The Double Edged Sword: Technology!

By James O’Hagan

Hello, Hi, Hey, What’s up, what’s good, and Yo! Seems that these greetings are common between friends, but what happened to saying hi to perfect strangers?  Hi, I’m James and I grew up in the 80’s, which was a time when everything was a lot more laid back. We felt more at ease. Now, I was a kid then so it didn’t impact me as much as it did the adults. Kids always said hi to each other and were more willing to communicate face to face then… what choice did we have, we didn’t have cell phones, Internet, blogs, IM’s MySpace, FaceBook, or Twitter. To hang out with your friends you had to walk over to their houses, and knock on the front door, and ask their parents if they could come out.  I guess now I’m showing my age of course, but, that’s ok, it was great to be able to experience the jump in technology from how it was in the 80’s.

But, there is some down falls to our newfound communication conduits. Since the creation of cell phones, the ones we could afford, the world as Generation X knew it, changed dramatically.  From, letters to email, from phones calls to texts, has the world has gotten… lazy?  Maybe! I feel that the world has changed and one of the reasons that these changes maybe good is it makes people feel safe, because there is a barrier between them and the person they are interacting with.  But, it’s also a shame, that we can’t even lift our heads far enough to acknowledge when someone says hi to them face to face. With our noses stuck to our smart phones, we can easily type, “Yeah, I need 4 more friends for Mafia Wars”, but can’t pay attention to the people around us.

With the creation of texting, facebook, and twitter, the normal hello you may have heard years ago no longer resonate from the mouth, but, from the fingertips, and not to the person in front of them, but, someone in the next class, next city, or next country.  I personally did a quick test, sitting in our Fine Arts Buildings rest area, throwing just a simple “Hi” or “What’s up” to my fellow students that passed by, Out of them I greeted 20 students, 10 male, and 10 female. Out of the males, I was able to get a pleasant response to 7 out of 10. Now, with the females, I was only able to get 5 out of 10, but I think one student was wearing ear buds and possibly didn’t hear my greeting.  My hopes are that one day we can go back to saying hello, face to face, and not worry about if that person has a FaceBook or a Twitter account.

This addition of brand new and advanced social media focused smart phones, tablets, laptops, gaming consoles, and now even TV’s has been a curse and a blessing. On the up side it allows for new connections, learning, and, even new employment opportunities. On the down side, it has taken a new generation of youth and young adults and created an army of social media zombies. The basic practice of saying hi and talking with friends is some what watered down. Instead of friends hanging out and talking face to face, they have resorted to video chatting, while texting, and playing Call of Duty: Black Ops to fulfill their social needs. Then again maybe I’m just old school and if you are curious I do block game requests. If you see me just say hi, and then we can Facebook each other.

MMA + College Students = A Good Time!

By James O’Hagan

From its original marketing as a blood sport competition with no rules to becoming one of the fastest growing and very competitive combat sports in the world, mixed martial arts or MMA is a few short steps from becoming as main stream as baseball, basketball, and football. MMA is a mixture of styles, including but not limited to Boxing, Wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Muay Thai Kickboxing. MMA has been adopted as a sport style that is now practiced in most martial arts school around the world.  With this progression, the age of the average mixed martial arts student has become younger and younger and has garnered the attention of many college students. Some non-believers may not see this as a positive aspect, but it seems to be adding discipline and self-confidence to participants who may otherwise not have an opportunity to experience.

Two students of MMA and professional MMA competitors, Cumberland County residents Patrick White and Bryan Danner are strong believers in youth in MMA programs. White & Danner train at Shark Tank BJJ in Vineland, NJ, had some insight on college students training in MMA.  White, a graduate of Rowan University, became a pro fighter while in college after realizing that college wrestling wasn’t what he wanted to pursue, “I just always had that competitive side,” White explained.  After a career in high school wrestling and looking for something more during White’s college tenure, he felt that MMA was his niche. White reflects, “I loved working out, but just lifting weights and running wasn’t doing it for me anymore.”  When asked, if a MMA club or team was started at Rowan, how would he feel about that? “I would absolutely join, I would have been the first in line.” White stated.

CCC’s Bryan Danner, on break from school until the winter session, is also a pro fighter and also agrees with the idea that not only college students, but also, anyone, that wants to get into shape should participate in mixed martial arts training. “Definitely health wise, it’s definitely a benefit,” Danner explains. Also, he sheds light on the benefit to sometimes, wild college students. Danner, who fights this October 22in Atlantic City, along with his trainer partner White, believes that MMA will help focus students involved in MMA.  Danner states, “it will keep their mind busy, they will be focused and they will strive to be the best they can be.”

