Last updateWed, 16 Sep 2020 2pm


Volume 84 (Fall 2012 - Spring 2013)

Do Certain TV Shows Give Us More Than Entertainment?

Reality Television Shows Sometimes Teach Viewers More About Themselves Than They Think


“The Biggest Loser” and “What Not to Wear” are my two favorite shows. I will not miss an episode of “The Biggest Loser.” I literally would not be able to go to sleep on a Monday night if I did not see who was knocked out of the competition and how much weight they have lost since.

Every time I turn on TLC and “What Not to Wear” is on, my day is made. If I do not watch it from the beginning, I make sure to see the hair and makeup makeover.

What is my fascination with these two shows? Is it because I am interested in the health and fitness industry? Absolutely. Is it because my career calls for professional attire and I need to learn how to coordinate clothing and jewelry better? One hundred percent yes. But I can research health issues and fashion on my own time without watching either of these shows. So what is the underlying reason for my infatuation?

I can relate to them. Each and every one of us can. I am not morbidly obese nor am I considered overweight. But I do not always feel comfortable in my body, especially after splurging on half of a pizza pie and chocolate cake. I guarantee that almost everyone reading this feels the same way sometimes.

Same goes for fashion. There are days that I know Stacey London and Clinton Kelly from “What Not to Wear” would have a heart attack if they saw what I wore to class. Do I really expect myself to get in a pair of jeans on a Monday? No way. But when I go through my closet looking for casual outfits, I usually end up hating all of my clothes. So when I turn on these two shows, I find inspiration and hope. I see an end result and a plan on how to get there. I see other people dealing with similar struggles as myself. That is the beauty of reality television.

Any fan of “The Biggest Loser” understands the concept of the show. Contestants compete in physical activities, learn healthy eating habits and “weigh in” every week. One person goes home after each episode, and there is only one winner.

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Handling Peer Pressure in College

Remember when you were first taught the concept of peer pres­sure back in elementary school? Your teachers educated you on the value of respecting yourself and others around you and to nev­er force someone to do something that they do not want to do. As we get older, the lessons of peer pressure go on without much to say. We experience life and learn from our mistakes. We think that we carry our wits about us every­where we go when we are with groups of people. We may think that we, as college students, do not fall into peer pressure, but it happens more times than we think.

As students from high school transition into college, times can be rough. They have to get used to their new environment and adapt to any changes that come their way. Someone who was not into the party scene in high school might wind up living on a floor that is wild and crazy, and they will have to adapt to their en­vironment in order to fit in with everyone else.

Next thing they know their whole persona changes. They be­gin to think differently, dress dif­ferently, and act differently just to fit in with a group of people. It is crazy to think that a group of peo­ple can have such a massive influ­ence on one person, but someone’s lifestyle can be changed drastical­ly just by conforming and adopt­ing to other people’s values and actions as they forget about their own.

However, peer pressure does not only relate to the party scene. Students can experience peer pressure when it comes to doing well in their classes. If every­one else is stressing out, you are bound to stress as well. Students may also experience peer pres­sure to lose weight or get in shape because their friends are into that lifestyle. There is a wide range of pressure that college students can face.

A perfect example of people always conforming to other’s ac­tions can be seen in Mean Girls. I am not going to give a full blown synopsis of this movie because I am pretty sure, actually 100 per­cent sure, that this entire campus has seen it, or if they have not seen it, know about it.

In relating the movie to peer pressure, Lindsey Lohan’s char­acter conforms to her new social group referred to as “The Plas­tics.” She acts like them, thinks like them, and dresses like them.

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Volunteering to Make a Difference

One Student Realizes Importance of Helping Others After Experience at Charity Bike Race

VolunteeringThere was a time when I thought that volunteering was simply a part of community service. People volunteer or do community to impress schools he or she wishes to attend or in order to fulfill a certain amount of hours for being caught party­ing a little too hard off campus. Maybe it is so that one fulfills her sorority’s requirements or because the university makes ev­ery club and organization pitch in for the Big Event. Regardless, no one volunteers without an ul­terior motive.

About a year ago, I found my­self with a brand new internship at the Multiple Sclerosis Soci­ety. I did typical intern things: I stuffed envelopes, ran labels, and ran errands around town. But I had one other thing I was required to do; attend the events that the organization held.

During the events, I mostly ran left and right but there was a few times when I had the chance to speak with the event partici­pants, volunteers, or those living with the disease.

It was overwhelming. Here were people all around me to­gether for one cause. They were all working toward the same goal, all there not because they had to be, but because they want­ed to be.

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Response to: A Challenge for More Faculty to Participate in The Outlook

To the Editors of the Outlook:

This reply is in regard to the article that appeared in this week’s Outlook:  “A Challenge for More Faculty to Participate in The Outlook.”   It generated much discussion within my department since we were singled out as being among those departments who were most egregious in failing to involve ourselves in the activities of our school newspaper.  One outcome of this discussion is that we found the accusation to be grossly false. One of my colleagues was curious as to just how involved we have been, and did a search for “psychology” and by last names over the last 12 months in the search option on the Outlook website. That search turned up 15 times that a faculty member from our department is mentioned in an article that appeared in print (eight of us are listed, by the way… the list is included at the end of this email).  I have no idea how many times we were actually asked to reply to an inquiry or how many times our replies went unmentioned in the paper, but I was asked via email 3-4 times since September, unfortunately about matters of which I have no expertise.  In one case I replied (see below) and in the other cases I forwarded the request to the rest of the faculty in my department.  I see from the search on your website (listed below) that all of these requests were responded to by another faculty member in my department.  

