Gallim Dance Troupe

Last week on SUNY Oswego’s campus, the Gallim Dance Troupe (from New York City) made an appearance at the Waterman Theatre, something that has been highly anticipated for months. I remember being in my English Methods class last semester with Sharon Kane, and she strongly suggested that we go to the event.

The event was a little bit lengthy, especially for someone who doesn’t like to sit for very long periods of time, but at least there was an intermission. The first half of the performance was pretty chaotic, and the mix of music, from various nationalities/cultures, didn’t really go well with the dancers’ moves. The lighting was nothing that was expected, with only the dancers illuminated by spotlights with the remainder of the stage fairly dark.

Something that was impressive is that the dancers’ outfits changed, even before the Intermission. However, emotion was not really transmitted, and even though the “evolution of the human” theme was evident, the chaos made it a bit difficult to follow. Hardcore criticism and/or disrespect toward the troupe is not intended, as it is incredibly talented, but it could just be that their “thing” is not everyone’s “cup of tea,” as it is said.

Finally Moved into Sheldon

So, I am finally in Sheldon with Ray, and I couldn’t be happier. Beyond the facts that the room is pretty big, has heat and air-conditioning, and we have our own bathroom, this building is so incredibly quiet, and that last bit is what is especially important, since Mackin was so obnoxiously noisy. A couple of weeks ago, for example, a group of about five male residents stampeded down the hallway after two in the morning and shouted, “Everybody wake up!” making an alarm-like sound in the process, and that wasn’t even the weekend; it was a Thursday night.

Sheldon is so gorgeous, and I love the sense of community here; everyone is so friendly and helpful and wanting to meet new people and make new friends. The very first day that we were here, our RA introduced himself, and we have already met four or five residents who introduced themselves, and they were really nice people. Like I said, I couldn’t be happier to be here, especially with Ray.

What about this weather, though? I am a Junior, so this is my third Winter here, and this is the craziest one yet. It is definitely the coldest and the windiest. Thursday, I had two classes, and both were canceled, something that has never happened to me here before, and if Monday is anything like it was today (as in Saturday), then I don’t expect class on Monday, either, because today was exceptionally bad.

I would love to hear from others about how your semesters are going. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, so hopefully everyone’s will be just as happy as I’m sure mine will be. I’ll be surely writing again soon; until then, take care.

Dan Kamin

This past weekend, I went to Dan Kamin’s show at the Waterman Theater with my boyfriend Ray, and I was surprisingly pleased. I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did, but then again, I didn’t really know what it was that I was getting myself into, which is probably why it was that I wasn’t expecting to have so much fun.

Basically, what Dan Kamin’s show involved was primarily mime work, and he was hilarious. The show ran for approximately ninety minutes, and I was never bored, not for a minute. He was incredibly entertaining, and he told quite a few jokes, too. He was very communicative and interactive with the audience, and we were a part of the show. Perhaps, my favorite segment of the show was his parody of the Creation of the world according to the Bible, which managed to be hilarious but not offensive toward people who may have been Christians.

What’s really neat is that Ray and I then had the opportunity to meet Dan in person. On our way out of Sheldon later that night, he was walking in, and I had the chance to personally tell him that the show was awesome and that I enjoyed it, and that really made him happy. The show was definitely worth the $7.00, and it would be awesome if he came back for another show.

An Editorial, If You Will

This is just a quick summary of a few circumstances that I wish were a bit different, and I have been meaning to share for quite some time, actually. What I would first like to cover is the Education program. I am an Education major, and as an Education student, I am required to complete Practicum hours, which means that I observe a classroom each semester, and it really puts me at a severe disadvantage. Despite the hours that I put into that each week, I only get one to two credits (two for Block 3, since that is either a full day or two half-days, unlike Blocks 1 and 2, which are only one half-day), instead of the full three. What that means is that unless I kill myself by taking six courses, I am not getting the full fifteen credits that I should be getting, and I’m sure that I’m not the only Education student who feels this way.

