Student Athlete Guide: Eating Right

When it comes to preforming, the food that we put in our bodies makes all the difference in how well we will be able to compete. As athletes we can’t be like Popeye the Sailor and just eat spinach before a game, have mega-strength and destroy our opponents… I’ve tried.

Any athlete will tell you that practice makes perfect, and the same thing can be said about training your body to eat right.  By minimizing the bad (yet oh so good) food from your diet, it will allow your body to understand what healthy foods help you preform better. Having the right food in your system will not only make you a healthier individual but it will also improve your performance out on the field.

SUNY Oswego is always promoting a healthier way of living, especially when it comes to what you eat in the dining halls. However the choice to eat the right things as an athlete falls solely on you. You have to make the conscious decision of doing what it takes to become a better athlete. So put down the extra slice of pizza and step away from the ice cream bar, and here are some helpful hints about eating right.

1) Freshman 15 is a Real Thing

It really shouldn’t be called “Freshman 15″ in reality it should be called “Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior 15.” When it comes to eating in the dining halls it becomes a social event. Even when you are not hungry you still go to the dinning hall because that is where all your friends are. And when all of your friends are eating food around you its hard not to want to get a plate for yourself.

I am not discouraging you to go to the dining hall, in fact some of the best new food concoctions are invented in the dining hall, I am just encouraging you to grab some fruit, or make a salad instead of eating another full meal.

2) Check Out The Resident Dining Menu Online

Looking at the dining menu online before eating can help with making the right choices about what to eat. If you look at the menu only it will show you what is being served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and what foods are heart healthy, vegetarian, and vegan.

Also the dining menu online offers MyPlate. MyPlate is where you can pick foods from the menu that you want to eat and then it will calculate all the total nutrients (good and bad)  you are receiving from that specific meal. By being able to visually see how the foods are helping or hurting your body it will make deciding what healthy food to eat easier.

3) Encourage Your Teammates

Eating healthier can change your game, imagine what it can do to an entire team. That being said take the initiative to circle the wagons with your teammates. Trying to eat healthy as a group is a lot easier than trying to eat healthy on your own.

I know for our team we have a sweet tooth for ice cream and Cooper Dining Hall has its own creamery. So after a lot of our meals we would go get ice cream afterwards and not think twice about it. It wasn’t until when we were in season that we were seeing the effect all this ice cream was having on us. So instead of just cutting out all junk food we decided that once a week in season we would go for ice cream. We were all in it together and it made things a lot easier. It’s okay to eat junk food as long as you manage how much you eat of it.

 

Lakeside Dining Hall

Lakeside Dining Hall

 

 

 

 

Clubs & Organizations: Taking Initiative During Summer

DSCN999Summer is coming up. That is a fact and while everyone is excited for one of the longest breaks of the year, students everywhere will be left unoccupied by extracurricular work. For some this is a blessing, but for others summer, while fun can also be a simulative lull. For those needing to occupy their brains with entertaining, but experiential work during the warm months, here are some things I think will help.

  1. Start a summer blog. No matter what club you are in, chances are your experiences through that club, your interests, and your personal thoughts can be applied to some blog form. Whether its useful tips, entertainment reviews, or opinions on certain matters; establishing a strong summer blog can be great for the mind to filter out information and ideas, while also providing possible work examples.
  2. Stay sharp by practicing. A lot of different clubs can provide summer work if students choose to accept it. For clubs that feature performances in any form, find local open mics and attempt to do your act at them. In addition, clubs that are more major-driven can be made much easier by calendaring the schedule. By getting a jumpstart on the year ahead you can spend your time more evenly.
  3. Do an internship. In terms of no-brainers, this point may seem obvious. Internships can definitely help you build professional experience and experience to help in your organizational commitments. Building skills while also building your resumes is the way to getting a step ahead.
  4. Learn new skills. One way to occupy your time constructively is to pick up some new skills. Things like photo editing programs, web programing, and the likes help make you look technologically advanced for your future. Even learning the fundamentals of these various things can help you in the future when looking for a job.

Clubs & Organizations: Things I Wish I Had Known

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As previously written, I always knew that in college I wanted to be as involved as possible. I knew that it was a great way to build social relationships as well as professional ones. Coming into Oswego I wanted to join everything. Instead, I wish I had known what I know now about joining organizations because it probably would have made things much easier.

