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Opinion

Volume 83 (Fall 2011 - Spring 2012)

Wait, This Isn’t the iPhone 5?

default article imageOops! Apple did it again! As it has been posted just about everywhere, the new iPhone 4s has recently been released. People have been lining up and waiting hours to get this brand new device. It seems that this has become a ritual every year when Apple creates a new product. As an iPhone user myself, I understand why the phone is so desirable. You can play music, search the web during a phone conversation, play games, and even video chat.

So what’s the big difference between the iPhone 4 and 4s? Well, for the most part it is essentially the same design with a few tweaks and improvements, but it’s really the new settings for the phone this time that is making waves. The new operating system has been set up with some newly developed applications that are convenient if you are on the go and make life easier.

The new iPhone does have some new features that are helpful and honestly just plain awesome. There is a new coating to prevent smudging and fingerprints, new camera features, and a new operating system that you can use to plan out almost anything. The new camera has face recognition to take crisp pictures, and shoots in 1080p HD for video.

It even has a feature that let’s you print wirelessly from your phone! Imagine the convenience of writing a paper and simply pushing an app to print it while answering a text and checking Facebook. Even though these new features are amazing, it really is the new updated operating system that has stolen the show.

With the new iOS 5 software, the 4s has a back-up system called iCloud. This basically saves everything on the phone from music to photos to your text messages. Also, if a person owns multiple Apple devices, the iCloud syncs  all the devices, so there is no need to rebuy apps for every device.

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Life After Steve Jobs

Steve JobThe world is no stranger to the accomplishments of famous innovators such as Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and Thomas Edison, to name a few. One man, who has often been compared to these historical greats, has joined the ranks of famous innovators. From the original desktop computer to the sleek iPad tablet, Steve Jobs has single-handedly changed the way we see electronics. After the recent passing of Jobs, the world has been left grieving and wondering what is going to happen to technology as we know it.

As an adopted child and college dropout, Jobs has opened the door for unique individuals, like himself, to strive for their dreams without fear of failure. He encouraged the community to embody his ideal of “thinking different” in order to accomplish their dreams, because this had proved to be extremely successful for him. While Jobs was not condoning dropping out of college as the answer, his actions prove that he has always taken the unconventional route in order to reach his goals.

By the age of 21, Jobs and three friends established Apple Inc. The start to Apple was a long and difficult road. Jobs and his colleagues attempted to create personal computers that would rival the top electronic companies of the time, but their attempts proved unsuccessful. After several failed attempts and a partnership with rival company Microsoft, Jobs managed to keep Apple afloat, bringing Apple to what it is known as today.

Jobs, as acting CEO in 1997, introduced unique products under the Apple logo that have set the bar for all Apple products today. He introduced the Apple Online Store, which later became iTunes, and began a whole new line of desktop computers. The failing company soon saw their stocks rising slowly, which gave Jobs more breathing room in development. This breathing room gave way to the first iBook, but the company was not in the clear yet. Apple was still far behind its competitors, but Jobs never gave up. After perfecting the personal computer, Jobs and Apple unleashed its most profitable handheld electronic, the iPod, along with its own music selling technology through iTunes.

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Does High School Prepare You for College?

default article imageThe four years spent in high school are meant to be a period of preparation for what is to come in college. However, in recent times, high school seems less and less like a time for preparation and more like a period of years used to occupy students until they are mature enough to enter college.

It is unfortunate that students no longer have to work hard to make it through high school. The best way to get good grades and strong recommendations is to know how to “play the game.” All it takes is for students to befriend the right teachers and get involved with enough pep-rallies to catch the eye of the principal as a well-rounded and highly school spirited student, and the rest is gravy.

The minds of students are not being challenged enough to the point where they are exposed to what collegiate academics are like. Instead of teaching their students the best way to take notes in a lecture, how to read and absorb a textbook, or even how to stay organized and manage their time well, high school teachers are spending time watching movies (sometimes instead of reading the books), excusing students from class so that they can help paint posters to advertise homecoming, and spoon feeding students everything they need to know for exams. In college, professors expect their students to follow their syllabus, come to class prepared with notes, have already read the material, and reach out on their own if they need help. Unlike high school, glancing over the material 10 minutes before class, hoping that enough information stuck in your mind for you to get your “gold star” for participation for the day does not work in college.

