Last updateFri, 23 Mar 2018 1pm


A New Ballet Inspired Workout

Ballet Inspired WorkoutA ballet-inspired “barre” workout has been sweeping the nation.

Its popularity is driven by women wanting to achieve a dancer’s physique and strength, with or without tutus and ballet slippers.

At Align Pilates in Minneapolis, noses drip with sweat, muscles quiver with exhaustion, and Beyoncé blares from the speakers as class instructor Adrienne Fitzmaurice affirms what everyone is thinking:

“Yes, this is hard!” she hollers, encouraging the women to pulse, which means to make tiny movements and hold each pose for just three, five or 10 more seconds. “Especially if this is your first class ... you probably think this is crazy!”

Crazy hard anyway. That’s the verdict reached in the dressing room following the 60-minute class where a combination of Pilates, yoga and ballet movements, along with bursts of cardio and the use of a ballet barre for support and resistance provides a high-energy, full-body workout.

“Everyone’s been talking about getting their butts kicked in barre class,” said Sarah Pepin, 35, Minneapolis. “I’ve never worked every muscle that way before. I could hardly walk the next day.”

Barre is a buzz in the U.S., but the idea originated in London 50-years-ago with famous German dancer Lotte Berk.

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Empowering Women is to Empower a Whole Society

The Arab popular movements that erupted a year ago are producing significant political changes in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, with Syria possibly being added to that list. The futures of these countries however, remains uncertain; the challenges they face, both internal and external, are enormous.

From the beginning, women have been at the forefront of the march for freedom in the Arab world. Historically, they have been underappreciated, and continue to face major obstacles as a result of cultural heritage, despotic authority, patriarchy, and tribalism. The consequences of these barriers are conveyed through literacy rates, individual rights, and political participation.

Literacy rates are much improved for young females in Lebanon, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Tunisia. However, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization female adult illiteracy rates are in the double digits in all Arab countries except Kuwait, Qatar, and Palestine.

While divorce rights are equal in Libya and Tunisia, they favor men in Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen. In Saudi Arabia, women normally cannot initiate divorce procedures, and as for inheritance rights, women receive half their brother’s share in Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Tunisia. Their share is even less in Yemen.

In some countries, women do not have equal citizenship and/or legal entitlements. The Inter-Parliamentary Union reports that women’s political participation remains undervalued, with the regional percentage of Arab women in the lower houses amounting to 10.9 percent, and in the upper houses, if applicable, to 7.5 percent. The regional average in the Americas is 22.2 percent, with Europe at 21.8 percent, and China at 21.3 percent.

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Eat Less Meat, Help the Planet

Eat Less MeatOur meat consumption habits take a serious toll on the environment. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the production, processing and distribution of meat requires huge outlays of pesticides, fertilizer, fuel, feed and water while releasing greenhouse gases, manure and a range of toxic chemicals into our air and water.

A lifecycle analysis conducted by EWG that took into account the production and distribution of 20 common agricultural products found that red meat such as beef and lamb is responsible for 10 to 40 times as many greenhouse gas emissions as common vegetables and grains.

Livestock are typically fed corn, soybean meal and other grains which have to first be grown using large amounts of fertilizer, fuel, pesticides, water and land. EWG estimates that growing livestock feed in the U.S. alone requires 167 million pounds of pesticides and 17 billion pounds of nitrogen fertilizer each year across some 149 million acres of cropland.

The process generates copious amounts of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide, while the output of methane, another potent greenhouse gas, from cattle is estimated to generate some 20 percent of overall U.S. methane emissions.

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When Will the Bullying End?

“Being bullied? Just act less gay, advise teachers.” This was the headline of a recent article in the London Evening Standard.

This headline leaves one to question, what is our society is coming to? Is it not okay to be different? Is expressing yourself as you are, frowned upon because it might alienate you from your peers?

Teachers are supposed to advocate for their students, lend guidance and are looked upon as mentors.

Schools are supposed to be a place that honors diversity and the unique quality that encompasses each child.

According to the article, “School children bullied over their sexuality are being advised by teachers to act less gay,” and given the advice “to wear their hair differently” as teachers felt they were making themselves a target for bullies.

Intrigued, I decided to read on and when I was finished with the article –something interesting started to happen- my mind started to change. Surprising, I started debating to myself, is this right? Is this wrong?

What the hell am I thinking? Of course it is wrong! But is it?

On one hand, I feel as though these teachers were completely out of line, by a lack of sensitivity to the issues that homosexual adolescents face.

