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Roller Coasters, Love, Ants, and Butterflies….?

By: Bill Kuhar

 

Note to the reader: I am not writing this paper only so I can talk about myself. I am merely using personal experience to express core philosophical ideas about life. Enjoy.

Whatever happened to the exciting things in life?

My family always went to Wildwood, N.J. for an annual vacation. When I was younger I was scared to go on the roller coasters. I used to say to myself, “I don’t know when, but eventually I’ll be so old that these rides won’t scare me anymore.” It was as if, no matter what happened, the events of my life would not matter, only time. Age would somehow wash away my fears. I thought that age was the only determining factor of what scared or excited me. The funny thing is I was right. When I was about fifteen or sixteen I went on all the rides. I just wasn’t afraid anymore. It had nothing to do with an experience I had overcome some big fear. It just went away. I knew that the rides were safe; otherwise they would not be available to the public. The eye opening realization to me is that nothing had ever happened to me to make me braver, I just grew up. After riding roller coasters for a few years, they barely even excite me anymore. They are fun and all but I have been there and I’ve done that. Now, I’m realizing that this theory does not only hold true to roller coasters.

Besides my fear of rides, I was obsessed with girls when I was younger. I always had a crush on someone. The feelings I had felt amazing. Most people would describe those emotions as “butterflies in their stomach” but it was more than that; they were like ants. They were not only in my stomach but throughout my entire body. I know what you’re thinking, “Ants though? Really?” They are anything less than romantic. In reality they ruin picnics, but ants are powerful. Ants can carry a load 50 times their own weight and when there’s thousands of them, they can move mountains. I can swat away a swarm of butterflies, but ants? I never even stood a chance. Girls were like the queen ant, the leader of the love ant colony. They would send their ants by the thousands to take over my mind and body and it felt amazing. When I had a crush on someone, they were all I ever thought about. I did everything in my power to woo them. Even if I could get a girls attention for just a few minutes, I was the happiest kid on the block. Young love was an inspiring concept to me. I wanted to know what it felt like to be wanted, to be kissed. I was falling for girls left and right and I didn’t even know their name, I just knew they were beautiful and I wanted them to notice me. I haven’t felt that way in a long time.

Being in a relationship for the past two-and-a-half years has really shaped me into who I am today. I guess it’s safe to say that the last time I felt that sense of desire and neglect which filled me with ants had to have been about three years ago, when I first starting talking to my ex-girlfriend. Since the time I wrote this article, it’s been over two months since we separated and a week since we stopped talking completely. I’ve noticed something, I’ve lost my ambition. I still like other girls but not in that incredibly powerful ant-like way that I use to feel. Although that feeling made me feel lonely and neglected a lot, because the feeling was rarely ever mutual, it did feel amazing even if I was only in the same room as the person that I had feelings for. If I could just see her face in person, my heart skipped a beat. I want to feel that way again.

Now a days I only feel content around the girls that I have feelings for. This is no way to live life, there needs to be passion. I have no ambition to woo the women I am after, I just kind of hope it happens and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. Is it that I just got out of a long relationship that I just don’t want another one? I think I’ve moved on, but maybe my subconscious disagrees. Or could it just be that this is the way I am now? Maybe this is what happens when you get older. Just like the excitement of riding a roller coaster for the first time, maybe there just will not be any more excitement in relationships. Is it the experiences I’ve faced with my previous girlfriend that have suspended my feelings of excitement and ambition? Or is it my age? Ironically, only time will tell…

The Tragedy of Romantic Cinema

photo by freedigitalphotos.net

by Bill Kuhar“Love is giving someone the power to destroy you, but trusting them not to.” -Unknown.While sitting in my dorm, watching the commercial for the remastered version of “The Titanic,” I can’t help but think “What a crock of bologna.” For some, this may be your favorite movie, but most likely, films like this have lowered the outcome of the happier times in your life.People do not realize how much movies affect the way you think. Movies have a very strong influence on society’s expectations and behavior. How strong? After the film “Jaws” came out, people went into a shark hunting frenzy and nearly drove them into extinction. After the movie “Top Gun” came out, recruitment for Navy aviation skyrocketed by 500 percent; not to mention the number of kids that enrolled in karate after the premiere of “Karate Kid.”
The truth is, movies influence society greatly. But what does “The Titanic” influence? Romantic movies such as this and “The Notebook” set the expectations for the romantic moments we want to experience in our own lives. There is only one problem, we live in reality, not a fairytale. In a movie, everything is scripted. That means that both the male and female protagonists (a.k.a. you and your girlfriend) know exactly what to say at all times. They have even rehearsed how they are going to say each heart warming line. People never have the chance to do this in real life. You have to be quick on your feet and sadly, we are not all as smooth as Jack McPerfectface.