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Balance Needed : Credits Which Prevent Students From Graduating

One Student’s Reaction to the Recent Knowledge She May Not Graduate on Time

Commencement_20130118_BN_232Imagine the spring semester of your senior year in college. Schoolwork seems like a piece of cake, nights and weekends are well spent, and job search­ing is an exciting new adventure. The only thing standing between you and the professional working world is graduation.

As the May Commencement rapidly approaches, the thought of the four years at college com­ing to an end is bittersweet. Un­less you are attending graduate school, the thought of prolonging your college career rarely crosses your mind.

My case is different. During an afternoon last week, I received an e-mail stating that I was not on-track to graduate in May. After the knots in my stomach settled, I called the Registrar to clarify this terrifying news. Long story short, I was missing nine credits of electives.

During the past four years of creating my schedule on my own, I made sure to complete all of the requirements that were listed on my academic audit.

I was under the assumption that once all of the requirements were met, I had no more credits to ful­fill.

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A Crackdown on Cursing in Public?

Swearing in public has become common for most Americans, es­pecially among teens and young adults. Cursing while driving and during conversations, the scenarios are endless. While some consider cursing to be a sin or taboo others are voicing their First Amendment rights to swear in public. Has our swearing soci­ety gone too far?

Middleborough, Massachusetts thinks so. During a town meet­ing on June 11, 2012, residents of Middleborough voted 183-50 to make their foul-mouthed neigh­bors pay fines for public profan­ity. Residents encouraged the proposal by the chief of police to impose a $20 fine for swearing in public. It was made clear that this new law was not intended to cen­sor casual or private conversa­tions, but rather to control loud, offensive language primarily used by teens and young adults in public settings.

However, the line that con­stitutes a word as a curse word seems to become more and more blurred each day. Over time, words that were once thought to be vulgar have evolved into words that we say and hear on a daily basis, becoming less of­fensive and less harsh than the meanings that they were once as­sociated with.

Many now believe swear words do an outstanding job of express­ing strong feelings because other words fail to communicate. For example, “What the heck are you doing?” doesn’t seem to ex­emplify the same feelings and emotions as “What the f*** are you doing?!”

The Corpus of Contemporary American English found that of the 5,000 most commonly used English words, the F-word ranked in at 4,655. Four other curse words also made it onto the list. Does this mean Americans are just overly expressive?

It seems that cursing has be­come a part of our language. John McWhorter, opinion writer for, describes our common use of profanity as “col­orful.” He supposes that our soci­ety is simply more informal than it was when our grandparents were our age. It is difficult to say whether this is positive or nega­tive for our society. But it seems that Middleborough is taking a few steps in the wrong direc­tion by demolishing their speech rights to avoid cursing in public from time to time.

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Being a Homebody at a Young Age

I have a confession to make: I hate going out. A Saturday night spent in yoga pants, eating warm, gooey chocolate chip cookies, hanging out with my fiancé and my kitten while watching a marathon of Entourage episodes sounds like an ideal night to me.

When my best friend, who is a crazy party-girl calls me up, she knows to offer a night of going to the diner and hitting the mall or movies ver­sus a night hitting the dance floor.

Don’t write me off as a wet towel just yet. I have tried the cliché college girl thing. Early in my four years at Monmouth, I went out most nights, stayed out late and partied. My grades suffered, I was always tired, I gained five pounds, and I was all around miserable.

It was not for me, so I started do­ing things that I enjoyed, such as staying in with a carton of Chinese food and a good book, going home on a weekend to hang out with my mom, laying out on the beach with friends or going window shopping. Simple things like that make me happy.

To me, going out takes money, time and energy, all of which I often feel I do not have enough of. If we are being honest, I have always been the little girl sitting at home, reading a Judy Bloom book or helping my mom make dinner.

I have always liked knowing exactly what I will be doing next, where everything is and the lack of expectations that staying in holds.

In all honesty, I feel that more people are, or want to be homebod­ies. Unfortunately, we feel that we need to go out, party, get crazy or else we’re not living.

Homebodies are judged as boring and lazy losers or having no friends. Homebodies simply enjoy the com­fort, peace, and simplicity of staying in more than the unpredictability, loudness and insanity of a night out on the town.

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Pressure for Romance

Why Women Worry on Valentine’s Day

If there is one thing I have realized as I have gotten older it is that I re­ally hate Valentine’s Day. Not to be a Debbie Downer or come off as the Grinch who Stole Valentine’s Day, but I honestly hate what the holiday has become. Apart from the fact that it makes single people feel even worse about being single, the day has become solely a hallmark holi­day for retailers to play on womens’ emotions.

