A Self Titled Life- Something To Talk About (Day 1)

Crammed in a seat, high above the clouds,

I can’t hear myself think you are snoring so loud.

Actually no one is snoring I totally made that up.

It just sounded good since it rhymed, but guess what? I hate poetry.

I wasn’t going to start A Self Titled Life- Round Two until tomorrow night when I had something more interesting to talk about other than being inside this flying boat, but then things got kind of interesting. I am in the middle section of the plane, in the middle row of seats right by the bathroom. Prime seating, right? Right. Well, it was incredibly quiet until the entire plane (and I am certainly not exaggerating when I say the entire plane) is standing in line to use the bathrooms. No kidding the flight attendants actually had to ask people to sit down because the weight shift in the plane was causing the plane to falter backwards. (I might be lying) ((I’m definitely lying.)) But I am sitting next to the Mickey Mouse parade as they file in and out of the toothpick sized bathrooms. Plus the bathroom on the left side sounds like a fire breathing dragon when the toilet flushes and the right side sounds like a giant man gargling marbles. Very strange.

Update- We’re under the 5 hour mark with exactly… 4 hours and 52 minutes left until we touch down in Rome. Oh yeah, I’m going to Rome! I probably should have mentioned that earlier but well, there is no time like the present! It’s currently 9:04 pm in America and 2:05 am in Rome. OKAY HELLO. I HAVE SOMETHING TO SHARE. When I said there was 4 hours and 52 minutes left I was honestly just spit balling because I didn’t want to turn my monitor back on but I just turned it on to check the time in Rome, and there is actually 4 hours and 52 minutes left. Am I.. a wizard?

Fun fact! If I were to jump out of the plane right now (Mom, take it easy) it would be -47.3 degrees out there. Basically, I would be back in Oswego. I think that is all the sarcasm I can muster up for the time being. I will say that I am excited for three reasons- 1. I am excited to go to Rome because I have never been and I’ve only heard wonderful things. 2. I’m pretty stoked about writing this blog again. and 3. …Wow, I don’t remember what the third thing was. (I do remember what it is but I’ll have to add it in to this blog post at a later time and I’ll explain then.)

By the magic of the internet the next time we talk, I’ll be in Rome but you’ll have not a clue so, no worries, I’ve got you! For real, I’m done now. I’m babbling now which is not fun for anyone. Not for you, your mom, my siblings, my aunts, Obama, Sampson the baby giraffe from the Buffalo zoo, Ellen Degeneres, Bert Macklin FBI Agent, me, or even the guy reading this over my shoulder. (hey hey) Literally, no one.

ON THAT NOTE. Catch you in Rome!

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This entire place looks like a movie set.

The streets are made out of uneven black stones and they looked really cool when the rain water was shining off of them.

The streets are made out of uneven black stones and they looked really cool when the rain water was shining off of them.

Hello Family. I win the punch bug game. (I'm still looking for a yellow one)

Hello Family. I win the punch bug game. (I’m still looking for a yellow one)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I HAVE CAUGHT YOU IN ROME. It’s 2:16 pm here and 9:16 am there. The weather is kind of rainy but it’s not snowing so I have nothing to complain about. We walked around some of the neighborhoods by the hotel and this place is straight out of a movie. A movie besides The Lizzie McGuire Movie where she goes to Rome. It’s like ancient but not. We went to this really cool basilica and it was immaculate inside. That’s coming from someone who 1. Doesn’t like churches and 2. Finds art rather boring. This however, was stunning. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. At the top of the dome cement ceiling is this window that looks like the universe and it was pretty amazing. The Universe and I are pretty close after all. Depending on the rain we might go get pizza and go to a gelato place that has over 150 flavors. ALSO I had pasta for lunch and the sauce tasted just like my grandmother’s. I asked to speak to MaryAnn but the waiter didn’t speak english.

This is the bottom of a fountain that probably has an important name that I do not know. The artwork is so full of detail its amazing.

This is the bottom of a fountain that probably has an important name that I do not know. The artwork is so full of detail its amazing.

Apparently, the water is so clean here that you can drink out of the fountains.

Apparently, the water is so clean here that you can drink out of the fountains. I just found out that this fountain was called Piazza Navona.

 

The inside of the Basilica was actually breath taking. There was so much to look at for these two eyes and these filthy glasses lenses.

The inside of the Basilica was actually breath taking. There was so much to look at for these two eyes and these filthy glasses lenses.

