Last updateFri, 23 Mar 2018 1pm


Sweet Potato Tater Tots

Sweet Potato Tater TotsEveryone has a favorite food.  Whether you are an animated bunny who loves carrots, a sailorman who loves spinach, or a monster who loves cookies, you have one.  I remember where, when, and how I discovered mine.  I have been awaiting the mouthwatering taste of them ever since and today I found them again.  I knew I would soon get the opportunity to eat those delicious sweet potato tater tots yet again.   

Before the day I had initially discovered my new favorite food, I had a dream the night before, and in my dream a wizard had come to me and said, “Tomorrow you will find something that you love.”  I woke up and thought to myself what this something could be.  I pondered on it for a while.  Could I find the love of my life today?  How about I find a new song that speaks to me? What if I find a neat rock?  I would have accepted any of these answers, but the result was far better than any of those things could have ever been.  I found my sweet potato tater tots. 

I was on campus here at Monmouth University and I was beginning to become hungry.  This was, of course, a result of me taking too long sitting up in bed wondering what that wizard had meant, but I needed sustenance.  I decided to go to the one place where no one could ever be disappointed.  I moseyed on down to the Dining Hall. 

Once I entered the Dining Hall I could immediately smell an aroma that I had never smelled before.  After I swiped my way in, I journeyed out to discover what that sweet scent sauntering in the air was. 

I then found my seat.  I normally like to sit at the picnic tables that are in the eating area.  It has all the fun of eating outside, but from the comfort and safety of inside.  Once I did this, I began my quest to find out what that smell was.

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Breaking Up Over Text

default article imageBreakups are never easy. They’re usually extremely messy and complicated. Sometimes there is that one outlier and a breakup is clean, simple and easy. In a society whose communication is centered on technology, is it okay to breakup over text?

The answer is no; unless in an extreme circumstance and I’ll tell you why. Once you are in a relationship with somebody, you have dedicated a substantial amount of time to be with them. Nowadays we talk to the person we want to date for a minimum of a month, then start dating and then use the label of boyfriend/girlfriend.

Sometimes this process takes even longer and can go up to six months. Once you have invested this amount of time in a person you want everything to go smoothly but once there is the elephant in the room and you need to breakup do it face to face. To me, breaking up with someone over text is cowardice.

You never get to fully confront the person you have been with and they never get anything more than a “We’re over” text. Also, if we’re being honest here most people would not reply back if they asked, “Oh Why?” We would leave them on read an only a few brave souls would reply. Talking face to face to your past significant other gives them the chance to ask “Why?” and we are forced to sit there and tell them why it did not work out. We get a chance to tell them the reasons why we are truly upset.

 A text to break up with someone is also just plain disrespectful. You’re basically telling your past significant other that you don’t want to go out of your way or make time to really break up with them even though, you put in months and months or maybe even years of hard work to be with them.

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The Spring Break Blues

Spring Break BluesSpring break is said to be when the tan lines may fade, but the memories last forever. Under normal circumstances I would chuck my laptop across the room for having just taken the time to type out that ridiculous quote, however, spring break is over and I’ve got all the feels.

We look forward to this glorious seven day period in which we are free from the grips of higher education and can do as we please, for once! Unless of course your professors assigned work over break… (you know who you are!) Whether you chose to jet off to some tropical island with your friends in search of sun, sand and cheap booze, or you successfully binge-watched your way through Netflix’s library, we can all agree that spring break was both a blessing and a curse.

The first thing I did when I cracked open my new 2018 agenda was create a countdown for break. No matter how many assignments I had piling up, emails I needed to respond to, or whatever other responsibilities life was throwing my way, I knew that as long as I kept my eye on the prize, the prize being March 10- March 16, that I could muster up enough grit to power through my priorities.

Week after week I would look to my countdown as a sort of light at the end of the tunnel, something to bring me back down to earth as I proclaimed for the 17th time that day, “I am so over this semester!”

There is one thing about spring break that they don’t prepare you for: the aftermath. And I’m not just talking about the memories (or lack thereof) and the depleted funds in your bank account. I am talking about the emptiness, people! Those seven days, 168 hours of sweet, sweet freedom and utter bliss are gone, and now all you are left with is a bad sunburn and a beer gut.

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Siblings By Blood, Friends By Choice

Sibiling By BloodGrowing up with an older brother meant growing up with a best friend. Although he is two years older, it seems as if we are twins; we have the same mannerisms, the same personality, we understand each other like no one else does, and some even say that we look alike. I even followed his footsteps in becoming a Monmouth Hawk, since we always knew our university would be the perfect fit for the both of us.

We are, however, pursuing different academic majors and focusing on different interests, which helps us constantly learn from each other. Although we exhibit an abundance of similarities, we are polar opposites in some areas; I’m more creative while he’s more logical, and I’m more sensitive while he’s more stoic.

Ever since we were kids, we’ve been notorious for bickering about the most trivial matters and then laughing about a completely different subject five minutes later. Our childhood consisted of fighting over the TV remote, the leftovers in the fridge, and of course who would use the shower first; things that we still argue about now, especially since we are older. But the number of fights we’ve had just can’t compare to the number of inside jokes.

