College: It’s More Than Just The Classroom

Empire State Plaza in Albany

Empire State Plaza in Albany

Experience. That’s what I’m told employers are looking for. And that’s what I knew I needed. This past summer, I had my first-ever internship. And let me tell you, it was some experience. And all of that experience didn’t merely come from the internship alone, because it was more than just the internship for me.

Last spring, I had completed a whole year of being the Assistant News Editor at The Oswegonian, was named to be the News Editor for my senior year, and had taken multiple writing and journalism classes to the point that I was ready for some field work. When the opportunity for an internship at  The Legislative Gazette in Albany came up, I grabbed it, got accepted relatively easily, and knew it would be a good opportunity.

I live three hours from Albany. Luckily, I have an aunt and uncle that live there so I was able to stay with them. I live on a dirt road in the woods. So I had my parents drive me 12 miles to Fulton, where I took a Centro bus to Syracuse, and then a Greyhound bus to Albany. That was the first time I had ever taken a Centro bus, a transportation bus, and it was also the first time I had traveled by myself. So, just getting to my internship was both a challenge and a valuable experience.

As earlier mentioned, I have lived on a dirt road in the woods my entire life, so spending two months in Albany was a booming metropolis for me. I had to lock the doors all the time, make sure to close the shades, and be weary of shady areas of the city, as I decided to walk home from work every day. I learned how to navigate the city and was eventually able to find my way around.

Being a history minor, I was also able to explore many of the historic locations in Albany and the immediate vicinity. I visited the grave sites of U.S. presidents Chester Arthur, Martin Van Buren, and Franklin Roosevelt. Now along with my goal to see all 50 states, I am now on a mission to see the grave site of every president.

The office of The Legislative Gazette

The office of The Legislative Gazette

The Legislative Gazette covers the state legislature and state politics. During my time at the internship, my editor informally made me the environmental beat reporter. Probably two-thirds of the stories I wrote were environmentally related, so as a result, I was in constant contact with the Department of Environmental Conservation, and through the DEC alone, was able to better understand state laws and regulations of state agencies. One article in particular, had me researching the state constitution itself and citing it in the article because it had to be addressed. In an article involving a lawsuit filed to fight teacher tenure laws in New York state, I had to read the preliminary statement of the lawsuit itself to see if New York tenure laws were being sued for the same reason as California’s, which filed a similar lawsuit a month before. I had to again read sections of New York’s and California’s state constitutions to see if there was a difference. The lawsuit in California challenged that the tenure law interfered with a student’s state constitutional right to a “sound education.” The wording in New York’s constitution was different, so the lawsuit was filed to challenge tenure laws on different grounds. It’s really a simple thing but it made all the difference in making sure the information about New York’s lawsuit was factual and accurate.

Aside from law, government, and politics, I of course learned a tremendous amount about the modern fundamentals of journalism. As mentioned previously, I had never been outside of a college newspaper office as far as field work goes. So, needless to say, I was quite nervous about starting this internship. One of the biggest challenges was adapting to the fast-paced world that modern journalism has. At The Oswegonian, I was used to writing one article a week, sometimes two when I was the Assistant News Editor. At The Legislative Gazette, I wrote on average, four or five articles a week (a week being four days.) Every week, I found myself scrambling to get everything finished before the noon deadline on Thursday. After a time however, I improved my time management throughout the week so I wouldn’t have to take work home to work on it or come into the office a half an hour earlier to make sure I could finish everything. I became more organized, wrote down the stories I had to do and who I called and what time and what else I had to do so I knew the appropriate time I needed to complete everything in a clean, accurate, well-written matter.

