mess up or don’t know something.  

Being that I’m almost three quarters done with my college career, I should know a lot about this school and the people and the professors but I feel like I’m missing out. 

Read more ...

Texts Instead of Door Knocks: Is Dating a Thing of the Past?

textA walk along the beach, a picnic in the park, dinner and a movie. They may not be original dates, but they are definitely classic dates. But for generation Y, is dating a thing in the past? Do people go on legitimate dates like they used to? 

The idea of a date is moving towards “let’s hang out at my house with a bunch of friends” rather than “would you want to go out to dinner and then catch a movie after?” Guys and girls rarely take a walk along the beach or have picnics in the park. You are most likely to find a couple hanging out at a party and considering that a date. This world is losing its romance. 

The idea of dating has changed from dinner and a movie to ‘hanging out,’ and traditional dates are very hard to find in today’s society. If you ask your grandparents how they met and compare it to how you and your significant other have met, I guarantee you it will be completely different. 

Older generations have very romantic stories about when they first started “talking.” These older generations can talk for hours about how their first date was a picnic in the park or their first kiss was on a beach at sunset. With today’s generation, you will never find that. 

Our generation will tell our grandkids that they met their lover while at a college party and their first kiss was while they were hanging out at home or at a random bar. 

Read more ...

Why Being In Love Can Be So Damn Stressful, But So Damn Worth It

I don’t know about you, but my idea of being in love has always been painted by those sappy rom-coms featuring Ryan Gosling, Gerard Butler, and Leonardo DiCaprio. I always imagined being constantly showered with love, flowers, chocolates, and gifts and being told that if I was a bird, he was a bird, a la The Notebook. 

I always pictured that I’d constantly be bombarded with so many love notes that, eventually, I’d have enough to wallpaper our entire house together, paralleling Butler’s love in P.S. I Love You. 

I envisioned that if we were on a sinking cruise ship, I’d get the final chunk of floating door frame, sprawl across it, and would eventually find my way to safety all in part due to my completely selfless hunk of a DiCaprio-esque man, just like in Titanic.

But that vision of love is a tad unrealistic. It is flawed which is why I curse movie directors and producers every single day for tainting my idea of love. Love is never as smooth and lovely and rainbow-y and unicorn-y as it is painted in the movies; but once you overcome the obstacles, it is the grandest of all prizes that one can possibly win.

You see, going from being single to being in a relationship is a life-altering transition, and only the most dedicated will survive. It’s almost as if you’re thrown into this Hunger Games arena of love – “May the odds be ever in your favor.” You have to channel your inner Katniss Everdeen and really fight for what you love, and who you love.

You go from completely focusing on yourself from an independent perspective, to now being totally submerged in a partnership. 

You have to now become selfless. You have to now become open. You have to now think in terms of not “I” anymore, but as a “we” and an “us.” 

Being in a relationship, I now not only worry about my own personal happiness, but my partner’s. Essentially, I’m not truly happy until I see that huge, glistening smile painted across my lover’s face. I now consider my partner when weighing huge life decisions, because, as you know, a partner shares these experiences with you. 

Read more ...

Disney Princesses Prove Valid Life Lessons

Glass slippers, fairy godmothers, magic carpets, finding true love, and of course, happy endings are what fairy tales are all about, but is this the only element of Disney movies? Many see Disney films as “just a fairy tale” and “impossible” but what if there is a deeper meaning to Disney princess stories? What if Disney princesses  inspire those watching them? 

To begin, Cinderella, as everyone knows, is about a young girl who loses her father at a young age and ends up being forced to live with her stepfamily. Her stepmother and stepsisters are very unloving, bossy, and cold hearted. Cinderella is treated very unfairly, being forced to do her stepfamily’s laundry, cooking, cleaning, and all of their other chores. One of the many lessons from Disney’s Cinderella is to choose to remain kind and thoughtful. Instead of returning evil with evil, Cinderella chooses to be kind and thoughtful, even with the way she was being treated. Cinderella teaches viewers to remain acting kind and appropriately even if one is surrounded by evil and unfair behavior. 

Another lesson that can be taught by Disney’s Cinderella is to never give up and to hold onto your hope and dreams. Cinderella was forced to grow up in poverty while her stepfamily lived in riches. This story teaches viewers to enjoy the simple things in life. Cinderella never gave up hope and always had an optimistic attitude; Cinderella got her happy ending by holding onto hope. This teaches viewers that if you set your mind to something and never give up, one can achieve their goals and have their own happy ending.  

Aladdin tells the story of a young princess, Jasmine, who is being forced to get married by the age of sixteen. Jasmine only has a few days left to find a suitor to marry. She feels this is unfair and decides to run away. Jasmine is a wonderful role model for viewers. Jasmine knows she deserves to be treated equally. She does not let anyone push her around and she wants to decide her own fate and future. She wants to be herself and wants to decide for herself. Jasmine teaches viewers to stand up for themselves, to believe in oneself, and that everyone deserves to be treated equally. 

Beauty and the Beast is another classic Disney movie that teaches viewers a few life lessons. Belle is forced to live with the hideous beast in his castle in order for her father to be free. The first life lesson to be taught by Belle is to put others before yourself. Belle gives up her entire life in order for her father to be freed from the Beast. Belle does not want to see her father suffer and would rather herself be trapped if it means her father is free. Belle teaches viewers to not be selfish and to put other before yourself. 

Read more ...

Grades vs. Experience

What if everything you have done thus far in life suddenly didn’t matter anymore? What if someone told you, your college GPA and all of the classes you took amounted to absolutely nothing? What then?

It is up for debate that the grades you get in college actually matter in the real world. It’s great to have the satisfaction of being rewarded with excellent grades for schoolwork, but what about what you do outside of school? What if you’re so focused on your grades that there’s no time for an internship? 

In an article from USA Today, the four main reasons why your grades will not matter after college are discussed. One of the reasons is “grade inflation” making your GPA worth less than it actually is. The article points out that those select 4.0 students are not entirely uncommon. There are other schools with other students who also happen to do well. In fact, there are whole schools of people who consistently get great grades. It is because of this that grades become less valuable. 

Huffington Post argues in “Why Grades Don’t Really Matter That Much After All,” that grades have an effect on one’s self-esteem. They suggest that people are so focused on getting that top mark that students aren’t realizing that they’re getting something out of just taking the class. Regardless of the grade they get, it is more about the content they absorbed and how they can apply it in the real world.

Also in this place called “the real world,” there are people out there looking to hire college students. These same people want to hire someone who knows exactly what they’re doing. Now, let’s say that the employer is looking for a specific skill that you weren’t able to take a class in because of scheduling reasons, but you learned all about that same skill through doing an internship. In this same hypothetical situation, your competitor has only taken a class on this very specific skill, got an A, but has never had any out of class experience with this skill. Who’s getting hired? The one with the real life experience or the one whose only learned about it in school?

Chances are, if you have the experience, there’s a likely possibility you’ll get the job. Just because someone has done well in a classroom with something, does not necessarily mean it has significance. The same thing also applies for someone who hasn’t done well in a class especially when it involves writing. 

Read more ...

Sia’s Music Madness Starring Shia LaBeouf and Maddie Ziegler

shia labeoufIrrelevance: every celebrity’s worst nightmare. Clearly, Shia LaBeouf can attest to that. The 29-year-old actor has been struggling with the transition from a popularly sought-out actor, to wearing a paper bag that reads, “I Am Not Famous Anymore;” a very natural and common response to feeling forgotten (or not). Though it may be hard to imagine why, this bold move certainly drew the attention of the media and its viewers, including singer and performer Sia.

Sia is an up-and-coming female pop artist, commonly known for her hit single, “Chandelier.”  Her latest music video, Elastic Heart, features two interestingly selected people, the “not-so-famous” LaBeouf, and 12-year-old and Dance Moms star, Maddie Ziegler. Though this is an interesting pair for a music video, it is not nearly as interesting as the setting of the video.

There are two things that negatively drew my attention: the concept and the visual. In this video, Sia places LaBeouf and Ziegler on opposite sides of a cage. The video opens with the two staring at each other with obvious hostility in their eyes. 

LaBeouf is wearing small, tight nude shorts, and Ziegler is wearing a nude leotard. Though it would not be my outfit of choice, the clothes are not what I find strange. Instead, I find it weird that the two are made up to look basically nude together. Keep in mind that LaBeouf is 29 and that Ziegler is 12. Knowing about this drastic age gap turns this video to a somewhat creepy scene and is hard to get past while watching.

Read more ...

For the Love of Lectures: Please Stop the PowerPoint Presentations

We’ve all had that class before. Walking into the dark, ominous room, the only sign of life coming from a stream of fluorescent illumination out of a machine somewhere in the middle of the space, finding its home on a screen in front of the room.  The class where the only thing harder than retaining information is keeping your eyes open.  The class no one wants to go to.

I thought it would end in high school.  Being lead like cattle to a classroom where the teacher is too young to know better or too old to care, reading their pre-school year determined lessons word for word from Microsoft PowerPoint.  

This involves professors rarely adding their own input and leaves minimal opportunity for intellectual, interesting dialogue with students.

The fact is, it shouldn’t be happening in high school, or middle school for that matter.  What is even worse is that it is happening at esteemed universities.

Created in 1990, Microsoft PowerPoint has made itself a substantial impact on schools of all levels throughout the country.  And, when used properly, it can be a helpful tool in sparking discussion and providing an easy and “green” (which everyone loves) alternative to printing out notes for students to follow along on.  

