Off to a Great Start

So far, this semester couldn’t be any better. As some of you may know due to my entries written during Winter Break and even before, my friend David is here, and that has been a lot of fun. He is just an all-around fun person to be with. In addition, I think that my classes are going pretty well. This semester, I am taking Lit 396, EDU 301, EDU 303, CWR 206 and English 265. It feels so good to finally be taking courses that I actually want to be taking, courses in which I am engaged.

My EDU 301 course is going to involve a lot of work. I have so much reading to do and response papers to write. Plus, I haven’t even been assigned to Practicum yet. When that happens, I am going to have even less time, and at this point, I have no ride, because I have no car. However, my EDU 301 professor says that no one is going to go without a ride, so she will gladly assist in finding transportation for those who need it.

This is the way that I look at it, though. Sure, this semester is not going to be easy; it is, in fact, going to be difficult, but I still think that my grades are going to be halfway decent. This semester will challenge me. In fact, it already is challenging me, but this is the kind of challenge for which I am up. Again, my mind is engaged in what I am reading and what I am doing. I would rather have a difficult semester due to a work overload than have one due to classes with which I am struggling to comprehend, such as math and science.

All I can do is thank heaven that I am not taking any math or science. I am all done with math, but I still need to take a level 300 Science course, which I don’t think that I can do until at least next semester, anyway. I guess that my senior year will be the only year during which I will only be taking courses that I want to be taking. Really, the only thing that I am doing this semester in which my mind isn’t really engaged is a novel that I am reading for English 265 called Moll Flanders, a novel that I believe was first published in 1722. It’s very slow so far and rather event-less, not to mention the fact that the language is very difficult.

Friday, I have my meeting to be signed up for a day and time for my Practicum, and so, I’ll keep everyone updated on how that goes. I think that it’s ridiculous that students are responsible for finding their own transportation. I think that some sort of busing should be available. Not everyone has cars here. In fact, a very small ratio of people that I know here have cars here. Anyway, it is getting late, and I am rather exhausted, so I am on my way to bed. I’ll write again soon.

Back to School Soon

Well, as promised, I am reporting on how my life in the past week has unfolded, and I am happy to say that it has unfolded in my favor. My mom has, more or less, decided to help me, and Wednesday was magical. Ray went to lunch with my mom and I, as planned, and afterward, we spent the day together at my house. My father was aware but displayed no problem with it, which means that hopefully, this is not an issue that I will run into again. Today, I saw him, as he spent the day with me and a group of friends. We attempted to see the Lovely Bones, but it wasn’t in showing in my hometown, and it was sold out at the next closest theater. We instead went shopping, and we had a great day.

My friend David, the one who will be living in Oswego this coming semester, received some good (not the best, but good) news yesterday. He will be living in Scales on the third floor with a student named Jacob. I can’t recall Jacob’s last name, but hopefully, he is a nice person with whom David will get along. We tried to room together this semester, but we tried unsuccessfully. Residence Life and Housing told him that because he is starting late, they have no room anywhere on campus that is completely empty. I don’t really care, because I really like my current roommate, but I just hope that David likes his, as well. Anyway, since he is in Scales and I am in Waterbury, we will be right next door to each other, which is good.

I can’t believe that I go back to school a week from tomorrow. That thought really is quite daunting. It seems as if the break went by so quickly. I hate that I might not be home for Valentine’s Day, but I am going to try to be. It falls on a Sunday this year, which means that I probably will not be spending the actual date with Ray, but we can always spend that Saturday together if I am able to come home that weekend. Anyway, if anything interesting comes up, I will try to write another blog entry before this coming weekend; otherwise, see everyone on campus next week!


I have to say that I had a great Christmas this year. It wasn’t perfect; for starters, I encountered a family issue the night of December 25th, but other than that, I had a great Christmas. Now, I’m just thinking about how quickly break is going by and how I feel about that. In a way, I am happy, because I miss all of my college friends, but at the same time, it is disappointing, because there are so many things that I would like to accomplish before returning to having very little time to myself, and it feels like I haven’t accomplished half of them. Luckily, however, the problem regarding the townhouses that I discussed earlier in my blog entries has been solved.

If you recall, the problem was that I was torn between whether or not I was going to live in the townhouses or live with my friend David, who is going to be a transfer student here. Well, here is what ended up happening. Unfortunately, not all of it is in my favor, but that’s all that you can expect out of life. You’re either going to get A or B, but it’s rare that you get both. Anyway, David successfully got into Oswego, so beginning this upcoming semester, he will be a student here. Therefore, when the time comes to request a roommate, he and I should be able to request each other for the Fall 2010 semester. At the same time, the Townhouses group has been dismembered. One of them has decided to live with a different group, and one of them has, more or less (to make a long story short), decided to stay in Waterbury.