  1. Try out for things, even if you’ve never done it before. Coming into the school, I definitely had a love for comedy but had never done any form of improv or acting. When I heard about Shaun Cassidy Fan Club (the improv troupe), I was unsure whether I would/could do what they set out to do on a weekly basis. Skipping their table at the involvement fair out of fear, I went to their first show and found their brand of comedy to be something I could fall in love with. I moved on to try it out and proved myself to be right.
  2. Mix clubs of entertainment and leisure with professional ones. While clubs can be fun and social experiences, the benefits of joining organizations that push you towards a career can be extremely beneficial. Major-driven clubs (Like PRSSA) and honor societies are great because they allow you to gain real work experience (not to mention they look good on a resume).
  3. Pick a few clubs and excel at them. As stated, coming in I wanted to be a part of everything. I love clubs and feel that they provide people with great social and experiential opportunities. I signed up for a double digit amount of clubs during the involvement fair without realizing the commitment they would take. After quickly dropping some, I’ve wished that I had picked a few from the get go to become deeply invested in (at the very least, it would have saved my wrists from having to write my email down so many times).
  4. Realize that integration is a process. This one should have been a no brainer, but for me it wasn’t. When I joined my chosen organizations I had hoped for swift bonds and engagement. What I realize now is that no matter what the organization is, becoming truly invested in it and creating long lasting bonds is a journey in itself but the rewards are terrific.
  5. At the end of the day, Oswego offers enough organizations where there is multiple things for everyone. Not being able to find a club is as remediable as a Google search. Picking a few awesome clubs is a great move for anyone!

SUNY Oswego Brought Me to France

13760_799793690057922_6459331804728573772_nWould you ever think a SUNY Oswego student who lives on a dirt road who’s never had a passport, who’s never been outside of the country, or who’s never even been on a plane before would find himself sitting in a street café in downtown Paris, France?

Neither would I. But that’s what happened to me.

Last spring break, I went down to Alabama to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity in house construction and thought I couldn’t beat that. But when the possibility of going to Paris arose last fall, I reconsidered that thought.

A lot of people my age have been able to venture to foreign lands and I never understood how they were able to do it. I can barely find enough gas money to drive to Syracuse when I need to.

But they somehow found a way. And so did I.

SUNY Oswego offers quarter courses, a chance to study abroad without actually studying abroad. Students enrolled in these courses study a certain topic about a specific place in the world for seven weeks. Then, they go visit that location during spring break.

10614312_799793220057969_8717143414005323638_nI happened to be in a class with the same instructor who would teach the quarter course who told me about it.

Ha, yeah right, like I could ever do that, I thought.

But I started seriously considering it. And I realized that if I was seriously considering doing it, I had to seriously get on it.

I talked to my parents about it. I went to financial aid and figured out a way to pay for it. Over winter break, I went and got my passport. I did all the mountains of paperwork and reserved my airline ticket. I took the class, called “Comparative Media,” which examined the properties of media compared between the U.S. and France. And then, I went to Paris.

I remember in third grade filling out one of those papers the first day of school that gave the teacher all about yourself. One of the questions was “Where would you like to travel to someday?” I wrote “I want to see Paris, France someday.” I’m not exactly sure why but I always wanted to go there.

And then, I was. I saw the Eiffel Tower, I saw the “Mona Lisa,” I saw the Palace of Versailles, Notre Dame and so many other things. And of course, since I was there to examine the media there, I was able to visit the French Associated Press, a cinema museum, a communist newspaper and listened to a talk with the French correspondent for National Public Radio. I was also able to walk to the office of Charlie Hebdo, the satirical magazine that came under attack in January that captured global attention.

Then there was just being there itself. I had to keep reminding myself that I was in Paris, a place I never imagined I’d ever go to, let alone at 21 years old. I was the first person in my immediate family to fly since 1983 and the first person to go to a different country at all.

11048683_798769296827028_6279308243856522881_nI understand now why people always say to see the world. It definitely changes you and makes you think differently about the U.S. and yourself. That may be the biggest reason why I wanted to go. I was able to talk to people in a different language. I was able to see what their lives were like everyday. And I was able to witness that with a great bunch of people who also took the class, people that were wonderful to spend a whole week with.

