Student Style


Staff Writer/Photographer

Eliud Rivera Jr / Major: Communications / Age: 20 Q: How would you specifically describe your sense of style? A: My style is a bit preppy. I like to experiment between skinny jeans and khakis for my bottoms. I like to layer my tops and usually pair a button up with a cardigan. I like to wear tops with subtle print. Style for me is about the small details. My shoe style is a bit laid back and my brand of preference is Vans.
Q: How long does it take to get ready for class?
A: When it comes to class I usually pretty much already know what I’m wearing. It doesn’t take me long at all to put something together. Q; Do you care about how you look for class?
A: Yes. You will never catch me wearing sweatpants to class.

Anthony West / Major: Music / Age: 21
Q: As a student passionate about music how does that shape your sense of style? ,A: My style is extremely laid back to the point of not caring. Actually, I don’t really care about what I’m wearing. Most of my clothing is purchased from thrift stores. I’m usually wearing a t-shirt, jeans, and my favorite jean jacket. I just keep it really simple.
Q: Do you care about how you look for class?
A: Not at all. My focus is completely about the music.

Sequoya Taylor / Major: Social Services / Age: 21 Q: What influences your style? A: My personality influences my style.I try to style myself in a fun and unique manner. I also like to incorporate a bit of an edge into what I wear. Basic clothing staples for me would be ripped jeans, leather jacket, and a pair of comfortable loafers. I love to layer my outfits. When I put together an outfit before class, sometimes it’s quick and other times it’s not. It depends on how I feel. Q: Do you care about how you look for class? A: Yes. I really like fashion and make an effort to look presentable. Q: How long does it take to get ready for class? A: Doesn’t take me that long. I usually have an idea of what I’d like to wear the next day.

Alyssa Rodriguez / Major: Social Services / Age: 19
Q: Is your style a bit eclectic? A: Yes. I like to mix it up. I like to dress up. Black leggings, combat boots are my essentials. I usually end up layering the top with cute boutique style clothes. Accessorizing an outfit is an absolute must. I love jewelry bracelets, necklaces, scarves, and earrings. Alex and Ani are my favorite jewelry designers. I pretty much know what I’m going to wear before class. I have the basics down and just quickly put it together. I’m just an on the go girl. I don’t have that much time in the morning. Q: Does it take long to get ready for class? A: Sometimes. Usuually not.

John Irving’s Water Method Man: To Read or Not To Read


Staff Writer

Author John Irving creates a plot that forces the readers to interpret the details. The Water-Method Man features Fred Thumper, an intellectual but unfortunate man with a painful birth defect that turned his urinary track into a “narrow, winding road.” The novel follows a sporadic timeline that switches between the first and third person. Thumper is commonly known as Bogus, for his extensive stretching of truths, but also goes by Thump-Thump and Boggle.

Bogus’ wife, Biggie, is a German Olympic skier known for her large bosom. Biggie’s gynecologist recommended Bogus see a urologist pertaining to his life-long painful urination. The urologist presents Bogus with three options: undergo a surgical procedure, abstain from alcohol and sexual intercourse or drink an excessive amount of water before and after sexual intercourse. Bogus chooses the last option.

After impregnating Biggie, Bogus marries her and their son, Colm, is born. The novel begins when Colm is a young child of an undisclosed age. The characters are nondescript until the character of Risky Mouse, as it was dubbed by Bogus. Every night, Biggie set a trap for a mouse and every night Bogus would spring the trap before the mouse could get near it. Although Bogus’ and Biggie’s characters begin to form, Bogus is the only dynamic character throughout the novel. The excessive amount of bland characters diminishes Irving’s professionalism.

Irving utilizes his sense of humor when Bogus’ fidelity is tested once a young fellow scholar takes him into a secluded, wooded area for a dinner and seduction. After disrobing, Bogus changes his mind and exits the vehicle. The offended and embarrassed woman locks the doors and drives away, deserting Bogus. Bogus begins to take a shortcut to the road through a pond that contains concealed barbwire from a fallen fence.