The worst aspect of high school academics is the students’ method of padding their grade point averages. Instead of taking challenging courses that could help expand the way they think, but might render a B on their transcript, some students would rather have that A+, even if it was in woodshop and they intend to be chemistry majors in college.

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Do You Feel Safe?

default article imageThe University Police Department does its part in keeping our campus safe. Officers patrol on foot and by truck during the day and through the night. However, I can’t help but feel that more security should be enforced at the University.

During the day, officers can be found throughout campus walking around or driving in official police trucks. If a student needs help and can’t find an officer, the Police Department is located next to Woods Theatre and emergency boxes are all over campus. Most students don’t think they have to be cautious during the day because it’s light outside and they feel safe. I beg to differ.

 Several weeks ago, a student told me she was approached by someone on the residential side of campus in the middle of the day. They began to have a casual conversation when he admitted to not being a student at the University and just lived nearby, bored, and wished to kill a little time. Thankfully, he did not seem much of a threat and left campus soon after, but this incident proves how easy it is for anyone to walk in and out of the University at any hour.

At larger schools, gates are located at each parking lot along with safety officers signing people in and checking IDs. The University does not have any gates on any of its parking lots. Adding them will guarantee that anyone who does not belong in the University will not be allowed in. These gates will just add another obstacle in case someone is trying to get in with the intention of causing harm.

Students don’t tend to look over their shoulder during the day, but they should always be a little careful. It is a university’s job to provide students with an education and keep them safe. The University does this but there is always room for improvement.

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The Art of Planking

The Art of PlankingFor quite some time, planking has been a worldwide sensation gone viral. Hundreds of thousands of people have gone out into the world, lied down perfectly flat on their stomachs on a random surface and snapped a photo of them to upload onto the Internet.  Whether they are on important landmarks or on their very own kitchen counters, people just keep on planking.

A website has even been created, www.planking.me, and as the self-proclaimed “official home of planking,” provides anyone with an interest in planking a “how to” guide and the option to “submit plank.”

They also offer a wide variety of planking categories having to do with the location of the plank throughout the world while also offering the unique option of “celebrity planking.” Though the subject sounds tempting, after clicking on the link, no recognizable celebrities were shown in this specific genre.

As far as the guide goes, it simply reiterates the fact that one must be lying perfectly still on their stomach perfectly straight. Nothing states that there must be a specific location as to where one would plank, but usually it consists of various sturdy objects such as walls, counters or even mailboxes. However, the website does warn that anyone who wants to plank should do so safely.

According to the British periodical, The Guardian, one has already faced a fatal end due to his planking excursions. In May 2011, Acton Beale, a 20-year-old Australia native, planked to his death. Seven stories high on an apartment balcony in Kangaroo Point, Brisbane, the young man most likely never suspected his silly pastime to take a toll on his own life. What was supposed to be a night of fun and games with a friend, turned out to be a tragedy.

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“It’s Not You, It’s Me”

Its Not YouRelationships are probably one of the trickiest things to try to prioritize when entering the college realm, especially if you can’t help but be on cloud nine with your significant other. Some people want their relationships from high school and/or summer romance to last through college, but unfortunately, that usually doesn’t work out.

For some it does, but come on ladies- along with the guys who are pretending to not be reading this section right now- relationships require much upkeep. College is a place for new changes for everybody. You meet new people, and you want to try new things. Yet, are you willing to do everything it takes to maintain that long term relationship with the one you fell so in love with?

I thought I could, until the dreaded eight-word phrase made my whole world spiral down. I’m sure that some ladies out there know exactly what I’m talking about.

“Babe, I don’t think this is working out.”

This phrase is the tell-all-end-all of phrases. This little eight-word phrase has the ability to knock you straight out of your cloud nine euphoria and let you plummet heart first to ground zero with no warning signs. Ladies, we all know how this goes, and the first thing that comes into our minds consists of confusion and various amounts of creative curse words.

