On a roll: The psychology behind toilet paper panic

first_imgTopics : Taking control Economists have also suggested people may be trying to eliminate one risk that is relatively easy and superficial, rather than doing something more costly that may reduce their risk a greater amount.This is known as “Zero risk bias.””My guess is we want to feel in control and have limited budgets,” said Farasat Bokhari, a health economist at the University of East Anglia in Great Britain.”So we go buy something that is cheap to buy, that we can store, and we know at the back of our minds that we are going to use anyway,” he said. A more expensive but necessary item to stock might be non-perishable food — but if frozen meals, canned foods and ramen aren’t exactly your favorites, you could be stuck with a big bill for items you eventually throw away, should the worst fail to materialize.According to Taylor, many of the behaviors we see now also occurred in previous pandemics, including the Spanish flu in 1918, which killed almost 700,000 Americans and sent panicked citizens to stores and pharmacies to hoard goods.Some at the time even floated the conspiracy theory the virus may have been a bioweapon devised by Germany. The new coronavirus has been called a Chinese weapon and an American bioweapon, depending on who is making the accusation.One key difference between the current pandemic and those before it is the ubiquity of social media — the swine flu pandemic of 2009 happened when the medium was still relatively new —  and Taylor sees both pluses and negatives.”That’s enabled the reverberations of dramatic images and videos throughout the world, inflating people’s sense of threat and urgency,” said Taylor.On the other hand, “Social media can be great for social support, particularly if you’re in self isolation.”So are we destined for a breakdown in social cohesion if the pandemic stretches out? History says no, said Taylor.”Rioting and bad behavior in previous pandemics has been relatively uncommon — it has happened, there have been outbreaks, but the main response has been one of order, of people coming together, of solidarity, helping each other out and doing their best as a community to deal with this.” “And so I think this is one reason they latched on to the toilet paper, because it’s a means of avoiding disgust.” But this doesn’t explain it entirely — toilet paper can’t save you from infection, and we haven’t yet seen the same level of hoarding for more key items like canned foods — so something else is clearly afoot.”I think it probably stuck out in the dramatic images in social media because it was quite clear, the packets are quite distinctive and it’s become associated in the minds of people as a symbol of safety,” Steven Taylor, author of “The Psychology of Pandemics” told AFP.”People feel the need to do something to keep themselves and their family safe, because what else can they do apart from wash their hands and self-isolate?” added the psychiatry professor at the University of British Columbia.Another theory Taylor put forward is rooted in our evolutionary aversion to things which disgust us, heightened when people feel threatened with infection. It’s a scene that’s become familiar around the world: From the US to France to Australia, rows of empty supermarket shelves where toilet paper used to be, the result of coronavirus-induced panic buying.What exactly is it about the rolls of tissue that has caused mayhem across cultures, including at times violent clashes that have reverberated on social media?At its most basic, say experts, the answer lies in game theory: If everyone buys only what they need, there will be no shortages. If some people start panic buying, the optimal strategy will be for you to follow suit, to make certain you have enough squares to spare.last_img read more

