From a Thankful Senior

Thanksgiving is a reflective time; the word “thanks” is in the title. Although the history of Thanksgiving is more complicated than that presented to us in grade school, the modern connotation of the event is all about spending time with family and taking stock of the good stuff (yes, that absolutely includes perfectly whipped mashed potatoes holding a beautiful crater of overflowing gravy). I have a lot of things to be thankful for myself, so I decided it would be a good time to share some of these things.

  1. My Oswego education. I’ll be graduating on December 15th in front of my family. Image result for graduation gif
  2. My newest family member: my nephew Grant.
  3. A delicious meal and the opportunity to eat it with loved ones. Image result for thanksgiving gif
  4. My caring, creative, crazy friends that I’ve made both at Oz and in life in general. Image result for friends thanksgiving gif (a “Friends” Thanksgiving gif is almost obligatory, no?)
  5. The social media team. I’ve been doing this since my sophomore year which means it’s been 2 and a half years of photographing geese, dogs, hockey players, and filming and writing about my personal adventures. Image result for social media gif

With graduation coming up in a few weeks, I’m currently trying to polish my resume, finish five different papers and projects, apply to jobs, and balance a few other spinning plates as well. This break and this particular holiday have been very important for me, not only to have a bit of extra time to work on these things, but to also remember what I have going for me. I’m very thankful for my time in Oswego in general. I have changed and grown so much and feel as though I’ve truly come into my own. I’ve met amazing people and learned so many things, both in and out of the classroom. As I enter the most confusing and transitional period of my life yet, remembering this and trying to use it to my advantage will be more important than ever.

I’d like to thank my boss Tim Nekritz for putting me on the social media team and giving me a platform to create content of my choice for the school. I also want to thank everyone reading this and everyone who has ever read one of my blogs, watched one of my vlogs, viewed my Snapchats, and looked at my Instagram posts for Oz. I hope that I have been educational, entertaining, or at the very least distracting (in a good way!). Take it from one very thankful Laker: take the time to think about the good in your life. You might be happier than you’ve ever been, you might be going through hard times or transitioning into something new; no matter what, if you think hard enough there will be something to be thankful for. Now enjoy the dinner rolls.

How to Eat Healthy in the Dining Hall

Oh how I miss eating in the dining hall sometimes. There are just some nights that I do not want to cook! The dining hall is a great tool for us busy college students. The service is quick and there is even an option to get a bagged meal to take with you to class if you can’t make it to lunch or dinner. There are so many different options at every meal that it can be hard to decide what to eat most of the time!

 

Before coming to college, my parents would make very healthy meals for my brother and I and we rarely had snacks or treats in the house. When I arrived at college, I couldn’t believe my eyes at the amount of desserts, cereal, pizza, pasta and other food that was available every single day. It was hard not want to eat these foods every day. But eating these foods every day can come with a price.

 

Many new students succumb to the “freshman 15” when they arrive at college. I gained 10 pounds of the freshman 15 and that was enough to make me want to change. The dining hall is not trying to sabotage incoming freshmen with all of these unhealthy choices they have available. In fact, they don’t have to be considered unhealthy if they’re eaten in moderation!

 

It’s perfectly fine to indulge in the oreo pie or chocolate chip cookies as long as it’s not every night. And there are other small things that you can do to healthily navigate the dining hall.

 

 

Here’s what I started doing in my sophomore year:

  • I opted for coffee, hot tea, or water instead of juice or soda – One of the easiest things you can do to limit your sugar intake is to avoid sugary beverages and yes, juice has a crazy amount of sugar in it. Also, while making my daily coffee or tea, I would have it with a minimal amount of creamer or even black.
  • I tried to have a salad at least every other day – The salad bar contains a variety of vegetables, seeds/nuts, and other toppings to put in your salad. But try not to get carried away! If you’re putting a ridiculous amount of dressing or croutons on your salad, is it still a salad? Instead of creamy dressings, I always pick balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
  • At late night, I would try my best to grab from the fruit bar instead of the main line. That didn’t happen all the time, but it helps if you’re not eating pizza and mac and cheese wedges every night.

 

These are just a few tips to make eating healthy in the dining hall easier. Now the next time you’re in the dining hall, maybe later tonight, give it a try!

Pathfinder Dining Hall.

How Artists Work: My Summer Interning at the Biggest Contemporary Art Museum in the U.S.

Throughout my life, I’ve always dreamed about the prospect of working with creative people in the performing arts industry. As a Theatre major, live performance and the process of creation have always been huge parts of my life. However, I’ve also leaned towards the more scholarly and detail-oriented side of everything, which is where my Public Relations degree has come in handy. It wasn’t until my time as a Performing Arts Administration Intern at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (more commonly known as MASS MoCA) that I was finally able to put a name on what I wanted to do; company management.