Obviously, I gain something and lose something simultaneously. I will have David as a roommate, which is always a good thing, but the family that I have established will basically be dismembered, with everyone going their own separate ways. Things will not be the way that they are now, and that will be, at least at first, difficult to accept (I do not adapt to change well, especially when it is a change that involves me losing something). In time, I am sure that I will find a comfort zone, but it will indeed take time. In the meantime, I am trying to enjoy life as fully as is possible without allowing the future to meddle with me.

Right now, however, it’s not the future that’s meddling with me as much as it is the present. I am almost positive that I have mentioned it in an earlier blog entry, but if I haven’t, my father does not support my relationship. As a Christian, he does not support homosexuality in any way. He sees it as a serious sin and is therefore completely against gay marriage. It is something that is not easy for me to accept, because it is something that I not only feel very strongly about but also something that directly affects me. The issue therefore becomes a vicious circle; he can’t accept my relationship, I can’t accept his lack of acceptance, and he can’t accept my lack of acceptance of his lack of acceptance (sorry if that got confusing), and so forth.

Living in the same house with someone who believes that your lifestyle is the result of a devil having taken possession of you is not easy, to say the least. I have done the best that I can to talk to him in the past, telling him that homosexuality is something that you’re born with, not something that you choose, but his inability to see things liberally stands in his way and clouds his vision. He previously declared that Ray (my boyfriend, in case you didn’t know) can no longer come over, because, and I quote, “he is a bad influence on Cody and Eileene [my younger siblings].” I felt like saying to him that I guess I cannot be in the house, either, then, because, likewise, I am a bad influence on them, but I didn’t. I refrained from arguing with him, despite my natural instinct to do so, something that I fought relentlessly.

Right now, I feel trapped. I am going to be twenty years old in May, and I’ve gotten nowhere in life. The only feat that I have accomplished is that I am in college, and although that is a major feat, I admit, I don’t even have a car (I don’t even have my permit). The reason for that is because my parents either can’t or won’t help me financially. When I’m home, I don’t have a job, and when I’m in school, I can only earn a particular amount of money, since it is a work-study position. There’s no way that I could afford to pay for the course, pay for a car, pay for insurance and then pay for gas to fill the car; it is totally and completely unrealistic to even think about that; I’d need to be making thousands of dollars a year, which I don’t, not even close. So, whenever someone points out the illogicality of me being nineteen years old and not having a car, I help them realize that if it weren’t for their parents helping them out, they, likewise, would most likely be in the same boat.

I want to get an apartment with Ray and live on my own. I am tired of being dependent and am tired of having to work around my father’s strict rules to see him. This coming Wednesday (the 13th) will be nine months that we have been together, and it’s important to me that we spend it together. Normally, we can’t, because I’m in school, but now, I’m home, so it’s very important to me. I’m not sure how I’m going to go about arranging it. I have some ideas, but it feels like everything that I attempt blows up in my face and like I am therefore running low on options. I hate feeling caged, hate feeling trapped. It’s something that I want to escape, but there ultimately is no way to do so.

However, I don’t mean to be a downer and consistently write about negative aspects of my life. On a good note, I saw the new film Avatar tonight, and I am incredibly impressed. It reminds me of how movies can be magical and is so epically high on the scale of good movie-making that it is honestly the best movie that I have seen in a long time. It was very much a futuristic (the film takes place in the year 2154, I believe), sci-fi retelling of Pocahontas but epic, all the same. If you haven’t seen the film, then I highly recommend that you do. Trust me, it will blow your mind. Anyway, I guess that that is about it for now. I will do my best to check in again soon to let you all know how things turn out for me.

Winter Wonderland

Something that I find really funny is how different this year has been from last year, how different my perspective is. The main reason I bring this is up is because, obviously, winter weather is here, something that I dreaded for quite some time. I typically hate snow and everything else about winter. I like for there to be snow around Christmastime, but then I am done with it and am ready for it to be gone, which obviously doesn’t happen. It sticks around for another three months or so, and as time goes on, it becomes dirtier and dirtier and heavier and heavier until it becomes incredibly overbearing. By late February, there is barely any white left. Instead, the snow is dirty, and as I said, it’s piled just about everywhere.

However, that really isn’t even the point, because last year, I was tired of the snow even prior to Christmas. Usually, I am, because I simply don’t like the snow and don’t understand why so many people seem to like it so much. It’s cold and wet, and here, it blows in your face and just about freezes the skin from it. It’s not anything that I would call fun. As I said, though, this year, my perspective has been different. The other night, I was walking from Waterbury to Lakeside with a group of friends for dinner, and it was snowing. I think that it may have been the first real snowfall of the season, and it just felt so oddly peaceful.