Glimmer of hope: Indonesians optimistic, likely to spend more

first_imgIndonesians are relatively more optimistic on the outlook of the economy and will spend more in the future as businesses are forced to adapt to changing consumer behavior to endure the economic effects of the pandemic, several surveys show.More than half of Indonesian respondents say they are optimistic that the economy will rebound within two to three months, faring better than most countries around the world, according to a new McKinsey & Company survey on Indonesia consumer sentiment during the coronavirus crisis.Another McKinsey article titled “A global view of how consumer behavior is changing amid COVID-19” states that optimism correlates with an increase in spending. “Chinese consumers’ optimism results in a net increase in expected future spending, a situation also observed in Indonesia, Nigeria and India,” reads the report. “Most European consumers are less optimistic and, as a result, expect to spend less”.Indonesia’s consumer-driven economy relies on household spending, which accounts for nearly 60 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).The economy is expected to grow 2.3 percent this year, the lowest since 1999, or contract by 0.4 percent under the worst-case scenario as businesses and workers, consequently households, are paralyzed during the pandemic, government calculations project.Business sectors that rise and fall in stay-at-home economy. (Inventure/”30 Consumer Behavior Shiftings”) Another report from market research firm Kantar Indonesia points to manageable concerns over COVID-19 from the perspective of Indonesians. Based on a sample of 6,428 people on March 25, 68 percent of Indonesians were concerned but said they knew what to do, while 10 percent were very concerned and did not know what to do.“We see that Indonesians are concerned but assured,” Kantar Indonesia wrote. “Indonesia and Malaysia are the only countries in the region that have maintained a net-positive sentiment in their social media chatter about COVID-19.”While the reports point to consumer optimism in the future, spending will remain cautious and targeted with a big shift in consumer needs, requiring businesses to adapt to changing consumer behavior.“Think of now as the new normal. We must take action,” said branding and marketing expert Yuswohady on April 13, during a webinar series hosted by Inventure Knowledge on COVID-19 and its impact on businesses. He urged businesses to be quick in adapting to the crisis, saying that “agility is key”.Inventure released a briefing document titled “30 Consumer Behavior Shiftings” as a navigation guide for businesses to survive amid a spike in layoffs, poverty and bankruptcy that the government has forecast.As the government tries to soften the economic shocks from the COVID-19 pandemic through tax breaks and cash transfers, businesses are urged to play their part in adapting to recent trends. Here are several major consumer behavior shifts that could present as business opportunities amid the pandemic, based on Inventure’s new report.center_img Digital channels, delivery services and subscription models matterRegardless of the product or service, there are three common areas that companies can work on to build up their resilience amid the pandemic: strengthening delivery services, bolstering digital channels and considering a subscription model. The last one will work well when the first two have already been established.“COVID-19 will become a catalyst to the development of the subscription business model,” concludes the Inventure report, explaining that the trend in routine online purchases will be accommodated well under the model as the consumer will attain cheaper prices while companies can be certain that there will be a steady flow of demand.‘”Jamu” is the new espresso’Aside from a turn to self-sufficiency, consumers are increasingly focused on health and well-being as a result of the pandemic. This has resulted in a spike in the consumption of vitamins, online fitness programs and online health consultations.More than three out of four consumers in Australia, India, Indonesia, South Korea and Thailand that McKinsey & Company surveyed for their report — titled “Reimagining food retail in Asia after COVID-19” — say that they are “focusing on boosting immunity through more exercise and healthy living”.As part of consumers’ pursuit of immunity boosts, many are turning to traditional remedies, according to a report from global market research firm Mintel titled “How COVID-19 is impacting food and drink markets in Southeast Asia”.For Indonesian consumers, that traditional remedy is the traditional herbal drink, jamu.“The COVID-19 pandemic is making jamu into a lifestyle. Jamu is the new espresso,” the Inventure report says, noting that a number of jamu producers have seen an increase in revenue of up to 50 percent. It predicts that the habit of drinking jamu will be “a new normal” and that jamu cafes will be more common in the future.Read also: ‘Pay attention’, ‘transform’: Pandemic shifts business landscape, strategyEmerging virtual social activitiesIn order to stay connected with friends and family members, many consumers are opting for “virsocial” (virtual social) activities, which means that they do activities in the comfort of their own homes but connected to their peers with the help of teleconferencing platforms.Inventure’s report suggests that this behavior is driven by the desire to reduce the monotonous day-to-day life in quarantine. Businesses can tap into this growing market by replicating what DOOgether, an online platform for sports and activities, did in the midst of the pandemic, Inventure noted.The platform launched two new features #dirumahaja (#stayathome) exercise by DOOgether and DOOlive, which enables consumers to follow live classes as well as numerous videos-on-demand in partnership with local wellness studios to guide consumers’ daily exercises.“DOOlive helps local studio partners, as well as the trainers teaching live classes, with income,” DOOgether chief executive officer Fauzan Gani said in a statement published on April 7, as quoted by kontan.co.id.Read also: Three stages of emotion on COVID-19 journey: Where are you now?‘Zoom-able’ workplace at home“The work-from-home trend will give birth to a new industry that is the home office industry, which includes furniture, interior design, office devices and housing property designs that have workspaces,” the Inventure report reads.Regions across Indonesia have implemented large-scale social restriction (PSBB) measures that include public area, school and house-of-worship closures, except for essential needs. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has also urged Indonesians to work, study and pray from home.This has led to corporate meetings being facilitated by teleconferencing platforms such as Zoom and Google Hangouts. In relation to the recent mass adoption of the platforms, data from Google Trend show an increase in searches for home office equipment keywords, for example, “best computer monitor”, in early March.Furniture store IKEA and electronics goods chain BestBuy have seen an increase in sales of office furniture as well, the Inventure report says.Read also: Online groceries thrive as customers avoid supermarketsHome-cooking makes a comebackConsumers are starting to build on the habit of home cooking due to the implementation of social-distancing measures. Based on research by Moz, a software as a service (SaaS) company, among the most searched items on Google during the social-distancing period are family recipes and home baking.“We’re seeing growing interest in at-home cooking, which presents challenges and opportunities for brands looking to engage with those preparing and enjoying tasty meals at home,” Mintel’s Asia Pacific food and drink analyst Tan Heng Hong said. The behavior is driven by more time being spent at home, he added.Relevant business opportunities include instant seasoning, food preparation, “ready to serve” cooking such as frozen food, as well as running a cooking and recipes platform, as noted by the Inventure report.Topics :last_img read more