Women put so much pressure on their significant others to make Val­entine’s Day special that they forget that it is not that important of a day. If your boyfriend or husband opens the door for you every time you go out, buys you flowers and brings you gifts on a regular basis, you should consider yourself a lucky woman. Therefore, why do you feel the need to pressure him into going above and beyond on one particular day?

In any relationship, I always em­phasize that I do not want to do any­thing special on Valentine’s Day. I have no desire to stand in long lines at restaurants waiting for tables, holding the same bouquet of red ros­es every other woman is holding, or getting a cheesy teddy bear that will only end up in a pile of other cheesy teddy bears. I want to feel special on every date, but how can I feel special surrounded by dozens of other cou­ples doing the same thing I am doing on the same day because it is what they are “supposed” to be doing?

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What Do Fairy Tales Really Teach Us About Romance?

“Someday my prince will come.” It is the song that little girls around the world hear Snow White serenade to the little birds and squirrels she calls friends. The princess movies of our child­hood teach us to wait for our Prince Charming. He should be tall, dark and handsome; brave, rich and passionate; kind, caring, and sensitive. Being royal does not hurt either.

But then we grow up, and we enter the real world where we meet the guy who works part-time at the Quick Check down the road between classes and who is only a little taller than you (when you’re in flats). Bye-bye beautiful stilettos you spent two paychecks on. Could he be the one for you? You will never get a chance to find out because instead, we look for a prince.

As little girls, many of us watch princess movies with such a pas­sion that it is almost religious. We drink in what these movies give us, letting the lessons that are in them influence us way past our canopy bed and Spice Girls stage.

So what do princess movies teach us as young girls? What are the life lessons we are absorbing while sitting in front of the televi­sion in a tutu with a wand? Let’s go down the list.

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Being Single on Valentine’s Day

valentines-day-candyThe other day I was in CVS pick­ing out Valentine’s Day cards to send to my grandparents and fam­ily. As I was looking through the red and pink decorated aisle I heard a voice from behind say something that caught my attention.

“Ugh. I hate Valentine’s Day. It’s such a waste. It’s just another excuse for couples to buy presents for one another.” I turned to see that it was a teenage girl talking to her friend as they walked past. The reason why I was so intrigued by the girl’s statement was because when I was in high school, I had said exactly the same thing.

The sudden flash of déjà vu back to my adolescence got me thinking about what makes people so angry about this holiday that is supposed to be about love.

As a girl who, sadly, has never had a valentine, I can understand the hostility that comes from those who are single during this time of year. However, I do remember in elementary school being excited for Valentine’s Day. The whole school would be decorated in student-made hearts and traced cupids with music playing in the morning. Ev­erybody received cards, ate choco­late, and the rest of the afternoon was spent playing fun Valentine’s Day themed games or watching a movie instead of doing our math lesson. Now as a 21 year- old, the day has seemed to lose its loving charm.

Because the holiday is extremely pro-couple, I feel that I have to be defensive about being single. Peo­ple will ask what my plans are for the holiday,and I have to hear those horrible words being uttered, “Oh, that’s perfectly okay. I have spent Valentine’s Day alone and with someone. It’s really not that great either way.”

While it is a friend trying to be supportive, I cannot help but roll my eyes at feeling pitied. They say that having a valentine is not all that it is cracked up to be. Yeah, right. I will remember that when you are showing off that expensive bracelet or new sports jersey you received.

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Kindle’s Influence

I recently purchased a Kindle Paperwhite, and I can confidently say that the ebook has restored a great long lost love I once had for reading books.

A common complaint I have heard in regards to ebooks is, “I’ll lose focus too quickly.” Which leads me to my first point, don’t get a tablet. You aren’t buying a “$200 Facebook machine” as one of my friends so cleverly put it. You’re buying a reader. If you want to spend all afternoon playing Temple Run, updating Facebook, checking Twitter and Snap-Chatting then go ahead and buy an iPad or a Kindle Fire (The tablet version of the Kindle). If your plan is to read, then do yourself a favor and don’t buy a larger version of your smart-phone.

Now that we have established you aren’t carrying around an iPad, what exactly will you lose focus doing? Reading? Why?

Have you ever enjoyed a book so much you carried it around everywhere, trying to sneak in pages during any window of free time you may have found throughout the day? Well, with an ebook, the reading window becomes even more accessible. An ebook allows you to change the size of the font you read (which is awesome within itself). The nice side effect that comes with the size of the font, is how much font you see on a page before you have to tap the screen (so much easier than licking your finger and turning a page by the way) to move on to the next page.

Reading a whole fat book won’t seem as overwhelming now that you aren’t staring at the stacks of pages ahead of you in your peripheral.

So maybe I see three to five paragraphs on a page. Suddenly, I’m able to chip away at my book even if I only find myself with 30 seconds of spare time. I don’t have to wedge a bookmark in horizontally at the halfway point of the page because I already finished the page.

Let the record show, if it is a good chapter or a really good book I would never spoil part of it by only committing 30 second spurts of reading. But some books I would gladly read for 30 seconds and pause.

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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