Thank God For Spring

Spring is one of the greatest times to spend in Oswego.  For students who are taking classes here there are so many things to enjoy with the change of weather. The snow is melting, so we get to see how beautiful the campus really is. Then suddenly the grass gets a little greener, the breeze feels amazing, and you can finally take a walk around the lagoon. Walking to class does not become such a hassle anymore, and these may seem like little things but after a long rough winter they are all things to appreciate and love while being here.  Spring is the time to pack up the heavy coats and huge winter jackets to start showing off your new summer gear. You start to enjoy the morning sunshine that hid from us the whole winter; spring is the time for Oswego to shine. There is so much to do before the summer hits, for many of you who have never experienced a summer in Oswego, spring is the time to take full advantage, because it is absolutely beautiful. It is the time to take a walk to Rudy’s for some  good fresh food, or you can take a walk down to Bev’s and enjoy some delicious ice cream! I am very excited that it is Approaching sooner than later, and all I can say is THANK GOD FOR SPRING!!

Experimental Education: I know What You’re Thinking

I was thinking about the highlight of my week, and I have to say that my Bio- Psychology class was a true highlight for me. Bio- Psychology?! I know you are thinking what could be a highlight in that? I know I probably would would be thinking the same thing if I read that someone said that was the highlight of their week. However I must share with you why this class made me so excited. It was actually the lab portion of the class that I loved so much. Usually lab classes are never fun, you always end up writing boring lab reports and you walk out of there not learning anything because you spent the whole time rushing to complete the lab so that you don’t have to stay the whole three hours, Isn’t that true?

Well my lab class was not the typical. I must boast and say, there are no boring lab reports required.Students actually have the opportunity to engage in Experimental Education, a method that has been successful in enhancing education amongst learners. With Experimental Education, learners get the opportunity to work effectively while learning in a more enhanced and active environment. With experimental education learners get the opportunity to implement what they learn from textbooks or lectures.

In my class we had the opportunity to work on a real human brain!!!! It was so exciting, it was a real human brain!! First I have to say that I was excited for many reasons but the main one was because I had the opportunity to see an actual human brain! Not only did I see it, I touched it, I learned about the different parts of the brain by actually searching for them, and organizing the different parts with colored push pins. Reading the textbook had nothing on actually working on a real human brain. Do you know how much understanding that experiment provided for me? A much better understanding, I am excited I was blessed with the opportunity.

So I will say experimental education is a very important factor in education, and it should be practice to help provide a better understanding of the things learned. Some times it compliments others learning styles, overall it will increase understanding, but what is especially guaranteed is class interaction, and what’s better than that!

Looking Forward

I am so happy to have a brand new start this semester. Spring Semester is always my favorite; it brings hope to new beginnings. This semester I am looking forward to being focus, devoting quality time to my studies, and preparing myself for the next step in my future.

Last semester I realized the mistakes I made. I was overloaded, and I needed to balance myself. Being in college sometimes you could get caught up in a world that is so different than the world you should actually be living in. I am laughing at what I just wrote, but it’s true it makes perfect sense! Being a college student you could get so caught up its ridiculous! Don’t get me wrong college offers a world of opportunities. There is so much to explore in this world, so much is at the door step. For me, I sometimes like to embrace it and try it all; and that can become a problem. As I am writing this I am thinking how could I not? Sometimes people say to me, “Just do what you love.” You know what my response is to that? How do you do what you love unless you search for it and do it all! However I did learn that sometimes doing it all, or doing too much is not always healthy. This semester, I am actually taking the opportunity to not exactly do what I love, but more than likely doing the things that are effective to my life, and the things that allows me to balance a world that is not so chaotic. However, I do recommend doing it all until you find it all, at least even once ;-).

