Oswego vs. Plattsburgh

Unfortunately, as most of you most likely know, we didn’t declare victory over Plattsburgh Friday night, or over Potsdam on Saturday. However,  I did get some footage of the game. Unfortunately, my camera broke, and I didn’t really get any footage of the actual game. There is some footage of the fans, nearly all of them dressed in white as well as footage of the Plattsburgh team throwing pucks at the window as fans chant, “Plattsburgh sucks!” There’s also some footage of my friend Danielle as she is immensely enjoying her soda. Enjoy!

Random Thoughts

I can’t believe how rapidly the weather keeps changing! I have been so sick for the past couple of weeks, and the weather just won’t let me shake it. Last week, there were a couple of days that were like spring. All of the snow was gone, and it was around fifty degrees. Now, it’s back to being well below freezing with what appear to be multiple tornadoes made of snow.

Every time I complain, people always ask me, “why did you choose Oswego?” since Oswego is infamous for its relentless winters. Although choosing Oswego wasn’t exactly a “choice,” I do think that Oswego has its pros that contrast with its weatherly cons. For example, making friends is typically very easy here, since the campus is so diverse. A diverse campus increases the chance that you’re going to find a person, or better yet, a group of people, that are like you.

Oswego’s campus is also relatively accepting when it comes to differences amongst people, and it can’t be denied that that is highly beneficial to any campus setting. Besides, as far as the weather is concerned, there are also pros to that! When Oswego is not undergoing winter, it is amazingly beautiful. The lake, for example, under a setting sun in the summer time is unlike anything I have ever seen, and it’s a nice place to visit and reflect. I feel confident that I am just as happy here as I would be just about anywhere else.

Then, of course, there is the hockey team! Tonight, we play Plattsburgh, which means it’s White-Out, and of course, the weather saw it fit to correlate. A lot of students, including me, are really looking forward to this game. It will definitely be interesting! I realize now that this blog is a little scattered, but it is kind of just a collage of random thoughts thrown together.

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.

Johnson

For those of you who followed my blog entries last semester, you know that I was pushing strenuously to get into Johnson for a variety of reasons. Well, I got in. The Friday after second semester began, my hall director at Oneida told me that the Johnson hall director told her that he had a place for me here, and I moved in the following Monday. I was so happy. Johnson is my true home here, and it’s going to be very difficult having to leave it at the end of the semester.

What do I love about Johnson? At Oneida, there wasn’t as much room for me to spread my legs. I had my room, and that was it, and that wasn’t very much room. I didn’t really have the space to have my bed delofted, so the only place I had to relax, watch TV, read and chat on AIM was my desk. Here, not only is the room bigger, enabling me to have a delofted bed, but there are also other places to go. There is a lounge on each floor as well as a circular desk space outside of each lounge. If I need to stay up a little later than usual doing homework or something to that effect, I can do so without having to worry about disturbing anyone who’s trying to sleep.

As I’ve said before in an earlier blog, a majority of my friends on campus are also Johnson residents, and I was here all the time as it was. Of course, some of those friends don’t act much like friends anymore. They seem to have forgotten the main reason I pushed so hard to get in here, and it also seems as if they’ve forgotten how much they used to care. If you are one of my Johnson friends, then don’t automatically assume I’m talking about you. Chances are good that you know if you are. If we haven’t talked or hung out in a while, because you have either ignored me or lied to me, then you know who you are.

I’m not writing this blog to be cynical. I am really happy about this for the most part. It just shows that sometimes, if you set your mind to something, you can do it. I was told that the odds weren’t good, that the list of students wanting to live here was relatively long and that there wasn’t any room for me anyway, but I didn’t give up. I kept pushing, and here I am writing this blog from my Johnson dorm room. So just keep that in mind. If you really want something for whatever reason, then put your mind to it and fight for it.

New Semester!

The Spring Semester is finally here! The month away went by really fast, and I desperately needed it, but it’s time to hit the books once again. The other day, I didn’t feel like I was ready to come back yet. I was really enjoying my vacation to the fullest. However, now that I am back, I am really happy to be here and am confident that this semester is going to be great.