Last semester was okay, because I got two credits for my Practicum, and I got four credits for my ADO 310 class, so it worked out to fifteen, but usually it doesn’t. Considering how many hours are put into completing a Practicum assignment, a full three credits should be given (more for third block). I feel like I’m busier than most students probably are, yet I’m getting less credits. Tell me, how is that fair? It isn’t fair.

Secondly, did anyone else receive an email over the summer telling you that your financial aid package had been slightly decreased due to the need to cut budgets? I did, and I was also reprimanded for having ordered too much last semester via ILLIAD, for the same reason. Allow me to entertain this question for a minute – if all of these budget cuts are necessary, then where is the money coming from to build this new science building? Where did the money come from to build the Village, something that was utterly unnecessary and isn’t even close to anything on campus. If we had that money, why didn’t we use it more productively, like put air-conditioning in the residence halls and the academic building, perhaps? I just feel like I am being affected for reasons that don’t affect me. I am not living in the townhouses, and I most likely won’t be here when the science building is finished (and even if I were, I’m not a science major). Anyway, enough moaning for now, I suppose. I’m sorry about that; I have just been meaning to write this for a while now.

Gearing Up

Wow, this semester is going to be yet another toughie; I can already tell. Not that anyone would really care to know all of the specifics about my medical life, I’m sure, but I started my semester out with a pilonidal cyst, which, from what I understand, is pretty much the most painful kind of cyst one could get, and believe me, I would know, as it was basically the most amount of pain I’ve ever been in in my whole life, but thankfully, I am just about fully healed now and back on my feet, so to speak.

I haven’t even been to my Literacy class yet, because last week, I wasn’t doing too well, and yesterday, I had to go back to the surgeon for a follow-up. That is quite daunting, because despite my attempts to find out how much work I have missed via emailing the professor, she has not returned the email, so I’m so afraid I’m going to walk in there on Wednesday only to discover that I have a hundred or so pages of reading to do, which would be quite unfortunate considering the fact that I am reading Clarissa by Samuel Richardson this semester for English 365. In case you don’t know what that is, it is a 1500 page book, so it’s going to take me forever to get through it.

As always, there is so much reading to do, and as always, there is so much writing, which I actually don’t mind as much as the reading. The reading is far more time-consuming, and it can be quite mundane when it isn’t really anything that you want to be reading. Every semester, I fool myself into thinking that I can afford to bring books for pleasure up here to read during downtime, and what I forget is that that is something that I get incredibly sparingly, but hey, it’s one step closer, right? I took my Safe Schools Healthy Students exam this previous Saturday and passed the class, so little by little, I am getting there – to being an English teacher, that is. Anyone else care to share how their semester is faring thus far?

So Excited

Sorry, readers. I know that I haven’t written in a long time, but I have been very busy. My sister is moving to Connecticut for work, so I have been spending a lot of time with her because I need to be with her son while she is away for interviews, and on top of that, I have been taking Safe Schools Healthy Students online, which has been a pain. For a class that offers absolutely no credit, there are a lot of demands that I don’t think are fair, but, hey, I need to get that certification, don’t I? It is definitely important; I just wish that it offered credit, but no, not even one.

Not writing in so long has offered opportunities for a lot to happen, though, and therefore, a lot to write about. The break has been relatively mundane, unfortunately. I am at a point in my life in which I feel really stuck. I honestly don’t want to be in college; I want life to start, and I don’t want to spend any more time at home (a word that I am forced to use very loosely nowadays). I want to live with Ray. Luckily, Oswego will afford that opportunity, which is why I am so excited for Sunday.

I am so tired of feeling trapped and held down. If I want to go somewhere, for example, I have to hunt down someone to transport me because I have no vehicle; I don’t even have a license, because I have parents who don’t provide the necessary resources, and I don’t have the money. It honestly really annoys me whenever someone reacts to my saying that I don’t drive. People take their driving ability for granted, because they had resources, namely their parents. I don’t have that and never did.