I have absolutely no regrets. It was a great way to start the beginning of the end of my time here. When I applied to SUNY Oswego and moved my things in as a freshman, I never would’ve thought I would fly across the ocean my senior year. It’s just another reminder that SUNY Oswego can surprise you.

I’m grateful and lucky that I’ve been able to see a little more of the world before I’m released to it very soon.

Clubs & Organizations: Benefits of Getting Your Foot In Early

Every year, Admitted Student Days, open houses,  and involvement fairs sweep the campus. It seems like every year, more and more clubs and organizations appear. Every year, these organizations also seek new membership. Whether it be writer positions at The Oswegonian or dancers for Del Sarte, open memberships to campus organizations can prove to be beneficial and fun ways to integrate into the school community. So, with these days fast approaching, students both current and incoming should look forward to getting their foot through the door of clubs early for some of the benefits I have laid out below:

1. Club membership helps establish bonds, early membership does too! Nothing can be better for a student looking to get to know some other students than joining a club with people who share similar interests. For instance, a club like Shaun Cassidy Fan Club, finding fellow comedians to build off of has proven important for many members. Early recognition through involvement fairs allow you to sift through the clubs you might be interested in joining.

2. Don’t discount day one facial recognition. Following the hustle and bustle of tabling and member sign-ups, many clubs have general interest meetings. For both the e-board and yourself seeing those friendly and recognizable faces can be comforting!

3. Show your determination. Nothing says you want to be involved more than signing up for updates from a clubs! Use this as an opportunity to show that you mean business when you write your name down. This puts everyone in a better mood because doing so shows that you’re willing to put in the effort.

4. Lastly, strong foundations lead to quick advancement. While this seems obvious, it is still important to point out that, if you show interest early on, you are more likely to advance in the organization. Speaking personally, I know that my sophomore year saw me through to the e-board of Shaun Cassidy Fan Club and know that this is true of other organizations as well.  Showing the immediate interest helps you, along with the previous benefits, build a support system that will further you along on your professional and  interested path.

Alternative Spring Break Iowa 2015

One of the perks of selecting the spring semester as my exchange semester was that I would be able to experience the famous, Spring Break. Growing up in Australia, I would frequently watch American teen TV shows and films which would depicted college students during Spring Break. Thus it was a concept I was familiar with and excited about. Back in Australia we have a “mid-semester break” but this is generally a week where students catch up on their studies, study for exams and rest. Prior to researching my options for Spring Break I assumed that most students went to Florida and partied similar to the film Spring Breakers. This option didn’t really appeal to me because of financial reasons, so I went on the search for alternatives which would still allow me to have fun whilst seeing more of the United States. One of my friends was taking a communications class and her teacher informed her about the alternative spring break trips. She then discussed it with me, we looked at all the different locations which were offered, and we signed up. Prior to arriving in the United States I had no intention of travelling to the MidWest as I did not think the opportunity would arise and in addition to this, it is not exactly the typical tourist destination. We were both excited about the idea of the trip but did not know what to expect.

Our home for the week

Our home for the week

SUNY Oswego’s alternative spring break’s are organised through Habitat for Humanity, which is a non-profit organisation. I had heard of this organisation and the worthwhile work they do, so I felt comfortable and safe embarking on this trip. Our group was going to Iowa so we were volunteering with the Iowa Heartland Habitat for Humanity. This specific location builds between 10-12 homes a year which is an incredible movement to be part of.

Day 1

We travelled through the night in an attempt to preserve whatever sleep patterns we had prior to the trip, and arrived refreshed and ready to explore our new home for the week. We were staying in Cedar Falls, Iowa, in a United Methodist Church, this church was more like a community centre rather than a church. It had modern facilities that we were able to utilise including a basketball court, cinema, games room, three kitchens and general common areas. We spent the day unpacking, becoming familiar with our new setting, preparing for the week ahead and getting to know each other.

Community service project

Community service project

Day 2

Day 2 marked the beginning of our work week and thus our routines were established. We woke at around 7:30am, ate breakfast as a team, travelled to the site and commenced work at 8:30am. This first day we completed a project in the community. We pulled down a fence which surrounded the oldest property in the area. This was a sensational effort on our part, as initially we were predicted to complete the job in three days, we did it in one. We left the site at 3:30pm and spent the remainder of the afternoon exploring the main street in Cedar Falls and visited the University of Northern Iowa. Our evening traditions emerged which consisted of watching a crazy number of The Cleveland Show episodes, whilst playing trivia board games, before bed at 11pm.

