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Guest Blogger: Another year has come and gone

This was written by Pendulum columnist Rebecca Cummings.

How do we prepare for the end of the year?

Most students would probably agree there is no real time to stop and think about it. Students can be found in the library at least 75 percent of their waking hours, in the back corner writing multiple research papers or preparing for projects and presentations. Some are probably praying the end of the year slows down just so they can have a chance to finish all their work.

It is a busy time for all. For some, the first year of college is over. For others, graduation is coming up. It is time to say goodbye to new friends. In the words of a friend of mine, “It isn’t goodbye. It is ‘later’ because ‘goodbye’ means I will never see you again.”
It is hard to say “goodbye” or “later” to those who will graduate May 21 because we do not know when we will get another chance to see them again. Life is starting for them. This time next year, the graduates will most likely be employed or will be in graduate school. They will be adults in the real world.

This summer, some of the rest of us will be abroad, on vacation, fulfilling internships or working. We will enjoy our summers, full of laughter and maybe some extra cash. We will have new memories and come back to school refreshed to start another academic year. Life flies by. We can’t stop it. Each day closes a page of our lives. Each new day gives us the chance to live out something new.

College ultimately prepares us for real life. We learn about friendship, living with others, responsibility, cramming, just existing as human beings. My first year is almost done. I am not happy about it. I am looking forward to the future, but I am OK with waiting. Life is good. We should enjoy it.

For those who still have a year or more left in college, we need to enjoy every day of it. Soon, we will be like those seniors who will cross the stage May 21. Many seniors will probably say they are ready to be done with school, but they aren’t ready for the real world.

To the seniors, we will miss you. You have left your impression on Elon University. Good luck in the real world, whether it be the Peace Corps, Young Life, graduate school or whatever job you’re taking. Congratulations. You have successfully completed four years of college. Now, the real world is calling. We all must get there eventually.

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Guest Blogger: Popular television shows serve as poor role models in real life

This was written by  Pendulum columnist Nicole Monge.

Like it or not, “Gossip Girl” and “The Real Housewives” series are television programs that have made their way onto our televisions and into our culture.

One of the negative facets of both shows is they tend to teach audiences that manipulating people and stabbing them in the back are practical behaviors for personal gains. These traits and actions can certainly get a person in trouble in corporate America and everyday life. What people don’t realize is that the actions of these people occur in fiction in “Gossip Girl” and over petty, unimportant issues in “The Real Housewives.”

In the real world, when tasks are urgent and problems are important, belittling opponents and trying to one-up them by creating cliques and alliances behind their backs only works for so long. Eventually, establishing that kind of culture and persona will have negative results. People begin to see behind this shady facade that has been created and don’t particularly like what they see.
In “The Real Housewives,” many of the women play both sides of the fence in their social circles by talking badly about one person to a member of the group. They will then form an alliance with another cast member when they talk about the opposite person. In the “The Real Housewives,” when you get caught doing this, there’s drama and at worst, a friend is lost within a gated community. In a real job, a person will get fired.

Both of these shows also teach that creating drama is a means of achieving a goal, when in reality, everyday society will not tolerate this behavior. It’s a cutthroat world, and there is very little time for petty nonsense.  People see right through this drama and demand results rather than excuses.

The real world isn’t a continuation of high school, as these two shows would lead the viewer to believe. In reality, it is the exact opposite. There are jobs and futures at stake. There are real people, not characters blown up to caricature-like proportions by riches and fame.

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Arizona approves guns on campuses

A few weeks ago, one of our news editors Kassondra Cloos, wrote a column about a proposal before the Texas legislature to allow guns on college campuses.

Well yesterday, the Arizona House of Representatives voted on a similar bill, allowing guns to be carried on any state university or community college campus. It passed 33-24 and now goes before the governor, having already cleared the Senate. In the Senate, the bill was “watered down” slightly so that guns are not permitted within campus buildings.

Bill supporters say that allowing all students to have guns on campus will allow students to defend themselves against those who wish to do harm with their firearms. I fail to see the logic. Fighting fire with fire just creates a bigger flame.

The Texas bill of a similar nature goes to vote soon, and if it passes, will join Utah as the only two states with broad, guns-allowed-anywhere-on-campus laws. Colorado gives colleges and universities the option to set their own rules.