This semester, I am taking Math, which at first I was really anxious about. I have never been a very good math student. I have difficulty understanding certain aspects of it. I remember back in high school when my class was doing proofs, and no matter how many times my teacher tried explaining it to me, I simply couldn’t understand it, and I still don’t understand it. However, I think that this semester of math isn’t going to be all that bad. I know the semester just started, but I already have a full understanding of what we are doing, and I find it to be very easy. The professor said that a majority of what we do in class will not be difficult; it will just be time-consuming, and we will need to show our work for everything. Well, I don’t like the term “time-consuming” any more than the next college student, but I would rather spend a lot of time on something that I understand than receive poor grades because I don’t understand the material.

None of my other classes seem like they are going to be too strenuous either. Like I said, I am really looking forward to this semester.

Path to Change for the Better!

A lot of you probably remember my blog only a few months ago regarding my trip to Pennsylvania to campaign for Barack Obama. Two days ago, as you all know, President-elect Obama was inaugurated as the forty-forth president of the United States, and the most of what I could feel was the same pride and joy as I felt the week that I campaigned for him, and the fateful Tuesday evening when he was elected.

The main aspect of this election and now this presidency that I find groundbreaking is the refreshed sense of pride. There are so many who seem to once again be proud to be an American, and this energy seems to be so fresh. I unfortunately did not have the opportunity to attend Obama’s Inauguration on Tuesday, but I did watch quite a bit of it on TV, and even from merely watching it on TV I could feel the high-spirited energy that radiated the streets.

It was said during the airing of the Inauguration that many of the individuals who attended the Inauguration, and even those who saw it on TV, for that matter, are so proud, because they are making history, and I found this to be a good point. Someday, those of us who were a part of this somehow are going to have a few stories for our children and for our grandchidren, because this right now, the present that we are living in, is groundbreaking history, and we made it. Yes, we did!

I feel confident that Obama is going to change America for the better and that he’s going to bring the change that we need. I am really looking forward to the next four (possibly eight) years of being an American and for once being able to confidently and wholeheartedly say that I am proud to be one.

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist

I actually read this book over Thanksgiving break and stayed up untl 6 a.m. reading it, because I couldn’t put it down. It’s honestly just that good. Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist is one of the best books I have read in a while. I haven’t read anything even close to this good since M.T. Anderson’s Feed, which was quite awhile ago.

I felt like I could relate to it on so many levels, but at the same time, coming from a masculine perspective, it was oddly blissful to me, because I saw in Norah the emodiment of what every guy wants in a girl. It’s true that I don’t like girls who enjoy playing games with guys, but Norah has genuine feeiings for Nick, and even though she does “play games” with him, we learn through the parts written through her perspective that it’s because she’s afraid, and fear is something that I think we can all understand when it comes to love.

However, back to my claim that I could relate to it, I felt that in so many ways, I am Nick, and Nick is me. I felt connected to the story, and it’s rare that I ever feel so strongly about a piece of literature. I saw the film starring Kat Dennings and Michael Cera first, and I’d quickly be the first (although I’m sure I’m not) to advise against thinking that you can skip right to the film and get the same experience from it, because you will not. I wasn’t crazy over the movie. I mean, I didn’t hate it, but it wasn’t anything special, and yet, I think I’ve done quite enough here to prove that the book was indeed very special to me. The book and the movie are two different stories and two different worlds, and I strongly suggest visiting both.

Christmas! (Or Whatever You Celebrate)

Who’s excited for the holidays? Can you believe that we have less than three weeks until we go home again? It’s really crazy, and it’s probably just me, but it seems like the second semester is going to be really short. We get back from break near the end of January, and then the school year is over in May.

Just a couple of weeks ago, Christmas seemed so far away to me, and now it seems so close. I can’t wait, because I love Christmas and not just because of the gifts, although, I’m not going to lie, that’s a part of it. I love the spirit. I love the music, the decorations, the lights and, most of all, the tree. Of course, I won’t be home to see it until the last week this year, so I am hoping that the campus provides that for us, but so far, I don’t see that as being a problem. The night before I left for Thanksgiving break, I ate at Lakeside, and they had lights and decorations up. I mean, I know not everyone on campus celebrates Christmas, and I’m not making that assumption, but I think lights and decorations basically put everyone in the mood for the holiday season in general.