I would like to use this semester to find my balance, remain focus, and embark upon new and wonderful experiences. So far everything has started off wonderful for the new semester! I’m satisfied with my classes, and I did not have to spend a lot of money on my textbooks. My first day of classes was liberating, I felt so relief that I didn’t have to worry about 7-8 classes (buying books for all of them), 22 credits, and three jobs. Yes unfortunately this was my life, and not to mention my other engagements and priorities. This semester I am taking only 15 credits, with two jobs, both which I enjoy. This is the second time that I will return to taking lesser credits since my second semester freshmen year. I am definitely going to enjoy relaxing and enjoying free time on my hands, and attending some campus events, and doing some volunteering.

Thanksgiving Break

I was just thinking about how much I hate traveling around the holiday time; oh goodness Thanksgiving break is coming up soon!! I started thinking about how I’m going to make it home? Where I’m getting the money from to buy a ticket? Is it even worth spending a lot of money to go home just for a couple days when I am going home soon for Christmas break? I would love to see my family, but then I started thinking about how families get on your nerves on a regular basis, and on holidays even ten times worst! I don’t know how much I am into the holiday feelings that are floating around, I hear so many people talking about how much they cannot wait to go home; to see their dogs, their favorite nephew, their uncle Luke, and oh by the way aunt Susan is coming up from Virginia, so thanks giving is going to be extra special. Why can’t I share that same excitement? Why can’t I be excited about the fact that my Nini might come up all the way from Georgia? Why am I not excited that we might have dinner at my aunt Jenny’s’ house? And we will laugh, and argue, and eat dinner at 11pm when we said it would start at 5pm SHARP!!!

Thanksgiving is such a special time, and I think I should be happy about this break, actually I think of all the breaks, Thanksgiving break is well deserved, it’s right at the peak of the end of the semester… so before we stress ourselves out, why not go home, eat your life away, be satisfied for a couple of days, and then come back and get ready to pull all of hair out while preparing for finals week. It is well deserved, I should feel like I want to go home, I need a break from this place, I need to rejuvenate!! What better place to do that than home sweet home ;-).

I could just imagine how horrible I would feel if I missed out on some fry chicken, bake macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes pie, oxtail, curry chicken and all (my family is Jamaican, we hardly ever do turkey, only if they feel like following tradition). Plus my Nini is coming up, Oh my God she is so funny, why wouldn’t I want to laugh until I am about to choke. Missing out on cooking with the women in my family would almost be like a social crisis, that’s when we share stories, and the older women school the younger women on how to cook a good meal. Having members of the family calling asking what time dinner would start, and even if we tell them the time, they still show up hours later than the time we originally told them!! That is priceless!! We gossip, we share the same stories from last thanksgiving, we always have someone’s boyfriend who we have never met before sitting at the table with us, and the best of them all we throw down on a wide selection of some good food while giving thanks. Moments like those are so worthwhile, and they are so important, and I wouldn’t want to miss it for anything in the world!!!

Self Evaluation

Last week was a fairly busy week for me, but honestly I learned so much in one week. I would say that this week I spent so much time observing everything around me,  from people I spoke with, to the environment I was working in; and I found  out that observing is good for the soul it allows you to self reflect.  There was something that sparked my attention last week, and it struck me to think about my observation; Now when reading further, I ask that you do not think about this blog as an opinion or a judgmental statement, but rather as a simple observation theory about true self development.

This is what I learned, People love to compete, and often they create secret competitions that allows them to compete; but they don’t compete to win, they compete for self fulfillment and completeness, and this I will explain later on. People who compete for those reasons are the ones who I believe have missing elements in their lives.  So to explain things a little better,  I would say people hate to feel incomplete or out of the loop. So remember when I said that people who compete in that way are the ones with the missing elements in their lives; Well because they have missing elements they find things that will fill the spot of the missing elements; and this is where the competition starts.  Now because the spots of the missing elements are filled they begin to feel like: A) They are ahead of the competition B) they are complete because the empty spots are filled. But here is the problem, in order to be in the competition or ahead of the competition; you have to find elements that have substance and elements that have true meaning. This is a lesson that can help towards finding true happiness. By no means am I trying to define “True happiness” but most importantly to say that really there should be no competition, people should not just do things for their “secret competitions.”  Honestly the competitions are not meaningful at all.

