Housatonic Horizons, Spring 2021

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NEWS

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Alva Blair

HCC Counseling & Wellness Center: More Accessible with Tele-Health Jania Jones

Valuable Resources Available to Dual Enrollment Studies Amanda Manieri

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Jack Jones

Academic Support Center Remains Open During Online Learning Justin Figueroa

Studying Science Remotely Nicholas McCarthy

Lets Make Music Destene Savariau

The Best Way to Become an Ivy League Student

Accomodations that Assist Individuals with Disabilities Destene Savariau

Student Safety with Student IDs Z’Jada Harris

Privileges of Isolation

News You Can Use

21 23 25 27 31 33

Sebastian Londono

New Semester, NewOpportunity, New Mentality Amanda Mainieri

Exercise and Fitness in the New Semester Destene Savariau

Fighting Boredom During COVID Solution Justin Figueroa

Getting Bored? Look Into a NextGen Console Jania Jones

Wise Words of Advice for Spring 2021 Students Jania Jones

Solutions to Zoom Burnout


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Jack Jones

Required Textbooks, Databases and Ebooks; A Student Guide to Obtaining and Using College’s Keys to Success

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Channel Collins

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Alva Blair

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Conor Hikade

Love Galore In Times of Trouble, Talk to a Friend Me, Myself, and I in Quarantine

opinions.

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Channel Collins

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Stephen Gonzalez

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Z’jada Harris

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Alva Blair

Men Need to Handle Birth Control Hypocrisy of White Liberal Allies Education’s Fashion Problem Beardsley Park Needs More

Personal Essays

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Stephen Gonzalez

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Stephen Gonzalez

My Evil Twin Jack Jones

How to Conquer College: An Underpaying Job with Overtime Hours HCC Dream Chaser Learn About This Student and the Dilemma of His Dreams

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Justin Figueroa

69 71 75

Z’jada Harris

How the Fish Went from Flop to Fresh The Feminine Reawakening Alva Blair

I’m Killin It Channel Collins

The Right Path

Profiles

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Kaylynn Carr

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Z’jada Harris

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Destene Savariau

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Jania Jones

New Teaching in a New Era Success No Matter the Circumstance Pandemic Super Mom Sebastian Londono

The Stones That Paved the Way The Importance of Growth


NEWS

HCC Counseling & Wellness Center: More Accessible with Tele-Health BY ALVA BLAIR

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SENIOR STAFF WRITER

ver the last several months, the issue of

Lisa Slade, Director of the Center, says this was prompted

mental health has been a priority of med-

by the increase in calls the Center has seen since the COVID-19

ical and educational institutions as well as

pandemic. “Our counselors are trained in tele-health,

family and other social groups. Recognizing

which means that we can connect you to video-counseling

the importance of mental health, last semester, the Counseling & Wellness Center at Housatonic added a new feature to their services: Tele-health.

conference service,” she says. For severe issues, she says the college has a cadre of professional groups which the students can be referred to. She is urging those who may be experiencing mental health issues to reach out, as the counselors are ready to assist. Slade notes that there are some students who fear asking for help, but says they might be surprised to find that reaching out

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Housatonic Horizons

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“Our counselors are trained in tele-health, which means that we can connect you to videocounseling conference service,”


Counselors at the Center help students deal with a wide variety of mental health issues such as alcohol and drug abuse, anxiety, and depression, among others. Counselors at the Center help students deal with a wide

The Counseling & Wellness Center can be reached by

variety of mental health issues such as alcohol and drug

telephone at (203) 332-5285 or via email at hc-counseling@

abuse, anxiety, and depression, among others.

housatonic.edu.

The Center is also in the process of revamping their approach to getting their information front and center in the minds and eyes of the college community, especially as so many students are now attending school virtually. The Director says the move is in keeping with their goal of being available and accessible. “In the near future,” she says, “expect to see changes and updates to our website and hopefully to our presence on social media such as Facebook and Instagram.” The benefit of using social media is that it is faster and more accessible and may boost the Center’s organic visibility.

The Counseling & Wellness Center can be reached by telephone at (203) 332-5285 or via email at hc-counseling@housatonic.edu.

The Director is excited about the possibilities. “Be ready to see us and see our faces on social media,” she adds.

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NEWS

Valuable Resources Available to

Dual Enrollment Students BY JANIA JONES

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STAFF WRITER

Online learning as a dual enrollment student can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Using HCC’s countless resources, you will find the help you need to succeed.

A

s a dual enrollment student, it is important to

the Assistant Director of Admissions at Housatonic, writes, “All

use the resources that are available to ensure

first [year] students should… make [sure they are] aware of

that you are set up for success. During your

professor’s office hours, engage and get to know other students

time at Housatonic, you have access to all the

in their class for future assistance with class materials and

resources a normal student might. If you are struggling on a

lastly, [get] content based tutoring if the student needs further

paper in your English class you can reach out to the Writing

academic support is available at no cost at the tutoring center.”

Center, or if you are feeling overwhelmed about the course load

These countless resources are set up to help all students

you can schedule an appointment with one of the advisors in

strive at HCC. While dual enrollment students do not have any

the Student Success Center using the remote advising form.

special services allotted, people are willing to help. The tutoring

Dual enrollment can be a stressful and nerve wrecking

center, library, and office hours are all vital assets that can help

process for students, especially in their first semester. Many

you become not only a better student but an improved learner.

learners struggle with balancing high school assignments

“Struggling students need to self identify that they are

along with their college work. For example, Latoya Wilkinson,

sinking and let their professors know, keep the communication

a dual enrollment student at HCC, says, “When I was in my first

pathways clear so everyone is on the same page, … and of course,

semester at Housatonic I was really nervous. I thought that the

keep the professor updated with your challenges and ask for

research I needed to do for my class would be overwhelming

guidance and solutions,” Shea added.

but I went to the library and they were so kind and helped me find the sources I needed.” At Housatonic, there are an array of resources available to students in need of help. Dual enrollment students have access to all the resources a regular student may have. Bernard Shea,

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Despite Housatonic’s current hybrid state, many tools are still available for your benefit. You can find a full list of everything that is available by going to the Campus Resources & Offices section of the HCC web site.


“When I was in my first semester at Housatonic I was really nervous. I thought that the research I needed to do for my class would be overwhelming but I went to the library and they were so kind and helped me find the sources I needed.�

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NEWS

Accom modations that Assis Individuals with Disabi t l it i e s BY A M A N DA M A I N I E R I

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any students with disabilities may not

Services that are available for those with a disability

believe that they could handle the work-

include, but are not limited to: extra time on tests or quizzes,

load given to them at the college level.

extended due dates on assignments, ability to record lectures,

However, they have just the same amount

etc. This could range depending on whatever the individual

of drive and determination, but may have never been given a

specifically needs. The Disability Resource Center staff (DRC)

fair and equal chance like other general education students.

discusses with faculty, on whether the accommodations

Luckily, Housatonic has made it possible for those who need

for a student will alter classroom settings, or is absolutely

extra help, to receive the necessary services to ensure suc-

necessary for the academic work. Professors are very

cess. Ultimately, these students are given the fair and equal

understanding, though they will still need assignments to

chance they deserve.

be completed fully, and with much effort. Just because one

The college experience is different for each person.

has services, does not mean they get to lack their work ethics.

Now, could you imagine having a barrier that holds you back

These are available to any individual that has a disorder

academically or mentally? For those with disabilities, it is

or diagnosis. They can reach out to Ms. Marilyn Wehr, the

essential for them to be accommodated for the skills that

Disability Support Coordinator, for further assistance. One

they lack so that they can be given the same opportunity

could contact her by phone at, (203) 332-5018, in order to

as any other college student. My older sister Elizabeth

make an appointment. She is located in room B233, in the

Mainieri, a high-functioning autistic individual attending

Lafayette Hall. The individuals that receive the following

Housatonic, says, “My services help me out very much. It allows

services are expected to reach out to their professors about

me to get my work done without that extra unnecessary

their accommodations, as they are responsible for notifying

stress. I appreciate the support I am given. Even though the

each professor for the semester. These services are very

services have changed due to COVID-19, I still have that

beneficial in helping students with disabilities and allows

communication with my professors, and I am doing well.�

for them to succeed at a high level.

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Housatonic Horizons


NEWS

Student Safety ‌with Student IDs How HCC Is Protecting Us From The COVID Pandemic BY‌‌DESTENE SAVARIAU

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| STAFF WRITER‌

uch like every other school in Connecticut, Housatonic has been facing some tough times recently due to COVID. Many schools, such as Norwalk and Gateway Community College, are

initiating new protocols and taking new precautions in order to keep us safe, and Housatonic is no different. Part of the new protocol, started in Fall 2020, is implementing a new ID system to sign students in and out of the building.

Photo by Destene Savariau

The new system utilizes a barcode scanner connected to a computer. The back of our student IDs have a barcode. We simply scan in and out when leaving campus for the day. According to our Associate Dean of Campus Operations Mario Pierce, “This new system is more efficient and much safer since you don’t need to touch anything other than your own ID card.”

after use, deposit in a “used” box. We also utilized these paper binders that you would have to sift through to find your name from when you originally signed in to sign out. “The current system is only in place as part of Phase 3 COVID operations and is related to the need to track campus visitation for contact tracing,” Pierce adds.

“This new system is more efficient and much safer since you don’t need to touch anything other than your own ID card.”

“At this point, I don’t know whether we will continue to utilize this system or a different one once things ‘return to normal.’ We only have units for the 5 open entrances per our COVID plan. Under normal conditions, there are many more entrances open.” If you would like to know more about the safety precautions Housatonic is implementing, you can contact Pierce Mondays

Prior to this point, the security at the entrances has been utilizing a sign-in log. Much like other colleges, this has required students/faculty/staff to grab pens from a “clean” box and

through Fridays from 9 a.m - 5 p.m. While you can’t set up a meeting with him, you can email him at mpierce@housatonic. edu or calling 203-332-5015.

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This isolation is like a bubble that extroverts want to get out of and ambiverts and introverts want to stay in.

NEWS

Photo by Anastasia Samokhina on Unsplash

The Privileges

of Isolation BY Z’JADA HARRIS |

M

SENIOR STAFF WRITER

any introverts, ambiverts, and extroverts

has looked at the government enforced isolation as the

were able to associate or disassociate

perfect opportunity to have the solitude that I have been

from the rest of the world whenever they

deprived of for months; and I found out that many other

felt like it, but when the China-bred coro-

HCC students and faculty feel the same way.

navirus became a global pandemic in late January, many states, cities, and countries enforced strict social distancing rules to stop the influx of C-19 related cases in those areas, and many extroverts have been detesting the social distancing rules that have been put into place. HCC psychology professor Michael C. Amico is one of the

Fellow Stratford resident Elizabeth Anne Hamilton is a 41-year-old HCC student majoring in Pre-nutrition, who has been working at Pinnacle CT for ten years. She also doesn’t mind the isolation that the coronavirus has caused, even though certain aspects of our new normal are making her feel stressed out and overwhelmed.

many extroverts who has started to hate the unnecessary social distancing guidelines due to being isolated from everything and everyone for almost a year. “The isolation has not been beneficial to me. I miss being around people and putting on work clothes, and this isolation is why I opted to teach on the campus for two nights a week so I can get out,” he said. Yet unlike Amico and all of the other dramatic extroverts that have a craving for social interactions after months of isolation, I am a 21-year-old longstanding introvert that

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“The isolation has made me realize what was important to me, and made me have gratitude for all of the blessings in my life.”


“The pandemic has forced me to reconsider what is important in my life while reaffirming how fortunate I am to have healthy friends and family,” she said. “The isolation helped me to step back and not worry about

“The pandemic has forced me to reconsider what is

things I can’t control, which brought a certain peace in my

important in my life while reaffirming how fortunate I am to

life that I never had,” she said.

have healthy friends and family,” she said.“My neighbors have

The 41-year-old medical student also cited the isolation as the reason for her college readmission.

also rallied in support of one another.” Like Amico and Rondinone, professor Laura A. Turiano

“Covid affected me positively by scaring me so much, and

is one of HCC’s psychology professors who has found the

it also forced me to go back to college so that I can have a

isolation to be beneficial for her since the isolation forced

non-business degree and a backup plan in health science,” she said. Bartolo R. Maldonado, a 33-year-old HCC student majoring in fine arts, and will continue to have a positive outlook about the continuous isolation during the winter and spring semesters. “This is nothing new to me since I’ve stayed to myself most of life,” he told me through email. “I just wish I had some money because things can get boring.”

“The isolation helped me to step back and not worry about things I can’t control, which brought a certain peace in my life that I never had,” she said.

Despite being financially destitute and currently unemployed, Bartolo wrote about how COVID-related isolation positively affected him.

her to focus on herself.

“I had time to study and get my books, games, and movies

“Before the pandemic, I had a very active social life that

in order. I also got to put all of my movies onto my hard drive

I thoroughly enjoyed,” she said, “but the social isolation has

and read a few books that I haven’t gotten a chance to read.”

me meditating, exercising, and walking.”

Like Amico, Professor Tonya H. Rondinone is also a psychology professor at HCC. However, unlike professor Amico, she has said that the isolation has been beneficial for her ever since she’s decided to look on the bright side. “Working from home has allowed me to enjoy the outdoors and learn new teaching modalities and pedagogies,” she said. “Additionally, I do not have to sit in traffic on my daily commute to and from work.” The pandemic also caused the psychology professor to change her perspective on things.

Like Rondinone, Turiano has also had a change of perspective. “This social isolation has helped me become more grounded and understanding,” she said, “The isolation has made me realize what was important to me, and made me have gratitude for all of the blessings in my life.” This isolation has come with many advantages and disadvantages for individuals who are social and antisocial. However, all of the social individuals need to be like Bartolo, Professor Rondinone, and Professor Turiano and learn how to take the good with the bad.

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NEWS

Academic Support Center Remains Open During Online Learning BY JACK JONES

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SENIOR STAFF WRITER

nsuring student success while attempting to nav-

The three primary comprehensive services that form the

igate online learning has never been so imperative.

Academic Support Center are: the Center for Academic Progress

Despite the minimal amount of human contact

(CAP), the Tutoring Center, and the Writing Center (WC). Each

that students will experience during these un-

individual branch lends students the opportunity to broaden

precedented times, there are still numerous avenues they can

their necessary level of aid based on subject, skill-set and time

explore in hopes of rekindling the interconnected relationship

availability. For instance, according to the HCC website, CAP

between student and teacher, while simultaneously rediscov-

“Provides tutoring and course support for intensive classes,”

ering studying techniques that were once considered pertinent

while the Tutoring Center, “Provides one-on-one, drop-in,

to academic success prior to the pandemic. Luckily, students

group, and online tutoring in most subject areas,” and the WC,

who are struggling with the transition to online learning can

“Provides one-on-one writing tutoring to students in all subject

receive necessary tutoring and guidance through the Academic

areas.” According to the Tutoring Center advisor Allis Obeid,

Support Center, which is currently available through online

“The Tutoring Center – STEM (science, technology, engineering

sessions via email or live conference call.

and math) offers tutoring services in all sciences, accounting,

The Academic Support Center is composed of numerous

CSA, math, ESL and foreign languages. [Typically] STEM Center

dedicated educators who are well-versed and knowledgeable

offers drop-in tutoring groups and drop-in math programs

in a plethora of different courses, subjects and classes, yet

where students can come for help without an appointment

their goal remains unified and impactful. According to the HCC

and with no time restrictions.” Unfortunately, these services

website, “The mission of the Academic Support Center (ASC)

are not currently available in person due to social distancing

is to provide a full service tutoring experience that cultivates

guidelines. However, the ASC is in the process of adjusting

student success. By fostering a supportive environment, the

their programs for future live sessions.

ASC strives to inspire students at every level of preparedness

As the semester continues, do not hesitate to reach out to

to advance, to excel, and to reach their fullest potential.” In

the advisors from ASC. Although COVID has undeniably altered

order to properly cultivate student success, the ASC is separated

their preferred method of conducting tutoring lessons, Obeid

into three distinctive departments that focus predominantly

says, “We maintained our level of efficiency. In the spring we

on different fields of academia.

shifted all our services to an online remote tutoring model. In the fall, we were back on campus, but with a limited schedule.

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STEM services include online remote tutoring

A student experiencing an online tutoring session, similar to ASC’s methodology of teaching.

and on-campus tutoring. Oncampus tutoring is restricted to only 50% capacity of students in order to abide

Graphic cour tesy o f Pixabay

by the CDC safety guidelines.” Writing Center services are fully online, and students can get writing help via email or live online tutoring.

with a professor or a tutor, students must sign up through

The ASC will continue to provide a vast array of professional

www.etutoringonline.org (Etutoring); alternatively, students

tutoring services for all HCC students throughout the spring

can organize a meeting through https://housatonic.accudemia.

semester. For instance, the Writing Center still consists of

net/login which corresponds to all other forms of tutoring that

multiple students, faculty and staff who are trained to help

were previously mentioned. For any additional information, go

students in all writing assignments, including scholarship

to housatonic.edu/academic-support or contact Aliss Obeid

and transfer applications. Although the WC will not fix your

(ASC STEM tutoring- 203-332-5992- AObeid@hcc.commnet.

writing errors, WC advisor Karyn Smith says, “We’ll point out

edu), Karyn Smith (WC- 203-332-5133- KSmith@hcc.commnet.

errors and give students examples and resources to help them

edu) or Andrew Pelletier (CAP- 203-332-8516- APelletier@

understand and fix the error. Our job isn’t to fix errors for

hcc.commnet.edu).

students, but to help them learn how to fix errors on their own. We work patiently with students in a nonjudgmental way to empower them and help them gain confidence as independent writers.” On the other hand, CAP will continue to offer tutoring and advising for intensive courses, such as iEnglish and iMath courses (Eng 092i and Mat 095i). According to Obeid, COVID-restricted sessions are now available. Scheduling an appointment is an immensely easy task that is available to all HCC students who are interested in seeking direction, tutoring

Scheduling an appointment is an immensely easy task that is available to all HCC students who are interested in seeking direction, tutoring and extra consultation.

and extra consultation. In order to schedule an appointment

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Studying Science Remotely

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JUSTIN FIGUEROA | SENIOR STAFF WRITER tudents across the nation are facing the same

“The switch to an all online format,” says Bowe, “was

difficulties as you and I: we have to take

a daunting task. On a scale of 10, it seemed like an 11.”

classes online. Some of these online classes

Figuring out how regular assignments worked was just

should be no problem to wrap your head

the beginning.

around, but there are some that seem daunting at first.

Labs are being done through the lab textbook that

Take science classes, for example. The only reason to

students must purchase and any videos from the Internet

feel afraid for signing up for one normally is likely

the professor finds appropriate. This is something that

scheduling. Now there are new red flags that raise

Professor Bowe has found useful, as he’s used “many lab

when signing up for one. How will labs work online?

simulations and video clips to support the

How am I going to keep up with the material

content. The content may be the same,

the professor is teaching? The class itself works pretty simply. The teacher may choose

Photo by Annie Spratt

to use BlackBoard Collaborate,

but how it’s presented has taken

teach the class in real time,

PARED TO IN PERSON, BUT

acidic and basic solutions

take notes, and do the labs.

THERE’S NO NEED TO FEAR

and litmus paper to have you

During lectures, the professor

THE DIFFICULTIES.

measure what the pH level of

assignments students might not see

usually provide you with the

the provided solutions would be. With online labs, you’re provided with samples, but only their names, and

or understand, etc. Most assignments are

your objective is to conduct a scavenger hunt in your

submitted through BlackBoard, but not all

book (or online, like anyone with those tools would do)

of them.

and find what the pH level of the solutions is instead

How difficult was this transition to online?

of measuring it yourself.