However, it’s when teachers and professors become reliant on what is supposed to be a springboard for learning, can they hinder their students’ ability to take in information.

“I have never used PowerPoint and never will,” said Michael White, a seventh and eighth grade Language Arts teacher at Asbury Park Middle School in Asbury Park, New Jersey.  “If I’m not feeding off the students and they’re not feeding off of me, there can be no creative energy in the classroom.  A machine can’t create that energy.”

I know what you’re thinking, Michael White is my father. Well, yes, you’d be right.  However, he is also considered in high regard one of the best teachers in his field of Language Arts in the northeast region by some colleagues.

Read more ...

Reality Television Series: Don’t Think Too Much Into Them

Reality shows are considered lazy, thoughtless TV and are usually filled with a bunch of ordinary people with no special talents. Even if you don’t watch reality shows, or want to admit you watch, everyone knows what each of them are about and what type of impact they are putting on today’s society, but is that impact really as bad as we think? Does this so-called “true TV” send positive messages to their audience, or do they influence viewers to follow in their footsteps?

In 2009, MTV got permission to film the pregnancies from six different teenage girls for 16 and Pregnant in hopes that it would allow viewers to learn from these girls mistakes and to be careful. They wanted their viewers to see what a struggle being a teen mom can be and wanted teens to wait to start a family until they were self-established. MTV also created a spin off series called Teen Mom. Both of these shows followed real life teenage girls throughout their pregnancy and showed viewers what it was really like to have a child.

Sure, these reality shows infamously presented the audience with these teenage girls who became “famous” and got paid a ton of money just because they were teen moms, but studies showed that teen pregnancy rates dropped enormously since the premiere of 16 and Pregnant. 

Both of these shows can be seen as “glamourizing” teen pregnancy, but statistics don’t lie. Shockingly, teenagers who watched these shows realized how much of a struggle being a teen mom really is. 

According to a CNN writer, Jacque Wilson, “Between 1991 and 2008, the rate dropped steadily at an average of about 2.5 percent a year. In the past four years, it had dropped even more dramatically at a rate of about 7.5 percent per year.” The decreased rate changed in 2009, which is when both 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom both premiered on MTV. Although parents may not like their children watching reality shows like 16 and Pregnant or Teen Mom, they may actually be sending a good message to their viewers. 

Read more ...

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Sends the Wrong Message

It goes without saying that the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is probably one of the biggest events to kick off the holiday season. Both men and women love watching all of the supermodels strut their stuff in their 2 million dollar bra and lingerie, but at what cost?

In an interview with Fox News, some of Victoria’s Secret’s most prestigious models talked about the dieting techniques they use to stay for the fashion show. Their answers varied from juice cleanses to portion control and one model was even said that she doesn’t do anything special to prepare for the event.

Ultimately, there is no natural beauty for these women. They work so hard to fit into ridiculous outfits they will only wear once in their life.Even worse: they are willing to do this to themselves multiple times.

Why starve yourself and go on crazy diets just for one night of fashion? More questionable is the example that is set for the young women and girls that watch this show. These models, and the people of Victoria’s Secret, are saying that it is okay to do whatever it takes to fit into a size two even if it means essentially cutting down on all of the food groups that sustain your life.

Realistically, size two is not average. Multiply that by five and you’ve got my size, a ten. I’m not even ashamed of it. What I am ashamed of, however, is that the place where I buy my best yoga pants wants me to be something I’m not. Victoria’s Secret not only wants me to be a size two, but they also want me to fit into a C-cup, “naturally,” like Adriana Lima and the rest of those models that wear giant angel wings and Swarovski crystal encrusted bras.

Read more ...

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

The ugly Christmas sweater is becoming an omnipresent item of the holiday season. Many people are buying and borrowing tacky sweaters to wear to ugly Christmas sweater themed parties. Telltale signs of these unpleasant sweaters are cartoon snowmen with fuzzy pom poms for decoration, Christmas trees decorated with red and green felt applique, Santa with a fuzzy beard, and of course Rudolph with his bright red nose.

The garments are also usually itchy, too large or too small, and uncomfortable to wear. If they are so ugly and uncomfortable, why is there such a craze over ugly Christmas sweaters?

Well, if you have ever been invited to an ugly Christmas sweater party you would know that it is an entertaining tradition. You do not have to worry about dressing up or looking nice; you can basically look ridiculous for a night and fit in with everyone else.

Actually, the worse you look, the more popular you are at the party. The sweaters give the party a more fun atmosphere, than any other holiday party.

Your first step in attending one of these parties is obtaining an ugly sweater. One option is making your own garment. Taking a trip to the arts and crafts store to pick out silly decorations to put on your sweater is a fun tradition to do with friends.

You have pom poms, colored felt, bows, ornaments, ribbons, bells, candy canes, feathers, garland, beads, tinsel, lights and much more to choose from. Once you choose the décor, grab a glue gun or sewing kit and get to work. It’s all about making your sweater the most obnoxious garment at the party.

If you do not have time to craft your own ugly sweater, consignment and thrift stores are always an option to find something cheap and hideous.

But, if you do not want to spend money you could search through your parents or a grandparent’s drawers for sweaters that they think are, of course, beautiful.

Read more ...

Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions

As everyone’s favorite time of the year, the end of the semester, approaches us, so do the resolutions to better ourselves in yet another upcoming fresh new year.

After the holidays come to a close, we get to experience the joy of looking forward to the new year. We get a fresh start, a reset option to life as we know it, an opportunity to set our goals for the upcoming 12 months and forget about them about a month in: these are what I like to refer to as New Year’s Resolutions.

This season is certainly my favorite all year and Christmas is in fact my favorite holiday, with New Year’s Eve coming in second. The cold weather, the shiny, unique white crystals swinging from side to side as they fall from the sky, the hot chocolate and holiday-inspired lattes topped with sweet old whip cream awaiting in closed areas filled with people embracing a hug of warmth as winter runs the streets of society: it never gets old for me.

Every winter I stand back and embrace it all in, imagining myself to be part of some sort of Christmas movie.

However, this season is great in every aspect: everyone has something to celebrate. Whether you are Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, or Christian, there’s a reason for you to be in family embracing the love and joy going all around.

By the time the last day of the year approaches our home, most of us have moved on from family celebrations to finding fun ways to welcome the new year.  Some look back and recall on all the happy memories from the ending year, some rather avoid the bad ones and look forward to a new beginning. Some are simply ready for the partying and fun.  Whatever the case may be, no one misses out on the New Year resolutions.  

Read more ...

Snapchat Could Pay a Price for Introducing “Snapcash”

In recent years, more and more people are declaring themselves self-proclaimed photographers. First is was Photo Shop, then it was Instagram, now it’s Snapchat?

On Nov. 17, Snapchat announced they have added a new feature to the app, “Snapcash.”

According to a blog post on the company’s website, Snapchat teamed up with Square, an application that appears to help with payment processing on laptops, tablets, smart phones, etc.

With Square’s help, Snapchat is able to construct a payment system for its users so that snapchatters can exchange money with another through the application. The company has made it so that one can simply set up their debit card information in their settings as well as agree to their terms and conditions.

Well, actually, their terms and conditions is more or less their signature ghost icon with a large “I agree” banner and miniscule script confirming that the person about to agree is at least 18 years old.

Snapcash did not come say exactly what the money would be used for or why people would want to use it in the first place, but I can only imagine what people are thinking.

It’s safe to assume that Snapchat is monopolizing on the distribution of people’s nude photos.

With the amount of celebrity nudes that were leaked this past year alone, everyone is interested in seeing someone else’s body solely out of curiosity. So why not make them pay for it?

Read more ...

Having One “Soulmate” Sounds Overrated

We won’t all visit China, not everyone will get to experience climbing a mountain, and not everyone gets the chance to perform in sold out arenas. So why is it that we as a society are so hung up on the idea that everyone will find one true love in the form of a husband or wife? And then stay with that one person until eternity?

For some reason, society has decided to enforce this ridiculous rule on itself and encouraged everyone to follow suit. For what reason? So that the divorce rate in the United States could be 40 – 50 percent according to the American Psychological Association?

The idea that every single person will find one true love, of their sexual preference, and then they will remain in a happy and loving relationship for the rest of their life is just not real. That is not to say some people will not experience this. It is also not to say that anyone who does not experience this is doing something wrong.

Society has made anyone who does not find this ideal feel like an outcast. This is what I believe forces people to settle for anyone who can create the illusion of a soul mate. They meet someone when they are young, settle because the rule is you meet your soul mate when you are young. But how is everyone going to find his or her other half by 30 years on this earth, when that isn’t even halfway through your life. There is still so much time to go other places and meet new people. I think it is possible that people rush into relationships before they have a chance to meet someone later on in life who would complete them.

Then there is also the possibility that not everyone gets to stay with their soul mate. Perhaps some people have to deal with the one that got away. Or some people are wasting their time with someone else and miss out on a chance to meet their real soul mate. But people are willing to settle for someone who isn’t everything to them. They in turn miss out on someone even greater. When it comes to your happiness, there should be no exceptions but the absolute best.

Then there is the question, who decided that everyone’s soul mate was a sexual partner? I think it is possible that some people’s soul mates come in the form of friends that have a stronger bond. We won’t all keep the same friends we have in college, let alone in kindergarten. People move, people change. Why is not as much value given to great friendships? 

Read more ...

