Fri06222018

Last updateFri, 22 Jun 2018 4am

Opinion

Don't Grow Up, Just Do Grown Up Things | Brett O'Grady's Senior Goodbye

OGrady 1Change is difficult, yet unavoidable. They say the key to life is adapting, but I have never found ease in adapting to changes. I would be lying if I said I did not tend to be a creature of habit and comfort. It’s hard for me to let go of these past four years at Monmouth, just as it was for me to let go of my high school years.

It seems like just yesterday I was crying about my high school graduation with the thought of all  of my childhood friends being scattered at various colleges throughout the country, and now the time has come again. Cliché, but where did the time go?

Somewhere between the embarrassingly fun nights out, the sometimes (most of the time)-questionable decisions, and forming the amazing friendships I have today, I have transformed at Monmouth into the person I always wanted to be.

I started at Monmouth a shy, 18 year old who thought she peaked in high school and had no clue what she wanted to do with her life. Without even realizing, I adapted and transformed into this 22 year old who has a job lined up after she graduates, knows exactly what she wants to do, has goals and is confident in her skill set.

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After Graduation

After GraduationWith graduation approaching in three weeks, a constant question that people keep asking is “what are your plans after graduation?”.

It is bad enough that the seniors already are experiencing immense amounts of emotions but now we have to deal with the added pressure of knowing what we are going to do.  Often times peoples intentions are not bad. People are just curious and interested in your life.

Although the intention is good, it can be overwhelming. I think many seniors, like myself, are more concerned with graduating and passing all of our finals. Currently, we are attempting to create a balance between academics and our ability to engage in our social life. Until I take my exams and pass them, I will not feel a sense of relief.

The stress of graduating also makes it difficult to focus on schoolwork. When people are constantly reminding me about graduation, it makes me nervous and anxious.

Even for those who do have plans after graduation, it is still important for us to enjoy the moment. Our generation is often in such a rush to move on to the next thing that we forget to make the most out of our current situation. I am grateful to have plans for next year and share them with others however I would like to do that at my own time.

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Natural Remedies

default article imageLiving by the shore always has its beach day benefits and one painful downfall- sunburn. After we would be out in the sun all day, my sister and I would come back to the house with our noses and Irish cheeks glowing a raw red color.

Our mother would walk over to the terracotta pot with hard, pointy tentacles bursting out of it as if an octopus’ head was buried in the dirt and tear off an old stem of the aloe plant, exposing the translucent green goo. We would then rub the guts of the plant into the burnt parts of our faces; the cooling sensation would instantly ease the burning affects the sun had left on our cheekbones. 

Throughout my childhood I can remember the many remedies that my mother and grandmother swore by. Any time any physical ailment was realized; cut, splinter, burn, infection, or sore joint my mother brought out the zinnkraut. Zinnkraut is German for field horsetail. I have soaked my entire body in the plant and was soon in better health.

Once, driving through the woods, we saw it growing on the side of the road and had to stop and grab some; there was always a supply of the grass strands in my household, and the magic of the plant healed just about any injury.

 My sister and I had never been vaccinated until we absolutely had to, as we were going to attend college. Some believe it causes other diseases or even autism; however, I’m not sure how true those statements are. When I researched vaccines, I found that some of them were not given in Europe even if they were encouraged by physicians in the United States, which made me wary.

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Goals for the Summer

Summer GoalsWhat do ice cream, zip-lining, and summer vacation have in common? They all go by fast, so it’s best to enjoy them as much as possible before the new, Fall semester begins.

I would advise eating ice cream slowly, since it would freeze your brain faster than calculus homework on a Tuesday night.

Other than that, I can safely argue that it’s one of the best parts of the summer season. Driving down to Englishtown and buying my first waffle cone of the season is something I look forward to every year. My white Toyota Camry, one of Four Boys’ vanilla ice cream cones, and my “yet-to-be-tan” skin are a sight to be seen together on the contrasting color of the parking lot.

The time I discovered Four Boys Ice Cream was an interesting one. I was driving home from Freehold Mall on an evening hotter than a Twitter debate. I pulled my car into the Englishtown shop’s parking lot, found a spot, and walked up to the window with five dollars.

“Can I help you?” asked a young woman in a red uniform.

“Can I have a medium and a small vanilla cone?” I replied, trying to suppress the urge to bounce on my toes.

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Best Food in Town

Best Food in TownMonmouth University is best known for being just minutes from the famous beaches of New Jersey. Another great feature: the amount of great places to eat around Long Branch. From sushi to pancakes, there are awesome restaurants close to Monmouth that can satisfy any craving you have. Here’s a list of all the places every foodie should hit in the Long Branch area.