Commuters return to public transport with more protective gear

first_imgShe was anxious about the risk of contagion on public transportation.The 40-year-old contract employee of a ministry decided to wear a pair of fabric gloves during her commute in addition to a face mask.“Because I have children at home — one of whom is a toddler,” she said. “That’s why I am more prepared when boarding the train.”State-owned commuter line operator PT KCI made it a requirement for passengers to wear face masks inside the station and on the train when the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) were first imposed in April. Passengers not wearing a mask will be prohibited from using their services. Fabric gloves and other protective gear for passengers are optional. This article is part of The Jakarta Post’s “Forging the New Norm” special coverage series on how people are forging their lives anew to adjust to the new realities of COVID-19 in Indonesia.As the Jakarta administration gradually eases COVID-19 social restrictions and reopens certain business sectors, people are preparing themselves for a safe commute on public transit.Triastuti boarded a commuter line train to her office in Jakarta for the first time last Thursday after two months working remotely from her house in Tigaraksa, Banten. “I wear [fabric gloves] so that I do not come into direct contact with surfaces. Many people may have touched, for instance, handrails. Who knows, they might be carrying the disease,” Triastuti said.The Jakarta administration began loosening restrictions last Friday by allowing houses of worship to reopen, while offices and shops resumed operation at half capacity on Monday. The reopening has caused a surge of passengers at several commuter line stations during rush hours, according to local media reports.Read also: Bustling Jakarta returns with vengeance as lockdown easesTo cope with the increasing number of passengers, KCI, Transjakarta, as well as the MRT and LRT have now extended operational hours and the number of trips.Besides continuing to enforce mandatory mask-wearing on public transit, the commuter line operator is also introducing additional health protocols in its facilities, including a ban on elderly people boarding trains during rush hours and a blanket ban on infants. All rail operators are advising passengers on trains to avoid talking directly with fellow passengers or making phone calls on the grounds that the virus spreads through droplets. The number of passengers allowed to enter each car is also limited.Floribertus Oni, 54, a private employee who cannot afford to work from home during the pandemic, has long been alarmed by the risk of contagion on mass transit.Oni works in a logistics and transportation company in Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta, one of the essential sectors allowed to remain operational during the PSBB and the city’s current transition to a “new normal”.He always wore a mask when commuting from Serpong in South Tangerang, Banten, to his office in the past two months. But as he observed the number of commuter line passengers increasing day by day after the Idul Fitri holiday in late May, he said he would consider wearing more protection.“I do not think it is necessary for now. But at some point in the near future, wearing a face shield and gloves will be necessary,” Oni said. “Many passengers will cram into the train, even the security might find it difficult to control the situation.”Transportation experts were cautious about the potential surge in the use of private vehicles, particularly motorcycles, after Jakarta relaxed restrictions, as people feared getting infected while using public transportation.Read also: No odd-even policy yet during transition period, Anies saysBut commuting by motorcycle is not an option for Triastuti, who must travel over 35 kilometers from her house to her office in Kebon Jeruk, West Jakarta.Oni, meanwhile, cited high fuel prices and exhausting driving as reasons why he did not drive his car to work.Theresia Ajun, 54, has seen a face shield as mandatory for commuting in the past month. “I feel something is missing if I only wear a face mask. I have to be more cautious because of my age. I am in the age group vulnerable to COVID-19.”Before the pandemic, Theresia