The ceiling of the Basilica.

The ceiling of the Basilica.

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This is unlike anything I have ever seen before.

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The Universe window at the top of the Basilica.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

YO, I didn’t forget to tell you what I couldn’t write earlier. The guy sitting next to me, well more accurately on top of me for the entire flight was reading over my shoulder as I typed. He stopped when I called him out a little later in the blog. Anyways, on the other side of him was his girlfriend and the two of them were canoodling the entire plane ride. For anyone who doesn’t know what canoodling is, it’s when people are so infatuated with each other that they forget other humans can see their every move. They were gross and he kept jabbing me in the side and hitting me with his blanket. The moral of the story here is don’t canoodle on a plane. Be in love somewhere else thats not next to me. Because maybe you could not.

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I don’t even know what to caption this. People just casually walk past this everyday.

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Outside of the Piazza Navona

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We got to Rome around 7:30 this morning and after walking around until 2 pm went to the hotel to sleep. After a four hour nap I woke up feeling like a new human. It kind of stopped raining (just a slight drizzle) so we went to the pizzeria and gelato shop. There’s a scene from The Fault In Our Stars where Augustus tells Hazel that if the risotto he was eating was a person he would take it to Vegas and marry it. I have never felt so connected with Augustus Waters. The Pizza was unlike anything I have ever eaten. It was so fresh and so good and so delicious that any pizza from here on out that I ever eat will be nothing but a disappointment. And the gelato? I will be getting a divorce from the pizza to marry the gelato. Wow. Just, WOW.  GAME CHANGER.

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 brake off a piece and share it with the world.

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In the Gelato Shop. (From left to right- Jess, Sarah, Me…Prof Alessia, Sarah, and Katie. My bridal party when i married the gelato.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was kind of an odd day because it’s really been Saturday and Sunday. But my first novel is finished now. There’s some exciting adventures tomorrow based on the weather. But before I go, for any concerned family members I will give you a brief update:

1. I am not in prison.

2. I am not married.

3. I am still not in prison.

UNTIL TOMORROW..

Stay Weird,

Ally

It looks like Pizza.

It looks like Pizza.

HELLO. THIS STATUE LOOKS LIKE RON SWANSON AND I CRIED I WAS SO HAPPY.

HELLO. THIS STATUE LOOKS LIKE RON SWANSON AND I CRIED I WAS SO HAPPY.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current Jam- ‘Reflection’ by Fifth Harmony. I definitely jammed on the plane and the entire album is stellar.

Five things I’ve learned by being a member of The Oswegonian:

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Since freshman year, I have been writing for SUNY Oswego’s The Oswegonian. Writing for the college’s newspaper has been a rewarding experience that has helped me grow professionally. I currently am the promotional director of the newspaper and operate the social media of The Oswegonian. I also do various promoting through tabling and giveaways.

  1. Deadlines exist for a reason. Frequent writers for the school’s newspaper may understand this more than others, but the lesson applies to all. With a limited timeline to have each of the newspaper’s creation processes completed, having articles in timely has proven to be of utmost urgency. During my time with the newspaper, I have had the opportunity to write multiple articles each week and be featured in both the paper and digital website and without deadlines the work that must go into addressing these multiple aspects and pieces could never get done.
  2. Commitment matters. While possibly never seeking a staff membership on The Oswegonian, one amazing aspect of the organization is the ability to rise in rank based solely on merit and weekly writing alone. Beginning as a contributing writer, and ending a year as a staff writer, while small, is a victory in and of itself.
  3. Writing can be enjoyable. While not necessarily the most newsworthy or pressing, the ability to write increasingly well through discussing topics you find energizing, helps in multiple ways. Firstly, writing skills will benefit you no matter what your future holds. Many careers expect strong writing skills. In addition, writing is good for the mind and can be stimulating and relaxing.
  4. Double checking of sources is key. Nothing is more embarrassing than not editing your work or rechecking your sources. Months ago, when writing about a music duo I really enjoyed, I failed to check their names after writing them into my piece, later that group that I had come to be obsessed with, actually tweeted at me to let me know that, while they appreciated my review, I had gotten one members name wrong. From what could have been an exciting moment for me, I experienced red cheeks and disappointment at my mistake.
  5. Becoming better is an endless, but rewarding process. While being “the best” at something is an entertaining and freeing time, understanding that you can always achieve greater skill levels will leave you feeling better in the long run. I feel as though The Oswegonian has taught me that I can always be improving and learning, no matter how good I get. It has helped me better understand and utilize constructive criticism and for this I am happy.