MASS MoCA’s internship program at times can be completely surreal. At no point have I ever felt like just another intern coming through to work temporarily. The staff at MoCA truly take the time to personalize your experience at the company and appreciate people for who they are. With a $150 stipend per week and provided intern housing with included utilities, the museum does the best they can to provide the interns with everything they need during their time working at the institution. This summer we have interns coming from all around the United States, so the benefits allow people from all over to take part in the experience. Located in the artistically saturated region of the Berkshire mountains, home of Williamstown Theatre Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the Williams College Museum of Art, and the Clark Institute, MASS MoCA is a non-profit that truly invests not in itself but in the development of the arts industry. I found myself in the process truly feeling like I was contributing to the creation of something.

I loved walking into work every day not knowing what my day would look like. I had a wide range of responsibilities including stocking green rooms, shopping for artist hospitality, transporting performers in company vehicles from the airport, writing programs for upcoming arts events, and acting as house manager for large-scale events. I learned so much about company management and event logistics. The first time I was able to read artist riders and contracts, I spent probably an hour just flipping through the binder. Them giving an intern those kinds of responsibilities and experiences was truly more than I could’ve hoped for. Not only that, but I got to interact with the educational aspect of the museum as well. As an intern at MASS MoCA, you are required to give museum tours to the public. The first few weeks were full of curatorial training with museum staff, where we were taught the fine details about the work of Sol LeWitt, Louise Bourgeois, Jenny Holzer, James Turrell, Anselm Kiefer, and so much more. While the beginning had me stressing about these public tours, by the end of the summer I was being asked if I was an art history major.

My absolute favorite part of the internship was working with the artists and getting to talk to various musicians about their work. I had the pleasure of meeting artists like Ray LaMontagne, Courtney Barnett, the guys from Grizzly Bear, and Debbie Harry as well as the rest of Blondie. Through Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival, I developed not only professional relationships with renowned musicians but friendships as well. My work helping implement elements of the festival fostered a creative environment where art and compositions could be created. Watching it all come together during the Marathon, a whopping 6-hours of orchestral music, was the best reward.


Grizzly Bear playing live in the Hunter Center on June 16, 2018

Courtney Barnett playing live in Courtyard C on July 12, 2018

My summer at MASS MoCA will stay with me for the rest of my life. There are so many people in that organization I cannot thank enough. I highly recommend that intern experience for anyone that hopes to pursue a career in the arts. My biggest takeaway that can be passed along: Don’t be afraid to create new experiences. If the opportunity is allowing you to relocate for minimal cost, go for it and see what you find. During internship interviews, be the most authentic version of yourself you can present. I read in an instant that my future colleagues had a sense of humor and a genuine nature to the way they operated, so I reciprocated that. Not only did it prove to be a good interview, but I couldn’t stop smiling the rest of the day because of how the interview went. In the professional world, you shouldn’t be afraid to be who you are.

Introducing Lanie

Hello!

My name is Luzelena Cespedes, but that’s a mouth full so you can call me Lanie. I am so excited to introduce myself as a new social media intern for SUNY Oswego. To tell you a little bit about myself, I from Westchester, New York which is just 45-60 minutes outside of the New York City. When I first came to Oswego I was a freshman Broadcasting major but now I am a junior and I am majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Business Administration. This year I am hoping to gain so many more skills within both PR and business which is why I am eager to begin this journey as an intern. As well as focusing on school, I am sister of a national sorority called Delta Phi Epsilon. This semester I gained a leadership position in Delta Phi Epsilon. My position as National Panhellenic Conference Delegate means I attend weekly meetings with sisters from all national sororities on campus and report important discussion we had within these meetings to my chapter. I am excited to conquer these new tasks in my college career as well as gain the proper experience to benefit my future.

Now that you know a little bit about me, I hope to learn more about this new community I just became a part of. Everyday you learn something new and that is what I am looking forward to most this semester!

A Humbling Experience

Nine months ago, the island of Puerto Rico was devasted by Hurricane Maria.

Nine months ago, homes were destroyed.

Nine months ago, people were displaced.

Arriving back in the states after helping with disaster relief has allowed me to put many things into perspective. For one, it allowed me to realize how blessed and privileged I am as an individual and as a resident/citizen of the U.S.

Every day, people complain about minor inconveniences in their lives such as slow internet speed, missing their favorite show or even their phones dying. But, for the many homeowners that my service in Puerto Rico has impacted, small inconveniences such as the aforementioned, are laughable.

How can one complain about the internet without power?

How can one complain about missing their favorite show when the very room where you would watch that show, has been destroyed by water damage and mold?