It’s one of those rare moments in life that you can’t explain. It arouses a feeling that cannot possibly be put into words, mainly because even though you know you liked the feeling, you can’t identify it. I was just happy to be here, so unbelievably happy to be with my friends. We were having a great time joking and laughing about something, and for some reason that, as I said, I can’t really explain, the light snow really seemed to enhance the experience. It was a really nice experience, one that I have in one way or another captured, since, as I said, they don’t happen all that often.

I am, however, going to make one small complaint. Although I cannot recall which day it was (I think that it may have been Tuesday), there was one day this week that I went to Culkin for something, and outside of the building was completely packed with ice. Something that I completely hate about the winter is the ice. I am scared to death of it, because I am afraid that I am going to fall. That’s probably rational, yet I see so many people walk across it seemingly not afraid, and they don’t fall either. I remember when I was in elementary school, and the bus would be waiting for me outside of my house in the morning, and I would walk so slow down my driveway, which was embarrassing, but it was because I was so scared that I was going to fall.

I really do think that things like that should be noticed and that when they are, something should be done about them. I don’t think that that area had been salted at all, and at least that probably would have helped. I really don’t mean to complain about things that seem petty, but that really could be potentially dangerous. You couldn’t really see the ice. The only reason I knew that it was there is because I was being especially cautious and was therefore looking for it, but most people don’t, and actually, now that I think of it, there was one man who was just walking out of Culkin, and when he noticed that I was walking so slow on the ice, he said that he had witnessed four people falling on it that day.

Anyway, on another subject, I can’t believe that tomorrow is the last day of classes. This semester has really flown by, and trust me, that is something for which I am grateful. For the most part, I would say that I have had a really good semester, but there have been bumps in the road, as there are in just about everything, and I am ready for this break, as I am sure a lot of us are. I can’t wait for finals to be over and for this semester to be officially over. I am going to be writing blogs over break, as well, so for those of you who read, be sure to check every now and then.

The End

It’s so difficult for me to believe that the semester is so close to the end. I am not, by any means, complaining, because, trust me, I really need this upcoming break, as I’m sure that a lot of us do. If you recall, I was complaining a lot not too long ago about having so much homework and, primarily, about not doing very well in my Biology class. I still don’t think that I am going to pass Biology with flying colors, not by any means (I’d be excessively lucky if I get a C), but I am at least hopeful now that I will pass. Obviously, I really need to pass it, and I don’t want to have to take any more science than I already have to.

Again, however, the semester is so unbelievably close to the end, and I can’t believe it. This is the last full week of classes, then next week is finals, and then, we go home for winter break. This semester has gone by so quickly, and I know that it always feels that way, but this semester seems as if it went by extraordinarily quickly. I’m not sure why, but I can say that for the most part, apart from my dreadful Biology class, this semester has gone very well, and so, maybe that’s why it has gone by so quickly. Last semester (as in spring ’09) did not go very well, and that seems as if it went by a lot slower than this one.

This semester, I have taken English 304, English 271, Psychology 100, History 102 and Biology 203. Some of you may be wondering why it is that I would have chosen to take a 200 level Biology class when I am clearly not a good science student, but the reason is because when I looked at the course description, it looked as if it would have been an incredibly easy course. Not only that, but the 100 level course involves a lab, which is obviously something that didn’t interest me in the slightest. Anyway, apart from Biology, I would say that my classes have gone fairly well, and again, apart from Biology, I am certain that I am going to do very well this semester.

I am looking forward to an A or a B in my English 304 class. I am definitely going to get an A in my English 271 class, because my lowest grade thus far has been a 95, and there’s only one exam remaining. History is relatively easy. I have not seen any of my grades yet save the paper that I wrote (which I got an 89 on) to be honest, but again, I remain confident. Psychology is course that I might not get a B in. It would be nice, but I think that I am looking at a grade that is closer to a C or a C+. I fully understand the material, so don’t get me wrong, but the tests are very difficult. I think that I have been working very hard, however, and like I said, besides Biology (which I am hopeful that I will pass), this has been a fairly decent semester.