The main reason I’m excited gift-wise is because I asked for the third and fourth installments of the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. I’ve read the first book and will soon be reading the second book, and I know that this is going to sound really nerdy, but there’s nothing better than spending break with a good read, especially two. I just really hope that the next few weeks go by quickly, especially since with all of the work I have yet to do and finals to study for, they’re going to be pretty stressful.

Going Home

I can’t wait to go home! I really am so excited. The last time I was home was the weekend before Halloween, but it feels like it’s been so much longer than that. I have never felt this excited to go home before, and this really goes back to an earlier blog I wrote about how my perspective on my hometown has changed so much since I got here. Being away from home makes me think of my hometown differently; it makes me appreciate it more. I can’t wait to see my friends and my family and to have my own bedroom with no roommate! That has to be the best part! Just kidding, but seriously, it is nice having your own room and therefore not having to worry about making sure that your habits match up to or at least don’t interfere with someone else’s.

I will be leaving on Wednesday, and that honestly feels too far away. There are butterflies in my stomach at the very thought of going home. Wednesday I will be seeing Twilight as far as I know, and I actually just got done reading the novel a few days ago, so I’m really looking forward to that. Perhaps later in the week I will write a blog entry about seeing that and what I liked about it and what I didn’t like, how it was different from the novel. I’ll just warn you ahead of time, though, as I also will when the time comes, that there will probably be spoilers, so don’t read it if you haven’t read the novel or seen the movie but are planning to.

It’s going to be so awesome, and this is what’s crazy. A few minutes ago, I had an epiphany. When we get back here, there will be less than three weeks until we go home again! In fact, on Sunday when most of us get back, we can say that two weeks from Saturday, we go home again. It’s pretty crazy, especially considering the fact that finals are coming up so soon! Returning from Thanksgiving break is going to mean buckling down and heavy studying!

I encourage fellow bloggers to maybe take a few minutes over break and talk about your home experiences, especially if it’s your first time being home since the semester started. That has to feel strange, not having been home in three months!

Jack’s Mannequin Concert!

This coming Sunday, I am going to Le Moyne College in Syracuse to attend a Jack’s Mannequin concert, and I am so excited! For those of you who haven’t heard of the band or have heard of them but don’t know anything about them, I’ll give you an overview.

Jack’s Mannequin sort of formed in 2004 when piano rock group Something Corporate (a band that actually played here at SUNY Oswego that same year) decided to take a break and frontman Andrew McMahon began writing music for a solo album. Needless to say, the solo project ended up becoming Jack’s Mannequin, currently having spawned singles such as “The Mixed Tape,” “Dark Blue” and “The Resolution.” In 2005, prior to the album’s release, McMahon was diagnosed with acute lymphatic leukemia and was immediately hospitalized in New York City. This obviously delayed the release of the album as well as additional promotional work that would have otherwise went into it, and the album was finally released on August 23 of that year. What I find interesting is that this is the same day that Andrew received a stem cell transplant from his sister Katie, which would indicate that that had to have been an all-around happy day for him.

The debut, Everything in Transit, was followed up by The Glass Passenger which was released on September 30 of this year. The concert at Le Moyne is part of the Hammers and Strings tour which is in correlation to The Glass Passenger. The band will be playing music from the new album.

I became a fan (fan is probably not a sufficient word) in May of this year, when my best friend bought me a copy of Everything in Transit for my birthday. The first time I listened to it, I immediately fell in love with it, and Jack’s Mannequin pretty much immediately became my favorite band. I liked it that much. The well-written and vehement lyrics helped pull me out of a hole that I was in at the time, and the style of the music was like nothing I had ever heard before. I have actually heard people say that they don’t have their own sound and that they pretty much sound just like every other band out there, but I couldn’t possibly disagree more. If you name one singer who sounds anything like Andrew McMahon or one band that has a sound that is anything like Jack’s Mannequin, I’ll give you a cookie. I say that, because I don’t have any cookies, and I guarantee you that it’s not something I’m going to have to worry about.

Anyway, ever since May, I have been praying for a chance to see them live, and now I finally have a chance. I can’t wait for the show. Do we have any other JM fans on campus that would like to share their love for the band? I’m definitely all ears to that!