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Inexpensive Gift Ideas for the Holidays

Inexpensive Gift IdeasIt is that time of the year again, the holiday season. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanza, it’s the time of the year when you start to feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The houses are all lit up with holiday cheer, the radio starts playing holiday music, and your favorite holiday movies begin to play on television. Although this time of year is celebrated and cheerful, it can also be a very stressful time for some people. You have to start thinking about what gifts you are going to give to your loved-ones and how much of a dent this is going to put in your pocket.

Being a college student means a lot of things; you study hard and play hard, but for the majority most of us are broke. The phrase “broke college student” was coined for a reason. This time of year can be extra stressful because you want to get your family and friends great presents, but you don’t exactly have the means of doing so and no one wants to come off looking cheap. What many of you don’t know is that there are so many different and inexpensive gift ideas that work for everyone and won’t burn a hole in your wallet.

Let’s start with your parents. All parents love to show off their children. So a great idea for your mom or dad would be to take a picture of you and your siblings, print it out and put it in a nice frame. Run to Target or Wal-Mart and purchase a picture frame. According to, you can get a standard size frame for as cheap as $12. This gift could potentially cost you less than $20 and it’s a gift that shows meaning and lasts a lifetime. Another great gift idea for your parents is a home cooked meal. How many times have your parents cooked you dinner? Wouldn’t it be nice to switch it up for once? This is an inexpensive version of getting them a gift card for a dinner at a fancy restaurant. It is also more personal. You get to spend quality time with your parents rather than sending them out to eat. What mom wouldn’t love that?

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Keeping Cool in the Cold

With another semester approaching its close so quickly here at the University, it can be hard to believe that we are already in the month of December. Many times students can even still walk to class without a jacket. However, it is inevitable that the time will come where students must pack up the flip-flops and tank tops and bundle up for the windy, rainy, and possibly snowy days that lay ahead.

Located in a climate that varies vastly day-to-day, it can be difficult to decide what students need here at the University in terms of a winter wardrobe. Winter clothes also tend to be bulky, which can become an issue especially in the dorms where storage and closet space is limited. Yet in spite of this, there are numerous tips students can take to make sure that they are not only warm in the winter but that they also look good while doing it.

“Layering is a great way to make use of clothes already in your closet. I usually always wear a tank or t-shirt under my sweaters for extra warmth,” said Jessie Sinai, senior. “It’s also convenient for classes in the chance that the rooms are too warm for jackets and sweaters!”

Another senior, Amy Rodriguez, said her winter must have item is her rain boots. “My biggest mistake freshman year was not bringing rain boots to school. I found out how quickly they were a necessity here within a few weeks. Once campus gets snow covered I just put on some thick socks and toss on my rain boots. They’re a life saver!”

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Don’t Stress Over the Little Things

Remaining calm in a stressful situation is a task many people find difficult to master. For the past four years, I have been a full-time student who has maintained a high enough GPA to fulfill the standards of the requirement to keep my scholarship while juggling a part-time job. Engaging in stressful situations has unfortunately become a hobby for me - from exams or important presentations to my overall performance at work. Eventually, I thoroughly started to enjoy the challenge of utilizing the skills I learned to obtain a successful outcome - almost like battling in combat and winning.

Tall, short, skinny, plump, male, female, stress does not discriminate against anyone! It is very important to be aware of some of the key techniques that can help you remain “triple C” cool, calm and collected, in overwhelming times.

For the past couple of years, I have been an employee of Capital Moving and Storage Co, Inc., a corporate moving and storage company that offers office relocation and corporate relocations. Currently, they are the top corporate moving and storage company in New York City, NY. Literally, I had to “work my way up the ladder” through some extremely “stressful” situations!

For example, I did everything from personal assistant to secretary to having my own cubicle where I organized warehouse inventory sheets that reflected updated lot allocations, provided billing services to customers and consulted with sales representatives for making competitive bids on projects due to operating expenses. These are just some of the difficult tasks that I had to overcome, but remaining calm helped me achieve my goals.

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How to See the World Before 65

See the WorldIn my closet, you will not find a sparkly Juicy Couture handbag or chic dresses by Michael Kors. You won’t find leather Coach wallets or Gucci sunglasses. But instead, you might find some piles of maps, an old purple suitcase, and some postcards.