Busing System = Very Inconvenient

I really do not understand our school’s busing system. I don’t know if all busing systems are like this or if it is just ours, but it is incredibly inconvenient. Yesterday, I wanted to go into town to pick a couple of things up at Walmart, and so, I figured in my head that it costs ¢75 to get there and then ¢75 to get back, so I needed $1.50. Before getting on the bus, I had ¢50, so I asked a friend to let me borrow a dollar, which she generously did. Anyway, I wasn’t thinking correctly, because I completely forgot that the buses’ machine does not give you any money back, so after I put my ¢50 in, I ran into an issue. I needed ¢75, and since the only change/cash I had on me was the dollar bill that my friend had let me borrow, there was nothing I could do, because if I had put the dollar in, it wouldn’t have given me ¢75 back, and I wouldn’t have had a way back to campus.

I quite honestly think that this is ridiculous. I think that the machines should be programmed, just like a vending machine, to know how much it costs and to only accept that amount of money. If more than that designated amount of money is given, it should return to the customer however much money is owed. Like I said, I don’t know if all busing systems work this way or if it’s just ours, but either way, it’s ridiculous. Yesterday, I was lucky, because the driver was kind enough to let me on the bus and told me to put a dollar in on my way back. However, I may not have been so lucky, and I could have wasted¢50 and therefore not have been able to go to Walmart at all. I have considered the fact that this could very well be a somewhat more functional report to give in the Oswegonian, but then, to be a responsible journalist, my duty would really be to interview people and to take reports, and I quite honestly just don’t have the time, especially since it is so close to the end of the semester. Anyway, I suppose that I am done ranting about this now, but I’m sure that I am not the only one who has ever complained about this.

Lady Gaga – The Fame Mons†er

As a good majority of you probably already know, I am a very big Lady Gaga fan. I think that she is incredibly creative, artistic, daring and independent. She has undoubtedly changed the music industry, setting new grounds for artists that were most definitely not there before. I recently read one critic who argued that Gaga is not original at all, since she dresses like Björk, acts like Madonna and sings like Gwen Stefani, but I would argue against most of these claims. She has the “out there” look that Björk always has, a sense of fashion that dares to defy norms. However, Gaga designs most of her own clothing, and a good majority of the clothing that she designs (although most definitely drawing influences from artists such as David Bowie and, yes, Björk) is very creative and original (where have you seen the bubble dress before?). I would not argue that her demeanor is anything like Madonna, except that I would argue that she has a similar need of daring to venture. As far as her vocals being compared to Gwen Stefani, there are undoubtedly tracks in which you would think it is Gwen if you didn’t know any better. However, these tracks are limited to a select few, such as “Paparazzi,” “Paper Gangsta,” “Summerboy” and “Filthy Pop.” Gaga definitely has her own style of singing, which is definitely brought to light in songs such as “Poker Face” and “Bad Romance.”

Anyway, the highly-anticipated follow-up to last year’s record, The Fame, was released yesterday, Monday, November 23rd, and even though the album is somewhat short (consisting of only eight tracks), it does not disappoint by any means. My anticipation for this album has been building up for quite some time now, and I don’t, in any way, feel cheated (except for maybe the fact that I do wish the album was a little bit longer). After Fame’s release, Gaga began to explore fringes of her personality that she hadn’t been immediately experiencing during the early days of her major success. She began to realize that as much as she loved fame, fame was not an all-seeing power of goodness but instead sometimes heavily comprised of monsters, or fears, with which, as a superstar, Gaga had to deal. She was consistently traveling since she was touring, and during her days on the road, she began to explore this dark side of fame musically, a project that came to be known as The Fame Mons†er, an eight-track sophomore effort that would bring Gaga’s music to new levels.

The record opens with the hit single, “Bad Romance.” I have heard a great deal of people say that “Bad Romance” is more or less a reinvented “Poker Face,” but I drastically fail to understand the connection, not one that calls for that kind of comparison anyway. Her vocals are a bit similar, since in the verses, Gaga explores very low registers of her voice while in the refrain, she explores higher registers. However, I fail to understand how the melodies are similar. Anyway, “Bad Romance” has already gone its way to becoming Gaga’s fifth smash hit in the U.S. (the other four obviously being “Just Dance,” “Poker Face,” “Lovegame” and “Paparazzi”), and the music video (which features Gaga as a sex slave, sold to the Russian mafia after a round of bidding) is by far her most genially creative one yet. Even if you’re not a Gaga fan, I think that it would be rather difficult to get this track out of your head.

The second track that Mons†er has to offer is “Alejandro,” which had previously been titled “Don’t Call My Name” when a short portion of the song had been leaked online. “Alejandro” has been described as a rehashing of the “What happens in Mexico stays in Mexico” adage. Gaga has traveled to Mexico, fallen in love with a boy who is either named Alejandro, Fernando or Roberto (she can’t seem to recall), but she fears commitment and therefore insists on running away. The song is very powerful both melodically and vocally. Unfortunately, since both “Alejandro” and “Dance in the Dark” have both been officially released as promotional singles to help promote The Fame Mons†er, we can probably rule this one out as a future single. The second and the third singles from the album have already been selected, which I will discuss momentarily.