Stop Defining Self-Perception: See Yourself as More Beautiful

How many times have you looked in the mirror and not appreciated the person looking back at you? The same is true for countless individuals across the globe who continue to judge themselves for what they are on the outside rather than what they are on the inside. Take note from an incredibly powerful speaker, Shane Koyczan, in his speech “To This Day” where he states, “If you can’t see anything beautiful about yourself, get a better mirror. Look a little closer, stare a little longer, cause there’s something inside you that made you keep trying despite everyone who told you to quit.”

So who is to tell you what the definition of beauty is? We are all built to be of different sizes, of different shapes, having different skin colors. There is nothing about different that is wrong or ugly. The thing about being different is that you are unique.

The media has such an incredible impact on the way we view ourselves. A Kaiser Foundation Study found that one in every three articles in a teen magazine have a focus on appearance rather than self worth.

According to Teen Health and the Media, out of a survey of nine and ten year-old girls, 40 percent were dissatisfied with their bodies and in turn, attempted to lose weight. These children were polled after being shown a variety of music videos. By the time children reach the age of 17, 78 percent of all teenage girls are unhappy with their bodies. This leads to excessive sessions at the gym, depression, and eating disorders.

But why has so much changed over the past years? What happened to when the epitome of beautiful was Marilyn Monroe, who is known to have worn a size 12? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the average weight of women over the age of 20 in America is 166 lbs, which is nowhere near the representation seen in the media. 

Read more ...

Think Before You Judge Us: Not Your Stereotypical “Sorority Girl”

sorority-gs"She pays for her friends. She's so dumb. She parties too much. She only cares about her looks. All she says is 'Oh my god, I have the best Big. Or, 'Little, you're my favorite person in the entire world.'"

Sorority girls have been discriminated against since any of us can remember. We're constantly put down for being part of something bigger than ourselves, for wanting to be part of an organization that gives back to the school and the community. But why? What did any of us ever do to be hit with the "sorority girl" stereotype? I can tell you from personal experience, sorority girls are not "sorority girls."

It's time to set the record straight, we don't pay for our friends. Yes, we are a group of women of 55 or more, who pay national and local dues. We pay to be a national member of an organization, to donate to the philanthropies we hold close to our hearts, to network within a group of thousands of other women. Believe me, we do not pay for our friends.

We aren't dumb, either. Seven percent of individuals in the Greek community graduate from college, compared to the 51 percent of college graduates who were not affiliated with an organization. According to Pace University, in the United States, Greek's make up about 350,000 of college undergraduates. And on Monmouth's campus, the average grade point average (GPA) of Greek women is 3.2. That's .7 higher than the required GPA on campus.

Read more ...

Feminism: Much More Than Just the American Girl’s Fight

By an official dictionary definition feminism is the belief that both women, and men, should have equal rights and opportunities. In America, women's fight for equality has been long and hard, but I'd have to say we are almost there.

I understand that there is still a wage inequality gap, and for that I condone women who keep fighting for that equality. There is no reason for women to not make equal pay to men, when they are doing the same exact job and working the same hours.

But when it comes to any other issue on the equality of sexes, we as American women have no argument. According to the Institute for Women's Policy Research, women make up half the workforce and are considered breadwinners in four out of ten families. Not only are most women raising families and working full time jobs, but more women in America receive college degrees than men.

Granted, America is not yet perfect on the issue of equality. People argue that there are not enough women CEO's or women in Congress. Ascending to these high level positions takes a lot of time and experience. In due time, when the numerous amount of women with college degrees start to move up the ranks there will be a definite switch.

One of my marketing and international business professors, Susan Gupta, mentioned how only 20 or 30 years ago it was unheard of that she was going to succeed in business. Now, her class is equally split in gender. As leadership roles switch to younger minded people, equality opens up. It does take time.

But when I see a woman in the Middle East put to death because she refused to marry a man three times her age, I refuse to stand with the women fighting in America because they feel they are treated unfairly or because it has just recently become a trendy topic.

Yes, there are instances of inequality, but it could be so much worse. We, as American women, do not go to sleep scared every night that we may be faced with some instance of abuse the next day simply because I am a woman.

Recently on the Internet, a woman posted a video of herself walking through New York City in a tight black t-shirt and a pair of jeans. People said nothing disrespectful but complimented her the whole time and she called it an argument for feminism. I wonder what the women who are beaten if they chose to leave the house in anything but a burka would say about that video.

Read more ...

New Found Glory Gets a Totally Unfair Review by Alternative Press

Alternative Press, a music magazine for the alternative rock and pop punk music culture, reviewed New Found Glory's personal choices instead of reviewing their new record early last month.

New Found Glory announced on their Facebook page in Dec. 2013 that their guitarist, Steve Klein, would no longer be a part of the band. The band no longer felt they could work with him because of "personal difference," and that despite Klein's absence, the band would still be making music.

On Oct. 7, 2014, New Found Glory released their eighth album, "Resurrection," without Klein. Many of the songs included stories of their hardships with the former guitarist, including the title song "Resurrection," but there were other moments of the band members' lives reflected in some of the song writing as well.

In an interview with Fuse, guitarist Chad Gilbert opens up about having relationship issues with his girlfriend Hayley Williams, lead singer of Paramore, and how their hardships reflect in some of the songs on the album as well. Gilbert also reveals that bassist Ian Grushka's relationship with his ex-wife is talked about in some of the songs, too.

A day after the album was released, Alternative Press, who has reviewed multiple New Found Glory records in the past, spent the entire first half of "Resurrection"'s critique on Klein's absence.

The first three paragraphs of the review, which typically sets the tone for what any album review or article in general, were all about how Klein was kicked out of New Found Glory. Alternative Press even went as far to say that the band was "kicking him while he's down" with regards to some of the songs on the album.

For a music magazine known for praising bands in this particular music scene, they unnecessarily bashed a well-respected band. A band that has inspired others to form bands whose names are direct reflections of their appreciation for New Found Glory (i.e. All Time Low and The Story So Far). A band who received a full four-star rating on their previous album, Radiosurgery, only three years ago from Alternative Press. So why now, is this happening?

Is it perhaps that the younger, newer artists, the ones that are inspired by bands like New Found Glory are more musically relevant? Or maybe it's because Alternative Press is simply trying to change its readership and move towards a younger audience. If that's the case, then I fear for the music world.

Read more ...

Let the Best of the Sports Season Begin: College Basketball

When it comes to college sports, two sports generally get the bulk of attention: football and basketball. Each sport has their arguments as to why they should be considered the king of college athletics, but is there really much of a competition?

A college basketball game is simply one of the most entertaining events a person can attend. From the tempo of teams going back and forth up the court, to the regular season spanning from November to March, to the many conference tournaments, to finally, the big dance itself, the NCAA tournament, college basketball has a lot going for it.

With Monmouth's men's basketball team tipping off its season this Friday in West Virginia, let's take a look at why the madness of college basketball makes it the number one sport in collegiate athletics.

Basketball, unlike football, has the advantage of having the action continue after every score. So while there are breaks for TV timeouts and fouls, basketball typically embodies a lot of energy. This represents the very nature of college: non-stop energy and fun. Watching a college basketball game gets intense when teams are going back and forth, trading baskets. This allows the college atmosphere to shine through as the student body is on their feet cheering for another basket every other minute, while cheering for the defense to block a shot or grab a rebound in between offensive possessions. When the game comes towards its conclusion this pace tends to slow, as the team that is behind tends to foul to remain in it. This doesn't kill the energy however, as things become even more riveting with every foul shot. This feeling of being on the edge of one's seat compliments the high energy felt throughout the game.

Another big part of college basketball is conference play. Typically, a team will play every team in its conference twice throughout the regular season. This leads to many entertaining rivalry games, as these teams are competing for the same goal of a conference title. The energetic atmosphere doubles when a conference rival comes to town, such as when Iona or Siena comes into the MAC this season. These games feel more important, and that is because they really are. A conference record is vital to a college basketball team's success and its placement in the conference tournament.

Not only is it more important, but it leads to many big-time matchups when it comes to the big conferences. This year the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) is loaded with many high profile teams, such as Duke, UNC and Louisville. Having any combination of these teams face off with each other, plus other big time ACC schools, leads to a very fun portion of the schedule to finish the regular season.

Read more ...

Opposing Response from Last Week’s “To Go, or Not to Go to Class?”

I am not an avid reader of the Outlook. In fact, I had no idea how frequently, or on which day, the paper was printed until this week. My perusal of its pages has been part of a recent attempt to develop some semblance of a connection to the University and my classmates – outside of my own personal academic life – before I graduate in May.

When I read the op-ed "To Go, or Not to Go to Class? That is the Question" I became excited. Expecting a criticism of the all too frequent student absences on campus, I found myself thinking, "Could it be... another Monmouth student who is as appalled, discouraged, and frustrated with the overall lack-luster academic attitude of the student body as I am?"

Within the first few sentences of the article, however, I knew I was mistaken.

The piece begins, "How often do you find yourself sitting in a classroom and thinking, 'Wow this is what I woke up for?' We've all had those classes, mainly electives or graduation requirements, which feel like nothing more than a waste of time, credits, money, and most importantly, sleep. I understand that the University has certain requirements a student must fulfill so that he/she is considered well-rounded enough when entering the real world – or at least that's their excuse for stocking us with unnecessary courses."

To answer the writer's question: never.

I recognize that adequate sleep is important for college students, but to dismiss the amazing educational privilege afforded to college students in favor of an extra hour of sleep does not make any sense to me.