The New York State Capitol Building

The New York State Capitol Building

Like any internship should, my time at The Legislative Gazette really improved my communication skills and confidence. A lot of people were surprised when I told them the first time that I was studying journalism. I am really one of the shiest journalists out there really. I was one of the quietest people in my high school but I did all the things that a shy guy wouldn’t do. I acted in plays for seven years, which included two lead roles, I sing and play music regularly on stages in front of hundreds of people all the time, and I’m working on a degree in a field where 90 percent of the job is talking to strangers and asking them questions. I can honestly say that I did the bare minimum of communicating with sources during my freshman and sophomore year of college, but did a little better during my junior year. It was hard for me to adjust. I knew it wasn’t President Deborah Stanley anymore, it was Andrew Cuomo. It wasn’t the president of Student Association anymore; it was the speaker of the State Assembly. I talked to business leaders, state senators and assemblymen, police officers, governor candidates, and more important individuals. I even got to see Governor Cuomo when he signed the bill legalizing medical marijuana Now I know I can talk to anyone about any subject and sound confident and have the authority that a journalist needs to have to be able to conduct a thorough interview. And again, I improved my communication outside the internship. I had to ask workers questions at bus and train terminals, talk to and befriend the fellow interns, adjust to close quarters with my aunt and uncle. It just makes me feel more confident than ever.

Governor Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo

So, I’ve completed my first internship. I don’t regret doing it at all. It was something I needed to do for myself, for every single thing I did that was related to the internship was completely outside of my comfort zone. That’s why I believe I learned so much. I finally pushed myself just a little further on multiple levels and left the office on the last day feeling proud of myself, my accomplishments, and the profession I will be going into. After all, it’s all about the experience. Experience spawns knowledge, confidence, power, and new outlooks. I’m not only more confident, but I am also much more excited about this last school year than I was in May. I have taken on the position of News Editor and started my second internship, as an editorial intern at the OSWEGO Alumni Magazine. After the incredible experience I’ve had this summer, I can’t wait to see what I will learn from these new tasks before me, and how I will think and feel when I come out the other side.

“All About My Mother” Movie Review

The movie: “All About My Mother” was about a woman whose son named Esteban died and she dealt with the pain of telling important individuals about his death. She goes on to care for a pregnant nun who became her best friend, and plans to call her upcoming son: Esteban. The nun had an affair with the woman’s ex-boyfriend during the time she raised the already dead Esteban. Unfortunately the nun caught AIDS from him and it is important to note he was a transvestite named Lola who happened to go around being a prostitute. The Esteban who died never got to know his father since his mother ran away with him as a child in order to hide the truth from him. In the end, the nun died shortly after the pregnancy due to the virus, and Lola came into the scene and met the child, assuming it was his first child and the mother of the deceased Esteban showed him the picture of his truly first born son.

This program relates to a global issue of the lives of people with AIDS/HIV and also to those who become a bad influence as a parent. It’s possible for a parent with a husband/wife who considered a life of being a prostitute to run away with his/her child. This could be done because the parent wouldn’t want the child to know the truth and possibly follow their footsteps. The child would be upset with their parent for hiding the facts and feeling like they’re missing a half to their life. Even in the movie, the woman took the nun’s child away to another country just to hide the truth again.

I gained new information from the movie, which was the fact that such a problem Esteban’s mother had could exist. To have a future transvestite as a partner and leaving them due to bad influences to later find out a friend you recently made had intercourse with the man, resulting in catching AIDS. Luckily Esteban’s mother didn’t have AIDS since Lola had been a prostitute over the 17 years up to Esteban’s death. Looking at this case, I see more into the fact that there are many routes to life, and this particular one isn’t rare at all. Globally there are more and more individuals becoming a bad influence, resulting in the alteration of their child/children’s lives. A child already feels worse when they feel like they’re missing that one half of their life, this being their second parent.

Stay awake!

