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Features

Volume 86 (Fall 2014 - Spring 2015)

The Halloween Hauntings of New Jersey

GREYSTONEWith Halloween just around the corner, scary stories are on the rise, ghost stories being especially popular. All of these stories seem to have a building with an eerie legend around it, some sort of ghost left behind by a tragedy of years before.

Some of these scary stories are found right on campus, such as the ghost of Leonie Guggenheim, who supposedly haunts the library, while others are just a bit further out of reach, like the abandoned Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital, found in Parsippany, NJ, just an hour away from campus. Both of these ghost stories have also been reported on in popular tourist magazine Weird N.J., which specializes in finding the strangest and most bizarre things about the state and showcasing them.

Monmouth's on-campus library, once known as the summer home of Murry and Leonie Guggenheim, is rumored to be haunted by the ghost of Leonie, who died twenty years after her husband. His death occurred in 1939, yet, Leonie continued to spend her summers at the house, according to the information provided by Monmouth Library. In 1959, after her death, the estate became the property of the Murry and Leonie Guggenheim Foundation, and it was later donated to Monmouth University.

According to ghost stories, the spirit of Leonie Guggenheim still haunts the library even now. Supposedly, every night at midnight, a figure in white appears on the stairs of the library, making her way up the stairs before vanishing.

George Germek, the associate librarian at the Guggenheim Library said, "I've never seen anything here, though supposedly things happen by the staircase. I've been here nine years and have seen nothing, however, I've heard some noises in the basement hallways when it's empty, like dropping books."

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Saturday Night's Alright for Racing: The Dirt on What it Takes to Manage a Racetrack

new-egypt-speedwaySix Flags Great Adventure is one of the biggest attractions in the Monmouth County area and it's located on County Road 537. However, there is another destination for people in the area to spend time with their families and friends just up the road from the popular theme park. If you drive past Great Adventure, make a left turn onto County Road 539 and drive a few minutes, and you will see a large open field on your left.

Located in front of a forest of pine trees is a large dirt oval, surrounded by towering metal grandstands and lights that brighten up this clay circle when those grandstands come to life every Saturday night. This modest, unassuming attraction is the New Egypt Speedway and it is a must visit for race fans in the area on Saturday nights from April through September. Because the track hosts events for half of the calendar year, there is a lot of responsibility for making sure everything runs smoothly. These responsibilities usually fall on the shoulders of general manager, Allyse Wolfinger.

Wolfinger, a 25-year-old graduate of Albright College in Reading, PA with a degree in communications, was behind her computer, trolling websites and message boards for fan reactions to the previous night's event when I entered the track's office. As she sat behind her keyboard, which was branded with a red 88 and the same colors as NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr's race car, it became clear that Wolfinger was in the right line of work.

While many communication majors dream of writing for publications like the New York Times or the Washington Post, Wolfinger told me she has always been a race fan and, because of this passion, she has "always wanted to work in the racing industry."

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What Would You Do...

fixing-the-world

If only every problem in the world could be fixed with the snap of a finger. It would be wonderful if issues could be resolved by a simple conversation, but that is sadly not a strategy for everything. Most problems in the world cannot be fixed at all, due to conflicting opinions and scenarios that are out of people’s control. But what if it was possible to have our wildest dreams come true?

This world has been tragically dominated by disease. Everywhere you go you meet someone who has or had dealt with terrible diseases like cancer, or you see news on Ebola flashing on your television screen every hour. If I could fix the world in five minutes, I would rid the world of all disease. Illness has tragically taken the lives of too many people around the globe and the statistics keep continuing to grow.  

While growing up, I have lost two grandparents due to cancer; one I did not even get to meet. Thousands of people alike have experienced the loss of a family member, friend or acquaintance resulting from cancer.  Not to be a bummer, but I’m sure everyone has been affected in one way or another.  It is such a common disease nowadays that it is almost impossible to escape. I am positive there are other people who feel the same way I do, whether they are witnesses, victims or survivors. After all, cancer sucks.

 There are countless issues that are happening globally that need to be resolved. If individual people had the power to fix the world in five minutes, can you just imagine how amazing the world would be?

 "I would overthrow President Barack Obama so the people could have the power to rule. We could fix society and no longer use the monetary system, cut the military budget, and send relief to third world countries. If we no longer use the monetary system, everyone would have free access to resources. Therefore, this would make the world a better place," said Alli Ganim, a freshman who is currently undecided with her major.

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Weather Woes Leave Apple And Pumpkin Pickers Empty Handed

Pumkins-for-realOctober is a month beloved for its fall activities, especially pumpkin and apple picking. But what if there were not enough pumpkins for the taking? Due to the polar vortex that occurred last year, many farmers are worried about the amount of crops that will be produced this year.

With the weather changing so drastically, the fields can go from dry to damp within a day. Many areas have been declared "Primary Natural Disaster" areas by the Department of Agriculture. We're expected to have blasts of freezing air early this fall, a reminder of the awful winter we had last year. So what does all this mean for our favorite fall festivities?

