Back to the Concrete Jungle

For those of you who don’t know, this past summer I participated in an internship program through the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME), which is a highly competitive 10-week program that selects 24 college juniors from across the country to work at well-known magazine companies in New York City and Washington, D.C. Only 10 percent of those who applied were accepted in 2010.

Did I mention it was paid, too?

That may not seem like a big deal to some, but for those struggling in the journalism field, we know how precious it actually is. Unpaid magazine internships are hard enough to land — paid mag internships? Well, you rarely hear of that these days, especially in such a struggling economy.

So, in the beginning of June I packed my bags and moved into a quaint NYU dorm nestled right in the heart of Greenwich Village. I had the time of my life, met amazing people and got to do the work I love every single day at FITNESS magazine. Life couldn’t get any better.

Then I came back to Oswego for my senior year. This semester has been a struggle, to say the least. I’ve been taking extremely demanding classes (but learning a lot!), working as a public relations student manager and a personal trainer at the fitness centers, blogging here and for my fitness blog, The Pulse, and I launched the Ed2010 chapter at Oswego State.

So what’s on the agenda for winter break? You’d think it would be a lot of relaxation, sleeping in and watching mindless television, right? Wrong. Instead, I’m not giving myself a vacation. Right after my finals are finished Monday, I’m packing my bags once more and heading back to the concrete jungle!

Fortunately, the editors at FITNESS were impressed with my work ethic and the quality of work I presented to them on a daily basis (at least, this is what they told me). I’ve kept in touch with quite a few of them while continuing my studies here in Oswego, and as it got closer to winter break, I asked the Executive Editor, Pam O’Brien, if they would be interested in taking me back on the staff while I’m out of school. She, along with the editors she spoke with about it, said yes right away! It felt really good to be accepted back so quickly because it made me feel as though I really left my mark. So in less than a week, I get to reclaim my old desk and resume working at a magazine I absolutely love.

But that’s not all.

As if it couldn’t get any better, right? Starting in January, I will begin a second job while in NYC. I’ll work for FITNESS three days a week and the remainder of the week I will work for The Association of Magazine Media, formerly known as the Magazine Publishers of America (MPA), to assist with their National Magazine Awards. Not to mention I’ll be working alongside one of my good friends, Nina Fortuna, every day I’m there. Once again, it’s a paid position, so both jobs will definitely help me work toward the permanent move to the city in six months.

So keep your eyes peeled for blog posts about all of my activities while I’m back in the city, readers! I’ll be talking about the goings-on at the mag and MPA, and my experiences of living on the Upper West Side. I rented a room from a student who is traveling over break, and will have two other roommates, so I’m sure there will be adventures to share!

Have you ever done a winter internship? What are your plans for this break?

Second Day of Practicum, Fall ’10

Today didn’t turn out quite like last week did, because like Corcoran High, Henninger runs on a block schedule, so the teacher’s schedule was not the same as it was last week. The first class that I observed was taught by a young male teacher who I really liked. My regular Practicum Teacher had to go to a meeting, so she gave me the choice of either going with her or observing his classroom, and I chose to observe his classroom. He seems to have a great relationship with his students, which are Seniors. He jokes with them and respects them, and in that regard, he reminds me of an English teacher that I had in high school named John Smales.

I was delighted to have the opportunity to observe his class today. His class was very well-behaved. He had them get into groups of five and analyze a poem that they had read, and although it took them a minute or two to get on task, once they did, they were really on target. There was a great deal of respect in the classroom. There were opposing viewpoints, both between the students themselves and the students and the teacher, but everyone respected each other’s opinions.

He talked to me about literary classics, since his class will soon be reading 1984, which is one of my favorites. I admitted to him that I unfortunately have a lot of classics with which I need to familiarize myself, and he told me that there are quite a few that he hasn’t read, either, because there are so many that it is nearly impossible to read all of them. However, I haven’t even read To Kill a Mockingbird yet, which I’ve heard is really, really good. I will definitely be getting on my classics in the future!

Something that I learned from him is that each teacher is allowed 1,000 pages of paper per month, and he has six classes of students. This is utterly ridiculous. If I knew exactly how many students that amounted to, I could do the math, but I do know that it is not sufficient, because he struggles. This is so unfortunate, because a steady paper supply is so important to an English teacher. I don’t see how one can teach with such drastic limits.