Any of you been feeling very exhausted lately? Not enough sleep? Well don’t feel like you’re the only one! Lately, well today, I really noticed myself becoming extremely exhausted with classes and the work to do all in one day in order to save free time later on. To me, however, it’s due to having an 8 a.m. class and going to sleep at 1 a.m. so I didn’t actually have enough sleep. Even writing this blog down, I am very tired, but I want to share how a normal college student feels throughout the semester. I especially feel this way when I know I have so much time in the day to get through so much work solely due to the fact that I wake up for an 8 a.m., so I try not to nap since it feels like wasting perfect time for later.

I know that this is how I have to expect to do my work and handle my schedule since this is how I built it. I wouldn’t argue about it, although some college students complain to the extreme and wonder why. We all are learning how to build our time management. I have had friends who flunked because they did not handle their time wisely, especially in the end of their semester last year. Now this makes me feel good and bad to be quite honest. It means I am working hard on my time management but also realizing that messing up would feel like a tragedy for me. I would dislike being behind and missing due dates as much as anyone else. Being a business major, I know I can’t be missing any due dates in the real world. The struggle is real.

I encourage everyone to really go take your classes seriously and find out what is going on in your classes. Due dates mean do now and don’t wait. You won’t regret it if you try and make time for yourself and have time for others later with no work to worry about. There’s nothing like the feeling of having no homework and papers due for longer than a day, until your professor decides otherwise.

“I Don’t Speak Spanish” Discussion by Latino Student Union

During the “I Don’t Speak Spanish” discussion with the Latino Student Union, we sat down and were asked discussion questions as we were informed about why there are individuals who don’t speak Spanish. The first question was something I can relate to since I am Hispanic myself: What goes through your mind when you meet a Hispanic that does not speak Spanish? Although to me, I would answer quite differently because I do know Spanish, but I don’t like to speak it due to my accent. I was raised in America with English everywhere, and even though I learned Spanish at the youngest age, English overlapped my way of speech. Thus giving me more of a stutter and accent in the Spanish language. Some people are made fun of, and some don’t pick Spanish up very well, as discussed in the lecture.

Another question addressed was: what are some reasons why the number of Hispanics speaking Spanish decreasing? It was due to the dominating language here being English. We figured this is the case since our school systems use English, the menus at restaurants use English, and when we go to take a subway train in New York City: the speaker uses English vocabulary to announce the upcoming stop. There is also a bad stigma going around where they would say “just practice”, and all I, and probably any person struggling to speak Spanish can say is, “it’s not that easy.”

Some factors for some Hispanics not speaking Spanish are the Shame/fear out of it, Desire to assimilate, and that they are bad at languages. Some people, even me, are afraid of being discriminated against, especially when I go to a place where Spanish is hardly spoken, like Idaho State. If there are no Hispanics in a particular location, “who am I going to speak Spanish to?” There are Hispanics who don’t necessarily speak Spanish, rather slang, like we do in English. Another discussion question was: “Why is it important to be able to speak Spanish?” Some points were made that Spanish is almost becoming the most spoken language in the world behind Mandarin. Some jobs now actually have the job requirement to speak Spanish. For example: Customer Service Representatives, when you call and they say “dial 2 for Spanish…” that position gives a higher wage of about 50 cents to a dollar higher than an English speaking CSR.

I enjoyed my time discussing more about my own Spanish background with my peers and having them add more to it with stories of their own. Many of us listeners were involved and it was intriguing. There was also a recommendation at the end of the discussion to try out an app on the phone that helps you learn other languages over time, not to mention it’s interactive. I definitely gained some knowledge and the actual “want” of learning more languages now that I know of such an app. We talked about how interracial marriages can affect how to raise your own children by having yourself question whether the Spanish language should be taught to them or the language of the significant other.

3rd Week and Counting

Hello, I’d like to introduce myself all over again; my name is Javier Fernandez, I’m from the Bronx, NY and my major is Accounting. I am a sophomore and I have participated in the Web Content Editor/Tester position last year. I plan to look for more interesting events and activities to talk about and be heard through my future blogs this year. There will be more things to write about, especially now that I am residing in Hart, in which feels like an advantage because I have to go out and participate in IST approved events. I can talk about them here before I go to them/ after them. Anything that proves helpful to you guys, I will try to share. There are some events that I am looking forward to that you guys may find a lot of interest in:

Humans Vs. Zombies Campus Wide event by the StoryTeller’s Guild here in SUNY Oswego!