Upon returning home, Bogus sneaks into his basement to clean his bloodied and lacerated feet as to not frighten his wife and son. While in the basement, he steps into Risky Mouse’s trap. Bogus reflects, “I looked at the bruised toes on one foot and though, At least it wasn’t your neck, Risky Mouse.” The dry humor is the most appealing element of this novel. This is Irving’s second novel so the plot and character developments are lacking, but his humor and irony are fortunately steadfast.

Bogus’ character isn’t fully developed until the climax of the plot when he suddenly leaves Biggie and Colm for Europe. With no word or explanation for six months, Biggie divorces him. Bogus goes to Vienna in search of his diabetic, childhood friend, Merrill Overturf.

During his stay, he accidently comes into possession of an illegal substance, fails to help a federal agent solicit a drug dealer, is given $1,000 for his efforts and is flown back to New York. At this point, the novel is vague, confusing and seemingly out of focus. Irving rambles, explaining useless points and ignoring the important factors.

Bogus’ character becomes clearly defined when he returns home to find his wife married to his friend, Couth. He realizes that it is in his family’s best interest to allow them to be happy with Couth. His subtle acceptance is both appalling and illogical. Bogus is simply passive when he learns about his new familial situation.

When the water-method fails to relieve Bogus’ symptoms, he decides to undergo a surgery to widen his urethra. Irving fails to reference the significance of Bogus’ condition or even mention it throughout the most of the novel. Since Bogus doesn’t stick with the water-method, The Water-Method Man is an odd title for this novel.

Tulpen and Bogus conceive a child at almost the exact same time as Couth and Biggie. In the end, Biggie, Couth, Colm, their newborn and Tulpen, Bogus and their newborn are living, or rather cohabitating, in a beachside house.

Irving has a unique talent of utilizing vulgarity, humor and free will in his writing techniques. He makes unconventional and seemingly unrealistic actions and events seem not only plausible but also logical. All of his characters, excluding Bogus, in The Water-Method Man, are static, uninteresting and relatively unnecessary. The hilarity of the characters’ nicknames is the only interesting thing about them. The plot is subtle enough so the drama is exemplified and the reader must extrapolate the majority of the plot.

Is Social Media Causing You Stress?


Staff Writer

Social media profiles such as Twitter and Facebook expose users to a world of exaggerations, rumors, desires, and frustrations; all while having to decipher fact from fiction. We are constantly being fed information through social networking. We’re told what products to spend our money on, what weight-loss tricks supposedly work, what music to download, and sometimes were told much more personal information than desired.

Being “logged in,” puts the users at a higher risk for stress or even depression that results in negative physical and psychological health effects. According to a study conducted by the University of Edinburgh Business School, “the more social circles a person is linked to online the more likely social media will be a source of stress.”

Social networks do provide benefits to its users. Being able to keep up with updates on the lives of distant friends and family members is a common reason for joining these sites. When a friend posts jovial announcements, responding and sending your congratulations or support could not be any easier. Undoubtedly, keeping in touch with acquaintances is now more effortless than ever.

Unfortunately, just as news feeds are littered with joyful occasions, they are also cluttered with sorrowful events. Increased access to the lives of others also enhances awareness of the stress they experience. Death, illness, and altercations are known to have a direct influence on stress according to “Changing Minds for Stress Management Skills.” At any given time, users can scroll through recent posts and easily find a handful of rants, words of hatred, and stories of the recently deceased. This constant stream of unfiltered information is an emotional burden for many readers.

As if sharing so much of your personal thoughts and moments with everyone on your friends list doesn’t amplify the absence of privacy, allowing your significant other to remain updated with your profile will likely cause more drama than its worth.