commuted around three times a week from Maja in Banten to Grogol Petamburan in West Jakarta to take care of her grandchildren. When the outbreak hit the country, she reduced the frequency of her visits to once a week.Read also: Curbing transmission on public transport not as simple as banning passengers: ExpertsAs cities began gradually easing restrictions, she said she hoped all commuters would implement health protocols as mandated by public transport operators.Around 3.2 million Greater Jakarta residents are commuters, according to the 2019 Greater Jakarta Commuter Survey by Statistics Indonesia (BPS). Of that figure, 2.5 million are office workers who commute daily.Some urbanites such as Fitra Andika, 33, prefer commuting to work by bike to avoid possible crowds when using public transit. Fitra had relied on the Transjakarta buses before the outbreak hit Indonesia. His employer is implementing temporary work shifts to prevent contagion.Deddy Herlambang from Transportation Study Institute (INSTRAN) said traffic congestion, air pollution and the traffic accident rate would worsen if not addressed properly. “Unlike during the previous phases of PSBB, congestion might now return to the city roads, thus worsening air pollution. [Exposure to air pollution] would weaken people’s immunity.”Jakarta has long struggled with traffic congestion, with private vehicles making up over 70 percent of vehicle use in the city. Many believe this has contributed to the dirty air in the capital.Deddy suggested that public transportation operators improve hygiene and deploy more workers across the transit networks to report overcrowding and assist passengers in applying physical distancing in order to lure people back to public transit, at the same time protecting them from the disease.Topics :last_img read more

Racetrack house a buyer favourite

first_imgJo and Gerald Grubwinkler at 144 Mein St, Hendra. Picture: Marc RobertsonTEN years ago, Joanna and Gerald Grubwinkler purchased an old pink house at 144 Mein St, Hendra for its trackside location overlooking Eagle Farm Racecourse.“The 1500m jumps right from out front, you can chat to the jockeys over the fence and all the stewards,” Ms Grubwinkler said.“Neither of us are real gamblers but I love horses and it’s a cheap way for me to be able to have a pony but not pay for it.”The couple transformed the old house by ripping up carpets, painting, building a deck and replacing the kitchen. So enamoured did they become with the suburb, that on deciding to relocate they simply jumped the fence to the neighbouring property. 144 Mein St, HendraRay White Ascot’s Leigh Kortlang said interest in the post-war home has been fabulous.“We have had quite a few people who have busy lifestyles but don’t want an apartment,” she said.“It’s an interesting place to live as there is always something happening on the track but has a really lovely tranquil feel at the same time.”The auction of 144 Mein St, Hendra is scheduled for Saturday February 25, on-site at 2pm. Jo and Gerald Grubwinkler at 144 Mein St, Hendra. Picture: Marc Robertson“The house we bought belonged to the racetrack and I always said to my husband, if the racetrack sells I want it,” Ms Grubwinkler said.“Sure enough it came up for sale but we were in Melbourne so sent friends to bid on our behalf.”Comfortable now in their new home, the Grubwinkler’s have decided to take their original Mein St purchase next door to auction. 144 Mein St, Hendra is going to auction today at 2pm.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home2 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor8 hours ago“It’s just a very happy home,” Ms Grubwinkler said.“We’ve had a lot of happy times there and I think it would suit somebody who loves a social environment with friends and family coming over.”“It’s given us lots of good times and has lots of potential too.” 144 Mein St, HendraThe beautifully renovated two-bedroom, one-bathroom house has polished timber flooring, custom wood joinery, air conditioning, and a kitchen with one of the best trackside race views on offer. “It’s very much all about aspect and position,” Ms Grubwinkler said.“Worse case it’s 15 minutes to the domestic terminal and 5 minutes north or south on the M1 so it’s very central and we just love it.” last_img read more