ALANA Fashion Show

Laker Men’s Home Hockey games!

Concerts

Fairs, Etc…

I honestly can’t wait to talk about this year’s HvZ campus wide game. Last year was a lot of fun and I even made a whole outline of what happened throughout each day in a blog post. The Hockey games will be full of energy within the crowds, and maybe I’ll be able to list of the crowd chants we traditionally use like “He’s a Freshman!”, “#$%hole! x3″, “Let’s go Lakers! x3″, and more! You can find the list to these events in the SUNY Oswego website here: http://www.oswego.edu/news/calendar/

See you around. I plan to make as many posts as I can within my available times between studying, homework, and classes. It will take some time management on my part, but i’ll finalize every blog with more of me enjoying the time writing it.

Pie a Cheerleader!

What’s happening on the #SUNYOswego campus?

Well. . . today is the day to pie a SUNY Oswego cheerleader! Now tell me, is there anything that can get better than that?

No, not at all. See, the campus is everything you can imagine and more, from being extremely educational to having tons of fun, which requires balance that develops with time. What a great idea to get the Oswego campus involved!

Hey, “The sky is NOT the limit, but just the beginning of your potential destiny.” (My favorite quote to live by on an every day basis, whom the author is me, Destiny. Destiny Green.)

 

Photo(s) from the “Pie a Cheerleader” Event:

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My dear friend, Christy Ogden, is one of the #SUNYOswego cheerleaders.

Speaking on behalf of the team, Christy said, “We are doing this to raise money for Nationals in Daytona, FL and win the championship!”

 

 

 

3 Sisters One College

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I never thought that I would ever go to the same college as my sisters, it wasn’t something I was thinking about when I started looking into colleges and it wasn’t something I thought would happen when both of my sisters started looking into colleges two years later. I love attending SUNY Oswego. I feel very comfortable here, I have great friends and I’m always doing something. When Erin (left) and Mairead (right) decided they wanted to come to SUNY Oswego I was overwhelmed with happiness because I get to spend two years of my college experience with them and grow even closer to them.

Erin and Mairead are my best friends and being apart of each other’s college years is awesome, they know all of my friends and I know theirs. We constantly do everything together and I love being able to get lunch with them in between classes. My favorite thing about the twins being here is getting the typical freshman texts asking where buildings are, where the best places to eat are and hearing how shocked they are with how different college is from high school but how happy they are that they chose to attend Oswego like I did.

My girly dorm room

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I love my dorm room! most people hate the idea of sharing a room with an other person but i absolutely love it. It might be because when i was little my twin sister Erin and I shared a room, but either way I love sharing a room with my roommate. From my PINK bed spread to the M above my desk, i feel so at home in my room.

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This is my roommate Tommie — I know, she looks like my twin; too bad i already have one. I Met Tommie through the Oswego Facebook accepted students group and got very lucky. Tommie and I have became best friends in the matter of almost two weeks living together. I will definitely blog more about Tommie in the Future. :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, I Live Close By. Yes, I Live On Campus.

Well, here we are. The summer has come and gone and SUNY Oswego is once again a bustling metropolis. Students, new and old, have come to the “Land of Oz” to prepare themselves for their futures.

Students at SUNY Oswego come from a lot of different locations. There are foreign exchange students, a few out-of-staters, and those from New York City, Long Island, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, Utica, Watertown, and many others.

Some people had to make long trips to come back to Oswego last week. I myself ventured on quite a trek to get here. I live in the tiny town of Sterling–a mere 12 miles away.

I know, I know. Whenever I say that, the usual response is “What? And you live on campus?” The answer is yes. Why? There are a lot of reasons.

