Tag: opinions

Backtalk: Differences of opinion generate debate about coffee

Coffee important source of caffeine

by Kendall Rainer

Java, Joe, Jitter Juice.

Whatever you call it, coffee doesn’t just help you wake up and stay awake. It can have some serious health benefits that will reinforce the position of coffee drinkers and could change the minds of those who have a distaste for the brown bean water.

Coffee helps us stay up late and cram for our midterms. Coffee helps us wake up the following morning after getting little to no sleep. Coffee helps us stay awake during boring jobs or that lecture that just puts you to sleep every day. Coffee is a necessity that we all need in our lives.heart-shape-made-from-coffee-beans-wooden_38705-28

Coffee is the wonderfully amazing brown liquid that has dominated American culture. It is to America as tea is to the United Kingdom.

To some, a cup of joe just tastes good and they enjoy drinking it. To others, it’s an essential part of their morning routine.

Coffee doesn’t only give you energy, it has some serious health benefits as well. According to the American Heart Association, coffee can decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s.

Coffee consumption has also been associated with a lower risk of mortality from heart disease and nervous system disease. It can be a source of antioxidants as well.

Coffee has been linked to a lower risk of coronary heart disease in women. However, these benefits only apply to plain black coffee.

Sugar and artificial sweeteners can negate some of the health benefits coffee provides. So going to Starbucks and ordering yourself a Venti Iced latté isn’t going to do much for you, other than give you a boost of energy. Drinks of this caliber contain mostly milk and flavoring, and they do not actually have a significant amount of coffee.

Federal dietary guidelines say that three to five cups of coffee a day can be a part of a healthy diet, which is good news for habitual coffee drinkers. But again, this only refers to plain black coffee.

Coffee is a significant source of caffeine. In one cup, 8 fluid ounces, there are 95 milligrams of caffeine. Compare that to a 20-fluid-ounce bottle of Coca Cola, which has only 57 milligrams of caffeine, and far more sugar.

In comparison to a 16-fluid-ounce can of Monster Energy, coffee has 190 milligrams of caffeine, four calories, one gram of fat and 5 milligrams of sodium. One 16-ounce can of Monster has 160 milligrams of caffeine, 100 calories per serving (which is 200 calories per can) and 260 milligrams of sodium.

A cup of java has more caffeine and significantly less of the other “bad things” that can lead to disease and overall bad health.

Studies have shown that caffeine can sharpen your mind, improve your mood, and increase your performance during exercise. All of these things can help in daily life, whether it be just getting up in the morning and being able to be a productive member of society, or getting your daily gym crawl in.

So wake up, make a steaming hot cup of your favorite rocket fuel, sip and feel relaxed knowing that coffee is helping to prevent some serious illnesses for you down the road.

Coffee unhealthy beverage choice

by Desiree Lopez

There have been many disputes over the years about whether coffee is good for you.

After the many side effects I have witnessed, I’ve come to the conclusion that coffee is an unhealthy beverage choice.

The many negative side effects of coffee include an increase in heart rate, high blood pressure, anxiety, fatigue, bad oral hygiene, and addiction.

All of these effects should trigger concern, especially since they all hold a negative connotation.

One of the many concerns that strikes most people is the caffeine intake. The abundance of caffeine in coffee is mostly the reason why coffee causes so many negative side effects.

Large doses or frequent small amounts of caffeine in coffee have the possibility of increasing your heartbeat. Of course, every person is different, but a rapid heart rate is still something everybody should be aware of.

            There have been many different reasons why coffee causes high blood pressure. Some believe that caffeine blocks a certain hormone that helps keep your arteries widened, while others believe that adrenaline is released more than usual, which then causes your blood pressure to increase. People who already have high blood pressure have a higher risk of a stroke or heart attack if they consume a great amount of coffee daily.no-coffee (1)

Coffee is mostly used to help people stay awake or have energy throughout their day. However, excessive coffee consumption can also cause anxiety. When people drink coffee, the release of adrenaline is more rapid, which increases one’s energy. To most people, this sounds like a great deal. But little do they know that high doses of coffee can lead to anxiety and even nervousness. Moderate doses can even result in some side effects such as rapid breathing and an increase in stress levels.

