A Day at the Beach…Working

On Saturday, October 20th, I had the pleasure of joining some of the Water Watch crew for a Beach Sweep at the Atlantic City Beach. After waking up early to perform this bit of service (only reason I would get up early), we departed to Atlantic City. Once we got to the Trump Plaza we made our way behind that to the boardwalk and the area where everyone was meeting. Numerous other groups of people came to help as well. We sat patiently as we endured another two or three speeches stating the purpose of the group known as COA or Clean Ocean Action. Clean Ocean Action is a group that is not on Stockton’s campus.  The speeches basically thanked us, the volunteers, for coming. We were then handed a white garbage bag for plastic and recyclables, a black garbage bag for trash and a data sheet to fill out. The data sheet was supposed to be used as a tally sheet for what we found with almost all things you would find at a beach garbage wise. So off we went exploring the great unknown at the beach.

What I was met with was a disaster to behold. I am used to my beaches being for the most part clean. Garbage lay everywhere but it blended in the sand just enough that you could ignore it in your conscious if you had to. We slowly chipped our way across a small section of the beach and under the pier. This path consisted of a hellish mess of cigarette butts, pieces of plastic, Styrofoam, a dead seagull, and other random objects. I have never been at a beach that not only was this unclean, but somehow was hidden enough to not notice without closer examination.  We had almost the entire bag full and we had only just gotten to the pier. We also had to just write “over 100” in the cigarette butts and Styrofoam categories as there was just too many to keep track of.  This was the first realization of how bad the situation on certain beaches can be.

We wandered under the pier, a sight that I was not accustomed to. Moving from the bright sunlight to a relatively dark and damp place was both interesting and odd. It was here we made our major finds of the day; a couple pair of women’s underwear, three syringes, five used condoms, and a few pregnancy tests. While I was not relatively surprised by this find, I was still stumped as to why someone would feel the need to do such a thing on a beach and under a pier. Atlantic City is known for its hotels, why not use them? These thoughts were constantly running through my head as we worked our way through the pier. The really cool part of being under the pier is that when the waves crash into and under the pier, they look much larger than normal and they seem to be racing to you. I wish I had taken pictures of these waves as well as the marks they had made on the sand that hadn’t been disturbed by the incoming tide. Seeing that and collecting a few neat rocks and sea glass made the entire beach sweep an adventure.

After filling up our first bag and going to get another, we went out from under the pier and continued along the beach under it was time to go. Overall, we had filled up four bags full of the litter people decide is a good idea to either throw into the ocean or leave on the beach. While I understood that people threw garbage on the beach, I did not realize the magnitude nor how some items were so much more prominent then others. Seriously, people need to throw out their cigarettes butts where they are supposed to. Perhaps the businesses that are close to the ocean should make more of an effort to keep their beaches clean. Perhaps people shouldn’t do drugs or inject themselves on the beach. Perhaps people should pay more to their junk as well. These are all great possibilities to think about when enjoying a hopefully clean beach. The best thing to do is to support groups on Stockton such as Water Watch and volunteer to help them and their causes such as the Beach Sweep.

 

Petsmart Puppies!

On Saturday, November 17th, Circle K invited students to volunteer at the local Petsmart from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Our responsibility was to help the Beagle Rescue socialize their dogs with people, and provide them with increased stimuli. The dogs were extremely receptive to human contact and were pleased to have hours of attention. As volunteers, we conversed with potential adopters who had come over to see the dogs. We also worked to attract attention to the rescue, and hopefully provide these animals with forever homes.

Although the dogs were all beagles, they were extremely unique and independent. There were dominant dogs that howled throughout the event and others that remained quiet and introverted. The most profound aspect of the experience was meeting two crippled dogs, each with perpetual energy. Bonnie was born with a mutation of her front legs. This prevented her from walking on her paws; rather she began to depend on her elbows. Instead of remaining helpless, two year old Bonnie learned to walk and became quite active and capable of moving. In fact, I found myself being dragged around the room by her at times. Another dog that impacted me was a beagle with only three legs. One had been surgically removed, while the other back leg was hyperextended. This prevented walking. Despite this setback, the beagle was extremely full of life, momentum, and strength. She was able to wheel around the room on a dog cart, and greet individuals with her lively presence. These two dogs had overcome insurmountable difficulties and had defied expectations. Seeing these miracles in person made me both empathetic and humbled. Another dog named Jersey Girl had been surrendered that morning, and was already looking for a new home. I felt extremely sorry for the animal, which had spent most of her life in a crate. She was filled with love and patience, and would fit in perfectly to any family.