The third number we’re given is the track “Monster,” which I personally feel would have been a much better opener for the album. The song has previously been described as demonstrating a “fear of death,” and although I don’t immediately interpret the lyrics of the song to be related to death, I am going to continue to listen and see where perhaps they could in fact be interpreted that way. The track opens with the spoken lines: “Don’t call me Gaga/I’ve never seen one like that before/Don’t look at me like that/You amaze me.” At first glance, the lyrics potentially seem to be about rape or some form of sexual interaction that was not consensual, which is why she refers to the boy as “a monster.” This track definitely has the potential of being a future single, and even though it has not been announced what the fourth single will be yet, I think that this might actually be it, because I can definitely see this one doing well on the radio. There is a censored line in the song that upset me at first, because I thought that it was censored on the CD since I had bought it at Walmart, but further research has since indicated to me that the track is censored on all editions of the album, which I find to be a bit odd. Why write words on a piece of paper that aren’t going to be used?

The album moves into its first and only ballad, which is the epic “Speechless,” a song that has already been confirmed as the album’s third single. According to Gagapedia, Gaga’s father had been very sick, and she recorded this song for him as a way to plead for him to receive heart surgery that he needed. “I think is the best song I’ve ever written,” Gaga, herself, says about the song. “It’s about my dad. It’s a really beautiful ballad. It’s piano-driven, and there’s no beat on it. It’s all live instruments. I produced it with Ron Fair, so we did a full live orchestra, recorded everything with live drums, live guitar and bass with me playing piano. We got that really organic, delicious feeling.” “Speechless” is probably my second favorite song on the record and really does stand out as incredibly powerful and emotional. To those of you who watched the American Music Awards the night before last, this was the second song that she performed, the one in which she played at a piano and broke Vodka bottles over it.

The fifth track is the incredibly powerful “Dance in the Dark.” While “Speechless” is probably my second favorite track on the record, this is probably my first favorite. Gaga revealed a few months ago that during the writing process of The Fame Mons†er, she had been exploring some gothic influence, mainly in beats, and I think that this song is a very good example of what she was talking about. Melodically, it is probably the darkest song on the record, reminding me very much of bands such as the Birthday Massacre and Depeche Mode. Although I cannot seem to locate any information behind the meaning of the song, it seems to me to be a kind of feminist anthem, shouting out to women have ever felt unprotected or unsafe in the world (literally shouting out to women such as Marilyn Monroe and Princess Diana). Like “Alejandro,” this song has been officially released a promotional single, so I seriously doubt that it will be released as an official single, especially since one song (“Bad Romance”) has already been determined, and two more have been announced.

The first few times that I heard “Telephone,” I was not very impressed. It just isn’t as powerful as some of the other material that The Fame Mons†er has to offer, and even though it is still not one of my favorites on the album, it has grown on me, and I like it a lot better than I did when I first heard it. The track features vocals by pop superstar Beyoncé (who was originally supposed to be Britney Spears, but Britney’s vehement desire to include the track on her new Greatest Hits collection caused some complications), and the lyrical content seems to be relatively simple. It seems to be about a girl who is out partying with her friends who is consistently being annoyed by her boyfriend texting her cell phone. Its simplicity could be one reason why it is not one of my favorites on the album, but one fact that needs to be kept in mind is that out of the eight songs on the record, this is the only one that was not actually written during the Monster era. “Telephone” was written during the Fame era and was initially supposed to be a song written for by sung by Britney Spears for her Circus album. This has been selected as the second single from the album and is expected to be released in early 2010.

Although I have not mentioned it until now, there are two songs on the album that remind me a bit of “Just Dance,” and those two songs are “Monster” and “So Happy I Could Die.” “Monster” shares very similar electronic accompaniment, and the next song on the record, “So Happy I Could Die,” is somewhat similar melodically. “So Happy I Could Die” is another song that I haven’t been able to fully decode just yet, but the title does seem to be fairly self-explanatory. This one has a bit of growing to do on me yet, since I am not absolutely crazy over it just yet like I am “Speechless” and “Dance in the Dark.” The album closes with the song “Teeth,” which is a very blunt, R&B-like track that, to be quite honest, closes the album while you are left wanting more. Like I said, The Fame Mons†er is incredible, but if I can find any fault in it whatsoever, it’s that I would have liked for it to have been a bit longer. It is more outrageous than The Fame while at the same time is more down to earth, and I love how in the track “Monster,” she shouts out to the very first hit with the line, “I want to just dance, but he took me home instead.” Her voice is also a lot more natural on this record, with not as much production applied as songs such as “Poker Face.” You have once again not failed to please, Gaga.