Coffee can also cause fatigue. Once the coffee has finally left your system, your body begins to rebound, which means that the opposite of what coffee is supposed to do to you occurs. There have been a few studies done to prove the alertness that coffee causes, but participants more often complained that they felt more tired than usual after the study. This symptom can be easily avoided by drinking smaller doses of caffeine.

Along with all of these other side effects, bad oral hygiene is an underestimated one. Coffee can lead to bad teeth and stinky breath. It can cause bacteria to form in your mouth that can lead to tooth decay. Coffee also can stick to your tongue, which then causes bad breath.

The most concerning effect of coffee is addiction. It’s not as intense as a drug addiction, but it does lead to psychological and physical dependency. Some may call it a habit, while others call it an addiction. After drinking coffee regularly, one may feel like they need it at all times, which leads them to being very dependent on the caffeinated drink. This dependency can later cause the aforementioned side effects.

The caffeine in coffee is mostly the reason why coffee is so unhealthy. The amount of sugar someone puts into their drink is another reason why, but the amount of sugar used in the drink is different for everybody.

To stay away from highly caffeinated coffee, some people prefer to drink decaf. Decaf coffee is an alternative for those who prefer a lower caffeine intake. Although decaf removes more than 90 percent of caffeine, it still leaves behind a small amount of caffeine. Therefore, drinking decaf coffee frequently can still cause side effects.

There are a few beverages that can be used to substitute for coffee, such as chicory coffee, which is a caffeine-free coffee, tea, milk, lemon water, and apple cider vinegar.

As the daughter of someone who has a lot of health concerns, I know first hand how coffee can negatively affect someone’s health. Coffee would increase my father’s blood pressure, and it would do the same to his blood sugar. This caused him to take higher doses of his medication, which then lead to an increase in anxiety and other side effects. My father used to enjoy drinking his daily cups of coffee, but, unfortunately, he had to cut coffee out from his life to improve his health and to avoid any further issues.

Everybody reacts to coffee differently. I advise that people control their coffee intake to stay clear of any complications.

Trout underpaid as result of faulty statistic

The ink has yet to dry on Mike Trout’s  $430 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Angels, and yet people are already saying he is underpaid.

downloadIt was surprising to see the Angels spend big money on Trout, especially after their last two big signings were flops. Albert Pujols never lived up to the numbers he was projected to have. Josh Hamilton was just unable to stay sober to let his talents match his contract. Most recently Shohei Ohtani had surgery on his arm midway through his rookie year.

The Angels have had bad luck with free agency and have not made the playoffs since 2014. They have not won a playoff series since 2009.

Trout, 27, is considered the best player in baseball, hands-down. His resume includes two American League MVPs, seven All-Star appearances and six Silver Slugger awards.

Baseball, like most major sports, has fallen victim to the analytics and what they show. That’s how players are valued now. The latest trend in analytics for Major League Baseball is wins above replacement (WAR). Trout’s WAR percentage is 64.9 , which puts him in some very infamous company that includes Ty Cobb, Mickey Mantle, Rogers Hornsby and Jimmie Foxx. Babe Ruth is 13th on the list, with a WAR percentage of 45.4, according to FanGraphs, a website for statistics for Major League Baseball and Minor League baseball, with statistical analysis, graphs, and projections.

 Those are some of the all-time great players in Major League Baseball history. The gamehas changed and evolved, so let’s compare Trout to some modern players. In his first season in 2013, Trout played more than 150 games. His war was 54.1. In second was Josh Donaldson with 35.7. Trout averages 9.0 WAR a season, meaning he alone is worth nine victories a season.  Two other players have only done this once, Bryce Harper in 2015 and Mookie Betts in 2018. They both were MVP seasons.


WAR is valued at $9 million a game, on average. But that number goes up with division games and playoffs, making WAR value more than $35 million for a division playoff game. These numbers are not universal, because not all teams are valued the same.

So if Trout moved to another team in a big market, his value could easily double or triple. The truth of the matter is that his value cannot be truly measured. Until the Angels make a deep playoff run with this once- in-a-generation talent, that won’t be known.

The money spent on Trout does not leave a lot of room for the franchise to add more big-name players around him. Time will tell if it is worth it to pay all that money for one player, or if teams are better off building from their farm system. 

WAR is not a perfect statistic and can be manipulated by changing the criteria. But it’s clear to say that Trout may be underpaid when he’s $70 million shy of being paid half a billion dollars to play a game.

Parent involvement can help child cope with divorce

In today’s society, divorce rates are higher than ever and show no signs of slowing down.

