Author Archives: maryellencags

Ali Stever Podcast

It was a pleasure getting an auditory glimpse into Ocean City. I loved learning about the local language (“shoobies”= tourists) and what the resort town has to offer. It’s always interesting to hear what locals have to say about a place that most people look at as an escape from their daily lives.  


Lilly Lee Podcast response

Not only was Lilly’s podcast informative and easy to listen to, it was well-organized and nicely written. The concept of “digital stamping” is something every student should be aware of, especially if they wish to enter the communications field. Lilly did an excellent job making this concept easy to understand and provided personal anecdotes to make her podcast interesting and attention-grabbing. 

Superficial media



An article in The Daily Targum today confirmed my fears about modern media. In a conference featuring three former NJ governors, the role of the media during each former governor’s time in office was juxtaposed with the role of media today. Each of the former govs. had a different bone to pick with media coverage during their time, but they all agreed on one thing: journalism today fails to communicate today’s complex issues beyond the surface.

This can undoubtedly be attributed in part to the lack of opportunities in the journalism field and the struggle news outlets must conquer in order to survive. Less and less young reporters enter the field with specializations, and are forced to cover stories they don’t know much about. A lack of historical and political context has also created the shallow coverage we experience today, as does public disinterest in serious news. I can’t help but wonder if the near future holds nothing but brief stories about  Kim Kardashian’s butt. 

Europe is not more socially advanced



Recent media attention being given to suspicions that a Greek Roma couple kidnapped a white, blonde little girl just goes to show how unwavering prejudice against Roma is in Europe. Despite the hundreds of legitimate kidnappings that occur every day around the world, Europeans jumped at the chance to persecute the Roma couple in the media, making unfounded accusations against the couple that ranged from child-snatching to involvement in a child-prostitution ring. As it turns out, the girl was not related to the couple, but was illegitimately given to them by a Bulgarian Roma woman who could not take care of her daughter. Despite the fact that they cared for her like their own, they were still met with the ever-familiar racism that has plagued European Roma for centuries. It is as if the mere appearance of a Roma couple with a “blonde angel,” as the girl was dubbed in the Greek media, was enough to confirm all the slanderous and untrue stereotypes about gypsies, and all of Europe promptly began to salivate at the thought of long-held rumors about Roma stealing children finally being tangible enough to prove. 

He’s not funny, but he’s right

I have never been particularly fond of famed British comedian Russell Brand, though others my age seem to love him. I find his comedy an obnoxious overuse of pretentious language that sacrifices quality for volume. Also, drug addicts are boring, and he talks about being a drug addict a lot.

But this interview really hit a nerve. Brand expressed what I’ve been trying to think for years. He’s right – so many people are disillusioned by the current political system, and speaking for myself, I too feel that my vote doesn’t count for diddly squat. I find myself crippled by hopelessness when it comes to being politically active because it always seems to turn out the same: the wealthy get wealthier.

Writing Collage (combination of my dream, and original poem, and a news article)

Wally Elters, a witness at the aerodrome from which the fatal flight departed, told Le Soir: “I was working on my plane when I heard someone on the ground screaming and pointing at the sky.”


I had a dream that a blackbird chased me to the edge of nowhere.


Minutes earlier the pair had joined hands in a star formation with two other skydivers including Ms Clottemans’ boyfriend, a Dutchman named only as Marcel, who police say was having an affair with Mrs. Van Doren.


When the wind blows we will be furled onto the ground.

Shatter, shatter,







Her final moments were filmed by her own head-mounted camera.


I peered over, and there below me were people who had fallen off the edge into a river of a dark red. They barked like mad dogs.


Ms Clottemans, a secretary, is understood to have attempted suicide hours before being brought in for questioning by detectives for the second time last month.


No use in hanging on. The threads are breaking and soon we will be severed from our Mother.


Despite Marcel’s precautions, Ms Clottemans appears to have found out about her rival, although Mrs. Van Doren was unaware that he was involved with her close friend.


They were all being carried away by the crimson tide, blind to the steep drop at the end of the river, creeping up before them.


“Above it were three people in parachutes coming down slowly. Then it hit the ground. It was an appalling moment.”


We will become ash. We will become one with the Earth.


I watched them drift perilously away.


The sun has been stolen and we have no warmth and no food now. The wind only blows and the sun dies and we die;


We are going to die.

An unfinished, mediocre essay about Target

For whatever purpose, I have been cursed (or blessed, depending on where you’re standing) with a crippling fear of poverty. I seldom indulge; about 95 percent of my wardrobe came to me by way of second-hand stores, and name-brand products are unknown to my vanity or bathroom counter. I hoard loose change like a bum trying to scrounge up enough to buy a case of beer. Withdrawing money makes me cringe, and I am known to complain like a Depression baby about the cost of movies and milk. It is no surprise, then, that I have always found it easy to avoid unnecessary spending. Except at Target.
My visit was only intended only for sheets and-it’s important to note that this next part was entirely funded by my mother, a generous twenty dollars-whatever I wanted for dinner. It seemed a simple and fast excursion sure to take no more than 20 minutes. But as I finally approached the cashier an hour later, material things I had no recollection of putting in my basket were being swiped across the scanner, putting a dent in my wallet that the commercials had promised would never molest my finances so long as I shopped at Target.
The 15 dollars I had expected to spend, in addition to my mother’s 20, quickly and disturbingly manifested as a green, digitized $57.89 on the little rectangular screen above the register. What had happened? I scrambled to recall the last 60 minutes of my life, only to conjure up fractured images of my dazed, delirious shopping experience. I remembered a pain in my arm, and saw a small, exhausted creature pacing up and down aisles like the undead; limping and dragging a red plastic bucket that became inexplicably heavier at every shelf she passed. Dog treats? She needed it. A giant bag of popcorn? She needed it. Tinted lip balm, eye shadow, and salmon dip? She needed it. It was only $2.99, it was only $4.65, and so in the bucket it all went. She weaved through every section, struck incoherent by ambient lighting and clearance, touching all the shiny goods for sale.
What the hell came over me? I sat in my parked car, feeling so weak and drained the force of a spider’s burp could have knocked me over. I hated Target, I hated it, Target roofied me and took all my money. Who was I? What year was this? All I could be sure of is that I would curse myself for the remainder of the week for allowing myself to spend so frivolously.