Even in relationships, a certain amount of privacy is healthy and should be expected of each other. These social sites potentially allow your significant other to scrutinize every post you make, every picture you post, and every person you contact. If your partner is guilty of snooping through your page and obsessing over every detail, stress and anxiety will quickly ensue.

Lifestyle envy can also ignite some strain. It is difficult to decipher whether sometimes people are exaggerating about how great their lives seem to be. Readers may feel pressure to “keep up with the Joneses.” If consumers feel as though their lives do not compare to what they read and see on these sites, they may be subjected to feelings of depression. The burden of striving to keep up with peers will negatively impact mental health.

If you find it difficult to step away from your on-line accounts for periods of time, even to the point that it interferes with your life and your relationships, you are not alone. According to “Help Guide for Mental Health,” cyber-relationship addiction is an “addiction to social networking, chat rooms, texting, and messaging” and is one of the most common Internet addictions. “Losing yourself online can temporarily make feelings such as loneliness, stress, anxiety, depression, and boredom evaporate into thin air,” is listed as the cause of Internet addictions.

Engaging in social networking is less likely to negatively impact your life if used in moderation. However, if you do find that your online accounts are impacting your life on a deeper level when you’re away from the screen, it may be time to log out and find a new balance. Try developing a routine exercise schedule as a healthy way to cope with stress. Meditation is also a common practice used to reduce anxiety and stress.

Maintaining awareness of your personal use of social media and networking is pertinent so that you can identify the signs before it becomes problematic. Limiting your use of these sites would beneficial. Exchange phone numbers with those distant friends and family that you truly do intend to keep in contact with, and they will no longer be an excuse for staying “logged in.”

Finding an outlet to let off some steam and step away from the screen will help improve all areas of your life over all. So long as a balance is implemented, stress and depression caused by Facebook or Twitter should not be prevalent in your life.

Explain the Phrase

Staff Writer

Most of us have heard these common phrases, but do you know where they originated?

Pipe dream
Opiates were commonly used by the English Literati in the 18th and 19th centuries. The surreal dreams they experienced after smoking from an opium pipe became known as “pipedreams.” Samuel Taylor Coleridge, known for works such as Kubla Khan, was one of the most reknown users. He first associates the phrase with opium smoking in September 1895 in The Fort Wayne Gazette.

Five o’clock shadow
The 19th century English upper class were known for their habit of drinking tea at five o’clock each day. This habit spread to the middle class, they became known as “five o’clocks,” and then to the United States. Late-afternoon dinners in the United States became known as “five o’clock dinners.” In the 1930s, Gem Safety Razor Company targetd men who had “ugly afternoon beard growth” with a new advertising campaign. They suggested their product to remedy their “five o’clock shadows,” adapted from “five o’clock dinners.”

Go postal
Several incidents between 1986 and 1997 in the United States led to this phrase. Employees of the United States Postal Service shot and killed fellow workers and community members. The first event was in August 1986. In an Oklahoma post office, fourteen postal workers were killed and six were injured by gunshot by Patrick Sherrill. Between then and 1997, there were more than 20 incidents that resulted in over 40 deaths. The term was first printed in a Florida’s The St. Petersburg Times in December 1993.

Spill the beans
This phrase most likely originated from the voting system used in ancient Greece. It is thought that white beans indicated positive voites and black beans indicated negative votes. Votes had to be unanimous. If the collector spilled the beans before the vote was complete and there was a black bean, the vote was stopped.

…as happy as a clam!
The full phrase is “…as happy as a clam at high water.” Clams are shielded from predators at high tide. The phrase originated in the north-eastern area of the United States during the 19th century.

Environmental Club: H-2-Woah!


Staff Writer

In case you haven’t heard, “2nd Nature” the environmental club at Cumberland County College since 2012, has big goals for the future. The club members conjured the name “2nd Nature” because they want environmentalism to become second nature to students on campus and everybody else in the community.

Through their work, they want to educate Cumberland as a whole on ways to help better the environment.