Relationships and marriages are seeming to come quickly to an end due to lack of communication, among other reasons.

In a marriage that’s coming to an end, it can be more difficult when kids are involved. Divorce can be a difficult time for a family, especially for children, and the effects it may have on them can vary.

          At any age, it can be traumatic for anyone to witness the break up of a family and see their whole world turned upside down. How they react can depend on their age, personality, and the circumstances of the separation process. However, there is a lot that the parents can do to help their children cope.

Young children are the ones who seem to be affected the most by divorce, and how they react to divorce is a question that may be unpredictable. Based off of their own experiences they’ve had from watching their parents divorce, it may be harder for some to recover quicker than others.

With the right guidance from parents, children can experience divorce as an adjustment rather than a crisis. However, not all children are given the amount of support needed to get through the harder times in their life.

          Through divorce, children have to learn how to adapt to change at a rapid pace. They have to learn to accept new family dynamics, living situations, and possibly start over at a new school.

          I empathize with others who have struggled with the sociological and emotional toll it can have. It is not easy growing up with divorced parents. Many children whose parents separate struggle with developing social skills and the ability to relate to others around them.

Divorce can leave children emotionally vulnerable to several types of negative emotions, such as feelings of loss, anger, confusion, anxiety, and more, all of which can be caused by the separation of their parents alone. They may react to situations in a negative way and can have a hard time adjusting to such a sudden change.

If either parent notices such behavior, it is important that he or she help their children find an outlet for all of these emotions. Parents need to understand that it is OK to seek professional help. By seeking help for their child, it can help them learn to cope or figure out how to sort through their thoughts and emotions.

While struggling to sort out their emotions, in the midst of trying to comprehend the changing dynamics, it may leave many children distracted or confused. It can interrupt their daily focus and how they perform in their daily lives. This can have a major effect on their academic performance. The more distracted they become, the more likely they will not able to focus on their school work or on other activities.

This is where communication between the two parents can be important. By allowing children to still be in contact with both parents, it can encourage them and remind them that both parents are still supportive, even when going through difficult times.

This is where finding an outlet for children who are struggling can help. Without an outlet, a child whose family is going through divorce may also have a harder time relating to their classmates and/or will refuse to go to social activities. This is because they may feel insecure about their home situation and think that no one around them will be able to understand or be helpful toward the situation.

The most important thing for the parents is to remain involved with their children’s lives, especially when going through hard times. But many parents may confide too much in their children about adult concerns such as disagreements or money worries.

By offering reassurance, hope and a sense of stability, it can help ease the effects of divorce on children of all ages.

Struggle with dyslexia adds to difficulty of education

by Debra Montandon


Struggle with dyslexia adds to difficulty of education

It is not easy to open up about one’s weakness.

But throughout my life, I struggled academically. Many of my instructors through the years may not have come right out and said I was dumb, but they treated me in a way that I felt a lot less knowledgeable. I do recall one teacher in elementary school who encouraged me when I felt less capable than everyone else.

Years ago, schools didn’t make a big deal about students with dyslexia. I am not even sure they knew what it was. I just knew I did not like reading at all.

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About six years ago, a dear friend, Jan, said to me, “Debra, I think you are dyslexic.” I said, “I don’t read backwards.” She laughed and said, “There are a lot of different ways you can be dyslexic.” So the school where I was employed as a bus driver and substitute teacher offered to test me at their expense. I wanted to go back to college, but I needed to know why I do or don’t do a lot of things.

When I was taking the test, I was so embarrassed because I knew I could not do a lot of what she asked me to do. The counselor was so kind all the way through, though. She had never done a test on an adult.

So as I was taking the test, I was fighting back tears. I am so thankful to God that I did the test now, because it answers a lot of questions that I have wondered about all my life. I learned so much about myself through that one testing period. It helped me see who I really am. I learned that I am not dumb.

When she finished my testing, she said, “Debra, I cannot tell you that you are until I run the numbers, but I know how nervous you are, and I’m sure you are dyslexic.” I started crying. She said, “You have thought you were dumb your whole life?” I nodded my head. She said, “Debra, I don’t ever tell people the results from the test, but you need to know this…You are highly intelligent.”

