A Star Was Born-August 2nd


“Please try to remember that what they believe, as well as what they do to you and cause you to endure, does not testify to your inferiority but to their inhumanity and fear.”- James Baldwin


In My Not So Humble Opinion,

James Baldwin is one of the greatest writers to ever cross a pen on paper and tap the keys of a typewriter. His style is effortless but filled with immense depth. To know the story of James Baldwins life creates an even greater appreciation of what he accomplished during his lifetime. A prominent Black and Gay writer during the mid 50′s into the 60′s ??! Whenever possible please bow at the greatness of Jimmy Baldwin please.

The Triangle of Life

Man, this may be the most accurate portrayal of school college. When I use to play the “you only get 2 games” I always got fustrated because I could never decide which I wanted. Yet here I am , again always stuck trying to decide between the three. Could this have been the source of my recent frustrations?

Maybe, but chances are it has more to do with these 4 major classes I am taking and trying to stay afloat in. Whatever the reason , it all leads back to this triangle. There has been a lack of consistency on my part this semester. At times, I’ve laid under the covers and said “rest!” then only but a few times, I have decided to go out and party and or drink(soda) all night long. Truest in its location however right at the top, hanging over my head has been the reminder that I want those great grades (not good). At times this has meant I went beast. Just running all around, staying up till all times of night, making a home of the library. Mostly though I have stressed myself to miserable levels and abandoned my promise to self to make sure I am taking time to enjoy life a little.

The sad truth (to me at least) about this triangle is that there is no one right way to approach it. In my eyes there is only room for one other choice. Getting good grades are not an option, nor should it be optional . But again to each their own, “Live let Live”. This leaves the conundrum of choosing between sleep and social life. For a couple of weeks I decided to choose sleep but that did me no good. It left me tense and ready to blow over like a pressure cooker. You see if you do what is required of you academically, you owe it to yourself to take a few moments if not hours to just enjoy the simpler or more carefree parts of life. Beware however it comes with a price, that price being precious time outside of your twin size bed  and head under the covers.

So I guess there is no way to truly win or to come out successful is there? I’m lost and still trying to figure it out. Maybe you have the answer though. If so , don’t act stingy share it with the rest of the world!!! Me 0_0!

For the love of Organization

College has taught me a few very important things about myself. One is that that I am love with being organized. For example –  my favorite part of a new year is buying a new planner.I love looking on the shelves to find that planner perfect for me. It needs to have lots of space to hot down homework, meetings, reminders to myself, ect. It also needs to have a monthly calendar to I can go through in advance and write down all of the due dates from my syllabi. I love the rush you get from color coding all the the assignments, classes, and meetings! It also needs to have tabs for easy flipping for month to month. Mmmm….I love planners.

My second area of organization is Google (mail,docs, calendar, ect). I’m so happy the University decided to begin to use g-mail and Lakerapps for our school mail system. It makes it to easy to be organized and share information very easily. Especially being involved with student organizations or group projects.  You can customize sharing and editing privileges as well as track changes in documents. You can also share calendars with as many or as few people as you want. This is so helpful for organizations.  I like to color cold my google calendar to match my planner!

This is my color coded Google calendar that also snycs with my Droid so I can always have reminders of what I need to do!

My third step of planning/organization is POST-ITS. They are probably the best and most useful product ever invented. I use POST-ITS in my planner, text books, notebooks, and especially on my walls. I know…what a random place to stick them but, I’ve come up with a way to remember to do my work as well as motivate me to do it. After I sync my planner and calendar to my droid and set up reminders…I write each assignment on a POST-IT and stick it to my wall. (I know this isn’t green friendly-But, it is GPA friendly). One I write them all down I stick them on my wall. This way when i’m slacking off on my work watching The Jersey Shore…I’ll look at my wall and be reminded of what I have to do. Then when Jersey Shore is over and I finally finish my work….there is no greater feeling that watching the blob of POST-ITS come down one by one-showing how much I have accomplished!!



This past Saturday and Sunday I was very busy. Despite it being Halloween weekend, I did a quite a bit of community service.

Saturday I worked at Camp Hollis a camp for Youth in Oswego County. We worked there for about 5 hours doing everything from chopping and stacking wood, to cleaning the kitchens. We cleaned, cut, stacked, un-knotted, swept, scrubbed, moped, carried, shoveled, organized and covered. It was a very rewarding day for the almost 15 of us who attended. This is not my first time working at Camp Hollis. Last Spring we helped open the camp and were invited back twice this fall to help close. And there is no doubt in my mind we will be back next Spring.

