Well, This Is Awkward

BY JESSICA MONZO, Staff Writer

Everyone knows the generic saying that the elderly have about “youngsters”. “Back in my day…” “When I was your age…” “You kids and your fancy technology…”. How much of a difference is there between today’s millennials and the generations that came before us? Social interactions are probably the biggest difference.

Today’s millennials interact with each other differently because of the recent advancements in technology. Technology continues to make it easier every day to interact with each other within seconds. Between 4G phone networks, social media, and texting, we now communicate faster now than ever, but we also have less face-to-face interactions. Less face-to-face interactions could also lead to more social anxiety and social awkwardness due to the convenience of having more time to reply to messages, and thinking about the benefits of consequences of what to say.

Justine Harman from Elle.com wrote an article called “How Social Media is Ruining My Social Skills”. In her article, she is quoted as saying “For all of its many merits, social media is making even the most well-adjusted of us just a tad bit creepier. I can’t keep track of how many times I’ve asked a question I already knew the answer to.” In a web video interview by Alena Hall, from Huffington post, Harman says social media is “the death of an actual civilized conversations” and that “we can feel it inside, that something’s wrong.”

When did this reliance on a textualized social interaction begin being a problem? It’s difficult to tell since the social anxiety and awkwardness has never been an obvious problem. It seems that we, as social beings, adapted our way of socializing in a negative way without being fully conscious of it. Now, when we break a phone or are not able to pay our phone bills, we freak out because we are addicted to these tiny handheld screens, and the social security they give us. They are now habit and a way of life, whereas 10 years ago, we only had very basic phones, primarily used for phone calls, and not everyone felt the need to have one.

Now, when someone doesn’t use a cell phone, or social media, they are viewed as “odd” or “different”, just because they are not addicted to distanced, computerized social interactions. Another issue is that it’s very difficult to tell if these technological interactions are genuine or not. Also, it is easy to take a textual conversation out of context. For example, if a person simply replies “Ok” in text, the other party may feel as though this reply was short or contrite, whereas the person who sent said text may just be busy, or not know what else to reply.

So what can we do about this socially awkward situation? Well, some have come up with a game where if you go to a restaurant with friends or family, everyone puts their phones upside down in a stack, and whoever reaches for their phone first, has to pick up the check. Maybe we should start limiting our time on our phones by not having them in reach as easily as we do now. Ladies, leave your phones in your purses more often. Gentleman, put your phones in your pockets and trying not to look at them every 10 minutes. Maybe if we try to get back to the physical world now, we can prevent so much social awkwardness in future generations.

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Heartbeat Bill vs. 20 Weeks

BY JESSICA MONZO, Staff Writer

With the recent election and talk of politics whirring, the topic of abortion has been one of importance, as it usually is at these times. It’s no secret that President Elect, Donald Trump, is pro-life and that there have been many new discussions about the possibility of overturning Roe v. Wade since the election. For those who don’t know much about Roe v. Wade, this was a Supreme Court case where a young woman, Roe, challenged the Texas abortion law. The law at the time entailed abortion being illegal unless the pregnancy was a danger to the mother. The vote was in support of Roe, 7-2.

Republican Governor John Kasich (who coincidentally also campaigned for the election) acted on two separate abortion bills that hit his desk on the same day. On Tuesday, December 13, 2016, Governor Kasich vetoed the so-called “heartbeat bill” but implemented a new ban on abortion after the 20 weeks’ gestation period. What is (or should we say “was”) the “heartbeat bill”? Essentially, republican conservatives pushed a bill that would prevent women from receiving abortions after the 6-week gestation period.

Governor Kasich believes that if the “heartbeat bill” passed legislation, “the State of Ohio will be forced to pay hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars to cover the legal fees for the pro-choice activists’ lawyers.” Over all, he believes his decision was in “public interest”. Ohio lawmakers do still have the option to override his veto before the new legislative session begins January 3.

What does this mean for the future of Ohio’s stance on abortion? Some feel that this entire decision was not a decision at all, but a bunch of “smoke and mirrors” to misdirect the public eye from Governor Kasich’s actual plan. It’s no secret that the governor is actively Pro-Life, and Pro-choice activists feel that the Ohio Governor chose a fair abortion plan to fool the public eye for the time being.