Just ask Peter Bowe, an adjunct professor

Study the concepts, fill in the blanks, draw a few

at Housatonic who teaches night classes

diagrams, watch a few videos, and that’s it! You can

and is head of the science department at

drop the “un-” from “unknown” and stop being afraid of

Bunnell High School in Stratford. He had to

it, because you’ve now learned there’s no need to fear

overcome these difficulties while having to

online science classes!

balance working at two different facilities.

News

have you measure pH would

WebEx, or Microsoft Teams to

through PowerPoints, BlackBoard

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a lab in biology that would

CLASS MAY BE MUCH DIFFERENT ONLINE COM-

will share their screen and go

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a paradigm shift.” For example,

LABS IN SCIENCE


Figure Skating: A Productive Yet Fun Way To Spend Your Time BY JANIA JONES | STAFF WRITER

F

igure skating is a great way to productively spend your time this winter! Not only is it a form of exercise, but it’s fun, and festive. If you are worried about

social distancing, many rinks are limited on the number of

Figure skating is a fun alternative to regular cardio that can end up being a full body workout!

people allowed on the ice. In addition, it might be easier to keep your masks on since it’d be so cold outside. Figure skating, a slightly more intense version of ice skating, is the perfect way to get some exercise in and get out of the house. If you don’t know how to skate, don’t fret. Figure skating ranges from beginners all the way to professionals. You can work on simple things such as a twofoot glide, stroking, and bunny hops. As you advance, it may boost your confidence and introduce you into an untapped field of expression and exercise. If you are interested in taking part in this or activities like it, there are many rinks near HCC. For instance, Wonderland of Ice, a rink here in Bridgeport, is only a six-minute drive Photo by Kelli McClintock on Unsplash

away. Also, make sure to bring a bottle of water because most fountains are closed at these public rinks. Bring a little bit of winter cheer into your life and try out figure skating today!

“FIGURE SKATING, IS THE PERFECT WAY TO GET SOME EXERCISE IN AND GET OUT OF THE HOUSE.”

Housatonic Horizons

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e k a M s ’ t Le

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Music BY NICHOLAS MCCARTHY

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STAFF WRITER

ave an itch to spit hot fire and make some

However, it wasn’t just musicians and mentors from

thumping beats?! I’ve got some news for

afar. Cotto made special mention of the help he got from

you! Are you a musical artist looking to lay

Housatonic staff. “I’d like to specially mention the Housatonic

down some tracks? A former Housatonic

Business Department, the Housatonic Venture Lab, Fairfield

Community College student might have a place for you. Isaiah

Entrepreneurship Society, and Mike Roer for keeping me

Cotto has opened up The PlayGround Studios in Shelton.

focused and providing me the platform to make what was

The PlayGround Studios uses Pro tools 10, Logic Pro X, and Slate digital mix master suite programs, the same used by Kanye West, Dr. Dre, Ed Sheeran, and Carrie Underwood. Neumann Microphones and Antares Tech to help get that professional sound. Cotto says his musical inspirations were “Industry

once an idea a reality,” he said. Cotto has kept the idea of community, keeping the cost of recording times relatively low. His prices vary on hourly packages that include different types of recording packages for Professionals, Hobbyists, and Students.

legends such as Jay-z, Dr. Dre, Statik Selekta, and Boogie

The PlayGround Studios is an appointment based, studio

Down Productions.” Those are some heavy hitters in the music

experience open Monday through Saturday 12pm-12am.

world. It wasn’t just their beats that inspired him though.

Clients interested in booking a session can do so through

His idols helped him with his dream by teaching and guiding him. “Understanding how to market my skills and talents in

email @sonicplaygroundproductions@gmail.com or through their Instagram @sonicplaygroundproductions or through text: (203)-683-8976.

a business setting gave me the confidence to put my name and work on the line, just as those mentioned did. Each created a platform for other artists and minds alike and that is what The PlayGround Studios aims to do for Connecticut and its artists,” Cotto said.

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“The PlayGround Studios uses Pro tools 10, Logic Pro X, and Slate digital mix master suite programs...”


Defying The Stereotypical Male BY CONNOR HIKADE | SENIOR STAFF WRITER

T

Photo by Edward Howell on Unsplash hroughout the years, there have been sparks

Many celebrities have broken these gender norms, such as

of controversy over male stereotypes. What is

Harry Styles, Young Thug, and A$AP Rocky. These are just a few

masculinity? Masculinity is defined in the Oxford

big names that have worn dresses and skirts to show the world

Dictionary as “qualities or attributes regarded as characteristic of

that clothes have no gender. Men can wear whatever they want,

men.” But what does this mean? What is a manly characteristic?

and they are still men. Also, these celebrities paint their nails as

Some think they have to be stout, fearless, or unemotional. That’s the stereotype. A lot of men aren’t any of those characteristics. Many men are slim, fearful, and show much emotion, but does that make them any less of a man? No, of course not. The same goes for fashion as well. What makes a man look manly? A lot would say a clean suit, maybe others would rather throw on a t-shirt with sweatpants, and other men would like to wear a dress. Whatever you wear, if you identify with a man you are a man. Nobody can be any less or more of a man.

well, as many rappers and artists do the same. These men are breaking the stereotypes so other men who are skeptical to be themselves feel free to do so without judgment. Normalizing this is a very good thing, and I commend the celebrities who continue to break through these barriers.

“ Some think they have to be stout,

fearless, or unemotional. That’s the stereotype. A lot of men aren’t any of those characteristics.” Housatonic Horizons

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NEWS

The Best Way to Become an Ivy League Student BY DESTENE SAVARIAU / STAFF WRITER

A

s a two-year college, Housatonic has a diverse

I never would’ve been able to take

mix of people of all ages, whether they’re straight

advantage of this opportunity given to

out of high school seniors who aren’t looking to

me.” This is why it is important for the students

go too far from home, or they’re new or returning students

of Housatonic to not limit your opportunities and take

hoping to further their education to claim a better future. For

full advantage of the ones given to you, especially one as

Mount Holyoke College and Smith College, they have taken

prestigious as this one.

the initiative to provide an opportunity for women of a non-

These scholarships are both very competitive, as they

traditional background, meaning they fall into the 24-30 age

only give out 20-30 scholarships across the US. Even the

range, to attend one of their institutions utilizing a full-ride

selection process is a tough one, as qualified women are

scholarship, including The Frances Perkins Program at Mt.

only considered eligible after receiving an invitation from

Holyoke College, and the Ada Comstock Scholars Program

the school’s program.

at Smith College.

alone. All of which meet the criteria of having a high GPA,

statement of accepting “non-traditional women” such as

are over the age of 24, and have received an invitation,” says

those that fall into the 25-30 age range, are from any ethnic

Professor Janice Schaeffler of Housatonic’s STEAM program,

or financial background, and who have had their education

who coordinates the scholarship applications at Housatonic.

interrupted for various reasons, and would like to resume

“To go from a small two-year college like Housatonic to an

their educational career in the arts.

Ivy League school is a big deal and to get a scholarship is

“The whole point of the scholarship is to try and allow older women to get their educational career back on track,

18

“There are at least 200 qualified females in Housatonic

Both scholarships and schools abide by this mission

an even bigger deal. Especially if it’s a full ride to a private school such as this one.”

“say one of the previous winners, Krissie Mingrone, an HCC

So far, the past few winners have been Housatonic

graduate who currently attends Mt. Holyoke College. “But

students, which goes to show how good your chances are

if I hadn’t stepped out of my comfort zone and applied,

at winning. However, one important thing to remember is

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Housatonic Horizons


Image by David Mark from Pixabay

that while it is important to have a set plan for the future, you should be open to stepping outside of it and your comfort zone. Like most students, I’m sure after you graduate from HCC you plan on transferring to Southern Connecticut State University, or one of the other big universities in Connecticut. But if you’re a woman over 24, and have a high GPA, you should stay open to the idea of going to this school. Mingrone says: “At first my plan was to go to Southern. Even when the opportunity presented itself, I hesitated. Then I received the scholarship and I was pretty shocked. I didn’t think I would even go to college. It was amazing to receive the scholarship when I never imagined making it this far. Which is why I believe it’s important not to limit your opportunities” Overall, Housatonic students need to take full advantage of the resources and opportunities provided for them by HCC

“THE WHOLE POINT OF THE

as well as understanding how important it is to step outside

SCHOLARSHIP IS TO TRY AND

your comfort zone. Just like Krissie, many of us have made a

ALLOW OLDER WOMEN TO GET

set plan for after we graduate. But that doesn’t mean we can’t

THEIR EDUCATIONAL CAREER

stray from that plan and do something different. After all, you never know if you’ll end up at an Ivy League school.

BACK ON TRACK. “ News

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News You Can Use

r e t s e , y New Sem t uni

t r o New Opp y t i l ta

n e M New

BY

AS SEB

A

TIA

ON NL

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s we bounce back from a semester that was unlike any other, we are met with a new semester that feels like it could be very similar with the mental wearing

down or even fatigue of looking into a screen all day. It may even be more stressful than the last semester, unless you do something about it. This semester will not only be one step towards your future, it will also happen with a fresh mindset and you’ll be mentaly prepared for the rigours of this new semester. This past fall semester was unlike anything that any of us have had to go through in all of our time in school, and because of that, some students were not able to stay on track with school, whether it was a lack of focus or just mental fatigue from looking into screens most of the day. Yet this method provided by Lisa Slade, the Director of Counseling and Wellness, could help students who feel too

The start to a brand new semester with many opportunities. Photo by Mantas Hesthaven on Unsplash

fatigued due to looking into the screen for an extended amount of time, it’s called the Pomodoro Method, and it states “Set a time for 25 minutes and concentrate on your task; when the alarm goes off, reset the time for a 5 minute break. Repeat this cycle four times and then take a longer (20-60 minute) break to recover.” This would help

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Housatonic Horizons

FF

IT WR

ER


“HCC HAS A PARTNERSHIP WITH JED CAMPUS WHICH IS A NATIONAL MENTAL HEALTH ORGANIZATION THAT FOCUSES ON COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY STUDENTS’ MENTAL HEALTH. YOU CAN LEARN MORE ON HCC WEB SITE. “ manage your work time while not over doing it all at

staying more focused during the school semester. Most

once. During these times, you may not know where

of the students answers were the same: eating before

to go for mental help, specifically made for college

classes or doing work was said to have kept them

students, well according to one of the counselors at

focused longer, taking in some fresh air by talking a

the school Dr. Indira Reddy, HCC has a partnership

walk outside or just sitting outside was a big key that

with JED Campus which is a national mental

students said was a big help.

health organization that focuses on

Also very popular among

college and university students’

students are blue light blocking

mental health. You can learn more on HCC web site. In addition, Reddy says, soon “The college will have two Wellness and Mental Health Kiosks placed in each of the two buildings. Those kiosks will also have plenty of information

“This semester will not only be one step towards your future, it will also happen with a fresh mindset and you’ll be mentally prepared for the rigours of this new semester.”

on how to stay mentally fit for the semester.” This will allow you to

glasses. These glasses help your eyes stay less irritated while looking into your computer screen, a very

recommended

investment

among

students. While this semester of school may not be the most exciting or the most entertaining, that is no reason to

slack off of school and let laziness or

go and get the information right on the campus

procrastination get the best if you, yes this new way of

while you are at school (if you chose to take your

learning may be mentaly draining and exhausting, just

classes on campus of course).

keep remembering to reason why you are attending

While talking to some of the students at HCC

college in the first place and make that your biggest

they were able to give me some of their best tips for

motivation and use the tips above to stay the course!

News You Can Use

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News You Can Use

Exercise and Fitness in the New Semester BY AMANDA MAINIERI

W

STAFF WRITER

e’ve been experiencing a global pan-

exercise in the morning. It helps

demic for roughly around nine

with my sleep schedule and keeps

months now. Most suspected that

my mind and body strong,” she said.

we’d be back to our usual routines by

It could be challenging to feel encouraged

the beginning of the school year, unfortunately our wishes were

to do at-home exercises, or leave your house to attend

not granted. We still have to wear masks and social distance,

a gym during these difficult times. Making time for fitness

and this will most likely continue for another several months.

during your day is prominent, especially for those who struggle

Not being able to socialize, communicate, and connect to

with mental illness, such as anxiety and depression. Exercise

peers can impact mental health. Being trapped indoors,

is a key reliever, and will release some built up tension from

and not be able to walk around a campus or visit friends

being anxious and being consumed in negative thoughts.

and grab a cup of coffee, can cause people to feel suffo-

As someone who suffers from Generalized Anxiety Disorder,

cated. This feeling of helplessness can affect how young

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and depression, exercising has

students perform in their courses, and discourage them

changed my life. All I do is, walk for about twenty minutes on

to keep working efficiently.

my family’s treadmill, and I have also cut out certain items

For both the new year and semester, improving your mind

from my diet. This includes caffeine, which was hard for me

and body can be extremely effective. Working out assists both

as a soda and coffee drinker, although it has greatly improved

your mental and physical health, which will overall help make

my mindset. It is very important to include fitness in your life,

it easier to get out of bed in the morning. I asked my mother,

because it is beneficial to both your current and future lifestyle.

Lisa, who religiously exercises, running approximately thirty-

Working out at home is actually easier than most would

two miles a week, how fitness has changed her life. “It helps

assume. Sitting down, and creating a workout plan for yourself

with my anxiety, and makes me feel relaxed. I maintain

and what you would like to achieve is very attainable. You

focused and energized throughout the day, since I

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Are you struggling to find motivation? How do you think you’ll be able to perform in your classes after coming down from your holiday high? Keeping up with health and fitness is very important for your body and overall mental health. Photo By Jan Alexander

can simply do exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups, planks,

arm definition. When asking a fitness group on a FitBit chat,

squats, and etc, in the comfort and privacy of your

how their lifestyle has been affected through

bedroom. A very popular and fun technique that

health, wellness, and exercise, a member of

“IT TOOK AWAY

most resort to, is to search your favorite television show, and add “work-out” at

the community, Austin S. replied. “It took away the unwanted stress in my daily

THE UNWANTED STRESS

the end. It will then show you how to

life, and improved my mindset for

exercise while being able to view a

IN MY DAILY LIFE, AND

series you enjoy. You can also just

IMPROVED MY MINDSET FOR

search up your favorite song, and dance! A well known YouTuber, Chloe

the day, making it easier to keep a

THE DAY, MAKING IT EASIER

Ting, shows how you can exercise from

TO KEEP A GOOD MOOD

your living room, focusing on specific goals for your routine. You can follow a

WHILE AT WORK.”

certain series, or set for desired zones you’d like to train. This can range from, thighs, biceps, to abs, and

good mood while at work. On days I don’t want to use my equipment, I watch Chloe Ting, and follow one of her fifteen minute videos. Everyone should exercise!” Chloe has over fifteen

million subscribers, and many have come to love her channel, as her videos are found to

be helpful, and life changing.

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News You Can Use

Picture of “The Black Kids” by Christina H. Reeds, the current book we’re reading in the book club, and the popular game “Among Us” from my Game Club

Fighting Boredom During COVID Solutions to help students struggling with isolation

T

BY DESTENE SAVARIAU |

STAFF WRITER

hough we’re all busy with work & school,

Even though COVID affects us all very differently, everyone

I’m sure there are times where you find

overall has been isolated from friends and social gatherings.

yourself bored with the usual screens that

This makes socializing difficult as we’re stuck in finding new

entertain you. Whether you have a day off

ways to reach out to others in a way that doesn’t put us at risk.

from work, or you’re finished with your

One way you can do so is by building in-person connections

schoolwork ahead of schedule, or you just don’t feel motivated to do anything at all but just lie around. The question is, what

with people with the same circumstances as you. “My family made a “quaran-team” with another

can you do with yourself? Staying busy is such a vague answer,

family from my son’s school,” says English Professor

especially in such a time of isolation. The real question is;

Robert Wycoff. “And have safe, socially distanced

What can you do to stay busy?

interactions when you can.” Mario Pierce, the

Everyone is different so they have different interests. In my

Associate Dean of Campus Operations, says;

experience, I’ve found it best to form some kind of club that can

”My biggest suggestion is to open up and speak

be low maintenance and can abide by social distancing rules.

with those you feel close to. Don’t stay quiet and

I, for example, have created a club of my own. It’s a gaming

isolated. Reach out…we are all here!”

club for the newly popular game “Among Us.” It features me

Advisor Vanessa Estime supports this by saying;

and a few other people meeting on Discord every Friday to

“Connect with your support systems – friends, family,

play together. It promotes fun, socializing while maintaining

a positive online community, church community, etc.”

social distancing.

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Housatonic Horizons

Gra

p h i c by

Michelle Huh


Photo by Destene Savariau

All of these faculty and staff say something very similar

days that I do certain work: if I get the work done during that

in reaching out to others in any way you can, whether it’s just

time, I get the feeling of accomplishment from finishing it; if

for everyday human interaction, or it’s for some much-needed

I don’t get the work done, I try not to worry and I move on to

support or motivation.

the next block of time,” says Wyckoff. Even Holly Derry of the Behavioral Science Team of the

CONNECT WITH YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEMS - FRIENDS, FAMILY, A POSITIVE ONLINE COMMUNITY, CHURCH COMMUNITY, ETC.

University of Michigan suggests that you set small goals for yourself. “Goals give us direction. They’re best when they’re concrete and achievable. Aim for five daily to-dos.” In making these goals, I find it’s best to keep them realistic. Don’t make daily to-dos or set goals that you know you won’t follow through with. Having these kinds of daily to-dos go hand in hand with making a daily schedule for yourself as it’s good to

As a student, I find it’s been very difficult-staying motivated to do schoolwork at times. Whether it’s a Zoom class or an

separate time for your work and time for yourself as it helps increase productivity.

all online class, staring at a screen 24/7 can be draining and taxing on a student. At some point, you’re just feeling too tired and too lazy to sit and do your work. One thing I can suggest you do is to try to find somewhere else to do your work. Sitting in your room all day whether it’s in your bed or at your desk, makes your room feel like just another room

“GOALS GIVE US DIRECTION. THEY’RE BEST WHEN THEY’RE CONCRETE AND ACHIEVABLE. AIM FOR 5 DAILY TO-DOS.”

rather than a space you go to relax. I’ve found that it helps to use relaxing in your room just as a reward for when you’re done with your work. After all, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Another way to keep yourself motivated is to set small goals for yourself. “Having a regular schedule helps too. I know there are specific times and

News You Can Use

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News You Can Use

Getting Bored?

Look Into a

Next-Gen Images

ay ixab P f o y Courtes

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Console!

BY JUSTIN FIGUEROA

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SENIOR STAFF WRITER

he Spring 2021 Semester is underway, you’ve

version and $400 for the digital-only version, meaning it

cleared all your homework for the week and

can only play games downloaded directly onto the system.

it’s only Wednesday. Either that, or you’re sav-

The system launched with two groundbreaking titles such

ing all your homework for Saturday and Sun-

as Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Demon’s Souls,

day because you don’t feel like getting to it now. What are

the former being the sequel of Marvel’s Spider Man which

you going to zdo with your life in the meantime?! If you’ve

was one of the most beloved games of the Playstation

got the money for it, and have expressed a vague interest in

4 generation. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is an

video games in the past, it might be a good idea to invest in

incredible representation of not just Spider-Man, but the

purchasing a next-generation gaming system! The Playsta-

man behind the mask, Miles Morales. USA Today’s Brett

tion 5 and Xbox Series X launched this past November, and

Molina proclaims to everyone that getting a PS5 “Marvel’s

there’s only going to be new games and more ways to use

“Spider-Man: Miles Morales” should be the first thing they

the systems down the road!

download.” High praise, considering Demon’s Souls, the

If you want some of the best exclusives in the industry,

remake of a classic from the Playstation 3 generation that

your best bet is the Playstation 5. The console launched on

brought new life to the action role-playing game genre,

November 12th, 2020, at the price of $500 for the regular

was released on the PS5 at launch as well. Polygon.com’s

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Housatonic Horizons


Michael McWhertor claims “PlayStation 5 owners are getting

to play games that both look better (as long as your TV or

something unprecedented: one of the best video games of all

monitor support 4K or 8K display) and run much smoother.

time transformed into one of the best-looking games ever.”