Day 3

Once we arrived on site, we were advised that we would be working in the warehouse and creating the exterior frames of a house. I was clueless about framing but fortunately we had an excellent instructor. Framing is reading a wall plan, following the measurements, doing

St Paddy's Day!

St Paddy’s Day!

some basic calculations, cutting the wood to size, fitting the wood together, and nailing the wood together. It’s quite a process. The first day it took each team all day just to complete one wall each as we were all still learning. It was actually St. Patrick’s Day, so after we had finished work for the day, we decided as a team to celebrate by getting a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake – we do not have these in Australia so I was very excited. In the early evening we attended a dinner which the church was hosting, this was great as we were able to interact with and meet some community members. Several of us decided to go for a jog in the later afternoon – it was beautiful. I really enjoyed being in the fresh air and seeing more of the town.

Day 4

Once agin we were framing, we became slightly better and each team

Framing

Framing

managed to complete either two or three frames, we saw this as a significant improvement. I discovered that I am allergic to saw dust as even with a ventilator my throat was still irritated. This was annoying but didn’t put a damper on my day as I knew I just had to endure several more days. After we had finished work for the day we went to the local sports complex which was fantastic. We worked-out individually for around half the time, before coming together and having an epic volleyball game.

Day 5

Day 5 was the last day of framing and by this point we were serious pros. At the end of the day, we had actually completed the entirety of the exterior walls of a home. We were really proud of this effort as not only had all of our construction skills improved, we were the ones responsible for these frames being completed which a family in need would eventually live in. Once we left the site we returned to the church where we had Brinner (breakfast for dinner – duh); it was incredible. We then went downtown to explore the main street more, purchased specialty popcorn and checked out the local ice-cream parlour where we devoured some tasty treats.

Photoshoot!

Photoshoot!

Day 6

Day 6 marked our last day working for Habitat and it was bittersweet. We spent the morning doing another community service project which consisted of pulling down a handicap ramp, and then spent the rest of the day assisting with cleaning up the warehouse and yard before finally doing a photoshoot as a team and saying our goodbyes to the Habitat team. We spent the afternoon packing our bags and napping before heading out for a Mexican dinner and attending a semi-professional Ice hockey game. The Ice hockey game was like nothing I had ever witnessed before. The fans were all shaking their cow bells when their team had possession, and the hosts were engaging with the audience through shouting and dancing competitions. My seat was apparently lucky as I won a coupon for a local ribs outlet.

Day 7

Chicago!

Chicago!

We hit the road at 7am, Chicago bound. We arrived in Chicago around noon and driving into the city was sensational as we were able to see the skyline and the Willis (Sears) tower very clearly. My first impression of Chicago was that the city is a smaller version of New York City. We explored Millennium Park and I was in awe the entire time. I was so excited to see the Big Bean and couldn’t wait to see what else the city offered. We passed the Chicago river which was still a hint of green from St. Patrick’s Day, and also walked down the Navy Pier. I was amazed by the pier, and Lake Michigan’s beauty. It was one of the most beautiful shades of blue I had ever seen. We had intentions of walking down the magnificent mile and shopping, however our stomach’s interfered with this plan and instead we went to Pizzeria Uno to eat the original Chicago-style deep-dish. We waited around an hour and a half for this pizza, but in my opinion, it was worth it. The pizza had a fruit pie-like base with fresh toppings. After two slices I was uncomfortably full. By this point it was around 5pm and it was time to go. We once again drove through the night and arrived back at campus at approximately 5:20am. Although it was a long day, this day was one of the best days of my life.

The group

The group

Final thoughts

We all agreed that the trip was a very worthwhile experience and I would certainly recommend it to students looking to do something different during their break. Working for Habitat put life into perspective for me, and allowed me to see how fortunate, blessed and lucky I am. I want to give back where I can, and prior to this trip I found it difficult to discover these kinds of organisations which were inline with my visions and values. Habitat provides this opportunity in a safe environment with the chance to learn useful, valuable skills. The kinds of people that you meet on these alternative trips are a special kind, I feel it takes a certain type of person to be willing to sacrifice their break in order to go and do community service. I am sure that the friendships which were formed during this trip will last in years to come.