It does not matter whether the student lost sleep because of academics, or because they decided to binge on the latest season of their current Netflix vice. Sleep is important for college students because it ensures they will have the energy to attend college. Adult responsibility is not just the ability to say, "Screw class, I have more important things to do." It means planning and prioritizing your life so that you can both sleep and go to class.

Although somewhat pertinent, the issue of sleep deprivation is hardly the most glaring problem expressed in the opening paragraph. The sentiment that gen-ed and elective classes are a waste of time, or unnecessary, should trouble all members of the academic community.

Read more ...

Kids of Illegal Immigrants: Entitled to Education?

While skimming The New York Times, I came across a very interesting subject: should children of illegal immigrants be entitled to public education? Taking into consideration that elections just took place, I found it to be perfect timing to discuss something a bit more serious. This topic offended me. Having been illegal for more than half the time I have lived in the United States, it hurt me to read that citizens like me are questioning whether my past self should be allowed to have an education.

If it were not for the fact that public schools do not require a child to prove a legal status in this country, I would not be where I am today- on my way to walk on stage with a B.S. in Chemistry, a minor in Informational Technology, and on the pursuit of my PhD in Chemistry! Could you imagine what would have become of me if I had not been allowed to attend elementary, middle, and high school? I did not gain my legal status in this country until my junior year of high school; prior to that, I woke up afraid every morning that this would be my last day as I knew it, that this would be my last day of education, that this would be last day in my road to the "American Dream."

What a beautiful thing, the "American Dream," is it not? Individuals from all over the world come to this land of freedom with hopes of the white fenced, two-floor house, the Benz in the front yard, pool in the back, and 2.5 kids.

Of course, we are all aware of the fact that this dream is not obtainable without some sort of higher education, correct? And, in order to be eligible for that higher education is it not a requirement to attend some sort of basic schooling, like high school?

Yes, people can argue that homeschool is an option and therefore this country does not owe those of illegal descent any type of public education. Let me bring you back to the black board for a second. The American Dream is more than often pursued by immigrants from less fortunate countries who find hope in this "land of the free." Now, how do you think those illegal immigrants, or legal for that matter, will work towards such dream? The parents sure won't be attending school, they will be out maintaining two and three jobs at a time to support their families and give their kids what they never had- a higher education.

Now, if the parents are out busting their behinds all day, do you think they have time to homeschool their children? Can we, also, remember to factor in the realistic assumption that these parents probably do not speak the primary language in this country? How, then, do we expect these kids to be home schooled? Sounds a bit obscure, doesn't it?

Read more ...

American Horror Story: Conceptualizing Ideas about Violence and Sexuality

ahsIt starts with the news. We see graphic images of people dying on a daily basis and we become accustomed to seeing violence in our everyday lives. Once we accept reality, violence finds it way to the big screen, television and soon, we become trapped. Trapped in a web of violence, but we don't see it that way.

Violence in the media is not something that makes us cringe much anymore. It has always surrounded us in various media outlets and no one has ever suspected it to be anything but the norm. What we don't seem to understand, however, is that violence is not a natural norm.

When it comes to portraying violence in the media, we normally don't think twice about. When we talk about adding another element to the mix, something like nudity, we reevaluate our choices. Seeing parts of the human body that we don't see every day scares us.

Just because we walk around with clothes on doesn't mean we don't know what's underneath them. With violence, we wouldn't know what a person who had been attacked violently looked like if the news didn't show us. So then why are we so comfortable with accepting the familiar as opposed to the unfamiliar?

Read more ...

To Go, or Not to Go to Class? That is the Question

How often do you find yourself sitting in a classroom and thinking, "Wow this is what I woke up for?" Lectures are not always fun, or easy to remain awake through. We've all had those classes, mainly electives or graduation requirements, which feel like nothing more than a waste of time, credits, money, and most importantly, sleep. I understand the University has certain requirements a student must fulfill so that he/she is considered well-rounded enough when entering the real world- or at least that's their excuse for stocking us with unnecessary courses.

My purpose in writing this, however, is to question the theory behind attendance policies. As college students, do we truly need to attend class, or would it be possible to pass without attendance being a factor?

Back in high school, one's attendance record was significant. You either recieved perfect attendance or, on the contrary, absence letters threatening your eligibility for graduation. I was threatened to repeat my junior year due to absences, though they were mostly medically excused, and my grades were on point.

It made no sense to me that the administration wanted to keep me from graduating on time because of a tally of 17 absences. Regardless of the number of missed school days, I managed to ace all my classes. After a long battle they forgave my absences and I was able to move on with my academic life. Still, was all that stress and constant back and forth calling and paperwork necessary? I think not.

I thought once I got to college the rules would change and I would finally have the freedom to attend class as I chose. I mean I am paying for it, right? Wrong.

Read more ...

Dr. Duckett’s Course: No More Climate Change Skepticism

Ah, the holidays. Famous singer Andy Williams described them in his legendary song, "It's the most wonderful time of the year." The "holidays" usually refer to a period in the United States of America that ranges from around Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, that is filled with food, shopping, and gatherings of families across the country.

The dinner tables on holidays like Christmas are supposed to be filled with joyous conversation, laughs, and catching up with one another, but the mood of the table can change swiftly when one certain topic is brought up: politics.

Even the closest of families can have differing ideological and political views, which can quickly cause conflict at the dinner table. More recently, one of the most discussed and debated topics is climate change.

In simple terms, climate change means exactly what it sounds like: the changes in the climate. Weather patterns and temperatures are often the most talked about examples of climate change. Like most subjects, there are believers and non-believers about climate change. In a general view, the typical political categorization of believers and non-believers of climate change are liberals and conservatives, respectively. But there are conservatives, like myself, who do believe that the climate is changing. As much as you may not want to believe it due to your political allegiance or religious views, the fact is this: the climate is change is real and an immediate threat to our society.

Before taking Dr. Catherine Duckett's (Associate Dean of the School of Science) Climate Science course, I was a climate change skeptic. I thought that there were changes happening in the climate, but I was not sure of the magnitude of sudden change or overall risks if the climate continues to change at the current rate.

Read more ...

November is National Marrow Awareness Month: Why College Kids Should Care

bone-marrow-factWe all know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There are walks to raise money for research taking place across and the color pink has become just as popular in October as orange and black. Because of initiatives like these, public awareness about this horrible disease has greatly increased and we're closer than ever to finding a cure and saving even more lives. There's also another cancer fighting initiative coming up in November that could also save people's lives and all it takes to help is a cotton swab.

November has been designated National Marrow Awareness Month to raise public awareness about fighting diseases like Leukemia and Lymphoma and the importance of registering as a bone marrow donor.

Someone in my family battled Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) which is what really opened my eyes to how devastating these blood cancers can be and how much being a marrow donor can help. AML is type of leukemia that, according to, causes "the bone marrow makes abnormal myeloblasts (a type of white blood cell), red blood cells, or platelets."

My aunt's niece, 13-year-old Hayli Hough, just beat AML. She was diagnosed in August of 2013 and after four rounds of chemotherapy, the cancer was gone. Unfortunately, she relapsed this past April and following two more bouts with chemo, the decision was made to get Hayli a bone marrow transplant. Since the procedure, she is doing great. Hayli was recently released from the hospital and no longer requires 24-hour doctor care. The cancer is gone for the second time. This transplant saved her life.

Read more ...

American Dream Myth: Tuition Costs Suppress Overall Success

This is not an article that is going to slam Monmouth or any other college or university for having high tuition costs. This is not an article that is going to complain about where my tuition money goes or what I believe it is spent on. This is, instead, an article expressing my beliefs on the fact that something needs to be done about the rising tuition costs in America.

By now, everyone in the world knows that Germany is offering all German citizens, and people from anywhere else in the world, a free college education. It is a revolutionary idea and to most people in America, even myself, it seems unfathomable.

Of course, there are many differences in German universities and American universities. All those extra amenities like gyms, sports teams, career services, advisors, etc. offered at American schools are not offered at German universities. The classes, even the higher-level classes, are all lecture style and offer a midterm and final and are mostly pass fail.

Both experiences are very different but the main point is ANYONE in Germany can go to college. Rich or poor, you can afford to better educate yourself. In America, we know there is a problem with income inequality. People who sit on and below the poverty line have almost no way of moving up because today, most decent paying careers require a degree.

I feel so blessed to know that I am able to afford a higher education, but at the same time know how unfair it is to so many people in America who simply cannot afford it. The American dream seems to be dying. It is so unrealistic to simply work hard and move up in America. I think the government should look at Germany as an example and use it as a way to help Americans.

Read more ...

Five Old Fashioned Values Gen-Y Should Live By

Generation Y: the "Millennials", "Generation Me", and the "Instant Gratification Generation." Yup, that's us. In a world with social media obsessions, high speed technological development, and much of what we desire readily available right at our fingertips, I hate to break it to you but we sort of live up to it.

I get it, naturally, times change. With the times, so do people, habits and values. And I mean call me old fashioned, but I think we in Generation Me could take some serious lessons from the humbler, more patient and conservative generations that came before us.

Whether it is in relationships, work ethic or attitude, here are five old fashioned values I think we should try to keep alive today and maybe the world will be a little bit better off for it.

1. You can't always get what you want.

Spoiler alert; things in life are not always going to go exactly the way you imaged or according to your perfectly thought out and formulated plans. And that is okay. Often today, it seems our generation is a bit spoiled. We are used to getting necessities quickly, easily, and exactly how we want them thanks to technology, fast food chains, and other advances in convenience.