One who feels this way would be executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Dawn Laguens. “He may hope that by vetoing a six-week ban — which would have virtually banned abortion with almost no exceptions — he comes off as moderate. But Ohio women see right through this and reject this extreme agenda,” Laguens said in a statement.

So, what is the plan here Governor Kasich? Are you easing the state of Ohio into a state that is tolerant of abortion, one that is in support of it, or one that is completely against it? Ohio will have to wait and see what the future holds.

Spring Student Theatre Show

BY NICOLE PEREZ, Staff Writer

Cumberland County College (CCC) will be presenting its spring semester show, Charlotte’s Web. This will be the second time that Charlotte’s Web has been performed at CCC. A smaller version was performed at the college and at some elementary schools in 2012. Professor Bradshaw will be directing the show this year.
Many may be familiar with the children’s book by E.B. White. For those who do not know Charlotte’s Web, it is about a pig named Wilbur who is worried about ending up as a part of a dinner plate by the end of the season.When he was born, a farmer was going to kill him but his daughter, Fern, begs for him to spare the little piggy. Wilbur is then given to another farmer. Wilbur makes a new friend, a spider named Charlotte who helps him ensure that he does not end up being eaten. Charlotte begins to write nice things on her web about Wilbur to make her owner see that he was special. The first thing she writes in her web was “Some Pig” to help and save his life. Bradshaw says, “I have always loved the story of Charlotte’s Web and the lessons Charlotte provides as Wilbur’s mentor and friend. Charlotte asks for nothing in return for her loving and kind friendship. We all feel sad when Charlotte dies, however, she leaves her children to hatch and the idea that life will carry on…in a positive and sensitive way. I think the message of hope and that things will be ok, speaks to everyone through this story.”
Bradshaw’s theater class will be performing the classic tale and they are working very hard to deliver a great performance. Students rehearse two to three times a week in the evenings to allow for homework time. Besides rehearsals, there is some in class preparation. Rehearsals are conducted for about eight weeks and sets load three weeks prior to production to make sure all actors are safe. Students work together on characterization and blocking, as well as creating study guides for their young audiences. Balancing school and rehearsals along with their personal lives is challenging but rewarding.
The roles are cast just like they would be in a regular audition. Students must read “sides” or cuttings from the show and will be chosen for their fit role. Makeup and costumes take hours of planning and preparation. The stage makeup class is designing the makeup plots for all of the actors in the show. Chris Totora, Assistant Director, is designing the sets and works with students on necessary props. This production is going to have a fully mounted main stage, where as the first time it was performed it was smaller. This show gives performing students a chance to gain experience. Professor Bradshaw says, “The opportunity to perform is invaluable for an acting student.”
All of the time and hard work that the students put into the show make them a team. As Bradshaw shares, “Every show creates a theater family. It is a very special experience.” The class as a whole supports each other to create a wonderful storytelling experience for the audience. The new Charlotte’s Web will be performed on April 8 and 9 at 2pm in CCC’s Fine and Performing Arts Center’s theater. General admission will be $9 and field trip performances must be booked over the phone. Bradshaw reflects, “This is a charming, heartwarming story and just like Avenue Q, Wilbur character searches for his purpose and builds relationships like Charlotte has.”