So with that shared, you’re probably thinking this girl is about to get real philosophical on us, but that is not what this blog is about.  It’s not even about my theory. The theory was needed in order for you to understand what I would be saying in the rest of this blog. This Blog is about Self Evaluation; Evaluation of one’s self, your purpose, your circle, your commitments and even your engagements.  There is something that I learned from my advisor, and not necessarily that he taught this to me by telling me, but more so because of a little joke  that I have with him, but I realize that the joke is true.  I told him earlier last week that the reason why I enjoy going to him is because it’s like a counseling session, and he is no ordinary counselor who tells me what to do and how to do it; but he allows me to evaluate myself and find those elements with true substances.  

So to put an end to the competitions and those  elements  with no substance,  the first step to take is to find someone,  a mentor, a friend whose perspective you trust, or even yourself.  Just simply take some time on your own and evaluate yourself. In order for it to work you have to evaluate with an open mind logically and critically. The main purpose is to find those elements with substance that works for you and eliminate the ones that don’t. Now remember elements can be anything; from the things you eat to the people you hang out with, “your circle.” When you find the elements with substances, enhance on them, and if you have tons of elements with no substance but don’t know how to let them go, first thing I would like to encourage is trying something new, take the opportunity to step outside of your element and those things that constrict you. Then you should also try this thing that I would like to call “process and Progress.”  Think like this, slow process can bring forth huge progress, but only through deliberate and critical engagement of defining a purpose.  Try it, it might work for you!

To end this I would like to say self evaluation is not about being in the competition, it’s not even about winning the race, it’s about YOU having what it takes to deliver and accomplish through empowerment and true achievements.


What does it cost to not pay the price?

I think by the time I graduate from college the amount of money I pay for text books would be just the amount of my debt!!!! I know I’m exaggerating but sometimes I really get that feeling like I am paying way too much for college textbooks. The worst time of the semester is the beginning, besides the fact that people are trying to adjust to their classes, and getting use to being back after being off from school for about three months, one of the worst part about the beginning of the semester is using all of your hard earned summer dollars to buy college textbooks. I am not saying that buying text books are not important and of course they are well needed, but honestly they really do hurt our pockets. Sometimes buying college textbooks put students in a financial jam; because there are students out there who are paying for their college tuitions on their own…. And yes you might here the saying “but there’s so much financial aid, and scholarships out there for college students to get…” that is not everyone’s story. College is a struggle and when you have to make the decision between either paying your tuition or buying books for your classes that’s when the test of your experience kicks in.

Yes there are ways out there to “beat the system” and they are greatly appreciated and there are people who do use them, and I would believe that they do offer some help. For example I try my best to only buy used books it helps to cut off a couple of dollars, there are some students who use websites that sell cheap books. There are even ways where students don’t have to spend any money at all. For example just the other day I was talking to one of my friends and she told me that she had to return one of her textbooks to the library, I was so shocked, I didn’t know you could do that (it does pay to do your research doesn’t it). There are even websites which have the books and chapters that your professors are using for the course all posted online. But honestly speaking not everyone one will have the best of luck with all these resources but it is good to know that they are out there, and there are probably many other ways that I don’t know about that you can get your books for a low cost or no cost at all.

One of the worst things you could do from my personal experience is not buying the book. Maybe that does not work for everyone some people could go through a whole semester without buying the book for a course and still do well (because they have it like that ;-)). For me it was one of the worst mistakes. So what does it cost to not pay the price? I learned this the hard way, I am taking a course this semester, and from word of mouth I heard “you could do fine without buying the book,” so I did just that I did not buy the book, why would I want to pay a hundred and five dollars for a book that’s not even for my major. So I figured I could just survive off of PowerPoint s and things the professor say in class. So when the test came around all I studied was the PowerPoint and the few notes I wrote down. Of course I studied long and hard, when the test came around I walked in as confident as a model on the runway and walked out feeling as dumb as a bag of rocks. As soon as I received my grades back, I was not happy or satisfied because it was not my usual, I was very disappointed so I decided I would go and talk to my professor, when I went and told my professor how hard I studied and all the things that I did, one of the first things she said to me was “Sherrifa what about the book, you didn’t mention anything about using the book.” Then I realized I received a low grade because I didn’t want to pay the price of the textbook. My message to all college students would be think about what it would cost you if you don’t pay the price… So if you don’t want to pay the price find some way where you can get the book; and actually read it!!! It won’t be every class that you take where you will have power points to depend on. So do yourself a favor and find a way… your own way!