After his class, I went directly to my regular Practicum Teacher’s class. Last week, she had her students interview each other, and this week, she had them present what they learned about each other. My first impression wasn’t fully accurate. What I witnessed last week wasn’t really her fault. The school has an approximate population of 1,800 students, and the school is not large enough to school that many students. Some students have 30-35 students per class, and it is therefore extremely difficult to get to know your students quickly. That is a big part of the reason why she is doing this “Getting to Know You” exercise.

However, what I witnessed today was an apparent teaching method with which I don’t agree and do not plan to implement myself. As a whole today, her classes, as a whole, this week were not anywhere near as enthusiastic as her classes last week were. Many of the students were not ready to present, and so she lectured them. She said that teachers are commonly criticized for students’ failures when in reality, it is the students’ faults. “Shame on you,” she said. What happened is exactly what one would expect to have happen in a room full of adolescent students. They fought back, defending themselves, making statements such as, “No, it’s the teachers’ fault! Shame on you!” When you speak to your students that way, you have to expect that kind of response.

The day went by really quickly, which was really good (getting up so early when you’re not used to it is not fun). However, something was said during lunch that really angered me, enraged me, even. The teachers are all really angry because of the limited paper supply. This is completely understandable; I would be, too. However, one of the teachers was ranting about the situation, and she referred to her Special Education class as her “stupid kids class.” How, I wonder, could a teacher say such a thing? Even if it was said out of anger about the paper, that is utterly unacceptable. You do not call your students “stupid.” I really wanted to say something, but it wasn’t my place. I would have had I been a teacher, and it’s just as bad that no teacher who heard that (which most of them did) said anything to her.

For my Practicum Teacher’s last class, less than half of the students were there, something that clearly frustrated her, but even though I don’t really know why, the school underwent a Lockdown. A male student arrived to class late, and he explained to the teacher that he got caught up in a storm of people in the hallway due to a major fight, but it would seem to me that it would have to be more serious than that to initiate a Lockdown. Maybe one or more of the students had a weapon of some kind. Anyway, it was definitely an interesting day, and I sincerely hope that no one was hurt.

On a completely unrelated note, are there any other Fringe fans reading this? If so, what did you think of the Season Premiere last night? I really liked it, but there were a couple of points that kind of disappointed me. You can read my blog entry regarding the episode at I’ve been excited about the third season all summer long.

College=Reading= :(Chris

So one thing about college I have yet to master is reading. I was never a big fan of it, and I figured I would change my ways in college. But no. I still fail to do my reading assingments. So far I’ve been able to get away with doing a couple assignments in a class of mine without reading  single page out of the book.

But don’t follow me by example. I’m just all over the place. I have three jobs and am the vice president of the Gospel Choir (Rehearsals Saturdays Tyler Hall rm 102 1-3pm) among other things.  By the time I can do homework, something more interesting comes along. I’ve survived four semesters here and I’m thinking this is where my shortcuts are no longer going to pan out successfully. But we’ll see in time….

P.S. I figure for every post I’ll upload a new picture. Sometimes it’ll correlate to my topic and sometimes it won’t.

How is it senior year already?

Graduation is imminent!

The summer has flown by! I can’t believe it’s halfway through summer! I wish that I had more time to work for the summer, but I also can’t wait to go back to school. I’ve been having the weirdest dreams about being late for journalism classes with Professor Gilligan, who I’m not even taking classes with next semester! I think that comes from being late for Investigative Reporting a couple of times and freaking out until I realized that Prof Gilligan was later than me, luckily.

In thinking about the summer flying by, I think the past three years have flown by, actually. For me college has been a blur of staying really busy and doing a million things, and now, all of a sudden it seems, it’s senior year! In less than a year, I’ll be out of college and into the workforce. Holy cow!

My first year, I started out as a freshman at Paul Smith’s College in the Adirondacks. I remember moving in all anxious about meeting people, but excited to start studying (I’m such a nerd). I had already been to boarding school my junior year of high school in Arkansas, so I wasn’t afraid of being away from home, but there were those moments of “am I going to fit in?”

The nice thing about PSC was that there were 800 students there. And there was a ratio of 7:2 guys to girls; that was very beneficial 🙂 Overall, people were very warm to me because of the size of our community. I loved it there. The students are fun, and the teachers are great. I miss it there sometimes. I left because the program wasn’t the strongest – environmental writing. I had my fun, but moving on to Oswego was a good decision.

