Category Archives: Opinion


The SC4 survival guide to finals week

The SC4 survival guide to finals week

Hayley Myron



The end of the world is nigh, at least according to the Mayan Calendar.

However, fear not, because the reasoning behind it isn’t because our finals are coming next week. In order to avoid a disastrous demise I have found ways from across the campus on how to survive and pass the dreaded finals.

To begin I roamed the student center looking for other students who were bunkering down with books and pencils.

I stumbled across Melissa Bratton, a freshman from Marysville, who looked ready to take on the college world. I asked her why she though that it was important to study for the finals and she replied, “It is to make sure that the information sticks, because the finals make or break your grade.”

The tools to being successful on your finals are within your own grasp. The best approaches I have found to do for studying are easy to do.

Whenever I begin my study process, I make sure that I am comfortable and there are no distractions within the room. Along with that I make sure I have something to drink and something else to snack on.

When studying it is best not to just do it all at once.

Ashley Smith, a freshman from Marysville, told me, “Don’t cram all in one night, and don’t stay up all night before the test.”

It is much better to spread out your studying time over a longer period of time. You will be much more likely to absorb the information that you read.

If you would like more tips on how to study, go to

Winter’s chocolate fix

Winter’s chocolate fix

Christina Stoutenburg



Winter’s coming and the cold weather’s not letting up, so why not try something new?

Hot chocolate from scratch, or maybe even some no-bake cookies?

Sure, it’s easy to head to the nearest store and purchase premixed powder, whether it be in tub form or packet, but it’s just as easy to concoct hot chocolate from scratch.

Most of the necessary ingredients can be found around the house, some might need to be purchased.

Hot Chocolate by Josh Moody under a Creative Commons license

For two servings the ingredients are:

  • 4-5 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder, the kind often used for baking.
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar, a sugar substitute maybe used, refer to the package substitutions
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups milk, or for a lactose free version try plain soymilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Mix sugar, cocoa, and salt in a small bowl then set aside.

Next heat the milk, or soy milk on the stove or microwave, until hot. Separate the milk into two mugs, and then evenly divide the powder mixture into the two mugs.

Stir and maybe add some marshmallow or whipped cream, if desired.

No-bake cookies are another chocolate fix that most ingredients if not already stocked, are cheap to purchase.

No bake cookies by Rick Measham under a Creative Commons license

To make two to three dozen cookies, it takes about 20 minutes and the following  ingredients:

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats

First prepare a wax paper lined cookie sheet for dropping, and then set aside.

Add the butter, sugar, milk and cocoa powder to a 4-quart saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Let the mixture boil for one minute, and then remove from heat.

Add the peanut butter and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Next stir in the oats.

Now grab the wax paper lined cookie sheet and drop heaping teaspoons of the mixture onto it, leaving a little space for the cookies to settle.

Let cool until set, then they are ready to eat.

These recipes were found online, the hot chocolate one is courtesy of Meijer Healthy Living Advisor Tina Miller, and the no-bake cookies to the Brown Eyed Baker website.

Ways to help with holiday depression

Ways to help with holiday depression

Mairead Warner

Staff Writer


For some of us the holidays are a joyous time, but for others the holidays are not so joyous.

If you know someone who is having a rough time during the holiday, you can make a difference.

Volunteering can help those who are not feeling the holiday mood. Cooking Christmas dinner for someone who is unable, or inviting someone who is alone over the holidays for dinner.

Visit a homeless shelter and help feed the homeless.

For those who have had a loved one pass away, try making a Christmas memory box that includes all of the good memories that you have with that other person.

Send someone a holiday card. If a love one is not with you during the holiday, send them a care package.

One can donate money, food, clothes, etc. to a charity they wish to support. Charities like Toys-for-Tots.

Helping out in your community is an option. Start a community food drive, or maybe have a hot chocolate and cookies bake sale. Donate the profits to local community schools.

The holidays can bring out the good times in light of the bad times.

Depression affects many people in all shapes and sizes, including Bev Sykes. Photo Credit: Mairead Warner

Throwing a neighborhood Christmas party can help one get to know their neighbors better. It can also help those in need of company, and could bring those in need of some to talk to people to talk to.

During neighborhood Christmas parties, have the kids exchange gifts. For those whose holiday depression is caused by lack of income, create a Christmas budget. The budget can include food, decorations, gifts, etc.

Try organizing holiday menus, party ideas and a gift exchange.

If you, or someone you know, is feeling depressed over the holidays, there are people willing to help just a phone call away.

For the National Suicide Prevention Hotline Lifeline call (800)273- 8255. Here are the numbers for St. Clair Community Mental Health Services (810)987-6911 and (888)225-4447.

Both services provide 24 hour and seven days a week assistance.