I am extremely pleased with my decision to volunteer with the Beagle Rescue. Before going to Petsmart, I had not known what to expect and was quite apprehensive. For eighteen years, I have struggled with intense allergies, primarily to dogs and cats. Therefore, I was reluctant to spend time with animals that could potentially give me an allergy attack. Ignoring my fears, however, I decided to take advantage of the great opportunity.  This day reminded me of my passion for volunteering. I will now search for additional opportunities with animals and wildlife, and may pursue a volunteer position in a no-kill shelter.

Balloons

Magic, everyone knows it is an optical illusion, but no one can tell you how tricks are performed. Recently I went to see this comedian/magician/balloon artist, a lot of different professions I know, and it turned out to be a great time. His magic skills included a levitating girl, a card trick, and a reappearing trick done with someone’s phone which was put inside a balloon and then reappeared inside a series of boxes. All of these tricks were awe-inspiring to say the least. I knew how a few of the tricks were done, but the levitation was too farfetched for me to consider, and the only word I could use to explain was magic. Although magic was a part of the show, it was not the main attraction. The main attraction was his balloon artistry. He currently holds the world record for the fastest balloon sculptor and his work is actually amazing. When the show started he handed out giant flowers to some audience members, and then began his work. First he crafted an alien on a motorcycle, which I received, then Charlie Brown, then more and more. What I loved most about the show was his audience involvement. Throughout his show he would ask for volunteers that could come up on stage and help him with a trick. One trick was a card trick where he had the person pick a card and he would be able to retrieve that card. Not only did he pick out the correct card, as one would expect, he revealed a neon sign that had the same number and symbol on it as the card that was picked. There was no way of knowing for sure that he would pick the eight of hearts, but the volunteer did. When I got called onstage I had to throw a balloon into a laundry basket and he said that if I could, I would get a dollar. And I made it into the bin. The other person onstage at the time also had to throw a balloon into the bin, but he was told that he would get 19 tries and $100 if he made it into the bin. The balloon sailed up into the ceiling panels as he threw it, so he got a dollar for being a good sport. Here is where his speed with balloon sculpting came in handy; he asked each of us what we wanted made out of balloon. He chose to have a giraffe and I chose a moose for my friend, and he also made me a dog because I was giving away my balloon. While I waited onstage, with him having no prior knowledge of what I was going ask for, he crafted the balloon creature with incredible speed and precision so that I barely had to wait a minute for him to be finished. The show itself was great and I loved the interactive show, but most of all I liked the feeling of being a little kid again, in a world where magic and balloons were a simple reason to be happy.

Nazi Hunter

On the 1st of December, I attended a play at the PAC. Tom Dugan’s, Simon Wiesenthal
: Nazi Hunter is a historical play that attempts to depict Wiesenthal in the
most accurate manner possible. The play is constructed in an educational but
creative way. The story is told by Wiesenthal (played by Dugan) through direct
conversation with the audience with segments that consist of vivid flashbacks.
It is a one man play so every character is played by Dugan which makes it both
humorous and also gives the flashbacks a sense of authenticity since it is told
from the point of view of Wiesenthal.

The play opens with Wiesenthal walking into his office for the last time. This is
his final day working at the office in which he has worked for most of his
career. Wiesenthal tracked down numerous Nazi officials who either escaped
capture during the allied liberation, or were slippery enough to evade trial.
There is a main focus of the play which Dugan makes clear early on. Although
this is a play about the life of Wiesenthal, Dugan has constructed the play to
make certain aspects about his life that he thinks are important, more
apparent. Wiesenthal tells the audience that in all his time as a Nazi Hunter,
he has yet to ask one very important question, which he does not get to until
the very end of the play.