Additionally, within the small amount of time that I have spent with my parents this break, my mother keeps pushing me to look for work, something in which I can’t say I’m very interested. I have a job; it’s called college, and even that involves a paid job. Don’t get me wrong; I like money, and ultimately, I do need a supply of it, but I would go insane if I went to college for nine months and then came home to a job. I do need a break. Plus, if I were to have a job over the summer, I would never see Ray because I would be working. I don’t think that it should be expected that someone have a job while he or she is in college; college is his or her job, and it’s probably far more demanding than any paid job would be.

This past semester, for example, I made the Dean’s List, and that was far from easy. It took my soul to accomplish that, and I can’t even imagine exhausting that much energy and then not having a break when I come home. I have tried explaining that to her, but she doesn’t seem to understand that I am in college so that I can get a job, not an after-school job that a high school student might have, but something that is going to support a life with Ray and something that I actually want to do.

I don’t mean to be mean or exercise any kind of superiority here, but I do find it necessary to put on the record that she didn’t go to college, so it would be expected that she wouldn’t understand that. My father didn’t, either, and he had to work multiple jobs that, all together, took up a great deal of his life, because that’s what he had to do to support his family. That’s why I’m in college. It’s not only because my choice of profession requires it; it’s also because I don’t want that kind of lifestyle.

Anyway, I am so excited for this weekend. Friday, my favorite show, Fringe, returns, and then Sunday, it’s back to Oswego. Usually, I am not too excited about that because it means back to a stressful lifestyle in which coffee becomes my best friend (as if it isn’t already), and reading for pleasure ceases to exist as a possibility. However, considering the fact that a very large part of the reason that I don’t like being in college is that I am constantly missing Ray, this semester should be much, much better than any so far, and I am so psyched.

Just Another Canvas of Color

It really is amazing what coffee can do; it isn’t necessarily a good kind of amazing in this case, but it is amazing nonetheless. It is 8:05 AM, and I haven’t had a wink of sleep yet, and this is the third night that this has happened, not getting much sleep, that is. No, don’t get the wrong idea; I haven’t done three all-nighters in a row, not in that sense, anyway; I can’t even do one without passing out from sleep deprivation; no, I have been sleeping during the day, but that isn’t good, and it certainly doesn’t make me too happy, but trust me, it isn’t by choice. I drink the coffee for a reason; I know that because of the mindset in which I am at night, I’m not going to sleep, anyway, so I would rather not sleep and be awake and alert than not sleep and be miserable. Makes sense, right? I think so. I mean, I try to lie down at night, and all I can do is lie wide awake, alone in myself, and it isn’t too much fun.

Why am I in this mindset in which I can’t sleep? Well, it’s kind of pathetic, really. Ray has been in Pennsylvania, and I consequently haven’t seen him since Sunday, and I can actually feel the distance. He is hundreds of miles away, and I can actually feel that. I try to sleep at night knowing that if something serious were to happen to either one of us, I couldn’t be there for him, and he couldn’t be there for me. Well, we are madly in love, so that sounds pretty logical, right? You would think so, except it isn’t like he’s gone for a month. He’s only gone for a few days; he’s coming home tomorrow, and presumably, I can go back over there tomorrow when he gets home, so why can’t I just accept that? Why can’t I be an adult and just accept that I can’t be with him every minute of the day? While I do know the answer to that, it doesn’t make it any less pathetic.

While I don’t mean to advertise my personal feelings in such a public domain, I have learned from past experiences that it helps, and I honestly miss it. I used to do this much more often; before Ray and I began dating, I had many, many nights during which I couldn’t sleep because I was enduring an incredibly difficult time in my life and was loaded with self-loathing and regret, and although I don’t want to get into the specifics as they really are much too personal, I guess that that is more or less partly what I’m doing now – hating myself for mistakes that I’ve made and wrongdoings that I have inflicted upon others. Why does it hurt so much? It hurts so much, because I can say that I’m sorry until I’m blue in the face, even to myself, and even if those people forgive me and even if I somehow learn to forgive myself, I can’t erase time; time is a frozen dimension that can’t be altered, so those mistakes and wrongdoings are always going to exist no matter what.