What I think we tend to forget is that lessons are not learned in getting what we want, but rather when we don't. When we do not get what we want we learn to adapt, grow and see another perspective. We may know what we want, but not what we need and sometimes life gives us just that.

Read more ...

Halloween Costumes: Lots of Money, Barely Any Material

dallas-costumeAs a favorite holiday of both children and adults approaches, it is only right to speak about the well-known facts: Halloween is your chance to be anyone you have ever wanted to be with a judgment-free card as your encouragement.

It is not only about the opportunity to be someone fictional and unreal, to pretend for a night to have powers or be the "baddest" superhero around, it is about the confidence boost a piece of polyester gives each and every one of us.

The minute we put a costume on, we are no longer the nerd that sits in the front row of science class, or the jock that is barely passing his classes. We are not the weird hipster who is always on his guitar, or the pothead who's secretly a genius. On Halloween, we become our alter egos. In most cases, that alter ego is confident, cool, and untouchable-able to do anything and everything his/her heart desires.

Women for instance, have the opportunity to dress down rather than up and be the inner goddesses they have always dreamt of. For females, Halloween is about showing the most skin possible and party stores know that. Hence, ironically, the less material a costume has, the more money it will cost. Take Party City for instance, a nicely made, fashionable pirate costume whose skirt reaches past the knees is selling for $24.99. Meanwhile, a Cowboys Cheerleader costume with spandex white shorts and a bandeau blue top, is $49.99. That is exactly double the price.

Read more ...

Now is the Time More Than Ever That You Should be Doing AC

ac"America's favorite playground," "Monopoly City," or the gleaming "city-by-the-sea." Call it what you like, I as well as many others, have fallen in love with Atlantic City and made many fond memories in our little South Jersey treasure.

Fortunately, for those of us who are fond of AC, the city has almost always thrived. From being a famously rebellious place where all bets were off and all alcohol was available during the prohibition, to the wild success of the real estate along the coast with large casinos, clubs and the boardwalk in recent times, we knew our little playground was safe and sound.

But on the other hand, unfortunately, in the past couple of years the economy and success in Atlantic City has been steadily declining and plummeting to dangerous new lows.

With big name casinos such as Showboat, Trump Plaza and Revel closing its doors, it is obvious the city could be in trouble.

The main reason for this slump is likely that other states are opening smaller solo casinos and legalizing online gambling, eliminating the need to make the trip to AC entirely. To me, Atlantic City just has something more going for it than other casino rivals like Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun; it has heart.

Read more ...

Rule Out Location When Rooting for Out-of-State Sports Teams

When it comes to deciding on a sports team to pull for, most people tend to make their decision based on the area they live in. In this part of Jersey, that tends to mean seeing a lot of "Big Blue" decals on cars or fans decked out in green pulling for the "J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS!"

Yes, many people root for teams that play in or around the state they are from. But there are quite a few fans, myself included, who believe "location, location, location" is best served for real estate investors. We rely on other factors when choosing what team to pull for.

When it comes to baseball, embarrassing as it might be, I'm a Mets fan. Yes the "Amazin' Mets" have not lived up to that nickname in quite some time, but you have to stand by your team. While it may seem like I made this decision based on the fact that the Mets are a local team, that's not the case. My grandmother was a die-hard fan of the New York Metropolitans. Because of that my dad and the rest of his family are Mets fans and because of that, my brother and I have been fans of the team since we were kids. Whether they're "amazin'" or not, win or lose, we both bleed orange and blue.

That's how it is with the NHL too. My dad has always been a New York Islanders fans because when he was following hockey, there was no New Jersey Devils franchise. Back then, when you hated the Rangers, the Flyers and the Penguins, the only logical choice was to pull for the Isles. While I don't really mind the Devils, when it comes to teams like the Mets and the Islanders, I feel almost like it's a family tradition to take up a rooting interest in these local underdogs.

But when it comes to football, I've noticed this is where people's loyalties tend to transcend state lines. I'm a Kansas City Chiefs fan because just like my baseball and hockey selections, my father is a fan. Plus, the team is among the biggest underdogs in the league. Seeing them go to the playoffs last year after winning just two games the previous season was beyond exciting. You don't get that kind of thrill from the Patriots or the Broncos; teams that seemingly always make the playoffs as of late. I know this seems like a strange argument but when your team hasn't made it to the playoffs in a while, it makes it much more special when they do make it back.

My brother Matt is a fan of the Washington Redskins because, as he put it, "I hate the Cowboys, I hate the Giants and I hate Philly." Rather blunt, but when you hate three of the four teams in the NFC East, why not pull for the fourth one? Also, the team has become a lightning rod for controversy, but he doesn't mind being politically incorrect and wears his burgundy jacket, emblazoned with "Redskins" in big gold letters, with pride.

Read more ...

Social Media? More Like Anti-Social Media For This Generation

phoneNow I admit it, I am on my iPhone just as much as everyone else; I check Facebook almost every hour, I am constantly updating photos to my Instagram account, and I am always checking Twitter to see what my favorite celebrities are up to, but how much is this really helping my social skills? Sure, it is called social media for a reason. It helps you keep in touch with your family, friends, celebrity icons, and even your favorite department stores and brands, but what many people don't think about, is how social media is ruining our generation.

Everywhere you look, someone is always on a phone. Take a look around you. Next time you are out to dinner with your family, walking to class, in your doctor's waiting room, I guarantee you will see at least one person on a phone. This is what our generation has come to. No matter where you turn, someone is always on a phone.

This is affecting people's social lives. People do not interact with others like they used to. Some people even use their mobile devices and social media as a form of comfort.

Dr. Michele Van Volkom, a lecturer of psychology, said, "Based on recent research conducted by myself and my co-authors, I cannot say just yet if our communication is 'ruine,' "but it had definitely changed."

Read more ...

Veganism Health Hype Is Overrated

Many people who consider themselves to be "vegan" have been very misinformed as to exactly what being a true vegan means and are potentially putting themselves at risk.

Since the food trend started about a year ago, people have been giving up all animal products and by-products in order to maintain a healthier lifestyle. What these people do not realize is that they're not actually vegan, they just have a vegan diet.

According to The Vegan Society, veganism defines as "a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to animals for food, clothing or any other purpose."

So what does this mean for the "vegans" out there? Basically, they are not exactly what they make themselves out to be. Yes, their diet is free of anything animal related, but what about the rest of their daily lives?

Part of living like a vegan involves making sure every aspect of your life is free of any form of animal "exploitation." You may be wondering why I put quotes around "exploitation." Well, let's just say I didn't know that wearing wool could make a sheep feel exploited. I apologize to you, sheep.

Thankfully, the animal rights advocates over at PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has provided the vegan version of "What Not to Wear" on their website. Every article of clothing you could possibly imagine wearing, minus underwear and bras for some reason, is highlighted on this mini fashion tutorial. So if you're thinking of becoming a vegan, it might be best to get rid of those cute leather boots and fancy wool coat.

While veganism preaches that we should feel guilty about "exploiting" animals in our daily lives, it fails to discuss the health risks that come with being a vegan. It is very gracious of those who choose to be vegan to be kind to the animals of the world, but what about them?

Read more ...

Appreciate Your Internship

Internships have become a major part of the college experience. Here at Monmouth, students cannot graduate unless they complete at least one of them and gain some experience working in their respective fields.

At first, I saw this as nothing more than an inconvenience; something else school-related I had to complete that would only eat up more of my free time. And it's not even going to pay, so what's the point? But after completing my first internship this summer, I see how valuable these experiences can be.

As a communication major, I initially thought about interning at a place like the Asbury Park Press or the Star Ledger. But after meeting with John Morano, a professor of communication and advisor to The Outlook, he suggested I look into working at the New Egypt Speedway as well. As a big race fan, this was the first place I applied.

I started on the night of one of the biggest races of the year; the night when the World of Outlaws 410 sprint car series came to town. My duties involved answering phones and putting wristbands on drivers and fans at the pit entrance.

Initially, I really couldn't see what this had to do with my major, but after performing these jobs on a more regular basis, I realized how much my communication skills had improved. To say that I'm quiet would be a serious understatement, but having to deal with the public on a regular basis really helped me become more outgoing; something that journalists and public relations professionals need to succeed.

Speaking of public relations, I had taken a few classes surrounding this field at Monmouth, even though my main focus has been on journalism. When I got to New Egypt Speedway, however, I really got a good taste of how important grassroots public relations campaigns can be.

Read more ...

Women Have Right to #BoycottNFL #GetRidofGoodell

NFl-boycottIn this country, football is a great American tradition. Many individuals, especially a large population of the youth, idolize the strong, tough and larger-than-life NFL players.

However, as more stories of domestic violence begin to surface as a result of recent crimes, many are jumping on the bandwagon and making the decision to #BoycottNFL.

I believe that anyone, especially women, are completely justified in their anger, disbelief or disgust in Roger Goodell and the criminal activities that are occurring without consequence in the National Football League under his leadership.

Most people are all too familiar with the Ray Rice case that has been dominating our TV screens, news feeds, magazine headlines and internet searches. Is that type of extreme violence really what it takes to get our attention and cause us to act? Is it not until a famous NFL player hits his fiancé so hard that he renders her unconscious that the public's eyes will be open to the truth?

We would all probably still be left in the dark if not for that infamous Rice elevator video being leaked to the media. It was not until then that the NFL and it's commissioner Goodell could no longer conceal the truth for the sake of keeping their player in the game.

As horrific as this Rice fiasco is, it is not the first by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, according to The New York Times, 713 NFL players have been arrested since 2000. 88 of those were documented under assualt and battery, while 85 of them were domestic violence cases.