Thanksgiving ’09

So, this weekend has been pretty productive, and that is one reason why I love weekends that precede breaks. Since I know that it is my last weekend before the break, I try my hardest to get everything done that I possibly can so that I don’t have to do work over break, and my weekend is therefore very productive. I really enjoy getting work done, especially when you have a list in front of you, and the more you work, the smaller that list gets. It’s simply an amazing feeling. Obviously, coming up this week is the very reason why we don’t have class, which is Thanksgiving, and so, I figured that, more than anything, it would be appropriate to write a blog pertaining to that for which I am thankful.

Firstly, I am thankful for my relationship. I am sure that I have mentioned it in previous blog entries, but my relationship is soon to be eight months long, and I have never in my lifetime been happier. For once, it feels like I have found the person that I am supposed to be with, the one person who I am going to spend my entire life with and who I ultimately was always meant and destined to be with, and that is an amazing feeling, that knowledge. So, I am definitely thankful for that.

Secondly, I am thankful for my friends. Without them, I don’t know how I would get by. They don’t even need to know that I am experiencing a difficult situation. Just being with them and spending time with them helps me through, and I have some friends now that I never could have even dreamed of having, friends who understand me and friends who I can say anything to, and they’re not going to judge me, because they are my friends and because they are just good people.

I think that the final part of my life that I want to talk about, something that I am thankful for, is the very fact that I am sitting in a dorm room right now writing this blog entry. Not everyone who wants to go to college has the opportunity to, and that is something that I am well aware of, something that I don’t ever take for granted or forget. I am here not only because I took the initiative and the effort to be here and because I worked hard to be here but also because I was lucky enough to have received such a generous financial aid award. Without there, I would not be here right now pursuing my dreams, so that is also something for which I am most definitely thankful.

As far as the holiday itself, I will most likely be doing what I always do every year. We don’t cook but instead go to the Beeches Inn which isn’t that far away from my house. We go there every year, usually between noon and 1 p.m. with an afore-made reservation, and it’s usually a good experience. I know that some of you may be thinking that I have been deprived of enjoying a home-cooked meal, since that is something that you most likely have the privilege of enjoying, but every family’s tradition is different. Besides, I don’t feel deprived of anything. If anything, I feel privileged myself, because home-cooked meals at my house call for days upon days of leftovers, and we do have a home-cooked meal on Christmas.

I am really looking forward to going home, seeing my boyfriend and spending time with friends. Trust me, as I think a lot of us do, I really need this break. I know some students, such as my roommate, who haven’t been home at all so far this semester, and I don’t know how anyone could do that. I would most definitely go crazy. Anyway, I am so happy that there are only two days of classes this week. I will be leaving Wednesday morning and will try to write a blog before then. If something interesting happens in my life prior to Wednesday morning, then I will try to write about that. Otherwise, maybe I will write a review or something. I recall Julie-Jo suggesting last year that we try to mix up or blog entries to incorporate different subjects, and I often do the best that I can to follow that advice.

Still Afraid

Wow, I have come to the realization that I have been writing a lot lately, and with that, I have therefore additionally come to the realization that I have been seemingly complaining a lot as well, and to this, I have to laugh, because I promise you, even though that is what the majority of my blogs as of late have been centered on, my life is not a terrible mess at the moment. For the most part, my stress level has been very low lately, because I know what I have to do between now and the end of the semester, and I have a plan as to when I am going to complete each assignment and about how long each assignment is going to take me. Stress has therefore not really been much of a plague lately, but as I have been saying a lot lately, fear of the future has been a plague.

Of course, I suppose that fearing the future is in itself some form of stress, but when I feel something powerful, such as fear or anger or even extreme happiness (even though I have come to find that, oddly enough, happiness is the most difficult emotion to express), I feel the need to write about it, and that is why I have been writing so much lately. In this particular case, as I have been saying, the future is bothering me to a great extent, and because of that, because that is really all that is bothering me right now, some of this may be a bit repetitive to those who have been following my blog entries, but even if that is the case, there have also been some new developments, ones that really aren’t either good or bad at this point, because since they don’t really clear anything up for me, they don’t help me.

As I said very recently, I emailed financial aid about my issue regarding the townhouses. For those of you who have not been following my blogs and thus don’t know what I’m talking about, a group of friends, basically my best friends here, want to live in the townhouses next year. This was not on my agenda at all. It didn’t become part of my agenda, in fact, until one of these friends told me one day that she was considering the townhouses next year, but at the time, I didn’t take her as seriously, because she didn’t seem insistent on it or determined, for that matter; it more seemed as if it was merely something that seemed like a good idea to her. Now, however, everyone is determined to make it happen, and I seem to be the only one who finds fault with it.

