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Opinion

Volume 83 (Fall 2011 - Spring 2012)

All Good Things Come in Pairs

All Good Things Come in PairsI believe that twins share a bond deeper than any other relationship in this world.

The entire experience of being a twin has promoted wonder, curiosity and what seemed like an obnoxious question - “do you like having a twin?” The truth is, I don’t know what is it like to not have one, as this is the only life I have known. My unique circumstance has helped me live an interesting life.

Some people seem offended by the statement that “twins” are the closest of any set of siblings and often attempt to get defensive. I have heard statements that are endearing, such as “ me and my sibling are only 13 months apart, we are just like twins.” This is not accurate in my opinion. Actually for us, we have other siblings that are  “close to our age” and from a first-hand experience, I can state that the bond is in no way, shape or form “the same!”

How can anything be compared with sharing the womb with someone for nine months? Being born minutes apart and having someone the same exact age as you, sharing every significant moment together for the rest of your life; how can this be compared with siblings who are months apart? Through photographs and memory enhancement from the stories told by my parents, the sharing started as soon as we came home. We were placed in a cradle together, where we are told that we used to steal each other’s pacifiers, cried, slept and ate at the same time. Rituals that “singleton siblings” do not get experience together, that we did - were our baptism, communion, confirmation, birthdays, graduations, getting a drivers license; this person is by your side through it all. That is just special in its own right.

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Only One More Year

Only One More YearThe end of the world seems to be as insignificant as a trending topic on Twitter these days. Any crazy person can get on the news and alert the public that the end is near, and then he or she is made a mockery of when life and time is still in existence.

The 2009 John Cusak flick “2012” may have struck some fear into the hearts and minds of the non-believers. It made $166.1 million in the box office, but Hollywood produced blockbusters are merely for entertainment purposes, and not many people want to take them seriously.

However, according to the Mayan calendar, the world will end on December 21, 2012. But even still, you can’t be too sure how credible the Mayans are. They couldn’t even predict their own extinction.

Ironically, Nostradamus, the famous French apothecary who lived during the 1500s, also predicted that the world would end in December of the year 2012.

For me, it is chilling that Nostradamus is credited with predicting many of the world’s major events, hundreds of years before they occurred. In his writings, he seems to have predicted the death of Princess Diana, the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

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Stop Procrastinating... Starting Tomorow

Stop Procrastinating Starting TomorowIt is 11:45 pm and you are sitting at your computer furiously typing away. To the outside world, you are a dedicated student staying up late to get your work done and should be commended. However, what they do not know is that you are on page two of your seven page term paper that accounts for 40 percent of your final grade and needs to be dropboxed by midnight. Procrastination. We all do it. But why?

If there is one thing most college students know well, it is the act of procrastination. “I’ll start studying for the exam when I get back from work.” “I’m going to get some lunch, and when I get back I really am going to get started on that pile of homework on my desk.” My personal favorite is, “I’ll work on my paper after my power nap, that way, I am more refreshed.”

Everyone procrastinates sometimes, even college professors. “Your papers will be graded by tomorrow.” “I’ll have the grades posted on e-campus by tonight.” “I don’t have a handout so I’ll send out an email with instructions for the assignment.”

Although procrastination is a normal part of life, it important to realize when it becomes a major problem. According to psychologytoday.com, “20 percent of people are true procrastinators who consistently avoid difficult tasks and deliberately look for distraction.” People who often wait until the last minute to do things tell themselves that they perform better under pressure, but waiting to do things only increases the chance for mistakes.

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Look Before You Eat

Think you know what you’re eating? According to the USDA, in 2009, 93 percent of soy, 93 percent of cotton, and 86 percent of corn grown in the U.S. were GMOs, “genetically modified organisms.” GMOs are organisms that have been created through techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE).

This relatively new science allows DNA from one species to be injected into another species in a laboratory, creating combinations of plant, animal, bacteria, and viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods. Surprised? Incredible isn’t it?

“Pesticide companies develop genetically engineered food crops by combining deoxyribonucleic acid  (DNA) from plants, animals, bacteria and viruses, to contain or resist pesticide, which results in more pesticides sold and sprayed,” says Michael Hansen, Chief Scientist of Consumers Union. “Genetically engineered foods contain untested novel foreign compounds that can be detrimental to our health.”

American consumers deserve    d, the FDA approved commercial production of GMOs based on studies conducted by the companies who created them and profit from their sale.

Robert Brackett, the Director for the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the Food and Drug Administration stated in a testimony before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry that FDA is confident that the bioengineered foods in the United States market today are as safe as their conventional counterparts. The FDA has found no evidence to indicate that DNA inserted into plants using bioengineering presents food safety problems.

