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Volume 86 (Fall 2014 - Spring 2015)

I Got By ‘With a Little Help From My Friends’ | Victoria Keenan's Senior Goodbye

And Everyone Else Along the Way

lyssa1cmyk

As you all know, Monmouth University hasn’t been my favorite place. Everyone that I’m going to mention here has listened to me whine, complain, and grow excessively bitter with many aspects of this school. People say that college is the best time of your life, but I hope this isn’t true. In my mind, there are many great things to come, and many more years to actually fully enjoy.

In saying that, this is supposed to be a positive article, (see Mom, I’m changing, slowly but surely.) So even though I would never admit it until now, I have had some wonderful times at Monmouth, and I have met many amazing people who have helped shape me into the person I am today. The people that deserve a thank you have seen me laugh, cry, struggle, fall down, and get back up. 

They have seen me at my best and at my worst. You all must know that saying thank you isn’t enough, everyone I mention has become a part of my heart and my daily life wouldn’t be what it is if you all weren’t in it. In saying that, these are just some of the people that hold a special place, and will for the rest of my life.

Daddy. There are not enough words in the English language to express how much I love you and appreciate everything you do for me. Thank you for your daily texts, I know Mom thinks it’s because you don’t want to let go, but know that those texts got me through a lot of rough days. Thank you for always checking up on me when you knew I was upset, angry, anxious, sick or stressed. No matter what happened or what kind of trouble I got into, you always found a way to figure it out and calm me down. Thank you for always putting aside your work and busy day to listen to me complain about a professor, ‘friend,’ or a class. I could never repay you for everything you’ve done, not only throughout college, but throughout my whole life.

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Living Through a Camera Lens? Put it Down

selfiesWe take a trip to the Philadelphia Zoo with a few friends. Our iPhones are secured in our hands, at the ready. We take a Snapchat of the monkeys, the hippos, the sea otters, and the penguins. We rotate our phones between ourselves to ensure everyone has a selfie with the giraffes. We stroll through the Zoo, squinting at our screens to find the best Instagram filter for our photos. 

We get food, sit at a table, and silently scroll through our social media feeds. We peer at the exotic birds for a minute before checking to see if our Instagram pictures hit 11 likes yet. Once we arrive home, we upload all 312 pictures we took that day onto a Facebook album.

Thanks to the surge of technology and social media we have today, young adults struggle to find balance between living life in the moment and recording everything on our iPhones. Someone posted a 300 second Snapchat story the other day of a concert they attended. That’s a lot of seconds to be fiddling with a phone when you could have been soaking up the music and the entire concert experience unfolding around you. We are so busy trying to get the perfect photo to get maximum Instagram likes, that we ignore everything around us.

Students are frequently saying that they would like a disconnect from social media and technology, but a severe of those ties is unforeseeable. Social media will only continue to grow and become more of an influence on our daily lives. Stephanie Merlis, a sophomore business marketing student, admits that social media has a strong pull on her daily life. Merlis explains, “This generation, myself included, is often too obsessed with rushing to take a picture, or a tweet, or Snapchat so they can upload it and show the rest of the world, rather than actually taking the time to sit back and enjoy what’s happening right around you.” 

Erin Lupo, a freshman psychology student, agrees. “It’s a huge distraction,” she admits.

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‘Home is Where the Heart is’... Moving Back

movingbackIt’s about that time. The senior class is beginning to finish up their last few papers and are starting to study for their finals. They’re picking up their cap and gowns. They’re starting to get anxious and emotional. 

The lives we have shaped for ourselves for the last four years are about to take a drastic turn. We are about to take the next step into our lives, as real adults, finding jobs and starting careers we have worked so hard in our majors for. We are about to graduate college, a wonderful time for some, a terrifying time for others.

For most of us, we have spent our college years learning, experiencing, and becoming an adult. Many students do this away from their parents, and other then during breaks, have lived out of the nest since they were 18. But now it’s time to fly back, because lets be honest, who has the money to move out officially? Not this girl. For the last four years I have lived away from my parents during the school year, forming my own style of living and doing things. Not really though, considering almost everything I did, ate, and paid for came out of their bank accounts. 