Thankyou SUNY Oswego for providing me with this opportunity, thankyou to the incredible group I was able to experience this with, and a massive thank-you to Scott Ball for being an incredible leader and role model.

Peace Out

K

Welcome back!

Break is over, midterm grades are about to be posted, it’s still cold in Oswego State, but most importantly it’s great to come back. Sure some of us prefer to be home, but there’s nothing like being back in college since we aren’t here forever. As a sophomore, I cannot yet begin to fathom how it is like for a senior to see that their college experience is nearing an end and their career life is so near. Having to think about paying off all your student loans over time and wondering if you will have the money and time to spend on yourself sufficiently enough to satisfy your own individual needs. Things like these is what makes me think that we should all feel that much more welcome to come back to the university that makes all of what seems like the impossible become possible. Compared to those who either drop out of college or couldn’t even complete high school, having to surpass all your peers who gave up, gives us that feeling to be more ambitious with our studies in the long run.

Even though I am a sophomore, I do still miss my high school. Therefore, I can only imagine how it’s like when you graduate from a university. The ties are probably much stronger between your friends, too. So I hope you simply don’t forget about us if you are graduating this semester! Visit, remember, repeat, and attend graduate school. Have fun because for now, Oswego State University welcomes us all for the opportunity to strive for success.

My roommate is actually graduating next semester, and he certainly had memorable moments in Oswego that he doesn’t want to let go of. We make lifelong friends here and learn to manage our time for when adulthood after college hits. Good luck to everyone, I’ll miss some of the seniors I’ve gotten to know. Spend a great time outside of college, but most importantly, spend all the time you can to make good memories while you’re still here!

Thank You Oswego DBus

As some of you know, the Oswego D Bus made trips from the Regional Transportation Center in Syracuse to the SUNY Oswego campus for a low price of $10. This was really nice of them to do and I’m really thankful for their service. They helped make the commute from our homes to the campus much easier. When considering waiting 5 hours for the next Centro bus to arrive or chip in $10 for occasional D buses to arrive, I’d take the latter. We appreciate it very much. We know you didn’t have to do this so we can’t express how lucky we are to have your service working with us.

I was planning to make it just in time for the Centro bus until one of the Greyhound buses heading to Syracuse took an hour and a half to start boarding. So as I made it to Syracuse, I arrived at 1:40, just about the time the second of only 2 buses was already filled. I noticed there was a D Bus leaving alongside it as well, and was just hoping another Centro bus would arrive. After waiting an hour, I saw another D Bus arriving, and there I had to expect the next Centro bus really won’t be coming back around until 7 p.m.. Therefore, I got aboard, paid $10, and enjoyed the quick trip to campus. Once again, thank you, and if I could expect the D Bus to do this over every break, I’d feel a little better commuting by bus than depending on carpooling.

A Self Titled Life- Followed With Goodbye (Day 7)

In the past 48 hours I have been on a nine-hour plane ride, an hour and a half bus ride from JFK to port authority and a five and a half hour bus ride from New York City back to Syracuse. That is a massive amount of time for me to have written and posted this blog, but here we are. I’m procrastinating. Not because I don’t want to write it, but because I don’t want this adventure to be over. Yesterday when the airplane landed I wanted it to take right off again and have the announcement say “Just kidding. You don’t want to be here anyways. Please keep your seatbelt fastened while the fasten seatbelt sign is lit. Arrivederci, America.”

That would have been great, but that’s not what happened. I got off the plane and boarded another. We arrived in Italy last night. SURPRISE.

Just kidding. I’m back in Oswego, laying in bed writing this blog because I have one more post to make before I have to say goodbye. I’m hardcore avoiding it. Okay. I’m done procrastinating (I’m definitely not). OKAY, YES IT AM.

One of the trippiest things yesterday was walking in New York City because earlier that day I was walking around in Rome, halfway across the world. Can you even imagine not having airplanes? I’d still be canoeing my way home.

053 longer GP kayak

Me. (Not really. I just googled “person canoeing across the ocean.)

