Adjustments: Moving Back Home

“Hey, wanna go grab ice cream?” This was the question I asked my best friend Alexandra on the second day I moved back home last year. She was hanging out at my house, so we got in my car and got our chilly desserts. Approximately 10-15 minutes, I got the text. You know, the quintessential parent to child text that strikes fear in your heart.

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After getting used to the autonomy of college, I realized that I had to tell my mom my location. I told my mother and she was fine with it, but it was a wake-up call. Yeah, in college I might mention that I was grabbing dinner with friends, but the task isn’t compulsory. I realized I would have to make a key adjustment moving back home.

It’s easy to forget when you experience the kind of big lifestyle change that college provides. It is often the first big stepping stone for many and is their first taste of living on their own. The biggest recommendation I have is talking things out with your parents and understanding their expectations for you. I definitely live under a certain set of rules, but my personal growth in college has an impact as well. I have more freedom than I did in high school, but I still need to respect my parents as well.

College is certainly a great experience, but that doesn’t mean going home for the summer can’t be great, too.

 

Rokerthon Caps Off Tour at Oswego

Did you happen to catch the familiar green and gold while sipping on your morning coffee? No, your 8 a.m. eyes didn’t deceive you, SUNY Oswego was on the Today Show. In fact, we were pretty busy breaking a world record. Rome may not have been built in a day, but we broke a world record in 5 minutes. Okay, that’s only technically true, but it isn’t the whole story…

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We managed to get 593 skaters to show up at the Marano Campus Center Arena at 4:45 a.m. in preparation for the national broadcast. Who knew you could get 593 to conga across ice to Gloria Estefan so early in the morning? The celebration was splendid, but more than what meets the eye went into putting on an event that sometimes felt like the circus- “The Greatest Show on Earth!”

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Aside from mandatory rehearsals for skaters, it was all hands on deck from virtually all departments on campus. If if wasn’t ice skating recruitment calls which took place in the dining and residence halls, it was working on the broadcast itself. The theatre department set up the lights and came up with the idea of snow machines for Al Roker’s zamboni entrance!

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(He rode in on a bigger zamboni. Team Mini still looked great!)

It would be misleading to say the event was easy. The amount of coordination and organization was Hurculean. It was exhausting, but man, if it wasn’t pretty darn cool. Some were there for Al, some were there for the fun of it, some (like me) got to geek out over the process of national TV (live-to-broadcast drones anyone?!?!). Our student media organizations were able to get interviews with Mr. Roker and develop great material. Del Sarte, the student dance club, brought signs that were cleverly themed to incorporate their recital and NBC. Everyone got to have a unique stamp on the day. Al even visited all of his old haunts around Oswego and campus on Friday!

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(If you go back and watch the recording, you can catch me darting through crowds to run the social media beat!)

The effort on behalf of the student body, administration, and community was incredible. Oswego absolutely has its moments and is a unique place. Why would we get selected out of so many large universities across the nation and Al Roker come back if it wasn’t?

#OzGOLDRush and Why It’s a Big Deal

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Maybe you’ve heard, maybe you haven’t. Some call it White Out Part 2, some wanted it to be Black Out, its proper name is Gold Rush. This Saturday, Marano Campus Center Arena will be bombarded with fans from all over, whether that is alumni, students, community members, etc. to catch a glimpse of what could possibly be history.

“That feeling in your gut when red shows up on the ice in more ways than one.” An apt line from the Laker Men’s hype video to describe the scene that will take place on Saturday. Archrivals Oswego and Plattsburgh will show down as they try to set the record straight on who the true king of the SUNYAC is.

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Fact: This group of seniors have not beaten Plattsburgh at Marano during their tenure. Looking to cement their legacy, they will be hungry during this Saturday’s championship game.

Fact: This Saturday will mark the 6th consecutive year that Oswego and Plattsburgh have met in the SUNYAC playoffs. If you don’t call that rivalry, then I don’t know what you would.

So why the name Gold Rush? The team is hunting for SUNYAC gold this Saturday. They are also looking to wear their gold alternate jerseys. These jerseys are special because they have the names of alumni as well as the active roster etched onto a bright Oswego gold.

There is only standing room left now for student section tickets. The line is expected to reach White Out proportions. What do the fans need to bring? Simple, unmatched energy and gold. What do the players need to bring? Their best play of the season.

*Wordpress distorts the quality of the photos.

Before your food coma…

I’m sitting in my warm home with my mother realizing halfway through making pumpkin pie that she only has enough to make one pie and not two while my sister is trying to show me different things she wants to do with her Pre-K students. My sister’s fiance is in the garage fixing his truck. My dad is out working in the cold; unfortunately, he doesn’t get today off.

It’s the day before Thanksgiving, and as I’m writing this, I don’t need to think hard about what I’m thankful for. I have a home and people who love me. I have fantastic friends, and I’m fortunate enough that I have the ability to pursue a college education. I’m lucky that I had Friendsgiving on Sunday and Thanksgiving with my family tomorrow.

As much as I’m happy and grateful for everything in my life, I don’t want this post to be a laundry list. Instead, I would like to ask that anybody reading this remember what they are thankful for and make sure to spread extra love and kindness this holiday season, whether that is at the dinner table or in life in general. Don’t let Aunt Sue’s political opinions or Grandpa Jerry’s food complaints get you down. Love is what is important. Happy Thanksgiving!

Mom's not impressed with this pie. She's having an off-day for pie making

Mom’s not impressed with this pie. She’s having an off-day for pie making.

Do as the Ozians Do!

This is part two of a two-part blog. The first entry is “When in Oz…”

Here’s a helpful image I made to show what my life was like in September and October.

