Last updateWed, 17 Apr 2019 4pm


New year, New Books

New Year New BooksIt’s that lovely time of year again. I know what you all are thinking, so just calm down a few notches. It’s pretty safe to say, that, we all couldn’t be more excited for another 14 week semester.

Another 70, torturously lengthy, and extremely, but fantastically, exhausting days. And to top off this beautiful, new semester happening in our lives, what better way to add to it than ripping a handful of hundreds from your bank account?

What’s better than logging on to your bank app, only to have a couple of tears fall, and a hint of a mental breakdown going on inside your head, looking at the minuscule 20 bucks you have left in your account?

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m talking about books. Purchasing textbooks for these thrilling classes of ours. And, if you’re the lucky clover out of the bunch that isn’t affected by this amazing issue, well then please stop reading and go away. I say that with my whole heart and a smile on my face.

According to CollegeBoard, on average, between just 2018 and 2019, so far, a public four-Year, in-state, and on-campus student is spending a whopping, $1,160.00 on books and supplies, yearly.  Now, I understand it’s wholeheartedly our choice to be attending a University, and working towards our degree. But that’s just it. We are working towards our degree. A lot of us are working.

We are full time students. Trying to put ourselves through school, with a part time job on the side. Some of us have internships. Some are juggling sports, and with sports, comes equipment. Some have clubs, and with that comes attending events. How are we getting to school?

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Perks of Hybrid Classes

default article imageDoes anyone else look for hybrid classes to take when making their schedules? I know that I do! But are these half in-class/half-online classes meant for everyone?

First, hybrids are great for your schedule. You only meet once a week for an hour and twenty minutes here at Monmouth so this makes them more convenient than a three-hour class, which also meet once a week. This gives you more time during the week to have to yourself to do homework, study, or dedicate to working or your social life.

Also, with hybrid classes you have a lot of freedom to complete work on your own. If you are typically someone who would rather just work by yourself and do homework in your free time than constantly be in class and participate or be involved in group work, hybrids are probably best for you. Personally, I am very independent when it comes to completing my work so this aspect of hybrids is beneficial for me.

Lastly, in a lot of hybrid classes that I have taken in the past, professors assign documentaries or movies to watch and respond to on eCampus on days that we do not meet in class. This allowed me to delve deeper into the topic of what we were learning and help me understand it better through visual examples.

Usually in classes that meet twice a week, there is no time to watch documentaries or movies because they are too long and take away from class time. Hybrids give the class opportunities to go further into subjects through assigning these films on the days they do not meet in person.

On the other hand, hybrids are not for some people. Since the class only meets once a week, there is more out-of-class work assigned. This results in a heavier than usual amount of homework to complete. Those who would prefer to meet in class the extra day and have a lighter load of homework, generally would probably not like a hybrid class in their schedule.

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Senior Semester

default article imageIt seems that no matter what we do in life, we always wish away the time. We hold countdowns for just about every occasion, whether that be a vacation, a holiday, or in my case, a graduation.

 Just like that, I’m in my final semester as an undergrad and I definitely have a lot of mixed emotions about it.

When I first came to Monmouth University as a bright eyed freshman, I didn’t know how to feel. It was the first time I was living alone and I felt as though all of this new found responsibility was dumped onto me. Juggling everything was a challenge at first and all I wanted was to go home for break. So while I enjoyed the friendships I found and hung out just as much as (though admittedly maybe more than) I studied, I was also wishing away the time and counting down the days.

What a habit that turned into. I found that every time I came back to school, I wanted to be on break and every time I went home, I just wanted to be with my roommates again. So the cycle continued and now here I am three and a half years later, practically staring graduation dead in the eyes. Looking back on it, the countdowns were a mistake, which is exactly why this semester is going to be different.

I want to make the final months of my undergrad experience ones I can vividly remember years after I walk across that stage. I’m not going to let myself wish away anything, from the painfully boring lectures I sit through during classes in Plangere to the nights I spend in my apartment gossiping with my roommates about anything and everything. None of the senior class should. We all should want to soak up every experience that Monmouth has to offer us in our final months because before we all know it, it will be gone.

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Skepticism of the Media

Skepticism of MediaIn recent years, the American public has become increasingly skeptical of the media.

“Since the 2016 election skepticism of the media has been heightened, primarily because we see our president saying there is ‘fake news’ everywhere,” said Brittany Macaluso, Social Work major.

Macaluso believes that while his accusations are directed towards a specific platform, media consumers should be weary of all platforms because this statement is coming from the President.

However, these statements from Trump tend to arise when he is portrayed in a negative light by the media. It begs the question, does President Trump use the slogan “fake news” as a means of invalidating journalists, when they report on governmental wrongdoing?

The answer is most likely yes. The responsibility of journalists is to inform the public by being “watchdogs” of the government. The government is unable to censor the press as it would directly violate the first amendment. The constitution explicitly states: “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press” (U.S. Const., amend. I, 1791). The phrase “fake news,” is the only ammunition Trump has to discredit the media.