Now, imagine that same console playing the same movie or

“IF YOU WANT SOME OF THE BEST EXCLUSIVES IN THE INDUSTRY, YOUR BEST BET IS THE PLAYSTATION 5. ”

TV series you’ve been watching since last March with such a display! Not sure what games you’d be playing on this system? No need to worry! Xbox Game Pass is one of the best deals in the industry. If you’re willing to pay $9.99 a month for the basic version or $14.99 for the Ultimate version, you can get more than 200 games on your system in an instant! These games range

Still bored, or are those two games not your type? If

from well known classics like Halo, Madden, Banjo-Kazooie,

you’re more down for playing with friends or family, there’s

Gears of War and Tetris®️ Effect: Connected! As long as you

also Destruction All-Stars and Sackboy: A Big Adventure that

pay the fee, you can play the games whenever you want.

launched with the PS5, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart [still

Say you’ve got a family member that has older Xbox

in a release window might edit later], and Gran Turismo 7.

games and they don’t use them at all. Xbox Series X comes

Some titles you might want to look forward to are Hogwarts:

with great backwards compatibility, being able to digitally

Legacy and Deathloop.

play games all those old games they don’t play, including

Still not sold? The PS5 has the all new DualSense

titles from the original Xbox! This can still be a huge

controller, which avid gamer Shawn Prince says has “haptic

plus for consumers that have games from the previous

feedback that allows for more immersion when playing.”

generations, and would prefer not to have eight different

You can draw symbols, use motion controls, and even voice

consoles connected so that they can play the few great games

chat right from your controller! Prince claims it’s “the best

that are on those systems. There’s no need to worry about

controller I’ve ever used and enhances the experience of

that anymore! Even if you don’t have games from previous

playing games much more than I ever thought.”

generations, there are still plenty of games to look forward

All of these exclusive titles and the industry’s best

to in the future (albeit, a distant future).

controller are what’s going to pull you into wanting a Playstation 5 the most, but what does the competition closer to us have to offer? Xbox Series X is definitely the

“XBOX SERIES X IS DEFINITELY THE

best bang for your buck if you’re a casual player. The Series

BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK IF

X may also be $500, but the digital version, Xbox Series S, is $300, a $100 difference compared to the PS5 digital

YOU’RE A CASUAL PLAYER.”

edition! The Series X is the most powerful console to date, as it supports up to 8K display and can play games at 120

Ever since the Xbox One X, Microsoft has had a severe

frames per second. Not sure what either of those mean?

lack of compelling exclusives on their consoles. For the most

Imagine yourself watching a movie on a screen that only

part, if you could play the game on Xbox, you could play it

supports 2K, or 1440p, resolution. The Xbox Series X is able

anywhere else, such as on PS4 or PC. Microsoft isn’t helping

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27


themselves very much on this part, either, since a lot of their exclusives, such as Halo, are purchasable for both Xbox and through the Windows Store on PCs that use Windows. However, that’s going to change in the future, as Microsoft recently announced their purchase of Bethesda, along with their parent company, ZeniMax, giving them a great amount of exclusives for the future such as Elder Scrolls and Fallout. Bethesda Senior Vice President of PR & Marketing, Pete Hines, was pleased to announce joining Microsoft’s family. “When you work at a palace as long as I’ve worked at Bethesda,” states Hines, who has worked at Bethesda for 21 years, “you see some things. Chief amongst them is change.” Hines goes on to say that this change will allow Bethesda “to make even better games going forward. Microsoft is an incredible partner and offers access to resources that will make us a better publisher and developer.” Microsoft has a great outlook of games for the future, but not so much in the present. What would you be able to do with your system in the meantime?

giving a 30-day subscription trial through January 31st! This offer may not

“ WHEN YOU WORK AT A PLACE

last for much longer, but it’s enticing nonetheless. The Playstation and their groundbreaking exclusives and

AS LONG AS I’VE WORKED AT BETHES-

the industry’s most immersive experiences, Microsoft with their

DA . . . YOU SEE SOME THINGS. CHIEF

incredibly powerful system and bright future of exclusives -- both

AMONG THEM IS CHANGE.”

consoles are incredible options, but which of these is the best option for you? Do you prefer the better bang for your buck, or do you value the best next-gen exclusives right now? Do you

28

Even if you don’t usually play games, gaming consoles

have friends or family that have one of the two consoles already?

are used for much more than just playing video games these

Does it not matter which you choose? There are more factors

days, though gaming remains their primary use. Both the PS5

than just games when it comes to deciding which console to

and Xbox Series X can use streaming services such as Netflix

purchase. You could always just be rolling in dough and get

and Hulu. In fact, product marketing manager for Xbox Game

both, but we’re broke ass college students -- we don’t get to have

Pass, Adam Harris, published an official statement saying

that luxury, and might not even have enough money to get one

that all Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members “will be able to

console! It might be worth the thought down the road, so think

stream all of the great entertainment available with Disney+,”

about for a bit and, if you ever make a decision, choose wisely!

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News You Can Use


CAPTAIN TOAD: A Criminally Underrated ADVENTURE BY JUSTIN FIGUEROA | SENIOR STAFF WRITER

N

intendo has always been known for their iconic characters; Mario, Luigi, Link, Samus, Kirby, Toad -- the list goes on forever. What do all those characters have in common? They each have at least one game where they’re the star. Wait, LUI -- I mean, uh -- TOAD has his own game?! Yes, the little dude from Mario, with a head that looks like a mushroom, got his own game. Is it actually good? Surprisingly, yes! Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a lowkey, quality game for the Nintendo Switch. The plot of the game is pretty basic (and I sure hope you’re not buying this game for the plot). Captain Toad and Toadette are scouring the world for treasure and Power Stars, when a massive, evil bird scoops up all the Power Stars and Toadette. It’s now Captain Toad’s mission to solve puzzles, collect the missing Power Stars and rescue Toadette! The gameplay is relatively simple as well. Your goal is to guide Captain Toad through various puzzles and mazes, collecting coins and reaching the Power Star at the end of the level. Captain Toad can’t jump with his stubby, little legs, so you’ve got to find ways around the 79 unique levels (DLC included) to propel him upwards and reach the goal!

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a pleasing, lighthearted experience anyone can enjoy!

This isn’t a game that anyone thought would be particularly exciting, but here I am, writing about why it might be worth $40! It’s not very long, but it’s a very pleasing experience that will take your mind off the stressful things in life!

Housatonic Horizons

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Photo by Steinar Engeland on Unsplash

News You Can Use

You can use your phone to set reminders to check Blackboard for upcoming assignments.

Wise Words of Advice

for Spring 2021 Students

BY JANIA JONES

2

|

STAFF WRITER

020 was quite a doozy, but this is a new year in which we must try our best to move forward and instil new practices within ourselves

in order to improve morale and achieve new goals. As we all joked around about New Year’s resolutions regarding losing weight, being positive, and helping your community; it is important we note our academic goals as well. Many students at HCC will be graduating and transferring to four year schools in the spring/fall. With their time here, we are able to not only learn more about the process of matriculation but also how they made it through triumphantly and are now oh so close to the finish line. Unless it is your first semester here at HCC, you are likely acquainted with online learning at this point, but it still doesn’t hurt to have a refresher to prepare not only for a new year but a new semester. As we enroll in new classes, meet new people, and work with different professors, it almost seems as if each semester is a

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Housatonic Horizons

restart to figuring out how you work best as an online learner. So, the real question is, how do we get back into the groove working online so much? While winter break was all too short, forgetting your personal system to how you got things done beforehand is reasonable, and almost even expected. Of course we have heard all the common ones such as staying organized and communicating with your peers and professors, and while it seems obsolete, it is truly the best advice we could be given. For instance, Kaylynn Carr, an HCC student does this in her weekly routine, “I make a weekly schedule every Monday and try to stick to it.” By knowing what needs to be done in advance it helps allot time for you to be productive but then also have time to yourself. Justin Figueroa, who is now in his last semester, also recommends that you, “Set alarms to force yourself to do homework.”


“HAVING DAILY SCHEDULES AND REMINDERS TO CHECK BLACKBOARD IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE [IF] YOU TEND TO FORGET YOU MIGHT FALL BEHIND ON YOUR SCHOOLWORK,”

Knowing yourself, and how you work best is key. If you

to check Blackboard is important because [if] you tend to

can focus on an empty stomach, get a snack for while you are

forget you might fall behind on your schoolwork,” says Latoya

working. If you struggle with getting distracted by your phone,

Wilkinson, a part-time HCC freshman.

leave it in another room so you don’t get tempted to start

Personally, I think the most important thing to remember

aimlessly scrolling through social media. Biancka Rodriguez,

this semester is that our professors are here to help. As long

an HCC student, offers this as a part of her routine: “One

as you reach out, and show concern for you success, they will

thing that helps me focus on my work is wearing my most

do what then can. From experience, I can tell you to make the

comfortable headphones and listening to lofi music. It helps

most of the office hours. One on one time to check in with where

me stay focused and enjoy doing my work [without] dreading

you’re standing in the class and what you can do to improve

it. With this method it makes me more excited to sit at my desk

will not only help boost your grade but create networks and

and get my work done.”

connections between you and your professors. In addition,

Coming off of a break such as the one we just did calls for

Fran Thompson, an adjunct English professor at HCC reminds

us to gauge where we are and what help we need. If you had a

us that, “All faculty and staff are happy to help every student

friend from a previous semester that happens to be in one of

so being engaged and active in class is important. If you build

your classes again, reach out to them. Or even if it’s someone

a relationship with your professor and classmates, these are

you are unfamiliar with, it is important to not only get assistance

people that become part of your network for a long time. It’s

but it’s also great to meet people during this time. In a blog

much better to find colleagues and friends to learn with and

post from Top Degrees Online the author recommended that

from as part of your college experience.”

you, “Get involved in online classroom discussions through chat rooms or written discussion boards. Some people feel more comfortable opening up in written form so you may actually

“THE RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE TO

get to know them faster. Take advantage of online tutoring,

US, WE JUST NEED TO USE THEM.”

or create or join a study group…” It is important to go out and take charge of the relationships you want to build. In addition to sticking to a schedule and creating

All in all, it is important to remember to stay on top of your

connections, it is very important to know yourself and what

Blackboard, build relationships between your fellow students

you need to do in order to stay on track. Alva Blair, who has

and professors, and create schedules to best manage your time

just entered her last semester at HCC, says, “[I make sure to]...

and keep you on track to succeed. While we have been here

check all my grades in all my classes to make sure I have

before, things are bound to change and it is important to stay

submitted work. If I see where work has not been submitted, I

level headed and think rationally on the quickest way to solve

head straight to the assignment and get it done!”

the problem at hand. The resources are available to us, we just

Daily check-ins on your Blackboard accounts will ensure that you don’t miss anything and keep you focused on what

need to use them. Online learning doesn’t have anything on HCC students, we got this!

needs to get done. “Having daily schedules and reminders

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Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

News You Can Use

Solutions To Zoom Burnout BY JANIA JONES | STAFF WRITER

L

32

ooking back on the last six months, it is safe to say

Well first it’s important to note how often you are on

that no one saw COVID going to the extreme that

your devices. Whether you are a full time student and have

it did. In March, when schools were closed and we

to be on various calls throughout the day or you take strictly

were all sent home for two weeks, we thought that that was

asynchronous courses, the time we spend sitting in front of

it. A two-week “quarantine” and then we’d continue with our

these screens definitely adds up! Not only does staring at

regularly scheduled programming. Well, clearly that didn’t

a screen all day have dangerous effects but so does sitting

happen. With over millions of cases in the United States

wherever you work for too long. As a result of the environment

alone, we are fighting an uphill battle.

we are now forced to work in, different things are impacting us

As our political leaders struggle to control this disease

in ways we might not expect. For instance, Dr. Eric O’Connell,

we’ve all been doing our best to stay home and away from

a chiropractor at the Progressive Spine & Rehab Center writes

other people. Many schools and universities continued online

this in his online blog, “Many people who work from home do

learning throughout the fall semester and will do more in the

not have their… chairs configured in a way that is healthy for

spring. However, our seemingly endless slew of Zoom calls

their posture…You may not feel it immediately, but sitting in

and hours on end staring at our computer screens can take

a position where you are looking downward for an extended

quite the toll on our physical and mental well being. So, how

period could injure your neck or back muscles… [it] forces

do we do as we are supposed to and socially distance/stay

those muscles to be overworked and can result in pain and

home but also prevent fatigue and the feeling of burnout?

soreness.” In addition, a few other things he recommends

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Housatonic Horizons


are to, if possible, adjust your chair or workstation so that

Despite feeling like you might be the only one struggling

your computer is set at eye level and to continuously practice

right now, many students are going through the exact same thing.

stretching and getting light exercise in your freetime. His blog

Latoya Wilkinson, a dual enrollment student, says, “It

includes helpful videos for you to follow along to, you can go

[zoom fatigue] demotivated me from wanting to go to class.

to https://www.progressivespineandrehab.com/2020/06/how-

Since I won’t be interacting physically with my peers... It

working-from-home-is-affecting-your-body/ to gain access.

impacts me as a dual enrollment student because I tend

With all of this in mind, it is important to still note that

to forget my college class [assignments]. Put stuff in your

your physical condition is not the only thing at risk. As we

calendar and on your phone. Also, always check Blackboard!!”

continue our learning at home, there are now additional

One benefit that has come as a result of this madness

distractions/factors that might play into how focused you

is that we have so much more access to technology then

are. It is important to stay on top of everything and maintain

some did before. The Academic Center at Randolph College

sight of your goals.

recommends that you, “Organize your inbox with labels to

Marina Philips, a professor of mathematics at HCC writes,

avoid missing any important emails/deadlines. Make sure

“For online classes to work, one must be self-motivated, self-

to also check your email at least twice a day...Put a timer

driven, be able to learn on their own and need to have time

on any activities to avoid spending more time than you

to do all this work.” There are many resources available to

should on them. Setting a timer can also prevent burnout

students if they are in need of help. You just have to reach out.

and may help you stay more focused during select times.”

IT’S EASY TO GET OVERWHELMED WITH BEING IN FRONT OF A SCREEN FOR SO LONG. REMEMBER TO TAKE BREAKS, STRETCH, AND ENSURE THAT YOU ARE IN THE RIGHT SPACE, MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY, TO CONTINUE ONWARD.

If you need help with a specific subject or assignment you

You can read more about their tips and tricks to making

can sign up for an appointment at HCC’s Academic Support

it through online classes, at https://www.randolphcollege.

Center by following the link on the web site. If you are feeling

edu/news/2020/04/10-tips-to-preserve-your-sanity-while-

a little lost with classes in general, you can reach out to the

keeping-up-with-school-work-during-quarantine/

Advising Center, using their “Remote Advising Form.”

Our society is in shambles right now and it is

As mentioned earlier, the impact that ‘Zoom fatigue’

understandable to be stressed out or unmotivated. However,

has on you mentally is indeed prevalent. Dr. Jena Lee, from

if you work to persevere and get through it, the finish line will

the Psychiatric Times, writes, “Exploring such multifactorial

be even more rewarding. People are always willing to help,

etiologies of Zoom fatigue has delved us into a deeper

you just have to take the first step by asking. It is important to

understanding of the fragile intricacies that make up the

remember that everyone is going through the same thing as

precious in-person social interactions we had before COVID-

you right now. We are all struggling and adjusting to this new

19...A core psychological component of fatigue is a rewards-

environment in which changes will have to be made. Using

costs tradeoff that happens in our minds unconsciously.”

these new techniques and tricks throughout your learning

She then went on to explain how unlike in-person social

process may help you not just as we ride out this pandemic

reactions, on Zoom we are being deprived of social norms

but into the future even after we return to in person learning.

that unconsciously boost our mental state such as eye contact, physical touch, and a coherent, back and forth conversation.

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News You Can Use

, s k o o b t x e T ed Ebooks

;

r d i n u a q s e e R as

b a t a D

A

A Student Guide to Obtaining and Using College’s Keys to Success BY JACK JONES

SENIOR STAFF WRITER

lthough students may not know it, there are

receive necessary texts, articles and information directly

thousands of different ways that they can

related to HCC courses. Students should never have to feel

purchase or view college textbooks and other

overwhelmed by stress and anxiety while scouring the internet

necessary Ebooks or resources; whether from

or the streets of Connecticut, for a required mandatory text in

the comfort of their home, or at a Barnes and Nobles, students will no longer have to stress over required texts.

which they desperately need to pass their courses. While it may be clear that students can order their books

College courses are nearly impossible to conquer without

online through the HCC bookstore for the spring semester, it

the necessary materials needed to help students succeed.

is always wise to search for other book stores or websites that

Although having constant access to computers is undoubtedly

may provide the same book for a cheaper price. For instance,

a blessing during this technologically defined generation, the

many professors will provide an ISBN code for each required

sheer essence of knowledge, education, research and classical

text on their syllabus; this will allow you to find that precise

history lies within one of man’s most divine creations: the book.

book on an ample amount of local college bookstore’s websites,

Unfortunately, it is not a mystery that a vast majority of

Barnes & Noble’s websites and even Amazon!

college students struggle to find or purchase their college’s

Looking up an ISBN code, or even a textbook’s title on

required texts listed on their syllabus, thus impeding their

Google will often allow students to explore different price

chances of completing assignments or passing exams. Students

options and purchasing options as well.

should not be denied their right to learn and absorb knowledge

This is exactly what Bowen Redgate, a Junior at Seton Hall

on a collegiate scale, yet the shortages and backhold on texts

University in New Jersey, does. “I prefer looking up my books on

during the global pandemic has irrefutably negatively affected

Amazon; this usually gives me cheaper alternatives compared to

HCC’s students during the first month of the fall semester.

the SHU bookstore’s insanely high prices. Not to mention, I always

In the spring semester, it is of utmost importance for students to comprehend the various avenues available to

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have the ability to rent books on Amazon, which saves me a ton of money for other required texts and materials,” Redgate says.


b

i yM

che

lle Huh

Gra

ph

ic

uh elle H h c i M by Graphics

“College courses are nearly impossible to conquer without the necessary materials needed to help students succeed.” Although required texts are fundamentally important to the academic standing of college students, there are

simplistic to navigate Housatonic’s web page and locate upwards of 5 databases within minutes.

numerous other resources that can essentially propel

Despite the fact that online databases are recommended

students to academic superstardom. For instance, according

by teachers, professors and campus faculty for work pertinent

to Staples High School’s Head Librarian Jen Sorrino, “Almost

to essays or assignments, any and all of the eBook databases

every school, at every level, provides their students different

available to students can be used to masterfully complete

means to obtain or view scholarly texts and articles. Most

any possible homework under the domain of English, History,

often, a school’s library or media center website will contain

Science, Communications etc. For instance, According to Saint

an online Ebook database that is free for students if they

Luke’s Library website,

register using their student ID and password.” Mrs. Sorino continued to mention various ebook search engines (oriented towards high school learning) that are similar to ProQuest Ebook Central, which is listed under HCC’s Library website.

“Databases provide quick access to information on the Web, such as newspapers, magazine articles, biographies, books reviews, images and more. The databases provide access to information that is safe, accurate, current, validated,

Both Liz Jones and fellow Librarian Jen Sorino

copyright –clear, and organized… Database information

recommend searching your school’s website for databases,

is protected by copyright. Libraries pay to have access to

digital resources, and multimedia outlets. According to

this information. Library databases index edited, published

Elizabeth Jones, former Assistant Librarian at Staples High

material, often scholarly, and collected for an educational

School, “Typically, you can find these scholarly databases

use, and subscribed to by your school because it is judged

on your common Google, Bing or Yahoo search engines, but

to be useful to the curriculum. Library databases are more

depending on your level of education, your best bet is to

focused on scholarly books and articles, and provide more

use the recommended databases listed on your school or

of them, than the open web.”

college’s website.” Luckily for HCC students, it is immensely

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35


Ph

o ot

by

J

Jo ack

nes

biographical information about your author and criticism of short stories, as well as plays, novels, essays, poems etc. For critical analysis articles about your chosen work you want to search by the title (Of Mice and Men for example). Often you will want to include the name of the author in your search unless the title is very distinctive.”

The author browsing the multitude of research databases that HCC provides for its students.

According to Housatonic librarian and Ebook database guru Peter Everett, “For remote access, you will need to authenticate yourself with an initial commnet log-in. Once you have done that you should be able to access any of the databases. The best way to access e-books is through Housatonic Search.” As Mr Everett mentioned, students can access a myriad of databases by simply typing in ‘Research Databases’ on Housatonic’s main web page. Everett continued to explain, “From there you should be presented with four different online databases, including: Academic OneFile, MasterFile Premier, Academic Search Premier, and Country Watch. However, Proquest eBook Central is a new application that is highlighted on HCC’s Library website and will serve as an invaluable tool for students in the future, with slightly enhanced features compared to other research forums.” Thankfully for students, these Ebook databases and Research oriented search engines are quite easy to master for students of any level. According to Housatonic’s database website, the steps to mastery are simple, “These online databases are excellent resources for finding

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Housatonic Horizons

“For remote access, you will need to authenticate yourself with an initial commnet log-in. Once you have done that you should be able to access any of the databases. The best way to access e-books is through Housatonic Search.” Furthermore, students will be able to acquire vast amounts of credible knowledge and information for different areas of academia as well. According to the same aforementioned HCC website, “Most of the critical articles will come from literary journals, a preferred source. Biographical information is generally culled from reference books and occasionally from journal articles. For contemporary authors, a published interview with the author can be very useful. All of this information and more scholarly based articles, texts and journals can be found using any of the databases that were mentioned previously.” When asked about the sheer importance of research databases, Everett responded saying, “Published books go through a fairly rigorous editing process and tend to contain a lot of information in one place. They in many ways represent the best of the old and the new. The structure is traditional, generally with an index at the end, but you can also use the Find feature to isolate specific topics or subtopics.” However, this is only one minor feature of online databases. Although this college based search forum is quite easy to navigate, Everett believes


their functionality is not even their most charming aspect

non HCC students find these databases to be an immaculate

of the research tool. For instance, according to Everett,

tool for homework assignments and essays. For instance,

“The databases are vital to academic research. We have a

according to fellow HCC student Gabbie Castorina, “Research

variety ranging from general to the specific (Business, Health,

Databases provide a lot of important and valid information.

Psychology, History, Criminal Justice, Literature, Ecology,

Usually I have a really easy time finding scholarly sources on

and more to fit the curriculum). Some of the databases

HCC’s databases. These articles contain credible facts and

have specific types of articles such as our many newspaper

stats that I can preface later on in the writing process; this

databases. There are also databases that have a unique

helps me further conduct research and writing in order to

interface that helps students explore current event topics

formulate my final essay.”

and present a page of varied resources on a given topic (Opposing Viewpoints).” When asked about the beneficial aspects of using

“The databases are vital to academic research.”

scholarly articles and research databases, Everett began to rave about the numerous academic skills that students can

Derek Marble, an honors student at Boston College

learn by simply navigating these sites. For example, according

concurs with Gabbie’s beliefs as well. He says, “I am given

to him, “College students need to be able to define a topic,

access to a large variety of research databases and academic

know where to go to find the right information, explore a

journals. Over the past few years, I have found them to be very

topic with keywords, avoid plagiarism by becoming familiar

beneficial not only for writing papers, but also for gaining

with citations, and along the way, hone their writing skills.”

a refined understanding of the fundamental concepts that

He concluded our conversation by outlining some of the

are present in my more quantitative classes.”

key skills that students will inevitably develop after exploring

In fact, Marble adds, “I think that college administrators

HCC’s databases. According to Everett, “It is also important

should place a larger emphasis on the importance of these

for students to develop critical thinking chops, an ability to

databases, considering that a significant number of students

discern what is reliable information or data. Is there bias

are clearly unaware about the wealth of highly credible

in this article? Is this reliable or is it “fake news?” This is

information offered to them at no additional cost.”

what librarians and other academics refer to as information

The entire Student body should be well equipped and

literacy. The databases facilitate this process, with variable

well prepared in the event of returning to online modes of

ways of searching for information and providing citations

learning in the Spring semester. Hopefully HCC students

to articles and other resources.” After having a lengthy

will heed the advice and beliefs of the amazing Librarians

conversation with one of HCC’s own librarians, it is evident

and students that took their time to keep them informed

that students should invest some of their time into becoming

and ready for a successful Spring Semester. Good luck next

well acquainted with these particular research tools.

semester to the HCC students!

Interestingly enough, professors and librarians are not the only avid supporters of using research databases to find credible articles and influential sources. In fact, many HCC and

News You Can Use

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37


News You Can Use Would you let this handsome young fella be your valentine?

?

Love Galore BY CHANNEL COLLINS

C

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Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

SENIOR STAFF WRITER

an you just imagine? It’s February! Love

When asked if Valentine’s Day posed any type of

is finally in the air. Rose petals are cover-

distraction in his usual routine as it does for some people,

ing the floors, red teddy bears on our store

Dixon answered no.

shelves. Most importantly, the people you love are expressing their gratitude just a

bit extra this year around. That’s if you are into it, of course.

“I talk to multiple people,.” Dixon said. “I went to school and I think I worked last Valentine’s Day.” Tisdale felt as if the month of February wouldn’t be

According to statista.com, “A 2019 survey found that

different without Valentine’s Day! “I don’t think it would be

about 51 percent plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day in that

any different because we still have Black History Month.

year, making it one of the more controversial holidays.”

Valentine’s Day is just one day out of the month that not

HCC student Mahkiya Tisdale may have a controversial opinion.

everyone anticipates.” Dixon shares this opinion with his own views on the topic.

“I feel like Valentine’s Day is not a necessary holiday

“Valentine’s Day is not a holiday. It’s just a day where

because you should show love to your partner every day.”

people can make up for the sins of their relationship. It’s just

says Tisdale.

a day for people to pick up dead roses on the side of the road

A University of Saint Joseph student, Takai Dixon, has similar opinions of his own regarding the holiday. “It’s just a day of hearts.” Dixon said. “Love is not what people think it is.” Tisdale also doesn’t get distracted by Valentine’s Day, and still goes to work and school as a matter of fact.

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Housatonic Horizons

for their significant other,” he adds. Tisdale has in fact celebrated with her friends, sisters, and past boyfriends. Dixon has never celebrated Valentine’s Day, but he did add that his grandmother bought him chocolates from Family Dollar when he was younger.


“When I was younger the chocolates were good.” Dixon adds. “Now that I’m older, I find them repulsive.” For a person who is pessimistic about the holiday, Dixon

Pensanti also says Valentine’s Day hasn’t distracted him from his day to day, because he never had someone to celebrate the particular holiday with.

does in fact think of hearts and balloons when he imagines

Speaking of less controversial opinions, HCC has been

the holiday. The first word that pops into his head is wine.

in the V- Day spirit for a while now. According to the Director

A UConn student, Xarya Bridges, feels as if Valentine’s

of Student Activities Medgine Bright, the scenery is a very

Day is overrated. “You should cherish your loved ones all times of the

happy place during this time of year, as students dress up and walk around the school.

year,” she adds. The red holiday doesn’t distract her, but instead leaves her with excitement to think about in the end. She also

“ I FEEL LIKE VALENTINE’S DAY IS NOT A NECESSARY HOLIDAY BECAUSE

feels as if the month of February wouldn’t be any different because it is not a national holiday, and a lot of people

YOU SHOULD SHOW LOVE TO YOUR

choose not to celebrate it.

PARTNER EVERY DAY.”

Bridges says she has in fact celebrated the holiday. “It was not my ideal Valentine’s Day because there were so many things about that day I would’ve done differently.” Unlike the others, HCC student Antonio Pensanti expressed a liking towards Valentine’s Day. “When I think of Valentine’s Day, I feel a sense of togetherness and love in the air, because people that have a partner understand the importance of treating them extra special on this day.” Pensanti also goes on to talk about how different the month of February would be if Valentine’s Day didn’t exist. “I think the month of February would be different because that is really the only thing to look forward to as a community for that month. Not having Valentine’s Day would ruin festivities for that specific month.” Pensanti has personally never celebrated Valentine’s Day, but when asked what his ideal day was, he says, “I would hope it would consist of doing fun things that I would set up, as well as a time with no distractions. Where we can

“You would see students who were couples bringing each other gifts in the cafeteria. Even students who weren’t couples brought each other gifts. It was a very happy day at Housatonic.” HCC has hosted Valentine’s Day events for the campus. According to Bright, the NAACP has hosted a Valentine’s Day game night. The game night included Valentine’s paint, a photo booth, giant Jenga, big games in general, teddy bears, and a giant teddy bear contest. Bright added that the Literature club conducts a “Make Your Own Valentine’s Day Card” table in the lobby that includes candy. The club holds this event every year. Both events had great turnouts, especially the NAACP’s game night. So what are your thoughts on Valentine’s Day? Are they controversial, or are they cupcakes and candy like some of our students and faculty?

only think and talk to one another.”

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39


News You Can Use

In Times of Trouble Trouble,, Talk to a Friend BY ALVA BLAIR

A

|

SENIOR STAFF WRITER

lmost ten months of shutdown with very

a daze.” She says she’s not very involved in social groups,

little person-to-person contact with peo-

and though she has a Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

ple outside their immediate family is how

accounts, doesn’t visit them regularly; she doesn’t want to

many students have been living since the

talk to anyone.

coronavirus pandemic and subsequent shutdown began

When we are unable to function normally, unable to

in America. Many students attending in-person classes at

manage the stresses of daily life, and how we think and

Housatonic were devastated by the college’s move to total

feel and behave become impaired, it is possible that our

on-line learning for many courses. Justin Figueroa was not.

mental health is being adversely affected and we are having

He is one of many students who are able to successfully

difficulty coping. Sometimes it’s not us who’re having this

manage despite the constraints of the pandemic. A lot of

problem; sometimes it’s our friend. We see the changes, we

students, though, are not. According to an Inside Higher

know something’s not right, but they haven’t said anything

Ed online article titled “Mental Health Needs Rise With

to us and we become concerned with their mental health.

Pandemic,” several recent surveys suggest that students’

We might not use that term, but that is what it is.

mental health “has been devastated by the pandemic’s

According to Brain & Behavior Research Foundation,

social and economic consequences, as well as the continued

mental health refers to “a person’s condition with regard

uncertainty about their college education and post-college

to their psychological and emotional well-being.” So, when

careers.” Basically, students are worried and some are finding

we see something’s “off” we need to really be a friend and

it difficult to cope.

let that person know we’re there for them. And at no other

Ann Lindsay, an older student attending Housatonic, says she has been “missing” days. She’s generally organized, she says, but on occasion has found herself “coming out of

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Housatonic Horizons

time has the need to be a friend and to have a friend has been more pronounced than during this pandemic.


Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

41


Figueroa is an avid gamer. When I asked him if being

HCC freshman and high school junior, Jania Jones, is

able to keep in touch with friends through online games was

not as open as Figueroa, but she’s not as closed as Lindsay,

helpful during the pandemic, his response was, “Absolutely!”

either. While she says she would appreciate family and

He said had he not been able to do that he “would have

friends checking in on her, she would rather work things

gone mad by now.” Justin has some advice for people who

out on her own. She’s quick to add that she would check in

are not as fortunate as he is to be part of a gaming group.

on her friends and offer to help if she thought they needed

He suggests, “Try finding some sort of social media that your

it. Why the one-sidedness? Because, she says, “For the most

friends use. You don’t have to make your account public

part, they enjoy working together and getting things done

or anything, just find a way to interact with your closest

as a group (unlike me) so I think they would prefer that I

family and friends outside of physical interaction. It doesn’t

reached out and offered my assistance.”

precisely have to be through social media, but something else. Anything works, really!”

Doran Wright, practitioner and trainer in the RULER approach to social emotional learning, says

“JUST FIND A WAY TO INTERACT WITH YOUR CLOSEST FAMILY AND FRIENDS OUTSIDE OF PHYSICAL INTERACTION. IT DOESN’T PRECISELY HAVE TO BE THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA, BUT SOMETHING ELSE. ANYTHING WORKS, REALLY!”

the first step when reaching out is to be an attentive listener. A friend, he says, has to “hold space” in any relationship with a friend, meaning to “simply reach out to say anything you need to say, no matter what it is; to be safe and non-judgemental.” He says sometimes all a friend needs is to hear

The COVID-19 pandemic has tossed some challenges

someone say, “if you’re

our way in that we are not able to see friends as readily as

anxious, I’m here to

we used to. But with cell phones and the many social media

listen.” He quotes writer,

platforms at our fingertips, for many people, keeping in touch

Tim Keller: “A friend always

with friends is not hard. Writer Rubine Kapil, in an article

lets you in and never lets

titled “Supporting Friends During COVID-19,” recommends

you down.”

that friends look out for friends; keep an eye out, she says,

Of course, there are going to be

“for warning signs that may indicate they are really struggling

times when friends just don’t have the

and need help. Pay attention to what they are posting and

capacity to help friends. That’s the time to try

sharing online. Negative messages, photos, videos, links, comments or hashtags may suggest the person is in emotional distress.” Lindsay admits that she might be. She says she sometimes wonders

|

adult, as recommended by Kapil: “If you or a friend feels overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression or anxiety, or like you want to harm yourself or others, call 911 or one of the national crisis resources.”

“what’s the point?” She also tells me

At Housatonic, students can benefit from the JED

she knows her mind is “not where

program, which provides a framework to “enhance and

it should be,” but doesn’t want

promote students’ mental health and well-being.” Dean of

to talk to anyone.

42

to connect them to a supportive and responsible

Housatonic Horizons

Student Services, Dr. Kim McGinnis, in a notice posted on the


college’s website, says this is being facilitated through programs, services, activities, and resources. She says a major arm of the program is suicide and substance-abuse prevention, and notes that the program serves to “build awareness, teach skills necessary to cope with stresses of college life, intervene and reduce potential for self-harm behaviors.” She also assures that “all self-assessment responses and feedback reports are confidential.” So, if you are experiencing mental-health issues and are finding it difficult to talk with a friend about it, reach out to the wellness center. And if that is a little too close for comfort, then there are other resources to choose from that cater to teens and young people. The Trevor Project: has specialized mental health support for the LGBTQI community. Call 866-488-7386 or text “START” to 678678. Then there’s the National Alliance on Mental Health, which provides information about managing mental health and supporting friends. Teens and Mental Health. And TeensHealth: which offers

have friend groups, they are resources practically at our fingertips. And if we’re not so close to people, maybe like Justin recommended, try finding some sort of social media where there are people that have similar interests as you do. In any event, mentalhealth. org in an article titled How to manage and reduce stress, recommends, “Don’t be too hard on yourself.” A few ways they say this can be done, is by remembering “that having a bad day is a universal human experience, act as if you were your own best friend: be kind and supportive, and take a few minutes each day to appreciate yourself.”

a space for teens to get accurate information on mental health issues and coping with stress. Coronavirus (COVID-19): How You Can Make a Difference, Stress and Coping Center. And you should know that the JED Foundation has a really great handbook that highlights things you can look out for when you believe a friend is in need, or even yourself. Help a Friend in Need: A Guide for Facebook and Instagram. Songwriter and singer Bill Whithers said in his song Lean

THE TREVOR PROJECT: HAS SPECIALIZED MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT FOR THE LGBTQI COMMUNITY. CALL 866-488-7386 OR TEXT “START” TO 678678.

On Me: You just call on me brother, when you need a hand, we all need somebody to lean on. So let’s lean on a friend. If we

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News You Can Use

Me, Myself, and I in Quarantine BY CONNOR HIKADE

Q

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SENIOR STAFF WRITER

uarantine is seen as a negative event for

There were no surprise

most people. And that is because it is. People

plans or friends texting

were separated from friends, family, loved

to hang out, so he spent

ones, all while a deadly virus ravages cities

most of the quarantine doing

and towns outside. However, with this horrible pandemic

chores, talking with family, and

along with quarantine, I believe that most people have

taking care of a rabbit he got over

bettered themselves through isolation. Many people have

the months.

picked up new hobbies, new shoes and have updated their

The rabbit is special to Roscoe because if it wasn’t for

own fashion style without the judgmental eyes of other

the quarantine, his mom wouldn’t have let him got the rabbit

people. During quarantine, people discovered what they liked

to begin with. He loves that rabbit, it was a great way to

best about themselves and figured out what they truly love.

relax and calm his mind instead of the usual, hop on Xbox.

Wesley Roscoe, for example, is a sophomore at HCC and

Quarantine really helped Roscoe develop ways to focus on

turned quarantine into something positive. He used his free

boring tasks with nothing to do. He helped his mom, his

time off of school and work to get closer to his family. He

stepdad, and most importantly, he helped himself.

helped around the house more and spent more time with

Another HCC student, a freshman who asked to remain

his mom. He also found that his relationship with his step-

anonymous, said that all through high school, they just went

dad got significantly better.

with trends and whatever clothes were in style. They didn’t

Roscoe always used to be outside

realize it then, but that wasn’t their own fashion. Once COVID

spending his time with friends, but with

hit and schools closed, nothing was really trending anymore.

quarantine, he loved the time off to

They took this opportunity to create a style they wanted to

spend it with the people closest to

make. They didn’t follow their friends or any of the popular

him, his family. Roscoe was also

influencers everybody watched. This student decided to fully

hyper-focused on whatever tasks

revamp their wardrobe. They decided to go thrifting more

he had to tackle for the day.

often to find cheap clothes and even go on apps such as DePop and Grailed to find even more clothes to buy. This

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“Overall, this quarantine has been beneficial to a lot of people. If you think about it, what has quarantine done for you?”

student didn’t care what anyone had to say about their style

The next part of the list was brand new rims. These

anymore, they wanted to make it theirs. They used the money

weren’t your old, alloy rims, these were chrome, fresh off the

saved up from before quarantine and fully reworked their

shelf rims that took almost a week of hard work to install.

style. They decided on more streetwear, underground style.

After everything, the new parts, all the installation,

This style represents them and how they personally are. They

Nobles’ car has been completely restyled. “I used most of

feel much happier buying the clothes they enjoy instead of

my money, but I think it was worth it.,” he added.

what other people tell them to buy. And personally looks better than current trends nowadays as well.

And he still wasn’t done. Nobles lastly wanted to get some new calipers. Calipers are a part of the brake system,

HCC student Miles Nobles used the time off during

but you can see this part through the rims of the wheel.

quarantine to work on his car. He used his leftover money

Nobles decided on a glossy red finish for the calipers. His car

over the wintertime and some springtime to buy new parts.

was looking pretty nice by the time fall time came around.

Nobles did a lot of research to see what he needed to really

But his work is far from over.

revamp his Hyundai. He first bought a new battery along with a brand new muffler to install. He got some friends close by for some help installing and the process overall was a fun experience. “Since I had a lot of free time and money to spend, I called my friend over and we got to work on the parts I

Overall, this quarantine has been beneficial to a lot of people. If you think about it, what has quarantine done for you? Have you picked up a new hobby, found yourself more productive, updated your style, or upgraded your car? The quarantine can be seen as negative, but if you had the chance, would you live life without going through it?

bought for the car,” he said.

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Photo by Mike Lloyd on Unsplash

opinions.

Birth Control: Who Should be Held Accountable

I

BY CHANNELL COLLINS | SENIOR STAFF WRITER n a world where hierarchy has a lot to do with the status

Business Insider also goes on to say that women only can

of your life, it also has to do with the health of a wom-

produce half their lifetime. Their studies show that women can

an’s body. To settle this one fair and square, I think we

only produce from 15-30 children. That’s a huge gap compared

all know who the problem is, who is higher up on the

to what these men have shown.

hierarchy…..men. I am a firm believer that we as women should

Now if you think about it, a man can have sex four times

not be the only pill poppers when it comes to our reproductive

a day without a condom with four random women. That’s 28

system, but men should also have more than just vasectomies.

babies a week! That’s if he doesn’t have a twin or triplet gene,

I am a strong believer in male birth control, hormone pills and all. I have reasoning behind my beliefs that come with actual facts. According to Business Insider, an Emperor by the name of Moulay Ismail was reported to have at least 1,171 children. That’s a huge number compared to nowadays. Other emperors such as Genghis Khan and Augustus the Strong had hundreds.

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let alone a quadruple. Now a woman has to carry full term for nine months. Then she has to wait six weeks before having sex again, that’s if she even feels up to it. A woman can only reproduce once a year, while a man can do it multiple times. So why is it that women have the sole responsibility of birth control, when men are the main producers on Earth?


Another point I would like to bring up is the amount of single mothers. According to verywellfamily.com, the U.S. Census Bureau reported 13.6 million single parents are mothers. According to Dadsdivorce.com “Men make up 85% of those ordered to pay child support.”

hormone imbalances. The older we get, the more our weight increases, and our periods get more painful and heavier. That brings me to my last and most important point. Female birth control is toxic. Our hormones fluctuate, we grow facial hair, and there’s no telling what could happen. As a person who has been on birth control, I used to be a smoker. They told me I had to quit smoking or I would risk blood clots

THEIR STUDIES SHOW THAT WOMEN CAN ONLY PRODUCE FROM 15-30 CHILDREN.

or possibly a heart attack. How can I possibly quit in a day? According to Winchesterhospital.org, side effects that can come with oral contraceptives can include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, migraines, cardiovascular disease, cancer and unintended pregnancies. We also have more options like abortions, sterilization,

Aren’t you getting tired of hearing the tale of the single parent? Or the single teenage parent? Women are always held

and having our tubes tied, but those are more of last resort kind of things, while men only have vasectomies.

responsible for taking care of the children when in reality they

If men were to have their own hormone pill, all of these

have no help whatsoever. You think child support is going to

problems would decrease drastically. Women would finally be

help them?

in charge of their own bodies, as well as not having to have full

According to Verywellfamily.com, $33.7 billion was owed in 2015. You do the math, and 85% of that was men alone. If women are proving to be the more responsible parent in this

responsibility for the child. With time scientists can work out the kinks of male birth control because that’s what they do to all male hormone products, such as erectile dysfunction pills.

equation, why are they given the resources and options for

Men would finally know a sprinkle of the hardships women

birth control? I think it would be a better choice to give men

go through. Maybe they would empathize more, and actually

birth control since they aren’t doing very well when it comes

care for the next generation of women to come.

to numbers, let alone staying and actually taking care of the children they helped create.

All in all, men should take a pill when it comes to their reproductive system, to prevent unwanted pregnancies just like

Let’s talk about something else that people should take

a woman does because they produce sperm at an enormous

into consideration. Aging. Now women have a good 30-40 years

rate, they have proven to be the less responsible sex in the

give or take, 50 if they’re really lucky. On the other hand, men

custody battle, women only have a short amount of time to

have a shot at having children at any age.

produce anyway, and lastly woman’s birth control is considered

As a woman, I know that I only have a few good years in

harmful.

me. Then time catches up, 30 rolls around and having babies will eventually get harder. My weight, what I eat, my stress levels, essentially everything I do will affect the outcome of my fertility. Not the same for men. Remember that Mountain Dew myth? False alarm fellas. There is no scientific proof that says Mountain Dew affects your sperm count. Yes there are other factors such as too much caffeine or sitting on the couch

IF MEN WERE TO HAVE THEIR OWN HORMONE PILL, ALL OF THESE PROBLEMS WOULD DECREASE DRASTICALLY.

too much, but those are easy fixes. As they age, women have

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opinions.

BLACK LIVES

MATTER 48

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The Hypocrisies of the White Liberal “Allies” BY STEPHEN GONZALEZ | SENIOR STAFF WRITER

I

t is virtually impossible to scroll through any of our social media feeds without seeing the three letters that set racist Americans ablaze: BLM. BLM is everywhere. Whether it be corporations showing their “solidarity” or the average Joe and Jill with the hashtag plastered on everything from their twitter bios to adding it to edits of their own photos, the impact and influence of the Black Lives Matter movement is front and center. You would assume that with the hashtag being in so many bios, that there would be plenty of allies; but are all allies truly “allies?” The term “social justice” is thrown around a lot nowadays. Whether it be a privileged Susan throwing the term around as a means to boost her own ego or some dork on the Internet bitching because game developers have now realized that trans people do in fact exist and choose to include them in their workings, “social justice” is a term that has lost all direction. Once a phrase that held some sort of semblance to the modern progressive has now become just another phrase. That worries me. It’s terrifying. Imagine something that was used to assist and provide change for oppressed groups, just becoming nothing. This gross misuse of the term is only just the beginning when it comes to devaluing a movement as such is currently occurring. Remember those three letters from earlier on? Black Lives Matter is another movement that has been derailed due to the gross overuse of the term. White guilt has infiltrated the movement and after seeing that the attention is on someone else but themselves, white liberals have made it something less than a movement. It’s a fashion statement to them. It’s something that’s thrown in bios (See also: ACAB) as a means to be on a higher moral level. “We’re not THOSE kind of white people” they say, as they are able to live comfortably within their white privilege.

However, it goes much further than just some simple virtue signaling. It’s much more dangerous and has legitimately placed the lives of black, brown and even other white people. White anarchists have used the current political climate in which people of color are legitimately being systematically erased, to live out their fantasies.

“ If you’re going to be an ally, a certain perspective has to be erased; not seeing color. Color has to be seen. ” Let’s talk about Minnesota and the late George Floyd. George Floyd was a black man who was killed by Derek Chauvin, a Minnesota police officer, using a tactic that not only killed Floyd but was deemed by the police department “unacceptable.” Autopsies ruled Floyd’s death a homicide and ever since then, racial tensions in America have been incredibly high and the call to start holding police accountable for their actions has followed. With the passing of Floyd, the country has been in a state of disarray and has resulted in the country being more split than it has in years, resulting in nationwide protests. In the heat of the moment, some of these protests have turned violent. How many times do we see this on the news and how many times do these conversations (stemming from the video) become racial? That’s where the “allies” are supposed to step in and use their privilege to speak against injustice and more often than not, that doesn’t occur in a sincere manner. What does occur (more often than not), is white men taking the first

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step to turn things violent and have everything lose control. In Minnesota, during the first rounds of protest, a seemingly peaceful protest turned violent once a white man draped in all black tactical clothing and a facemask, took a hammer and started breaking the windows of an Autozone. This man wasn’t a representative of Black Lives Matter and if you want to look into the theories that were going around social media, including leaked texts between that man’s significant other and a friend, that man was an undercover cop. Speculation aside, one thing was very clear. That man was not indicative of what BLM represents nor was he assisting in anything that could ensure that the black and brown men and women that were protesting their death of one of their own. It was for his own sexualized idealist version of what anarchy is. In a capitalist society where the ones in control value property over human lives, destroying corporations is a legitimate method of pushing your agenda but not at the expense of people of color. But even after all this, it’s the “allies”, I’m worried about. How could that be? How could the ones that are actively trying to support you be more dangerous? I understand the confusion. However, simply saying you support you BLM is not enough. If you’re going to be an ally, a certain perspective has to be erased; not seeing color. Color has to be seen. Color has to be acknowledged in order to understand racism at the most fundamental level. Being able to just simply disregard someone’s racial background and cast it aside, is privileged on its own.

“ many black women have to deal with microaggressions being thrown at them by so-called ‘allies’.” Microaggression is a term that gets thrown around in a lot of sensitivity training sessions in lots of workplaces in corporate America. The Oxford Dictionary defines microaggression as “a statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group such as a racial or ethnic minority.” They are pretty common and a lot of the time, they just go unnoticed. However, even in the simplest of

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conversations, t women have to deal with microaggressions being thrown at them by so-called “allies.” The other day, I was having a conversation with my girlfriend and as we sipped our lattes, she brought up an old co-worker she had in her Starbucks days. She told me a story about this old co-worker who was very clearly raised by a rather wealthy white family. She spoke very softly and very politely. She went and took the customer’s order but when she relayed that order back to my girlfriend, that demeanor changed. “Arianna, GIRRRRRRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL, can I have a venti caramel frappe with extra caramel, SISTAH!” She was so confused. She couldn’t do anything but laugh at the absolute nonsense she just dealt with.

“ It’s not about talking about change. It’s about being the change that is necessary. Strength comes in numbers. That strength could be put to real change. ” These are the kind of mindsets that white allies thinks is going to “save” them from conversations about whiteness. Was her performative “blackness” her way of becoming friends? Did she think the overuse of African-American vernacular was going to make Arianna be like “wow, she’s just like me!” ? If it was an attempt at showing solidarity, it fell flat on its face. All this was just a blatant parody of black culture and because of it, felt like a racial attack. In order for allies to really cement themselves as allies, not too much is required. Allies must listen to the marginalized and understand them. Do not let your emotions overtake the conversation. Allies must truly stand for these groups and not just for a moment. Put your money where your mouth is. Donate to programs and institutions that are working towards something for marginalized groups. Donate to bail protestors out. Donate to Planned Parenthood. Sign petitions. You do not need to publicize your actions to try and win approval. It’s not about talking about change. It’s about being the change that is necessary. Strength comes in numbers. That strength could be put to real change. We just have a bunch of people LARPing as progressives.


The Only Way You Should Clean For The Rest Of Your Life BY STEPHEN GONZALEZ

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SENIOR STAFF WRITER

et’s be honest: Mopping sucks. I hate the way that

pop open the Fabuloso, dump it in the pot and place it

mops feel. I hate the smell of mop water. I hate

on your favorite burner. (upper right burner fans, stand up!)

the way that you now have to completely enter a

Medium flame the hell out of that pot and let it sit there.

new state of mental awareness when you mop, so

you won’t slip and fall and die. I hate the way that the floor is never as dry as you need it to be in a short time period because you forgot that your mom told you to mop this morning and now you have to scramble because she’s now on her way home from work. With those factors present, it’s an objectively unpleasant experience. Want to know how to avoid all of that? The first thing you want to do is go buy yourself a little bottle of Fabuloso. It’s definitely less than 5 bucks. (You can do this with all varieties of Fabuloso. Trust me. I tested it) From there, you’re gonna wanna take a big pot; preferably the big one to make spaghetti in. After that, go ahead and

Once the smell of Fabuloso overtakes your household, then you’re done. You have “cleaned” your house, without having to actually clean your house! Now go and do something with your time that’s way cooler than mopping.

You have “cleaned” your house, without having to actually clean your house! Housatonic Horizons

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opinions.

Education’s

Fashion Problem BY Z’JADA HARRIS | SENIOR STAFF WRITER

R

oberto Cavalli, John Galliano, and Alexander McQueen are some of the many well-known fashion

“Fashion colleges in the UK cost 9,000 ($11,145) for

designers who have gone to a college that offered

in-state students, and £20,000 for out-of-state students,

degrees in fashion. However, many institutions are failing

while fashion colleges in the US can cost anywhere from

to do so.

$4,496 to $50,000 dollars,” Miller said.

i-D magazine contributor Roisin Lanigan said that government defunding is the reason for the lack of artistic programs in institutions in a 2018 article. Fashion critic and columnist Sarah Mower also cited the government defunding as the reason for the detrimental decrease in arts education and creative business endeavors.

“Brilliant school, good exposure, zero help afterwards,” says a former Central Saint Martins student.

Even though many colleges and universities have undergraduate and graduate programs that are dedicated to the

Although fashion institutions in New York, California,

arts, and New York, California, Paris, and London have fashion

Paris, and London have unaffordable tuitions that increase

schools that are well renowned and highly recommended to

each year, those colleges have highly qualified teachers

people who want to have a career in the fashion industry,

and offer great education and exposure to their undergrad

the annual cost for these colleges is an educational expense

and graduate students. Unfortunately, some of the alumni

that most of those people are unable to afford.

from those schools feel like they don’t get much else after

Fashion journalist Daphne Miller wrote about the annual costs of UK and American fashion colleges in one of the BOF articles that she wrote last month about the annual costs of fashion schools.

they graduated. “Brilliant school, good exposure, zero help afterwards,” says a former Central Saint Martins student. One of the students from The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology had a similar response.

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Photo by Anthony Gilbert on Unsplash

The fashion industry requires people to have an education, but most colleges are failing to understand that.

“Unfortunately, I had to get a majority of my graduation and career advice from various other sources since my college wasn’t giving me the help and advice that I needed,” that person said.

at a college don’t become interns for fashion companies, magazines, and nonprofits. “Securing an internship is so hard,” said Wang. “If I hadn’t done a degree and I went straight into this [internship at

While the available fashion degrees and programs

a fashion brand], I’d be overwhelmed. For instance, making

appease college students who want to have a career in

notes during fittings or listening to pattern cutters talk

fashion design, marketing, and merchandising, some college

and all the language that they use, I now understand what

students want to have a fashion degree that appeals to their

they’re talking about,” Wang said.

career interests (photography, jewelry design, journalism, etc.).

Like most schools in the US, Connecticut only has five undergraduate programs for men and women who want

“More emphasis needs to be on career options and

to get a degree in fashion merchandising due to the small

career fairs,” said another student from The Royal Melbourne

Eastern state not having large cities like New York, California,

Institute of Technology.

Paris, and London, but the eastern state can be one of the

Many men and women partake in fashion internships

few US states that makes an effort to fix education’s fashion

that offer education, experience, exposure, recommendations,

problem by offering college students diverse and feasible

and references, but those internships have educational pre-

fashion programs that have a reasonable price and distance

requisites that prevent them from getting those internships.

and gives them all of the tools that they need to achieve the

Edinburgh University fashion graduate Amelia Wang ex-

fashion-related career goals that they have for themselves.

plained why most internship applicants who aren’t enrolled

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opinions.

Beardsley Park:

Give Us More BY ALVA BLAIR | SENIORSTAFF WRITER

O

ne hundred and eighty-eight acres of land is dedicated to the people of Bridgeport for them to use and enjoy, the beautiful Beardsley Park.

The park is a favorite haunt of mine. During the week, the

majority of people there are walkers (I’m one of them), and the occasional jogger. On weekends, the baseball diamonds (there are six of them) are hopping, and there’s usually a football or soccer game that’s played on the grassy areas.

Photo by Doran Wright

The fact that Beardsley Park, which is managed by the city’s Parks & Recreation Department, has six baseball diamonds but no other sporting facilities is problematic. It shows a lack of concern and planning to address the needs of the largest city in the state, that boasts one of the most diverse populations in the country. In 1881, famed architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who had previously designed the city’s successful Seaside Park,

Young boys in a game of hoops at the courts adjacent to Geraldine Claytor Academy and PT Barnum apartments in Bridgeport.

created a plan for a “pastoral” park after the land was gifted to the city by Wealthy cattle baron James W. Beardsley in 1878. Then, the park was just that – pastoral. But over the years the department added baseball diamonds. It’s now 2020 and there are still only baseball diamonds for sporting

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Chess or backgammon, anyone? Two of several board game tables at West End Park. Photo by Alva Blair

recreation. There are no basketball or tennis courts, no

there are baseball, football, and soccer fields at the park. I

football fields, and no soccer pitches. Nothing but baseball

believe the football and soccer fields are the grassy areas

diamonds for the almost 145,000 multi-ethnic people

as there are no delineated spaces for these activities).

who live in Bridgeport. Sporting activities at Beardsley Park should be more representative of the city’s diverse population: We don’t all play baseball! Every other driveway you pass in Bridgeport may boast a basketball net and there is likely one in a cul de sac or on a dead-end road. Soccer or football matches are played at Seaside Park and at a few schools in the city such as Central High and Roosevelt where there are dedicated

“If the park is for residents to use and enjoy, why not put it to better use?”

pitches. There’s only grass at Beardsley. There are three major parks in the city: McLevy Green, Seaside Park, and Beardsley. A comparison of events at all

The second survey asks: What activities do you use

three locations shows that Beardsley is grossly underused.

the park for? 76.9 for walking/relaxing; 30.8% jogging/

The 2015 vision plan contains two surveys. The first asks: When you visit which place(s) do you tend to most enjoy? 7.7% go there for picnics; 23.1% for the playgrounds; 15.4% the river , pond, and island; the river trail as well as the upper field and woods had 15.4%, and the sports fields also netted a 15.4% usage. (The plan records that

running; 46.2% picnics; 38.5% said sports; 15% for fishing; 23.1% for attending an event; 61.5% for the zoo (which is not being considered in this article); 23.1% bird watching; 61.5% sledding; and 7.7% for other activities. Based on these numbers, the park is mainly used for walking and relaxing and for children at play.

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the Department could come to some agreement with the management of the Huntington Turnpike shopping center or those on Boston Avenue to have show audiences park at those locations and either walk up or over to the park or provide a shuttle service from those shopping centers. Or they could just not take on parking at all and leave that up to the park’s visitors.

“ If Beardsley Park were

Photo by Alva Blair

home to all these sporting and recreational activities, how much more enjoyed and appreciated it would be.” Every other driveway you pass in Bridgeport may boast a basketball net and there is likely one in a cul de sac or on a dead-end road. A basketball net at a dead end.

Why is this of any interest to the HCC community? Because we are of the community and everyone who lives or works or learns here should be able to enjoy recreational activities there. Can you imagine how great it would be if our student artists could stage exhibitions at the park and music students

With regard to events, the calendar highlighted in that 2015 workshop report showed that between May and

If Beardsley Park were home to all these sporting

November the park had only seven when compared to Seaside

and recreational activities, how much more enjoyed and

Park’s 37, and McLevy Green’s 48.

appreciated it would be. The park’s calendar would be just as

If the park is for residents to use and enjoy, why not put it

or even more packed than those of McLevy Green or Seaside Park.

to better use? Create those additional sports fields and pitches

As a resident of Bridgeport, I love being able to go there.

and go even further by including spaces for entertainment and

It’s a meeting and breathing space that could provide so many

events. I can envision a Shakespeare at Beardsley series or the

more benefits than it currently does. If people, especially young

Greater Bridgeport Symphony Orchestra playing a concert or

people, were able to participate in a variety of sports there

two there for the summer. And how about movie nights, and

could be less opportunity for them to get into trouble. When

including some chess tables like we find at that little West

more people are out and about, there is a greater sense of

End Park at the fork of Fairfield Ave and State Street?

community. There’s fresh air, an opportunity to reduce stress

Making the park more suitable to the city’s diversity may require corporate assistance. Why not encourage businesses in the area to sponsor activities at Beardsley like they do for Downtown Thursdays at the Green? Yes, parking might be an issue, but if there’s not enough parking spaces in the park, there’s street parking adjacent to the park. Also,

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could play at a concert there?

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just by looking at all that green grass and watching the ducks waddle about, and it’s much cooler there with beautiful little pockets of spaces. In a nutshell, visiting the park makes me healthier and happier, but I would be even more so if there were more sporting activity options than just baseball.


Staten Island’s Favorite Four Return A New Season Of TruTv’s Hit Show Airs BY AMANDA MAINIERI | STAFF WRITER

T

he Impractical Jokers long awaited return to TruTv is officially set for February 4th, in which they will be filming season 9 of the show. The four lifelong

friends were forced to halt production due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but, to many fans’ excitement, they are finally back

TruTv’s fan favorite hit show, Impractical Jokers return for their ninth season, airing Thursday, February 4th! Photo by AEG Presents

and better than ever! Impractical Jokers is a hidden camera show, based around four friends residing in Staten Island, who have known each other since high school. They perform skits, pranks, and hijinks in public spaces, all while catching the expressions of those who witness their witty acts. Fans cannot wait to see what Q, Joe, Sal, and Murr come up with this season, and how they will address the issues of

“TO MANY FANS’ EXCITEMENT, THEY ARE FINALLY BACK AND BETTER THAN EVER!”

the recent pandemic as they look to continue their humorous antics in public. Get yourself cozy and make sure to get your popcorn ready for Thursday nights at 10 p.m EST.. The world needs some laughs right now, and what better way to do so than by watching the four funniest middle aged comedians on television today!

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Graphics by Liana Ferreira

Personal Essays

My Evil Twin BY STEPHEN GONZALEZ | SENIOR STAFF WRITER

“A

nd it’s just like, that kind of stuff doesn’t even bother me anymore, dog.” He takes a drag of whatever is left of his New-

I, by no means, had a very difficult childhood.

port and just looks around. His free hand is on his phone, scrolling through

Nothing would really ever trigger those conversations,

analytics, checking how much people have listened to his

to be honest. We could go from talking about basketball to

new song. It’s a warm and sticky night in Florida. The smell

randomly opening up about something really dumb we did

of “thunderstorm” (Yeah, Floridians are weird) wafts through

during our childhoods. I, by no means, had a very difficult

our nostrils and a suggestion to come inside follows.

childhood. My parents weren’t in the best financial position

I’ve known K since I was a teenager. We met through a very

when I was born, but my first memories made it seem like we

weird niche hip hop group on Facebook about five to six years

were in an okay state. K never explicitly told me anything but

ago. My best friend since kindergarten, Christian, acquainted

that his childhood was a bit hectic. It wasn’t until the day we

us in a comment section with a distorted image of rapper and

physically met and we actually sat down together and talked,

personal idol, Young Thug and ever since then, all three of us

where I finally got the info. The things I heard left my jaw on

have remained incredibly close. I never knew much about K

the floor indefinitely. Realistically, I can’t even detail half the

until these last two years, though. It’s odd. I’ve made plenty

things I heard. I shouldn’t. However, he wouldn’t care. The warm

of friends on the Internet and I’ve known more about them

mulberry air creeped on my shoulders and with Newports on

as people in way less time but it was different with K. As we

my breath, I asked if he was okay. He laughed at my concern,

grew and became men, we started to confide in each other.

assured me he was over it and we proceeded to watch Kurt Angle vs Eddie Guerrero at Wrestlemania 20.

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“DON’T GIVE UP ON PEOPLE.”

K is also a father of two children that were born in his mid-

K now? He’s engaged to a new woman, who has stepped

teen years. While I was going to fighting game tournaments

up to the role of being a stepmother and has been fantastic.

after school, he was changing diapers. While I was hanging

The children are always smiling ear to ear and as is K. But

with my friends at the local pizza shop, he was heading to

why would I bring up his past, when he’s currently in a much

the supermarket to buy his kids’ formula. I was able to be a

better place? Well, hypothetical reader, why wouldn’t I? I want

child. He has been a grown man since 15.

you all to understand the person K is. For every mistake he’s

As the years went on and the children got older, the mother

ever made, he’s made twenty more advances. Don’t give up on

of said children was not the ideal mother, nor she was the

people. K is still working on his musical career and is currently

ideal partner for K. He was well aware of that and despite

on track to make some sort of impact in the underground hip

them not being in good standing, he decided to stay with her

hop but more importantly, he’s raising his children happily,

for the sake of the children. However, it all eventually became

he’s able to provide for his family and still be able to kick his

too much. He couldn’t bear with all of the turmoil between

feet up and live relatively comfortably.

them and eventually he was finally able to leave.

For every mistake he’s ever made, he’s made twenty more advances. 59


Personal Essays

Student checks their calendar before scheduling their work for the week of October 5, 2020. Image by Pexels via Pixabay

CONQUERING COLLEGE

HOW TO CONQUER COLLEGE: AN UNDERPAYING JOB WITH OVERTIME HOURS

A

BY JACK JONES | SENIOR STAFF WRITER lthough the health, saftiness and wellbeing

societal relations, dedication towards work ethic, along with

of our friends, family and loved ones are

preparedness, which can be formulated through scheduling

of utmost importance during this state of

and structure. As college courses become increasingly

worldwide emergency; it is also necessary to

individualistic under the current online formatting guidelines,

refine, alter and reform many of our inadequacies and habits

it became imperative for myself to devise a rigid weekly class

that will aid in our adjustment towards navigating the difficult path that lies before us all. Since March 11, 2020, the date

secure my respective definitions of success.

in which the World Health Organization declared COVID-19

In order to initiate my journey into acquiring the highly

a global pandemic, I have grown and matured exponentially

coveted fruits of success, it was essential to identify the

as both an individual, as well as a student. Throughout this

most predominantly negative aspects or qualities of my life

characteristically online college semester, it has been my personal quest to obtain the pinnacle of success. However, it is important to note that success is an exceptionally intimate and subjective topic that derives from an individual’s opinionated perceptions and ideals. For instance, I believe that success can be attained and maintained through a sense of happiness, which is conceived from healthy

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and schoolwork schedule, if I ever hope to fulfill my goals and

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that were impeding my ambition, as well as the chances of completing my objectives. In recent academic years, I had been plagued with a chronic infection that rendered my ability to complete work at an effective rate of time an absolute impossibility; such a debilitating condition is popularized under the pseudonym procrastination. For the previous ninety percent of my academic career, multiple days or weeks would slowly


crawl by, while petrifying thoughts of arithmetic, essays, and

On the other hand, I would frequently strive to begin new

scientific diagrams would simultaneously taunt and preoccupy

assignments and essays weeks in advance to their due dates,

my mind. I would constantly try to ease the hectic disposition of

yet the mere thought of undertaking a new project that holds

my mind-state by participating in leisurely activities, hobbies,

significant weight over my future success would send me into

sports etc., but to absolutely no avail. No matter what feeble-

a stupefying sense of nervousness and immobilizing fear. This

minded tactic I attempted to deploy in defiance of my repeated

would thus compe lmy body to remain frozen in rigidity, while

procrastination, my academic responsibilities would always

my eyes stared blankly perplexed at the implausibly difficult

interject by provoking me, mocking me, diminishing me to an

assignment. Prior to returning for my second semester at

inadequacy amongst my peers. Therefore, I would regularly

HCC, I knew that significant changes would need to be made,

get caught in an imminent and unavoidable vicious cycle

beginning with my scheduling, before I could genuinely procure

of working under immense pressure, time restraints, and an

serenity and success.

unprepared demeanor. Unfortunately, this horrific habit that I had progressively cultivated for nearly two decades is also synonymously accompanied by daunting side effects, such as unorganization and anxiety; both of which have undeniably ravaged my ability to reach my full potential academically. Imagine opening one singular folder, as you begin, you notice the distinctive cracks running down the binding, thus leaving the security of your invaluable notes and assignments

“ I KNEW THAT SIGNIFICANT CHANGES WOULD NEED TO BE MADE, BEGINNING WITH SCHEDULING, BEFORE I COULD GENUINELY PROCURE SERENITY AND SUCCESS.”

to the trust of a miniscule and frail thread of plastic; as the folder finally opens, following the arduous battle that ensued

After working grueling nine to twelve hour shifts, full

between the battalion of papers within opposing flaps, what

time for two years straight, I came to a drastically important

seems to be a bombarded clutter of mangled, torn and crinkled

revelation that would change my academic career forever.

assignments and notes from four separate courses stuns its

When I realized that our online courses would be entirely

viewer into a state of disbelief like a natural disaster composed

asynchronous, I was momentarily stunned and flushed with

of sheer confusion. Sadly enough, this nightmarish view into a

a persistent feeling of hopelessness, mortification and over

student’s laughable excuse for organization, in actuality, is a

encompassing sense of confusion. Luckily, during this instant of

brief excerpt of my former strife with note management, along

complete horror, I was struck by an epiphany, which compelled

with a severe lack of discipline and structure in my academic life.

me to schedule each individual college day in resemblance

However, such an undeniably immature method of operating

to my former work timetable and hours. Instead of foolishly

only bred disastrous consequences, the most incapacitating

working on assignments merely hours before they were

of which was my academic anxiety. Between spending an

intended for submission, I would simply work each day for

unfathomable amount of hours watching TV, playing video

a minimum of eight hours (In accordance to restricted mall

games, interacting with friends, or doing anything except for

hours during Corona) on a plethora of different assignments

my assignments; along with my disorderly tendencies, which

based on their due dates. Additionally, in order to designate an

spawned frantic searches and delayed beginnings of my work,

abundance of time towards academics, while simultaneously

there was never a moment that thoughts of school were not

forming and replicating positive habits, I began waking up

consuming my mind. Despite attempting to partake in joyous

at 7:30 each morning and checking posted assignments and

activities and hobbies to refrain from the nerve racking aura

announcements on Blackboard since August 26th, our first

that surrounds schoolwork, paralyzing thoughts would continue

day of classes. Although I may not accumulate over eight

to rattle through my brain with the rapidity and frequency of

hours of work on any given day, it is of utmost importance to

lightning during a thunderstorm.

maintain diligence in my decisive approach to overcoming a six class schedule. Therefore, I start each day with the goal or

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intention of completing all of the posted weekly assignments

reminded that my work is a reflection of my individual growth

for two major courses. Theoretically, this meticulous method

and development; therefore, I am urged to work with as

of operation grants me the opportunity to finish and upload

much attentiveness, care and effort as humanly possible

the foremost round of posted assignments for my particular

(within normal realms of reasoning) while learning from each

class schedule by Wednesday at the absolute latest. Despite

academic venture that I encounter. In order to truly alleviate

such a tumultuous and time consuming weekly structure, this

any semblance of stress and to feel a sense of fulfillment

specific academic procedure promotes beneficial work habits and

within myself and my work, it is necessary that I always work

relinquishes procrastination and anxiety, while synchronously

my absolute hardest while honestly or knowingly meeting my

permitting me the right to attain my individualistic view of success.

potential threshold. As long as I am content with the amount

“ I AM CONSTANTLY REMINDED THAT MY WORK IS A REFLECTION OF MY INDIVIDUAL GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT.”

of work that I had embedded within my answers I know that resolve, relaxation, happiness and success will be patiently waiting around the corner for my greeting. As morally and ethically ambiguous as the term “success” may be, I have never felt closer to capturing and amassing

Fundamentally renovating my perception and approach

this personal sense of gratification and satisfaction in my

to conducting academic work ultimately squandered my

twenty years of life than I do at this precise moment; and the

habitual desire to procrastinate; but most importantly, it has

amazing thing is, I genuinely feel as if I will only continue

finally given me an evident path to success that can be easily

to develop, mature and aspire for new variations of success

navigated for years to come. In the fall, I definitively constructed

as my life further unfolds and each chapter begins anew.

a semi-repetitious daily routine that reduced anxiety and gave

However, I would never be able to vehemently proclaim this

me numerous hours to enjoy life and simply relax with friends

statement without first starting at a micro scale, as opposed

and family. As I have mentioned previously, the secret key that

to addressing gigantic issues head on. Currently, I have been

unlocked a myriad of enjoyment throughout the past few

living by the eloquently quaint mantra, “Take life one day

months of online learning has undoubtedly been introducing

at a time,” or “Live life on a day-by-day basis.” Essentially, I

structure into my life. Although many facets of my life may seem

have tried extremely hard to not overthink, overanalyze or

redundant due to the fact that I repeatedly do each courses’

overstress any specific situations, which has permitted me

work on an assigned day of the week, scheduling allowed me

the ability to change horrible habits, such as procrastination,

to find time to observe new experiences, partake in different

unorganization and anxiety, while gradually climbing one

hobbies and enjoy the company of loved ones on a daily basis.

notch higher to the symbolic pedestal of achievement. If I

For example, I designated Mondays to English and Biology

continue to stay dedicated to my studious fixations, while

Lab-work, Tuesdays to History and Publications, Wednesdays

allotting time to explore new endeavors alone, with friends

to Calculus and Biology, then I continue to duplicate that

or with family, culminating happiness and obtaining success

pattern for the subsequent days to follow, which may slightly

will be a breeze.

vary or interchange based on major assignments and exams on any given week. However, whether my nose was buried in classical literature, I was trying to comprehend the creation of disaccharides through hydrolysis and dehydration synthesis reactions, or my hand was swollen, cramped and tired after writing thousands upon thousands of derivative proofs, I tried to remember the reasoning behind these strenuous college assignments along with the draining nature that embodied and defined my full-time job. Ultimately, I am constantly

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of time I have put into an assignment, along with the quality

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Personal Essays

“... I GENUINELY FEEL AS IF I WILL ONLY CONTINUE TO DEVELOP, MATURE AND ASPIRE FOR NEW VARIATIONS OF SUCCESS AS MY LIFE. FURTHER UNFOLDS AND EACH CHAPTER BEGINS ANEW. “


Stretching is very simple and great for the body and mind. Photo by Alora Griffiths on Unsplash

Have You Stretched Today? If Not, You Should

M

BY SEBASTIAN LONDONO | STAFF WRITER ost people often overlook the benefits of

Another stretch that could help your back is called the

stretching. Others may think that it is just a

knees to chest stretch. Lie on your back with your knees bent,

waste of time, but it is actually very beneficial

then bring one knee into your hands and gently let your arms

to your body. According to Harvard Health,

pull your knee toward your chest; after that hold the position,

“Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy,

then lower your bent leg. Finally, relax, then repeat with the

and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in

other leg. This stretch works great for your lower back and

the joints. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight.

your glutes.

Then, when you call on the muscles for activity, they are weak and unable to extend all the way. That puts you at risk for joint pain, strains, and muscle damage.” And stretching isn’t something that takes up a lot of your time. While you shouldn’t expect to be extremely flexible after a couple stretches, the longer you do it and it starts to become

“Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints.”

a habit, after a couple months, you should start to see results. One simple stretch that you are able to do at home is

While it is great to stretch, you shouldn’t over do it. Just like

called a hamstring stretch! Sit on the floor with your legs in

a regular workout, overdoing it could cause major fatigue on your

front of you, slide your hands down your legs until you feel a

muscles and damage your overall performance. So take this information

burning sensation, hold for 30 seconds, then slowly return to a

and do as you please with it, but remember, a couple stretches a day

sitting position. This helps keep the back of your thigh flexible.

could change how your body feels for the rest of the day.

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Personal Essays

Learn about this student and the dilemma of his dreams

64

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W

ho is Connor Hikade? To be honest,

already lost the argument. I think about that interaction

I don’t really know anymore.

to this day. I didn’t realize it that day, but weeks later I

Writer? Engineer? Maybe even

was embarrassed. I was so rude and insulting to someone

an analyst. I don’t know and I

I didn’t even know in front of my family. This was when I

really feel like I have no control over where I’m going in

knew something had to change. I left NYC and went to live

life. I don’t know what I even enjoy anymore. The things I

back home to go to school at HCC.

held so close to me feel forever distant. My friends have

NYC was my dream. I wanted it so bad I just did whatev-

since drifted away since college has started. I contemplate

er the first thought was in my head. I’m still trying to figure

who I recognize in the mirror anymore. Life is changing so

out who I am. Do I stay home? I fixed everything now. My

fast, and I can’t comprehend it.

girlfriend and I are together, my friends get to see me,

“ THIS WAS WHEN I KNEW

SOMETHING HAD TO CHANGE. ”

my family gets to see me, but it still feels like I’m moving nowhere. I am thinking about returning to the city to see if I’ve matured and am ready for it. Is the debt worth it? Is losing everything I worked towards to get out of NYC

Fall 2019, NYC, during my first semester of college,

worth it? I want to know who I am, but when I’m home I

I thought this was it, my new chapter. This is my chance

feel like there’s always someone else picking for me. If I

to put myself out in the world and become successful.

go back, my parents would be more than annoyed at me.

Within hours I found my group. Within a day I was invited

If I go back, my girlfriend will hate me forever and won’t

to parties. The classes were easy, so I had all the free

ever see her again.

time in the world along with $2000 in my pocket from my

But….If I go back, what if I find myself.

summer job. I looked forward to the next four years here

I find what I enjoy, what I hate, what I learn

and realized I was really free for the first time in my life.

and what I love. What if I’m just holding myself

First thing I knew I broke up with my girlfriend. I broke her

back? Do I sacrifice everything for that dream of

heart. I wanted to try to not think about it too much, but I

living in NYC, or stay comfortable making sure

just couldn’t do long distance. I used drugs in my free time,

everybody else is happy? I’m still looking for that

and wasn’t watching my money. My circle in NYC were really

answer. Through countless hours of finding new

my only close friends, I was so scared to come out of my

activities, they all feel the same. That’s because

shell. After weeks of an endless cycle of loneliness, drugs,

I’ve grown up on everything here has to offer. I

buying useless merchandise, and not too hard of school

was uncomfortable in the city, but I learned so much.

work, I truly was lost. I used up almost all of my money, I

I feel I am ready to return, but is my dream worth

just did my work, then was by myself. I hurt a lot of people

the pain I will cause everybody else? Time will tell.

emotionally at that school. And I don’t think I can forgive myself for that. I used people and I became so selfish, and honestly didn’t even care about others. Even around Thanksgiving, my sister was in the Macy’s Day parade and

“ DO I SACRIFICE EVERYTHING FOR THAT DREAM OF LIVING IN

I freaked out on some guy at Grand Central for accusing

NYC, OR STAY COMFORTABLE

me of cutting. I didn’t physically assault him, but I berat-

MAKING SURE EVERYBODY

ed him with insults and names. I was in the right within the context of the situation, but I handled it so poorly I

ELSE IS HAPPY? ”

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Personal Essays

How the Fish Went from Flop to Fresh BY JUSTIN FIGUEROA | SENIOR STAFF WRITER

P

ut yourself in the shoes of the ultimate underdog

Miami

-- er, fish. Put yourself in the ring against one of the

had lost 105

greatest, or put yourself in the shoes of a 22-year-old

of 160 games in

individual without a dollar or education to their name. The

2019, a National League

world is expecting nothing from you; they expect you to fail

worst. They didn’t find much production

no matter how hard you try. What’s the one thing you want

from any of their players aside from an assortment of pitchers.

to do more than anything? Shut those hecklers up and show

The future was not looking very bright for them at a time

what you’re really made of!

where the “team rebuild” (trading away most, if not all,

We can all appreciate a success story, especially when

your star players to get a haul of younger ones with lots of

it’s one you never expected. Take the Miami Marlins, for

potential) had been going rather slow. Even professional

example. You may not care about Major League baseball or

sports journalists, like Juan Carlos Blanco of The Lines, didn’t

its teams, but they were one of the worst teams in the Majors

believe in the Marlins, saying “The Marlins are once again

last year, were hit with over a dozen cases of COVID-19 and

projected to be NL East cellar dwellers.” Blanco did go on

were blamed for ruining other teams’ schedules and had

to say that the Marlins’ predicted failure would be directly

to completely reshape the team just to be able to play. So

affected by the four other teams in their division -- two-time

how in the world did they manage to find their way in the

division winning, Atlanta Braves, defending World Series

Postseason in 2020, and why should this inspire you?

Champions, Washington Nationals, and two postseason

We’ve all been there. You’ve felt like your back was

66

hopeful clubs, Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets.

against the wall and didn’t know what to do. You’ve been

Wanting to start their 2020 season off on the right foot,

looked down upon Just like a new start to the college

the Marlins beat the Phillies by a score of 5-2. A great way to

semester, your season starts at a fresh 0-0. Everything that

start the season for them, but not so much for the Phillies,

happened the year or semester before no longer matters.

as one of their post-game broadcasters, Ricky Bottalico,

Always remember, things don’t just suddenly take a turn for

said the Phillies can’t lose games to “bottom-feeders” and to

the better. You’ve got to put in the work and earn your way

check where each team stands at the end of the shortened 60

up to the top. Look at what the Marlins did, for Pete’s sake!

game schedule. Turns out at the end of 60 games, the Marlins

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Housatonic Horizons


“Show what you’re really made of!” would be

distancing. as you can imagine. The Miami Marlins did not

headed to the

make much of an effort to stop being physically close to one

Postseason for the

another, which according to ESPN’s Associated Press, Marlins

first time since their World

CEO Derek Jeter “[blamed] the team’s COVID-19 outbreak on

Series win in 2003 (30-30 record), and the

a collective false sense of security that made the Marlins lax

Phillies would clinch their ninth straight losing season

about social distancing and wearing masks.” Jeter went on

(28-32). The path to the postseason wasn’t a smooth one

to say he expected all 18 players to return fully healthy, as

for the Marlins, however.

none were seriously sickened during the outbreak.

Graphi

c

dy by R u

F

m -Ra eliz

ire

z

Following their 11-6 win over the Phillies on July 26,

The Miami Marlins were called bottom feeders (which

four Marlins players had tested positive for COVID-19. These

became a rallying cry for them) at the start of the season, were

positive tests snowballed into a clubhouse-wide outbreak,

infected with COVID-19 and were never viewed to accomplish

infecting a grand total of 18 players and suspending more

anything, but beat the Cubs in the first round and were held

than a week’s worth of games. The Marlins had made 50

back by the Braves in the second round of postseason play.

roster moves in the span of eight days, moving players

Despite not winning it all, the Miami Marlins are solid proof

to the injured list for testing positive and signing players

that being the underdog is not always a bad thing. They were

to make up a roster that can play some ball games.

supposed to be kicked down before they had a chance of

This was the first sign in MLB that the virus was nothing to

fighting back, much less fight in general. There have been

joke about. At the time, we had already been living during the

times where you, a college student, have been kicked down

COVID-19 pandemic for four months, so we were naturally

by an overload of assignments or tests and didn’t think you’d

growing less and less scared of it. It was still looming in our

ever be able to crawl out of it, right? It’s never impossible to

minds, but as long as we wear masks and stay away from

climb out of that hole and subvert everyone’s expectations

each other, everything should be fine, right? Not quite. Aside

of you. Your goals can be accomplished no matter what the

from bullpen arms, everyone on an active baseball team has

size of your group is or what the odds are. If there’s even a

to be in the dugout, where there’s not much space for social

sliver of a chance, there’s still a chance!

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Personal Essays Photo by Julia Caesar on Unsplash

Feminine

Reawakening BY Z’JADA HARRIS | SENIOR STAFF WRITER

W

hen I was in elementary school and

pages, applying for remote internships, and taking care

middle school, I was a girly girl who

of my younger sister until I stumbled across Women Love

wore the trendiest clothing, footwear, and

Power and Feminine Mastery’s quizzes.

accessories; sported many cute hairstyles; had perfectly

45 minutes of quiz taking resulted in me being

arched eyebrows, and got manicures and pedicures in

branded as a dominant and business-minded coquette

colors that complimented my skin tone and wardrobe,

who has various interests that are rooted in masculinity

but four strenuous years in high school, a life-threatening

and femininity, and a charismatic, creative, glamorous, and

eating disorder, uncontrollable anxiety, and frequent bouts

multifaceted butterfly.

of depression made me feel like my feminine indulgences were useless and a waste of time until the state-imposed quarantine made me realize that it wasn’t.

who’s also an adaptable Libra, I wanted to blame the contrasting quiz results on my chameleonic tendencies, but

During the first three months of Connecticut’s quaran-

I knew that the results from my Women Love Power quiz

tine, I found myself becoming irritated, restless, bored, and

was a manufactured facade that shielded me from harm,

tired after watching and rewatching movies and television

altered my mindset and personal interests, and altered my

shows on Disney Plus, Hulu, and Netflix, listening to music

feminine archetype.

on Spotify, adding content to my Instagram and Tumblr

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As an astrology-obsessed twenty-one-year-old woman

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Housatonic Horizons


After my realization/breakthrough, I created a vision board that allowed me to create a new public image that is a blend of my nonfictional inspirations (Kimora Lee Simmons, Mariah Carey, and Naomi Campbell), my fictional inspirations (Gabrielle Solis, Paris Morgan, and Toni Childs), and my best personality traits (candid, creative, determined, and witty). The

“ THE WRITER IS ONE OF MANY WOMEN WHO IS TRYING TO FIND THEIR INDIVIDUAL FEMININITY. ”

image alteration was complete when my vision board allowed me to develop my bougie, opulent, and urban aesthetic. To have an outer appearance and personal surroundings that aligned with my vision board and aesthetic, I purchased clothing pieces, handbags, and jewelry from Akna, Cotton

femininity, tenderness, and majestic energy that attracts

Candy Apparel, I.AM.GIA, Jaded London, and Prestigefinds,

ambitious and powerful romantic partners, and the pre-

developed a skincare and beauty routine that consists of

viously mentioned butterfly as my feminine archetypes.

Cerave’s hydrating facial cleanser, Pond’s clarant B3 dark

While I accomplished my goal during the quarantine,

spot correcting cream, Pond’s crema s 24-hour moisturizing

I know that goals are like algebra equations that can have

cream, Nicka K New York lip gloss, and Fenty Beauty’s Fenty

multiple solutions, and as I keep my extensive goal and that

Glow and Diamond Milk gloss bombs, and created a visual

quote in mind, I plan on becoming even more feminine by

design board for my bedroom.

pampering myself, being unapologetically selfish, learning how to walk in heels, wearing makeup, becoming more sociable with other females, scheduling therapy sessions with my longtime therapist, Mary Georgette, developing

When I wasn’t doing things to enhance my physical and mental femininity, I was partaking in a writing internship for The Serve Magazine. My writing internship with The Serve Magazine made me realize that I wanted to be a fashion journalist and a fashion stylist, and had me checking out four-year colleges that have fashion media and fashion merchandising degree programs, and applying for styling jobs at BHLDN and Saks Fifth Avenue. Lastly, my first attempt at feminine enhancement allowed me to soften up my hard exterior, have more sympathy and empathy for people who are dealing with adversities, and freely express my emotions and inner thoughts that I didn’t want to share with anyone. With a readjusted feminine energy and mindset, I retook

a female perspective towards my mental and physical health, embracing my sensuality, expressing my inner creativity in unique ways, and allowing myself to have fun and enjoy life. Even though most people would assume that the moral of my success story would be cliche or saccharine, it’s a success story that was centered around growing, learning, and improving in order to achieve your goals during a precarious time, and that is exactly what I decided to do when I wanted to become a more feminine person during Connecticut’s quarantine. And as a newly legal woman, I’m going to keep on growing, laughing, and improving as I continue to create a life that is centered around my physically and mentally effective, empowering, and inspiring feminine reawakening.

Women Love Power and Feminine Mastery’s quizzes, which resulted in me being branded as a diva who exudes maximum

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Personal Essays

I’m Killin’ It BY ALVA BLAIR | SENIOR STAFF WRITER

I

70

am in my third cycle of life. I don’t know how many

day – yes, a rubber (eraser) ‘cause that’s what we call it in

more I will be granted, but I’m in the third and I. Am.

Jamaica – and a just-out-of-high-school guy turned to me

Killin’ it!

and, with brows raised in shock asked, What? Rubbers?!

I had a reasonably good life in Jamaica – that was

It was his expression that clued me in to my gaffe. Here

the first. I immigrated to the US in 2004 and reared my

in the US a rubber is a condom! I let it slide right off of

children here and now one’s in her third year of college and

me. I got an eraser and kept it moving. But that was then.

the other is preparing to start next year. That’s the second

Some 14 years later I was going back to school and

cycle. The third is me going back to school. It’s no longer

was freaking out because I knew I would have to face

novel for people my age (I’m now 52) to go back into the

Math once again. Why in the world would I want to do

classroom, but sometimes it feels like I’m starting from

that to myself?

scratch, like I’m facing a new frontier. I’m actually in my

Before I go any further, you need to know I have a

third year at community college – did a year at Gateway

hate-hate relationship with Math. No, hear me out. It was

before transferring to HCC, and I am succeeding.

great in all-age school; I was really good at it, but once I

Me going back to school wasn’t planned; I had done

hit high school it was all-out fisticuffs. TKO! I don’t know

an Associate’s Degree when I first came to the US and

why I started fearing Math, but it was like a dog sensing

until 2018 hadn’t thought of going back to school. But

fear and becoming rabid at the source - me!

when life decides to take a break on your posterior in the

Anyway, I dug in and passed it along with the other

form of losing a job and being unable to get back into the

courses I took that first semester at GCC. I was feeling

working world, and your children are basically grown, well,

good until it was time to register for the second semester

why not go back?

and found out I had to take another Math course. What?

When I did my Associates in 2004, I was the oldest

But I just passed Math! Are you sure? I asked the advisor.

person in the class at 36 years. I was old and a new

Oh, boy! OK, I hunkered down – hours upon hours spent

immigrant. I remember asking to borrow a rubber one

trying to get Algebra, a subject being taught by an Eastern

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Housatonic Horizons


The writer after just making another tight deadline. Photo by Makeda Blair

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European teacher who sounded like she had marbles in her

“Cs get degrees,” but didn’t know if C- counted. I emailed the

mouth. I’m not trying to be disrespectful. That is how she

teacher and found that it did and now I DON’T HAVE TO TAKE

sounded to me. I managed to pass it, though.

MATH EVER AGAIN!!!

I cried.

This essay is not about Math. It’s about how I am succeeding in my courses. Because I have passed all of them so far despite

After finishing that year, I decided to transfer to HCC as I live in Bridgeport. Imagine my surprise, nay, my shock, on finding that I would have to take Math again! Think, Yosemite Sam meets The Tasmanian Devil. I was fit to be tied! I spoke with an advisor here and said there must be some mistake because I already took two Math courses. No, no mistake. You have to take College Math, I was told. I cried.

my other Achilles heel, technology; or rather the navigating of certain technologies or software. That is akin to Math.

I am pleased with myself for perservering. Everything is a puzzle and I just can’t seem to get the

Still insisting to myself there must be some mistake, I

hang of it. Take Blackboard, for example. Sometimes I upload

called Southern where I plan on going and spoke with an

a document (browse, grab it from the appropriate file, attach

advisor. Yep! I have to pass College Math. I cried some more,

it where it says attach) and it populates the space – I watch

and registered. But I had to drop the class because I was failing.

as each sentence appears. Then at another time I will attach

Who told me to do Chemistry and Math in the same semester

a file and a link appears instead. I know there’s a trick (a

(trust me, I just needed to get a science subject and wanted

method) to it, but I can never get it right. But despite that,

to do Bio because that was my favorite of the sciences in

I am managing my load and am submitting my work when

high school, but I could only get in the Chem class and I just

they’re due (I think I was late for only one so far this semester

wanted to get the science over with. Oh, yeah. I passed Chem.

and I’m taking four classes).

Thank God for those forgiving grading curves!).

That is why I say I’m killin’ it. It’s not to brag; I believe in

I re-registered for Math in the Summer and luckily I did

showing, not telling. But I say it to poke fun at myself because

(COVID-19 was unfortunate, but it worked for me; the class

1. “old” people should never take up young people’s slang

was online so I didn’t have to commute and be in a class with

(that’s what that is to me) and 2. I am pleased with myself for

a teacher who assumed that every student is a pre-Calculus

persevering. Sometimes I wondered if I shouldn’t just take a

scholar). Because of the shut-down, I was able to spend upwards

break. But how can I take a break at this age?

of 18 hours a day on Math. I would fall asleep at the table. I would watch the sun go down and rise again in the same wake cycle doing Math. I passed it with a C-. I had heard that

Since last semester, summer Math, and up ‘til now, so much has happened in my family. My parents are getting old and have several health issues – thank God they’re still basically well, despite a few hospital visits for both and one two-day stay for my father, and and my husband was diagnosed with cancer.

“ Success is achieved through persistence– knuckling down, crying some, and laughing at yourself some more.” 72

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As I watch my parents getting older, I sometimes feel

before finally getting a job, had to

helpless because I’m not in a position to make their lives more

leave the job because of the cancer and

comfortable. The saving grace has been that, because I am

then the shutdown.

unemployed (not by choice, remember) I could (prior to the

Now that I’m writing this it seems like a lot, but it really

pandemic) take them to their doctors’ appointments or the

wasn’t. Yes, things were happening, but things happen to

hospital, take my mother to the pantry or grocery shopping (or

people all the time. So it never occurred to me to take a break.

at least drop her off or pick her up. She’s one stubborn woman

I didn’t take a break because all that wasn’t happening to me

and doesn’t want to bother anybody and she also loves to

(well, except for the depleting savings). So, I had no excuses.

walk.), or talk to the pharmacist on their behalf. There were

I had to stay in school.

days I spent taking them from one place to another, thinking in the back of my mind that I had one deadline or another to meet. But they were more important. And even if I was just visiting, I could not resent the time spent with them and away from my studies. It just meant I had to scrabble hard some days.

l had to stay in school.

How did I do it? I scheduled everything. And because I didn’t work, I treated school work like a job. I got up early every morning and started at 8:00 and would work through the day. I am addicted to my two Kindles and love stories and can read a book a day, but I had to limit myself to reading only when I ate - breakfast or lunch and dinner (and when I went to the bathroom. TMI?). I scheduled shopping (especially once the pandemic started) and cooking. Housework will kill

When my husband found a lump in his left breast and I verified it, for that one moment it was as if life moved in slow motion and all the implications of that lump swirled in the air between us. But we are practical people, so we didn’t do the “Why him?” thing. We felt it and immediately after that it was go-go-go. We met with his doctor, the tests quickly followed, and then the operation. I must admit the operation was a little tricky for me. My husband is a healthy diet and exercise nut, so I was afraid he would have an “accident” on the operating table and we’d get a shell back because they would take his parts. I know. Totally irrational. Anyway, he came through. He also

so I became less fastidious; nobody was allowed in the house with my husband undergoing chemo, anyway. Another thing was, my husband was proud of me, and I was proud of myself for keeping up with the work and the younguns in my classes. And I realized that despite my issues with technology and software, I was enjoying being back in school. Is it easy? Far from it. Do I spend moments shouting at the computer and the modem? Yes. Do I seriously question the expectations of my professors? Hell, yes! But I am enjoying it. Surprise!

came through five months of chemo and its effects. Physically,

So, what is the moral of this story? Success is achieved

it was not easy for him and I knew he was having difficulty

through persistence – knuckling down, crying some, and

not being able to do the things he used to do. It bothered him,

laughing at yourself some more. (Incidentally, I did a lot of

to put it lightly. And some of that was happening during the

that, too – laughing, during summer Math whenever I had

early days of the coronavirus pandemic, which is horrible for

an epiphany. It didn’t happen often, but often enough to

people with underlying conditions. Cancer patients are among

make me know I would never be good at it.) At least that’s

those more susceptible to the coronavirus!

how I am succeeding. And I plan to keep on doing it. Unlike

On top of all that, neither of us was working and our savings were being depleted. I hadn’t worked in forever and my husband, who had been out of a job for several months

technology and software, this is a method I know; nothing confusing about it. If I keep on this track I should be finished with HCC by spring. At that point I may say, I’m killin’ it! and it will be a brag.

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Personal Essays

The Right Path BY CHANNELL COLLINS SENIOR STAFF WRITER

M

any college students had the disadvantage of being thrown into their freshman year fresh out of high school. I didn’t. I flew high in high

school, graduating with a 3.3 GPA, leaving Gateway with a whole semester completed due to being in high school partnership. I was now an HCC student after a long summer, ready to start my new journey. Now mind you I was already taking on a lot. I decided to get a job, I was taking a full time load, and I wanted to join clubs in my spare time to keep me busy. I wasn’t interacting with my family much, and the boss that I had at the time was being reckless with the workload he was plopping on to my lap. It was if the whole world was being carried on my shoulders, and I had to carry the burdens of myself and others at the same time. My 20th birthday came around, and I had very bad influences in my life. So I decided to go partying for the entire week, not to mention I already had a popular substance I was abusing at the time. I decided to mix drinks, partake in smoking, and what should’ve been a week ended up being a four-month party. The day after my birthday I was hungover, and I had a test. I failed my test, and fell into a deep depression afterwards. I began to become a bit more aggressive with my professor due to work stress. My work life became messy, and towards the end of the semester I had to leave the position. I passed two out of three classes with flying colors, and withdrew from my math class because I was too busy partying. Then all of a sudden a burst of confidence shot through me. An accelerated math class. Yes! A second chance to pass

Photo by Justin Luebke on Unsplash

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what I have failed to do the first time. Mind you - I was still drinking and smoking. I still hadn’t learned any of my lessons.


So I took the class, and at first I thought I was doing well.

world. The next minute they disappeared and I looked at my

I was getting 70’s and learning the lessons to the best of

receipt. I looked at the food that I couldn’t finish and got up

my abilities. Then the world turned upside down again, and

speed walking back to my house.

I realized that I sucked at math, and no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t pass this class. One day I looked at my grade, walked out of the class, and broke down. My heart beat rapidly, as tears poured down my face, and the air in my lungs failed me, in the middle of that second floor hall in Beacon. I tried one more time before I pulled the teacher aside and told him there was no more fight in me.

Voices clouded my head as I began to panic. I couldn’t keep living like this any longer! Why me? Am I schizophrenic? Is this what it’s going to be like forever? Am I going to have to kill myself to make this end? Then I went back to the hospital and that’s when they diagnosed me with Bipolar with schizoid affect. Does it make sense now? With bipolar disorder, a person can have bouts of mood

I took the grade and saw my GPA tank to a 1.9. That’s

swings, anything from depression to anxiety, aggression. They

when I lost it. I went on a drinking spree, I acted as if I didn’t

suffer for weeks at a time. Symptoms such as impulsivity and

care, when really it was the alcohol coasting through my

manic episodes occur.

veins and numbing my emotions. That’s when I began to hear voices and see things.

And I’m not alone. According to Affordable College Online, “About 3.2 percent of college students meet the criteria for

A new semester started and I was off my rocker. I walked

bipolar disorder. Depression, which makes up one part of

around campus thinking people were following me and

bipolar disorder, is one of the most common reasons students

watching my every move. You would think I would’ve stopped

seek counseling in college. Bipolar disorder can decrease by more

going to school after that? No! I went a whole month still

than one half an individual’s chances of completing college.”

drinking and attending classes with grandiose delusions, paranoia, depression, anxiety.

Mania is when you feel like you’re on a high, which is what I was when I was partying and making impulsive decisions

I would look up at the sky as if things were appearing

for my math class. Mania is when I was working, signing up

and showing me signals. I could tell people were ogling me

for clubs and piling on stress that I thought I could handle

on the streets, or at least I felt like it. My mom would wake

because I felt as if I owned the city.

up at night and yell from downstairs for me to stop talking to myself, as I got my thoughts together, thinking people were talking back to me. I was able to hold myself together

“WHEN I WAS AT MY WORST, I

at school for the most part, but my physical appearance was

FOUND MYSELF TRAVELING DOWN

starting to deteriorate, as I began to lose more weight from

THE WRONG PATH, MORE LIKE A

drinking and not eating anything.

CROSSROAD IF YOU WILL. ”

Eventually… It all came to a point where I decided I needed help. It took two hospital visits. The first one I was still in

Another symptom is grandiose delusions. Where you feel

denial, so I went back home to the same thing, until I had a

as if you’re on the top of the world and you believe things that

huge panic attack in my mother’s bedroom. Before that, I was

aren’t true. I wasn’t on the top of the world. People weren’t

at Wendy’s thinking I was dining with the people that have

following me, and I’m not the queen of the world.

been in my head for the past several weeks. I was on my last dime, and I spent it on food I couldn’t keep down. I looked out the window with the voices in my head telling

Which brings me to the schizoid affect. Paranoia, hallucinations, delusions. That’s when the doctor at the hospital and I decided it was time.

me I was special, making it seem as if I was God’s gift to the

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I took that time out to get some sleep. Due to everything

I can honestly say there are some students roaming around

that I was going through, I was not sleeping, nor drinking water.

going through what I went through. They may not have gone

I swapped stories with people who had similar experiences

through it in that order, but there are some bipolar students

and realized I wasn’t alone. Maybe people at school couldn’t

who are roaming around the building everyday going home to

relate to me, but the people where I was could.

hallucinations and intrusive thoughts. Believe it or not, being Bipolar

When I was released, I withdrew from the semester so I

can make someone less likely to complete their college years.

could focus on myself and stop using and drinking. I went from being unhealthily skinny to being a chubster again. The medicine made me pack on weight, and the rest was happy weight. For a few months I tried writing more positively, getting to know myself better, getting therapy, and getting medication adjustments. I stopped hanging out with the person that was dragging me down and started spending more time with my family. I made better friends and went back to school after a while. I was very nervous and I had to start off part time, but I eventually lost the edge and began to excel. What really made me proud of myself was when I tried my first accelerated course. It was Intro to Nutrition and I had no idea about nutrition, but I heard it was way easier than Biology, so I signed up. I studied every day, and didn’t drink my way through the semester. I passed the course with an A

If you or someone you may know is Bipolar or Bipolar with Schizoid affect, there are resources at Housatonic such as the counseling offices

and brought my GPA back up to a 2.8. Bring my confidence back up, giving myself the courage to take Public Speaking and Intro to Human Services. As I built my way back up, I continued therapy and eventually painted myself in a better light. I lost friends down the road, but they were only dragging me down. I also achieved Dean’s list once I brought my GPA up to a 3.07, and since have had my medications regulated to the point where

by contacting Indira Reddy at Ireddy@hcc. commnet.edu or call (203)332-5039.

I don’t have to make drastic changes anymore. My success was finding the right therapist, the right medications, bringing my grades up, and overall bringing myself out of a pit that I had burrowed myself in. Not too many people can lose everything and climb all the way back up. While I may have looked happy to many, I was sad and lonely. I cried myself to sleep at night, and I hardly got any rest due to stress. Even at my work environment, what some people thought was laid back and relaxed, was an HR nightmare waiting to happen.

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YOU CAN ALSO GO ON WWW.NMHA.ORG FOR MORE RESOURCES.


Pandemic Super Mom

Profiles

BY DESTENE SAVARIAU | STAFF WRITER

C

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

OVID has been a trying time for all of us, es-

days out of the week. Thanks to her background in teaching,

pecially those who have families. Homeschool-

homeschooling hasn’t been as hard for her as it is for other

ing the kids, working from home, are enough

students, but it’s hard nonetheless.

to make anyone go crazy, especially having to

deal with the kids all day. Yet my stepmom Tacha Savariau is someone who effortlessly pulls it off while going back to school. She’s a mom, a wife of 3, works two jobs, and recently started her journey as a returning student at Housatonic. As a mom, Tacha already does the normal motherly duties, cooking, cleaning, taking the kids to school, doing laundry, and so on. When COVID hit, our normal routine was of course thrown for a loop as she now had to homeschool the boys and work from home. This, of course, meant she never got a moment of silence like she used to. Especially with a 6- and 13-year-old running around the house instead of at school. “Nowadays, an average day starts at 6 am with the boys being up with the sun, and ends at 10 p,, when they’re up trying to watch more TV and play. Of course I have to make breakfast, lunch and dinner in between, while also trying to do schooling with the boys and manage the two businesses I run. But since COVID, I’ve had to adapt to the new cards that I’ve been dealt. Which includes taking the opportunity to go back to school,” she said.

“I may be dealing with only one kid, but I’d rather deal with a whole classroom of kids. You may think that since you’re dealing with one kid, it’s easier, but it’s honestly a lot harder. Especially if it’s your own kid rather than a bunch of strangers. Your child is more likely to test you and get on your nerves a lot faster,” she said. For the 13-year-old, she said, schooling is easier since he’s older and can do most of the work on his own. The hardest part about dealing with him is his extracurriculars. He plays soccer for two teams and refs peewee games part time in order to earn some money as well as volunteering part time at his father’s job.

“When COVID hit, our normal routine was of course thrown for a loop as she now had to homeschool the boys and work from home.” “I was already used to driving him around for soccer, but with COVID, many players felt they were forced to quit. He

She went back to school in order to get her certificate

already wanted to play for one team, but another team in

in Business to help her gain more knowledge in furthering

Monroe really wanted him to play with them. So now he plays

her own career. When COVID hit, and everything was moved

for both. It can be a struggle to drive him to every practice

online, she didn’t mind. In fact, she preferred it that way

but luckily I have the support of his father. Otherwise, he

since she was already so busy and online courses allowed

would’ve only gotten to play for one team rather than two

her work with more flexibility.

like he wanted,” she said.

“I balance all my school, work, and home stuff by staying

Honestly, as school started online, I wasn’t sure how I

organized. I use a planner, so keeping pace with everything

would even manage. I didn’t think I would have the discipline

is actually quite easy. It’s easy for me, but not for everyone

to sit and do all my work online. And like many students, I

else,” she said.

prefer learning in a classroom (plus I’m a bit lazy.) Yet Tacha

When it comes to schooling the boys, she homeschools the 6-year-old, and sends the 13-year-old to school two

has shown me that if she can juggle all these things at once, I can handle three measly classes.

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Profiles

New Teaching in a New Era BY KAYLYNN CARR

B

| STAFF WRITER

eing a teacher is already a tough and joyful

First he tried referring students to the built in videos

job. But being a teacher during COVID is a dif-

on the Pearson website. but the videos were not detailed

ficult task at hand. Things are always changing,

enough for students to follow along the demonstrations.

and new issues can always occur. My Principles

To fix this issue, he put up PowerPoint slides of the lessons

of Statistics Professor David Platt recently learned what

and made his own videos going over each slide for the

it was like to switch from person to person to fully online

students to get a better explanation. As a student in his

in a short period of time.

class, I can say that the video presentation helped me get

To be able to have a fully online class he needed to prepare on Blackboard, Pearsons, and StatCrunch for his

Whenever a student is having an issue and needs to

students to be able to access what they needed to take

reach out, he had set up office hours where students can

the class and be successful.

come to get an answer right away. But if life just seems to

This task wouldn’t be a smooth ride in the beginning,

be in the way at that particular time students can always

but, as time went on, he learned how to navigate his

send an email and at his earliest convenience he responded.

classroom in this new wave of teaching. When teaching

Together we can all work out new ways to teach and learn

person to person Platt was able to look at his students

in this new era.

and see that they were struggling or confused by what they were learning. But now that his class is fully online, he had to figure out how he could make the curriculum understandable for everyone.

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a better detailed understanding of what I was learning.

Housatonic Horizons


PROFESSOR PLATT SWITCHES TO A FULLY ONLINE COURSE.

“Together we can all work out new ways to teach and learn in this new era.” Photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash

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Profiles

Success No Matter The Circumstance BY AMANDA MAINIERI

S

| STAFF WRITER

uccess is an achievement that every human

traveling on a bus or train, doing laundry, and cooking

craves. Accomplishing a goal that was long

meals, she knew she was ready for higher education. She

awaited, and feeling proud, is a large desire.

chose Housatonic, and decided that she would get her

For my older sister, Elizabeth Mainieri, success

associate’s degree, no matter how long it took.

was something she strived for at a young age. Growing

Elizabeth always tried her best, working her hardest

up with a disability, comes with obstacles that have to be

to keep at the same pace as her classmates. “I’ve always

faced. Luckily, I can say that those barriers were knocked

wanted to go to college, and I truly felt like I could be

down, and Elizabeth has found her dream career and

successful. Though, what my peers would say, and comments

is currently a flourishing student, and hard worker at

I’ve been told, I felt discouraged. Like, I may never be able

Housatonic Community College.

to reach my full potential, like others,” she said.

My sister is beautiful both inside and out. She is my idol, and I truly look up to her. Elizabeth is extremely motivated with anything she pursues, and is an advocate to others with disabilities. She is also a Student Ambassador at a special education facility, Chapel Haven. She has been asked on numerous occasions to give speeches, and there was never a dry eye in the audience. Elizabeth has autism, a neurological disorder that can impact one’s

Being told you may never receive the same experience

social or academic skills. It can restrict communication

as the next person can be diminishing to one’s self esteem;

and interaction, causing a struggle developmentally.

although, that didn’t affect her desire to succeed. After

Though she is high functioning and is impeccable with

graduating from her transitional program, she decided

social exchanges, though often battles with base courses,

that pursuing a career in day care would be her best fit,

like Math and English. Before coming to Housatonic,

as she has volunteered over 800 hours at Yale New Haven

Elizabeth felt she was not ready for college, though it

hospital’s daycare. Her major is ECE (Early Childhood

was always a challenge she was willing to conquer some

Education) and she is maintaining great grades and

day. After attending three years of a transitional program

working efficiently at Housatonic.

that assisted her in basic life skills, such as paying bills,

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Elizabeth always tried her best, working her hardest to keep at the same pace as her classmates.

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Profiles


Sugar Cookies for the Winter BY ADIAN SMITH | STAFF WRITER

W

ith so much uncertainty surrounding the spread of COVID-19, one thing we know for sure is that most of us will be stuck home through it all.

Since we are stuck home all day, why not bake cookies? For me, my favorite thing to do when home for long periods of time is to bake and cook. My favorite thing to bake are my seasonal sugar cookies. Each season I choose a different topping for the cookies, hence why they are called seasonal sugar cookies. For the fall, they have a hint of pumpkin spice and cinnamon, for the spring they are rolled in sugar, for the winter they are covered in frosting and for the summer, they are just normal sugar cookies. For starters, I cream 1 cup of butter and 1 and Âź cup of sugar

This is a quick, easy recipe that is good for all seasons.

together, then I add one egg and 2 teaspoons of vanilla. If it is fall, I’ll add 1 teaspoon of pumpkin spice. After this, I slowly mix in 2 cups of flour until the dough is properly formed. I then roll the dough into small balls and place them on the baking rack for 10-15 minutes or until they are fully baked. This is a quick, easy recipe that is good for all seasons.

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Profiles

The path to success may look amazing at first, but can take an unexpected turn. Photo by Miguel Naranjo on Unsplash

The Stones That Paved The Way BY SEBASTIAN LONDONO | STAFF WRITER

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“OBSTACLES DON’T HAVE TO STOP YOU. IF YOU RUN INTO A WALL, DON’T TURN AROUND AND GIVE UP. FIGURE OUT HOW TO CLIMB IT, GO THROUGH IT, OR WORK AROUND IT.”

I

n 2014, Sebastian Pesquera had woken up with

Fast forward to today and this student currently only

unbearable back pain and before school and had

has 1 kidney stone and is also continuing his journey

no choice but to go to the hospital and get himself

at HCC by planning to finish the 2 year degree that is

checked out. After spending a very long day at the

offered here at HCC and then transferring to a four-year

hospital, the doctors came back to him with the

institution and attempting to fulfill his ultimate goal

news that he had multiple kidney stones inside of his

which is to have a job working as a sports front office

body. Through this, Sebastian still wanted to stay focused

manager(or in other words somebody that manages the

on not only getting his body right due to these stones,

team’s decisions.)

but continuing his journey of completing his long life

Throughout this time, this student states “Going

goal, being able to work in a sports front office someday

through the process of having kidney stones has put me

In order to prevent more stones from appearing,

in the mindset that if I can overcome that, I can overcome

Pesquera said, “The doctors told me that everything from

and achieve anything. Obviously kidney stones aren’t as

here on out is on you, the biggest thing i was told to do

big of a medical situation when compared to others but

was to fix up my eating habits and the odds of getting

for it was, because I hadn’t experienced anything like that.

another stone would decrease.” With this information

So for me it was a big deal overcoming that and making

that the doctors gave him, Pesquera didn’t hesitate to

those necessary changes.”

start getting his bad eating habits out of the way, such as cutting out soda and all junk food, and to this student it came to a surprise that committing to this advice from the doctors has been able to do so much good for well being. With this also came lots of missed school days, which could have easily held him back and forced him to repeat the grade, but he knew that he was too close to finishing his last year of high school and didn’t plan to give up, even on the days he missed, he still found a way to get

“Going through the process of having kidney stones has put me in the midset that if I can overcome that, I can overcome and achieve anything.”

all the work that he had done, and finished the year with exceptional grades.

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Profiles

The Importance of

Growth BY JANIA JONES

R

|

STAFF WRITER

achel Cain, an Instructor of Biology at HCC, has

PDF links would seemingly torment us by picking and

her favorite quote from Nelson Mandela posted

choosing when they’d like work, and getting the virtual

up in her office at Housatonic. It reads,

textbooks’ access codes to work, was an entirely separate

“I really do, admire that quote. It really helps my

issue. However, just as Cain was learning and adjusting to

perspective… [education] is how we include people in the

this new and unfamiliar way of teaching, her students were

world of biology… so they don’t get caught up in systemic

as well. It called for a nurturing environment in which we

racism… so that they figure out who to vote for in the fall...

were all learning something new together. Every time Cain

It’s everyday tasks but also big picture,” she says.

successfully shared the screen or digitally annotated an

If you haven’t had the pleasure of being a student in one of her classes, Cain is a light-hearted and joyous instructor that brings a vibrant personality into the classroom. I remember the first day of my Intro to Bio class with her. She’d written my name on the Powerpoint (this was amid the quarantine) and drew a heart around it simply because I’d answered a question correctly. Throughout the next five weeks in which I was a part of her world, I learned more and

image, it was a small win.

“EDUCATION IS THE MOST POWERFUL WEAPON WHICH YOU CAN USE TO CHANGE THE WORLD.”

more about a strong and inspiring woman who was never afraid to learn more. I have witnessed firsthand Cain’s simple everyday successes. In my first day of class with her, I recall her constantly re-iterating the fact that she was still adjusting to virtual teaching and that we’d have to be patient. During the beginning, it was a constant battle between us and the technology, virtual labs would require too much bandwidth,

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While Cain might describe those simple things not as success but solely as adjusting, it built up morale because we could see her growth right before our eyes, which, as a result, provided hope for ourselves as we adjusted to the online setting as well. At the time, I was taking another class that I struggled greatly with. It was difficult for me to get in contact with my professor and I was feeling unmotivated


Life is a constant push and pull between learning new things and exhibiting what you’ve been taught. about the coursework and learning digitally. However, after a conversation I had with Cain one afternoon, I realized that giving up was not an option. Her kindness and hardworking “get it done” mindset helped give me the push I needed to follow through with my own adversities. She describes her definition of success as, “...walking every day with purpose and feeling like you were made for

Cain’s favorite quote is by Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

the moments that you live.” Now, as Cain settles into her Photo by John-Paul Henry on Unsplash

third semester of teaching online, she feels well adjusted but realizes she still has room to grow. When asked about how she feels as though she represents success on a daily basis, she states, “I don’t think I operate daily feeling successful… I think it comes in moments of pause when you slow down and really look around to be grateful… I would say it’s more so the feeling of joy and maybe the joy fuels the succes.” While Cain is humble beyond belief, she truly embodies what I see as success. She is driven by the fulfillment that her family and her students provide for her and stays true to the motto, “Keep it real and keep it moving.” Life is a constant push and pull between learning new things and exhibiting what you’ve been taught. As we can see through people such as Cain, as long as we stay true to what we believe, we find that success will present itself to you in ways you might not have expected.

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Fashionable

Sorbet

BY Z’JADA HARRIS | SENIOR STAFF WRITER

S

ome fashion trends are a reflection of the four seasons, and a fair amount of men and women are going to be wearing sorbet colors in the spring.

Blumarine, Dennis Basso, Zimmermann, and

LoveShackFancy were some of the many fashion brands to unveil their seasonal specific garments in those hues for their Spring 2021 collections. Other fashion brands also opted to create Spring 2021 collections that had bright, jewel-toned, earthtoned, and neutral color palettes, causing me to correctly assume that those hues will be one of the fashion trends for that upcoming season. Harper’s Bazaar, The Trend Spotter, and Fashionista also became aware of the trend and decided to include sorbet colors as a Spring 2021 trend in their respective online articles about Spring 2021 fashion trends after they saw photos of those collections in October.

Many people’s spring wardrobes are going to resemble dyed and plastic easter eggs. Photo by Samuel Figueroa on Unsplash

There will be a resurgence of many other fashion trends when spring comes around, and many people shouldn’t be surprised when they see other people wearing baby pink, lilac, powder blue, mint green, or lemon yellow Easter eggs during that time.

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Housatonic Horizons

“ OTHER FASHION BRANDS ALSO

OPTED TO CREATE SPRING 2021 COLLECTIONS THAT HAD BRIGHT, JEWEL-TONED, EARTH-TONED, AND NEUTRAL COLOR PALETTES”


Credits DESIGN

WRITING

Art and Design Director Michelle Huh

Editor-in-Chief Chrissy Getts

Assistant Design Director Rudy Feliz-Ramirez

Horizons Advisor Professor Steve Mark

Design Advisor Professor Andy Pinto Production Manager Stephanie Marrero Design Staff Aeemay Dabiran, Cameron Amato, Shatasia Jordan, Ammatara Tanveer, Liana Ferreira, Josephine Hyde, Rendon Ericsson, Robert Eszenyi, Dan Ferko, Neilus Morgan, Saida Humami, Almendra De La Cruz, Angel Alicea Cover & Contents Illustration Michelle Huh Extensive Illustration Contributions Aeemay Dabiran

Staff Writers Kaylynn Carr, Ludwick Francois, Jania Jones, Sebastian Londono, Amanda Mainieri, Richard Mazza, Nicholas McCarthy, LaRay Rice, Destene Savariau, Adian Smith, Allen Virgile Senior Staff Writers Alva Blair, Channell Collins, Justin Figueroa, Stephen Gonzalez, Z’Jada Harris, Connor Hikade, Nhathalie Jean-Baptiste, Jack Jones


Horizons WHO WE ARE

HOW YOU CAN JOIN US

Horizons is student-powered:

FOR CREDIT

FREELANCE

a student-led, student-produced media outlet for news and information of interest to HCC students, written by students for students.

Become a part of the staff, learn new skills, meet the computer literacy requirement, and earn 3 college credits by taking Publications Workshops, COM*116. Reach out to our advisor, Professor Steve Mark, at smark@housatonic.edu to find out more.

You can also submit articles, essays, cartoons, or photographs on a freelance basis by reaching out to us via social media or via email at housatonichorizons@ gmail.com Make sure to cc our advisor at the smark@housatonic.edu

WHAT WE DO We provide news, updates on campus activities and events, profiles of HCC students, faculty, and staff, and helpful advice about topics like health, success, fashion, fitness, and relationships. In addition, we feature personal essays and opinion pieces on a range of subjects, and articles about arts, music, and entertainment and more.

HOW TO STAY CONNECTED

HOUSATONIC HORIZONS HCCHORIZONS


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