Settling down in paris

So things are starting to settle down now that i have been here for almost 3 weeks.  I have my apartment (and I am working on the internet).  I officialy signed up for my univiersity here in Paris.  It is called Paris 8: Saint-Denis.  It is only about 15-20 min from my apartment.  I have an official visit and  tour scheduled for this coming wednesday.  I am quite excited and maybe I will get to pick some of my classes.  They are very disorganized here, but at least classes don’t officially start until October 5. 

 In the meantime, I have been spending my time in language courses that are part of my orientation program with my exchange program.  We spend 3-4 hours a day in class practicing french and learning about the city to orient ourselves to be main-streamed into French Universities.  There are 4 different french classes that meet and i believe that there is about 80 students in my exchange program from the US, Canada and Puerto Rico.  It is really nice to meet so many new people from all over North America.

So besides classes I have been exploring the city and specifically the neighborhood i live in.  I really love where I live.  Within 5 min of me there are hundreds of stores, but in Paris you will never find a Wal-mart.  It has been very interesting getting used to going to 5 different stores just to do daily shopping.  There are Boulangeries, Patisseries, Boucheries, Fromageries, Creperies, Brassaries, Tabacs, Papateries, libraries, etc.   Most stores are specialty stores, so you spend a lot of time finding out where you can get certain foods, or school supplies or even household items.  It is in enriching to experience something so different.  It is a lifestyle  change that is for sure.

Tonight I went to “Le Lapin Agile” with some of the other people in my exchange program.  It was really cool.  The Lapin Agile (Agile Rabbit) is a Parisian style Cabaret.  It has been around since th1800’s and was a place that many famous artists and musicians spent their time.  The show was actually 5 hours long, but most of my class only stayed from hours which seemed to be the norm.  It seemed like there were people waiting to get into the show after people started leaving.  They sang a lot of famous french songs and there were instruments like th piano, guitar and accordian that were played.  The audience was very involved in the performance and it was a lot of fun.   

(Note: It took too long tonight when I tried, but I plan on getting a video of the Lapin Agile in here, So look for that eventually)

This weekend is a very special weekend in Paris.  Saturday and Sunday are called “Les Journees du Patrimoine.”  It means the hertiage days.  And on these days, and these days only, buildings and places such as the national assembly, the town hall, the national archives, ander govermentment buildings and other important places that are normally closed to the public are open for anyone to see.  It is a very special event in Paris, and I am looking forward to going to several places.  I also am hoping to do some home shopping with some of my friends at Ikea which is a little outside of the city.  With all of that and some homework to do, it is going to be a busy weekend.  Until then A Bientot!  (See you soon)

Dramaturgy’s Guide To An Axe Murder

     I am a Theatre History/Criticism major, and a chunk of the work I do involves an art form (and yes, I said art form) called Dramaturgy. American Dramaturgy today tries their best to recreate the successful models found in Germany and Europe, however this makes our jobs vast, ever-changing, and difficult to define. Out of all of the published definitions I could find, Dramaturg Mark Bly (The Alley Theatre) describes the job best in the introduction to the book, The Production Notebooks, Theatre In Process:

The Primary task for a dramaturg is to aid the artistic director in creating a long-ranging artistic vision and plan for their theatre and then implement short-range action to accomplish that goal… The dramaturg supervises the commissioning of new plays, cultivating relationships with the playwrights; and rereads the classics, searching for those works that make deep cultural connections. The Dramaturg takes the lead in season planning helping to select plays that fulfill the theatre’s commitment to its artists and its overall vision. Dramatugs work with directors to challenge fixed notions about new plays or classics being considered for staging. When possible, the dramaturg assists in picking the artistic team for each production…. [and] also serves as a resource and active collaborator during the planning stages of a production and throughout the rehearsal period. The production dramaturg is optimally that artist who functions in a multifaceted manner helping the director and other artists to interpret and shape the sociological, textual, acting, directing and design values. (Bly, xxii-xxiii)

Bly goes on to explain about dramaturgical work in text preparation, production casebooks and actor packets, and the necessity of attending rehearsals and previews so that, “The dramaturg will know the source of the creative choices. This will inspire ‘doable’ note or staging solutions and not merely obvious diagnostic commentary.” He then goes on to sum up his task during the rehearsal process into to words, “I question…I strive to be a supportive but questioning force, never an ‘echo’” (Bly xxiv).

