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Winter Holidays || Opinion

default article imageAsk anyone you know what their favorite part about the winter holidays are and I’m sure every person will give you a different answer.  Some will gush about all the fattening food, from the Thanksgiving turkey to the mountains of Christmas cookies.   Some will talk about the Christmas music that blares through their radios during a long car ride.  Some will even say that they love the cold winter weather (which for that I will slightly judge you for because the snow and I just don’t see eye to eye).  Ask me and I’ll go on a full blown rant about how the decorations are by far the best part about the holidays.  Kind of like what I’m about to do now.

 I grew up in a household that is full of traditions, my favorite being our Christmas decorations.  We put them up the day after Black Friday every single year and it is no small undertaking.  Just putting the ornaments on our tree alone took three hours to complete this year.  Every photo on the shelf is replaced, every throw pillow is swapped out and every painting on the wall is wrapped to look like a present you’d find under the tree on Christmas morning.  The running joke I have about my family living in the middle of Santa’s workshop still stands to this day.

Our outside decorations are no different.  In past years our yard was so packed with Christmas lights, blow molds and moving characters that it landed us a picture in the local newspaper.  As the years have gone on, my parents decided to decrease the amount of decorations that we put outside, but it still never fails to make our neighbors’ houses look like they belong to the Grinch.

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Secret Santa || Opinion

default article imageIt’s December so the holiday season is in full swing. And you know what that means! It’s that time of year again to do Secret Santa. So grab your notebook paper, write down all of your friends’ names on little scraps, and have everyone pick from a hat who they will be assigned to give a gift to!

Although people are often familiar with, and have taken part in Secret Santa, many do not know the origins of it. According to Bustle, the “first Secret Santa,” was a millionaire philanthropist named Larry Dean Stewart. It all began in December of 1979 when he was in a restaurant and saw a waitress in a thin coat at the drive-in. Stewart figured how grueling it must be for her to work frigid days and only earn dimes. He handed her a $20 bill, made her day, and from there on out made it a point to anonymously donate during Christmas time to spread cheer. For over 25 years, Stewart anonymously donated $100 bills to people in Kansas. Later in his life, he even donated $25,000 in $100 bills to people in New York after the 9/11 attacks. It was not until 2006 that he revealed himself as the “Secret Santa” who was donating all of this money.

Stewart’s idea behind being a Secret Santa was to spread the gift of giving, but currently, what ha Secret Santa developed into? Are they an activity that is fun and spreads holiday cheer, or are they just bothersome? Personally, I enjoy Secret Santa. From choosing a friend’s name out of a hat to finding the perfect gift for them, I feel like it is an exciting experience. I am a little biased, however, because I have a passion, and a knack for finding an ideal gift for individual people.            

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Implications of the Word "Christmas Break" || Opinion

default article imageAt last, Thanksgiving is over and now everyone can finally start getting ready for Christmas. You turn on nearly every radio station and Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas” song is blaring through the speakers. Whether you are alone or with friends, everyone sings Christmas music to the top of their lungs. Every snap chat story or Instagram feed is filled with people setting up their Christmas trees.

 As the semester starts to dwindle down and finals start to creep up on us, the phrase “Christmas vacation” starts being heard throughout campus. The excitement of having a month off of school is felt even through the stresses of preparing for finals. However, I used to not think twice about that phrase but as I have gotten older I started thinking more into the small phrase “Christmas vacation” may affect people who do not celebrate Christmas.

I can admit being raised Jewish I always had a sense of jealousy for those who celebrated Christmas. I would hear my friends talk about Christmas morning, waking up to a glistening tree, with presents all around the trunk. I remember telling my parents I wished I had celebrated Christmas. I wanted the tree, the lights, the cookies for Santa and his reindeers. I wanted what I thought was “normal.” Almost all of my friends are Christian, because let’s face it most of America is Christian. When I hear the phrase “Christmas vacation” I almost feel like an outcast, like I am so different because I do not celebrate Christmas.

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Winter Break Activities || Lifestyles

default article imageWith the semester winding down we tend to reflect back on everything that has happened but we also look forward to winter break. Winter break is a long time away from school that is filled with Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Years that brings lots of excitement but once that is over what is there to do?

Winter break lasts a little over a month and after finals, it is necessary to set time aside to relax, but that gets boring fast. I know that for me I love being with my family and friends embracing the winter weather. Students look forward to the peacefulness of being home for the holidays and having no stress that comes with school work. After finals, it is a much-needed break for not only students but professors. Donna Dolphin, an associate professor of communication, said, “I love the winter break. Not only do I enjoy the weather but I love walking and hiking in the woods.”