Spring Break!

Spring Break is almost here and to all those New York City folk: I share my struggle with you! The trip from Oswego to New York City is one of the most talked about topic among us. Those who are from there know the 5 hour bus ride, the 1 hour Centro bus ride, and the expected half hour subway commute home. Taking a plane is too expensive when considering it over paying to stay over the break. Taking a train is a viable option, but we mostly take a bus, so good luck to all who plan that trip! To those taking part in carpooling to the city; you guys are so lucky!

Make sure to spend that valuable time with your family if you’re a freshman. I know that back when I was a freshman, I loved it more to go to Oswego. It was until sophomore year hit me where I figured out there’s nothing better than being at home with the family. The amazing homemade food, the amazing internet, and hugging your pets!

If any of you guys are traveling, make sure to be safe, explore, expand, and most importantly: make memories. There’s no better way of traveling than studying abroad. Consider traveling now and go for studying abroad over a semester somewhere else; it’s an amazing experience told by many of my friends. Take the break to even play more games if you’d like. Don’t forget about any papers or upcoming exams you may possibly have after the vacation though. We all understand the struggle of an exam after break or a paper due shortly after classes resume.

I hope everyone enjoys the break and make it home to Oswego again safely! Chances are the temperature will not be as cold as Oswego wherever you plan to travel. Unless you plan to travel to a city above the latitude of Oswego, good luck and stay warm. Overall, people who reside in New York City or Long Island, etc…, will have quite a long and painfully annoying travel if going by bus. We know the rush to board the first bus; either Centro or Greyhound/Megabus.

Snow in Oswego

One thing for sure is a lot different than first semester… SNOW! Growing up in Long Island I have never seen so much snow in my life. IMG_1042Growing up in Long Island I have never seen so much snow in my life. Good thing that I have always loved snow because I have no idea what I would do if I didn’t. SUNY Oswego has a great bus system that takes you to your classes; I love walking to class and watching the snow fall as you can see in the picture above. Although snow can be a negative thing it has so many positives.

Samsung Galaxy S6

The new metal and glass phone made by Samsung is finally here. After taking consideration about a personal upgrade from the Galaxy S3 to the S6, I am looking forward to it. The Galaxy S4 and S5 are great phones and those who own them probably won’t need to upgrade just yet. Samsung seems to have made a similar marketing move as Apple when it comes to revealing the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge; relating to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. My personal plan would be to get the Galaxy S6 when it’s more affordable of course.

Unfortunately, there are some cons to the new Galaxy phone. Two of which are the built in battery and the exception of an SD card. Many people feel different about their expectations of what the S6 would be like. I believe they fixed what isn’t broken in this case. This will definitely apply to Samsung as a definite fix for the development of the Galaxy S7; unless they had a reason for the exclusion that they haven’t told us yet.

There are some exciting pros to the new Galaxy S6 that should keep Samsung customers enticed. According to the Samsung website, they created a slogan for the phone: “Six Appeal”. This is probably done to create some humor and build a good marketing move in promotion in order to promote more attention and discussion about the phone. “Perfect Pictures Every Time” and ” Less Boundaries, More Space” are two subtitles within the Samsung Galaxy S6 webpage describing all the amazing specs the phone has to offer.

Make sure if you plan to purchase this beauty of a phone that you keep it protected from falling! Unless you have a warranty, you should be fine, but it’s best to hope the screen doesn’t crack as much as iPhones do. I personally can’t wait to buy the new Galaxy S6 or even S7 since it can’t be any worse than my Galaxy S3 phone. Just hope Boost Mobile would start selling it earlier rather than a whole year later.

The Freezing Cold!

We made it a little over one month into the semester with these cold temperatures and it finally started reaching the near 30s! Over the month of February, we experienced two days of classes being called off due to weather. One due to a big snow storm, which made it difficult for commuters from Syracuse to reach Oswego. Another date was cancelled due to the wind chill being -30. It has definitely been noticeably cold and anyone living here can wholeheartedly agree.
It’s been so cold even, that a temperature of 20 feels that much better to walk out in. I remember when I first attended Oswego State where I would feel like 20 degrees is just ridiculously cold since I had come from New York City. Temperatures don’t tend to fall under zero half the time just roughly 200 miles down south. Not to mention the amount of snow comparison between these two locations. Looking at the level of snow piled up at the Quad in front of Lanigan Hall surprises me. Even looking outside my window, seeing the snow level all the way up to nearly half the height of a tree.