Playa Bowls is a Jersey Shore staple. They offer healthy and refreshing choices that still taste great. With locations in both Belmar and Pier Village, you have no excuse not to try it. Playa Bowls offers tons of different acai bowls which are made with a smoothie base with the acai fruit (powerful antioxidants with healthy omegas and healthy fats), topped with things such as granola, peanut butter, and coconut. Playa bowls are a great breakfast option because they are super filling but still healthy. Playa Bowls get so crowded in the summer with tourists, so it’s nice to be able to take advantage of having access to it all year round if you go to Monmouth. Playa Bowls offers more than just their classic bowls; they have a wide range of smoothies and chia pudding bowls. The colorful bowls look picture perfect when they come out which makes them great for Snapchat.

Taka, in Asbury Park, is one of the best sushi places in the area. This restaurant has contemporary Japanese food, with sushi that’s to die for. Even if you’re not a sushi lover, there are other great options such as poke bowls, BBQ salmon, and crab cakes. The restaurant has a modern aesthetic, with a bar and lounge that make it great for a late night sushi fix. The owner, Taka, worked at well-known sushi restaurants in Miami Beach before moving to New Jersey. Taka has a wide range of special rolls such as the Red Dragon and Mexican rolls. This restaurant also boasts a great cocktail menu. At happy hour you can get sake sangria for just $6. Also, the blueberry margarita is amazing.

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Same-Sex Schooling

default article imageComing from a single sex high school I’ve gone through many experiences that shaped who I am as a person and led me to think differently than someone who went to a co-educated high school.  There are pros and cons to schools like this.

According to The Atlantic, scholars claim that single sex education promotes institutional sexism. The studies say that girls are being disadvantaged or devalued as a social group. Since I had the experience of going to an all-boys school, I do agree with the findings. When you’re around a bunch of guys all day there are always the select group that will toss out a racial slur or sexist joke.

For the majority of the time, when men are around women they are more polite and respectful toward them. However, when women are not present men have that freedom to not think before they speak, and just blurt out whatever comes to mind.

However, The Atlantic also states, “Single sex- schools create strong mentoring relationships and keeps class sizes to a manageable level.” In my high school years, I met some of my best friends and made lasting relationships. Also, since the class sizes are smaller, about 20-25 per class, I was able to receive a lot of help and acknowledgement from my teachers. This is a prime example of single sex high schooling creates a bond that will last for a long time. 

According to the Feminist Majority Foundation, men in co-educational schools tend to receive more attention than girls and girls are more likely to be interrupted by male students. With this being said, an argument could be made that co-educational schools create a disadvantage for female students.

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Toxic Relationships

default article imageRelationships are usually supposed to contain the happiest moments of our lives. People go after a love they think they deserve. Dating should be about and being with someone who understands us and brings a simplicity of happiness in our lives. When someone is in a toxic a relationship they are usually brainwashed by the other person that they cannot do better and will not.

 They are frequently told that no one will love them like they do and they point out the other person’s faults. This makes the receiver of the abuse go crazy. They second guess everything they do and they always try to please someone who will ultimately never be satisfied.

Nothing the victim does will ever be good enough to the abuser and they will sit there confused by all their futile attempts to grasp on to someone who claims they love them.

People get stuck in these relationships because once they fear they are not good enough, they don’t know who will date them or who will love them as much as that person loves them. A person, who is already insecure is more likely to stay in a toxic relationship.

Women and men feel that they must fit a certain standard of beauty and when they don’t the person clings on to the only person they think they can be with. Once you become insecure the person you are with might keep pointing these things out and keep degrading you. These people suck. They are insecure in themselves and need to possess a power over you to feel secure. They will constantly use your mistakes and you’re past to judge you and make you grow closer toward them. It is once you realize you don’t need these people that you walk away.

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Sports Journalism: The Uphill Climb for Women

default article imageThere are few industries that are as male dominated as the sports media industry. Over the course of time, journalists who have been assigned to cover sports have been overwhelmingly male.

Women entering the field of sports journalism are often not taken seriously, as viewers have more of a tendency to comment on their appearance rather than the content and analysis that these professional journalists produce.

Unfortunately, when people do focus on the work rather than the looks, they are often critiqued more harshly than their male counterparts. Many fans dismiss their opinions and analysis on sports simply because of the fact that they are a woman in a man’s world.

One of the most criticized female sports media personalities is ESPN Sunday Night Baseball Analyst, Jessica Mendoza. Mendoza, a gold medalist and First Team All-American softball player, joined the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball crew in 2016, and became the first ever female analyst for a nationally televised game in Major League Baseball (MLB) history.

Mendoza, clearly qualified due to her success on the softball field, and a pioneer for aspiring female sports analysts, faces consistent mockery on a weekly basis, more so than her male broadcast partners, Matt Vasgersian and Alex Rodriguez.