Arts Center in Millville

BY DANIELLE ORLOV, Staff Writer

Captain Joseph Buck, a Revolutionary War Veteran, was the man who originally organized the township in 1801, but the town was already named in 1790 due to its location being ideal for different mills and factories. Those who formed the township also discovered that Millville, and most of South Jersey, had an abundance of silica sand, which is the type of sand that is needed to create glass.
Today, Millville and it’s Arts District has so much to offer. Glass making is one of Millville’s finest talents and continues to be displayed for everyone to enjoy at Wheaton Arts (according to the website, Wheaton Arts is a “nonprofit organization with a mission to engage artists and audiences in an evolving exploration of creativity”). If you ever have the time to visit Wheaton Arts, you can visit the Craft Studios and see artists while making their glass masterpieces, or you can visit the Museum of American Glass and indulge in glass pieces and the transition of practical use of glass into art. For a list of local artists and events, visit http://www.wheatonarts.org.
Glassmaking is a big part of Millville’s art district but it does not stop there. Clay College is located at 108 North High Street and has programs to offer to credit and non-credit students. Students can learn how to create beautiful pottery and sculptures by using different hand building techniques and they can also learn how to work the pottery wheel. The college also offers classes for fun or for college credits, but either way students are leaving with the knowledge and skill of pottery making. There are 15 pottery wheels and four kilns available for use. The college also showcases students’ work as well as local and regional artists.  Clay College creates a creative and open-minded environment for everyone involved.
Not only is there art displayed at the college, but also Millville offers “Third Fridays” which acts as both a showcase for artists and their creations, as well as a community block party for citizens of Millville. Art of all sorts comes alive. Third Fridays are for everybody of all ages to come out and have a good time. Local musicians will come out and if it’s a nice day out they might play outside, artists who make their own jewelry or clothing come out and sell their merchandise, and the Riverfront Renaissance Center is open for everyone to gaze upon the beauty of art.
But what is art without theatre? January 1908, the first Levoy Theatre opened on High Street. Originally, it was two floors with a theater on the lower floor and a dance floor on the upper floor. In January 2011, the Levoy collapsed in the middle of renovation. Construction restarted in May 2011 and finished in August 2012. The new and improved Levoy resembles theaters from 1920s with its exterior lights and interior design. Ever since then, the Levoy has had an abundance of fantastic shows with talented performers. Some performers include Tracy Morgan, Kathleen Madigan, and different shows such as Chicago, Brigadoon, and A Christmas Carol.
When it comes to the arts, Millville comes alive with its glassmaking, clay making, theater, and music. You can visit http://www.glasstownartsdistrict.com for upcoming events and shows.

Arts Events

By Justin Diaz

Staff Writer

There are many upcoming performances happening in the 2017 spring semester at Cumberland County College that students can partake. These upcoming performances are going to be in the Luciano Theatre, located in the Performing Arts Center. It is important to note that students can order tickets for shows by phone but must to pick them up in person. Student must have a valid student ID to avoid an Adult Value Ticket Price. Buying tickets can be done by visiting the school’s website and prices vary depending on your seat. The dates, times and prices could change without being notified.The first show being presented in the upcoming spring semester is the Doo Wop Project.

This project will be street corner singing in a new way. This show features five men singing harmonies to today’s hits. They will take you on a journey with tunes from groups like the Crests, Belmonts, Flamingos, Smokey Robinson, the Temptations, the Four Seasons to more current artists such as Michael Jackson, Jason Mraz and Amy Winehouse. This show is scheduled for February 11 at 8:00pm. The cost for this show will range from $27.00 – $42.00. Everybody knows the classic children’s book “The Rainbow Fish” by Marcus Pfister. ArtsPower presents a musical adaptation, welcoming the whole family. The show starts February 12 at 3:00pm and the cost will be $9.00. The CCC Wind Symphony will have a showcase that will provide the audience with diverse musical listening experience. This event will be on February 17 at 7:30pm.

This event is free but they suggest reserving a spot before hand. CCC’s third annual Play in A Day will be a fun experience where directors and actors come up with a performance in one day. It results in a fast paced, entertaining experience. The free show will go on February 18 at 7:00pm. Another classic children’s book comes to the stage, “Charlotte’s Web”. This famous story is presented by CCC’s own Theatre Department. Bring the whole family on April 8 and 9 at 2:00pm with the price of $9.00. Gregory DeCandia seeks the truth to why one serves their country. Silhouettes of Service offers a new perspective of the diversity of the military. This solo documentary theater piece will be shown on April 29 at 8:00pm and will cost $12.00 – $22.00.

The CCC Spring Concert is back! This concert is completely free and feature CCC’s own chorus, gospel choir, wind symphony and jazz band. Be there on May 1.Along with the Spring Concert, CCC is also bringing back it’s Poetry Slam. Be touched and moved at the beautiful poetry the performers have to offer. The Poetry Slam will take donations and show on May 3. There are many theatrical performances being shown off in this upcoming Spring semester. There is a lot to see so make sure you get your tickets early. A full list of all performances can be found on Cumberland County College’s website.