Sunday I helped throw a Halloween party at Sunrise Nursing home, not too far from Campus. We provided decorations and games for over 30 elderly residents of Sunrise. This nursing home is very short staffed and with so many residents they have a difficult time providing activities. At first I will admit I was a little nervous to go to the nursing home, they’ve always had a stigma to me. But, when I walked in the door and saw how clean the facilities were and nice the staff I felt a little more comfortable. I was also nervous because I had no idea what to talk about with the residents and I was afraid of hearing problems, or Alzheimer’s but, before I knew it all of the Volunteers had found a few residents we clicked with a had quite an afternoon. We helped serve food, watched a nursing home Pinata go down and overall I got a new perspective on something I had been narrow minded about. This was an awesome experience and I believe everyone should try and take part in an event in a nursing home, you will leave with a new perspective.I know that in a few weeks APO will be underway of making Christmas decorations for a next venture with the Sunrise Residents. Below is a picture of Catherine who goes by Kat who played a special role in helping me to loosen up and enjoy a wonderful afternoon.

Thanks to those in APO who participated in both events this weekend and a special thanks to fellow blogger, housemate, APO brother and best friend Danielle Ferrara who played a huge role on organizing the Sunrise event.

Getting ready to celebrate the earth!

Mother Earth Week is coming up NEXT WEEK AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

On a sidenote: I’m stressing out right now. Amidst my several articles due for JLM 310 and 309, papers for Eng 220, exams for Fre 202, homework for GLS 316, upcoming concert and voice lessons for MUS 497, events to organize/publicize for JLM 495, AND putting together a whole week of environmental awareness events = I am trying to remember to eat and sleep!

I overbook myself, but it’s an addiction because I love being busy from 7 a.m. to 11/12 p.m. every day. It’s a curse I tell ya. But, something tells me that this will all amount to something in the end, so I’ll keep at it.

Bitching aside, are you ready to love ya Motha? Mother Earth Week starts next Saturday at 10:30 a.m. by Mary Walker Health Center where we will be walking along the lakeshore east and west of the building, cleaning up loads of plastic and general trash. That’s just the start. Sunday is our prep/have fun with Indian color festival pigment battle day. That should be fun… the rest of the events are online at our Web site: Students for Global Change.

Two things I wanted to highlight, though were the environmental panel and Oswegostock.

The environmental panel (check the event page on Facebook) is on Tuesday, April 20th at 7 p.m. in Lanigan 104. The point of this panel discussion is to spread the awareness about particular, multidisciplinary sides of climate change and the move toward sustainability. We have professors from the psychology, chemistry and political science departments addressing issues from each of their respective disciplines.

Dr. Kestas Bendinskas, a very active scientist who studies the impacts of coal gasification and such, will address the science aspect of climate change.
Dr. Lisa Glidden is a political science teacher who will talk about existent and future energy policies and the different global policies on the environment.
Dr. Dave Sargent will address the issues of behavioral changes to adapt to a more sustainable lifestyle. He will address issues behind the psychology of climate change and sustainable life as a whole.

I will sit on the panel too as a moderator and move the conversation along while addressing and student questions there are.

The second event that I wanted to talk about is Oswegostock! This will be the most exciting festival you’ve been to ever, better than the orignal Woodstock!!!! Okay.. maybe not, seeing as how there won’t be any drugs or alcohol floating around the event. But, nonetheless. this will be an event to remember.

During Oswegostock, we will have several bands playing sets while we partake in arts and crafts, food, and games. There’ll be frisbee games, bubble making, tie-dyeing, eco-friendly craft making, and anything else you would like to do. THIS ISN’T A HIPPIE EVENT! It is meant to bring together the Oswego community where people will be enjoying good music and listening to speakers on the environment.

So, with all that said, I won’t bore you anymore! Come out and enjoy Mother Earth Week. E-mail me at kraymond@oswego.edu for more information or visit our Web site at http://s4gc.blogspot.com.

That is way too scary

Micro video blogging…OK, it is not scary, just different.

Today again I want to talk about micro video blogging/micro sharing and how I want to feed it into my blog. I have talked about it a while back but once again my technology is not cooperating. That is a really long story though and involves way too much ranting about brands, low quality products and being really broke as most of us are 🙂

However, micro video blogging is an interesting topic. Would you want to post a short video of yourself once a week? I would, but I am really extroverted. Does that mean that only the extroverted people will get involved for personal micro blogs, or does it mean the introverted people will be more inclined as they could perhaps find it more freeing?