Before I left for this trip this guy I TA with asked me what I was doing for break and I almost lied to him and said I was just going home. That obviously wasn’t true but I was kind of embarrassed to be like “oh, I’m going to Rome.” *Flips hair and looks at manicure* Which is so not true because A. I don’t comb my hair and B. I’ve never had a manicure. I didn’t want to sound like a brat who international travels all the time because it’s no big deal. Well, I think it is a big deal. Now that I am home I can’t want to tell everyone that I was in Rome. Not as a bragging right, but because I feel so lucky to have seen it for myself.

I’ve never seen anything that could compare to Rome or Florence. They were so beautiful in their own ways that everything else seems so dull now. Food here will never be that good again, the scenery is cold and bleak, and hello, there is no gelato. That should be illegal. Someone call Olivia Benson.

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I called her.

I can’t find the words to describe what I took away from all this, but I’ll give it my best shot.

1. The people. I met some of the most incredible people on this trip. Some I knew a little before I got there and others I didn’t know so much as their name before we landed halfway around the world together. I became such fast friends with these people and I wouldn’t have wanted to travel to Italy and have made these memories with anyone else. They were always willing to take an adventure, or stick it out in the rain, or laugh at my corny jokes. Before we even left we already made plans for weekly dinners to catch up and relive our favorite memories. Had it not been for this trip I would have never made the friends I did, and that seems terribly lonely to me.

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I had some pretty solid roommates. :)

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Little. Blue. Boots.

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This is my favorite picture of the trip, It just is.

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Colosseum photo shoot…at night.

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The top of St. Peter’s cathedral

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We took like 40 thousand pictures that night.

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One of my favorite humans, for sure.

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Thanks for the pictures, Jess. :)

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As a group the rain never stopped us.

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This was the last day with the roommates, but a good day it was.

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The whole week lead up to the Colosseum. Totally worth it.

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This is the White House that’s not the White House.. oh and Jess.

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You guys made this trip so much fun. Thanks so much for that.

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Seriously, some of my favorite people who I didn’t know a week ago.

 

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Shaheib.

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The first night. I had no idea how many pictures we d the after that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. The food. I thought I knew what good food was, then I went to Italy. I’m almost avoiding eating things I used to think were delicious. BUT on the upside I missed vegetables and fruit. There weren’t too many of those there so I’m excited to eat them again. Everything else on the other hand…… moving on.

 

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This makes me upset just looking at it. I want this all day, everyday.

You do not understand how big this was. I wish I could brake off a piece and share it with the world.

You do not understand how big this was. I wish I could break off a piece and share it with the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. The architecture. I will never get over the fact that there are people in Rome who have never seen the Colosseum. It’s kind of like people from Buffalo never seeing Niagara Falls, but that’s not the Colosseum. The buildings, the monuments, the art, the streets, the everything, I could have gawked at it for years. I’ve never seen anything so magnificent or so beautiful. I loved every second of it. Everything just seemed to fit, like there was a thought behind how every detail of the city sat. Every stone had a place and that place was valid. It wasn’t build for functionality, but for beauty. There is an obvious reason why people all over the world want to travel to Italy and see the architecture and paintings. All I want to do is go back and see it all again.

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Santa Maria del Fiore

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Florence

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Rome

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Also Rome

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Also, Also Rome

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. The Ally. (Really, it’s just me but all of the other numbers started with ‘the’ so I didn’t want to break the chain.) Traveling to somewhere new whether it’s down the road or around the world changes your perspective. Both your perspective of the world and of yourself. This was actually the first trip I have ever been on without my Mom there to share the experience. When I was sitting on the bus last night I felt so empowered that I did that all on my own. Sure, I was there with a class but I was the only one responsible and relying on me. The night 5 or 6 of us took the subway to see the Colosseum at night, I was so excited that we did that on our own, we just navigated a foreign city by ourselves. We are capable of anything. I think the same thing about myself now, too. My Mom had sent me a message on Facebook when I was trying to figure out how to come home after the plane landed and all she said was “You can figure it out. Use your head, you’re smart.” She’s right. Not to sound conceited but I am smart. I can do whatever I set my mind too, the only thing standing in my way is me. All I know is that I have so much to learn, but I also have already learned an incredible amount of things. I’m excited to see what’s out there next for me to do.

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The doors at St. Maria Degli Amgeli E Del Martiri

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The back set of doors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and finally….