When I was accepted at Oswego State, I knew I wanted to live on campus. The conditions for living home were just not favorable. Contradictory to what you might expect, my house is still not connected to the Internet in any way, besides on my phone. Most of my assignments are done online so that would cause quite some difficulty.

My senior year stay in The Village

My senior year stay in The Village

I also do not have my own car, so having my parents drive me here and back every day would waste more time and money than what I’d be saving. And as I’m sure you’re all aware, winter weather is nothing short of unforgiving in the Oswego County area. I’d rather deal with the struggle of walking between Campus Center and Lanigan than trying to drive between Sterling and Oswego in the numerous whiteout conditions that occur.

But those are just physical things. Those weren’t the first things I thought of when I decided to live on campus. I wanted to meet new people, put myself in a place I’d never “been” before; I say “been” because I often went to Oswego to shop for clothes, groceries and go to the movies. I come off as a quiet, reserved individual. But the truth is, I love being around people. Even if I don’t say much or anything, I’ll just sit there and listen. Coming here and staying here gave me the chance to meet a lot of wonderful people and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

Above all, I wanted to avoid what people called “13th grade.” I felt like commuting, going to classes and leaving right afterward, would just feel like high school over again, except with strangers. This put me on a whole new level, a step outside of my comfort zone. The best thing about living on campus is that it involves both school and life. It has helped me grow in social interactions, take advantage of the many opportunities on campus, which would be hard to do if I commuted, and make a lot of memories with a lot of really good people. I couldn’t have said it better than my sophomore year roommate (who lives in Oswego and has his own car by the way.) He said, “I realized that you can’t put a price on the kind of experiences you get from living on campus.”

Yes, I will owe thousands of dollars because of it, but money’s just a number and I will pay it back one day and that will be it. The good times I’ve had here will last in my mind for the rest of my life.

My Journey: How I became an Oswego Laker

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Hello! My name is Mairead Hanson (left). I have an Identical, one-minute older twin sister named Erin (right), and we have been inseparable since birth. From matching pink outfits and blonde pigtails, to long blonde hair and dresses we love each other tremendously. We dance together, hang out with the same group of friends together, and often finish each others’ sentences; typical superficial way of how people categorize twins. What people often misunderstand about my twin sister and I, is that we have completely different personalities. Erin: Strong minded, intelligent, and stubborn. Me: Loving, hard-working, and caring. We balance each other out to the point were I have no idea what I would do without her.

During our Senior year we always knew we wanted to go to the same college, but we were both interested in majoring in completely different areas. It was not hard to decide on a college because we had previously visited SUNY Oswego, where my older sister Shannon attends, and fell in love with the campus. Whats better then living with not only my two sisters, but my best friends. AND living on a beautiful campus that has all three of our different majors.

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Shannon, now a junior at SUNY Oswego, was overjoyed to know that Erin and I were going to be attending Oswego as Freshmen in the fall. We are all so close; being at the same college will make us that much closer (if that’s even possible).

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Shannon is a Communications Major at SUNY Oswego. She loves to talk and is very good at it — except when she talks your ear off, just kidding. She is an exceptional older sister and I am more then happy to have her in my life. Knowing that she’s always here for me in college is one less thing i have to worry about.

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Erin is an Accounting major at SUNY Oswego. She has a mind that is very good with not just numbers, but figuring things out. I am so very lucky to have her here at Oswego, only two floors above me in our residence hall, to go through the transition from high school to college with. Also, helping me with my math homework is not to bad either.

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I am a Wellness Management major. I hope that one day I become a Dietitian, helping people become healthy and live a healthy life style.

I am such a lucky girl to have both my sisters with different majors then me together at SUNY Oswego. Knowing that I will have my two sisters beside me on our different journeys is satisfying and pleasing. I am so excited to see what is to come for all three of us in our bright futures.