 

Actor from "HAIR" (“HAIR” Actor: Paris Remillard)

     This summer I had a chance to talk to a few actors from the musical, “HAIR”. I asked if they had a theatre historian work with them, or if they had a dramaturg (doubting that they knew what a dramaturg was). To my surprise, not only did they know what dramaturgy was, but they said that their assistant director was the one who took on that role. I have only been to one Broadway show recently that had listed a dramaturg in the playbill and that was “August: Osage County”. Roundabout Theatre Company, located in NYC, has a dramaturg for every production. The dramaturg also does presentations for the audience prior to the show every Tuesday night. I discovered this when I went to go see “Hedda Gabbler”. The dramaturg did a short presentation where he spoke about the playwright, talked about the society of the time, and conclusions made by cast and director on why Hedda was the way she was. I unfortunately missed the Dramaturgy presentation for “Waiting For Godot” a few months later, so if you are able to see a Roundabout show on a Tuesday and are interested in dramaturgy, be sure to ask when the presentations are.

     This semester I will be the dramaturg for Sharron Pollock’s “Blood Relations,” directed by Keegan Bushey. “Blood Relations” is a play about Lizzie Borden and the events surrounding the murder of her parents. The playwright poses the question, “If you were in her place, what would you have done?“ This is an exciting opportunity for me because I was a part of the Play Selection Committee last year and was able to voice my love for this play. I presented the faculty with a list of things that could be done for this production with research and publicity. I was excited to hear that the play had been chosen for the season, and that I would be involved in the show. “Blood Relations“ is this year‘s Student Honors Production. Students submit resumes, go through an interview process and are selected to be lighting, set, and costume designers, directors, dramaturgs. Our crew is made up of students as well. It is essentially our first steps, with our mentors beside us to catch us if we start to stumble. I had the pleasure of working with a fine group of peers for last year’s Honors Production, and I am excited to work with the brilliant minds of this year. We do have some Faculty designers involved this year, which makes the experience even more interesting, learning from those who have had many years of experience.

 

 

Next Step, Auditions.

See you there.

 

 

Works Cited:

Bly, Mark. The Production Noteboks, Theatre In Process. New York, NY: Theatre Communicaions Grop, Inc., 1996. Print.

 

A new year means many new adventures

This is going to be so exciting! My name is Steven DiMarzo, and as my biographical information says, I am a Human Development major with minors in Conflict Studies Management and Business Administration. I am originally from Oakdale, NY, which is a small town on Long Island, but I live in Oswego all year round and I love every moment of it. I am technically a 2nd semester junior, but in my 4th year. I plan on completely 2 more years (this one included). I am very interested in Higher Education and plan on getting my masters in that field and hopefully getting a job on a college campus working in student affairs.

Enough about who I am…this year is going to be amazing.  My new position in SA will allow me to be more involved and meet so many new people.  In the past the Student Association has had a bad reputation and most students tend to shy away but this year I want everyone to know they can come to any member and how willing we are to help them.  Everyone has the right to speak their opinion and use their voice on this campus.  SA is one of the biggest organizations and we can get you heard.  One thing that most people don’t know is that a majority of student organizations on campus are funded by SA.  We use over 1.7 million dollars to fund all of these clubs and orgs.  It’s your money, you pay the student activity fee and it is used to go back to you.  Don’t be afraid, come talk to us, talk to me…I am here to help.

Enough of the plug.  I have a test today, my first one of the semester, in fact it’s in 10 minutes.  Human Sexuality, PSY 377. It’s an awesome class.  I guess I should get going and head to Lanigan.  Peace out cub scouts!

Talk About Being Busy

There’s a lot of people on campus who spend their time reading, playing video games, or lounging around their dorm room.

I can’t be one of those people.

Even before school started I’ve been running around preparing for school, setting up social events for my Fraternity, and working at Cooper Dining Hall. It’s fun, but very tiring. I wake up at about 7:30 every morning and just go till the wee hours of the night. I’ve managed to steal away some more hours of sleep this past weekend, but no matter how many hours you sleep, you’ll always use up those hours and you’re back to where you started.

All this work is paying off though. I’m off to a good start with my classes, I’ve been raking in some money, and meeting a boat load of new people along the way thanks to my position as Social Chairman in my fraternity.

Life has been moving really quickly. But I feel even though it’s going at such a fast pace right now, it’s going to be all worth it. And I’m going to have the best time doing all this.

I’m a senior in college. It’s one last time to show this place what I have to offer. I’m going to do it right.