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This seems like a lot, and I wouldn’t be honest if I said it wasn’t. However, I came to college to challenge myself and see what I could do. The payoff of all this hard work was truly incredible. I was able to work with alumnus and professional dancer/choreographer Dexter Jones whose talent and personality can’t be put into this blog post. The energy of the shows was awesome. The reception of the crowds and their comments really show that this effort is not for nothing. One of the most awesome comments I got were that professionals thought I had prior dance training before this show. I was fortunate enough that I was in the show-stopping dance number, the Winkie Celebration dance. The crowd interaction in that number is why performing is such a rush and privilege.

Right before the Celebration. I'm the General (in black)!

Right before the Celebration. I’m the General (in black)!

You would not believe the amount of adrenaline pumping through my veins during and after that scene.

The dance crew became a very tight group, and I was able to meet so many wonderful people that were a part of the cast and crew in general. We got to make a lot of memories together, not just rehearsing with each other, but getting pizza or late night together (We love food!). I still get breakfast with them and hang out with them.

The moral of the story is that college is a fantastic time to explore. I made it a personal goal to leave my comfort zone and try something that I haven’t done here. Just look how much magic happened! We were able to open up Waterman Theatre with a bang, learn so many new things, and create awesome relationships. The arts community here is unique and leads to unrepeatable experiences. If someone is even thinking about trying something in the arts or just something new, here’s my advice: go for it!

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When in Oz…

 

*This is part one of a two part blog post.

Before coming back in August, I had a lot on my mind. WTOP-10 was upgrading to HD, and I really wanted to try something new. I knew Oswego would be putting on a production, but that was the extent of my knowledge. Classes started and it turned out that one of my professors, Jonel Langenfeld, was the director. She informed everyone of the show, “The Wizard of Oz,” and auditions, and I knew I had to make a decision. I plucked up enough courage to seek out the audition sheet and sign up. I had no idea at the time, but my life was about to get a lot more interesting.

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The initial audition process was two days, broken up into singing and acting on the first day, and dancing on the second. I performed and went to celebrate Labor Day with my friends, not expecting anything. That night, I received a call saying I got a callback. Needless to say, I was virtually prancing with all the excitement brimming within me.  My friends were incredibly supportive, which made it even better.

Callbacks were intensive. We went over the allotted time, dancing for many hours, which many of us weren’t used to. Multiple different dance styles were taught, and then those with special skills were asked to stay and show them. I stayed and demonstrated my gymnastic ability, praying it would seal the deal.

When my stage manager, Nicole, called to tell me I was cast as a principle dancer, I was over the moon. I also didn’t realize how much my life would change.

If You’re in the Mood to Eat Somewhere New

Dining hall food is pretty great (“Chicken Patty Day” anyone?), but sometimes you want to try something off campus that isn’t a fast food joint. Especially if you are new to Oswego, you don’t really know all that is out there. That’s where I come in. I’m going to cover some reliable mainstays in Oswego that are always worth the visit.

Let’s begin with Rudy’s. Rudy’s is a lakeside joint all about fish, tenders, and other tasty foods close to the west side of campus and one of the most iconic eateries in this part of New York.

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Especially in the beginning of the summer, ask anyone there and there’s a chance that you’ll hear that people are from Rochester, Albany, and other places across New York. Rudy’s is only open seasonally, so make sure to stop in before they close after Columbus Day weekend. Bev’s Dairy Treat (known most commonly as just Bev’s) is right next to Rudy’s, and if you ever have a hankering for soft serve, it’s the place to go.

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Press Box and Old City Hall are also some really great restaurants to check out. They are right off Bridge Street and perfect places to take your parents when they come into town or if you want to go somewhere nice off of campus. They are bar and grill-type places. You can’t go wrong with anything at Press Box, and I highly recommend the wraps and fries at Old City Hall.

If you’re searching for Italian at a family restaurant, Canale’s is the place to be. The alfredo is excellent and anyone in search of a hearty pasta will certainly enjoy it and the warm atmosphere. You don’t walk out of Canale’s hungry!

For a cute cafe with a relaxed vibe, Port City Cafe offers salads, paninis, desserts, and other lighter fare. With soft lighting and your choice of booth or counter by the window for sitting, it’s definitely a place to try.

This post certainly doesn’t cover all of the restaurants in Oswego, and I encourage you to go out and explore all there is. I know I will!

The Big Picture

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See that picture? It’s a still from a personal video that I filmed for an assignment. I was challenged to find a spot on campus that I wanted to capture and that had great composition. This mobile sculpture is found between Shineman and Park Hall.

Why did I start this post with this picture? It encapsulates more about Oswego than you would think. Even in the smallest or seemingly quieter parts of campus you can find beauty. Anywhere you look has potential to be a feature in your next project or a place to relax and contemplate. It shows the attention to detail while also promoting student artists. The arts community in Oswego is standout, with innovative theatre, music, and more constantly being produced and showcased. You don’t have to look hard to find artistic opportunities.

This picture also demonstrates that fact that I was immediately hands-on in my first year. As a current sophomore broadcasting and mass communication major, I had the ability to dive straight into my major, which was critical for me. I’m an avid participant in the campus station, WTOP, which has proved to be one of the smartest things I have done. I met my best friends and learned so much about equipment and other elements required to run a television station.

It also shows that there is a method to the madness, so to speak. Your professors will assign work, work with you, and try to make you the best you can be. So much is involved when creating your favorite movie or TV show, and the professors want to make sure you understand every element in order to be successful in the future. Trust me, if you put in the effort, you will know far more than when you first start a class.

There is more opportunity in Oswego than people often realize. Beautifully backdropped by Lake Ontario, students have the tools to develop rich relationships and make connections in order to be successful at the next level. The college experience is what you make it, and I’m happy to be creating mine at Oswego.