I find comfort, though, at the moment, and of all things, it is in materials. For Christmas, Ray bought me two books – Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, amongst other gifts, and they lie here on my desk waiting to be read, even though they are unfortunately midway down a very long list, and I take comfort in them. They mean something to me because I know that a lot of thought went into them, and that is because a lot of thought goes into me. This relationship is the realest, most intense aspect of my entire life, and it knocks me off my feet everyday for that very reason. I can’t stand being separated, even if it’s only for a few days. I can’t stand not having him to cuddle with, not having him to hug, to kiss, to tell him how I feel, and this small bedroom begins to feel so incredibly lonely even after a mere few hours, which causes days to feel like weeks.

Luckily, though, it isn’t something that I have to deal with too much longer. He will be home tomorrow, and I believe that I will see him then, since he will be leaving very early in the morning. I talked to him last night for a very long time, and I took a lot of comfort in that, too. Additionally, going back to Oswego isn’t going to be difficult this time; in fact, I am looking forward to it, and that’s because he will be going, too. He applied and got accepted, and so we will be together everyday and will be taking part in activities together everyday – doing homework, eating, shopping, and so forth, and I can’t even begin to explain how excited I am. It’s our first shot at this, our first shot at living a life together on our own, and I can’t contain the excitement.

People like Fady and David used to tell me all the time that my writing was inspirational to them, and that was inspirational to me, because it made me want to keep doing it. I guess that that’s why I’m doing it now, not only in hopes of making myself feel better but also in hopes of maybe making someone else feel better, but I don’t mean to overestimate myself, because honestly, if those two had never said anything, I never would have thought anything, because I write because and only because it’s something that I enjoy doing, not because I find it to be a talent. However, if someone does find some sort of beauty in what I have to say, then who am I to deny that person that beauty? Who am I to say that that person has no right to be inspired by what I have to say? I’m only human, and I do like to be told that what I do is appreciated. In the meantime, I just wanted to tell the world how life is, I guess. Ray, when you read this, be reminded of what you surely already know – I love you so much, and I fully intend to marry you one day soon, one way or another; my world shines because of you.

End of the Semester

So, as it turned out, I didn’t have to go back to Practicum. The Field Placement office returned my email and told me that the number of hours that I have is sufficient, so it feels great to have that behind me now. Yesterday, I took my final for my English 360 class, so that is another class that bites the dust. All I have left now is Adolescence Psychology, for which I have a final on Tuesday night, and then Wednesday, I am leaving. I am hoping and praying that it won’t be too long after that that I see my boyfriend, but I have a feeling that it will be. The last time that I was home, which was for Thanksgiving Break, it was almost a whole week before I first saw him. Anyway, I am going to do my very best not to be negative in this blog entry. It’s just that it is 3 AM, and I am tired.

So, why am I not asleep, one may ask? Well, my roommate got back from a party at around 2 AM, and despite the fact that it should have been pretty clear that I was getting ready for bed for the night, the first thing that he does is his usual – turns the TV on; yes, at 2 in the morning, and I can’t sleep with TVs on, even if they are muted. No matter what position I try to fall asleep in, I can see the flashes of the TV screen even with my eyes closed, and it is especially ridiculous, because that is on while he is playing a video game and while he is listening to music via his earbuds. It is just utterly ridiculous, and so now, I am just hanging around waiting for him to realize that he is being monstrously rude – or for him to get tired himself and go to bed, whichever happens first, which will probably be the latter.

Again, I don’t mean to be negative. I just feel so explosive due to that “end of the semester” feeling that I know all of us are familiar with. I am excited to go home but am worried that I won’t be spending a whole lot of time with my boyfriend, which means that I would honestly rather be here. I know as a fact that there will be a week that he will be going on a trip out of state, a trip on which I am not invited. That hurts, but at the same time, I am trying my absolute hardest not to be selfish about it. Besides, he will be here next semester, and we are trying to live in Sheldon together. I was told a good three weeks ago, at least, that I would know shortly after Thanksgiving whether or not we are in, and it is now the tenth of December, and we still have had no word. It is incredibly frustrating, because if we don’t get in, now we don’t have very much time to plan otherwise, and we haven’t been able to at this point because he can’t yet access his MyHousing account.