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One more thing…

Don’t forget to check out the Pendulum Resolution Project blog and read news editor Caitlin O’Donnell’s latest post. Maybe it will inspire you to do something for others over your Spring Break!

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Stop talking! No really, stop.

So shiny! So dangerous.

Here is an excerpt from the recently posted Staff editorial on ‘cultural carelessness’:

“We walk with our heads down, engrossed in the information available at our fingertips. We bump into each other, we are distracted when we cross the street, we hit pedestrians while we text behind the wheel. We can’t tell time without our devices, more often than not, we rely on it to get us up in the morning. We sleep with our phones and can’t imagine losing them.

Yet, with all of the importance we place in our mobile devices, we hold them close to our faces, with only a thin, permeable membrane separating them from our brains. The link between cell phones and cancer has been researched since cell phones were available for public use.’s ‘Digital Domain,’ a piece written on Nov. 13 asked,
“Should you be snuggling with your cell phone?” Radiation specialists are up-in-arms about Americans’ lack of caution when interacting with their mobile devices.

“Legal departments of cell phone manufacturers slip a warning about holding the phone against your head or body into the fine print of the little slip that you toss aside when unpacking your phone. Apple, for example, doesn’t want iPhones to come closer than five-eighths of an inch. Research In Motion, the manufacturer of Blackberry, is still more cautious: Keep a distance of about an inch,” the article says.

Do we really know what we’re doing?”

Do we? The radiation poisoning of our brains has much to do with our health. But do you find yourself throwing caution to the wind when there’s an important conversation to be had?

Check out this handy article about cell phone safety (by Dr. Oz).

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Gimmie, gimmie MORE

No, it’s not about Britney. It’s about Benjamin.

I mean, it could be about over-consumption … period.

Yum - Chocolate fondue drizzled over egg, turkey, gravy, crab leg, and chicken nugget.

This is about Americans and their lifestyles or over-consumption – or not. the downturn in the economy seems to be planting some different seeds in the minds of those who don’t have enough to supply both their needs and wants.

Celebrity endorsements are on the rise, for some things which has almost no importance in the scope of what it truly required for basic existence. Lil’ Romeo’s ‘Rap snacks‘, for example, are exactly what the doctor ordered wen your house is up for foreclosure, and your car note is overdue.

It’s this “affluenza” that got us in this predicament in the first place – a ‘diagnosis’ that seems to make us seem overly obsessive about what we need to have, not what we currently do

Unfortunately though, I have a feeling that this won’t last for long. When the stock rise and the smoke clears, I think Americans will return to their capitalist ways – though it’s been proven that making more than a year doesn’t increase happiness levels – you can be happy with less.



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Young abusers

An interesting article from CNN is about bullying – but not from the perspective we’re used to.

This piece was about the bully, not the bullied.

Stop 'em while they're young.

(Personal aside: I don’t know how I feel about the “he/his/him” pronoun being used in this piece, though. It has male-oriented undertones… and females are definitely capable of committing serious acts against others. Even attempting to search for a female bullying image produces a female whispering, r one crying with grief. She is almost never the overt, physical perpetrator. Gender bias, much?)

However, similar to its coverage of kids and racial bias/ judgement, parents may be appalled to learn that their children are developing negative attitudes towards other people before they’ve even experienced enough of life to know what it means.

Personally, I don’t think enough is being done to combat the issues that are right under parent’s noses. If you child is displaying aggression within the home, with you, do you honestly think that will end when they walk out of the door, Spiderman backpack on, and bagged lunch in hand? If your little girl slaps you every time you tell her no, perhaps you should think about the way she will handle someone taking away her legos during play time.

So, when the problem becomes apparent, it is a parent’s job to take action. Don’t ignore a child’s aggression! What guilt must emerge when you find out that Jack’s bowl cut was converted to a buzz cut when your child planted the gum in his hair. Of course, your child has a mind of his/her own, and her decisions are going to be made independent of you. But the ability to hone their thought process and develop ways to handle anger, and implement consequences when boundaries are crossed are a parents job. So be alert, mom and dad. I have half a mind to say that you’re as responsible as Billy is.

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