I’m not afraid to say it; I miss being across the pond. By placing yourself in a foreign country, trying to build up contacts and a support network while cooking and doing other things for yourself, you change. It’s inevitable when you go off to see the beauty and the people that the world has to offer. You get pretty comfortable with introspection–and Citymapper for that matter. How can you not? You are undergoing so much personal growth and learning.
What’s the point I’m trying to get at? It’s easy to forget that being back is an adjustment. Yet another lifestyle change, and yes, you can get culture shock being back home. My first day back someone asked me what kind of tea I wanted. I said Earl Grey and she said “No, I meant hot or cold.” After being picked on by my fellow diners, I realized fairly quickly that I wouldn’t slip back into things as easily as I thought.
The college lifestyle is different back here, too. Classes are different and how students interact with each other is different. I think the key word in these phrases is different. Not better or worse, just different. That’s a really big takeaway from being exposed to new cultures that people don’t necessarily take the time to think about. It’s a concept that was mentioned in a communication class I had previously taken, and I always thought I had grasped it, but I truly understood it after my experience.
One thing to be really grateful for is my friends and family. I don’t think I’ve ever had better hugs in my life than those I received when I saw people for the first time in months. They are also what I missed the most, even more than Kraft mac and cheese or American peanut butter. They are what make the adjustment back so worth it.
Imagine a 5’2 American girl lugging 15 lbs worth of equipment on and off the Tube, through places like Trafalgar Square and world famous museums like the Victoria & Albert. That’s my reality every time I go to work.
I’m one of the 3% of American students who intern abroad. I work for a news and entertainment channel called London Live. I get sent all over the city to cover all different kinds of events. My repertoire now includes filming a theatre show designed around accessibility for both deaf and hearing audiences, to covering one of the most famous portraits in the world at the National Gallery.
The Arnolfini portrait is one of the art world’s greatest mysteries. This is a screenshot from one of my pieces I filmed for my job.
Work has also enabled me to attend an exclusive opening at the world famous Saatchi Gallery. After spending a day filming different exhibitions within the gallery, the curator handed me an invitation to attend the members-only opening that night. It was definitely one of the more surreal moments of my life.
A piece by the delightful and talented Daniel Crews Chubb, who I had helped interview earlier that day.
However, that isn’t the only type of things I have covered. My first real day in the office was the bombing at Parsons Green. My train had been cancelled before work so I had to walk/jog to make it. Nobody understood the magnitude of the situation. Even as we covered the scene live, details would trickle out slowly as we learned exactly what happened. I even managed to track down an interview with someone who was on the train. Sure enough, as what happens in big news situations, even reporters from the BBC and other international news companies started trying to record the interview I was getting with the London Live journalist I was sent out with. Talk about an intense and exciting first day!
One of the images I captured at the scene of Parsons Green.
Media frenzy at Parsons Green.
My work experience in London has been challenging and immensely rewarding. Finding your footing abroad is no easy feat. I’ve had to adjust to different styles of storytelling, different spellings, navigating a foreign workplace (not to mention an entire city!). However, I truly enjoy all of the change that’s happening in my life. I’ve grown so much in many different ways, both personally and professionally. The tests and challenges keep on coming, but the best way to grow is to keep moving forward and to keep learning.
This is an overlook of–in a broad sense–my office.
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…
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!”
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!
(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!
(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?
At the beginning of this semester, I promised myself one thing I would do before I graduate in May: Try as many new things as possible. It’s March 1st and I’ve accomplished a lot already.
One thing I really wanted to try was ACTUALLY cooking some meals instead of just putting frozen food in an oven or microwave or ordering from Dominos. During winter break, I found as many recipes online as I could based on my capability and my budget. On one of my first nights back in my Village house, I made lo mein and teriyaki chicken, as seen in the photo above. I gotta admit, I was extremely proud of myself for being able to make it. Since then, I’ve promised I would cook something at least once a week. I’ve been able to make garlic and parmesan zucchini fries, banana pancakes, crescent pizza rolls, and even edible cookie dough.
While all that food tasted delicious, I needed to be able to work it off somehow. I absolutely love going to the gym, but sometimes going on the treadmill and machines at 7 o’clock in the morning just wasn’t enough for me. I was looking around the list of group exercise classes available at Cooper and Glimmerglass gyms and found one that caught my eye: Strengthening Yoga.
I never took a yoga class in my life. I was a little nervous about it. However, when I did take it, I felt completely relaxed and at peace with myself. Yes some of the positions were a little tricky and I fell onto my mat a couple times. When I did fall, I was laughing it off and trying to keep up with the rest of the class.
Going on with the theme of working out, I took another group exercise class one night where my instructor had us hold a plank for one minute. I typically held mine for about 30 to 40 seconds, but I was extremely proud of myself when I was able to hold mine for a minute. Now I make sure to always include it in my workout routine.
