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            One of Hofstra's newest clubs seeks to improve the lives of financially and physically disadvantaged children by fulfilling their dreams. The recent startup was founded by freshman Alexandra Engelson at the beginning of the year as a way to improve the communities and lives of young people living with chronic disease and financial woes. The club also emphasizes aiding local children, in order to improve the local community and help people close to home, as all dream recipients live within 50 miles of campus.

We are almost done. Finished. Out the door. Our first semester is almost behind us. Now it is simply a challenge of getting through finals week. Professors you liked all throughout the semester will now turn into enemies as you read the first question on their final exam. Friends will become not only a distraction, but even a threat to your final grade. You will either stop eating altogether or eat more than is normally humanly possible to ingest. (I will choose the latter.)

Get into the festive spirit with these Cherry Mint Whoopie Pies! Whoopie pies are the official state treat of Maine, although Pennsylvania also claims to be their place of origin. This dessert consists of a creamy filling sandwiched between two cookie-shaped cakes. It is said that Amish women would bake these treats for their husbands who had to toil in the fields. The dessert is named after the farmers' exclamations of "Whoopie!" upon discovering the baked treats in their lunch packs.

Why make the holidays a stressful time where food becomes the enemy? Eat in moderation and you won't end up binging or over-indulging on multiple occasions. Don't deny yourself great food that coma once a year; use good judgment and common sense. One day of enjoying food with family will not impede any progress, I promise.

            This week is all about the don'ts. I have offered you my don'ts in the past liberally surrounded by dos. Well life isn't all dos. There are quite a few don'ts that Hofstra students need to be made aware of.

Firstly, phone calls can be a number of things: personal, romantic, informative, etc. But when you are in line to pay and talking on your phone it can pose a problem.

One thing to look forward to at this time of the year is the seasonal produce, pumpkin being one of them. Pumpkin finds its way into pies, muffins, lattes, and a multitude of sweet treats, but it's a starch that's often overlooked in savory options. That is, until now. French fries and sweet potato fries grace the menus of eateries everywhere, but have you ever had pumpkin fries? Now you know what to do with those leftover pumpkins from Halloween that escaped the fate of being carved into Jack-O-Lanterns. Skip the mustard or the ketchup and pair these fries with a tart homemade cranberry sauce. This student-friendly recipe was adapted from

As freshman, I hope that everyone, by now, has started to feel comfortable here at Hofstra. I have to say from my perspective, it is being to show. Dressing properly and clean cut, the freshman class looked impeccable the first few weeks. Not that we don't look impeccable now, but we now are exposing our true colors. Sweats are as common as alcohol.

It's 11a.m. on a Tuesday, and one of my public relations professors is reading a list of third-grade spelling words.

Acquit. Amateur. Apparent. These words count for grade points. My class tries its best, but we get the feeling a third-grader could kick our butts in a spelling bee.

I told my aunt about the spelling and grammar tests, looking for a bit of sympathy.

"Oh, good," said my aunt instead. "PR is where spelling goes to die."

According to my aunt and, in fact, much of the public, the PR industry not only kills spelling and grammar, but also manners, ethics, morals, truth… I could go on.

No matter what changes - or not -- that Occupy Wall Street brings about, the movement will be remembered by both Democrats and Republicans. From signs demonstrating discontent for the repeal of the Glass–Stegall Act in 1999 to demands for redistributing the top one percent's wealth, it is obvious that something is shaking the structure of American government.

Hofstra students are definitely making their voices heard as well. Last week, Hofstra hosted its ninth Day of Dialogue. One of the sessions I attended discussed the current movement at Wall Street and the ensuing protests that have been birthed because of it. A panel with Republican and Democrat students took the stage, and the founder of the online publication Occupy Wall Street Journal was present via Skype. Each speaker presented viewpoints concerning the movement, unleashing a subsequent wave of tension throughout the room.

As college students, we spend five consecutive days a week studying, meeting with teachers, attending classes and stressing over assignments. So when Friday rolls around, we are ready to kick back and start the weekend festivities. Many people especially prefer some type of off-campus retreat, whether it's going home for the weekend, visiting friends at a different school or even spending a couple of hours shopping at the mall. Hofstra offers several weekend activities for those who decide to stay on campus. Students have the chance to travel off campus to amusement parks, Broadway shows and museums in the city. The downside to these opportunities is the cost of the events on a tight college student budget.

As written in The Chronicle a couple weeks ago, we do not have the Wednesday before Thanksgiving off this year. This likely comes as a disappointment to students who want that extra time to relax or catch up on homework.

However, this can be particularly inconvenient for people who are not local. I talked to students in these situations, like Sarah Travaglini of Massachusetts who is driving home Tuesday night in order to avoid the traffic resulting from people traveling on Wednesday.

Another girl I talked is from California, and she is flying home. She needs to take the entire week off to save money; the closer a flight is to a holiday, the more expensive it is.

Do you know why I am so excited for this week to be over? Could it be that I have tests, quizzes and essays coming up? Could it be I have an extra class or some class-set field trip to an obscure site that only interests old, parchment-skinned scholars? Nope, none of that. I have a fall break.

For those of you still at Hofstra, that means I have a week-long break in the middle of autumn. That is rare, right? In fact, besides Thanksgiving, a fall break has never happened to me before. I don't mean to brag to those of you who will be in class next week toiling over papers and exams while I gallivant around Europe, drinking in its ancient culture and overall expending my intellect.

No, my real point is to reflect upon Hofstra's confusing break schedule. I am a senior so I know well the pains that come from this random, piecemeal and seemingly chaotic spattering of breaks. Imagine salt thrown onto a table; to me, that is how Hofstra selects its break periods.

For many women in third-world countries, being able to afford an education or even find an education is extremely difficult. She's The First is a nationwide non-profit organization that holds bake sales to raise money for women's education. It was founded by Tammy Tibbetts, and takes place in states such as Florida, Alabama, Georgia, California, Rhode Island, Connecticut and many more.