Also, everyone and everything around them is scripted and rehearsed. There is never any unexpected conflicts that they can not handle. Let’s say they go to the carnival, the writer and director are going to show them smiling, having a great time, and exchanging cute little chit-chat; not sweating, complaining that they are hungry, and needing to go to the bathroom like everyone else on this planet. The whole situation is just very unrealistic.
The point that I am trying to make, is that movies and other media set the bar for who we want to be. Everyone wants to be a hero. Who would go see a movie about an average schmuck doing nothing with his life except carrying on with his every day errands? Sounds boring to me. People want to see action, comedy, or cute little heart warming bologna that will make girls say “why doesn’t my boyfriend ever do that?” and make us guys look bad. People want to experience the same thing as Jack and Rose, or Noah and Allie, and that puts a certain pressure on people when they go on a date. Not all the time, but sometimes, you and your partner will go into the ordeal with very high expectations which causes a huge disruption when small things go wrong. This might not have happened to you yet, but it does happen, trust me. People will be people and there is nothing we can do about it so do not get discouraged.

With all things said, love might not be what you think it is. Do you really have to hold someone on the edge of a boat while listening to “My Heart Will Go On” to be in love? I still know very little about love, but I have been through enough to know that true love takes time. I feel as though the quote in the beginning of this article describes it best. Love is based on trust and respect, which can take years to build up, unlike a two hour movie. In the end, never let society’s expectations lower the outcome of the happy times in your life.

Love relentlessly.

Staying Healthy 101

By Kathline Poliski
September is here, and so is the cold and flu season.  And I don’t know about you, but a cold always seems to creep up on me when an important test, presentation or event is around the corner. If this is the case for you, have no fear, for I am about to give you some very important and informative tips on how to stay healthy so you can be in the best condition to get that 4.0 you’re shooting for this semester!
First and foremost remember SWS a.k.a. Sleep Water Sanitize.  Getting six to eight hours of sleep is vital to college students.  Sleep and immunity go hand in hand. If the body doesn’t fully recharge the night before, then your chances of catching a cold or getting sick doubles! So, next time instead of staying up late to watch that must see special, just DVR, have your friend DVR it, or look the show up the next day online!
They say the best defense is a good offense, so stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.  Water helps rehydrate your immune system so it’s working like a well-oiled machine. Try drinking at least one glass an hour. Carry around a reusable water bottle and refill it every time you’re in the dining hall or pass a water fountain. Sooner or later it’ll become second nature!
Also, keep the hand sanitizer on deck – literally! The fall and winter force us to be in closed quarters, next to lots of people. This is a land mine for germs. I’m not saying hand sanitize every time you touch something, because that would do more harm than good to your immune system. Just make sure your hands are washed and clean before you eat or touch your face! Your forearms and elbows are your best friends during the fall and winter. Use them to open up doors and push elevator buttons instead of your hands. If you have to pull open a door, use the bottom of your shirt to grip it or a paper towel.

Other quick tips:
If you share a toothbrush holder in your dorm, keep your toothbrushes separate until the cold/flu season is over and sanitize with mouth wash afterwards
Cold/flu viruses can stay on computer surfaces (keyboard, mouse) for 2-8 hours, so bring your own laptop to school or sanitize after use

Take the trash out regularly, especially if someone has the cold/flu and is using tissues

Don’t be afraid to Lysol it up! Whether you who is sick, or a roommate, you’ll both benefit from getting rid of those germs
It’s a lot to take in but just remember SWS. Sleep, water and sanitize. These three will give you a fighting chance against contracting a flu or cold and keeping you sharp to pass those exams come December..

New to NU?

by Jaime Lisberg

Hey students of Neumann University! If you are new to this school or new to the area, you may be thinking to yourself “What exactly is there to do here?” Well I’m here to tell you about all of the wonderful restaurants and activities that you could possibly join or visit.