Read more ...

Jeter’s Farewell Changes Face of Baseball

jeterDerek Jeter is baseball. Before the start of the 2014 Major League Baseball season, the Yankees' captain announced this would be his last. This season marked Jeter's twentieth and final season wearing Yankee pinstripes. With the Yankees missing the playoffs this season, and the regular season having ended Sunday, Sept. 28, the face of Major League Baseball has changed forever.

Jeter ended his career playing career in New York the only way he knew how – with an iconic moment. On Thursday, Sept. 25, No. 2 stepped to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles in a tie ballgame, for what would be his final at bat in front of the home crowd at Yankee Stadium.

In classic Jeter fashion, he singled to right field on the first pitch of the at bat to score the runner from second base and seal a walk off victory for the Bronx Bombers. Jeter's final game as the Yankees shortstop came against long time rival, the Boston Red Sox. It was a Hollywood ending to this Bronx Tale.

With Jeter leaving the world of Major League Baseball, the game of baseball will never be the same. Derek Jeter was the face of baseball for all the right reasons. He earned respect amongst all of his teammates and competitors. He played the game right, giving it his all every time he stepped on a baseball diamond. Mr. November will go down not only as an all-time Yankees great, but an all-time great in the history of MLB. Jeter's departure leaves baseball without a clear-cut face for the general public to associate with the sport.

Read more ...

Perks of Hook-Up Culture

As millennials, we are criticized daily. From our attitudes on life, to how much we drink, and of course how we interact with the opposite sex. Article after article is written on why the hook up culture of our generation is so detrimental. I have read articles that claim our generation will wind up alone because we cannot form relationships. That could not be farther from the truth.

As I watch my friends twist their way through this confusing time in our lives, I am seeing strong, beautiful people forming.- young adults who know what they want in life, people who know what matters to them. Is a culture of people so sure of who they are a bad thing?

I often listen to my friends speculate about having a boyfriend, yet the conversation always ends like this, "I don't have time for a boyfriend anyway." Our generation is driven and determined to succeed. Adding in the responsibility of nurturing a relationship is just not a priority at the moment.

Relationships take time and effort, and starting a new one takes even more time. Overwhelming amounts of credits, budding careers, part time jobs, grad school, greek life, sports teams, clubs, events and internship our generation is lucky if we even have time to grab a beer at Jack's happy hour!

This means that people who do get into relationships know it's worth it. Among my taken friends, including myself, I see some of the strongest bonds between people. People who really do have a connection, who chose to be in relationships because they know it is worth putting in the time and effort.

As we take less time to learn from relationships we take more time to learn who we are and what we actually want, whereas generations before us have had it hammered in their head they must find a spouse, get married and have kids, our generation's hook up culture does not condone the opposite of this but just promotes focusing on your happiness.

Read more ...

Appreciate Autumn and All the Fall Festivities it Has to Offer

fall-2-gsAutumn - the bright and colorful leaves are falling; the temperature cools down to a crisp degree and lives fall back into their familiar and comfortable routines again as summer winds down and students return to school.

Also worth mentioning are comfy hoodies, Ugg boots, apple picking, haunted hayrides and pumpkin spiced EVERYTHING.Those are just the few of many reasons why for me, it is so easy to fall in love with fall.

Let's face it, we're not children anymore, and for most of us summer simply does not mean what it used to. Gone are the long summers filled with days spent by the pool or at the beach and with no responsibilities. Now as working adults, summer is really nothing more than a time of the year when the weather heats up and the roads are packed with shore traffic.

Winter can be fun due to the excitement of the holidays; however, in my opinion it gets pretty old after about the third snowstorm. Snow just means I have to wake up an extra hour early in frigid temperatures to clean off my car and prepare to trek to school, work or wherever else I may need to go.

And spring is a beautiful time of the year. The flowers and trees bloom again and the promise of summer returns. But unfortunately, along with spring comes an abundance of allergies and rain, I will pass on that.

Read more ...

Proclaimed “Hippie” Culture Today is Not Similar to the Sixties

NamWe all know those people. The self-proclaimed hippies of today (or sometimes referred to as hipsters) that walk around in overpriced clothes from Urban Outfitters, listen to Sublime, and have some affiliation with weed. They claim to be hippies and channel their ancestors of the sixties and seventies but in reality they don't know the first thing about what it meant to be a hippie fifty years ago.

In every decade you can see a rebel group that comes to fruition. There were the flappers, the beatniks, the punks, and the slackers. The rebels of these generations were more than the music they listened to or the clothes they wore. We think we know what hippies are because we've seen the pictures and watched the movies. Hollywood has preached to us all our lives just how cool the hippies were.

It's easy to listen to the Beatles, wear round glasses, throw flowers in your hair at a rave and get tattoos of Sanskrit. What is not quite as easy to share is the ideology and the passion the hippies of the yesteryears had. Sixties hippies wanted to remove capitalism and an American political system they saw as authoritarian and unrepresentative.

It bothers me that these people channel the cool of the sixties but think it can be bought at a store. The same type of stores those hippies once fought against. Not only did hippies fight commercialism but they also fought an American government system that they did not believe in. Back then, hippies were protesting the Vietnam War and the draft that sent their brothers and neighbors off to fight and ruin their lives. It was a confusing time, and nothing in society today has the same sense of urgency.

Read more ...

Can Athletes Still Be Seen As Role Models After Ray Rice Scandal?

Devon-Still-and-Daughter-LeahWill Ray Rice play football again in Baltimore? Quoth the Ravens, "Nevermore." After being suspended two games for beating his now-wife, Janay, new and more graphic video of the incident leaked this week by TMZ. This led the Baltimore Ravens to terminate the three-time Pro Bowl running back's contract and the NFL suspended him indefinitely. Now NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is embroiled in an investigation into whether he knew about this footage before TMZ leaked it and how much he really knew when he handed down that initial two game suspension. But this incident has also raised another issue that has not been touched on by most media outlets: Do athletes still make good role models?

I know as a kid, and a life-long Mets fan, I had several different t-shirts with Mike Piazza's name and number on them. I also knew many other kids who wore Derek Jeter t-shirts. The idea that either of these players, or any other popular athletes for that matter, was capable of things like steroid abuse or domestic violence never entered my mind. I only cared about how they performed on the field; how many home runs they hit or how many runs they drove in. But with more and more athletes today being judged by how they act off the field, is it a good idea for children to idolize sports stars like Rice?

Read more ...

Broadway Musicals Are Making The Move To Be More Popular for the Masses

If anyone knows the musical, Wicked, they know one of the show's most famous songs, "Popular." Popular is one of the first songs sung by Glinda the Good Witch in the first act, and it begs one to question what makes a person popular. On the other hand, the music that is popular on radio stations and Billboard charts today begs one to question why this music is popular.

As a fan of Broadway and theatre music, I question why I like this genre so much, but when I really think about it, it reminds me of the parallels between Broadway artists and some of my favorite Hollywood artists today.

Some people believe that Broadway music is just a bunch of song and dance, that it's full of tap and chorus lines. This is not the case anymore. The style of Broadway is changing. Yes, it is easier to get access to Broadway music from listening to soundtracks of shows, but there are contemporary composers who are releasing music just like a regular recording artists are.

Theatre music is not what it used to be anymore. Composers like Kerrigan and Lowdermilk, as well as Jonathan Reid Gealt are putting out CD's featuring some of the music industry's up-and-coming stars.

If you want to hear a singer put their emotion into a song and sing their heart out, listen to Jonathan Reid Gealt's song "Quiet" sung by Natalie Weiss. Weiss has been on Broadway and is now famous for teaching a workshop called "Breaking Down the Riffs". This song has the ability to change anyone's opinion of what Broadway is in a second.

Weiss will be coming to Monmouth's Woods Theatre on October 2nd for anyone who is interested in learning what contemporary Broadway has become.

If one was to turn on any top 40 radio station today, they would be able to listen to a mix of pop songs, some occasional ballads, and usually some rap. Broadway music is a mixture of just that. One can go from listening to rap from shows like In the Heights, to ballads like "Always Starting Over" in If/Then sung by Idina Menzel. Broadway music is a mix of all of the music that is popular on the radio today, so why don't more people listen to it?

Read more ...

Rape: Mattress Message

It would be strange to see a woman walking around campus dragging a mattress. It's arguably an interesting sight to see in any setting. Mattresses belong in one place: the bedroom.

If you venture to Columbia University's campus, however, you might spot Emma Sulkowicz, a student who is defying a social norm. Everywhere she goes, her mattress follows.

Sulkowicz, to the surprise of many, is dragging the mattress around of her own free will. She is attempting to make a sobering statement about the various facets of injustice in on-campus sexual assault cases.

Sulkowicz was raped in her own bed by a fellow Columbia University student. The administration and faculty at Columbia University were ineffective in properly responding to her case, and Sulkowicz felt that something needed to be done.

It is not uncommon to hear a story about another college campus assault case. The word "rape" has almost become desensitized. Yet, in stark contrast to the commonality of the issue is the absolute lack of change that it has inspired.

People love to talk about it, of course. Sulkowicz's story will be shared on Facebook and Twitter and across any other appropriate medium of communication for many more weeks to come. She has gained a lot of attention in the past few weeks. Major newspapers have covered her story, depicting her as the brave heroine who is standing up to her attacker.

But people will forget, as they always do. Eventually, Sulkowicz's story will become just another statistic, and her uniqueness will wear off. Once it does, we will again be faced with the challenge of rekindling another call to change.