 In 2016, Atlanta-based sports talk show host Mike Bell sent out a derogatory tweet regarding Mendoza’s broadcast and said, “You guys are telling me there isn’t a more qualified baseball player ESPN can use than a softball player? Gimme a break!” Later that year, Mike North, a sports talk show host from Chicago said of Mendoza, “ESPN’s Jessica Mendoza is the worst. If she was a man, she’d already be fired.”

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Realistic Meal Prep

Meal PrepMeal prep. You see the hashtags all over Twitter, Instagram and Facebook along with beautiful pictures of appetizing meals that claim to require little to no effort. Hah. How many times have I convinced myself that I would adopt that #mealprep lifestyle only to abandon it shortly after chopping just one vegetable? More times than I can recall, thats for sure.

Here’s the thing, I love to cook and the kitchen is my happy place, so spending a good chunk of my time in the kitchen to prepare the thing I love most in life, food, sounds like a no brainer...right? Wrong.

Being a college student is time-consuming enough, on top of also having a part-time job, all the while trying to maintain a somewhat active social life. You all get it, life has a way of just getting in the way sometimes.

Side note: I am so the type of person to make myself a peanut butter sandwich for dinner on a night that I have absolutely no obligations, yet when I have three papers due, a research assignment and two exams to study for, I suddenly become Julia Child and whip up a freaking four-course Michelin worthy meal. Procrastination strikes at the strangest times...

Back to business: As I was saying, I’m too busy (lazy) to be an intense meal-prepper, but it’s ok! If you find yourself in a similar situation, find out how to make meal prepping work for you. Even if it just means throwing a yogurt and a granola bar into your lunch box (I can’t be the only one who still uses a lunchbox, right?) the night before, so be it! Sure, technically you just threw packaged items into a bag, but alas, in doing so you are now prepared for your next meal, how simple was that!

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Guatemala: Do's and Don'ts

Guatemala Do DontAccording to the Institute of International Education 2017 Open Doors report, 325,339 American students earned academic credit while studying abroad in 2015/16. Another 23,125 U.S. students were involved in non-credit work including internships and volunteer programs abroad.

After a recent credit-bearing, service learning experience in Guatemala with Chris Hirschler, Ph. D. and eight Monmouth University students, I’ve learned that there are many things to consider when embarking on travel associated with an international service-learning course.

Guatemala Public Health (HE 376), involved extensive research and preparation in order to successfully serve people in Guatemala. We served in homes (where we built bunk beds for families and assembled water filters), public hospitals, a women’s domestic violence shelter (Nuevos Horizontes/New Horizons). We cleaned up garbage, distributed water and other items to hospital patients, fed starving animals, and gave health lessons. We also spent time experiencing the local culture through food and conversations, listened to medical and animal lectures, hiked Pacaya Volcano, and enjoyed luxuries like swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas. The following advice comes from my own experience and the perceptions of others based on conversations and interviews.

DO research your opportunities. Find out what is available in terms of destination(s), the goals and objectives, length of travel, supervising faculty, size of the group that will travel, requirements to enroll and travel, the cost of the trip, including obtaining a passport and acquiring the necessary vaccinations.

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Falling in Love with Food

Love With FoodI realized something quite recently and it has made me re-consider my whole relationship with food. My newfound view on life may lead me to become morbidly obese, but so be it, I’ll be smiling bite after bite.

Ok, I’m being a bit dramatic but in all seriousness, the minute you learn to see food as fuel and not as a punishment or something to feel guilty about, life gets a whole lot easier, less stressful and much tastier.

I’ve always been one to treat myself from time to time, but for the most part ever since I was old enough to realize that what I put into my body actually matters and that no matter how confident I may feel, body image is a common thing to struggle with. For this reason, I have been very wary of which foods I choose to consume, and which ones to turn a blind eye to.

In no way am I the vision of health, yes I can pig out on ice cream and desserts and indulge at dinner here and there, but for a while I was letting my desire to achieve a “perfect body” outweigh my need to self-love.

I remember a time back when I was 14 or 15 and I was counting calories. Yes, you read that right. At a time when my metabolism was faster than Usain Bolt, I was concerned with whether or not my breakfast cereal or peanut butter and jelly was going to make me fat. I became so obsessed with tracking my daily calorie intake that eating was no longer an enjoy-able experience for me, but one that required careful thought and calculations, and if you know me, you know I despise anything to do with simple addition or subtraction.

Anyway, I eventually realized that all my fussing over calories, carbs, and cholesterol would get me nowhere in life and I decided that rather than obsess over food, I would learn to love it and find a balance between nourishment and indulgence! I am thankful that I never let my silly calorie concerns get out of hand, as I know that these types of obsessions can turn into eating disorders and self-esteem issues.

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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