While many farmers are biting their nails to see what the rest of fall brings, the community gardens here at Monmouth are flourishing. Dean of the School of Social Work, Robin Mama, is also the advisor for the gardens, and gives us the inside look at the new community garden program on campus.

Through the combined efforts of the Center for Human and Community Wellness and the School of Social Work, the community gardens were started as a way for students to reach out to many different community agencies and food pantries around West Long Branch, including the Long Branch Senior Center and the Soup D'Shore Soup Kitchen. Mama said that that this has been the garden's best year so far.

Mama explains that "the garden has both looked its best and produced its best this year. As of last week, our harvest totals were 3,265 pounds of produce donated! Once we add in October we will probably get close to 3,500 pounds."

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The Art of Letting Go of Life’s Troubles

o-STANDARDIZED-TESTING-STUDENT-facebookLet’s stop hanging up our problems. They are not pictures adorning the wall. They are not coats on a rack. It seems pretty common for people to suffer from dilemmas or "hang ups." Such troubles might include unpreparedness for a test, a bad grade, a bridge burned, a failed relationship, an opportunity lost, or any personal mistake made.

I hear constant complaining and worry over these matters. The incessant lamenting reminds me of a televised news program: a lot of bad news. And news flash, nobody likes a "Debbie Downer." But it’s time to stand up and stop the ongoing negativity. People must learn to break down the worry wall and just let go.

As college students, there are many little stresses that burden us. It’s now over two months into the semester and professors are dropping assignments left and right. Students stress about those hectic nights when they’re troubled with homework, a test, and a paper to write for the following day and they wonder how they’re even going to complete just one.

But let’s take a moment and ask ourselves why we’re so hung up on this. The reason we’re getting anxiety from a pile of paper, is because we care about our grades. We care about our success. We care about our future. If this sounds like you, then it’s inevitable that you will eventually meet your goals.

"If you fail a test, in retrospect, is it really going to matter? Work as hard as you can, and give the rest up to God. As long as you’re a good person and do your best, you will be perfectly fine," Amy Maginnis, a senior radio and TV major believes.

If you hand in a paper that doesn’t live up to your personal academic standards, try harder next time. One poorly written paper is not going to determine your future, so don’t let that heavy feeling of a potential bad grade weigh down the rest of your week. You’ll feel sad, stressed, and anxious which will affect other things you are trying to accomplish.

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Professors Profess Their Pre-Professor Professions

professor

Here at Monmouth, it's important to develop a working relationship with your professor in order to stay on top of assignments and make the semester in their class a pleasant one. Monmouth is full of knowledgeable people who are experts on the topics they teach, but one cannot escape the curiosity of how they came to such an academically prestigious profession.

"Most professors never left academia," said Kevin Rooney, an adjunct professor of history. What he says is true: many professors have spent their lives studying to become teachers, and as such have never left a school environment. Receiving a PhD is no easy feat, and requires years of work to achieve.

"I'm a bit of an anomaly," said Rooney, "I always had an interest in history, but at a critical stage, I chose to go to law school for financial reasons." Rather than go through years of schooling to get his doctorate, Rooney chose to pursue a career as a lawyer and start a family. He was a lawyer for 25 years, but then retired in 2007, and decided to pursue his passion.

"I just didn't feel like being a lawyer any more, and once I had reached a financially secure level, and all my kids were off to college, I decided to become a professor," continues Rooney.

The desire to pursue one's passions, especially if revisiting them after many years, can be an important resource on the long road to become a professor. Like anything, becoming a professor takes time and is easier when you're passionate about it. Some professors decide to simply pursue education from the very start.

All educators, regardless of position, need a love of teaching to succeed at the career. Besides tenured professors, there are adjunct professors, which are hired supplementary to the main staff. So if a professor is adjunct, how do they spend the rest of their time?

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Midterm Meltdown

crammiggIf only the information bestowed upon students by their professors would somehow stay latched into their minds permanently, allowing a smooth transition into midterm exams.

Unfortunately, with 15 to 18 credits, clubs, sports, jobs, Greek organizations, social lives, and (somehow) sleep, this process is not easy.

With midterm exams right around the corner, students are panicking about how to succeed on these upcoming tests.

In an article found in Faculty Focus, it was shown that approximately 45 percent of students admitted to cramming for exams, almost half the campus. The definition of cramming, "the practice of working intensively to absorb large volumes of informational material in short amounts of time," brings to mind the classic image of a stressed out student sitting in a mound of textbooks in a library, feeling completely overwhelmed.

While the late night study sessions may be unavoidable, there are some other ways to study and retain the information needed for both the test, and the long run.

As hard as it can be to pencil in study time, it's viable to get that extra time in. In the wake of midterms, Stephanie Merlis, a sophomore business marketing major, has had five exams this week. While many of us would be losing our minds, she kept it together.

Merlis, reveals that her key to studying success: "I like Luke McKinny, a writer for the website Cracked and former psychics student, found that "one thing I noticed without fail was that students would 'study' by piling up work all around them, then sit there wasting time and being miserable until the clock said they were finished."

