A Moment of Gratitude

I am truly grateful to have met the friends that I have while here in Oswego. They are all new friendships and bonds formed with the exception of one, my good friend Rufaro or Tumbo, best known as “DJ Tumbo” outside of that 6 year friendship the ones I have formed are mostly a year old or so. But that didn’t change the amount of love and companionship we all shared Sunday night as we gathered for dinner.

While many students who live nearby go home to celebrate Easter , there are a small portion of us who can’t simply because the 5 hour trip home just doesn’t work out how you would like it to sometimes. Watching everyone hop on the bus or cramming into cars to go home can make those of us forced to stay a little sad. So imagine my excitement when my best friend Damaris not only announced that she was staying on campus as well but would also be making Sunday dinner!

Since Damaris moved into the Village (the suite styled housing which I adore for it’s beautiful exterior and even more impressive interior detailing , a place I wish I had chosen to live instead of off-campus) Sunday dinners have becomes somewhat of a regular occurrence for us.

Doing what she always does so well she played grand host and master chef , whipping up a home style feast of meatloaf, creamed mashed potatoes, baked macaroni and cheese, green beans and biscuits. The food was good but the company of great friends was even better. And as the night which was filled with moments of laughter,some jokes funny enough that I found myself on the kitchen floor doubled over in laughter and lively serious debates came to a close I felt an extreme sense of gratitude. Gratitude for being blessed to have such invaluable friendship to share my happiest moments…any moments for that matter because they have been there for some of my less enviable ones as well , I am grateful. And while for many people Easter has an entirely different meaning. This year friends,love and happiness is what I’ll remember Easter to be.

“Eat, Save, Yum”

Off-campus living will make a man out of you or a responsible young adult at very least. When I first got word that I would be living off campus I had plans of ordering pizza pies and chinese takeout in large portions throughout the week. Eating leftovers on alternate days to be “ money savvy”.

Somewhere between a shrinking account and a growing waistband I came to my senses. The original plan had not been sensible in the least. In order to survive off-campus, more than basic culinary skills would have to be acquired.

I sought the advice of my older sister Simone Belle a nurse practitioner and graduate of New York University’s School of Nursing. Someone who understands what it means to be a struggling college student trying to juggle more than a few things with limited resources.

We narrowed down the dining goals to three major components: Affordability, healthy choices and timeliness.

There are some items that you may want to add to the cart right away. By design these items are usually placed near the entrance of the store and located on the exterior of the aisle with “great deal” signage decorated around it. Resist the urge to be tempted by first creating a grocery list prior to shopping. Junk food items not only add up in cost but are unhealthy. When in the store go down you list of needed items ensuring that you have all the ingredients to make a solid meal. Then when your list is complete add a few of those wants as treat. This will drastically cut your grocery bill.

Create balanced , healthy meals that still taste good!

When prepping healthy meals it is important to create a diverse offering on the plate. According to the American Cancer Society and United States Recommended Daily Allowances (USRDA) “it is recommended to eat a wide variety foods to best obtain the appropriate protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals from fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole grains”. While fresh vegetables may be best. Simone tailors the message for young adults “Frozen vegetables are a perfect choice for college students because fresh vegetables might spoil before use and canned vegetables hold very little nutritional value”

Time is often one of the hardest adjustments for off campus students, as meals take considerably longer to prepare than swiping for a meal at the dining hall. It is definitely a challenge learning to adjust to cooking at home while your friends are on their way to the dining halls. Damaris Dunn senior at SUNY Oswego living in the Village Commons agrees, “ What you have to realize is that when others are heading to the dining halls, that is your time to head home to your kitchen. Bring a friend over too! I hate cooking for one person so I always invite a group of friends to enjoy a good meal too”

Cooking for friends makes it less a chore more a fun filled event

These are all tips that have led to better eating habits that are both healthy and reasonable with in my current college lifestyle. With some luck these tips will help you have a healthy, fit figure to go along with good grades by semester end. Who knows you may even brag as I do now about how “culinary savvy” you have become.

– Bon Appetite !

An Editorial, If You Will

This is just a quick summary of a few circumstances that I wish were a bit different, and I have been meaning to share for quite some time, actually. What I would first like to cover is the Education program. I am an Education major, and as an Education student, I am required to complete Practicum hours, which means that I observe a classroom each semester, and it really puts me at a severe disadvantage. Despite the hours that I put into that each week, I only get one to two credits (two for Block 3, since that is either a full day or two half-days, unlike Blocks 1 and 2, which are only one half-day), instead of the full three. What that means is that unless I kill myself by taking six courses, I am not getting the full fifteen credits that I should be getting, and I’m sure that I’m not the only Education student who feels this way.

Last semester was okay, because I got two credits for my Practicum, and I got four credits for my ADO 310 class, so it worked out to fifteen, but usually it doesn’t. Considering how many hours are put into completing a Practicum assignment, a full three credits should be given (more for third block). I feel like I’m busier than most students probably are, yet I’m getting less credits. Tell me, how is that fair? It isn’t fair.

Secondly, did anyone else receive an email over the summer telling you that your financial aid package had been slightly decreased due to the need to cut budgets? I did, and I was also reprimanded for having ordered too much last semester via ILLIAD, for the same reason. Allow me to entertain this question for a minute – if all of these budget cuts are necessary, then where is the money coming from to build this new science building? Where did the money come from to build the Village, something that was utterly unnecessary and isn’t even close to anything on campus. If we had that money, why didn’t we use it more productively, like put air-conditioning in the residence halls and the academic building, perhaps? I just feel like I am being affected for reasons that don’t affect me. I am not living in the townhouses, and I most likely won’t be here when the science building is finished (and even if I were, I’m not a science major). Anyway, enough moaning for now, I suppose. I’m sorry about that; I have just been meaning to write this for a while now.