Being in Puerto Rico was beyond humbling for me. It allowed me to see that whenever I feel as though things are uncomfortable for me, there are people who are living through far more serious and uncomfortable hardships.

Living in the states gives us many opportunities to seek the help we need in any situation while others get ignored. Comparing my service in San Juan, Puerto Rico to my service in Port Arthur, Texas, it is clear that one city received much more help than the other. For one, the traffic lights in Texas were up and running while many of the traffic lights in Puerto Rico still remain unrepaired- nine months later.

This trip has allowed me to step outside of my world and add context to what it means to be an American, living in the United States.

Hopefully completing service in Puerto Rico opens the minds and eyes of future students who are a part of the New York “Stand with Puerto Rico” initiative to realize how privileged we are here in the U.S. I hope that it opens their hearts to want to do more for others who are not as privileged and are often forgotten.

Nine months later Purto Rico still remains in need of recovery and yet, the people are so pleasant and welcoming. Truly, a humbling experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

 

 

Lakeside, Johnson Hall

Johnson Hall, as many refer to as the “freshmen” building. Located on the east side of campus, with easier entry to the lake—Truly captures the welcoming “vibe” of SUNY Oswego. Furthermore, as a previous student resident of this hall, I’ve encounter meaningful and unforgettable experiences. When I arrived at Oswego, after the five-hour drive from New York City, not knowing what the other halls looked inside other than Cayuga; I was happy for the upgrade. Johnson was one of the newly renovated buildings and still is in great condition. In my opinion, Johnson Hall is the best dorm hall to live in.

However, many may state otherwise. Individual students often complain about living in Johnson due to the requirement of ten-hour community service (per semester) commitment and a two-credit course (one credit per semester). Moreover, the two credit-course is not hard, most of the time we had activities to get to know the other freshmen in the hall. Many of the coursework was informational; learning about Oswego, clubs, programs, events, and helpful skills for school.

Lastly, one of the many benefits of living in Johnson is having a dining hall right inside the building. Which is extremely great during winter snow! The required work, like the community service, helps build your resume. And, the two credits are useful because you need to have a certain amount of electives. It is an easy course which helps with maintaining a good GPA. Tune in for next time to learn more about the different types of community service I have done and more.

It’s Kev

Greetings readers,

I would first like to say thank you for joining and welcome! I am excited to say this is my first blog. I am here to tell you about my life and my experience as a college student at SUNY Oswego.

Who am I? Yeah, cheesy I know a question I use to hate when I was younger now this is something I love to talk about. My name is Kevin but my close friends call me Kev, so hi am Kev. I am a senior majoring in Marketing and double minoring in Art and Arts Management. I have been on this crazy rollercoaster you call college. Its been an unforgettable four years and I still have a few months left.

Being from New York City and coming to Oswego was something I would have never imaged for myself. I used to be someone who hated school because I had a difficult time learning. Once I went to high school that all changed because I had top-notch grades. I was one of the top 10% of my graduating class and received a four-year scholarship. That did not come easy because high school was not the best experience. I went to three different high schools in three years but that’s another story for another day.

I wanted to come to SUNY Oswego because it was far from the Bronx and my mother. She and I had a difficult relationship and I needed to get away to find freedom and be an adult. I loved that Oswego offered great financial aid even though I had a scholarship but it only covered tuition, not housing expenses. I was also interested in the social life and read that parties were amazing, which was something I wanted to experience. I lived in a Dominican household that was strict and lived by my mother’s rules. Since I had changed so many high schools I did not have many friends and never went to a party other than family gatherings.

I can go on talking about myself but what makes Oswego so great is the environment; that makes it your home. Coming to Oswego helped me become who I am today. I have met many great people and learned many lessons. The view from the lake is like no other and it is something that is always constant. I hope you enjoyed reading a little about myself stay tuned for more!

Vulnerability and strength come together for ‘Not Someone Like Me’

Shana clicks off her phone and greets me as I pull up a chair. We’ve intended to have a lunch date, but as fate would have it we aren’t huge fans of the menu that day. Shana Weiss is a sophomore education student here at Oswego, and we’ve met today to discuss her upcoming role in a staged reading of “Not Someone Like Me” directed by Mya Brown, a professor at the college.

The show is structured as a series of monologues about survivors of trauma and assault within a group therapy session. The play, written by Susan Rice, features survivors of varying ages and backgrounds. Weiss plays Pam, a woman from a lower-middle class background whose mother’s dream for her is to pursue her education, but this dream gets harder after she is assaulted. Shana is no stranger to staged readings; she participated in one for a senior’s capstone last year called the Laramie Project, a show about the bullying and subsequent murder of a young gay man. “It’s different because I’ve never had this intimate of a look into someone else’s life. Laramie was intense, but this takes it to another level.”