Neumann University offers plenty of wonderful and promising activities both in and outside of the school. In school you might be feeling bored and tired, especially with all the upcoming work there is to do. As a fellow student I am totally understanding of this. However, there are plenty of activities and ways to get involved with the school and have fun here. For instance, on campus there are 36 clubs that you can join, sports you can watch or participate in, and tons of ways you can volunteer.   In addition, we also have 3 places on campus for you to eat and a new one coming to the Mirenda Center (where there’s also a number of different exercise rooms).

School activities change every week going to dances and seeing movies are only a few of the things that you can do. There’s even a counseling center for people who find it hard to cope during the school semester. Also, if you have any problems with not getting enough help in class, there’s the Academic Resource Center with tutors that can help you study. If you want to get involved in school, there’s plenty of places you can go to help out.

If this isn’t enough, we have some great places off campus you can go to as well. For example, the lunchbox offers fries and cafeteria food! There’s an amazing Burger King, a mall near campus that has a number of different stores and food places that you can go —  a Dunkin Donuts, and even a movie theater. We have many places to visit, awesome teachers, and amazing experiences you won’t forget. There’s plenty of activities, clubs to join, places to go, and places to volunteer.

Listen Right

Sometimes the most common of things that are a part of our everyday life is the thing that gets taken advantage of on a daily basis. That thing is listening. Sure, we open our ears when we hear a noise, but do we actually listen to what is being said or what is going on around us?

Most of the time, we all feel that we can do other things while we are trying to listen to someone speak to us. However, if you really sat afterwards and thought about what you supposedly “heard,” you probably cannot recall. Or, maybe you heard the wrong thing said in the wrong way. You may think that it does not really matter or that it does not make much difference. Nonetheless, one statement, one word, can make all the difference.

It may have been an innocent mistake or it may have been done intentionally, the point is that it was done. Whatever was said was said. Now, you may pay for the consequences or simply move on with your life. But, in the end, this bad habit will catch up to you. Listening, understanding, and comprehending are extremely important in everyday communication.

A recent incident happened to me when receiving an assignment for The Joust. At the time, I believed I understood and grabbed the correct information. However, I was thrown back to reality when I figured out the hard way, I was painfully wrong. Still, I did not take it the wrong way; I tried my absolute best to make things right again.

I have to admit that it was a real learning experience for me. As a fellow human being, I would like to share some advice and tips that will help you prevent things like this from happening:

  • Listen! Don’t just hear.
  • Ask questions if you are confused about what is being said.
  • Even if you believe you understood, repeat what was said to make sure.

Just remember that everyone makes mistakes. The thing that sets you apart from the rest is learning from those mistakes that would surely arise. Do not be discouraged. If something awful or unpleasant comes about, simply fix it in any way you can.

Welcome to Wellness

Mike D'Angelo

There are a few new faces in the Counseling Center for Wellness (CCW) this year, but its mission remains the same: to promote wellness in body, mind, and spirit. “We love you very much, we care about you very much and we want you to succeed,” says Mike D’Angelo, director of the CCW

This year, all five counselors have ties to Neumann University’s graduate program in Pastoral Care and Counseling (PCC). Director Mike D’Angelo and Wellness Counselor Donna Liu both received their master’s degrees from NU and are licensed professional counselors (LPCs). Mike served as Campus Minister at Neumann for five years before joining the staff of the CCW. He has been director for four years. Donna Liu, who received both her B.S. and M.S. degrees from Neumann, worked in the respiratory therapy field for 20 years before joining the CCW staff.

Frederick Pratt

Neumann students also may choose to see one of three counseling interns who are new to the CCW this year. Frederick Pratt, who received his M.S. in May from Neumann, interns two afternoons a week. He currently is pursuing a certificate in school counseling from Villanova University. Toni Hemmerich, who will graduate from the PCC program in May, interns two full days and one half-day. A self-employed business owner, Toni believes in incorporating spirituality with healing for emotional as well as physical issues. I, Lisa Schaad, am a third-year student in the PCC program and see clients two days a week. I am a writer and editor and former youth minister.

Toni Hemmerich

If you have never been to the CCW, it is located on Convent Road in a Cape Cod-style house next to the Mirenda Center parking lot. Visitors enter through a door centered in a breezeway and head through the kitchen before entering the waiting area. Everyone is welcome to grab a snack from the table or refrigerator on their way to the waiting area in the house’s former living room. Our reception desk is staffed by students and by retired nurse Sr. Cass OSF, who make every effort to assist anyone who walks in hoping to see a counselor. However, when a counselor is not available, our staff will take your information and have someone call you as soon as possible. The best way to make an appointment is to dial the CCW directly at 610-358-4541.