Veterans Resource Center

By Rachel Dimauro

Staff Writer

On November 9th, 2016 Cumberland County College (CCC) held a grand opening and dedication for the new Veterans Resource Center on campus. Roughly twenty-five people were in attendance, including Veterans Certifying Official at CCC, Bill Reyes, Vice President of Academic Affairs Jacqueline Galbiati, and numerous other CCC employees. Alongside college officials, and employees, were New Jersey State Senator Jeff VanDrew, Congressman Frank Lobiando, and several other assemblymen, veterans, and veteran graduates of Cumberland County College.

The resource center has a lot to offer to veterans on campus, seeking an oasis far away from the stress of college. Every Monday and Thursday social workers and mental health councilors provide privet counseling to veterans in need. The center consists of six rooms—two to three are used as study room for the veterans, one serves as a lunchroom, and the others are used as offices. The veterans have access to computers, a printer, a microwave, a refrigerator, and every other accommodation you can imagine. When talking with Reyes, (one of the main brains behind this project), he shared with me one of the reasons for opening this center. “Obama had come out with the eight keys of veteran student success. . .,” he stated. “We were doing seven of them, except for one—which was having a dedicated space for veterans.”

This was the catalyze behind the concept to make a place of respite at the college, for veterans to come when necessary. Reyes shared his goal for the resource center, stating that, “My vision was to have a comprehensive space— not just a lounge, not just a place where they could just sit and watch TV. . . I also wanted to have a space that provided them with privet counseling services.”

Reyes himself is a veteran, so he understands firsthand what these individuals are going through—and the struggle to acclimate to civilian life. “It’s challenging to them sometimes; they don’t know this thing about going to college – they don’t know how it works. So that’s what I try to do, just try to help them to navigate the waters, and give them someone to talk to.” Art Students from Cumberland County College donated most of the artwork that adorns the walls. The emblems mounted on the entryway door were donated by Cumberland County College’s STEAM Works maker space in Bridgton New Jersey. Although it was a long process to go through, it’s not hard to spot the dedication and passion that went into establishing the center.

Passion not only from the employees, but from the students and community of Cumberland County. As Jeff Miller once said, “The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.” What better way for CCC to show their gratitude, then to open a Veterans Resource Center. For more information, contact William Reyes at breyes@cccnj.edu, or use his direct line: 856-200-4659.

CCC’s 15th Annual Adopt a Family

CCC’s 15th Annual Adopt a Family

By Nicole Perez

Staff writer

This year Cumberland County College had its 15th annual Adopt-A-Family for Thanksgiving. With the holidays around the corner, there are some families that find it difficult to get through this time of the year. This program allows for some families to not struggle as much during the holiday seasons. The families are chosen by social workers that select from five different school areas. This year, they chose from Petway, Dane Barse, and Sabater in Vineland. Also, R.D. Wood in Millville and the Bridgeton School District. People are given a list of families that have four to ten members so they can choose which family to adopt. Once people chose a family to adopt, they are given a basket and a list of things to put in the basket so it can be donated to the families.

The list consists of a number of items that families can use and enough food to feed their entire family for Thanksgiving. The families are even given a gift card so that they can buy a turkey or a ham, whatever they would prefer. This programs gives CCC students and staff an opportunity to give back to the community in a safe and positive way. Many people enjoy giving back to the people in our communities, especially during the holiday seasons. Rachel DiMauro says, “This is my second year helping out with this event, and it never fails to bring a smile to my face. To help these families and these schools out, to give back to the community, it’s an incredible opportunity, especially at this time of the year. I mean to help someone out, and know they genuinely appreciate it– that’s an amazing thing.” Adopt-A-Family also allows for the selected families to have something to look forward to this Thanksgiving.

Not all families are as fortunate as us or others we know, and sometimes not many people in our society realize who needs assistance. Our community is proud to come together and to ensure that hard working families dealing with tough times can enjoy the holidays. It is only right that people who work just as hard as the people who are not struggling, have the same luxury of enjoying the holidays their families. Adopt-A-Family does not only give a chance for people to help others and for those in need to have a nice Thanksgiving, but it also sets an example for students to follow.

We can all make a difference in people’s lives, even if it was just by picking up a few extra cans of vegetables at the grocery store. It may not mean much to us, but to these families it may mean the world.