Hey everybody! My name is Mike Mandarino and I’m a journalism major from Bedminster, New Jersey. I have two siblings: a twin brother and an older sister (pictured below – I’m on the right). My sister is currently a sophomore at the University of Georgia, and my brother is a freshman at Montclair State University in New Jersey. I love to watch sports, mainly ice hockey, and mainly the National Hockey League’s New Jersey Devils, a team I’ve followed since I was five years old – more on them later.
(left to right) My twin brother Billy, my sister Emma, and me after my brother & I’s high school graduation in June 2016.
I decided not to be a science major here at Penn State not because I dislike science in any way, but because Journalism is something I hope to pursue a career in and have been passionate about for several years. I honestly didn’t even consider science as a possible major here, but that isn’t because I dislike it in any way. While I didn’t like sitting through a physics class and memorizing how to calculate the velocity of a tennis ball shortly after being hit by a racquet, I do find the more broader concepts of science interesting, and I realize that science applies to almost every aspect of our lives. Even if you hate science, you have to acknowledge the fact that there could be life outside of our own planet is really interesting.
I decided to take this class for various reasons. Admittedly, the main reason I took this class was to fill out a gen-ed requirement, but I could’ve taken any science class to fill out my requirement. I chose this one specifically because it covers the broader aspects of science, and it allows for more thinking and open discussion. I could sit through another chemistry or physics class like I did in high school, but those classes are more black and white and don’t allow for creative thinking. At the beginning of the year, the professor of one of those classes would say “we’re talking about this, this and this” and the schedule would be set. Science 200 is better in my opinion because although Andrew gave us a schedule for the semester, it isn’t final. If we as a class don’t find something interesting, then we can talk about something else and devote the class to another more interesting topic.
When I said science applies to almost every part of our lives I wasn’t kidding. This includes my favorite sport, hockey. Hockey is widely viewed as the fastest professional sport in the world, and its fast-paced nature is part of why I fell in love with the game at a young age. As time has gone on and I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to appreciate the game’s most important position – the goaltender. As a Devils fan, I’ve been lucky to watch arguably the greatest goaltender of all-time, Martin Brodeur and one of the NHL’s current elite goalies, Cory Schneider, play in goal for the Devils. While I may not think about it while sitting in a rink watching a game, the science behind playing goal in the NHL is truly mind-boggling. The reflexes required to effectively play goal in the NHL are truly ridiculous, and they are all detailed in this video. It really is, in my opinion, one of the most fascinating positions in all of sports
Martin Brodeur & Cory Schneider, who were teammates for one season in New Jersey before Brodeur’s retirement, skate off the ice together after a win against the New York Rangers
With all of that being said, I’m excited to get to know some of you guys throughout the course of this semester. Although it may be tough to get to know more than 300 people in one class I look forward to this semester and this class. See you guys on Tuesday!