2 caught for serious physical injury rap

first_imgILOILO City – Charged with serious physical injury, two men were caught in Barangay Manoc-Manoc, Malay, Aklan. Diego Lagon, 20, of Romblon province and Marco Reyes, 19, of Occidental Mindoro province were caught around 12:10 p.m. yesterday, a police report showed. They were taken to the municipal police station. The court recommended an P18,000 bail bond each for their temporary liberty./PN The Malay municipal police station staged the suspects’ apprehension on the strength of an arrest warrant issued by Judge Cleo Marie Santillan of the Municipal Circuit Trial Court.last_img read more

Liverpool make £32.5m Benteke bid

first_img Press Association Liverpool have made a £32.5million bid to trigger the release clause of Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke. Liverpool changed their stance on the 24-year-old’s valuation on Thursday, having previously maintained they had no intention of paying what Villa were holding out for. Manager Rodgers had made the former Genk and Standard Liege forward his primary target to strengthen his forward line but Benteke’s price tag was a major stumbling block. However, after selling Raheem Sterling to Manchester City in a £49million deal there was a shift in thinking as Rodgers was adamant he wanted to add some strength to his attacking options and a front-line striker who could withstand the rigours of the Premier League. England international Daniel Sturridge made just 18 appearances last season after missing virtually the first five months of the campaign with injury. He is likely to be sidelined until at least September after undergoing surgery on a hip problem which prematurely ended his campaign in April. That would have left Rodgers with youngster Divock Origi, playing his first season in English football after spending last season on loan at Lille, and summer signing from Burnley Danny Ings as his two main forwards having decided Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini are all surplus to requirements. The club have invested heavily in Hoffenheim’s Brazil international Roberto Firmino, who could cost them up to £29million, but he is not an out-and-out forward and so Rodgers needed to recruit someone else to play as his spearhead. Liverpool have already bought six new players, including England right-back Nathaniel Clyne at a cost of £12.5million, and Benteke’s arrival would push their summer spending to around £80million despite Rodgers saying 12 months ago, after an outlay of £110million, that there would not be a huge amount of recruitment to follow. However, the loss of Champions League status and the failure of a number of last year’s signings – plus the sale of Sterling – forced a re-think. center_img Press Association Sport understands chief executive Ian Ayre, in Australia with the Reds’ first-team squad for the second leg of the club’s pre-season tour, has formally submitted their offer. He will now continue discussions with Villa over the finer details of the deal but Liverpool are hopeful of a swift conclusion to enable the Belgium international to join up with Brendan Rodgers’ side as soon as possible. last_img read more