College is about trying new things, whether you’re a first semester freshman or a second semester senior. I encourage those who read this post to try something new, whether it’s cooking a delicious meal or trying to do a crazy yoga pose.
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.
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.
The best time to be in Oswego has finally arrived. It truly is the only place where you can experience 4 seasons in one week. Not sure what I mean by that? Just take a look at this week’s weather forecast. You’ll see within just one week we go from 62 to 33, from sunny to windy, rainy and yes even to snow.
So, while the nice weather is here, go out and explore! There are so many amazing things to see and do in Oswego! Here’s a list of my top 8 favorite places to explore in Oswego (not in any particular order).
- Lake Ontario – There’s so much to do in our own back yard! In case you haven’t realized we live on a lake, and we are both incredibly lucky and a little bit unfortunate (I’m talking about you lake effect snow). The sunsets are an experience like no other. You can’t really capture them in a picture and you definitely cannot describe them, so get out and go watch at least one! From May-September, the flat rocks which are located just next to the campus, are the best spot to go swimming or even just hang out in the sun with friends!
- Fort Ontario – This historic site was built in 1755, during the French and Indian war and has also been used during the American Revolutionary war, War of 1812, American Civil War, and most notably during WWII to house Jewish Refugees. It has been destroyed and rebuilt 3 times during its history. It is now open as a state park. I personally enjoy the beautiful view of Lake Ontario and the grounds make for a nice spot to explore or take a walk. (P.S. there’s always dogs, and dogs are the best).
- Ontario Orchards – The orchard makes for a nice activity in the fall for apple and pumpkin picking amongst other activities. I enjoy taking the short 5-minute drive to the orchard because the area around the orchard is scenic. They also have some of the best baked goods, fruits, vegetables and cheeses in Oswego.
- Breitbeck Park – There is so much to do here! It is a beautiful park located right on the lake. There is a playground if you feel like being a kid and hopping on the swings or going down the slide. It is a great place to go for a nice walk or run, play basketball on the courts, or utilize the fields for softball or kickball. You’ll definitely see a few dogs here too. It’s a nice spot to de-stress with your friends and during the nicer months of the semester, it makes a great picnic spot.
- Fair Haven beach – While this one is a little farther away, it is absolutely worth the drive! It’s roughly 20 minutes from campus. The park offers a sandy beach with swimming spots, fishing, diving boards, playgrounds, campsites, grills to cook on, nature trails, more dogs, biking trails, kayak and canoe rentals, and playing fields. During the winter months, you can enjoy ice fishing, sledding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and x-country skiing. Some of my favorite memories of the warmer months here are getting out of class on a Friday and hopping in the car with my friends to spend time at the beach.
- Sterling Nature Center – On your drive to Fair Haven, you will pass the Sterling Nature Center. It is a well-maintained center known for its preserved and beautiful grounds, nature trails, and sites of various birds and other animals. The “bluffs” are also located off of the beach path at the Sterling Nature Center. The bluffs are high naturally formed cliffs that offer some of the best views of the sunsets over Lake Ontario.
- Riverwalk – On the east side of Bridge St. located behind the hotels on the river and behind Old City Hall is a nicely paved walkway that runs alongside the river up towards I-481. It makes for a nice place to take a stroll along the river and during the warmer months, local bands can be heard playing on the river.
- Lighthouse – The Oswego lighthouse can be seen as you enter into the city of Oswego from I-481 and down near the lake. It was used to guide boats into the harbor originally and is currently being renovated to restore it to its original condition. It is not advised to take the walk out to the lighthouse because it can be dangerous, especially on a windy day. However, the lighthouse will have boat tours that will allow you to tour the inside post-renovations.
“Life was made for good friends and great adventures” – anonymous
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.
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)!
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!
*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.
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.
Hi there, current and potential SUNY Oswego students! My name is Ilyssa Weiner. I am a senior at SUNY Oswego studying Broadcasting and Mass Communication with a minor in Political Science. I’m from The Catskills area of New York, just a little more than two hours away from New York City.
My Oswego story began in mid-2012, when my family and I went up to visit a friend who was going to school there. I immediately fell in love with the campus when she initially gave us the tour and loved it even more when we back for an official tour in 2013. Although I applied to a few other schools during my senior year, I had my sights set on SUNY Oswego.
When I initially came to the school, I barely had any experience with broadcasting. Now, I feel like a pro. The broadcasting program is incredible with helping students both inexperienced and experienced learn the ropes. Whether it was getting involved at WTOP-10 and WNYO 88.9 FM or taking classes about how to create videos and write for television news, I felt like I was learning exactly what I needed in order to succeed.
Aside from the amazing broadcasting department, one of my other favorite things at SUNY Oswego is the definitely the lake. I mean, I’m right on Lake Ontario. I can literally go down to the lake and dip my feet in there on a hot summer day. The sunsets by the lake are also breathtaking. Take some time to admire the beauty of the sun setting with your friends if you get the chance.
That’s all from me right now. I’m so excited to be sharing my experiences with all of you!