So it has been a little while since I posted, but the day after I got to Paris I found an apartment.  It is in the 18th arrondissement which is in the North of Paris.  It is a 37 sq. meter(I am not sure how much that is in feet)  that I am sharing with a girl that is from SUNYGeneseo.  We met before we came to Paris because she is going through the international education department at Oswego because we offer a Paris program that is not offered at Geneseo. 

My Apartment building

Anyway, our apartment is really nice, the only problem is there is not internet.  And let me tell you from personal experience that getting internet in France is not the easiest thing to do.  You need a RIB (its an identification card from your bank, which is something only french banks give out, so I had to get a bank account first, which also isn’t easy).  You also need proof that you reside at the address you give them, and you need to know the number of your apartment according to French Telecom which is on a plaque at the base of your door.  And the worst thing is, once you finally bring them all of this information you need to wait until the wifi box is mailed which takes 2-3 weeks.  Welcome to Paris I suppose.  I just am frustrated that it takes long to get internet here.  There are not very many cafes that have internet so I have been sitting in the computer lab, (which is the only one in the school and only has about 15 computers) trying to keep in touch with the world.  It is very frustrating.

Things here are much more layed back.  People don’t rush to do things and everything is unorganized.  I start school in less than 2 weeks and ther course bulletin isn’t even out yet.  In Paris, you show up in class the first day it is offered and that is how you sign up.  I definately miss myoswego and web registration, go USA.  lol

I am studying abroad in Paris through an exchange program called MICEFA(International mission for coordination of french and american exchange or mission interuniversitaire de cordination des exchange franco-americain).  I arrived a few weeks before classes because we have an orientation program and intensive language courses.  That has been keeping me busy because we are in class 3 hours a day monday through friday.  We also have been doing some sight seeing in Paris.  We went to Pont Neuf on a boat ride on the seine and we went to the Carnavalet Museum today. MICEFA is a great exchange program and I have had a great time thus far. 

I am a little homesick, but I hope it gets better once school starts, I think it will.  There is a big difference in the culture and lifestyles of Paris.  I really love baugettes and Strawberry and Raspberry tartlettes.  They are amazing.  There is one thing that can never go wrong in Paris and that is food.  Yummy yummy food. 

Anyway, hopefully I will get internet permanately soon, then I will post some more pictures.  :)

Cell phone used linked to tumors

I was searching the swine flu and tracking it in the U.S on CNN.com when I came across an article about cell phone use linked to tumors. This caught my eye.
The radiation that cell phones, especially blackberrys and iPhones, give off are extremely harmful. Regardless, research has been conducted on people who have had tumors in the brain or salivary glands and have been using cell phones for 10 plus years, it still poses a problem in today’s society.
A friend of mine works in sales at a Verizon Wireless store in upstate New York, while another friend works at Sprint in the capital region of Albany. I have heard multiple stories from them of how they have sold phones to parents for their children as young as six! Six years old! Can you believe this?! First of all, a child’s brain and scull are not full developed which allows easy transmission of radiation from cell phone usage. Just as it is easier for a child as young as six to catch a cold because they are sensitive to these things. Now very few parents are getting their children the simplistic phones, they are purchasing the high-tech phones such as the Env3 touch, LG voyager and even the iPhone from Apple that have high radiation transmission.
According to research by CTIA in 2005, wireless usage has sky rocketed. Over 65 percent of U.S house holds use a wire less cell phone and 6 percent of households are completely wireless. 675 billion minutes were used during the first three months of 2005. Now, that was four years ago. Think of the technology that has been produced and consumed in the last four years.
This is going to greatly effect the U.S and the world if cell phone usage continues. Soon enough all house holds will completely wireless. Children as young as two years old will be exposed to cell phones when they talk to their grandparents who are across the country.
This is an epidemic. Something needs to be done, but what can be done? Americans have become so dependent on technology that we would lose our heads if we didn’t have our cell phones in our hands at every minute.
So, since it won’t be possible to pry cell phones out of the lives of Americans, here are some tips to lower your contact with cell phone emissions from the EMF:
1. Limit calls/keep them short.
2. Only allow children to use cell phones for emergencies.
3. Wear airtube headset.
4. Don’t put cell phone on belt or in pocket while it is on.
5. Wait for call to connect before placing it near your ear
6. Limit use inside metal areas such as cars or elevators.
7. Make a call when service bar is two or more.
8. Purchase a phone with low SAR.
9. Use a scientifically validated EMF phone
10. Take nutritional supplements.