Football News Former Liverpool defender Enrique given all-clear from cancer

first_img Madrid: Former Liverpool and Newcastle defender Jose Enrique has been given the all-clear by doctors after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour last year. Enrique said in June 2018 that he had undergone an operation to remove the tumour and he has since been going through a series of radiotherapy sessions.”Hello guys, I just have some wonderful news today,” Enrique said on Tuesday, in a video message posted on Instagram. “I just got back the report from the MRI I had just a week and a half ago.” I just wanted to let you know, because the support from all of you has been amazing, that it’s all clear, all perfect.” For all the Latest Sports News News, Football News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. Former Liverpool defender Enrique has given all-clear from cancer.He believes that he can look forward in life now and thanked all his fans. Jose played for Liverpool for nine years.  He added: “I can look forward now, not back anymore and just keep fighting. So it’s all clear and perfect. Thank you, guys.”The 33-year-old, who spent nine years in England playing for Liverpool and Newcastle, was told he could lose his sight as a result of the tumour. Enrique retired in 2017 after an injury-hit season with Real Zaragoza and had begun working as a football agent. highlightslast_img read more

MBB : Cohen: Syracuse proves it has toughness to make deep run in NCAA Tournament

first_img Published on February 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Michael: mjcohe02@syr.edu | @Michael_Cohen13 Comments STORRS, Conn. — It’s 2 p.m. on Saturday, seven hours before tip-off, and a slew of Connecticut fans are gathered outside Gampel Pavilion, waiting patiently for that night’s showdown between the Huskies and No. 2 Syracuse.It’s 2 p.m. on Saturday, and the 3-pointer by Alex Dragicevich comes up short in Madison Square Garden. His miss seals the St. John’s upset of No. 20 Notre Dame and hands Syracuse the No. 1 seed in the Big East tournament.At this point, the Orange is presented with a choice.A suddenly less-important date with the Huskies provides an opportunity to sit back a bit, circa 2010, and begin gliding toward the NCAA Tournament. Or it provides the chance to dig in, finish the regular season strong and not make the same mistakes the 2009-10 Syracuse team did — tripping up in the season finale to Louisville and getting upset in its opening game at the Big East tournament.As Brandon Triche pointed out, past teams have fallen short. Past teams, he said, lacked effort.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘The last few years we were kind of disappointed because we didn’t make the effort that we should have, winning games and getting to the championship in the Big East,’ Triche said.But Saturday’s 71-69 win over UConn dispelled any doubt regarding this team’s toughness going forward. A team that has also essentially assured itself of a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament showed no signs of complacency and played with the grittiness necessary to make a deep run in March.The Orange, a team simply adding wins to its tally sheet, took the floor in a hostile environment Saturday and faced a team that desperately needed a victory to save its season. Yet as the final minutes played out, it was the Syracuse players who seemed to want the game more.Despite a sold-out crowd of more than 10,000 imploring the struggling Huskies to play well, the Orange came out flying and seized momentum. Uninhibited by the deafening roars inside Gampel Pavilion, Syracuse put together one of its best halves of the season to stun Connecticut and take a 14-point lead.SU was plus-10 on the boards in the first half, too. A product of superior effort.‘I think the way we started kind of took the wind out of their sails,’ SU assistant coach Gerry McNamara said.UConn finally got its act together 23 minutes into the game to mount a furious comeback after facing a 17-point deficit. It was a run McNamara said he and the team knew was coming.But in a game in which a win would yield very little, Syracuse still refused to be beaten.Four consecutive missed jump shots allowed the Huskies to pull within eight by the 13-minute mark of the second half. That’s when SU guard Dion Waiters flung himself down the lane to attempt a vicious two-handed dunk.He was whacked in the air by UConn’s Niels Giffey. Waiters ended up on his backside under the hoop, clutching his right wrist and grimacing. He got up and made both free throws.Waiters went on to make two more gut-check plays for the Orange. First, he twisted through traffic and into the lane for a left-handed layup that gave his team a 69-65 lead with 2:12 remaining.With 17 seconds left, he made what Triche called a pure ‘effort play.’ UConn’s Ryan Boatright, who had already hit four 3-pointers on the night, was wide open on the left wing. Waiters lunged at him and blocked the shot when he just as easily could have stuck a hand up to merely contest it.Down the stretch, Connecticut’s supposed leader was nowhere to be found. Jeremy Lamb attempted zero shots in the final 5:46 of the game Saturday. He seemed more interested in playing hot potato than basketball and quickly passed to a teammate whenever he touched the ball.So it was forward Roscoe Smith who took the big shot for the Huskies on the final possession of the game. He was halted in the lane by Syracuse’s Fab Melo, and C.J. Fair sped in to double Smith and block his attempt.Another hustle play by Fair sealed the win for the Orange. Meanwhile, Lamb stood watching roughly 28 feet from the basket, providing no help.That’s the difference between a team with Final Four potential and a team staring the National Invitation Tournament dead in the face. One does anything to win at any time, the other shows up when it feels like it.Said Fair: ‘We stayed in there fighting.’Michael Cohen is a staff writer at The Daily Orange, where his column appears occasionally. He can be reached at mjcohe02@syr.edu or on Twitter at @Michael_Cohen13. center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