As a  college student, as a feminist, as a human, it's a depressing trend to acknowledge. So we cannot forget. We cannot forget Emma Sulkowicz, or the facts of her case, or the injustices that her University afforded her.

Read more ...

Advice from College Seniors: Senior Year -The Perfect Time to Persevere, Not Give Up

As we begin our senior year, many of our fellow students have already invested in the luxury of a four class schedule with plenty of time to kill. We see our friends casually drinking on weeknights and going to the beach on weekdays. While we too have some time during the week, we have taken the liberty of keeping our hectic schedule in order to grasp a full appreciation of our college life.

A friend who recently graduated consistently goes to social media to complain how much he misses the college lifestyle and even his out of school responsibilities such as participation in clubs and his fraternity.

We realize that we are fortunate enough to be part of three major clubs on campus and did not want to drop these activities just to more freedom during our senior year.

Being leaders for two of our clubs' majors on campus has taught us that being involved and staying involved is a learning experience that pays off. It looks much better on your resume if you stay in an activity because it shows commitment and dedication which can then be translated to a future job.

If you diminish your responsibilities just because it's your senior year, then a future employer may think you could do the same during your career. With this said, it is never too late to join an organization. Both of us went around the Involvement Fair this past weekend and joined some clubs that we never even thought of as an option in prior years. We do not want an opportunity to slip through our hands, hence why we have decided it would be best to be as involved as we can be. There are still so many people to meet and so many ways to be involved.

Read more ...

Take Advantage of MU: Advice from an Upperclassman

I still remember what it was like to step onto the campus of a "college" for the first time, the smell of freedom was stronger than ever, and I felt like the world was mine for the taking.

Now, looking back on that freshman, there are a few things I wish I could tell him. The first of which being, oh god why were you wearing that?! The second thing would be to take things a little more seriously. I don't mean, "don't have fun on weekends," rather, realize the time and opportunities you have in front of you and how fleeting they truly are. Here is what I think you need to do in order to take full advantage of college.

1. Get to know the campus

To be completely honest with you, I am not the type of person who walks into a situation and feels like they know what is going on. There is something beautiful about being lost, because that means at some point, you have to end up finding a way.

Getting to know the campus and what it's like to move from classroom to classroom, or knowing what it's like to walk across the arctic tundra that is Shadow Lawn in the dead of winter; is a vital part of college. Its moments like these where we have to remember what we heard as kids, "make sure you bundle up, it's cold outside!" We learn how to take care of ourselves and how to navigate the world around us.

2. Get to know the people

This is both a positive and negative experience. I have heard and actually have been guilty myself of saying the people of Monmouth are not the best sometimes. Realize this is the case any place you go.

Part of your challenge is to find the people that you can connect with and grow with during your time here. Yes, you will make mistakes. You will make enemies. That's all part of it, and that's something everyone has gone through. You will meet the best friends you have ever had, and share some of the most exciting memories with them. So yes, it's easy to say things like "everyone sucks," but finding the good in others and being open-minded will be some of your greatest assets to make it through. It also never hurts to smile!

3. Get to know you

This is probably the most important on this list, is the real reason you came to college. Let's put aside that degree ambition for a second and the super awesome job you're going to get after you walk across that stage.

Think about it. You are here because you want to see what you are made of. You want to have "the best four years of your life" and maybe do a little learning on the side. Most learning that you will use in life happens outside the classroom.

Read more ...

Ten Commandments College Freshmen Should Follow

ten_commandments_college_freshmenThere are many things people don't tell you about college life. Some things are small, trivial matters that just annoy every upperclassman on campus. Other things can change your entire college career if you keep an open, focused mind. Here are ten helpful tips for our incoming peers.

1. Making new friends is good; walking around campus in a group of 10+ people is bothersome.

The excitement of meeting new people and making new friends can become overwhelming the first couple of weeks as a freshman. Be mindful that, although you like walking around in a pack with your new self-proclaimed college crew, large groups take up a fair amount of room and should be mindful of other people using the sidewalks and/or space around them.

2. College food isn't that great.

Granted most—if not all—freshman will have a meal plan their first year, don't go overboard with all the pizza, cheeseburgers, fries, and sandwiches that you desire. Try to maintain a conscious and healthy diet because the notorious "Freshman 15" is NOT a myth. Also, be aware of those late night greasy cravings that so many businesses around campus cater to. Do you really need that 12-piece Buffalo chicken order at 3am?

Read more ...

Are Cars Still Made in America?

2011-Ford-Explorer-Redesigned-PictureMade in America. With the amount of trade we do with countries like China, Japan and some European nations, that's a slogan we seldom hear nowadays. From t-shirts to electronics, most everything Americans use is imported.

The New York International Auto Show finishing up this past weekend got me thinking that while there are still certain cars that are built in the U.S, the auto industry here is a little bit backwards from what it used to be 40 years ago.

In the 1950s, 60s and 70s, brands like Chevrolet, Buick, Ford, Chrysler and Dodge were all quintessentially American nameplates and they were all produced in the aptly named "Motor City."

But today, many of these brands are built overseas rather than here in the states. Yes, General Motors builds the Corvette in Bowling Green, K.Y, but it also produces the new Chevy SS in Australia, the Chevy Sonic is built in Korea on the same chassis as its sister, the Daewoo Aveo and Buick is now one of the top selling car brands in China.

Meanwhile, Chrysler is now owned by Fiat, with the company producing the 2015 Jeep Renegade in Italy on the Fiat 500L platform and the Dodge Dart on the same chassis as the Alfa Romeo Giulietta and while Ford still boasts different plants in Michigan, Ohio and upstate New York, they have always built their popular Fusion model in Mexico. They only added another assembly facility in Flat Rock, MI in August of 2013 to keep up with demand.

Read more ...

MU Welcomes Rush Holt

HOLTPresident Paul Brown announced on April 25 that Congressman Rush D. Holt, Jr. of New Jersey's 12th District will be the keynote speaker at the 2014 Spring Commencement. More than 1,000 graduating students will participate in the ceremony which will be held on Wednesday, May 21, at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ.

Congressman Holt, a five-time "Jeopardy" champion who holds a Ph.D. in Physics and a patent for a solar energy device, has represented central New Jersey since 1999. Representative Holt serves on the Committee on Education and the Workforce and the Committee on Natural Resources, where he is the Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources developing long-term strategies to decrease dependence on fossil fuels.

"Representative Holt is an ideal choice to receive an honorary doctorate of Science from Monmouth University," President Brown said. "He has consistently pushed for more money for scientific research and better science education," he added. Dr. Brown also noted that Monmouth has made a strong commitment to strengthen the University's science programs and facilities, including a significant $40 million renovation of the School of Science buildings.

The New York Times describes Holt as Congress's chief advocate for scientific research over his eight terms. He has been honored as the Biotech Legislator of the Year and with The Science Coalition's Champion of Science award. Scientific-American magazine has also named Holt one of the 50 national "visionaries" contributing to "a brighter technological future."

Read more ...

The Benefits of Stressful Times

The end of the semester is approaching fast. I have essay upon essay due, group project after group project coming to a close and the stress is almost becoming unbearable.

As I sit here in self-loathing for all the procrastinating I have done, I wanted to remind myself why the stress of school is not that bad.

First off, being stressed over college assignments means that I am in school. There are plenty of people who cannot afford to go to school.

If I were to so much as complain to them that I have a paper to write they might laugh in my face. I try to breath each stressful breath deep and know that somewhere out there, someone is jealous of the paper I have due on consumerism in America.

Not only are people jealous that I am stressed from school because I can afford to attend, there are also graduates who lust for the days when the most stressful aspect of their life was a group project.

Right now all the finals looming in the back of my mind seem to be the end of the world, but in reality when I am sitting in some am to 5 pm job, I will be wishing for these days. I have to remember to enjoy the easy stress that comes with college.

I also like to try to remind myself how boring my life would be without all this stress. Think about it; if you take college out, and the stress of papers, tests, and assignments due, life becomes pretty blasé.

Yes, it's enjoyable for a couple months (i.e. why we need summer vacation) but by the end of the summer I am always itching to get back to school. Stress at times can feel daunting, but I'd much rather have this stress then go through a very simple, boring life.

I tried to find one more reason to revel in the stress as I watched the clock tick closer and closer to my group project's due date. So I took to the internet and found that stress can actually help boost our immune systems. The more stress we incur the better we are able to cope with stress.

Read more ...

A Letter from Vice President Nagy

Dear Monmouth Students,

On Sunday, May 4, 2014 from 12 pm to 6 pm the Student Government Association and the Student Activities Board will host the annual program Springfest on the Shadow Lawn (rain site: the MAC). We would also like to recognize the Greek Senate, the Residence Hall Association and the Student Alumni Association respectively for their generous contributions this year. The day will include live music, carnival food, Aramark BBQ, festival games and giveaways.

Springfest 2014 will have everything you need and it should be a great way for us all to celebrate the end of another year at Monmouth University. While your attendance at Springfest is a key part of what continues to make this event so popular, it is also important that you remember to practice common sense and good decision making before, during, and after the festival. Your respect for the rules and regulations of the University and your willingness to take care of one another are all essential elements to the success of this day. Therefore, I ask that you spend a few moments reviewing the following guidelines that will be in effect for Springfest 2014.

1. Alcohol, pets/animals, open-containers, squeeze bottles, bags, backpacks, and/or similar items WILL NOT BE PERMITTED. Any student/guest that attempts to bring the above listed items to the event will be asked to leave the festival area.