But I’ve becoming accustom to doing my own thing. I come and go as I please, eat snacks instead of real meals, and stay up until 4 am doing work that I procrastinated doing. Luckily, I have parents that give me space and let me do my own thing, but I will obviously be under their roof again. I can’t not wash dishes for a couple days just because I don’t feel like it. When I come home every summer, I live out of boxes and bags and never really unpack everything because I know I’ll be heading down to school again eventually. But this year, that won’t happen. My mom won’t tolerate tripping over bags of clothes, everything is going to have a find a spot because I’m not going anywhere, for a while. That’s weird to say the least. 

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Through the Eyes of a 7-Year-Old Guatemalan

manuelaIt was just like any other normal day, I guess. I woke up to the sound of my mother getting ready to take me to school. But this time, she was moving so fast, I was getting dizzy spinning around the room watching her.  She kept talking to herself about “special people” that were coming to visit the school. In the midst of the madness, I had noticed, whether it was last night or some time ago, she had lost the last tooth in her mouth.

My name is Manuela, and I am 7-years-old.  I live in a house made of cement bricks with my mother and brother, Chepe, down the road from Chichicastenango, a small town in the mountains of Guatemala where I walk every day to school with my mom. But it’s not too bad; I know of people who must walk hours for their water supply and live in houses made of mud and sticks. I hear people in town say we live only four hours from Guatemala City, but I have never been there. It’s like a mystical legend. I like to smile a lot.  I don’t like to talk much, I get very shy, and smiling is a way to make people happy without so many confusing words. I like making people happy.

We had gotten to school when a strange bus pulled up carrying a crowd of people in it. They were odd; stepping off the bus I was scared by their white skin, but almost thrilled to see them.  Some of them had shirts that said “MONMOUTH” on them, which I later was told is the school they went to, but was in the United States.  

My brother saw my fear and came over to calm me down. He told me that these were good people coming to fix the schoolhouse. They had sent a different group of people the year before to work and everybody in town was pleased with what they had done. All my friends seemed to be so happy to see them; I was too.

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How Two Words Can Change a Life

melissaali“I’m gay.” These two tiny words, whether spoken out loud or simply thought, possess the power to dramatically change a person’s life forever. For 21-year-old Melissa Rance, they meant losing her home, but finding herself.

When you first look at Melissa, you see a beautiful young woman with light eyes, long hair, and a smile that is contagious. Her personality is that of a typical, happy-go-lucky girl, enjoying her junior year of college to its fullest. When you first look at Melissa, you would never guess the number of hardships she has endured that have caused her to mature far beyond her years.

“I’ve known I was gay since I was a little kid,” Melissa explained. “My close friends knew that I was gay, but I never had an official coming out until college, when I felt more comfortable with myself and who I was. I was lucky enough to have a more than accepting roommate, and joined a sorority with 70 girls who didn’t care about my sexual orientation and liked me for me.”

Growing up in a single-family household with her father and sister, Melissa’s sexual orientation was not a topic of discussion at first. Her sister, who is two years older than Melissa, moved out as soon as she graduated high school, while her father spent half his time working and the other half with Melissa’s stepmother and half-sister. “My dad was never very involved with my life or what I did, so it wasn’t hard to be with my girlfriend at the time and she was always over,” she said. “As far as he knew, she was just a friend.”

Circumstances took a turn for the worst when Melissa was 17. Her relationship with her father deteriorated, and he kicked her out of the house. “I moved in with my aunt, who my dad asked to ‘take me because he couldn’t deal with me or my issues’ and thought that I needed a ‘woman figure in my life to deal with the gay thing,’” she recounted. 

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Jibo: This Little Bot of Mine

jibopicOne can say many things about today’s society and how we live, but no one can say we aren’t entertained. Between smartphones, tablets, and being able to access almost any TV show, movie, or song with a few clicks of a mouse, many things have been made easier for humans, and a lot more interesting. But, we haven’t slowed down; in fact, we’ve officially broken new ground. 

Logging onto the website www.jibo.com will bring you to an advertisement that explains “The World’s First Family Robot,” otherwise known as Jibo. Jibo was designed by Jibo, Inc., a pioneer of Social Robotics, MIT Media Lab. Founder and Chief Science Officer Dr. Cynthia Breazeal describes Jibo as being able to bring family members closer together, and identified the company’s goal as humanizing technology. 