About half way through the performance, Wiesenthal tells a story of how he was going
through documents found in an old Austrian church when a small not fell out of
a book. He picked it up and discovered that the note was a farewell letter to
whoever might find it. The little boy who wrote the note, Albert, stated that
he was the “last one” and that they were coming for him. He wanted to
be remembered and said that he was bestowing his trust upon the person who
would find this letter. The line “I trust you” had a big impact on
Wiesenthal and it was this that drove him through many of his endeavors. By bringing
Nazi’s to justice he kept Albert alive.

The play ends with Wiesenthal about to leave, but not before he discusses the
question that he forgot to ask himself throughout his whole career. Since he is
now retiring, “who will remember Albert?” Then, he entrusts the
audience with his memory of Albert, repeating the line “I trust you.”

The play is very touching and informative. I think that although there is a lot of
information about the holocaust that is currently out there, this is a play
which takes the isolated endeavors of one man and relates them to everyone
else. We need to band together and spread information in order to ensure that
genocide will not occur.

 

New Executive Board, January-December 2013

Please join me in congratulating our new Executive Board:

Student Director:

Bill Goodheart

Student Assistant Director:

Matthew Widjaja

Events Co-Directors:

Jessa Hernandez and Sage Mitchell

Public Outreach Director:

Nikki Vancil

Community Service Director:

Cherise Edwards

Peer Mentoring Director:

Zahara Ayub

Fundraising and Finance Director:

Kristen Valenti

Freshman Class Representative:

Matt Zivi

Sophomore Class Representative:

Mary Kate Fitzpatrick

Junior Class Representative:

Chris McManus

Stockton Basketball Game

“GO OSPREYS!” I was so excited to finally be able to scream those words at the top of my lungs at Friday’s basketball game. It was my first game of the year, well, actually my first basketball game ever, and it was an exhilarating experience. I know many people are upset over the fact that Stockton does not have a football team, but seriously, who needs football? The other sport’s teams are just as wonderful and provide great college bonding, as well as entertainment.

My friends and I were lounging around the common room on a Friday night trying to think of interesting things to do. We went on Stockton’s website to scope out something different than our traditional weekend movie in the Campus Center Theater, when we came across the event: Men’s Basketball – Stockton vs. Penn State Abington.  I am not that into sports as much as I would like to be, but I do not mind observing a little competition now and then, so we decided to attend.

The event was free as long as our Stockton ID’s were presented. That was extremely convenient since we were all broke. We proceeded to enter Big Blue’s gymnasium and located a spot in the bleachers to watch the tall men on the team warm up. They all seemed to be very talented, so I knew this game was going to be exciting to spectate.

Once the game started, I found myself yelling along with the rest of the crowd. It seemed as though the goal was to make the opposing team uncomfortable and to get our team pumped up. I think it worked quite well. Stockton was on a roll, successfully performing with outstanding agility. They sure can move quickly. I was completely in awe at how well the team worked together and I would like to think that my yelling at them helped.

Halftime quickly approached and it was time for the cheerleaders to be showcased. The cheerleaders from my high school were absolutely terrible. They were more sluggish than peppy and put me to sleep rather than wake me up. From my experience with boring cheerleaders, I was not sure what to expect. But as soon as Stockton’s cheerleaders started to dance, I became flabbergasted. They all moved perfectly in sync with one another and all sorts of flips and neat tricks were happening on the court. They put on a great show and most definitely psyched up the audience for the rest of the game.

The remaining half of the basketball game was filled with high intensity. The teams were back and forth on scoring points as I continued to bite my nails. Stockton always seemed to be about 10 points ahead of Abington, but anything could have happened with three minutes remaining on the clock. The crowd was screaming at the players, trying to get them to focus on winning the game. The team must have been terribly worn down, but they did a great job at hiding their exhaustion. They continued to score points and prevent the other team from doing so. All the people in the audience were on their toes until the last seconds of the game. Finally 00:00 hit the clock and…… we won!

I think my friends and I will make basketball games a regular event to attend. It was so fun to see Stockton students come together and cheer for our school. I cannot wait until the next game and I hope everyone that reads this blog entry chooses to attend. You will not be disappointed. Once again, “GO OSPREYS!”