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The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: Students Spill All About Their First Jobs

waitressAt this point in our lives, most of us have had a first job. It could have been working for our parents, it could have been baby-sitting the neighbor's kids, or it could have been filing papers in an office. Whatever our first job was and whether we liked it or not, at the time we were probably just happy that we didn't have to ask our parents for money anymore. Some of us still might ask our parents for money, but that's another story.

My first job was at a little family owned ice cream shop a few blocks from my house. What 15-year-old girl doesn't want unlimited ice cream? This girl did. So I scooped ice cream and made the occasional milk shake and banana split - served with a dirty look for making me do extra work and wash extra dishes.

When no one was there I would read books or watch movies. A pretty peachy first job, but it didn't teach me how to deal with many different kinds of people. One would think everyone going to get ice cream would be happy and cheerful. This is not correct. In fact, most people coming to get ice cream were miserable. The all you can eat ice cream made up for it, though.

The ice cream shop eventually closed down because people in my town don't eat ice cream in the winter. I know, I don't understand it either. So I moved on with my high school career and went through office and retail jobs.

Nothing I had ever done was too unusual. Of course, weird things happen at every job, but most of everything I've ever done at work revolves around me being nice to people. Some people, I found, don't have common retail jobs, like I did, or restaurant jobs, like everyone else I knew did.

"My first job was being a janitor. I waxed floors, cut the lawn, painted walls and cleaned bathrooms. I got the job because my mom works in the school district where I worked. It taught me how to clean," said Jeremy Corrente, a freshman homeland security major.

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Will The Approaching Cold Weather Cause Students to Freeze Up or Chill Out?

coldstudentsThere is something about life on campus that just exudes the comfort; whether students are walking to class with friends as autumn leaves flutter from trees, throwing a football around on the quad, going out on the town or going to the beach. Students have freedom here: the ability to settle in, study and enjoy their new home.

However, no summer warmth lasts forever. Winter is coming. In the approaching months, cold weather will arrive and affect the entire campus. But once winter's chill gets it's grasp on Monmouth, how will the students be affected? Do the cold months have a different effect on upperclassmen than their juniors?

First, let's look at the facts. Once it gets colder, there are fewer activities for students to do and be distracted by. Less hanging out outside and more being confined to dorm rooms, due to either snowfall or cold temperatures in general.

For the fall semester, the closer we get to finals, the colder the weather gets. This is almost symbolic of the approaching pressure placed on students. That way students will (hopefully) goof off while the weather is warm and classes are just beginning. However, if the habit persists, students will have both the cold weather and exams to deal with. So, how the last months of the year affect students is entirely dependent on how much more or less they study in the colder times of the year.

"I'd actually say students study more in the cold months," said Kenneth Mitchell, an associate professor of political science. "There are way less distractions in cold weather, so without the option of going to the beach or hanging out around campus, some students are inclined to stay in and get their work done."

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Professor Ping Zhang Gets Down with 62 Questions

proffyThe Outlook got a chance to sit down with Ping Zhang, an adjunct Chinese and foreign language professor. Zhang was asked 62 rapid fire questions without time to give much explaination. This is what she said:

Outlook: What part of China are you from?

PZ: Beijing.

Outlook: How many years did you live there?

PZ: More than 40 years.

Outlook: Did you live in any other parts of China?

PZ: Yes.

Outlook: What is your favorite memory while living in China?

PZ: The people and the food.

Outlook: What is your favorite place in China to visit?

PZ: Xi'an, my hometown.

Outlook: What do you miss the most about China?

PZ: My family members and Chinese food.

Outlook: How is the culture different from America?

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“Don’t Count the Miles, Count the I Love You’s”

couple2grayKeeping a relationship in college is hard work. Not saying a relationship at any age or time of life is easy, but in college, it definitely seems to be harder. Hear me out. In college, you need to be honest with your significant other, communicate with them, be trusting of them and find time to spend with them on a regular basis. Sounds like a relationship at any age, right?

True, in any relationship, honesty, trust, and communication are all key, but outside of college, you don't really have to worry about your significant other partying every night. Or maybe you do. If so, you should probably rethink some things.

Long distance relationships, especially for college students, are even harder. You are used to spending so much time, if not every day, with your partner, and all of a sudden, they are hours away. Whether your significant other lives in your hometown and you go away to school, or you go to school with them and go back home during breaks and summer, leaving is always hard. It's not something that's ever easy to get used to either. So how do college students keep their relationships going while they are apart?

Freshman year, I entered school ready to mingle and meet new people. I quickly realized that it seemed everyone at Monmouth was in a relationship with someone from home. All my friends would spend their weekends home with their boyfriend's, and I was left alone, feeling pretty single and sorry for myself. By Thanksgiving break, almost all the high school sweethearts were terminated. But why? Why was no one willing to make it work?

I met my boyfriend second semester of freshman year and we began dating and doing things together every day. But then May came. We lived an hour away from one another. As he was moving out of his dorm, trying to vacuum the floors, I was crying in a ball, crying on his desk. I didn't know how to make this work, especially after spending months together, I wasn't used to this. Turns out I was just being dramatic because I saw him a couple weeks later. We're still together, so I guess we figured it out after all.

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Contact Information

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

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

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