I understand that I am very seriously jumping around here, and I apologize for that, but by the end of the blog, I will try my hardest to tie everything up. Anyway, I seriously doubt that there are, but if there are any of you who are reading this and don’t know what I’m talking about when I refer to the “townhouses,” then when you get the chance, take a look at west campus, and you’ll see a good amount of new buildings being built by the lagoon behind Oneida Hall, and these are the townhouses. The benefit is that they’re sort of like apartments; you get your own bathroom, each one of you (six per apartment) get your own bedroom, etc., so needless to say, it’s an appealing idea, because it’s kind of like living in a house. However, in my personal opinion, the cons outweigh the pros, which is why up until this was mentioned, I wasn’t considering this even in the slightest.

My plan was always to live in Riggs and to hopefully do so with a roommate that I can pretty much count on getting along with (I didn’t have the greatest experiences last year as a freshman, and I was miserable). This year, the Riggs part didn’t happen, because it was full, and so I had to live in Waterbury, but first of all, I love Waterbury, and second of all, the latter did happen. A good friend of mine agreed to room with me, and so far, it couldn’t be any better. We get along great, and there’s a very hefty amount of respect between the two of us, not to mention the fact that, as I said before, he is part of this group that I keep mentioning, and the problem with that is that if he goes and I don’t, then I’m back to square one.

Anyway, allow me to list off what I see as the cons of living in the townhouses. For starters, I don’t see them as being very convenient for students who don’t have cars, which I don’t. It’s so far away from everything. I’d have to leave the house a good half-hour or so before each class begins to ensure that I get there on time, and of course, the simple solution to that is to take a bus, and in the winter time, that is most definitely what will be happening, but when the weather is nice, I don’t want to be taking a bus everywhere I go. I like walking when the weather is nice, not only because it gives me alone time to reflect and to enjoy the world around me but also because it’s a little bit of additional exercise. Secondly, back to the winter issue, buses run, so getting to class would not be an issue; however, on weekends when the weather is terrible (which describe weekends of which there will be plenty, something you have to count on when you live in Oswego), I see myself cooped up in the house all weekend long, not even leaving to eat since their plan is also just to cook at home.

Additionally, and this is the most pressing con, it is more expensive. I have been told that it costs a lot more, since you’re paying to live in a single, whereas now, I’m living in a double, and that would drastically affect my bill, since I highly doubt that financial aid would cover the difference. Returning to what I said earlier about financial aid returning my email, they said that they are unsure of whether or not they would cover it or not but that I should keep in mind that they might not, which sort of annoyed me, because I am keeping that in mind; that’s why I emailed them. Anyway, I’m not sure what to do, because one idea that they (my friends) are considering is reducing or potentially even canceling their meal plans just to cook at home, and if I did that, then maybe I’d be okay, since the price of living in the townhouses would replace the price of having a full meal plan; however, then, I’d have to drop money (which I only get $1,600 a year of, mind you) each week for groceries, so either way, I lose.

There is no way for me to win. As I said the other night, my friend David is considering coming to Oswego for his BA, but the problem with that is that, first of all, he’s not coming until fall 2010, and I need to either make a decision regarding the townhouses or select a roommate much earlier than that, and I can’t select him as a roommate if he doesn’t get here until fall, because he won’t be a student here yet. I would say that I need advice, but I don’t really need anything except to make a decision, and I can’t do that when I don’t know how much financial aid is going to help me as far as money is concerned, and although I hate the idea of being so disconnected from the campus and being in an area where there is nothing but residence halls and therefore being so far away from classes, the finances are what trouble me the most, so I can’t even begin to think until I get some closure as to whether or not that is going to be a problem, which I think it will be.

If I can’t live in the townhouses, the plus side is that I won’t have to deal with all of those cons that I previously listed, but what it also means, however, is that I risk rooming with a jerk that is going to be incredibly difficult to live with and who I don’t get along with, and it also means that I won’t be with my friends, that they’ll be all the way on the other side of campus having fun without me, and I’ll barely see them, and that’s something that I cannot handle, and I don’t want to ask them to consider forgetting about the townhouses for two reasons. First of all, that’s an awful lot to ask someone; I cannot and do not expect people to live their lives, making decisions, for me. Second of all, I know that they wouldn’t anyway. They’ve made it clear without actually explicitly saying so that they are pursuing this with or without me. I am more or less dispensable. If financial aid drops that bomb on me that says that they’re not going to cover my expenses and I therefore can’t do it, they’ll just find someone else. There is so much to think about, and I really, really hope that this works itself out.