5. Professor Alessia. (This one doesn’t start with ‘the’, so sue me.) I have never been more grateful to spend time and get to know another human being as I am to have met Professor Alessia. He seriously opened my mind to a whole new world that’s out there. He was so sweet and patient and passionate about a place he loves with all his heart. He cares about his students so much that he ditched dinner with his wife one night because he said his students were more important. He stayed around with us in Florence to bargain prices down in the market so we wouldn’t get ripped off. He was always willing to show us something we wanted to see even after the rest of the group left. He was determined to help us have the most amazing trip that we could because he believes you learn by experiencing, not but reading and writing papers. This trip was amazing, but it was really amazing because he was there to make it that away. On the last night we had our huge group dinner and he made a speech that we were one of the best classes he has ever taught and he loved being our professor. The whole room applauded, even the people who were just dining in the restaurant. He deserved the applause and a thousand more after that. I didn’t want to leave Italy but before we went through security he went down the line and hugged us all individually and thanked us for coming. I thanked him too because I honestly will miss him so much and have an incredible amount to thank him for.

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SERIOUSLY.

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THIS.

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MAN.

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IS.

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THE.

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GREATEST.

 

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HUMAN.

I might not ever make it back to Italy with professor Alessia or with the my friends from the trip, but I will make it back to make different memories. I will always be able to look back and smile at all the I have done and learned while I was there. This trip was something special and something that has shaped my life in a new way. It’s shifted my perspective on the world, even if it’s just by knowing how pizza should taste. I’m so thankful to have made the most of everything that I could. I’m no going to be in college forever, but opportunities like that don’t knock on my door everyday, but I have nothing to regret. I only have this one life, and I’ll be damned if I don’t live it for everything it has to offer me.

I have no clue where my next adventure will take me. At the moment I don’t have anything on the back burner, but there will be one. I don’t doubt it. I want to get a map of the world and put a pin in every place that I have been and before I die, do my best to have a pin in every place in the world. No dream is too big. That’s what I believe.

Well, I guess this is it. Thanks to anyone who’s read my blog. One post or all of them, I appreciate you sticking with me through the magical world of the internet. That’s pretty awesome which in turn makes you awesome. I’m not in Italy anymore, but what I have done and seen will always be with me. There is more to learn out there. There is always something new to discover.

Until next time, make the most of your life in any way that makes you happy. Treat yourself, you deserve it.

Stare Strano. (Stay Weird).

Ally Costanza

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Keepin’ it peel since ’93. Until the next adventure, I gotta split.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current Wish- You know what, I’m pretty content at the moment. You can have my extra wishes.

 

 

A Self Titled Life- I’m Not Ready To Say Goodnight (Day 6)

So there was this crushing weight on my shoulders all day today. One might think it was the crushing dread that today is my last day in Rome but actually I was carrying an elephant on my shoulders all day. Beautiful creatures, but damn are they heavy. Sadly, today was my last day in Rome, but not my last day ever. That is unacceptable. So it is simply my first last day.

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I went into a book store today and found the Diary of a Wimpy Kids books in Italian

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Just a page of the book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My first last day started on a walk to visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It reminded me of the White House but it is so much more immaculate than the White House that the White House is irrelevant in comparison. How many times can I say White House in one sentence? WHITE HOUSE WHITE HOUSE WHITE HOUSE. There like a bazillion statues that are obviously a total artistic letdown like everywhere else in the city. Obviously.

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This building is massive.

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It seriously reminds me of a cool, detailed, enormous White House.

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This statue sits on top of the building and it’s green but the sun was right in my camera but I like the shadow effect.

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These things were built with none of the technology we have today. It’s unbelievable.

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ANOTHER picture with this great human on the top of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we went to see the Roman Forum which is a collection of ancient Roman ruins. They were pretty interesting. Tip- If you go to the Forum and purchase a ticket to visit inside, you can buy a double ticket that is also a ticket to see the Colosseum which is just down the street. Most important part of the tip- this ticket gives you a skip the line pass at the Colosseum which is at least a two-hour wait. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that these structures were build and then considered ruins before the US was even an idea.

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A temple in the Roman Forum.

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An old sign/rock wall/ I’m not sure what it is but I thought it looked cool.