While micro video blogging/sharing is mostly about sharing videos and media of all kinds. I am unsure how Oswego readers would react to my videos as opposed to text. I don’t think I would always do them of myself. I still like the idea of Meg’s Multicultural Minute but the real question is…what do you think and why?

Be Ozzy

Save Money, Get Smart…click here!

Go to them. They are good for you 🙂

I am back in Oswego after an amazing trip to NYC with my best friends this weekend. My classes are awesome and I can’t wait to get into them more.

I am taking eco 383, economics in baseball, eco 327, economic history, com (some number), advanced public speaking, Fin 325, Corporate fianance and Hrm 386, the 2nd level of human resource mangagment.

Some of my profs are left field, including the baseball guy, no pun intended but should be fun. I think I can get good grades in all of the, but I am worried about corporate finance. It looks hard, I might just sign up for tutoring right now. It is free and offered at http://www.oswego.edu/academics/support/OLS Check it out, it is free and super helpful.

Also, never buy your books at the stores, buy them online. I found a $150 dollar textbook online for 1 cent. Yeah that is right, 1 cent text book 🙂

It makes for extra room for more trips, but meanwhile check out this one!

Mo’ people, mo’ problems…life of a human

20 August 2009

I’ve been reading this book, The World Without Us, by Alan Weisman, and I’ve been traveling along this interesting journey with Weisman. The premise of the book is that humans have left the planet, basically by extinction. Remove the humans from the planet and what happens? Nature takes back over the planet.
Weisman talks about how humans are constantly repressing nature. He gives the example of weeds breaking up concrete sidewalks in the cities, tree roots taking over houses, and underground rivers taking over subway lines. We, as humans, are constantly cutting trees, pruning weeds or pumping away water just to keep nature back and to continue with our daily lives.
Throughout the whole book, Weisman writes about what life was like on earth without humans, and what it will be like without humans once again.

This led me to think about what the reasoning is behind our move towards global, environmental sustainability and change. Is it to take care of the earth or is it to take care of humans? Are we doing this all in self-interest, self-preservation? Or are we concerned about the animals and plants dying daily?
As the planet dies around us, humans are dying as well. We’re going to face a breaking point when the population reaches a maximum where the earth will no longer be able to sustain the amount of humans on this earth. At that point, the immense consumption of humans is going to hit a wall, and there’s going to be an immediate need for food and water.
Scientists claim that when the population reaches more than 10 billion people, the earth can sustain no more added human life, in terms of population growth. This means, based on Charles Darwin’s natural selection and the survival of the fittest, there’s going to be some catastrophe to or within the human race that will try to wipe out a segment of the population.
It’s considered scientific fact that when a population (i.e. humans) reaches carrying capacity and there are limited resources for a population, a battle begins for survival.

I think it’s easy, sometimes, to forget that we are a part of this world and depend on it rather than it owing us something and depending on us. After all, we are just advanced animals on the planet. Just because we’re the wisest of them all doesn’t mean that we can bypass the need for food and water and habitats.
It’s very interesting to wonder about how our human kind will adapt. Will we use our intellect and technology to figure out a way to trick nature into yielding more than is intended? Genetically engineered crops could be our food source in one hundred or two hundred years. Or, will we revert back to a more simplistic lifestyle that uses fewer resources and maximizes the use of those resources?
Who’s to know, really, until we get closer to the time. There are hundreds of estimates and theories about what will happen to us within the next 100 years to the next 100,000 years. It’s speculative because there are unknown factors that may play a part that we may or may not be aware of just yet. Humans could move in the direction of a complete change where they’re able to maintain life while maximizing the use of local resources. We can cut our consumption down and eat and use only what’s necessary. Or, we could keep going at this rate and see what sort of catastrophic change the human race is bound to encounter if we continue on our present course.

There’s no reason to despair, just yet. There is so much we can do to change our behavior and to contribute one of those unknown factors to the future of the human race.
The first step is education, the next action, and the final overhauling change. Step by step, we’ll see the progress of our changes.

Man vs. Nature

The people you’ll meet

There are billions of people in this world, and the sad fact is that you’re never going to meet all of them; it’s just not possible.  But, on the other hand, you’re going to get an incredible opportunity to meet a TON of people when you’re in college.  A lot of the people will come into your life and leave within the next couple of years, but then there are the people you’ll meet who’ll be around for at least a decade or more.