The cast of five went through auditions in mid-March, got casted, and went straight to work. Weiss notes that this is a quick turnaround even in theatre, but also mentions that the cast got to spend two hours of alone time with the director, Brown, to develop their characters. “It’s been a very insightful experience. I’ve worked with a lot of different directors and directing styles, and it’s very important to her that you have a very good background on the character. It’s very important that you have a feeling with the character. She very much knows what she wants out of you and has this way of drawing it out of you without feeling like she’s controlling what you do as an actor. It’s very nice.”

In the wake of #MeToo, a national online movement where people who have experienced being sexually assaulted and harassed have shared their stories, this show that was originally selected in the spring of 2017 seems more timely than ever, and that isn’t something that has escaped Shana’s mind. “I feel like it lines up very well with the timing of the #MeToo movement. I feel that it’s very important that we’re having this show, especially around a time where when there’s all these allegations coming out, where there are all these issues… It was talked about before, but now its started to really pick up.”

Event co-sponsors include Artswego and It’s On Oz, an organization dedicated to the education and prevention of sexual and interpersonal violence. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college. These statistics are alarming and bring up the issue that inspired an Academy Award nominated film The Hunting Ground. However, this show encompasses an array of experiences, and the production provides resources within their programs for anyone who may need to seek help. It is noted that the “detailed, vivid imagery” within the script that helped prepare Weiss for her portrayal may affect audience members sensitive to this type of content.

The event will take place in the Sheldon Ballroom on April 30th at 7:00 P.M. When prodded as to why people should come, Shana answers earnestly. “It is so important as to what is going on even though some of these stories have taken place 50-60 years ago. The fact that it’s still relevant and it’s still happening is why you should come see this show.”

What’s in Season?

Spring and summer are my favorite seasons because the flowers are blooming, the semester comes to an end, the sun is always out, and it’s berry season! Eating fruits and vegetables when they are in season is good for the environment and you’ll probably like the taste

 better too!

Eating fruits and vegetables in seasons is also easy on your wallet. Head to a local farmer’s market you’ll be able to get lots of fresh produce at a great price!

Look for these spring fruits and vegetables for the best flavor:
Arugula, asparagus, beets, carrots, cherries, kale, peas (snow peas, snap peas), spring onions, strawberries and turnips.

Look for these summer fruits and vegetables for the best flavor:
Fruits and vegetables in season in the summer:
Cucumber, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, bell peppers, corn, arugula, peaches, tomatoes, plums, nectarines, and summer squash.

These are just a few of a long list of fruits and vegetables in season during this time. Check out your local farmers market this spring and summer to see what is offered.

It Finally Feels Like Spring!

Hi Everyone!

Sorry it’s been a while since I’ve posted, I’ve been waiting to make this blog post and it finally actually feels like spring. Whether you attend SUNY Oswego now, or plan to in the future, I’m sure you’ve heard a thing or two about the weather. Our winters are absolutely crazy, but the time right before summer break and right after, is some of the most beautiful weather you will ever witness! Here is a list of things that you can do once the weather gets nice at SUNY Oswego.

  1. Visit the lake/watch the sunset with friends: One huge perk on our campus is Lake Ontario. Luckily, our campus is situated right on the lake which allows you to see the best sunsets that I’m sure you’ll ever see. Chances are your social media will be taken over by the beautiful sunset every night. Students also commonly swim in the lake when the weather is really nice, this is a great way to cool off after a nice hot day or just spend the day there soaking up the rays with friends. 
  2. Go to Rudys! Rudys is a drive-in restaurant known for their fish fry’s, fried food, burgers and awesome picnic-table-style seating right on the lake! This is a staple to being a student at Oswego and is one of the first places my friends and I visit once the weather gets nice. 
  3. Go to Bevs! Conveniently, right next to Rudys is Bev’s Dairy Treat which is an awesome ice cream shop with an even better view. On the really nice days, the lines here are a bit long but it is definitely worth it. There’s no better way to end a beautiful day than with some ice cream from Bev’s! If you really want to treat yourself stop at Rudy’s for dinner then Bev’s afterwards for dessert!
  4. Attend Laker Sporting Events: What’s a better way to support fellow classmates than attending their sporting events? During the nice weather here at Oswego, going to watch a game is a great way to be outside, but not force you to spend too much money! We all know being in college means having a tight budget so this is a great way to enjoy the weather without spending anything. Luckily, our turf field is just a short distance away from campus, with busses going to and from there often. The baseball and softball fields are there as well!
  5. Go for a Walk/Run: Another great way to enjoy the weather on a low budget is to get outside with friends and take a walk or go for a jog around campus. This is a great way to take a break from the homework and de-stress yourself. You may even see a few dogs on your way if you’re lucky!