The Horrific Future

Have you ever felt insignificant in an environment that is so significant to you? If not, allow me to tell you how much it really does hurt and how overbearing of a feeling it is. There are some people to whom you could give the world, and they wouldn’t appreciate it. Your status would not elevate at all, because your status is not changeable; you just are who you are, you have the importance that you have, and you can’t really do anything about that no matter how hard you try. It feels a lot like being born into a “destined” caste system, in that even if you make the sacrificial attempts to elevate yourself, it doesn’t do any good, but now, I am beginning to get a bit repetitive.

It’s just that, sometimes, I feel as if high school never ends, if you will. You get to college thinking that everything will be different, and don’t get me wrong, it is; it’s very different, but the behaviors are different while the outcomes are the same, which is that someone gets hurt, because even though it’s typically a much different kind of drama, there is still a lot of drama. In this particular situation, I can’t exactly call it “drama,” but what I mean is that in high school, there were always people, like me, who were being ostracized in one way or another, such as myself, and again, it was under much different circumstances then, but really, that’s kind of how I feel now.

I feel as if there’s a ranking of importance that is consistently occurring just about everywhere that I go. Ideally and I would like to think somewhat realistically, there is not supposed to be a system of ranking in a group of friends. Obviously, in everyday life there is, because you’re obviously going to be more important to your significant other, for example, than you are to the stranger to whom you say “hi” at the newspaper stand, but in a group of friends, I don’t think that that type of thing should be occurring, and yet, I feel that, for me, it does, not necessarily frequently but from time to time.

I really do not want to go into specifics here, but I feel as if I have to if my goal is for you to understand how I am feeling. As I mentioned in my most previous blog, a group of friends here, my best friends here, really, want to live in the townhouses next year, an idea that they have been talking about for quite some time now, and initially, as much as it went against what my plans originally were, it was a bandwagon that I was prepared to jump on despite the inner-conflicts that I was experiencing as described in my most recent blog, because I didn’t care as long as I was with them, but I had an epiphany today, and not the good kind of “Eureka!” ones that happen every now and then but instead the bad kind of “Oh, no!” ones that happen even more often.

This epiphany was one that I am surprised I have not thought about prior to today, but whatever reason, I haven’t. To be perfectly honest, the only reason that I am here at this very moment is because the financial aid award that I received from SUNY Oswego was and is incredibly generous, and what I realized today is that since the townhouses are a bit more expensive than the residence halls, I will most likely be expected to pay a great deal of money out of my pocket since I very seriously doubt that financial aid would increase my award due to me living in the townhouses. I sent them an email quite recently asking them about it, but I honestly felt a bit embarrassed doing so, because I am essentially asking them if I will receive money due to a decision I ultimately make to live in a more expensive setting; it seems like a ridiculous question to even consider.

How this plays into what I was saying before is that I told them about this today, since today was really the first time that I really began to consider this, as I said before, and it didn’t really seem to faze them. The only thing that seemed to really bother them is the fact that now they have to look for yet another person to live with them, since they need six. I just feel as if it had been someone else besides me who was experiencing this problem or who, for that matter, decided that they didn’t want to do this, then the entire idea itself would be shot, because they couldn’t possibly do it without one of them but can without me. As I’m sure I have said before in a blog entry, I do tend to be a bit paranoid at times, and this does tend to have negative consequences in my life, but I have also noticed that it’s almost always people that I deeply care about toward whom I feel paranoid.

At this point, I really have no practical solution. My good friend David from home said that he might be able to come up here for school since he currently goes to a community college close to home, but here’s the problem. Most likely, he won’t be here next semester, which means that since he’ll be considered a transfer for the Fall 2010 semester, I will not be able to request him as a roommate, and even if I could, he most likely won’t be officially admitted until after I have to select a residence hall and thus a roommate, and the problem is, apart from my current roommate who is a part of the aforementioned group of friends, I don’t really have any guy friends here, not ones that I’m close enough to to live with, anyway.

I just don’t know what to do. I can’t help but shake the idea that the happiness and the near-perfection that I am experiencing now is one day very, very soon going to be obliterated due to change that I have no control over, change that I don’t understand why needs to happen, but change that I cannot and ultimately would not want to stop, anyway. My expectations are not to control peoples’ decisions, and I am certainly not self-centered in the least bit, especially not to the point where I’d want someone to completely defer an idea of theirs due to me and my monstrously long list of problems. I guess that I’d just like to feel a bit more important to people that are very important to me. Who knows? Maybe in some elaborately epic way, everything will work out. Sometimes, the universe has a way of self-correcting itself.