Lisa Schaad

If all you need is a quiet place to clear your mind, feel free to sign into our meditation room, located on the second floor. You are welcome to grab a floor pillow or a chair and just relax. The beautiful mural of Ridley Creek State Park painted on the slanted ceiling helps create a relaxing atmosphere for reading, meditating or just closing your eyes for a few minutes to regain a sense of calm.

Donna Liu

Everyone who works in the CCW adheres to strict code of confidentiality. Some clients greet the CCW staff with a smile around campus; others prefer to keep their ties to the center quiet. It is completely up to you whether you want anyone to know you have come to see us. The students’ needs come first in the CCW.

What is Happiness?

What is happiness? This past month, since this school year started, I have been confronted with this question. In my English 101 class, we had a small assignment of writing our definition of what happiness is. While in Philosophy 103, we read about it and wondered what truly makes humans happy. Even at home, my family members brought up this topic at a family dinner we had recently. It seems to have blossomed into the theme of the month.

As I sat to think about happiness, after each encounter with it, I realized one thing: it is something that truly cannot be defined. If you look it up in the dictionary, the definition, “the state of being happy,” will most likely come up in your search. Still, what is actually ‘being happy’? Joyful, glad, content, or maybe even at ease would be the answer most would reply. But, what do those words mean? My English teacher, Mr. Merlie, pointed this out one day in class, which also prompted the wheels in my head to start turning. I noticed that it is just a never-ending cycle.

So, again, what is happiness? I believe that you can only define happiness by the situations that can make a person happy. In my opinion, it is the state of being content with who you are as a person and having good relationships with family, friends, and peers. It is a point in life when you accept the way things are and probably will be in the future. Happiness is forgiveness of yourself and others. Holding a grudge will surely take away happiness, slowly, until forgiveness overcomes your heart. It is learning from mistakes and taking it and turning it into something positive. Happiness can be doing something that makes you feel good or even doing well on something you worked hard on for days. All of these things can contribute to “the state of being happy.”

Now, let this sink into your mind. Think about it, when was the last time you genuinely felt happy? Sports fans would say when they went to a Phillies game (when they actually won) with other fans. Many would say when they were spending time with a significant other. Others would probably say: while they were sitting with their family during a conversation-filled dinner. Students might reply that it was a time when they received an A on the presentation they were extremely nervous about for weeks; while, grandparents may answer that they were happy when their child gave birth to their own bundle of joy. A businessman might add that their happiest moment was landing that job position they have been aiming for since they broke into the business. Another might express being happy when she or he made up with a friend s/he was fighting with for a couple of weeks. These are all small, simple things that bring happiness to a person’s life.

While tossing and turning the topic in my mind, I realized that there is no plausible reason in thinking about what it means to be happy. Being happy is in the moment. It is cherishing what is happening now. There is no science to it. You simply have to be cognizant of what you are blessed with and what is happening. Next time you feel happy, whether it is relaxing in bed, going to the mall, or being in love for the first time, let it sink in and know that nothing is more beautiful than being happy.

Their Hazards, Their Generations!

by, Lauren Sherman

There is a generation of A T & T, T Mobile, and Sprint

Most kids do not waste their time reading

Most kids spend their time speeding

Cruising down 95 with their music blaring and their windows tinted

Their vehicles in motion, lonely straps untouched who have wished to lip lock with the buckle

Cruising down 95 with their rims spinning and their cell phones ringing

Not a single thought goes through their minds as they are simultaneously singing

Hands pressed firmly over their cellular devices as their pace quickens

Speeding down 95 with their invincible thrill and their permeating chuckle

Chuckling passed the horizon, switching from lane to lane, passing cars and license plates

Somber screams awaken on the pavement, their carousels spin around and around, pressing aggressively on their brakes, and ramming into two thick, wired gates

Their protective cushions slash across their faces, as their vehicles cradle on top of those two, wired gates, their cellular devices are nothing, but broken

There is a generation of kids who waste their time speeding

Their generation should spend their time reading

Entering the keys not to their ignitions, but

Pressing the keys to form words with definitions

There is a generation of kids wasting their time typing a text

When their generation should be spending their time reading so they learn what could come next

There is a generation of kids who should spend their time receiving advice

Their generation is broken, shattered into little chards of glass like their cellular device

A vehicle is a device, a cell phone is a device, but using both at the same time will shatter you

Literally, shatter you just like the cellular device because you are not invincible nor a device
There is a generation of kids who spend their time speeding

Their generations would rather text then waste their time breathing.