The benefit of MMA, whether you become a fighter, grappling competitor, or just want to become healthy is obvious. “There are guys out there that are 80 years old, rolling around on the mats still”, says Danner who also is a Marine reservist. White explains, “We got guys in here, that come in here, that are overweight, train for six months and drop 50 pounds.” Many students are engaging in mixed martial arts training to enhance their health and build confidence.  For more information about mixed martial arts programs, visit

OBOC: Enrique’s “Journey” to CCC


Staff Writer

It’s the fall semester again, and everyone on campus is talking about the book selected for our One Book, One College program, Enrique’s Journey. One Book, One College was first developed in 1993, by Dr. Eleanor Carducci an English professor at the Sussex County Community College.

CCC’s president, Dr. Thomas Isekenegbe, learned about the program while working there and later invited Dr. Carducci for a workshop to inform interested staff members at CCC. The program was launched in 2004, and since then, the One Book, One College program has introduced books such as James McBride’s The Color of Water, Amy Hill Hearth’s Strong Medicine Speaks: A Native American Elder Has Her Say and the college’s favorite, Steve Lopez’s, The Soloist.

Combined with about a dozen members, the One Book One College committee meets once in the summer and periodically through the semester to make a selection for the fall semester.

Author and Pulitzer Prize winner, Sonia Nazario, has spent 20 years of her life as a project reporter for the Los Angeles Times, where she wrote and reported on social issues. Nazario, who grew up in Kansas and Argentina, has written about Latinos in the United States and extensively from Latin America. She is also a graduate of Williams College, and has a master’s degree in Latin American studies from the University of California.  Enrique’s Journey, a national bestseller, has been published in eight different languages and has been selected as the “freshman read” by 46 colleges and high schools nationwide. The publication of Enrique’s Journey has won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing, the Grand Prize of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, and the National Association of Hispanic Journalist Guillermo Martinez-Marquez Award for Overall.

Enrique’s Journey is a true story that retells the odyssey of a Honduran boy who encountered hardship and peril to reunite with his mother in the United States. At five years old, Enrique was devastated       when his mother Lourdes, fled to the United States to find a job because she was too poor to support her family. While in the United States, Lourdes was able to send money home so her starving kids could eat and go to school beyond third grade.

Like always, promises were made and then broken. Enrique would plead for her return, but his wish was never granted. Instead, Enrique took matters into his own hands.

Enrique sets off from Tegucigalpa, heading towards North Carolina with nothing but a visual of his mother and her phone number on a piece of paper. Enrique had a lot of decisions to make during his adventure, good and bad. He was accompanied by other immigrants who were in different situations, but had one common goal of finding their loved ones in the United States.

Along the way, Enrique encountered immigration authorities, corrupt cops, and dead migrants. Filled with courage and fueled by the kindness of strangers, Enrique was able to reunite with his mother.

Thousands of children try to find their parents in the United States every year.

Enrique’s Journey is definitely a thriller; readers grip at the tip of their pages wondering what happens next. The One Book, One College Committee will host a session with author Sonia Nazario of Enrique’s Journey on November 2 at 7pm in the FPAC. At that time, anyone with questions can present them directly to the author. There is no charge for attendance, however, some professors offer extra credit for current students who attend the session. If you haven’t purchased your copy, Enrique’s Journey is available online and in the college bookstore.

Your love for caffeine?


Staff Writer

Amanda LaBoy

“I find myself drinking coffee while I’m in school the majority of the time. If I don’t have coffee, I tend to feel tired and lazy. I feel as if I can not function properly. Drinking coffee allows me to be more awake and pay closer attention.”

Candace Rivera

“I tend to drink coffee more when I’m about to go to work. When I don’t drink coffee, I’m not very attentive and I feel on edge. Drinking coffee has become part of my daily routine that I need in order to get through the day.”

Ashlee Chance

“Once class is over I find that I need to drink coffee before I go to work. If I don’t have coffee beforehand, I feel off-balance and tend to be more hostile at work. Drinking coffee gives me energy as well as puts me in a good mood for my shift.”

Nick DeSimone

“I drink coffee more at school because I have to wake up early. When I drink coffee, I feel overly energized, however, I don’t have to drink it unless I’m about to study or go to work.”

Tasheika Scott

“I drink coffee during school every Monday and Wednesday.  I drink about four to five cups of coffee throughout the day because I’m at school for 12 hours. If I don’t have my coffee, I tend to become delirious and tired.”