T-birds tidbits: Everyday should be Veteran’s Day

T-birds tidbits:

Everyday should be Veteran’s Day

Twana Pinskey

Managing Editor

I clearly remember the day my eldest brother left for Vietnam because it was the first time I ever saw my father cry.

Dad had all of us gather by the family car for a group photograph before leaving to drive my big brother      Bill to the airport to serve his country.

I still remember Dad’s eyes brimming with tears as we left him there that day.

Bill Martis Jr., brother of ESG Managing Editor, Twana Pinskey. Photo provided by the Martis family

To the military, he was an Air Force Sargent. To us, he was a son, and a big brother that was going away for a very long time.

Over the years this scene has been replayed countless times in homes around our country. Our family worried and thought about our loved one serving in harm’s way.

We were among the lucky ones, he came home.

Today’s families with loved ones serving worry and think about their sons, daughters, brothers sisters and spouses so far from home.

For many, their loved ones don’t come home because they made the ultimate sacrifice.

Our soldiers serve and protect every day. They don’t get to say, nah I’ll take today off because I don’t feel like going in to work today.

Don’t get me wrong. I am glad there is a national holiday set aside to pay respect to our soldiers. I just don’t think one day each November is enough.

It is sobering to think of what life might be like if soldiers were not willing to make sacrifices.

I doubt there are any soldiers serving that are fighting for what is in front of them on whatever battlefield they stand upon. They are fighting for what was left behind back home.

Because of this we are free to voice our opinions. Free to protest when we disagree about something.

Our veterans that serve deserve much more than one day every November. So do their families.

Be prepared

Be prepared

Liz Whittemore

Photo Editor

To see a man you consider a second father thrashing around on the floor, unable to control any movement in his body, is not something I can easily put into words.

The other night I experienced this for the second time, ironically during epilepsy awareness month.

Aside from calling the ambulance, standing around and watching the person have a seizure doesn’t help very much.

David and I moved all the furniture away from his father and anything else he might harm himself with, and grabbed a pillow so he wouldn’t hit his head on the floor. During this, his mother made sure that his teeth wouldn’t bite through his tongue during the episode.

Not living in a household with an epileptic, I didn’t realize just how much you need to have ready should the person go into a grand mal seizure at any moment.

Having a card with contacts and medical information at hand can be so important.

According to epilepsyfoundation .org, one out of ten adults will have a seizure in their lifetime.

I am sad to say that while calling 911, I blanked on the address. A friend’s house I had visited for at least seven years, and had to turn over the phone.

Take advantage of epilepsy awareness month and inform yourself so you can be prepared…just in case.

T-birds tidbits

T-birds tidbits

Twana Pinskey

Managing Editor

In this, a presidential election year, I have been reflecting on how much things have changed over the last four years.

Four years ago, I paid around $1.87-$1.88 a gallon for gas.

What I wouldn’t give to see those prices again.

Over the summer months, I have watched prices at my local station rise by 30 cents. I currently pay close to $3.90 a gallon for gas. As a result, I can barely maintain my budget.

One would think with summer behind us, the kids all back in school, that prices would hold steady or decline, not keep rising.

Watching the news, one hears reports as to why costs escalate. Reasons range from how warm last winter was to refineries that are closed due to explosions, the weak economy, greedy oil companies or the United States dependency on foreign oil.

These seemingly plausible answers have become so redundant, I find myself questioning their validity.

According to Daniel Yergin, author of “The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World”, in comments he made to the Wall Street Journal Sept.13,2012, Yergin said he believed shale gas(formed from being trapped in shale formations) production now accounts for 40 percent of U.S. gas production.

Yergin explained that technologies used to harvest shale gas, have revitalized U.S. oil production. As exciting as this news seems to be, I highly doubt our country will return to the dominance it once had in the oil industry.

Nonetheless, as our production increases, I would hope our dependence on foreign oil will decrease.

I am realistic enough to know the days of $1.88 a gallon gas are gone. I would settle for enough of a decrease that I can afford to pay my utilities and not worry about how to put food on the table.

Tasty guts

Tasty guts

Christina Stoutenburg


Pumpkins stay strong, for Halloween that is.

Year after year, costumes and candy might change, but this single element has remained the same, whether used for decoration or the best part yet, food.

Roasting seeds after pumpkin carving makes for a delectable and easy treat using just four ingredients: pumpkin seeds, water, salt and olive oil. For every half a cup of pumpkin seeds you will need two cups of water and two teaspoons of salt.

After you get your pumpkin done, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Then clean the stringy pumpkin guts off and rinse the seeds under cold water. Next, combine the water and salt in a saucepan, then boil the seeds in this mixture for 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from heat and drain the seeds well, patting them with a paper towel to remove extra water. Brush a cookie sheet with about one tablespoon of olive oil, and then add the seeds, spreading them out in a single layer.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until they begin to brown. Remove them from heat, cool, and then sprinkle them with salt if you wish.