According to Jibo’s website, www.jibo.com, Jibo contains two hi-resolution cameras that can recognize and track faces, take pictures, and provides his own three dimensional Skype-like video calling. Jibo has 360 degree  microphones and can understand and hear commands from anywhere in the room. Additionally, he can talk, and give hands-free reminders and messages. Artificial intelligence algorithms in Jibo’s programming allow him to learn user preferences to fit into each family’s life. Jibo also features natural social and emotive cues so the robot and the user can understand each other in the best way possible.

When first reading about this new step towards interactive, humanistic technology, one of the first things on my mind was the expense. However, many middle class families would be able to purchase Jibo with its surprising cost of $599 for the Home edition of Jibo and his JiboAlive Toolkit. The developer edition that includes JavaScript API access to Jibo’s sensory systems, an eclipse plugin, and a sample source code, is only $100 more. There are also $125 developer upgrades available for your bot. Jibo is about 11 inches tall, 6 inches wide, and weighs about 5 pounds. It has its own wifi and its own cloud-storing system. Jibo’s website states that full public release of the device is scheduled for the summer of 2016. 

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‘Shut the Front Door’: Is Cursing Really That Bad?!

curseIn the past, curse words were used after stubbing a toe or during private conversations, but somehow they have slowly started to make their way into pop culture. Now you can find curse words in almost every song, in television show titles, book titles, and even in a few company names. The question is, have curse words become so popular that they have lost their shock value?

Younger generations are starting to use curse words in the ir everyday vocabularies. Everyone these days uses a very “colorful” language, no matter where they are. They could be in school, on the bus, in the car, with their friends, even at home, it doesn’t matter anymore. We use profane words everywhere and the younger generation is starting to pick up on this, making curse words lose their meaning. If we hear these words every day, there is no more surprise to them. 

Lauren DeSantis, a senior studying business management, said, “I feel like curse words have become too common because of the way our younger generations are growing up. They’re common in the media, like movies, video games and music, things we are familiar with on a daily basis.”

DeSantis continued, “In the household, curse words have become a part of our daily language. The other night, while I was babysitting, my seven-year-old cousin dropped the ‘F-bomb,’ and when I asked her where she heard it from, she said ‘mommy.’”

In an article posted on TIME.com, it was reported that Melissa Mohr, a medieval literature expert, found that about 0.7% of words a person uses in the course of a day are swear words. That number may not sound like a lot, but it’s actually about the same rate that people typically use first-person plural pronouns - words like “us,” “our,” and “ourselves.”

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What’s ‘Love’ Got to Do With it?

Amour. Laska. Agape. Elska. Gra. Milosc. All these words have the same meaning, and according to Merriam-Webster, that meaning is having a warm attachment, enthusiasm, devotion, or admiration for an object or another person.

It has been said throughout the ages that “love” is the most powerful word a person could utter in their lifetime. While this may be true, it seems as if some people are beginning to overuse the word to describe nearly everything and anything under the sky.

I have always equated the word “love” with something or someone you could not see yourself living without. Whether you believe this to be a person, an object, or even a pet, the word “love” has become far too common in our generation.

“I feel people over-emphasize their feelings by using the word ‘love’ because it’s an easy go-to, but it’s not usually the most appropriate word,” said Nicole Rubino, a senior health and physical education major. “I think that ‘love’ is a very powerful word that conveys powerful emotions, just like how ‘hate’ is a very strong word.” 

Rubino also said people must be willing to expand their vocabulary so this word is not overused. She suggested replacing “love” with “adore” or another less extreme word. 

A sad truth I have found is that instead of replacing “love” with something less extreme, people have replaced a less extreme word with “love.” This word is as common to you as seeing a squirrel on the University’s campus. The word is like the word “like.”

“Like,” according to Merriam-Webster, is to enjoy, get pleasure from, or regard in a favorable way. Synonyms for this word are “care,” “want,” and “feel.” I failed to find the word “love” in any synonym list I researched for the word “like.”