2. Springfest is a closed event for only Monmouth students and their immediate guests. Monmouth students/their guests must have valid University/photo ID on their person and be prepared to show to event security or MUPD upon request.

3. Students living in any of the on-campus housing units are not permitted to host a social gathering during or after Springfest, which occurs on Sunday, May 4. Students that wish to hold a party on Saturday, May 3 must complete the Office of Residential Life's Social Affairs/Policy Application by Thursday, May 1, 2014 by 3 pm.

4. Parking in the Great Lawn and Garden Apartment Lots will be strictly enforced on May 4. If you plan to drive to campus for the festival and do not have a valid parking sticker for the Garden or Great Lawn parking lots, you MUST park in the Commuter parking lot by the Student Center. No exceptions permitted. Students should enter the campus from the Larchwood Avenue entrance.

Read more ...

Speak Up Against Violence

Everyone has a voice, everyone has the ability to speak up, and absolutely everyone has the right to yell for help, but how many actually do either one?

Once upon a time, female abuse was in all types of media and headlines. It was an issue no one refused to be quiet about. However, as time has gone by, awareness on abuse against women has decreased.

When was the last time you heard about a domestic violence incident or read an article on trying to bring awareness to the issue?

That's exactly my point. I would like to take a moment to remind us all of one of the major crimes that unfortunately takes place daily. The mere fact that we are blindfolded and cannot see it does not stop the abuse from occurring.

As I began to write this article, I was thinking to myself, "maybe the reason female abuse is not spoken or heard of as often anymore is because it does not happen as often," but as I did my research I quickly confirmed I was wrong.

According to the National Coalition against Domestic Violence (NCADV), one in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Can you imagine that?

I personally have three younger sisters, so we are a total of four women. Statistically, one of us is bound to experience domestic violence. When I think of it that way, I cannot help but freak out a bit.

When we relate statistics to our everyday lives, it hits harder and the crime no longer seems like such a stranger.

The National Coalition against Domestic Violence also reports that 85 percent of domestic violence victims are women.

That means women are the target of more than three-fourths of all domestic violence cases ever reported (we can only imagine how much larger that number is if unreported cases were taken into consideration).

Read more ...

The Shock Value of Cursing

If I was to begin this article with curse word after curse word, I'm not sure it would phase a lot of people. Cursing has almost become the norm on television shows, especially reality shows, and with that, it has become the norm in our society. Curse words are practically used as adjectives in today's vocabulary.

Most people know where it is inappropriate to curse, but the lines have been blurred for the rest. People curse all the time, anywhere that they deem to be appropriate now. I'm not sure why this has happened, but in everyday settings, the shock value of cursing is basically gone.

Even though reality television is all scripted, there is some reality in what people say on those shows. The dialogue between characters on reality television is one curse word after the next. From that, we are learning to see curse words being freely used, making cursing seem like it is the norm.

Not everyone curses, there are people that don't utter a curse ever.

Today people do not even bat an eyelash at someone having a sailor mouth. When people curse now in public and in general, no one really turns their head in disgust and shock anymore. For a lot of people certain curse words have become adjectives, verbs, and nouns all in one. They keep them at disposal for putting emphasis on any emotion.

At this point, curse words can help describe someone being angry, happy, sad, and excited. They can accompany any emotion someone is talking about and typically do.

I've heard people drop every curse word in the book and honestly, none of them surprise me anymore. Even the worst ones aren't even a big deal to say anymore in everyday conversations.

I think that's really sad. I curse too, I'm also at fault for making this the norm and I'm trying to stop. I've been cursing less lately and for a while I had to stop myself from cursing, but lately it's been much easier.

It's not hard to stop cursing, and I'm probably not going to make an impact on other people, but now I probably won't drop a bad word in an inappropriate setting. It will be easier for me now to conduct myself like an adult in a work environment and other places that are inappropriate to use that language in.

Read more ...

The Struggles of Internships

I hate internships. There I said it. That being said I have one.

It wasn't really a voluntary choice, unfortunately though, it has been drilled into everyone's head that goes to an institution of higher learning that interning will either make you or break you.

"You won't even stand a chance of getting a job without any internship experience," they say. "You'll be stuck at McDonalds with a bachelor's degree all because you just didn't take the time to get some field experience in your job," they hiss. Legend even has it that internships might even be more important than your college degree...just kidding. But the way that some people adamantly vouch for it makes me believe that it is.

It seems like a lot to ask full time students who have jobs, extracurricular activities, family responsibilities, papers, tests, allergies, romances, one night stands, a partridge and a pear tree to deal with, but somehow through the magic of the universe students are able to squeeze 120 hours of their time into completing an, often, unpaid internship.

That is unless you're a psychology major, then it's all just a mere 60 hours, or if you made the choice of criminal justice then it's a nice relaxing 80 hours.

Now I do not have anything bad to say about my current internship, in fact the people I work with, or rather for, are very nice and pleasant to be around.

However, I don't see why in eyes of the University, the job market and prospective employers, how an internship should be the end all, be all in foretelling my success in an entry-level position once I graduate.

Even more so, you cannot ignore the fact that interning is seen as the norm and required by most majors as an "EX ED" requirement in order to graduate.

I mean that is unless you decide to study abroad, but again you're going to be spending a lot of cash money just to satisfy a requirement which, in a very confusing turn of events, is a required course that is zero credits on your academic audit. Don't ask me why, I don't know.

Read more ...

A Letter to the Editor

I wanted to take the time to acknowledge the assistance of a group of "Good Samaritan" students who came to the assistance of a motorcyclist who was struck by an automobile last week. On April 17, 2014 at 8:07 PM, a motorcyclist had stopped at the red light just outside the entrance to the North campus. The vehicle behind the cyclist was unable to stop and struck the back of the motorcycle injuring the cyclist.

Upon hearing the crash, a group of MU students, some of them volunteer Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT's), immediately came to the aid of the injured party. They began to render first aid and secure the scene until the University Police, West Long Branch Police and First Aid responded and took over. The individuals involved were Bradley Rubin, Christopher Tappan and Andrew Ruckriegel.

Read more ...

There’s No Room for Fair-Weather Fans in Baseball

1986-ws-celebrationBaseball has long been known as "America's pastime." While football is arguably the most popular sport in the country today, there is still a certain romantic aspect of baseball that other sports can't match.

There's something special about showing up to watch a game, smelling the fresh cut grass and hearing the crack of the bat and the pop when the ball hits the catcher's mitt.

The other great thing about baseball is that come opening day, hope springs eternal for every fan that their team will make it to the World Series.

There simply isn't any room for fair-weather fans in baseball. Speaking as a fan of the lowly New York Mets, whose last playoff appearance was in the 2006 National League Championship Series, you need to stick with your team because you never know what can happen.

The hope is there for bigger and better things because, like Mets pitcher Tug McGraw shouted in a team meeting back in 1973, "Ya gotta believe!" Those three words have been a rallying cry for the team ever since.

Being only 23-years-old, I wasn't around to see the Mets in their glory days.

I've only heard about and seen highlights of the 1986 World Series against the Boston Red Sox.

Read more ...

Striving For the Perfect Grades

perfect_gradesWhy is it that a simple letter from the alphabet determines our whole future? Why is it that a single letter has the power to make us or break us within the split of a second?

Always having been a straight A student, I never realized how much of an impact grades have on a person's life. My whole life, it was just the normal thing to receive A's because of how I was raised.

When I was a young girl, receiving 80s were bad in my mom's book and a 95 on an exam triggered the question, "What happened to the other 5 points?"

Looking back at my childhood, yes grades have always meant a great deal to my mom, but because it was drilled into me at such a young age, I never gave it much thought until I reached college.

I came into college and immediately proclaimed myself a chemistry major and soon enough began to feel the pressure. I thought college would be like high school.

I would be able to keep doing exactly what I always had and would get the A's I have always been used to getting. You can guess that is not what happened at all.

Growing up I never had to study or try too hard. Whatever I learned at a lesson just stuck and when the exam came I just knew it.

Read more ...

A Line Should Be Drawn Where it’s Totes Not a Good Idea to Use this Cray Lingo Anymore

"That's cray!" "No way, that's totes ridic!" Any of this sound familiar? Unless you live under a huge rock, you have probably heard every single one of these phrases, or at least one out of the two.

These slang terms are what our daily communication consists of. Our generation has reached the point where the difference between slang and proper English grammar is often confused and forgotten.

Certain slang words, such as twerking, thank Miley Cyrus who actually did not even create the word, for that one has even reached the Merram Webster dictionary

So what is it exactly about these words and phrases that make them so catchy? Where did they even originate from? When is it no longer okay to keep them in our vocabulary?

Is society really that lazy and laid back that full words are no longer acceptable when holding face-to-face conversation?

Today slang is often viewed negatively. Although throughout the years slang words have flip flopped between being used by criminals and poets.

The first "slang" first emerged during the 18th century when any word not used in Britain was considered slang, and for a while, until the 1900s when writers began to incorporate slang into their art, it was considered the language of foreigners and criminals.

Each decade has its own set of slang words that emerge and eventually they become part of the following generations normal language.

For instance, did you know that gross which is constantly used today as a synonym for disgusting, was first introduced to the English language as slang in the 1970s?

Did you also know that the term bread, often used by today's generation when referring to money, has been around since the 1960s? How about the word bad; I have to admit, I still get confused when someone means it positively and when they use it for its true meaning.

Read more ...

Contact Information

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

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

Phone:(732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151