One of their most exciting goals is to buy retrofitted water bottle refilling stations that can be placed near our water fountains on campus. According to Club President, Cristina Crispin, “’Retrofitted water bottle refilling station’ is just a fancy way of saying a water fountain of filtered water that can fill water bottles more easily. We’re hoping this will lessen the consumption of disposable water bottles- and encourage people to use a reusable water bottle. Reusable water bottles both help the environment and save you money!” Also, many universities have recently been installing water bottle refilling stations.

At the recent “Pizza with the President” event, it was asked if installing water bottle refilling stations on campus could be taken into consideration. College President, Thomas Isekenegbe explained that he could see this happening in the future, after the prices of the systems themselves go down. Of course, 2nd Nature has been fundraising, in hopes to purchase one on their own.

According to club advisor, Melissa Young, they have already raised half of the money it takes to purchase one. Using a refillable water bottle is better for the environment, because so many disposable water bottles simply get thrown out.

According to the EPA, in 2012, only nine percent of the plastic waste generated was actually recycled. Not only do water bottle refilling stations help the environment, they also save you money. Refilling a bottle is a lot cheaper than constantly buying a new one. According to Julianne Woodson, at George Mason University, “If you were to replace 200 bottles of water a year with free refillable water, it would amount to an annual savings of $300!” Water bottle refilling stations are also thoroughly filtered, so it’s safe to drink too.

Emily Velez, 2nd Nature’s Secretary, says “I think it’s (water bottle refilling stations) important because it’s healthier for everyone and will help cut down the amount of water bottles that don’t get recycled.” 2nd Nature is always in need of more members and volunteers. If you’re interested in getting involved, don’t hesitate to go to a meeting – every Monday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. in room U112 (University Building).

Again, Professor Melissa Young is the club advisor, and you can contact the President of the Club, Christina Crispin at to join the emailing list. You can also like their Facebook page, 2nd Nature to stay up to date with events.

Other officers of the club are Sabrina Schroer, as Treasurer, and the spot of the Vice President is currently open, so if you’re interested in a leadership position, come on out!

Be Your Own Therapist

Staff Writer

Have you ever wondered why some of your favorite activities bring you so much stress relief? Everyone has different ways of relaxation. After asking around campus, here are some that students had in common:

Just the word may freak you out, but that’s okay. Exercise can help release physical stress as well as relieve mental stress. In the beginning, exercise will seem to be more annoying than it is fun, but slowly and surely, you’ll begin to tolerate it, enjoy it, and finally depend on it for relaxation. Aerobic exercise is key for your mind and your body. According to Harvard Health Publications, “Regular aerobic exercise has a unique capacity to exhilarate and relax, to provide stimulation and calm, to counter depression and dissipate stress.” Exercise has even been used to treat anxiety disorders and clinical depression.

Listening to music:
Music has a direct link to our emotions, so it can be extremely effective to any stress we may be experiencing. According to, any type of music that we listen to, “can have a beneficial effect on our physiological functions, slowing the pulse and heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing the levels of stress hormones.” But besides that, anyone who listens to music would agree that it serves as a great escape. Listening to our favorite songs acts as a distraction to stressing factors in our lives, and it may even motivate us. If you have trouble finding the time to listen to music, remember to put the radio on in the car, or instead of watching a TV show, turn on some tunes.

Reading, as well as listening to music, serves as another escape from the world. According to research done by neuropsychologist Dr. David Lewis, just six minutes of reading is enough to reduce human stress levels by more than two thirds. Psychologists believe this is because our minds have to concentrate and the distraction of being absorbed in another world eases the tension in our muscles and heart. Lewis states, “This is more than merely a distraction but an active engaging of the imagination as the words on the printed page stimulate your creativity and cause you to enter what is essentially an altered state of consciousness.”