Dolphin continued, “You can keep it local, or travel to a park. The New Jersey state parks are quite lovely.” Hiking is just one of the many fun winter break activities to keep you occupied. For those who love to be outside during the cold weather, there are so many options for activities. You could go skiing, snowboarding, or snow tubing, they are all fun activities. It doesn’t have to be snowing to have fun hitting the slopes. As long as it’s cold the snow can be made.

Another common winter break activity is taking a quick trip to the city. Whether you venture to New York or Philadelphia, both places are great choices for a quick day trip to see a show or grab a bite to eat.

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Men's Basketball Finishes Myrtle Beach Invitational 0-3

Basketball 11.18.18Men’s basketball falls to Cal State Fullerton 87-63 in the final game of the Myrtle Beach Invitational to finish 0-3 in the tournament and 0-6 in the season.  

“Tough weekend for us, tough start to the season for us. Our kids are really fragile right now,” Head Coach King Rice said. “We’re just trying to do small things. We lost the first half by 30 and won the second half by six. We’ve got to try to fund small things we can hang our hat on. We’re not believing in each other and we need to work hard to try to turn it around. Some of it, we hung our heads before the game. Guys are fragile right now.” 

In the first, CSF started off with a bang. Cal State started the game with a 9-0 run before sophomore guard Deion Hammond hit a three to get Monmouth on the board. Fullerton went to a double-digit lead only 4:27 into the game, with them leading 14-3. At the end of the half, Cal State went on a 15-2 run, with them going into the half leading 52-22 and their largest lead of the first half. Monmouth was out shot from the field (64-20 percent) and from three (69-11 percent). The Hawks were 1-9 from deep. 

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Men's Basketball Falls to Valparaiso in Second Game of Myrtle Beach Invitational

Basketball 11.17.18Men’s basketball falls to the Valparaiso Crusaders 64-53 in the second game of the Myrtle Beach Invitational as the Hawks were unable to have a lead in the game.

"Very tough night for us. You take your hats off to Valpo, I figured somebody would grab a hold of this game with two teams playing after hard fought games yesterday,” Head Coach King Rice said. “Kids come in and they're fired up and when you don't win that first one, this next game is so important. I think both teams started a little bit slow but they grabbed a hold of the game and once they did that, there wasn't much we could do."

In the first half, Valpo and Monmouth went back and forth early. After the game was tied at six all, the Crusaders went on a 7-0 run to take the 13-6 lead. They would lead as much as ten mid-way through the half before the Hawks brought it to within three twice in the second half, but Valpo went on a 9-3 run to finish the half, with the score being 29-23.

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Men's Basketball Falls to West Virginia in Opening Game of Myrtle Beach Invitational

Basketball 11.16.18Men’s basketball falls to RV/13 West Virginia Moutaineers 71-53 where the Hawks led for over eight minutes in the first half and as much as four points. 

Monmouth was up for as long as 8:12 and as high as four points in the first half, but West Virginia’s defense would anchor down, and they would lead by as much as 22 points in the second half. 

“I feel bad for my kids because their bodies are so big and strong and when you're dealing with West Virginia, they have one of the best strength training programs in college basketball and Coach goes that way to wear you down and I think my kids got a little tired with the physicality of the game,” said Head Coach King Rice. “But we battled West Virginia and I'm proud of that part. I'm not one of these guys that's into this 'Oh, we played them tough,' I'm trying to win the game. But when you're going against a Hall of Famer that's been doing it as long as him, you've got to take small victories. Being down six after we fouled them so many times in the first half to give them 25 free throws and only be down six, I think our kids did great tonight." 

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The Hunts at Monmouth University

default article imageThe Hunts performed at Pollak Theatre Friday night, October 26th, and it was like they had the whole campus whistling.

Compromised of five brothers and two sisters, The Hunts are a band from Chesapeake, Virginia who have been touring together for 10 years.

An indie-alternative-folk band having opened for O.A.R. and appeared at Austin City Limits, Red Rocks, Firefly, and Summerfest, The Hunts put on a spectacular show to a packed crowd, made up of attendees daring enough to come out on a stormy October night for an act well worth the admission.

Josh Hunt played acoustic guitar and sang lead vocals along with his sister Jenni on violin.

Their sister Jessi, who would have sang and played viola and banjo, couldn’t make this final show of the band’s current tour.

“We’ll go ahead and dedicate this one to her. Just because we look at her instrument and miss her” Josh reflected before the six siblings gracefully began “Peace Be Still,” an original by The Hunts.

The Hunts are also a one of a kind and fun band to sit and watch while listening to the night’s set, which was organized this particular night by Justin Hunt, the bassist and sixth of the seven siblings.

Jon Hunt, singing from behind the keys, ducked down behind his keyboard at one point, and some of the band thought he might have disappeared.