Growing up, I almost never got bored because I always had someone to play video games with, someone to watch movies with, and someone to play sports outside with. Although he’s my only sibling, there’s never a dull moment in our household. We never fail to make each other laugh, and we can sense when we need it the most. I wouldn’t give up the memories we share together for anything.

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have another sibling. Would we still be as close as we are now? Now, I realize that my brother is the only one I need, and I would not give that up for anything. Now, I realize to never take my brother for granted because he’s the only one who will never leave my side. In fifty years, we’ll still be crying of laughter over a frivolous inside joke. It’s the small things like that which makes a sibling relationship so meaningful.

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Professors Respond to School Shooting

default article imageIn the 1950’s and ‘60’s, school children across the country learned to defend themselves against a potential nuclear strike by climbing under their desks. Fortunately, that threat never materialized. Today’s school children are not so lucky; they are under attack.  

Like their predecessors, today’s children are also taught to hide under their desks in case of attack. Unlike the 50s and 60s, invasions from gun wielding intruders has become an ever-present reality. A Washington Post analysis has reported “over 150,000 students attending at least 170 primary or secondary schools have experienced a shooting on campus since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999.”

In the hours and days that follow one of these tragedies, we are unified as a nation in our feelings of outrage, shock, disgust, fear, and intense sorrow for our children, their teachers, and the school staff. Unfortunately, our shared sense of loss has not led to the prevention of school shootings. 

This is in stark contrast to the measures taken to stop airline hijackings in the 1970s. After it became clear that terrorists were determined to use hijacking as a political platform, a concerted effort was made to solve the problem, and today airline hijackings are rare occurrences. Schools should be as safe as airports. We owe that to our children.

However, there is widespread disagreement concerning how to prevent school shootings, whether it be through increased school security, addressing mental health issues, or prohibiting easy access to guns. As Deans of Education and Social Work, we believe a comprehensive approach to the problem is needed. 

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Today's Technology

default article imageIt’s been 2018 for about two months now and I am in awe of how “futuristic” our everyday lives are becoming. What once was thought as space-age technology is now a reality, and it doesn’t look like it is going to stop any time soon. The other day I was babysitting and the little girl was showing me her new iPhone X (because all 5th graders need one, right?) and how she no longer needs to physically type in a passcode, but rather her phone unlocks based on facial-recognition technology.

My jaw was on the floor, yet this 11 year-old thought nothing of it, now I know how our parents and grandparents must feel each time we show them some new flashy feature that our phones and computers are capable of. At what point does this influx of innovations become too much? Have we surpassed the point of no return?

Throughout this semester, in each one of my classes we have been discussing the effects that technology and the ever-present stream of media has on our environment and society. Each discussion sheds a light on just how addicted our culture has become and how it is changing the very social fabric of humankind. When you think of it, we’ve adopted a whole new language and set of rules on how we communicate with one another.

Ten years ago if you asked someone to “follow” you or “link up” they would look at you like you had ten heads! And let’s not forget how crucial and convenient the introduction of emoji’s have become. As fun as these little text graphics can be, deciphering what they mean can be just as nerve racking as deciding whether someone is angry with you based on their choice of a period over an exclamation in a text.

I know I sound ridiculous, but I know that so many of you have been in the same boat trying to decide how to respond to a cold shouldered “k.”

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Global Warming and Alpine Sports Don't Get Along

Global Warming Alpine SportsImagine, a bright icy cool morning, on the peak of a tall white mountain, strapped to your skies and ready to ride. All of a sudden, this jerk, named climate change, comes and pisses all over the snow. Now that the snow is melted and the mountain looks like crap, it is totally useless.

The kicker is, climate change claims it was your fault that he melted the snow, because you have been off messing with other beautiful places like forests and streams. He says “why should you care if the snow is melted, you can make more can’t you? Oh wait, resources are limited? Should have thought of that before!”

Climate change claims that your method of cutting trees for ski paths, making snow, and the energy used to maintain your hobbies and sports, are actually the reason why he melted all of your snow.

 How rude. You were just trying to enjoy sports mountain top like human nature calls for.

These days it is so hard to maintain our beloved winter sports. With the perpetually warming average global temperature, naturally occurring snow is less frequent than in the past.

Considering water is now a very precious resource, and drought is causing war and death globally today… snow-making may need to come to an end soon; or we could just live without water.

Winter sports require a lot of massive machines which require a lot of fossil fuel for energy to clear paths through mountains for skiing and snowboarding. Apparently, this process seems to piss of our friend climate change even more because carbon and greenhouse emissions make him “too hot” or something.

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Winter Weekends

default article imageIf there is one thing I’ve learned so far throughout my three years of college, it is that Loverboy’s “Working for the Weekend” is not only an absolute jam, but that it’s lyrics speak volumes.

Sure, the song is about going out, having fun, and finding love—which may or may not be your cup of tea—but one thing we can all agree on is that the weekend marks a 48-hour window of sweet, sweet freedom.

Each morning the deafening sound of the alarm clock blares through our rooms and after hitting the snooze button one too many times, we manage to drag ourselves out of our Tempurpedic cocoons and face the day ahead of us.