Sophomore year came and went. I got used to the bigger size of Oswego and the weather. The classes are my favorite part of Oswego (nerdiness once again). Also, I really enjoy the ability to connect with other people on campus, whether they’re faculty, staff, or students. I feel like with the size of Oswego, there’s the opportunity to build close-knit groups, despite the thousands of students. You find your niche with people of like interests, and you gravitate toward each other, but that takes a little more time than I expected.

I feel like Oswego has been cliquey, though. It’s a lot harder to make friends at Oswego than it was at PSC because people aren’t as open with each other. Where I knew nearly everyone’s name at PSC (no joke), at Oswego my sophomore year, I felt a little lost in the masses at Oswego. It wasn’t until this past year, junior year, that I finally felt like I found my own niche.

The problem I think that I had was that there is only a relatively small group of student activists who have similar causes as I do, despite the thousands of students. Oswego has a lot of divisions from fraternities and sororities, who can tend to seem solely exclusive for members of Greek organizations, to sports groups, who seem to be exclusively for athletes, to the members of Humans v. Zombies, who tend to be just for those who enjoy LARPing (live action role playing).

Maybe it’s just my Southern background that makes me feel like the people at Oswego are a little more separatists than unitarians (in the literal sense of the words_, but, maybe that’s just college life. Anyway, tangent aside, I feel like my time at Oswego has been really great. I’ve made some friends and done A LOT of activities on campus. I’m just looking forward to life after college for a little bit. The time of living for partying on the weekends has been over for a while. I’m ready to start doing what I love as an occupation, and then go back to school in a couple of years.

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 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!

Kia Ora Bro, This place is sweet az!

Beautiful Day in Auckland, NZ!In the Hamilton, NZ Botanical Gardens.Winter in JULY! Too bad winter here is 60 degrees and sunshine :)Tacky photo in front of the University sign!Hugging Gandalf after Caving in Waitomo, NZ.Caving in Waitomo, NZ.

Translation: “What is up brother, welcome, this is a cool island man”

Emersion in the isles of New Zealand has begun. I have 3 classes worth 12 credits back home that are more academically diverse and varied than I have ever been in. It was totally worth every minute and penny to come here and do this.

I am taking International Marketing, Advertising Branding and, and a Negotiation and Persuasion class. Honestly though, they are crazy hard and I wouldn’t recommend taking 400 level courses while abroad.

I am homesick but staying busy. Leaving America really makes you appreciate it a lot more. The political issues that they have here are overwhelming compared to America. I know we fight a lot between parties and we have plenty of issues but there are a whole lot more over here.

It is a lot of fun but the food here is really different. Everyone’s favorite thing is mince pies (mince meat in a flakey crust) but they are so weird tasting to me. The weirdest thing is that they don’t know what a biscuit is! You know hot delicious biscuits that we like to eat with strawberries and cream at the dining hall or where ever, yeah they have never heard of them. They call a store bought cookie a biscuit. It is so crazy. I am going to make my Kiwi friends biscuits though, it will be a grand adventure soon to come.

One of the worst things yet though is that one of my best friends here is from Arkansas and I picked up some of her accent, now I say “Yall”. I am forever going to be made fun of back in NY. 🙂 You got to love it though, a New Yorker gone southern in so many ways.

Check out the pictures and video and do not forget to Keep it Ozzy!


Heyy guys, I haven’t updated in a while but things have been totally hectic with the new semester starting, and my SUNYAC CHAMPIONSHIPS that i just had this weekend.  I was totally stoked for the big meet, and our team has been training for this sole meet the entire season.  This is the only meet that we are given enough rest and recovery time to actually preform at our best.  It’s something we wait for the entire season, and I was so glad that the time was finally here when we get to show everyone what we can actually do!  The meet went really well, the girls scoring second overall, and the guys 4th.  Both of our teams being in the top half of the conference was an awesome accomplishment.

We had many records set on both the men and women’s sides by Eileen Macmann, Jenny Vanetten, Jake VanEtten, Nicole Dean, the women’s 800 freestyle relay including Jenny VanEtten, Nicole Dean, Alycia Mullins, and Hannah Slaga, and the 400 medley relay including Kara Sitnik, Jenny VanEtten, Hannah Slaga, and Alycia Mullins.

We also had a bunch of people swim B-cut times for the NCAA National meet.  Forgive me if I forget someone but in individual events qualifying B-cuts we had Jenny VanEtten, Kara Sitnik, Nicole Dean, Eileen Macmann, Shawn Merlin, and Eric Messina.  we also had relays qualify including the 200 Medley with Kara Sitnik, myself (Leah Matthews), Hannah Slaga, and Kelly Williams, and also the 400 medley with Kara Sitnik, Jenny VanEtten,  Hannah Slaga, and Alycia Mullins.   I think almost everyone went best times in their races, and overall both the men and women preformed well.