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The Old Man and the Gun Misfires

default article imageTo stick up and rob a bank in the middle of the day takes a lot of planning, poise, and confidence. Here you are in broad daylight, surrounded by dozens of witnesses, stealing thousands of dollars, and the police are just the push of a button away. The exhilaration you can get from robbing a bank is incomprehensible (I wouldn’t know, just take a look at my wallet.)

Then there’s the elderly Forrest Tucker, played by Robert Redford, who mozies on into banks across the country, and simply asks the tellers to give him some dough with his hand placed over his coat pocket. The tellers comply every time because Forrest is such a gentleman.

Before you steal from another bank Forrest, can I grab a pillow and a blanket? Because that sounds like the dullest heist I’ve ever heard of.

Yes, Forrest is an old dude who has robbed banks across the country with his two fellow senior henchmen. Set in the 80’s, Forrest and the crew have gotten away with their crimes because there are no cameras in the banks and they rob them with kindness.

The police have never followed up on cases related to Forrest, until he jacks the wrong joint in the town of Detective John Hunt, played by Casey Affleck. For the first time throughout Forrest’s career of stealing moola, Hunt plans to give this old man his medicine (well other than what he’s prescribed by his doctor to take.)

At 82, Redford has announced that this is the last film he will ever act in, which brings a near 60 year career to an end. The actor, director, and producer has made an everlasting impact on film with his legendary roles in classics such as The Natural, All the President’s Men, and The Way We Were. Redford is also responsible for the creation of the internationally known Sundance Film Festival, which showcases a variety of independent films, with some who gain enough recognition to eventually hit mainstream theaters or generate Oscar buzz.

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Benefits of Playing Golf in the Summer || Lifestyles

default article imageNot being able to see your family as much you as you like during the school year can be tough. That’s why it is important to take advantage of the summer months to bond with your family and make up for lost time. Playing golf in the summer is a great way to spend quality time with your parents and siblings!

Although it may not seem like it, golf is actually great for your body. Golf courses are typically around four miles in length so it involves a lot of walking. When you opt to walk rather than driving in a cart, you can get your heart rate up to about 100 beats per minute when you play one round in about five hours. This burns a good amount of calories, so playing golf is a way to keep your heart healthy. A person needs around 10,000 steps per day to achieve any type of weight loss. Playing an 18 hole round exceeds this number!

Golf is also a low impact activity, meaning there is not a high risk for injury. This makes the game appealing to all age groups- even grandparents! You can safely play golf with all the members of your family, rather than a sport like basketball or football where your grandparents most likely would not be able to participate in.

Playing a game like golf is also a great way to relive stress. When you play a round, there is a good amount of time in between each shot. During this time, you can clear your head or catch up with your family, which are good ways to improve your mental health. The golf course is a great, calm and relaxing place to talk to your family about anything you have been wanting to tell them. It can keep you active within your lifestyle and close to your family. Freshman marketing student Carla Puig Jou said, "My whole family plays. We spend so many hours together on the course I love it."

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Balancing Schoolwork and Extracurricular Activities || Lifestyles

default article imageHave you recently found yourself overwhelmed by both schoolwork and extracurricular activities?  Does it seem like your professors are plotting against you in order to make you more stressed than ever?  Despite what you may think, this usually is not the case.  One thing that the average Monmouth University student struggles constantly with is balance.  Balance of school, extracurricular activities, internships, jobs, the list goes on and on.  A question that we, as students, still wonder is how is it possible to manage with so many places to be involved with on and off campus?

Junior business administration student, Bobby Jones, spoke about how he handles both his academic life as well as his extracurricular activities.  Jones is a brother of Sigma Tau Gamma and has held multiple executive board positions for the fraternity.  He is also a Co-Founder of the Real Estate Club, Vice President of Inter-Fraternal Council, and currently an intern at VRI Homes.  With all this involvement both on and off campus, it would be easy to think that Jones is constantly stressed during the school year. “I like to finish my work ahead of time and stay focused until my work is done,” he said.  With this type of mindset, Jones finds himself motivated to complete his work in a timely manner.  Jones also spoke about ways in which he organizes his work to complete it. “I like to work on time management and organize with various to-do lists,” he said.  Although the amount of work Jones has, he continues to stay focused and complete any task he needs to.

Scott Buksbaum, a freshman music industry student, also is involved heavily both on and off campus.  Buksbaum is also a brother of Sigma Tau Gamma and is currently the fraternities Director of Recruitment.  On campus, he is involved in Blue Hawk Records, Blue Hawk Studio, Club Soccer and Club Boxing.  Off campus, Buksbaum is a member of the band Malibu and part of the Music Alliance.  He finds himself bombarded with work from both his academics and extracurricular activities, but still finds a way to stay focused and goal-oriented. 

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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