Maybe I’m biased since I am a student, but I give us a whole lot of credit; we’ve got to balance school, work, clubs, a social life and whatever else is going on in our lives and repeat the process day after day.

That is until weekend rolls around and all bets are off as soon as the clock strikes 4:10 p.m. on Thursday afternoons. (Do yourself a favor, avoid Friday classes whenever possible, hello three-day weekend!) Since I know that I will be, “working for the weekend” for years to come, I’ve made a personal vow with myself to truly squeeze out every last ounce of fun and make the most of what little freedom I have.

For me, that has meant hopping in my car straight after class on Thursdays and driving 5 hours to Vermont to ski. This has been my routine each week since the beginning of the semester and I can attest that I have, indeed, enjoyed myself and have created something to look forward to whenever I find myself drowning in homework and priorities.

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Introverts vs. Extroverts

Introvert ExtrovertWe all have different personalities, preferences, and feelings. The topic of introversion vs. extroversion is something we all know about on the surface. But do we really know about it in depth? We all know or have met the “very talkative and outgoing” guy or the “quiet and private” girl, or vice versa. The traits we see are not the only thing or backing an introvert or extrovert.

Either of the two find enjoyment in different things or it could even be the way they talk. It could also be more along the lines of tending to curl up in bed and spend time alone, or the complete opposite of going out and be energized by being around others.

Being an introvert or extrovert is nothing to be ashamed about, it’s just simply the traits your carry. It’s said that introversion/extroversion is most strongly found through heredity and genetics. We see the simple givens of pointing out an introvert vs. extrovert.

When we go deeper to find out more about each, extroverts are more open, tend to enjoy large groups, and conversations. While on the other hand introverts are more reserved, enjoy more one-on-one conversations, and tend to listen more.

There are many speculations stating that introverts aren’t as happy as extroverts, which is completely false. Though the qualities of each may not one hundred percent fit your exact personality that you have, and we see many introverts giving off extroverted behaviors, and vice-versa.

Although, it feels like everyone must belong to one of the two groups, some may not fit into one category and find themselves as being a combination of the two. Having both a mix of introversion and extroversion is called being ambivert. Ambiverts find qualities in both sides that are favorable or some that just come naturally to their personality. It’s said that 68 percent of population is made up of ambiverts.

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Bad Boys Rule

default article imageThere is an old saying: “When one door closes, another door opens.” The person holding that door open is a gentleman - silently nodding, waiting for a reply. If that does not sound appealing to you, the female reader, then how would you feel if he slowly closed the door with a wry smirk on his face as you shuffled to it, adjusting the bag or backpack on your shoulder, only to grab the door’s handle three inches before it closes. Would you begin to feel something other than anger? Would you feel curious about the kind of audacity it takes to do things without caring for others? Could you make him be more sincere?

If the second scenario sounds more familiar, you may be attracted to a bad boy. While the scenario is hyperbolic, I believe the feeling of being left in the dirt by someone can make you want them even more as a romantic partner. The door can be locked in my face, and I will still try to pick at the lock, hoping that I bent my confidence into the correct shape. This effort is all for the non-existent opportunity to suggest that the dinner table I set up at her doorstep is pretty exquisite.

The key element of a ‘bad boy’ girls admire is a smooth combination of class and care. The quality of this combination is so refined that it beats that of any Valentine’s Day box of chocolates from a secret admirer. The bad boy dresses in a particular fashion and sticks to it. He wears his favorite cologne and pretends the air around him isn’t enchanted. Everything about him is recognizable, and girls want him to recognize them. In this case, the bad boy blocks his door of opportunity with a metaphorical sofa. It can still be opened, but it will take a lot of effort. 

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Winter Olympics Cheering on USA!

Winter OlympicsUSA! USA! USA! Although the United States does not dominate the Winter Olympics like they dominate the summer Games I am all for it. PyeongChang is 14 hours ahead of the East Coast, but that does not stop true fans from watching the events.

Sure, you could watch the recorded footage during the day, but the die-hards wake up early and stay up late. On the second day of the games, I set my alarm for 6:00to watch the opening ceremony. I watched with my eyes half-open as Team USA paraded out.

I have napped during the day just so I can stay up late at night. I was able to see Chole Kim win her first Gold Medal in Snowboarding Halfpipe at the ripe old age of 17. I saw Shaun White recapture Gold with his victory run down the pipe. I screamed as Adam Rippon, who is from my hometown, skated his heart out and won Bronze in the Team Skate.

The fact that an Olympic Athlete is from my hometown has made these Games even more special. Although I have never met Adam in person, I attended high school with his younger sister. Rippon has won the hearts of the American people and fully embodies the true meaning of sports and most importantly the Olympics.

Unfortunately, many people do not watch or even think about the Winter Olympics. To some, it is just variations of the same snow sport. But, there are some crazy sports out there that are interesting to watch. Who would think that someone would want to zoom down an ice slide head-first on a sled? You can watch athletes do flips and twists 20 feet in the air, or watch skiers shoot at targets with a rifle. What a wild combination. What a great opportunity to explore new winter sports.

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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