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WILDWOOD – 6-21-2006

By Rick Racela

>”What’s the matter with kids these days?” a befuddled father laments in the Broadway musical “Bye, Bye Birdie.”
He sang that song in a simpler era, when rock ‘n roll was kids’ main distraction, long before the arrival of computers and the many options of instant communication and entertainment technology that continue to radically change the way people think, act, and live.
Take those kids, for instance.
According to a market research study conducted with full time students at 100 American colleges, iPods are now more important in the everyday lives of college students than beer.
In fact, beer was only tied for second place in kids’ hearts, sharing that spot with facebook.com, the popular social networking website that is geared specifically to young people
Dating on Internet. Listening to music on Internet. Watching movies on Internet. More and more students are taking their college courses and even earning degrees via the Internet.
Everybody and everything seems to be getting connected to and through the web these days.
Maybe Bud should come up with a virtual light beer. Talk about “less filling.”
The decline in popularity of alcohol on college campuses is something we parents can view happily but one has to wonder about all the time young people devote to online and other gadget related activities.
There’s the matter of a basic human need for fresh air, for instance.
Students cooped up in dormitories in front of computer terminals probably aren’t getting enough of it.
I could see a big difference in the campus life at the kid’s college this year from when I was in college.
Take the quad, for instance.
The quad was the center of the universe on my campus. People met there before, after, sometimes during classes.
We hung out there when the weather permitted. Some students even pretended to study on the quad.
I remember lots of flying Frisbees and playful dogs and guitar music on the quad at the college where I matriculated until the school was gracious enough to give me a diploma if I promised to leave.
Students enjoyed as much outside activity as possible as a break from our studies. Some “quad rats” always seemed to be on such breaks and their grades reflected that.
The kid’s quad was empty, a condition she described as typical even on a nice late spring afternoon with final exams completed and nothing to do but “chill.”
And where were all the students? Busy studying for next year? No, I was told, they were probably in their dorm rooms playing computer games or checking out facebook.
Social interaction takes on electronic forms such as e-mail, peer-to-peer messaging, and something facebook users call “poking.” When I asked about that, I drew a warning eye roll and figured I was better off trying to talk about the Calculus grade.
I don’t know if her college is typical but surveys like the one referred to above are further proof that the ways our kids interact with the world have radically changed from the good old days when kids were “perfect in every way.”
***
North Wildwood’s 12th annual Original Italian American Festival takes place this weekend
Read all about it, and see some pictures from last year’s festival in On Deck magazine inside the Herald.
***
The Greater Wildwood Chamber of Commerce is looking for a few convertibles and drivers willing to transport beauty queens and dignitaries the city’s annual Baby Parade.
It’s scheduled for July 20 on the boardwalk. Parade marshals are also needed.
If you would like to volunteer your car and/or your services, contact the chamber at 729-4000.
***
Reminder: Today is the annual Day of Renewal at Assumption Church Hall, 7110 Seaview Ave. in Wildwood Crest. There will be a special Mass and anointing of the sick this afternoon at 3:45 p.m.
Call 522-4985 for more information.
***
Congratulations Margaret Mace Students of the Month for May.
Picked by their teachers for their attendance and punctuality are: Michael Brown, Joseph Narciso, Alannah Bell (preschool),
Rachel Broadbent, Brent McClure (kindergarten),
Kylie Mullen, William Helm, Anthony Zampirri (first grade),
Jillian Freeman, Savanna Flynn, Devin Miller (second),
Travis Mole, Sabrina Schmidt (third),
Vincent DeRitis, Chelsea Mole, Sean Popovick (fourth),
Anthony Madle, Kayla Steere (fifth).
Also Tiffany Eveler, Katherine Jett (sixth),
Mark Handley, Kevin Gilespie, Christina Meisesahl, Frederic Sottnick, Anthony Deutsch (seventh),
Nicholas DeLong, Angelo Walton, David Bradshaw (eighth).
***
Cape May County Library is offering a Summer Independent Reading Club to encourage children to keep reading. The club is called Paws, Claws, Scales, and Tales.
On the island, you can pick up packets at the Wildwood Crest library, 6301 Ocean Ave.
Read the details in On Deck inside and online at www.CaepMayCountyHerald.com..
For more information, call 522-0564.
***
Travis Davis from Aquatic Discoveries visited Margaret Mace kindergarten and first grade last week.
Davis showed students some of the variety of living creatures that share our local environment, including crabs, clams, and snails.
It was a very hands-on program for students and teachers Amanda Brojakowski, Corinne Clarke, Nancy Flynn, and Judy Kiniry.
***
Reminder: West Wildwood holds its annual American Family Festival on July 1.
Vendors can still get in on this community event by calling Joan at 224-3168.
***
The annual Polka Spree by the Sea returns to the Wildwood Convention Center this weekend for almost 40 hours of music and dancing.
There will be ongoing polka entertainment Thursday through Saturday from 2 p.m. until midnight and on Sunday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
For ticket information, check out the website at www.polka spree.com or call 908-359-5520.
***
Wildwood Zoning Board meets June 26 at 7 p.m. and June 27 at 6 p.m. on the second floor of City Hall, 4400 New Jersey Ave.
JCOW meets Friday at 8:30 a.m. at their office, 4004 Pacific Ave.
Wildwood Crest Borough Commission meets tonight at 7 p.m. at Borough Hall, 6101 Pacific Ave.
***
Take a plunge to fight cancer on Saturday at Cresse Avenue in Wildwood. The event is a benefit for cancer patients at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
It features a five mile run and one-mile swim. Call 410-502-5395 or check out the website at www.plungeforpatients.org.
***
Attention collectors. The Wildwood boardwalk resumes its summer crafts shows this weekend with shows Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. along the boardwalk, south of the convention center.
***
Cape Express returns to the Wildwood beach this weekend, bringing five on five barefoot soccer to the sand from Cedar to Poplar Avenues.
According to Cape Express, at least 600 teams will be playing on 60 fields.
The action takes place Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
***
Greater Wildwood Yacht Club is holding a get together for new and prospective members on Sunday from 4-7 p.m. at the yacht club, 6500 Park Blvd.
Call 856-428-5876.

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