The self-regulating structure of the press, following ethics established by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), is how the media maintains an effective relationship of checks and balances with the government. Ideally, this would ensure journalists’ ability to produce the truth.

Unfortunately, the press is not always able to regulate themselves. Modern news is often funded by private institutions, which have agendas that don’t necessarily hold with ethical journalism. Instead, journalists can be forced to produce biased news to the benefit of their parent corporations, who are driven by economic interests.

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Music Festivals: Camping, Dancing, and Jamming Out

Music FestivalsEver been to a music festival? How about one where you camp out and escape reality for the weekend?

A lot of people are opposed to this idea, but they wouldn’t be if they gave it a chance. Camping festivals are a great way to step outside your comfort zone. Doesn’t it sound good to take a vacation from daily stressors and responsibilities?

Replace those things with live music, positive energy, and a life changing experience. Once you’re there, you’ll realize it’s more than just a music festival, it becomes a means of self-discovery.

I’ve experienced a few of these festivals myself and I would encourage anyone to give them a try. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a huge camping person and the thought of being outdoors for a few days straight overwhelms you: it’s worth it. Those doubts will be the last thing on your mind. For the duration of the festival, you will expose yourself to pure happiness and peaceful people who are enjoying themselves.

In an article I recently read, titled “The Impact of Music Festival Attendance on Young People’s Psychological and Social Wellbeing,” author Jan Packer stated, “Music theorists suggest that active participation in music festivals contributes to identity development by providing a medium for self-expression, mood enhancement and spiritual functions terms and symbols for self-identity, and opportunities to create individual, virtual worlds.”

After leaving a music festival, you are on an absolute high. You will feel like you just met yourself for the first time. My reason for saying this is because it is a safe environment to express your individuality and be shown appreciation for it.

People don’t discriminate for the color of your skin, the outfit you are wearing, or the way that you dance. You enter a zone where you are encouraged to be your wildest self and to embrace the unique elements you were given.

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Uncharted Territory: Women in Male-Dominated Sports Positions

Uncharted TerritoryA woman announcing a National Football League (NFL) game? This is undoubtedly what most people thought around the country during a Monday night football game this season. Hearing the voice of a female announcer was and is still very new in the sports world, especially in male dominated sports. It is not just announcing, but refereeing as well.

Any position in the male-dominated sports arena is tough for a woman to overcome, both from professional critics and the fan base that the sport entails. Society assumes that male sports will be left to males and female sports will be left to females. Once this boundary is crossed, criticism is often followed. This article will explore why crossing this boundary is “taboo” and the problems females face when they chose to explore this uncharted territory.

The dangers of crossing this norm can be explained by looking at the early life of men and women. It goes back hundreds of years when we first began to form gender norms. Caryl Rivers and Rosalind Barnett explained how these norms formed in their book Same Difference: How Gender Myths Are Hurting Our Relationships, Our Children, and Our Jobs (2005).

Barnett and Rivers stated, “Males are the aggressive sex and females the docile sex… Man the hunter has become firmly lodged in our imagination.”

Ever since this belief was formed it has followed society through the present day. It is no surprise that a female announcer would be seen as weak, or as Rivers and Rosalind said, “docile.” The anti-feminine norm rejects anything perceived as feminine. Likewise, masculinity norms is intellectual success, toughness, and aggression. What better ways are these norms perceived then in male dominated sports.

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10 Things to Let Go of Before the New Year

10 Things New YearHow much stress are you carrying around? Do you feel burdened by life’s circumstances and emotional issues? Is school work, projects and studying sending you over the edge?

The key to becoming happier and more grounded begins with letting go. Letting go of worry and stress is something I have tried to do more in my own life, as I continue a journey of overcoming obstacles and personal challenges. Emotionally, physically and spiritually, I am learning to let go of a lot of things to become the person I am, and the person I want to be. Letting go can be scary, but it is an amazing act of self-love that can sometimes be overlooked.

We may find ourselves reaching a breaking point. Some days don’t go the way we plan, and many things don’t work out in our favor. We know that the next person we encounter, just might feel the wrath of our anger and frustration.

Letting go of my worries and stress has made a difference for me; of course, I still have moments filled with stressfulness, but in an ever-changing world, what else can I possibly expect? Every time I catch myself entering a bout of stress-induced irritability, I take a deep breath and do my best to let it GO. Today, I encourage you to do the same.

Today is the oldest you’ve ever been and the youngest you will ever be again. It’s kind of a scary thought, but it’s true. If there was ever a perfect day to start letting go of the needless drama and stress that’s been holding you back, that day is today. And since we often use the New Year as a starting point to refresh our personal growth and goal setting, I challenge you this:

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Vegan: You Probably Know One

default article imageWhat do you think of when you hear the word “vegan?” Do you think of gross food? Do you think of hipsters? Do you think of animal rights? Do you think of people giving you a hard time for your lifestyle choices? Do you think of people who can’t go five minutes without telling everyone in the room that they are vegan?