Fresh pumpkin roll slices. Photo Credit: Christina Stoutenburg

Next, indulge.

Chose not to carve this year? Never fear, pie pumpkins are also prevalent when it comes to seeds, and if painted with non-toxic paint or products, may later be used to make delicious pumpkin rolls or pies. is the site I commonly use and has a variety of user submitted recipes to choose from.

Paint it, peel it, carve it

Paint it, peel it, carve it

Danielle Kennedy
Copy Editor

Pumpkin carving, one of the few activities where people are encouraged to stab something with a sharp object.

But now a day it’s not at all uncommon for people to set their knives and tiny saws aside for some different tools.

One of those tools is paint.

Whether it is a parent with young children, or someone that just doesn’t want to go through the hassle of cutting and gutting a pumpkin, paint is often a go to tool for pumpkin decorating. While painting a pumpkin decreases a person’s chance of cutting themselves, they have to be more careful when picking their pumpkin.

Bumps on the pumpkin can be a hindrance when painting, and may even be a blemish if they’re big enough to remain noticeable once the job is complete. Dampness on the pumpkin’s skin can also be a hindrance, but easily remedied by wiping the pumpkin with a dry cloth.

People have also traded the usual carving tools for sculpting tools. This allows the user to peel away the pumpkin’s skin in layers. Gives them a bit more control over what they’re crafting.

It takes patience, but if a person can stick it out, they can end up with some awesome results. Some of the works out there that have been done with this method look more like they belong in a museum than sitting on someone’s front porch.

That’s not to say that the traditional method of carving pumpkins is disappearing. People can still go walk down the street to see traditional jack-o-lanterns resting on the porches of many homes.

It’s just that one shouldn’t be surprised if they see a not so traditional jack-o-lantern resting right beside it. And as time goes by, maybe even more methods of pumpkin decorating will arise.

Journey into the unseen

Journey into the unseen

Zachary Penzien

Production Editor

Have you ever heard about a videogame that has never surfaced, leaving you wondering if they were ever real or a lack luster fever dream?

If so, do I have the website for you! is an archive of material from canceled, unseen and beta videogames. In the past week, most spare time I’ve had has been lost on browsing the site packed with concept art, tech demos and information about games from every notable console and iteration of PC’s.

Unseen64 also has concept art and demo videos from games that have come out, but if you’re just interested in seeing video content Unseen64 has to offer, check out user/monokoma.

I got lost in Unseen64 because I love to see the creative process behind the media I like.

When the Nintendo DS first came out I heard a rumor from one of my friends that “Halo 2” was coming to the DS. I was excited that I would be able to take one of my favorite games with me, but it never surfaced and I assumed that my friend gotten some bad information.

My friend was correct; Unseen64 has a video of a tech demo for the game that was apparently scrapped.

Unseen 64 is a love letter to the creative process of videogames. If you’re like me and get lost in the “making of” parts of DVDs, give it a look. I’m sure it will be added to your bookmarks in no time.

Could you give a care?

Could you give a care?

Erick Fredendall

Business/Advertising Editor

“If you take on thing from tonight: get involved with the game.”

You may recognize this quote from the front page, or maybe you missed it. If so, I would strongly recommend reading the report before continuing on with this editorial.

I spoke with Tim Skubick very briefly after the speech. He shook my hand, and upon learning that I was a student of journalism gave me some words of encouragement.

However, during that brief conversation, I noted something about Skubick that gave me pause and made me reflect on what he was doing here at the college.

Skubick knew that half the students were forced to be at the presentation. As he admitted that to me, he concluded with the statement, “I truly hope that they took away something from what I gave them tonight.”

My heart grieves to say this, but I don’t know if they did.

I spoke with multiple students after the presentation, and I found that the majority of the responses could be categorized into three statements, “I don’t care, I just don’t have the time, or it doesn’t really affect me.”

Indifference was a reoccurring theme in almost every student that I surveyed that day, and upon that statement, I base this conclusion—this isn’t about the politicians being corrupt, it’s about the population not caring enough to learn.

How can we elect representatives to represent us if the extent of our reasoning is whether or not the candidate has an R or a D in front of their name?

What’s worse, we have more information at our fingertips than any other generation prior, all right there just a mouse click away.

I would like to reiterate the message that Tim Skubick tried to relay to the students that missed the event. Take a look at Go to Take a look at the .gov sites, and understand that it is your responsibility as a citizen to participate.

These decisions affect our country, and if you’ve ever heard the expression “shit rolls downhill,” then you will understand that ultimately it’s our state, our communities, and our families you’re representing.

Make it count.