After throttling Louisville, Marrone, SU turn focus to matchup with Missouri

first_imgSyracuse head coach Doug Marrone reiterated his pride in his team’s performance in its 45-26 win over No. 11 Louisville on Monday.But as he has all season, Marrone turned his focus to the Orange’s next game. SU (5-5, 4-2 Big East) will travel to Columbia, Mo., to take on Southeastern Conference opponent Missouri (5-5, 2-5 SEC) on Saturday — a tough nonconference matchup as both teams look to lock up bowl eligibility with two regular-season games remaining.“Now it’s a challenge to keep that going and the schedule doesn’t get easier,” Marrone said during the Big East coaches’ teleconference. “Late in the year, going out to play an SEC team in their home field and a very talented team so we got our work cut out for us and we got to get back to work.”The Tigers have endured a rough transition into the SEC — widely considered the best conference in the country — suffering all five of their losses in conference play. Four of those five opponents are ranked in the top 12 in the nation and combine for a 35-5 record. And though Missouri is currently in the bottom half of the league in total offense and defense, Marrone is preparing his team for another quality opponent.Marrone said the team plans to avoid a letdown like it did following its upset of West Virginia last season by preparing with the same focus it did heading into the Louisville game.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHe acknowledged SU’s letdown after that big win and the team’s struggles on the road before stressing the need for his team to execute.“We’re trying to do a lot of the things we did last week, mirror that and become better,” Marrone said during the teleconference. “And get these game plans and go out there and play a very talented and a very good football team.”Nassib continues standout senior seasonRyan Nassib capped his career at the Carrier Dome with a memorable victory on Saturday.The SU quarterback led his team to an upset of Louisville, throwing for three touchdowns and 246 yards. He now sits atop the Big East in career completions with 738, and he is only six yards away from passing Marvin Graves to become Syracuse’s all-time leader in career passing yards.Nassib moved past Donovan McNabb for second all-time and goes into the Missouri game with 3,114 yards. The senior has completed 63.4 percent of his passes to go with 21 touchdowns compared to eight interceptions.Marrone spoke about Nassib’s contributions to the program and his development the last four years following the win on Saturday. And he shared similar sentiments on Monday.Said Marrone: “I tell him all the time I can appreciate how much work he’s put into becoming a better leader on this football team and it’s really helped us.” Comments Published on November 12, 2012 at 11:50 pm Contact Ryne: rjgery@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