Overall life here in Oswego has been pretty cold nonetheless, but still a pretty sight if you’re looking at the snow falling from indoors. With almost every other day containing lake effect snow, we still go to classes and love studying here. It has almost been the same as last year when it comes to class cancellations due to weather. The weather here has continuously been bipolar, especially when the weather gets warmer and you see alternating times of rain and sunshine during a day. Good news is it’s finally getting warmer, but stay warm and wear boots; sneakers are terrible with all this snow!

Clubs and Organizations: Five Things I’ve Learned From PRSSA

1977082_10153909600770621_557421021_nMajor-driven clubs present terrific opportunities for students to gain valuable experience in their future career paths. Real work experience, presentations on a variety of professional topics, and networking through people currently working the field, allow for some of the most influential moments in someone’s college career.

The Public Relations Student Society of America is no different. Through hard work, determination, and constant organization the leadership of this organization provides all who want to learn the chance to do so.

Presentation is important.

Through the PRSSA, the ideas of presentation become increasingly clear. Each week, the women who lead our organization showcase an uncanny ability to put forth new ideas, tasks, and experiences through their ability to present professionally and connectedly. Never amateurish, the PRSSA is able to make materials seem relevant to college students.

 The necessity of real work experience.

Constantly pushed through PRSSA is the idea that real experience is the most important way to get your foot into the door. This is clear through their presentations on networking, the accepting of clients, and the lectures on internship ideas and tips. It is one of the most important takeaways from the club.

Writing skills are crucial, no matter your major.

Organization advisor, Sarah Bozek, strenuously places a great deal of significance on writing skills. Through her teachings and those of the organization which produce a variety of written material, including brochures and signage, writing has proven to be of crucial.

 The principal of a “Thank You.”

The PRSSA does a yearly event on the value of thank you cards and through this I have begun to understand that a simple email or phone call is not enough to tell someone how much you appreciate their help. Handwritten notes, despite some articles noting their death, are certainly more effective than I ever knew.

 Organization, organization, organization.

For the E-board, the ability to provide participating members with new endeavors on a weekly basis is only something that could be accomplished through highly-skilled levels of organization. It is something admirable and educating for peers to take note of and something I have definitely tried to adopt more as a result of being a member.

SUNY Oswego Club Spotlight #1: The Accounting Society

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The Accounting Society at SUNY Oswego is similar to other major organizations on campus in that its goal is to provide future graduates with the skills and tools necessary to enter their career field. Through professional interactions and presentations, The Accounting Society covers a variety of topics ranging from interview tips to establishing a strong LinkedIn profile. In addition they frequently address how to get an internship, how to become a part of Public Accounting firms, and more.

Every year, the Accounting Society at SUNY Oswego hosts an event that allows students to meet and network with current professionals in both the public and private sectors of accounting. Simplistically named “Meet The Accountants Night,” the opportunity to talk to current members of the accounting career path is an important one for all perspective accounting majors and future graduates.

Through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, the Society has created an opportunity for continued real life experience by allowing members to participate in preparing tax returns for individuals in the community.

Overall, if this organization is anything like the Public Relation Student Society Of America (PRSSA) or like other major-driven organizations on campus, the opportunity to learn a lot is present. Networking seems to be a key aspect of the club and in today’s network-driven society this club seems like a great addition to the campus!

I would like to thank Lauren Ryan, President of The Accounting Society, for providing me with the answers to my questions! Anyone interested in pursuing the Society can contact them through email: acctsoc@oswego.edu.

http://www.oswego.edu/academics/colleges_and_departments/business/student_activities/accountingsociety.html

University in Australia vs. College in the States

On my decision to come to SUNY Oswego for an exchange semester, I knew that things would be different, but I assumed that more or less Australian and American university life and culture would be very similar. I was wrong. I have outlined the main differences below. Enjoy.

College is love

College is love

1. College is love, college is life. Literally. Since beginning college my days typically consist of eating all my meals with friends, going to class, going to the gym with friends, doing homework with friends, watching Netflix with friends, and sleeping. This is vastly different to my university days at QUT as everyday would always be completely different. In Brisbane some days I would go to work, others I would have class, and others I would do absolutely nothing but hang out with friends. I like the structured format of college in the states because I am forced to be more dedicated to my studies and I actually feel like I have time for things (such as working out) because everything is on campus.