Beagle Rescue

Over the weekend I went to the Pets Smart in Mays Landing and helped out with a Beagle Rescue. There were all sorts of personalities of dogs up for adoption. Each beagle was a sweetheart in their very own way. I truly enjoyed helping them out and playing and petting all of the dogs. Each dog had their own little story of how they got there, but those didn’t even matter because each dog was such a sweetie. I wanted to take each dog home with me and just cuddle with them all the time.

This was community service, and it was probably my favorite community service ever. I got to play with physically disabled dogs and see how they were some of the prettiest and sweetest dogs I’ve ever met, and that the fully functional dogs were crazy hyperactive. I realized that no matter what a dog will love you if you give them attention, and if you don’t give them your attention they’ll try to get a hold of it. I am a dog owner myself, but my dog is an Irish Setter so seeing Beagles were very different. I was covered in dog hair at the end of the day but it was really worth it.

There was a dog that had three legs and bowel problems, her name was Trinity. When my friends and I first got there she was crying a lot and having a lot of problems. As soon as she was put into her wheelchair she was so much happier and ran about happily, if she could skip, she would have. There was also another dog named Bonnie. I have no idea what was fully wrong with her legs but she would army crawl over to you and then lay her head down in your lap and gave this look begging to be petted. I gave into her each time, her puppy dog eyes were just killer, I personally loved her. Each and every dog up for adoption just wanted a little of your time and attention to feel loved for just a moment. I wish I could have been there all day because each and every Beagle was sweet as can be and are all more than worthy of a good forever home.

Private Eyes

I went and saw the play Private Eyes on October 11th performed by students here at Stockton. I personally thought the show was magnificent. I thoroughly enjoyed all the characters and the twists and turns that the plot took. There weren’t many people there, but the actors were still very enthusiastic and put their all into it.

I went and saw this with two of my friends and they also really enjoyed it. We all didn’t see a whole bunch of the surprises coming and we didn’t even want to leave during the intermission. They play was hilarious too, we laughed at all the jokes, even some of the unintentional mistakes, like when the match box bounced out of the tray. The best part about any of the mistakes were that the actors remained professional through and through and were not even phased by anything slightly out of place.

Not only was the script well written and performed, the stage and costumes were amazing. They all looked the part and the stage was brilliantly set up. I’ve seen many plays and the Experimental Theater looks like a professional stage and they certainly treated it like one. They had limited props on the stage and that just brought the focus back onto the cast members much more. Especially at the end, where it’s just the two of them on stage without any props what so ever.

As convoluted and confusing as the plot was, there were the ever so slight indicators that brought forward the true plot. I won’t spoil anything for anyone in case they get the opportunity to see this play elsewhere, but you won’t get such a great cast or performance as I did here. Next chance you get to go see a play performed here, take it. The actors here are well work the few dollars they charge to go see them in their prime.

 

Honors Elections, 2013

Remember to vote! Check for an email on November 30 with a link to the ballot. You will have until December 4, 12 noon to vote. Only one ballot per Honors student, please!

Student Director

William Goodheart

Hey guys! I am Bill Goodheart and I am your current Student Director. This is the end of my second year on the Executive Board and I am hoping that it is not my last. As you all may know, I work well with others and I am not one to make decisions without taking into account the thoughts of my peers. I try to keep myself involved in planning the events and helping out with the projects in Honors.  Please vote for me for Student Director!

 

 

 

 

Student Assistant Director

Matthew Widjaja

As we move forward, we must begin to transition this program to our Freshmen & Sophomores. Yes, we made headway by finally updating the constitution so everybody knows what we’re responsible for, but this moment is greater than describing how this weird pirate ship is run. We need to think differently and make the eBoard more accessible. Upperclassmen, we must begin working with our underclassmen, so they have the same ambition & confidence we have and so that one day, our underclassmen can be their own captains of this pirate ship and lead this program forward. I’m running for a second term because I want to improve this collaboration so that our future students can move this program forward. I need your help to finish what we began. Thanks.