The next step for us is to see if any of the swimmers that made B-cuts get invited to the National meet.  We will not find that out for a few more weeks, but we will wait in anticipation in hopes that we will be able to send someone to this prestigious meet.

Aside from athletics, there are actually other things that go on at college that I sometimes forget about when I’m wrapped up in my swimming….ACADEMICS!  I started my 2nd block in Education this semester, and I am really looking forward to some more experience in the classroom.  This semester, I am at Huntington K-8 school, and I am helping out in a 6th grade English classroom.  My host teacher is really awesome, and I think I am going to learn a ton.  Whats great about Oswego’s education program here is that prospective teachers get a lot of hours in the classroom, and are able to dive right into the magic of the classroom and learning so that they can be better prepared for student teaching and their professional future.  This semester I will be spending 25-30 hours just in a classroom observing and helping out wherever I can.  I am really excited and I think I am going to learn a lot that I wouldn’t be able to learn on campus.

If you are an Oswego student, I hope your semester is starting off smoothly, and If you are a prospective student, I hope you pay us a visit soon! I knew there are a bunch of opportunities for tours and things like that, so definitely check it out and see what we are all about!


<3 Leah

The gorgeous facility at ECC

ME! swimming breaststroke

So Much Work!

I still cannot believe the time that a college lifestyle demands of you. I am writing this on a Saturday, and I haven’t experienced anything that could be considered a normal weekend activity yet. I haven’t read for pleasure, no music just for the sole sake of music, no watching TV or movies and very little talking to friends online (I do that during the week as it is). Being a college student is not as easy as it sounds, not unless you’re someone who pushes assignments off and doesn’t worry about them and instead goes out to party. There’s no way that all of these students I see going out don’t have any homework.

Two weeks ago, for example, my History professor encouraged us to begin reading Upton Sinclair’s novel The Jungle on a Wednesday and expected us to finish it by Monday of the next week, giving a quiz on that Monday. The quiz was taken off Angel on that Wednesday, so in other words, we had less than a week to read a 395 page novel, which is pretty slow and dry, mind you. This is especially ridiculous when you keep in mind that there are other assignments as well, such as reading out of the textbook, not to mention work for other classes. It just frustrates me when professors seem to think that their course is the only one you’re taking.

I’m not going to lie. Although, for the most part, I get all of my work done, there have been times where I have skipped over a minor reading or something like that, because I just don’t find it possible to complete every single assignment and read every single assigned reading that you receive. This Saturday, today, I have done nothing but read and write all day. It’s a bit much sometimes.

However, as strenuous and as stressful as college is sometimes, I have my mind on the winning prize, which is the success and the happiness that college is going to result in. I want to be a high school English teacher one day soon, and all of this work is helping me achieve that. That’s what I’m keeping in mind. So far, keeping that in mind is working. I just wish I had more time to enjoy and less to stress about. I am wondering if this is a relatively common concern of the average college student or if I’m doing something wrong.

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!

exam timeeeee :(

And so we enter the point in the semester that we all dread; final projects and exams.  For me, i usually always have atleast one presentation, at least 2 projects, and a couple papers to write for the end of the semester.  Luckily I was smart this time and began working on them early so everything wasn’t put off until the end.  I strongly advise at least starting your finals projects and papers, so you have an idea of what you will be doing towards the end… i know this info might be a little too late now, but maybe for next semester advice…. get everything started early!

Exams are also a pain in the butt, especially if they are cumulative.  fortunately i only have 2 this semester, which is nice, and after this week I’m pretty much done except for those exams.  Mt favorite place to study or  write final papers is the library…. i know i know, its sounds nerdy, but the library is really my favorite place on campus.  If you haven’t been there you should really check it out.  theres tons of resources and  lots of helpful people.  even if you don’t need anything from the library, its a great place to get some work done.  The third floor is completely quiet, and I swear time flys up there, and I actually get things done!  When I go with friends we usually either go to the reference room or the 2nd floor for a less-quiet, but still studious atmosphere.  However, watch out for the second floor, because there are lots of interesting magazines that tend to distract me from doing work!  But seriously, go check out the library, its a great place to study and find resources 🙂