This past week my boyfriend, who I met through a mutual friend out in California (long story short, don’t rule out those people you hang out with for a short period of time, they can connect you with the best people!), came out from San Diego to visit.  We decided to go to Niagara Falls for his first time.  In Niagara, we met up with my old roommate from last spring semester (2008) at Paul Smith’s College.  Jena and her girlfriend live in Buffalo, NY, and I’ve been up to visit her several times since she and I were roommates.  All though we were only roomies for a semester, we built a great relationship to where we can go for weeks without talking to each other but basically pick up right where we left off the last time we saw each others.

The same goes for my best friend Adam, who lives in San Antonio, TX when not at school in the Adirondacks.  He and I met at PSC, freshman year, and have been close friends ever since.  We see each other several times a year, but we can still have conversations when we see each other as if we were never apart.

That’s the best part of college friendships.  You go all school year with your friends at college, hanging out all of the time, and then you split up during the breaks to go home and come back when school is back in session.  You visit one another at home to see what the home life is like, or you take trips with them to go on vacation and to spend time together.

Freshman year is crucial for making these friendships because it’s a time when your peers are all in the same situation as you: you’re in a new, unknown place, with an unimagined amount of freedom and responsibility, and you don’t know anybody, yet.  For starters, summer orientation is a great time for you to make new connections and to learn about the different types of people in a new setting.

Once you get to school, you and your peers spend time together, going to meals together because you don’t want to go alone.  You explore the campus because you’re not sure where the library is.  You search around the residence halls for the laundry room, and you go door to door on your floor meeting new people.  You go to the advertised events on campus, and you even go to some of the word-of-mouth frat/sorority parties off campus.

You spend a lot of time with these new people in your life, and you learn that some of them are like you and some are not.  You change friends a couple of times during your first two years at college.  Some people change or you change, and you find that your schedules are different or that your interests spread you apart.  This is part of college!  The great thing is that the few friends that stay with you throughout the entire four years or so are the ones who stick around for the rest of your life!

College friends last long after high school friends, and while you may keep in touch with one or two of your friends from back home, it’s the college friends you may find yourself working alongside in your careers.  These are the people who have a lot in common with you, allowing you to learn a lot about your job through each other.

SO, despite me transferring to a different college and my friends graduating and starting their careers, we all still keep in touch.  That’s one of the perks of college, besides a degree.  Jobs may come and go, but just as the cliche goes, friends will last forever, and the friends you make will be with you for years to come.

So don’t be afraid to get out there and make friends!!!

When I tell you not to think of the color red, what do you think of?

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

To be yourself… I guess that’s my life goal. Figuring out who myself is, now that’s a lifelong journey.

Oh, to blog. I was actually against blogging at first because I always had the impression that blogging meant that you were really conceited and wanted everyone to pay attention to your life. And, I suppose the types of “blogs” like MySpace and Facebook sustain that stereotype in a way. But, if writers like Thomas Friedman from the NY Times have blogs, then I guess it’s legitimate.

Okay, stepping off that soapbox and onto another: I want to have this particular blog serve as an introduction to the whole idea of weblogs because I know nothing about blogging.

I am going to be a junior journalism major at Oswego in the fall. It’ll be my second year at Oswego, however, because I transferred here last year. I came from Paul Smith’s College in the Adirondacks. I was doing environmental writing there, but that wasn’t the best fit for me, so I transferred to Oswego.

I love it at Oswego, mainly because of the academics. Despite people thinking that state universities aren’t as good as private schools, Oswego State has got a lot of great assets. There’s a great variety of people, activities, classes, weather, etc. But, I’ll talk more about that fun stuff later.

Right now, I am at home in Elmira, NY a.k.a. E-town where we have t-shirts that say “Elmira is gansta” that actually sell pretty well, Mark Twain’s burial site (not really, just a headstone, but we like to think that he’s here), two maximum security correctional facilities within a 15 mile radius, and the national soaring museum for gliders.

I am currently getting paid to take a class to become a certified nursing assistant so that I can work in a nursing home for the rest of my summer. In this job market for our generation, diversity and versatility is key. So, I figured, if I work as a CNA all summer, that’ll broaden my horizon.

I’m also available to my local Star Gazette newspaper for freelance. Which is exciting in itself when I get the opportunity to write about my city.

Meanwhile, I am fundraising for a trip to Ghana over winter break. I have to get $5,000 by October so that I can go volunteer in a community for three weeks in December. I can hardly wait!

Other than that, I am living it up in the Southern Tier, enjoying the scenery and lack of blustery, blizzard winds! Hope summer fun is going well. The calm, carefree feel of summer is great, isn’t it? Enjoy and savor it as much as you can.

Ciao. Hasta luego!