Events Co-Directors

Jessa Hernandez and Sage Mitchell

Hello, my name is Jessa Hernandez, I am a freshman and I am running for the position of director of events. I am organized, able to plan out events, and am willing to create and plan fun times. Currently I am treasurer of the Residence Housing Association and work toward creating and initiating events that the entire community can get involved in, like building battles and a holiday movie night in the TRLC. I am also involved on the special events committee of the Stockton Entertainment Team and have helped organize events there as well. I have had numerous learning experiences and am ready to apply what I’ve learned to this position as well. I wanted to run for this position because I believe I can put a new spin on the position by keeping the events upbeat and advertising the events more throughout our honors community. So I hope you vote for who you think is best for the position, whether that is me or my opponents. Thank you for your consideration and I hope you vote for us.

To me, being the Director of Events is about being organized and proactive while also thinking creatively about fun events. I know I am qualified for this position because I am organized and I can plan ahead to book rooms for events, plan reasonable dates and times for different events. More importantly, I know I would be able to collaborate with the rest of the executive board to come up with fun and engaging events that will bring the Honors Program closer together as an academic family. I am proud to be a part of this program, and I think being Director of Events and planning new activities for the program would be a good way to give back to the program.

Public Outreach

Nicole Vancil

Hello my name is Nicole (Nikki) Vancil and I am applying for the Out Reach position.  I was co-captain of my color guard my senior year where we placed third overall at Championships.  I was also the head of my school’s wardrobe department for the school play where my costumes got first place at the South New Jersey Theater Awards.  In these two positions I had to know how to keep people professional and in line, how to manage time and keep organized, delegate tasks, and be able to adapt when something goes wrong (which it always does) without missing a beat.  With experience in these positions and the abilities that I learned from them I believe that I will be perfect for the Out Reach position.  Thank you for your time.

Community Service

Cherise Edwards

Hey fellow Honors students, my name is Cherise Edwards and I am currently running for the community service executive director position on the Executive Board. I am a sophomore and an Accounting major, Economics minor. I am also currently an Honors LLC Resident Assistant in E-Court. I want to listen to what the Honors program as a whole would like to see as far as community service opportunities are concerned. I know many of you have the Service Learning component and I want to try to help everyone achieve their goals of two service projects per semester. These service projects will still be beneficial to the Honors students who have to reach certain goals with hours of volunteer work. I want to create better opportunities for the Honors program. I plan on advertising the community services events in a way that they will be successful. I just want to give the Honors program opportunities to continue their community service, doing projects that they love.

Peer Mentoring

Zahara Ayub

My name is Zahara Ayub and I am rerunning for the position of Peer Mentoring Director. During my term, the position was recreated. There were a lot more responsibilities incorporated into the job and success was shown through  dedication. Last semester,  I worked very hard on making sure that Honors Scholars Day was an excellent experience for the freshmen.  I’m proud to say that we had the most participation in the history of this event! A lot of people may not realize, but there is a lot of detail work that must  go  into the  planning of this  event to ensure that it runs smoothly.  Also, throughout the summer, I worked very tirelessly to follow through with my new event, “Mentor-Mentee Move-in Day”. I ran into a lot of roadblocks when coordinating this event, but in the end, it was successfully carried out. Mentors were able to move in early and help the freshmen move into their dorms. I am happy to say that since this event was such a success, it will now be a permanent event recognized annually by housing. Mentors and mentees have each benefited from participating in the events sponsored by this position. Every position on the e-board has its specific focus, and for this position, the focus is to make sure our freshmen integrate into our program, and ultimately the Stockton community.  The purpose of having mentors is to give each freshman a designated helping hand when making the transition to college life. This relationship between underclassmen and upperclassmen is detrimental to the structure of the Honors Program, and this position is a key factor in making that possible.  If you would reelect me, I will promise to continue working hard for this program.

Fundraising and Finance

Kristen Valenti

Hey guys. I’m Kristen Valenti and I’m running for Fundraising and Finance Director. While looking over all the possible eBoard positions, I felt my skills were best suited to take on the responsibilities of this position.  When I was in high school, I managed the band I played in for three years. Managing included keeping a close eye on the finances and publicizing via social networking sites and school various gigs and merch we had, in a sense the overall fundraising for the band. I thoroughly looked for the best options for each investment made and allotted money evenly so we were never in the red. In addition to this, I organized gigs with people to fundraise for charities, which were successful in their goals.   I believe with my experience I can effectively be Fundraising and Finance Director for the Honors Program.  If elected, I plan to take into account everyone’s suggestions for what to do with the money we have for our program. Thank you for your time.