What is your favorite part of the day?

This is a question to ask yourself “what is your favorite part of the day?” My favorite part of the day is lunch, breakfast, or dinner. Whether it is in cooper, pathfinder, or even Mackin (which is a little too far for my taste buds). But my friends and I realize that the best parts of our days are when we are all eating together. I’m pretty sure many of you can also attest to this. Sometimes I spend more than an hour in the dining halls, and the only time when I leave early is when I have to run to a meeting or I have a class. But my friends and I love to sit in the dining hall and talk for hours.

Sometimes our conversations are about sweet nothings, other times they are about the same nonsense we talk about every day. But for the most part those conversations can be meaningful, whether we are complaining about professors (which we have to do every once in awhile), talking about family, what’s going on in the world around us, making fun of someone who cannot find a seat (so they spin around as if they are waiting to be escorted), or whether we are sitting by the window taking in our beautiful campus. I realize it is so important for me to just relax and enjoy myself for two complete hours or more ;-). Eating is supposed to bring pleasure and how much pleasure can you have when you are eating your favorite meal with the people you love the most.

But honestly ask yourself what is your favorite time of the day, but you must take some time to really think about it, and if you realize that your favorite part of the day is eating with your friends then you must know what it feels like when the dining hall staff ask you to “please empty your tray whenever you are finish eating,” when they see all of the napkins piled up on your plate; which clearly indicates that you are finish eating, We love their polite way of asking us to please leave!!!!

Facing the past: The Reflection of the future

I knew that the first blog would be the hardest of them all, I sat here and I pondered and pondered about what to write, and the only thing that was coming across my mind was a welcome note, with one of my favorite quotes. This quote was given to me by one of my English teachers in high school, who indeed introduce me to one of my favorite books (Catcher in the Rye). Before I graduated she gave me the book and inside of it was a quote from Mark Twain, and the quote stated, “throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.I also remember her saying to me, “you make sure you make Mark Twain and I very proud.” From the moment I received the quote until the next day, it was one of the most important thing anyone have ever said to me. I had never looked at the book or the quote again, and somehow the importance of them both diminished as I went on being Sherrifa Bailey, the New College Bound girl.

And here I am years and months after the book, the quote, and the English teacher; a junior in college living such a busy life, getting involved, attending classes, and embarking upon new experiences every day. Today I had so many things to do for my classes and then I realized Oh my God September will be over tomorrow. I went into my planner so that I can make notes of all the things I had to do for Wednesday October 1st. So as I did my daily routine of making a list of all things I have to do for the next day, I looked at the bottom of my planner in the lower right hand corner, which there is always a quote awaiting you to brighten up your day. As I read the quote it made me realize how important that day was when I received Catcher in the Rye and the quote by Mark Twain. Because there it was, my English teacher words of inspiration staring me right in the face. And then I started to think did I disappoint her? Mark Twain? And myself? And it is safe to say no, Oswego is a wonderful place that is helping me to achieve, develop, and discover.

Coming to Oswego, a place where I first questioned my sense of belonging has definitely helped me to Explore. Dream. Discover. Oswego has offered me many opportunities, some which I seek, others that approached me, and many which are awaiting me. I have to say Each day I look at where I came from and the direction that I am headed, and I give thanks because I am so grateful for all the wonderful opportunities that has helped shaped the person I am becoming. This opportunity to share my experiences, my thoughts, and my journey is definitely an exciting and blissful one, and I am delighted to do so.