This may seem surprising to some people, but cleaning has a great power to relax us. Face it: even though you might not have time to clean your living area, the clutter probably stresses you out. Elizabeth Scott, Stress Management Expert shares, “Because inner peace comes more from wanting what you have than from having what you want, unearthing the wonderful haven beneath the dirt and clutter can bring a new level of gratitude for all that you have.” As much as seeing a clean, beautiful home may relieve your stress, the act of cleaning does just as much good for our minds. If you incorporate mindfulness into your housework, it can act as a form of meditation and exercise. The end result will leave you relaxed and with a feeling of accomplishment.

Drinking Coffee:
I’ve heard a lot of people say that drinking coffee relaxes them, but how can something that is supposed to give you energy, relieve stress at the same time? Coffee not only wakes you up, but it enhances your mood, and gives you stamina. Other health and relaxation benefits from drinking coffee are that it boosts the immune system, gets rid of headache symptoms, and improves concentration. It seems that, when it comes to coffee, being energized can also be relaxing. Meghan Mendez, a Cumberland County College student, thinks, “coffee relaxes me because it’s warm and soothing to drink. It actually helps me while studying- keeps me calm from being overwhelmed.”
Is there anything strange that relaxes you? Remember, you’re probably not alone, and you can always find an explanation online!

Defining Your Own True Beauty

Makeup_editedBy LAQUANA JAMES
Staff Writer

“Beauty isn’t about having a pretty face. It is about having a pretty mind, a pretty heart and, more importantly, a pretty soul,” said Marilyn Monroe.
Many people, women in particular, are always obsessed with the way they look and dress. They get so fixated on trying to “look beautiful,” but what does that even mean? In reality, people don’t even see what true beauty is. They don’t need to try to be beautiful, they already are beautiful. Some might prefer a beautiful face over a beautiful personality, but in reality, true beauty isn’t just a beautiful face, it’s the person’s heart and actions that enhances how beautiful they are.

An amazing, strong woman, Lizzie Velasquez, suffers from a rare disease called Progeroid Syndrome. This disease stops her from gaining any kind of weight and makes her look older than her actual age. Since preschool, Lizzie has been bullied because she looks different from everyone else. In high school, she had come across a YouTube video about herself that was labeled “The Ugliest Girl in the World.” Now, as a motivational speaker, she looks back at those moments and laughs. “You have to use negativity to make yourself better. Beauty is how you are as a whole, not by your outer appearance.”

Velasquez says during a motivational speech for Ted Talks, “You don’t need the face of a model to be beautiful, just be yourself.” These are some things that Lizzie has taught me and I have also learned on my own recently.

Appearances don’t make you beautiful. Women think that make-up on their faces is what can make them more beautiful or make them stand out. We look at supermodels and celebrities and see what we want to be like, until we realize that their outer beauty doesn’t matter as much as who they are as a person.

For example, Megan Fox is one of the most gorgeous women I have ever seen on television, like smoking hot, but she is also said to be one of the worst people to work with. She has been fired from several different acting jobs due to her attitude. She has been called ungracious, rude and self-centered by some people she has worked with.
But looks are everything right? Audrey Hepburn once said, “Make-up can only make you look pretty on the outside, but it doesn’t help if you’re ugly on the inside. Unless you eat the make-up.”
Personality is everything. The way you conduct yourself and the way you act toward people, unlike Megan Fox, is how you show your real beauty. Women that are classy and polite are the real beautiful ones. Rebel Wilson of the movie “Pitch Perfect” is a perfect example of this. She is a girl who is a little on the larger side with a heart of gold. She loves to inspire people with her weight to show them that not all actresses are skinny. She gives to many local charities and shows that inner beauty bests all.

Let your individuality define your beauty. Everyone has their own sense of style and individuality. By this point in our lives we should have already discovered what it is and how it makes us different from the millions of other people on the planet. We need to let that individuality be our beauty. It doesn’t matter if you wear the same color every day, if you are one the hottest spoken word poets out there, or even if you are the quiet mouse in the corner. Those things are what make up your inner individuality. Individuality is beauty and beauty is within.