Junior Class Representative

Chris McManus

Sophomore Class Representative

Mary Kate Fitzpatrick

Hello, I’m Mary-Kate and I am running for Sophomore class Representative. I feel that it is very important that everyone has an equal say in the decisions made for the program. With this said, each class should have the ability to have their opinions voiced. I am willing to listening and convey the issues and concerns of others in the sophomore class. I have experience in leading a large group from coaching; thus, I am able to balance multiple opinions so that almost everyone is satisfied. I am approachable, and anyone can express their opinions openly to me. This is why I would like to be Sophomore class representative.

Randy Weible

Good afternoon, fellow Honors Students! My name is Randy P. Weible, and I am running for the position of Sophomore class representative on the 2013 Honors Program Executive Board. For the past year, I have served as Freshman class representative on the E-board, representing the Honors Class of 2015 at Honors meetings, Faculty Advisory Board meetings, and executive board meetings, voicing the issues specifically related to our class in an attempt to seek resolution. The matriculation of our class in 2011 came during a time of many changes to the Honors Program at Stockton. Specifically, the implementation of the new Service-Learning system brought about a great deal of confusion early on in the Fall 2011 semester. Communicating these issues directly to Dr. Rosner and my peers on the executive board, I was able to bring these issues to light, and hopefully, work towards a resolution and aide in a smooth transition into this new system. To this day, members of my class still approach me with questions and concerns, and I continue to serve as a medium between members of our class and the Honors Program and as a source of information about the daily happenings of the Stockton College Honors Program. If reelected, I will continue to serve my class on the 2013 Executive Board, ensuring that our voices are heard, and that every member of our sophomore class continues to the enjoy the benefits associated with being a member of The Honors Program at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. Thank You.

Freshman Class Representative

Matthew Zivi

I enjoyed my high school years.  I had a tight group of friends, and spent my time with them, doing hw, and sometimes even working out.  But my main regret is that I didn’t get involved: didn’t do any clubs, didn’t go to any sporting events, and maybe went to a pep rally or two.  I was interested, but always had an excuse: freshman year, I was too new.  Sophomore year: a new job and a harder course load.  Junior year I worried about SAT’s and colleges, and senior year I wanted to take it easy.  But I now realize how much I missed, and don’t want to put myself through that again.   So I joined the honors program, not knowing what to expect; I’m glad I did.  The people are amazing, and I am constantly pushed and challenged.  I plan to contribute my time now to make up for all the years I missed in high school, and hope to make significant improvements to an already spectacular program.

Kenny Ambrose
Professor Rodriguez
Life of the Mind
November 21, 2012
Doing Service Learning
In the third weekend of the month of November, I traveled home for the first time since starting college back in August. While I was back visiting, I got the opportunity to complete my second required volunteer activity for the service learning part of the honors program. On Sunday the eighteenth, I walked with the Montgomery County 4-H Seeing Eye Puppy Club, in which I am a member, in the Lansdale, Pennsylvania Mardi Gras parade. I arrived at our meeting place around noon and from there we were driven to a small side street to wait in line for the parade to begin. We waited around for about an hour till the parade progressed enough for us to begin walking. We then followed our predecessors off the side street and onto Main Street in Lansdale. For members who had puppy they were training, they walked in a group the middle of the street; but since the last dog my family raised was sent back for formal Seeing Eye training a few months ago, I was not able to walk with them. Instead, I walked on the side of the street with a basket of dog treats. My job was to hand out dog biscuits to people that had a dog with them as they were watching. Even though it was a little cold out, there was a decent amount of people watching the parade, compared to previous years, and I gave out a good number of dog biscuits. In all, the walk took about an hour to travel about twenty blocks with the parade. I like doing activities like this with the Seeing Eye Puppy Club and I will continue to participate in the parade with them.