I know that I can speak for a lot of girls and yes, some major “bros” out there who’ve come up with a similar array of words that they’re surprised (and impressed) with. Who would’ve known, right? Who would’ve thought that this could happen?

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Reality Television is Anything but Reality

Reality TelevisionReality television is beginning to bring Mulholland Drive to a street near you. It’s no surprise that our generation is fixated on instant gratification and the finest return on investment that involves the least amount of work. The old California dream, the leap of faith into the vicious guts of Hollywood are phasing out and giving way to a new and more unrealistic concept of fame.

Keeping up with the Kardashian’s latest drama can be a full time job for its viewers. Being socially linked in via a Twitter account can help us spy on the stars and follow their every move.

It’s exciting to know what they had for breakfast and what their biggest dilemmas of the day are. Reality starlet Kim Kardashian tweeted on September 29, “Every year I pick a wrapping paper theme. Last year was silver & white, the year before burgundy & gold. What should this year be???”

MTV’s “The Hill’s” cast has expensive eyes yet live comfortably in hillside villas overlooking the Pacific Ocean, all while technically unemployed. Paris Hilton apparently “glows” at her VIP table in Las Vegas wearing some sort of make-up containing gold. Meanwhile, kids are skipping school to film YouTube videos in hopes of becoming the next Internet sensation.

According to The New York Post, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino is estimated to have grossed almost 10 million dollars from his six-pack flaring antics.     Realistically, people are homeless and dying. A fraction of one episode’s pay for Mr. Sorrentino could help the hard -working American man who comes home with news to his wife that he’s lost his job.

You can be rich and famous for doing absolutely nothing in today’s world, and this message is loud and clear to our generation. “I know you’re so against these reality shows, but if you had the chance to party for a living and get paid, wouldn’t you do it?” asked Brett Oliverio, a Monmouth Alumni. I pretended his question was rhetorical, and didn’t answer.

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White Girl What?

default article imageWhile on the train to New York Penn Station one Sunday, I sipped my coffee and eavesdropped on the conversation that took place in the seats before me. There sat three girls, no older than 16. They were dressed in tight knit tops tucked into thin mid-waist miniskirts.

They were on their way to an Enrique Iglesias concert at the Prudential Center. Each had a large bottle of Gatorade in one hand, while they passed around a second bottle filled with some kind of clear liquor. One girl took a long swig of the clear bottle, chased with orange Gatorade and said, “We’re totally going to get ‘white girl wasted’ tonight!”  Her face was scrunched with bitter excitement.

“White girl wasted?”  The new phrase caught me off guard.  I glanced at my friends to be sure what I had heard was correct; it was.  We kept our laughter hushed until the girls stumbled off the train, shuffling in five-inch heels with upper thighs exposed, exiting at Newark Penn Station.

So what does getting “white girl wasted” mean exactly?  The saying has blown up among the young adult community as a way to describe someone who is obnoxiously intoxicated that may make decisions he/she will regret or completely not remember.  This term is not only limited to drunk Caucasian females, but can refer to anyone regardless of their sex and race. Getting “WGW” (white girl wasted) even has its own page on Twitter and Facebook.

Comments on the “WGW” Twitter page include, “Money cannot buy happiness, but it can buy drinks,” and “blacked out twice in 24 hours. Mission accomplished.”

Stephanie Luckowsky, a senior at the University, knows the saying is merely a joke but still does not agree with its meaning. “I really am on the fence about it. It doesn’t hurt me nor does it sit right,” she said. “In essence it is derogatory towards white females.  It is basically saying that white girls can’t handle their alcohol nor have enough class to simply have fun.”

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House Music Mania

House Music ManiaGone are the days of Lil Wayne and Drake monopolizing the music industry with their raps about drugs, alcohol, cars, money, and girls.  What has caused this new revelation? Two words: house music.  House music is the latest music fad to hit airwaves.  With its ever increasing popularity among the public, the newest music craze shows no sign of fading out anytime soon.