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Happy Christmahanakwanzika!

ChristmahanakwanzikaLet’s face it, the holiday season is upon us. There is no more putting it off. Everywhere we turn from Wilson Hall to the dorm’s decorations, the holidays are thrusted into our faces. Perhaps the most obvious sign of the holidays is the television specials we all know and love.

There are the “25 days of Christmas” on ABC Family, “A Christmas Story” on every channel at least once, and the “Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting.” Now hang on a minute, what do all these television specials have in common? They are all solely about the Christmas holiday. Not once do you find a Hanukkah television show (besides the one-time “Rugrats” Hanukkah special that aired 15 years ago) or a Kwanza special aired on national television.  In our lifetimes, national television has only aired one children’s holiday special that had nothing to do with the most commonly celebrated holiday during this season, Christmas.

Why does the world neglect the fact that Christmas is not the only holiday occurring this time of year? Does the United States not pride itself in its cultural diversity? The lack of media and representation of the other holidays featured during the Christmas season has posed a problem for years. However, the United States government is trying to take small steps towards diversifying the holiday season.

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Student Interviews State Senator Jennifer Beck on Plans to Help College Grads Find Jobs

default article imageFor the first time in New Jersey state history, an all-female assembly district and senate in Monmouth County's District 11 was elected on November 8.

Assemblywomen Caroline Casagrande, Mary Pat Angelini and State Senator Jennifer Beck were elected.

During an interview last Tuesday, Beck discussed her plans as State Senator, including helping the struggling job market, mainly re-energizing the economy with graduating college students.

Prior to the election, Beck was State Senator of District 12, but due to redistricting ran and won District 11. Beck is a graduate of Boston College, where she majored in mathematics and physics. She has a master’s degree in government administration from the University of Pennsylvania. Beck serves on the Environment and Energy Committee along with the Judiciary Committee. She believes in reducing government involvement in the private sector and spending on infrastructure projects to put people back to work.
She also believes that the state should help college students with financial aid.

Beck has two major objectives during her term as Senator and these are education reform and property tax reform. She said, "We have so many failing school districts in the state of New Jersey that are leaving our young people with not a lot of opportunities in the future."

Governor Chris Christie has been a supporter of reforming New Jersey's educational system but has met strong opposition from the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA).

When asked about her plan to deal with sky high property taxes Beck said, "The Pension Reform Bill will help the state and local towns to lower property taxes along with reevaluating the civil service."

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Sorry, You Can’t Eat Today... or the Rest of the Semester

default article imageFor those who do not know this now, please be aware: if you do not have the unlimited meal plan, you will eventually run out of meals at the Dining Hall.  When will this happen?

For some, it may take until the last day of the semester to be told that you are out of “swipes.” But for the unlucky others, you may find yourself waiting in a long line during the dinner rush hour, presenting your student ID, and finding out that you have no longer have any more meals.

If you are one of those students, you’re left with the declining dollars that you may have been saving for your daily dose of Java City coffee every morning. Here’s the sad news: you have to spend that money buying yourself food to last you through the rest of the fall.

Most encounters at the Dining Hall that end with the shock of learning you have no meals usually play out like this scenario. 

My friends and I were going to lunch at the Dining Hall on a Friday afternoon last spring. I scanned in, along with my other two friends who followed behind me. We began to walk in when we heard the lady at the desk tell our other friend that her ID was not scanning. She tried again and failed. She was then told to visit the office in the lounge of the Dining Hall. If you are ever told to go into that office, expect bad news.

Our friend walked out laughing, sarcastically telling us that she was going to starve because she had run out of meals. It was only November!

Granted, she had taken the lowest meal plan, but if there was a way for her to check the number of meals she had left, she would have been aware of the lack of them left and had been able to manage her trips to the dining hall accordingly.

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Holiday Madness

Holiday MadnessJust as we take the last bite of our king size Snicker bars, and put the pumpkin carving knives away, we begin to hear the subtle sounds of jingle bells. As the door closes and the last trick-or-treater is on their way, we as controlled and obsessed consumers are pressured into wearing red and decorating for Christmas the day after Halloween.

Um hello, the pilgrims are totally offended. After all, we completely disregard the fact that Thanksgiving does come before Christmas.

Turkey and stuffing are the staple of the American heritage, yet we only honor the over eating and over indulging day for a short time. The leftovers are not even in tupperware as we quickly run to line up at malls and outlets for Black Friday sales.

As we run to the stores at 5:00 am with mashed potatoes barely digested and dessert slowly coming up our throats, we are hypnotized by the idea of completing all holiday shopping in one single hyped day.