96-year-old WWII vet to become oldest grad

first_imgThis semester, the oldest undergraduate student at USC is redefining what it means to be a “super-senior.” 96-year-old World War II veteran Alfonso Gonzales is currently finishing up his last undergraduate unit in an elective course at the Davis School of Gerontology. If he passes, he will walk this spring with a bachelor’s degree in zoology as the oldest graduate in University history.Before attending college, Gonzales enlisted in the Navy in 1942 and served as a Marine in Okinawa during World War II. After the war, Gonzales began his education at Compton Community College prior to transferring to USC in 1947 where he would come within inches of finishing his education.Flash forward 69 years. What started with a family member’s attempt to secure his degree from the school quickly became an amazing opportunity, as the family member discovered that Gonzales was one unit shy of completing his undergraduate education.“I thought all I had to do was go over there and pick up my diploma, but no, I was one unit short, they told me,” Gonzales told ABC7.The discovery sparked a wave of excitement for the Gonzales family. Gonzales’ great niece Dorinda Geddes, 53, and nephew Mario Gonzales, 65, both of Hermosa Beach, described how receptive the administration was to helping Gonzales graduate and how quickly the whole process began.“My cousin just wanted to get a copy of his degree, and they emailed her back that [Alfonso] was one unit short. So she did the footwork, and the process got rolling, and the professor contacted Mario, and Mario started bringing him down here,” Geddes said. “The day he was going to his first day of school I took a picture, and it went viral.”Over the past few weeks, Gonzales has been working closely with Aaron Hagedorn, assistant professor of gerontology at Davis, in a directed study environment. The department chose Hagedorn for his affinity for and expertise in working with older adults.“I have a passion for working with older adults,” Hagedorn said. “When we heard about this opportunity, they thought I would be able to relate well.”Given Gonzales’ unique situation, Hagedorn tailored a one-unit elective from the framework of a popular four-unit course that would challenge Gonzales not only academically but also personally and emotionally.“[The course is a] guided autobiography in which he will be writing his personal story and exploring self identity,” Hagedorn said. “I thought it would be perfect for somebody of his age and experience.”Even though he’s writing his life story by hand, Gonzales is fully embracing the modern undergraduate experience. In addition to the course readings, he’s been exploring other educational mediums such as TED talks. He’s even been sitting in on freshman and senior seminars weekly. This new knowledge has seemed to inform his worldview in a profound way, such as a recent assignment Hagedorn gave to him about the idea of myth and the story of his life“What I learned from that lesson is about attachment,” Gonzales said. “You begin to get attached since you’re born. The child gets attached to the mother, and when he gets older, he will get attached to his playmates.”Gonzales has been able to apply these ideas to his adult life as well.“I said, ‘Well, if we do this, then we do this in our senior and our adult stage,’” Gonzales said. “We get attached to unions, we get attached to clubs, to churches, and it’s all getting attached to one another in society. My attachment now is my family. When you get older, your attachment is to your family.”Going back to school has come with its fair share of challenges for Gonzales. But remarkably, none of these seem to be as burdensome or relentless as Los Angeles traffic.“Transportation is difficult, and I struggle a little bit in reading my assignment,” Gonzales said. “I have to pause when I read to comprehend it.”On top of the weekly classes, Gonzales has stayed busy with all the new people he’s met during his return to school. Last Wednesday, he was honored at a USC sponsored ROTC event for veterans, at which he had the opportunity to cut a cake with former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus and meet President C. L. Max Nikias.“I felt like I was back at USC again,” Gonzales said.The family has immense pride in Gonzales, who they call “Ponchie.” They see his journey as an inspiration and his strong will as a reminder that time is not a formidable barrier to accomplishment and that it’s never too late to finish what you started.“I was always intrigued by him,” Geddes said. “I always knew he was someone special because he always seemed so intelligent to me. My grandma would always tell me, ‘Let’s go ask Alfonso, maybe he’ll know.’ He was always this genius to me, and this proves it.”Gonzales only has a few more weeks of class before he finishes an unprecedented accomplishment for somebody of his age.“We have had students in their 70’s and 80’s graduate,” said Maria Henke, associate dean of the Davis School of Gerontology. “Some of them have done it online with their masters degrees, but he’s by far the oldest undergraduate we’ve ever had.”If Gonzales passes his course, he will walk as a graduate of the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences during the 2016 Commencement ceremony.last_img read more