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Max Goldberg: MU’s Up-and-Coming Surf Photographer

goldbergIt is a cloudy and cold morning in March. A gentle breeze rolls in offshore. Even though the water is unbearably frigid, local surfers still find themselves chasing swell. One by one, surfers clothed head to toe in thick neoprene wetsuits become immersed in the bitter Atlantic. They begin to paddle on their surfboards against the current in order to get to an area in which most surfers are in good position to catch a wave, known as the “line-up.” As the waves begin to roll in, each surfer is taken on a wild ride towards the shore. Not only are the surfers excited about this surge, but certain people onshore also prove to be elated. 

 The shutter of a camera begins to go off. A young man stands tall next to a tripod. Looking into the camera, he follows the surfers as they catch waves. He begins to focus in and then out, as well as change the settings on the camera. This young man is Max Goldberg, a photographer and freshman at the University. When he is not in class, one can usually find Max scoping out the shoreline, trying to find the best spot to take photos of surfers. 

“Surf photography showed me the world of photography and how I can make it into a lifestyle and a career,” Goldberg said. While completing school and obtaining a degree in marketing from the Leon Hess School of Business may be priorities for Goldberg, photography, particularly surf photography, awaits him in his future. 

Over the past four years, Goldberg has worked hard to cultivate his talents and develop his business. Today, the 18-year-old is the proud owner of MPG Photo. While he was constructing his profession, Goldberg had established an extensive collection of cameras used for his business. He owns a few Canon Professional DSLRs, also known as digital cameras, in addition to Pentax film cameras, in which the film used needs to be developed after the photo has been taken. 

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New Video Game Class Launches

gamingAndrew Demirjian, a specialist professor of communication, is creating a new year-long video game class that will combine the skills and expertise of students from the computer science, software engineering, music, art, and communication majors, among other fields of study. Starting in the 2015-16 academic school year, the class is designed mainly for seniors, or those who have completed all of their general education requirements and have more than 87 credits, but can fulfill some last minute requirements before graduation.

The first half of the course, for the fall semester, is a theory class that will focus on the critical, theoretical, and aesthetic issues in video games. Titled “Critical Play: Theories and Aesthetics of Video Games,” this class will fulfill the ISP (Interdisciplinary Perspectives) requirement at Monmouth. During the Critical Play class, students will have the opportunity to apply these ideas in order to develop the concept, a script, and a storyboard for a new game that they will create.

The second half of the course, completed in the spring, will be spent producing the code and media for the game, creating cut scenes, music, 3D models, and more. This portion of the class will be an independent study where students work together to develop their own video game. There are different course options for each major, such as CO399 or 499, AR 410 or 499, MU 499, and CS 490, but they all lead to doing the same project, just with different tasks pertaining to their skills. 

This part of the class will also count towards the Interactive Media (IM) minor. The end goal of the entire course is to publicly distribute and market a video game that puts Monmouth University on the map. Professor Demirjian said that he is looking to establish a novel version of the Music Department’s Blue Hawk Records, but for video games.

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Mondays at Monmouth vs. the Monmouth Student

parkinglotRunning out the door with my extra large Starbucks caramel coffee and an english muffin in hand, my oh my, it must be a Monday, and I’m late. 

Zooming down Cedar Ave doing the Jersey weave, I say a quick prayer for green lights, yet I get red lights in return. Now at I am the intersection of Cedar and Norwood and some clueless freshman pressed the walk button. Don’t they know by now you can just walk when there are no cars? It’s the second semester already. But great, add on another minute to my tardiness. 

The line to turn into campus is longer than normal; everyone must have been feeling a little sluggish this lovely Monday, hopefully to my benefit, my professor included. Finally I get into campus and drive past my favorite parking booth attendant; I give her a wave and a big smile while taking my last bite of my english muffin. She never seems to have a bad Monday; then again, she doesn’t have to worry about parking.

By now the clock strikes 11:20 am and students and teachers alike are getting nervous as everyone seems to be playing musical chairs in the parking lot. With my class being in Plangere, I whiz into the lot behind the mac. Deadlock.

You would think the president of the Untied States of America was here to do a speech by the amount of people trying to find that golden spot to not be late to class. After a few moments of panic I have an epiphany, the parking attendants! 

I bolt into the middle isle of the parking lot nearly hitting a car or two in the process only to see no cars double parked, just more frantic students trying not to be late. I see a sign up ahead, thinking this must be good news but instead the worst thing I could have read on that woeful morning.

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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