It is important to communicate; however, make sure you communicate in such a way that is both safe and appropriate. Do not text and drive. If you are using both hands to control the steering wheel, your brain should help control it too. Do not get too distracted while driving. Think about it. If you receive a text while driving, won`t the text still exist when your vehicle is in park? Yes! So, do not rush to respond or type a text message. Make sure you are able to respond or type a text when you are still conscious. There are many dangers out there on the open road, but texting while driving is one that can be prevented. If you text while driving, you are not invincible and you could be putting yourself as well as your fellow drivers in danger. Be careful! Drive safely, respond later, and communicate effectively.

The Secret to Success

I recently figured out the secret to success. Recently as in, like, today. What baffles me the most about it is, like most of life’s great discoveries, it was hiding in plain sight.

Passion.

Most people who interact with me will tell you that I’m incredibly passionate about almost everything I do. Whether it’s personal, academic or work related, I have a tendency to throw myself completely into my relationships, friendships and assignments.

Some people would argue this is a bad thing.

Those are the same people who get annoyed when I start an argument in class that absorbs the rest of the lecture.

Those are also the people who complain when I get A’s on papers; that point is irrelevant, however.

The point is this: I’m successful in life, not because I read a lot or study too much or never sleep (which is totally true), but rather because I devote myself completely to almost everything I do.

Tonight as I was driving home, I thought, “If you’re completely committed to everything you do, and you’re passionate about it, it’s obvious why you avoid failure at all costs.”

And there it is, what I believe to be the secret to success: be passionate about everything.

Even if it hurts. Even if it’s a lie — fake it. That old saying, fake it until you make it?

Well, it’s true. It works. Trust me.

So, that’s my advice for the week. No matter what you do, have some passion for it. And in the event you can’t fake it? Or you just can’t seem to care about it?

Well, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.

 

One last thing: It’s fall; It’s my favorite season.

Do Not Procrastinate Now, Put it Off!

by, Lauren Sherman

I have to complete a homework assignment. I dislike school let alone doing homework, I find it boring. Considering that I dislike homework, I will most likely not receive an A on this assignment or pass this class. Are you a college student who dislikes writing, doing homework, and despises attending certain classes? If so, I suggest that you continue reading and learn ways to avoid these thoughts. This is just one example that leads to a single word: procrastination. Procrastination is putting something off until later. The words: dislike, boring, and making negative comments about your success is an excuse made to not accomplish the task of completing an assignment. We put things off because of the way we think about the task at hand. If you think the assignment is boring, you will put it off until the last minute. If you dislike writing or reading, you will not want to read or write. If you feel as though you will not get a good grade, then you have just lowered your confidence as a student. You may be asking yourself; well what can I do to change how I feel about this assignment? Well, I am here to help. Procrastination is just an excuse, so excuse yourself from your negativity and approach the assignment in a different way in order to get it done.

The first way to prevent procrastination is to discover what interests you and what does not interest you. If you find writing to be boring, then of course you are going to put it off. Who wouldn`t? You create what you write, so write about a subject that interests you. If you can find a subject that interests you or one fact within that subject that is interesting then express that to your professors. Change your way of thinking. Instead of thinking, “ I find it boring…, “ think, “ I find it boring, so let me try to make this interesting to me as well as to my peers and professors.”

Not confident in your success as a student? Then, the next way to prevent procrastination is to reassure yourself that you are capable of accomplishing the assignment and getting a good grade! Fear is one factor that triggers college students to procrastinate. Making excuses about your inability to succeed in your classes will allow the power of procrastination to take over. Do not let it. What are you afraid of? Are you afraid of failure? Are you afraid of making a mistake? Are you afraid of not knowing the answers? If you are feeling this way about creating and completing the assignment, that is okay. However, instead of letting these fears over power you, use them to take control of your assignment. Remind yourself that it is okay to feel this way and even though you may make a mistake from time to time, you will learn from your mistakes. You will not fail, you will succeed. You cannot succeed if you do not try to overcome and improve these fears.

Finishing tasks are important especially in the role of a college student. I am sure you have at least one goal in mind whether it is an A on the assignment or a diploma within the next few years. Whichever the case may be, do not let the power of procrastination take over. Take control of your fears. Use your interests as your weapons to defeat procrastination with these alternative ways of thinking. Do not procrastinate now, put it off!