2. Homework and pass grades. At QUT in my course, to pass a subject you simply need to get 50% or higher, which is simple and makes sense to me… Here it varies on the subject. For instance one of my subjects is 60% and another is 70%. However it is easier to get marks here (from my recent experience anyway) as professors tend to give out marks for attendance and small homework tasks. Which brings me to my next point; homework. Per subject at QUT I would have two exams during a semester and 1-3 large assignments, and class work/homework is completely optional. Whereas at SUNY Oswego I actually have to keep up to date on course work by submitting graded homework tasks weekly. I like the feelings of always being on top of my course work here, and it gives me reassurance that I will pass and do well, but I do miss weeks of procrastination and doing things last minute as I work well under pressure.

3. Structure of classes. At QUT all of my weekly classes are made up of two parts: one being a lecture which takes place in a hall and is run by a professor, and the other is a practical session in a classroom environment which may be run by a professor or a researcher. At SUNY Oswego all my subjects are in a classroom environment. I feel as though I am back in high school at times. I prefer my university’s style of teaching because a lecture might be one day, and the practical session the next, so it gives me time to digest the information. However I feel as though I have the potential to develop closer, more meaningful relationships with professors here as the contact is more personal and regular.

Snow storm

Snow storm

4. Classes are cancelled if there is a snow storm. This is vastly different to what I am used to. It doesn’t snow in Brisbane, but when we do have extreme weather, scheduled activities are rarely postponed (the exception being sporting events). I was surprised that classes were cancelled when there was a blizzard because most students live on campus and have the warm clothes needed to withstand these conditions anyway.

5. Not everything will kill you in the states. I was bitten by a spider two nights ago and I did not die; I initially thought it was a mosquito bite as it was itchy, small and hard, but turned out it was a spider bite. If this had happened in Australia I probably would have gone straight to the ER. I am enjoying the fact that I do not need to fear for my life when I encounter bugs and reptiles here.

6. American’s have awesome accents. I am always interested in what my peers and professors have to say because I cannot get enough of the accent.

7. American’s have a different definition of thong. I was telling some new friends about my regular encounters with spiders and how I kill them with my thongs (flip flops), and they thought this was hilarious because they were imagining me killing them with a g-string. Lol.

College food

College food

8. Dining halls. At QUT we do not have any dining halls, rather we have food courts, cafes and bars, where items must be purchased in $AUD. When I arrived at Oswego the whole dining hall and dining dollars thing was so foreign, amazing & like something from an American movie. I love that there are so many dining halls on campus and their hours are long and flexible. I wish we had this culture at QUT.

 

Peace Out

 

Clubs and Organizations: Providing Unique Opportunities to Diverse Individuals

Shaun Cassidy Fan Club: A Home For Comedy

DSC_0049-EditGrowing up one of my favorite things to do was make people laugh. I never realized until high school though that I could elaborate on this through talent shows and organizations. So throughout my high school career I absorbed every opportunity to expose myself to the comedic world. I would watch comedic shows and movies, stand-up specials, and attend stand up performances by real, working comedians at the local college.

Upon entering Oswego, I had never realized I would choose to continue, in any form, my comedy. In addition, it’s important to note that I, by no means, am here to say that I am the most expansive or interacting comedian here at this college (If you’re looking for that, you can find my friend Sarah Benson). Still though my love for this campus only grows through the visible opportunities that exist for comedians to flourish. Through things like Open Mic Night, Shaun Cassidy Fan Club, and various talent shows, the SUNY Oswego campus is welcoming to all sorts of characters.

Let’s talk Shaun Cassidy Fan Club. Similar to “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” Shaun Cass performs weekly shows in the campus’s auditorium. With audiences ranging anywhere from 50 students to five (when Hockey is in season), we are given the opportunity to hone comedic skills. Completely free and uncensored, I feel as though I can speak for all of our members and say that the troop loves being a part of this organization. Every Sunday, we hold practices open to the most experienced and the newest of comedian hopefuls. It really is a family atmosphere.

Spending every weekend with these people and practicing for almost a year before entering the shows allowed me and others to build off of one another and develop our own specific style of comedy. We were able to all be our own comedians with our own ideas, characters, and personalities and coexist along others seeking the same thing. During the shows, through our variety of audiences we are able to see what works and what doesn’t while still maintaining both a sense of teamwork and autonomy. It has turned me into a better speaker, listener, and creator.