I looked at her with some confusion. She turned the paper around and it had lines drawn through words I did not see or read. She said, “Debra, I see this all the time. What I don’t see is this: while you were reading, you missed these words. What I never see, is that your brain moved so fast that you put synonyms in there to make the sentence grammatically correct. I cannot teach someone to do this. You taught yourself. I understand you want to go back to college. You will struggle. But do not give up, and you will make it.”

Then she said, “Debra I know you have felt like you were dumb or people made you feel that way…You are far from dumb.” As I was leaving her office, I cried because of how many people in my life made it clear that they were smart and I was not. I was also told many times, “You dropped out of college!”

I do not have the words to express how grateful I am to finally know why I struggle. I just hope and pray that I can persevere to the end and acquire a college degree, to be an encourager for others in the future.

When I compare my years of going to school, they did not know what to do with students who struggled compared to now. They start earlier testing and working with students when they are a lot younger to help them. I am grateful that it is not like it was when I was in school.

Not only can schools catch this problem earlier, there are resources available that can help parents get an early diagnosis.

Knowing about my dyslexia, even later in life, has made me stronger, and has reassured me that I can do the things people in the past said I couldn’t.



Word on the street

by Reece Turner and Kaitlyn Hyde


IMG_0348“I like to hang out at the movies, because it’s a lot of fun with my friends. I love watching movies. I recently watched, “A Star is Born”; it’s so good.”

Ashley Alvarez





IMG_0352“The garden in the Science Building because, nobody is there. It’s quiet and it’s outside. Sam gives me vegetables every once and a while.”

Christian Thompson

Education Major


Watertown, N.Y.


IMG_0345“I’m in the library all the time, so this is where I like to hang out. It’s peaceful, quiet, and I get a lot of homework done.”

Alma Mendez

Physical Therapy




IMG_0359“The Student Center. We have epic games of UNO, and my friends are here.”

Anthony Garcia






IMG_0362“I like hanging out at hobby shops, card places. Places that sell board games, table tops. I’m a huge nerd. It’s fun, it’s a great place to make friends, because you don’t have to know a person to sit down and play a game with them.”

Holden Hensley

Art Major







Formation of conspiracy theories creates more questions than answers

All throughout history, Americans have demonstrated high levels of suspicion toward centralized authority and unexplained events.

In April 2015, there was a study conducted by Scott Radnitz and Patrick Underwood to determine whether the belief in conspiracy theories is pathological, or if they are linked to social tensions.

In this survey, random subjects were given mock news articles to bring about conspiracy beliefs. The results show that these different opinions can emerge from both “situational triggers” as well as “subtle contextual variables.”

I think that often these opinions can go far beyond a general distrust, and ultimately it expresses the essential fears of many individuals. The possibility of supporting conspiracy theories could be strongly projected by a willingness to believe in other unseen or intentional forces. Many of these theories are also created by people who make judgments or try to explain phenomena in certain social or political situations.

Today, there are theories on subjects ranging from Chemtrails to debating if Earth is flat. Although those are only two of various topics that have been brought about, I believe all theories share one common factor.

636232085399256659-978523634_social-media-account-management-issues-businessIt’s the feeling of powerlessness that drives individuals to formulate conspiracy theories. It helps regain a sense of confidence, and it also helps engage in collective action within society, whether it is to bring peace to one’s self or to try to create chaos.

It’s hard to say where I stand when it comes to the idea of understanding and discussing a theory, no matter the topic. For example, I have had many unrealistic but logical conversations about the Illuminati or Reptilian Elites taking over our government. With those type of discussions, I end up leaning more toward it may not be true.

To seek explanations and to constantly ask why certain events happen the way they do is simply a natural human desire. I’m not stating that these theories cannot be true. Through my own research, I’ve found that the Illuminati was a cult that existed in 1776, and possibly even before that. However, when arguing if it is a cult that still exists to this day, the idea of a secret society within our own to create a New World Order seems highly unlikely, but not impossible.

On the other hand, when it comes to deliberations such as if the moon landing was filmed in Hollywood or if Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the JFK assassination, when looking at solid facts and different points of views, it can be hard to even consider what the truth could be. Of course, there are hundreds of different ways to look at a theory and to evaluate specific events before and after it took place. But it can be hard uncovering the truth if there even is something to discover to begin with.

That’s what I find to be somewhat terrifying about the world that we live in. We never truly know what is going on around us. Within our own government or even in our home towns, the world is full of dark secrets. Many truths have been buried so deep they may never be uncovered again.