Madonna, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, U2, Lady Gaga, and Jay- Z are some of the world’s biggest and talented stars.  The underlying commonality between them is their ability to have performed sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden. The most recent of acts to sell out the 20,000 seat arena within one hour of pre-sale and regular sale combined is Swedish House Mafia.

Swedish House Mafia, made-up of three established individual disc jockeys and producers, Axwell, Steve Angello, and Sebastian Ingrosso, decided to combine their talents by forming the group in late 2008.  Only a few years later, the group has become one of the biggest names in house music among the public.

The sold-out concert signifies not only specifically success for the group of DJs, but it shows that house music has made a huge name for their genre in today’s entertainment industry.

The days of house music being heard solely in clubs are far gone.  Having been the genre’s sole home for quite some time, they are now breaking new ground in the world of radio.  It seems as if the majority of the public cannot get enough.

Swedish House Mafia’s hit “Save the World,” Afrojack’s collaboration with Pitbull, Ne-Yo and Nayer on the track “Give Me Everything,” and “Party Rock Anthem” were just three songs that could easily be named “songs of the summer.”  The house music influence is becoming notably popular, causing even established entertainers to break into the house music world.

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MySpace, Facebook, Twitter. What’s Next?

Social MediaFirst there was MySpace, and then came Facebook. Today, people also have social networking websites such as Twitter and Tumblr. As the world of technology changes, so does the way we communicate with each other.

Social networking websites have been in existence since the mid-1990’s. Classmates.com was launched in 1995 solely as a way for old classmates to reconnect with each other and stay in touch. Today, people can stay in touch with as many people as they want using almost every modern social networking site available.

Social networking sites were first meant as a tool for teenagers and young adults to socialize, but they have slowly crept into the workforce and academics. People in business use networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn to stay in touch with clients. Facebook provides more personalized communication while LinkedIn is strictly professional. Companies also utilize blogs and Twitter to advertise their products.

Open Diary was the first online blogging community, and it was among the many stepping stones and blueprints for modern day social media. Today, there are so many blogging websites for people to choose from such as LiveJournal and Blogster. Both sites serve the same purpose, but each one has its own features which set it apart from the rest.

Sharing photos with others no longer has to be done through email or other “old fashioned” methods. Now, people have popular sites such as Flickr and DailyBooth which provide a means of sharing photos with a larger audience. These websites provide society with the convenience we have come to rely on and expect.

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Sick on Sunday? Suck it Up!

default article imageStudents can find the University on the weekends to be at its all-time quietest since many pack up their bags and head out until the start of classes again on Monday. Over the course of the weekend, students like me have adjusted to these cold, hard facts: the Dining Hall hours are shortened, Java City coffees and Einstein Bagels are inaccessible, the gym closes at 4:00 pm on Saturday, and almost anywhere you walk on campus grounds is deserted.

I do not mind the shortened hours at the Dining Hall, and a run to the beach is more of my style then using the treadmill or elliptical. As much as I would love an iced pumpkin latte from Java City on a Sunday morning, I can be happy boiling my own cup of coffee in my kitchen. However, what is not exactly “my cup of tea” is that the Health Center closes at 5:00 pm on Friday and does not reopen until 9:00 am on Monday.

Fall weather is here, bringing with it the sniffling noses, head colds, sore throats, and allergies for many students. For those of us that do not have a vehicle on campus, a friend with a vehicle, or a way to get home for a weekend, I find it to be very frustrating that our campus’s access to nurses and medicine is closed, especially if we are sick.

Sure, the Hawk’s Nest in the Student Center is open for students to buy cough medicine or even a bottle of orange juice to help us get through the day. However, I believe it is much more comforting, especially for first-year students, to have a place to go, a professional to speak with, and proper treatment and medicine to help them feel well during the weekend if they are sick.

From personal experience, lying in bed all weekend waiting for my body to recuperate does not work as well as I always hope. There have been weekends when I could not get home, could not get to Walgreens, and did not have medicine that could best cure my cough. I am positive that most students have had, or will have, the unfortunate experience of getting sick while being away from home. Shouldn’t there be a place where we can go?

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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