And as we rest our feet later that day, we then rush to storage or the attic to gather the lights, Christmas tree, garland and wreaths.

Pathetic, right? But most of our families are extreme victims of the holiday frenzy disease. Why has it become acceptable to rush through holidays and not cherish the memories and significance of culture and history?

I am completely convinced that stores are out to get us. Between the misleading coupons, outlandish decorations, luring signs and addictively joyful music, we have been whipped into spending our money in a rather exhausting and manipulative way.

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Stay Away From the Squirrels

Stay Away From the SquirrelsSmart, sneaky, stalkers. Predatory, pensive, pudgy. Only one creature is ferocious enough to embody all of these characteristics. Only one creature has the ability to infiltrate the whole University, disguised among the foliage, waiting to pounce on you.

What on earth is this camouflaged, ambushing creature? Why, it’s a squirrel of course.

Most students on campus have had at least one negative interaction with a Monmouth Squirrel. See, a MU Squirrel is not your average squirrel, although it looks the same to the naked eye.

Both an average squirrel and a MU squirrel are about three inches in height when standing on all fours, have grayish-brownish fur and fluffy tails. Each may look like a cuddly animal, and may even come across as playful as two or more may leap and bound from tree to tree while engaging in a game of tag.

“Oh, that’s cute,” one might think as he or she observes this game of tag. But, despite the fact that these creatures seem harmless, we MU students know differently. We’ve experienced the dangerous effects of a MU squirrel, and now we know not to cross them.

Every student on this campus has heard the story. It probably spread faster than the recap of a girl fight during lunch at your high school. This story, however, is more frightening and causes more disbelief than that of a girl fight.

A MU student was leisurely walking down one of the paths on campus continuing on her merry way. During her walk, she had some garbage that she needed to throw out, so she walked towards the closest trash can. Absentmindedly, she tossed her trash into the can, and expected to continue on her journey.

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An ‘Absent’ Issue on Campus

default article imageThe University is home to over 4,500 undergraduate students and about 2,000 graduate students that are all susceptible to the standard attendance policy. Each department at the University has its own attendance policy. On average, each policy allows two class absences per semester.

In contrast, Rutgers University is  home to over 40,000 undergraduate students and about 15,000 graduate students. The large amount of students enrolled at Rutgers creates complications when professors attempt to enforce attendance policies. The students of Rutgers are rarely penalized for their lack of attendance, which has sometimes proven to be successful, but also detrimental to their grades.

Considering our fellow New Jersey school, Rutgers, lacks in the implementation of repercussions for lack of attendance, students at the University are left wondering why our policy is extremely strict?

Most classes at Monmouth follow the two-absence limit rule, which is reasonable, but if you miss three days instead of the allotted two, you may be subjected to a loss in a letter grade. What if it’s an excused absence you say? Well an excused absence is harder to come by than a free ride.

Many professors require a written excuse for absences to be considered excused, but as students we all know things come up such as car trouble, unexpected deaths, and sickness. Unfortunately, all these real-life instances occur all the time and may not come with a professional note to excuse the individual from class. These absences may cause a drop in a letter grade for the class you missed and will ultimately hinder your ability to excel in class.

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Put This in Your Coffee Cup

default article imageIf there is one thing about college that makes me cringe at the very sound of its utterance, it’s the sound of my 7:30 am alarm screeching, trying to wake my drowsy college butt up from bed. For some college students, that sound makes us take our pillows and throw them over our heads.

We mumble a conjuncture of words that are supposed to come out as, “I don’t want to get up” but really come out as “ughlksaglkjaegh.” Somehow we miraculously manage to wake up and start to get ready. But there are always mishaps that occur when college students (who are barely awake) try to get ready for an early morning class, that groggy feeling is never desired. Well here’s something for the early birds to read as they sip their morning cup o’ joe.

It all starts with the night before, when you’re getting all ready for bed. You first go and brush your teeth until your breath has the smell of a Scope commercial and then you have some quality time with your alarm clock.

You click through the buttons to set the alarm to 7:30 am and of course mess up the numbers in the process, therefore you have to scroll through another time to set it for the right time. After your thumbs get a work out from constantly pressing the buttons for what seems like a million years, you crawl into bed and begin to dream.

Suddenly, it’s like your mind just went “jk lol” because your alarm is yelling and it sounds 10 times louder than what you originally thought it would’ve sounded like. I call this the “what the flot-sam is going on” moment.

The worst part is, when your alarm begins to go off, it’s as if you have no idea where the sound is even coming from; looking around the room like it’s an alien abduction or something. And when you finally realize that it’s the alarm that is going off, you hustle out of bed and shut it off, only to massage your head seconds later.

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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