This is because I would much rather spend my hard-earned cash on trips to Rome, London, Paris, the Bahamas, or Oslo than on a pile of fabric from the Monmouth Mall. Unfortunately, when traveling, I’m still on a student’s budget, also known as the budget of someone who asks for $10 of gas at the Exxon on Second Avenue.

Even with an $8.25 hourly wage, it is still possible to see the world while you’re still young enough to enjoy it. That is, if you know when to save and when to scrape as you go about planning your next big excursion.

If you’re planning a big trip across the pond, a travel agent is a great tool and starting point that many wrongly see as a silly luxury. According to “When Using a Travel Agent Might Be a Good Idea” from, “While they may use many of the same web sites as the ordinary consumer when planning a trip, they do have the added advantage of having access to the latest sale and promotional information.”

Travel agents generally have a cache of upgrades and other perks at their disposal that they can offer to their clients. This is especially true if you are a repeat customer. And, many of these perks are not advertised or available to those booking their trip via the Internet.”

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The Craze Behind Black Friday

The day after Thanksgiving, more commonly known, as Black Friday has become such a part of American culture that it almost seems to be a holiday itself. Huge retailers such as Macy’s, Toys ‘R Us, and Best Buy dedicate a large piece of their marketing to advertising their door buster sales and deals for the most wanted products of the year.

Shoppers are known to camp out, push through the aisles, fight for merchandise, and walk out with holiday gifts, and money saved.

Store hours are modified for the day, and employees experience a day of work that is anything but normal. Rosario Pucci, a senior, works as a specialist at the Apple Store in The Grove plaza located on Route 35 in Shrewsbury. “I worked almost 20 hours on Black Friday,” said Pucci.

“The doors opened at 11:00 Thanksgiving night, and what you would imagine the Apple Store to look like on Black Friday, times that by one thousand,” said Pucci on “the shift from hell.” People everywhere, with a million questions, demanding to be assisted by short-staffed consultants.

“Apple slashed prices for years hottest items like the iPad 2 and MacBook Air,” said Pucci. “When a product is in that high of a demand for a lower than usual price, people don’t see camping out as that bad of an idea,” said Pucci.

According to, a website dedicated to apple intelligence, “Apple Store discounts are extremely rare and with more stores open than ever before, the temptation was too much for many.” Apple reportedly had its biggest sales day of all time, according to and a source inside Apple corporate.

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Create Your Own Winter Wonderland

Winter WonderlandThe holidays are a great time to create new memories, while reminiscing on old ones, which is why it’s the perfect time of the year to get friends and families together! It can be difficult to get a large group of people together with conflicting schedules, but throwing your own party can be the dream reunion waiting to happen, especially themed parties.

Themed parties are a great, easy way to make the event exciting, and memorable! Themes give people a chance to get excited and engage in the celebratory spirit together. Fellow students mention why they like themed parties so much!

“Themed parties are fun because I get to dress up all throughout the year, not just on Halloween!” says senior Jaimee Saracen. Kara Hunt, also a senior, mentions she prefers themed parties to non themed parties because they are “not typical.”

The Main Event Company, an Atlanta-based event-planning group attributes the theme to be an important part of any event, “For most events and parties, the fun, the atmosphere, and the memories revolve around a theme.”

Going along with the seasonal motif, one of the quickest themed parties to put together is a winter wonderland themed party. Quick tip, it’s always easier to correlate themed parties with the seasons. Why you may ask?

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Finding Fun Off Campus

Fun Off CampusFor those of you who live in Long Branch but are not from Monmouth County, the activities you may want to do seem limited. The West End is filled with different places to go out to eat, or grab a drink, but after the first few times it could get repetitive.

The great thing about West Long Branch and Long Branch is that both towns are surrounded by numerous fun and different activities that will keep you entertained and always finding something new to do.

Red Bank is definitely a town you should check out if you want to get out of the West End for a day. They have numerous great restaurants of all different varieties, so whatever you are in the mood for, there is something for you.

For example, there is Juanito’s, a Mexican restaurant, Siam Garden for those of you who love Thai food, and Front Street Trattoria, an Italian restaurant. Red Bank also offers a diverse bar scene.

If you are looking to dress up for a night out on the town, check out Red, The Downtown, or Taste. For a more casual low key night, stop in The Globe or Brannigan’s. The shopping is great in Red Bank as well. According to, the stores include, Urban Outfitters, Dor La Dor, and Hi-Def.

One store to check out is Funk and Standard Variety Store, which is a quirky little store that offers different trinkets and books that will keep you entertained for days.

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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

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151