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Caesar’s ashes are in the Roman Forum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We revisited the Colosseum but this time it was during the daylight. Standing inside the Colosseum is breathtaking. It’s so hard to imagine people used to come there for entertainment that was something other than television. Being there gave me the feeling that this place was more than just an enormous structure. People spent their real lives in there, it’s not just a chapter in a textbook or part of some documentary your teacher makes you watch and then tells you to take notes. It was amazing to stand in something so impactful. Rome is so much more than an average city in the world. It is alive. Through the people, the architecture, and the curious humans all over the world. Rome has this funny way of being old while still influencing lives everyday. It is a city built-in the past but is still present in the future.

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I really had no idea what to expect when I first walked inside.

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I could stare at this for hours. It looks so intricate.

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The upper seating is completely eroded.

 

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Panoramic taken by Sarah

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From the bottom up.

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Katie was the first new person I met in this class and I know she reads these blogs so shout out to you for being great and having the guts to do this trip! I think that’s incredibly awesome.

After my life was changed forever, we had a free day to wonder/shop/pretend tomorrow wasn’t crushing my soul. At 7:45 pm we met Professor Alessia at Repubblica station on the subway. He took all 32 of us students and his wife to a really nice restaurant for dinner. It is a tradition. The first day of class he told us that on the last day everybody comes together to celebrate the last day and everybody gets drunk. Every time I ate something on this trip I was convinced it was the greatest thing I had ever eaten. Boy was I wrong. We had a fourteen course meal. Let me emphasize that for a dramatic flare. A. Fourteen. Course. Meal. It started with 7 appetizers which were salami, chickpeas, beans, peppers, baked zucchini, vegetables in sauce, and fresh mozzarella that was so good I will not eat mozzarella again unless it tastes like it did tonight.

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The meat basket.

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Things look a little scarce but I was eating as they were coming one at a time. 

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The BEST and most FRESH mozzarella I have ever eaten.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then was the pasta courses and there were three. The first was a spicy pasta (it was delicious), the second was spaghetti with mushrooms (it was delicious), and the third was ravioli (which was, you guessed it, disgusting. Gotcha. It was delicious.) Then was the meat plate which was baked chicken. Then salad which seemed ironic after all the foot I was just offered. Then was dessert and finally drinks. The meal was four hours long but really it felt no more than twenty minutes. I was surrounded by so many wonderful people that I could have stayed for days before I even realized how long I was there for. As much as I don’t want to go home I feel like there wasn’t a better note to close this trip on then this dinner. Plus- I will never have to eat American food again because I’ll probably be full for the rest of my life. It’s a win-win for everyone.

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The place that ruined all food that is not Italian for me.

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It’s like the Michelangelo painting that I am obsessed with.

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Picture with the Roomies, Prof. Alessia and his wife after dinner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a really special place. I’ve learned so much here in such a short amount of time. For someone who hates history- to was fascinating. All of it. Utterly amazing.

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I’m not sure what this building is but it’s right on the subway exit and it’s one of my favorites.

Since tomorrow is technically my last day I will be posting my sentimental post tomorrow. My plane leaves here at 10 am which is 5 am US time. I don’t want to leave. It is going to be excruciating to go back to Oswego because 1. I don’t want to 2. My classes are irrelevant and 3. I don’t want to 4 I can’t get out of bed and 5. I aggressively don’t want to. We averaged 7 miles of walking each day. My feet are going to fall off on the flight. I’ve accepted it. I’ll have to crawl to class. People will look out the window’s and “say oh my god is she hurt? No.. that’s just Ally dragging herself to class on her knees. What’s that? Oh that’s the puddle of her tears.”

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Have a Vespa that matches your personality.

Well this has been a great first last day. I’ve done and seen so much. I’m trying to figure out a way to “accidentally” hide in the overhead compartments and fly back to Rome with the plane. Oh! ‘m moving to Florence! NEGATIVE ATTITUDES AREN’T INVITED, MOM.

I guess that’s all for now. We’re getting down to the wire. I’m not a fan.

Stay Weird.

Ally

Current Wish- the semester would be cancelled because no one wanted to teach anymore or aliens took over the school. Either one works for me. Your choice.

PS- I have to be awake in an hour and I should have been asleep an hour ago but right when I finished the blog and went to add the pictures the whole thing got deleted. I had to start over but I’m determined to finish it. DO IT FOR THE BLOG.