You most likely have heard all of these stereotypes, but how many people do you know who are actually vegan? What are their lifestyles like? And what does it even really mean to be “vegan?” Although I am not a vegan, I will be the one talking your ear off today about what exactly veganism is all about.

The idea of veganism has been around since 1944, but recently has become popular with grocery stores carrying more vegan items and celebrities even taking part in the way of life. According to Heath Line, a vegan lifestyle includes, “attempts to exclude all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty, be it for food, clothing or any other purpose.” While vegetarianism is just a diet, veganism differs because it involves excluding all products that are animal-based. People oftentimes go vegan for a variety of different reasons, such as health and ethical concerns, or their religion’s values.

Personally, I have considered going vegan. I wanted to try out the lifestyle because I thought it would allow me to have a healthier, plant-based diet. Realistically, though, I did not get the chance to go vegan because it would not work for me. Since I am already gluten free due to a gluten intolerance, meat comprises a big part of my diet. Excluding animal products from my diet would restrict it a lot more and it would be hard to adjust to. In addition, it would be difficult for me to practice veganism in between classes and work and just always being on the run. I would have to dedicate time to transition to the lifestyle that I just don’t have right now.

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$teep Mountains, $teeper Prices

Steep MountainsThe other day as I was browsing the website for Magic Mountain, in Londonderry, Vermont, I came across a deal they were offering.

This deal involved buying a membership card for $149 and every time you came to the mountain, your lift ticket would cost what it did in the eighties:’ $29. My mind was blown. Lift tickets used to only cost $29? How on earth in a matter of 30 or so years have prices shot up from $29 to $100+ per day?

I’ve got a bone to pick with the snow sport industry. Why does it cost an arm and a leg just to shred down a mountain that is covered in free snow? That’s right, these resorts don’t have to pay for real powder, nope, good ole’ Mother Nature doles it out for free, and yet I still have to fork over $100+ dollars to get from point A to point B.

With this outrageous price comes a certain clientele. Each time I pull into the mountain parking lot, I am met with a sea of Mercedes, Range Rovers, Audis, and a sprinkling of Subaru’s to bring everyone back down to earth. I used to think it was a silly stereotype, that skiing was for the rich. However, over the years, this stereotype has becomea reality.

According to a 2014 report by the National Ski Areas Association, NSAA, the percentage of visitors with a household income of $100,000 or more rose from 45 percent in 2006-2007 to 58 percent in the 2014-2015 season. Not only that, but the percentage of visitors earning less than $50,000 per year dropped from 30 percent to 18 percent over the same period.

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MMA: A Weigh-in

default article imageTwenty-six-year-old MMA fighter, Leandro Souza, passed out in a sauna and died the day before his weigh-in for his fight in Rio de Janeiro.  Souza had been asked to fight on short notice and needed to drop 33 pounds in just one week. The young fighter almost accomplished this and he did so by taking extreme diuretics and dehydrating himself to the max. Souza was in the sauna trying to shed his final two pounds before being found dead.

This isn’t atypical for fighters, both men and women. The world of fighting is so competitive that the athletes will do anything within the rule set to gain even the slightest advantage. But, why? What drives these humans to go to such extreme measures all for one fight? The answer to that question is simple: money. According to MMA Fighting’s website, each fighter is threatened with giving up twenty percent of their winnings to their competitor if they do not make weight. Fighters will attempt to drop extreme amounts of weight in order to avoid this, as seen in Souza’s cause of death.

This issue is rising to the surface and a lot of people involved in the MMA are calling for the addition of more weight classes. By adding more weight classes, it gives fighters more opportunity to fight at their optimal weight and eliminate weight cutting altogether.

The process of weight cutting exposes these athletes to many health risks, as you can imagine. Some of the main concerns are kidney failure, heat stroke, and seizures due to extreme dehydration. Even if the fighter makes weight and is able to enter the cage, the fight may not be what puts them in danger, it may be their own health. 

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Finding a Furry Friend

Furry FriendI walk through the door and am immediately greeted by a lick and a welcome home bark.

 The love I feel radiating from my dog Dylan’s eyes is a love in which I hope everyone finds themselves one day. Dylan is a pure-bred Labrador retriever with golden fur, which you can definitely spot on all of my clothes because she sheds like crazy. I always heard the phrase “adopt don’t shop” but I never fully understood what that meant until Dylan came into my life.

Dylan came into our lives almost like a miracle. My family had just lost the dog I grew up with, which was also a Lab. Distraught over the loss of our dog, whom was a part of our family, my mom got a call from one of her friends.

A year-old yellow lab was being sent to a shelter whom was known for euthanizing dogs. Fortunately, my mom’s friend knew we were dog lovers and she called right away. Dylan showed up and my family immediately fell in love.

One of the many misconceptions is that adopted dogs are all mutts. I have firsthand experience that all types of dogs need to be adopted including pure bred. There are millions of dogs waiting in shelters to be adopted. The cost of adopting a dog is near to nothing, and the relationship with your pet lasts a life time.

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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
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu