Monday, May 12, 2014

WEB EXCLUSIVE: A Final Farewell

By Dannyy Alamo
Contributing Writer

As the semester comes to an end many graduating students start to think about the next chapter in their lives. Many students are continuing their education; others are going into the workforce and for students like me using opportunities to further their chosen careers and lives.
A lot of people question the choice to attend Housatonic Community College, I made the choice after losing my grandmother passed away in 2009 and after a year off coming to terms with her death I decided I needed to do something productive and start looking towards my future which is what my grandmother would want.
I started in the summer of 2011, after the grueling fafsa procedure, finding a stable place to live and deciding what major I wanted to be in, I took my first class in the summer to get a feel for what was to come. My first professor was English Professor Lily Michols and she was a very nurturing and understanding professor. Professor Michols made my first class very engaging and entertaining.
After Professor Michols’s English class I felt like I could take on this college thing and that I did. I’ll admit I was a little afraid because I knew that not all professors would be as kind and entertaining as Professor Michols, but I felt good about what was to come. After registering for the Fall 2011 semester I began to anticipate the upcoming school semester.
The semester came and I took it on and did really good, at the time I was in a relationship and was working at the Academic Advising Center in Lafayette Hall. I felt on top of the world and like nothing could stop me. Unfortunately all seemingly good things must come to an end. I had a bad break up after some hidden domestic violence and being with someone who was very controlling.
After I took some time to fully deal with the situation I bounced back and decided I wouldn’t let the situations that occurred before to derail me from finishing my goal, which was to finish the semester and get closer to graduation. I finished the semester and enjoyed the winter break. Christmas came, New Year’s came and it was back to school. I told myself I would focus solely on school and making sure to enjoy my college career, things don’t always go as planned I bumped into a blast from my past and three months later was in another relationship.
I was on cloud nine; I was doing well in school, writing for the paper and was in a relationship that seemed perfect. Perfection unfortunately doesn’t last long, especially when it’s not meant to be. A few months into my relationship things took a turn for the worst, I was being lied to, mistreated and my loyalty and commitment was being used against me. I wasn’t perfect and I knew that but I was doing everything I could to make the relationship work.
Eight months before my break-up, I fell out of love and realized that because my relationship was so public around town, social media and to close family and friends that I couldn’t just walk away without getting a lot of backlash. I was broken so broken, I wasn’t working at my best in school or work, I was emotional and confused, I had never been in that situation before.
When I had the proof to get out, I was too late. My significant other broke up with me and requested for me to move out of our apartment seeing as I wouldn’t be able to afford it on my income. I said I would but after the month was over, it was April 19. A week later I got more proof this time it was solid, I lost it after finding out I was lied to, played and betrayed. My relationship ended very badly and I was embarrassed to go back to school.
When I got back to school after spring break, I had a black eye, scratches and scars all over my body and a fear that wouldn’t go away. My ex broke me, I felt so little, so stupid and so lost. I dealt with the questions and the ridicule and the blame, never opening up to anyone besides those who mattered about what exactly happened.
I finally made it to summer break and even though I was still getting blamed, laughed at and judged I felt like I was handling things just fine. I enjoyed my summer with a few break downs and a few failed attempts at moving on. It was time for the Fall semester and I made a pact with myself that I would wait until graduation to start dating again, it was now 2013 and I realized I had been through two long term failed relationships.
The New Year came very fast and I was ready for it. I started looking at what I wanted to do with my Communications degree and my future. I applied to 136 internships in the City with my sights set on one, People’s Revolution Fashion PR, notably known for its appearances on MTV’s The Hills and The City and Bravo’s Kell On Earth.
I got People’s Rev and was excited to graduate Spring 2014 and start right after. Here I am now preparing for graduation in a few weeks and preparing to take on a new chapter in my life. I reinvented myself into a fashion socialite; I started hosting club events and embracing new friends. I feel like I now know who I am. I realized that all the decisions I’ve made have gotten me to this point good and bad, and that now it was my time to take back my life.
It doesn’t matter what curveball life throws at us, it only matters if we learn from it. If I could do it so could you and if I could come out stronger after domestic violence, homelessness and employment loss you could too. Life is in your hands take it and mold it into what you want it to be, don’t be afraid and never say you can’t do something, trust me you can. This is my farewell to Housatonic, for those that have some time here enjoy it for those leaving with me congrats! We did it!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

WEB EXCLUSIVE: On Pins and Needles

By Sarah Springer
Staff Writer

(Editor's Note: Due to a production error, this article did not run in print.) 

Curated by Professor Suzan Shutan, the Pins & Needles exhibit - which ran from January 21 through February 20, 2014 in the Burt Chernow Galleries in Lafayette Hall - showcased artworks created out of pins and needles, from which this event received its name. These “humble tools” lent themselves to elaborate sculptures and installations using a variety of supplementary materials, such as found household objects (thread, shoes, and cigar boxes) or cast wax figures.

Untitled (shoes), Erwina Ziomkcwska. Photo courtesy of the Housatonic Museum of Art.

Lizbeth Anderson, an art lecturer at Housatonic, likened the art to “the work of some diverse women from the colonial past [like] Martha Washington, Prudence Punderson, [and] Cynthia Burr [who] all used needlework in various forms to express themselves. That was what was available to them.”

She explained that this needlework, including crafts such as quilting and embroidery, was both a sought-after skill and a creative expression of the female experience – which, at the time, amounted to “identity, marriage, maternity, [and] death.”

Anderson took her students to view the Pins & Needles exhibit and said that it gave them “a new perspective, a new context in which to appreciate pins and needles. It was a perfect example of how studying art history can enhance a student's understanding of contemporary art and vice versa.”

Julies Ly, one of Anderson’s students, enjoyed the exhibit. “My favorite piece was definitely ‘Grove.’ It was the only piece that was on the floor, which definitely caught my attention.” "Grove," an installation sculptural piece by New York artist Tamiko Kawata, took up a large part of the gallery floor and featured dozens of phallic-shaped towers made entirely out of safety pins. The heights of the towers differed, as did the coloring - some silver and clean, others rusty-brown with age. Beneath the lighting of the gallery, each form cast a long shadow on the floor.

Another installation piece, “The Mortals,” created by artist Valerie Hallier out of pins, colored thread, and stickers, built an intriguing map of relationships, time, and location that took up a portion of the gallery wall. Each relationship was represented by a colored thread, each year by a circle, and each country was a constellation of interactions.

The Mortals, Valerie Hallier. Photo courtesy of the Housatonic Museum of Art.

Ly found the artists’ use of everyday household items unexpected, but says that she enjoyed it. “I will definitely be going to more exhibits in the gallery! I’ve never been to the gallery before, so seeing this exhibit caught my attention!”

Curator and Housatonic adjunct instructor Suzan Shutan did not have a favorite piece. “There is something about each piece that I love and it is why it [was] curated into the exhibit,” she said. Her own pieces, “Pom Poms I/Homage to Ellsworth Kelly” and “Pom Poms II/Homage to Sol LeWitt,” were also displayed and featured steel pins and colored pom poms.

Pom Poms I/Homage to Ellsworth Kelly, Suzan Shutan. Photo courtesy of the Housatonic Museum of Art.

In addition to Shutan, Hallier, and Kawata, other artists exhibited in this show included Kim Bruce of Canada, Belle Shafir of Israel, Erwina Ziomkowska of Poland, Jill Vasileff of California, and Janice Caswell, Karen Shaw, and Beth Dary, all of New York City.  Shutan explained that the “commonality between the artists [in the exhibit] was the pure fascination with the multiplicity of these domestic objects often used as ‘women's work.’ Used as fasteners, they are blunt, sharp, and painful if you get pricked, but you can see them as a metaphor for ‘holding things together’ in one's life.”

She hopes that the patrons of the exhibit walked away with a greater sense of the beauty found in common materials, and that they will also “consider the global need to recycle or repurpose a material.”

The Housatonic Museum of Art was founded in 1967 by Burt Chernow, a former professor at Housatonic Community College. Its mission is to further “the enhancement of cultural life in Bridgeport, Fairfield County and Southern New England through the display, collection, interpretation and preservation of original works of art.”

While Pins & Needles has finished its showing, the Burt Chernow galleries in Lafayette Hall host art exhibitions throughout the year. The galleries are free and open to the public seven days a week. More information can be found on their website,

Read our April 2014 Issue Online Now

Housatonic Horizons April 2014 by Steve Mark

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Read Our Latest Issue Online!

Use the buttons at the bottom of the issue embedded below to view on Scrbd, download, share, or make full screen (the button to the far right)

Horizons Spring 2014 Issue 1 by Steve Mark

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Bridgeport’s ES Barazza Makes Housatonic Part of His Reality.

On November 19th  Graffiti and tattoo artist ES Barazza, a contestant on Spike Television’s ‘Ink Master’  will be speaking on his experience and his work  in the ever growing tattoo industry at 11a.m. in room B227 and all are welcome.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fragile Home Exhibit

New Exhibit, “Our Fragile Home,” Now in Housatonic Museum of Art
By Brenna McIntyre
Staff Writer

A new art exhibit that examines humanity’s relationship with the environment, entitled “Our Fragile Home”, is currently in the Housatonic Museum of Art. The show opened on September 5th and will remain here until October 20th. The Community Gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM and closed Sundays.
“Our Fragile Home” was created by Pat Musick and Jerry Carr, a husband and wife duo. Carr did the engineer work while Musick worked on the artistic aspect of the show. Carr is a retired astronaut, most notable for his position as commander of Skylab 4, which was the longest manned flight in history.  In 1990, Carr and Musick were invited to an Earth Day assembly in which six astronauts from different countries were brought on stage to talk. The audience had translations of what was being said, but the astronauts had no idea what the other ones were saying. To the great surprise of everyone there, they all used the same nine words to describe the earth: sustain, protect, balance, harmony, nurture, fragile, steward, and beauty.
As the press release desribes it, “This exhibit, which exhorts us to take care of, nurture and respect our fragile planet, contains a message that has universal appeal. Based on inspiration from the words space travelers use to describe their first glimpse of the earth from outer space, it is a testament to a shared worldview and understanding of how vulnerable we all are. Amazingly, the sight of our earth from space inspires the same words no matter the differences in nationality, language, social, religious or political values of the viewer.”
In regards to what students and the general public should take away from the exhibit, Musick says  “My hope is that they ‘will get it.’ ‘It’ being the salvation of our planet-home. Each person brings their own interpretation to artwork, so there is no guarantee that they will feel what the artist feels. So I tried to make my feelings as clear as I could without compromising the work. We all have an obligation to care for our world...each in his or her own way.”
Lydia Viscardi, the collections manager and media coordinator of the Housatonic Museum of Art, says, “... It is pretty cool to have real artworks displayed everywhere on our college campus - this is most unusual for a college.  I hope that more students will exhibit the Burt Chernow Galleries to see ‘Our Fragile Home,’  and it would be great if they would ‘like us’ on Facebook. The show provides us with an opportunity to think about the world from the point of view of an astronaut who has witnessed the planet earth in its entirety from outer space.”
Housatonic student Teresa Wirtemburg says, “I thought it was really interesting how they tied the words together through the whole gallery. I think everyone should see the museum every time it changes because you never know what you are going to see.”
Housatonic puts an emphasis on art, as put in the mission statement of the museum, “Reflection of HCC Philosophy is that art is a daily part of life for every student and staff member. Paintings, drawings, sculpture, photographs, and artifacts are on display throughout the campus. The belief that the environment filled with visual art enhances learning, develops critical thinking, and sparks debate, remains the guiding principle of the museum”.
Musick has a similar feeling: “I think art is important in education, but also in our daily lives wherever we are. It was humankind's first form of communication and has not lost it's power for connection, one to another, throughout time.”
Musick says, that she has a long relationship with the College. “Our friend Dale Ward, who was a former professor at the College  gave a work that I created to the collection...we brought the piece to the college and that first visit was inspiring to us. In addition you are enriched by Bert Chernow's collection and the wonderful gallery space. Over the years we have told many about these riches. It is an honor to be asked to exhibit here,” she said.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Smoking and Driving

By Rachel Kulikowski
Senior Staff Writer

It was a warm summer night in August. That summer, I had just received my first car. It was an older green Volkswagen Jetta that smelled like aged leather inside. I remember being extremely happy about the freedom that comes with having a car. That night I been hanging out at a friends house and it was getting late. At this point I felt everyone was becoming tired including me, so I decided to head home. Sometimes relaxing summer nights have a way of making you feel like nothing could go wrong, but I had been mistaken.

I yawned as I put my key into the ignition and started to drive off. Even though I only lived across town I definitely was exhausted so I decided the best thing to do was turn up the music and light up a cigarette. This probably was not a good idea however, I was not worried about it because I thought for some odd reason multitasking would wake me up. At this point I was only a few blocks away from my house when I dropped the cigarette I was smoking as I was still driving. I recall the cigarette falling to the ground but the burning ember on the end fell onto my bare leg and was burning my skin. This resulted in me taking my eyes off the road for a split second and slamming my car into a tree. I looked up and all I could see was an airbag and broken glass.

For anyone who's been in a serious automobile accident when it is your fault, you probably can relate to the anxiety I felt at that moment. It’s almost hard to describe. And for a split second it almost did not feel real. Reality did rush into my brain quickly as I tasted blood in my mouth and the strong scent of gasoline leaked into my nose. I was not hurt to bad just broke my nose so I was able to step out of the vehicle. The car was not okay though it was wrapped around the tree and smoke was pouring out of it. I did realize that my cell phone was somewhere in the car but I was too panicked to go back in and search through the car.

Something that I thought was pretty strange was that there were houses everywhere, yet everyones houses remained dark. No one turned their lights on or looked outside everything around me was still so calm. I wondered how no one heard that happen. I definitely needed help and felt relief when a neighboring house’s kitchen light came on and a door opened. I saw an older woman looking at me so I approached her door to ask her if she could call the police but she slammed the door. I knocked on the door and her kitchen light went off. At that point I felt extremely helpless.

I never thought of myself as a threatening looking person, maybe it was because I had blood all over my shirt but clearly there was a crashed car right behind me. I thought maybe the woman was going to call the police so I sat on the curb when a Cutlass Supreme pulls up. An older man with long hair got out of the car and told me he’d call the police. He let me use his phone to call my mom and gave me a bottle of water. I was happy someone did help me and it was not a weirdo he was actually a nice guy. When the police arrived the woman who originally slammed the door in my face emerged from her house commenting that she heard glass breaking, so I guess she was not going to call the police at all which is why I was lucky that the guy in the Cutlass pulled up. This was a very bad situation, I only had the car for a short time and had already destroyed it. I couldn't help  that I had to drive home tired but I could have just concentrated on the road rather than smoking and playing with the radio. I did not expect that to happen at all.

According to "Smoking-related tasks are considered in the category of driver inattentiveness as noted in a 2006 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration titled "The Impact of Driver Inattention on Near-Crash/Crash Risk. Drivers who are engaged in tasks not related to driving, such as reaching for a cigarette, lighting or extinguishing the cigarette and smoking while driving, increase the risk of having an accident by two-to-three times that of normal driving.”

Totaling my first car was a dangerous but important lesson for me. I actually really have been a lot more careful since that night. The car I currently own I received about 6 years ago and have no had a major accidents. That night could have been a lot worse I could have had someone else in the car, hit a person rather than a tree, and I think about these things to this day which is why it’s important for everyone to be careful, cars are expensive, and multitasking and driving is definitely not worth it. This is something I am sure everyone knows but takes for granted.

Car Frenzy

By Dannyy Alamo
Senior Staff Writer

I was with my friend at the time and we decided to go for a drive it was really late and my grandmother always told me once I got home I shouldn’t step back out when it was past midnight because that’s usually when bad things happened. Whenever my grandmother said things like that I got annoyed and believed that it was all superstition. It was the fall of 2009 September to be exact, I was living in Killeen, TX and I had just left my  the movie theater.

I didn’t listen to my grandmother and still went for the ride with my friend. I was driving down a road that was 50 mph and wasn’t paying attention to the road; I was listening to music and laughing. While I was driving I got way too distracted and didn’t see that there was a cinder block in the middle of the road. When I got close enough to see it I tried to go around it but do to the speed of the road my car swerved and lost control. I spun around three times, went through a nearby gate and crashed into a building that was behind the gate. My motor came into the front seat and pinned me in my car.

At first I didn’t realize what happened I was sort of in a daze and didn’t realize that we were in an actual accident. I remember sitting straight and feeling the throbbing of my head  because when the airbag deployed my head hit the door frame. I look over to my friend to see if she’s ok and realized that she’s also pinned in her seat. I realized that I had to control my emotions and behaviors so not to frighten her.

I asked her was she okay?  She looked herself over and replied, “yeah I’m ok.” I decided to try and get out of the car but noticed that my door was jammed due the impact. I decided that I needed to throw my body against the door in an attempt to try and pry it open.

I was able to open my door but I couldn’t get out. I remember smelling the gas, the fire and the burnt rubber. I remember seeing the smoke and the flames. I heard the crackling of the fire and the engine still going. My engine pinned me in the drivers seat on my right thigh. I tried hard to pull my leg out of the space but my leg was really stuck. I quickly searched for my phone and when I found it I dialed 911 to get in contact with the police. When they answered I tried to remain calm and explain the accident, the location and how badly we were hurt. I started feeling this excruciating pain go up my right leg from the tip of my toes to my hip bone. It felt like a strong surge of fire with a pop at the end shooting up my leg. After about 15 minutes the police, ambulance and transporting helicopter came and got us out of the car and into ambulances.

I arrived at the hospital and was rushed into surgery. I don’t remember much about the moments before that besides the doctor telling me to recite a color, a number and a letter he was going to say to me. I remember being told to count back from 100 and this cooling feeling going through me, then I felt as if I was asleep. I remember that during this sleep like phase I was really cold and felt like I was being ripped apart. Then I felt warmth and I was being woken up by the doctor.

I awoke to see figures in front of me and my vision was very unclear. I blinked a few times to process what was in front of me and saw six faces 1 that I recognized  and five that I didn’t. I recognized my grandmothers face and stared at her while in confusion. I tried to speak but my mouth felt so dry. A man in all white gave me a cup of water to moisten my throat. I asked what happened because I couldn’t move my foot.

The doctor explained that I had gotten into an accident, broken my right femur bone and had to go through immediate surgery to have a metal rod inserted into my thigh to replace the broken bone. I started to cry because of the fear that maybe I wouldn’t be able to walk again. The doctor told me that there was something else that he needed to tell me. I said,” OK”, and he replied,”During the surgery, your heart stopped having a pulse.” I looked at him a little confused and he said,” Mr. Alamo during surgery you died and we had to bring you back to life, I don’t know why but we have ran some test to figure out if it was something from our part.”

Again I began to cry, to hear the words you died was just crazy. After processing everything that happened, I started to have flashbacks of my grandmother telling how I need to pay attention when I’m driving and that I shouldn’t go back out for a ride after I already got  myself home and was preparing to go to sleep. I realized that even though I didn’t permanently die I could’ve and that that was God’s way of telling me listen to my elders.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Feeling A Little Shy?

By Sherly Montes

The nerves began as soon as my ride pulled up to the side entrance of Beacon Hall by the bookstore. I walked up the stairs, constantly reminding myself not to trip and make a fool of myself. As soon as I entered the building I felt awkward, maybe it was because every pair of eyes in that hallway shifted over to me. That definitely made me feel uncomfortable. I mean I know I’ve done that before to other people but because I was already nervous, that made me feel even more self-conscious. I quickly glanced down at my schedule and found that I was early and had some time to kill. I began to walk around the first floor of Beacon Hall, casually observing those around me.

I saw a lot of the same thing, people sitting alone and putting their bags next to them as to show that they didn’t want anyone to sit next to them, some students looking down at their cell phones or laptops to keep busy, others wandering around aimlessly with old friends or alone, and of course the ones standing right outside their classrooms by themselves hoping to see a friendly face to chat with.

As I continued to walk around the first floor of Beacon Hall, I saw a few familiar faces and smiled casually at them. It felt nice to see people I already knew and chat with them, I didn’t feel like such an outcast and I didn’t feel so alone then -- even if it was for a few short seconds.

With about ten minutes left for my first class to start, I headed down the hall to find my classroom. There were already several students waiting outside of our classroom. I didn’t know any of them. That’s got to be the worst, it being the first day of school and you don’t know anyone in your class.

Surely I’m not the only person who is shy like this.

According to a study done by LiveScience that was featured on NBC news in 2010, “About 20 percent of people are born with a personality trait called sensory perception sensitivity (SPS)”. This trait is what causes a person to be shy and act in certain ways. Shy people also think differently, compared to those who aren’t born with the SPS trait.

Standing in that busy hallway, I began to look at those that were standing outside of the classroom around me. It’s our human nature to study new people around us and so I looked at certain individuals, trying to sense what they were like.

Personally, I found talking to new people was a challenge because while I do get along with most people, I’m really quiet, shy, and I don’t normally like meeting new people. I don’t approach people that I don’t already know that often, and I prefer to just sit quietly on my own. I had just gotten to know and like those people in my classes last semester, and now I felt like I was being thrown into that same nerve wracking situation where I didn’t know a single person. I knew I was going to have to warm up to the new people in my classes and start conversations with them at some point. For someone like me, that’s not always easy because I’m naturally so shy and I often just observe the things that are going on around me without speaking.

“When in the company of other people, our minds automatically construct a map of the minds that surround us.” says Alex Lickerman, M.D. “We're constantly imagining and theorizing what other people are thinking—and making judgments about and having reactions to those imaginings.”

Lickerman is right, because that’s exactly what I was doing while I was standing outside of that classroom. The minutes were ticking by and I was just observing the people around me, being shy, not wanting to talk to anyone.

Shyness is one of those things that can have a lot of control over you, if you don’t control it. I’ve come to realize that many times, my shyness has held me back from doing the things that I want to do, it has also kept me from talking to people, and it has stopped me from voicing my opinions on several occasions.

Dealing with my shyness can be a challenge, but I know that eventually I’ll reach that level of comfort and my shyness won’t be a problem anymore.

In fact, you might find that it’s hard to shut me up after a while.

How To Explain Death: A Child's Perspective

By Jessica Brooks

As I am laying in bed on October 20, 2001 in the early hours of the morning, my home phone rings.  Every time the phone rings it sounds the same, but this particular morning there was an eerie sound to it.

My feet hit the floor, I felt the cold wood floor hit the bottom of my toes and as I watched my mother pick up the phone, I witnessed her face transform from someone who was barely awake, to someone who was at full attention with a tear falling from her left eye then her right. Being a child who is extremely close to her mother, I felt that pain coursing through my body before I knew what was actually wrong and then I was told that my grandfather had died in his sleep.

My mom and I got dressed and drove to the nursing home that was only about a ten minute drive from our house, but this ride seemed like it took forever for us to get there. Its almost like time stopped and we took every opportunity with permission from the universe to prolong the ride before our final goodbye.  As my mom parks the car, she looks at me a says, “Are you ready?” I remembered looking at her as if I couldn't comprehend what she was saying and then we were walking to my Pop Pop’s room. What was I going to see? Was he going to look different?  Then one of the nurses that escorted us to the room turned the knob.

It was as if when the door opened, there was a strong wind that hit me in my face.  My hand took comfort inside my mother’s as we walked to the bed that I’ve walked to a thousand times, but this time was different.  I knew that I wouldn't see that warm smile across my grandfather’s face. I wouldn’t be able to squeeze him and crack a joke or two.  There would be no laughter.  Nothing.  The nurse gave this sympathizing look to my mom before she slowly pulled the curtain back and there he was. My Pop Pop. Laying there as if he were asleep and at peace.  

Even though I was sad and watched the tears stream down my mother’s face, I couldn’t help but think if my parents were going to be next. What is death? How does death work? These questions replayed in my head every night before I went to sleep and the first thing I thought about when I woke up in the morning. I was frightened. The concept of death was new to me because it never happened to someone I was close with.

Unfortunately, as a young adult death has become more frequent in my life whether it be an older family member, friend, or someone around my neighborhood and no matter how old I get, I always relate death with my first experience with it as a child., which is powered by pediatricians from the American Academy of Pediatrics, goes into full detail about how some children might deal with death.  The website even goes into depth about how a child might cope with specific family member’s death.

From grandparents, parents and even siblings, the different relationships that the child has with the individual greatly alters how children cope with the loss. The death of a grandparent may not be as traumatic according to the website. “When a grandparent dies, children may not find it as devastating as the loss of a parent or a sibling. To them, their grandparent is an older person, and when people get old, they often die.” As the explanation goes on, it also says that if the grandparent-grandchild relationship had a strong foundation before death occurred then the child is prone to taking the news harder and have a difficult time to adjusting to the change. The child may also not grasp the concept of death, making them feel that their parents might be next.  However, if the parents sit down and explain death in a way that their children can comprehend then this can serve as a life lesson that would ultimately prepare them for other loses they will experience in life.

Death is something that is inevitable and unfortunately never gets easier to deal with as we transform from children into adults. The one thing we can control is the way we help young children cope and try to find different approaches in order to make children at ease with such a difficult process. I was fortunate enough to have parents that took the time to explain and whether your explanation is linked to your religious beliefs or scientific knowledge, any way that helps a child get through a life shaking experience such as death can really alter the way life is lived rather than an innocent child worrying about how life will end.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Read the April 2013 Print Edition!

Read the April 2013 edition of Horizons online (prior to print) now!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Guns on Campus: How do we prevent school shootings?

Guns on Campus: How do we prevent school shootings?
By Santiago Achinelli

After the tragedy at Sandy Hook, many people have been asking if it could have been prevented by a stronger firearm presence in the school. Some folks have even taken that idea to its logical extreme, and seriously proposed that school teachers be allowed to carry firearms in class. Is this addressing the right issue, or overlooking a larger problem?

Here’s a proposition that many people on the other side of the aisle make:
Instead of trying to get teachers to deal with school shooters, should we consider creating an environment where people with sociopathic tendencies are taken care of professionally and/or subject to rigorous psychological testing before being permitted to own a firearm?

Frankly, neither of these positions are tackling the right issue. Both of these positions do little more than use the massacre at Sandy Hook as vehicle for political agendas, whether it’s the pro-gun or anti-gun lobbies. How can we, as a school, look past the C-SPAN drudgery and find real, useful ways of keeping everyone happy? Or at least content enough to not shoot anybody?

Let’s take a look at Sandy Hook as a case study. As one of the most heinous acts of domestic violence in recent history, it warrants scrutiny by folks looking to make sure it never, ever happens again.

The Shooter’s Profile
1). Adam Lanza, the shooter who took the lives of dozens of children and teachers, as well as his own mother, was also an honor roll student.
2). Lanza did not have any past history of violence or crime.
3). Reports indicate that he was not mentally disturbed, but that he may have had Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism that is fairly harmless and usually just colors the person’s social abilities. His psychological state was not to blame - at least, this aspect of it was not.
4). He did not own a single firearm, but was taught by his mother how to shoot, and took her weapons with him to Sandy Hook Elementary School.
The implications here are very clear. This is not “gang” violence. It isn’t even the actions of an “aggressive-looking” individual. This horrible act was committed by someone who, by societal standards, was an example of middle class values.
The thing that separated Lanza from so many other kids was the care afforded to him. I don’t mean medical care, I mean caring. When someone is feeling depressed or rejected by society, the absolute worst thing you can do to them is leave them alone. As a watched pot never boils, someone who has a social net on which to fall on never cracks the way he did.

How Do We Keep This From Ever Happening Here?
I find that the answer is not distinctly a policy one, but a cultural one. We need to foster an environment where young men and women have emotional support from their peers. But how can we, as a student body and faculty, make this support happen?

Church is the answer for some people. Many conservative politicos consider a lack of church attendance to correlate with a more violent society. I agree wholeheartedly, but I completely disagree with the notion that religion is the prime motivator for a more peaceful people. Community, not spirituality, is what we should be endorsing on a cultural level. Enough of these “Wars on ___” nonsense, you cannot change a personality at the point of a bayonet. Real, meaningful change can only come from the person’s interaction with their community, and how they see themselves relative to the ‘bigger picture’.
So how does the average Joe or Jane help get this to happen?
Simple, get up and ask someone how they’re doing.

Seriously, put this laptop down, look around the room (if you’re alone, go find a crowded place, no cheating), find someone who looks like they’re having a tough day, and ask them how they’re doing. If we all do this, and we mean it when we say “Are you okay?” There will never come a day in which Housatonic has to experience a tragedy like Sandy Hook did.

Is it any coincidence that many of these troubled youths choose to shoot up a school, not a shopping mall or any other heavily populated area? Our schools are where children learn their place in society, and how they fit with their peers. If you are full of anger, and under the impression that you do not matter to your peers or anyone else, what is to stop you from making the ‘logical’ conclusion that their lives shouldn’t matter to you? It’s an even smaller step from that to homicide. The only cure here is prevention. And the best prevention is a caring thought and a warm smile for those of us who need it most.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Students Jump into HCC's Shark Tank

Students Jump Into HCC’s Shark Tank
Record Attendance at Elevator Pitch Competition
By Sam Rosoff
Senior Staff Writer

HCC’s Fifth Annual Elevator Pitch Competition saw record attendance last Wednesday night, where business students from Housatonic and Gateway Community College competed for cash prizes. 

Participants were given 60 seconds to “pitch” their entrepreneurial ideas to a panel of local businessmen.

Chris Warner, a Gateway student, walked away with the award for the best overall concept for his “Pancake Power” business, which consisted of a food truck that serves gourmet pancakes. The judges said Pancake Power was “the whole package,” and something they could really see investing in it.

“Imagine yourself in a city; you’re rushing to work or school. You’re hungry, and your stomach is starving for food,” Warner said in his pitch. “Pancake Power to the rescue!”

The runner up concept was awarded to the idea for a store named For Boys Only, which would sell boys’ apparel and hygiene products. The store would also have a barbershop and a game room to keep the kids busy while the parents shopped.

The best presentation award was given to the Ethnic India pitch, which was a restaurant that would have both fast food and full-service dining, selling Indian and Middle Eastern dishes.

Other pitches included a pet groomer with health-conscious products, an outdoor living supply website, smart homes for the elderly, a cupcake bakery, a wildlife rehabilitation center, and a non-profit organization to help get youth into college.

The judges for the event included Bryan Kelsey, a regional manager at People’s United Bank, Peter Propp, Stamford Innovation Center's Vice-President of Marketing, and Dan Leiteo, a developer at Conclave Labs.

HCC President Anita Gliniecki praised the event for helping to develop critical skills in all participants.

“Synthesizing a message is so important,” Gliniecki said. “The skill of using exactness and terseness in a message is such a wonderful skill that everyone should have.”

December 2012 Issue Now Online!

Housatonic Horizons December 2012

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Read, Download, or Share the Oct 2011 Issue of Horizons!

The latest issue of HCC Horizons hits the stands today, and you can also read it online right here. Please pass it along! Housatonic Horizons October 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

Continuum 35: Creative Writing

Visit the Continuum website!

Host Brandon T. Bisceglia speaks with Horizons editors Michael Bednarsky and Lovanda Brown, who share their experiences as Co-Editors-in-Chief of HCC's creative writing magazine, Images, and talk about the intersection of journalism and creative writing.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Stats Update: Horizons Facebook Page Gets Boost

The graph below displays activity on Horizons' Facebook page from May 2, 2010 to today. Since the beginning of the semester, the editors have made an effort to post links and updates more frequently, instead of relying only on in-depth articles for content. There has been a marked increase in user activity over the same period.

What do you think of the content?

Friday, May 6, 2011

May Activities & Events at HCC

(Click on image for full-size)