I just can’t wait for next semester and am really hoping for the best news possible out of all of this, which would mean acceptance into Sheldon. Just tonight at Mackin, we had a fire alarm because of someone smoking inside of the building, and I am getting tired of that happening. I shouldn’t have to worry about a fire alarm going off in December, and I need a quiet space where Ray and I can concentrate on our work, and that, for us, is Sheldon. I am just going to keep my fingers crossed, I suppose, and hope for the best. I would try contacting Residence Life and Housing again, but I don’t know if I should.

Ninth Day of Practicum, Fall ’10

So, today, I finally taught, and yes, it is odd that I went to Practicum on a Tuesday, but this past Friday, I didn’t go due to the weather. It wasn’t much better today, but I had to go. Not only did I need to teach, but I needed the hours put in. Anyway, teaching went really well. I was really nervous, because this was my very first time teaching ever, but it actually turned out great. The students responded very well to me and seemed to like me.

I thought that my Practicum time was now over, but apparently, it is not. I have been concerned about the time that I have put in. I have missed a couple of days due to my ride not being able to go or because of weather conditions, and so I contacted the Field Placement office out of fear that I would be denied credit. They contacted me back and did not give me a straight answer. They said that if I have not put enough hours in, then I should go at least twice during Finals Week. I’m sorry, but that can’t happen for many reasons. I just find this to be so unfair.

I find it to be very unfair that out of about twelve weeks, I go to ten of them, and my credit still might get denied, even though that is a vast majority. I especially find that to be unfair because I have no other way of getting there. The Field Placement office suggested that I “coerce” a friend to bring me (not possible), take a bus (also not possible, because that will not bring me to the school, only to the Regional Transportation Center), or rent a Zip car (also not possible, because I can’t afford that). My only option, if they tell me that the amount of hours that I have already put in are not enough, is to go again this week. I hope to hear from them soon and really hope that I can resolve this if I need to.

Eighth Day of Practicum, Fall ’10

Today was very, very slow. My Host Teacher, as she told me last week, was not there, so I had a sub (well, two, actually), and that was, well, interesting. The first sub was a young guy, and since he knew a lot of the students’ names and vice versa, I gathered that he is probably a frequent sub. He was great with them. He had positive relationships with all of them, and he knew exactly what he was doing. That class watched a movie. I have no idea what the title of the movie was, but it starred Kevin Kline as a very influential teacher, and I caught Jesse Eisenberg, too. Anyway, the class really seemed to enjoy the movie.

As always, I also observed a couple of classes taught by the other teacher who shares a classroom with my Host Teacher. I really noticed something today that I don’t think I really noticed before, or if I did, I just shrugged it off because it works for him. Not too long in my ADO 310 class, we talked about using sarcasm with your students and how, as a general rule, you shouldn’t use it unless you have that kind of relationship with your students (and even then, you have to be careful, because you could really upset a student by using sarcasm with him or her). However, he definitely uses it with them to a great extent, but like I said, it seems to work for him. Maybe it depends on your perceived personality. Are the students fully aware that you are kidding with them?

Anyway, the second sub took over in the afternoon, and she was not anywhere near as successful as the guy was in the morning. It was blatantly obvious that she was incredibly nervous, first struggling to find my Host Teacher’s lesson plan and then asking the TA for help. The students did not respond well to her at all, refused to do what they were told and got nothing done. So, it was interesting seeing two subs today and seeing two totally different outcomes, and of course, there are many variables that come into play besides the method(s) that the sub uses, although that definitely did come into play today. You have to account for time of the day, the students that are in the classroom, and so forth. It makes sense that a morning class would be better behaved than an afternoon class. My next (and last) Practicum is on December 3rd, and that is when I will be teaching. Wish me luck!