I will continue to do more research on this topic and post more later. For now, visit these links:

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/09/14/cell-phone-cancer-link-inconclusive-but-experts-advise-caution/?iref=werecommend

http://www.emf-health.com/articles-10tips.htm

http://reviews.cnet.com/cell-phone-radiation-levels/

http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-6602_7-5020356-1.html

From New Zealand to America, It’s Bittersweet

I am home from New Zealand, it was an awesome semester. I am back in Oswego now and living it up in Funnelle but I think the most important thing is all the photos and memories. I will miss my friends so much. I made friends in Germany, Switzerland, South Africa, England, Scotland, Ireland, New Zealand, Sumatra, China, Japan, India, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Fiji, and a whole bunch of South Pacific and Polynesian Islands.

It was the experience of a lifetime, I had some the of best times and learned so much. FYI New Zealand knows how to throw a good party. They also know how to study hard and get those grades. The classes I took there were some of the toughest I had ever been in by a long shot. I don’t know how I managed. I think it was just the drive that if I didn’t get all my stuff done then I would miss out on a weekend trip to the hot springs or the caves or just everything

I am back in Oz though and ready to take on the world. I am tired and only been back in the country for 1 week today but it is all worth it because Oz is where my home is at.

Check out my photos from my South Island trip. If you go, go to the South Island. It is so beautiful and clean that you can even drink the water. Its 98.8% pure water that runs from glaciers and mountains into blue rivers, it is so gorgeous. If you get the chance, do it. Don’t ask questions, just go because my pictures will never do it justice.

The Southern AlpsSeal ColonyThe beautiful and dangerous Tasman Sea
The Frans Josef Glacier

Full Circle

I don’t know where the time has gone. In two weeks it will be a year since I first began blogging on here. It’s so funny how I wondered what things would be like in life after graduation. So here I am a year later. Senior year came and went. I enjoyed every minute of it. From time to time I check my pulse to ensure I’m a part of reality.

I have to admit I wish I was still there! But, a big part of growing up is leaving and moving forward to new horizons; inspiring horizons which is more like it. I face the world each day with a sense of fulfillment. I sense of freedom and hunger to explore the world. Life is great and I am very thankful for everything. This transition has been interesting. I am looking for my new love. My next big thing to wake up to every morning that puts a smile on my face. As I move forward to live the life of my dreams I look back to the years spent at Oswego and all that it has taught me. Oswego shall always be there and I’m always down for a visit or two.

My trip to Ghana!

So I’ve had a lot of people ask me about my upcoming trip to Hohoe, Ghana, Africa :), and I’ve decided to blog about it.

I will be going to Hohoe (ho-hway) for three weeks from Dec. 19th – Jan. 9th 2009/10. I cannot wait. I’m going through an organization called Cross Cultural Solutions. It’s separate from SUNY Oswego, so I will be going alone. Well, not technically alone because I’ll be rendezvousing with about 20 other volunteers from around the world.

Hohoe Picture from Wikipedia.org– Hohoe, Ghana
Hohoe is north of the check mark of Lake Volta (near the ocean).

Cross Cultural Solutions is an organization that takes volunteers all over the world to different areas of the globe to serve a need in specific communities. Different placements vary from teaching in elementary schools, teaching teachers English/Math, etc, providing daycare support for working families, working in elderly centers, or working in community developmental/community organizational situations. You don’t know your specific placement until a week or so before you go because they need to make sure they have a specific spot for you to fill as a volunteer.

You can go from a variety of different times – one week to one year – and basically go anywhere in the world. It’s not free, of course. This trip is running me around $5000-$6000 what with shots, visa, program fee, $2300 airplane tickets, and much more. But, it’s also a once in a lifetime experience. (Hopefully, it won’t be for me though!).

I’m gung ho, though, so I have been diligently raising money all summer via donations, candy sales, and sponsorship letters. I’m still around $700 short, which I need to have by the end of October. God willing, I’ll get that money! I’ve got faith in people though to help out.

The reason I’m going to Ghana is multi-faceted. I’m going to visit Africa, which I’ve always wanted to do since I was a little girl. I’m going to fill a need. I’m going to experience a new, completely unknown culture. I’m leaving my comfort zone to travel abroad relatively on my own. I’m also going to get a taste of the globe. I want to do international journalism or service that caters to an international, needy population, so I think that this is a good stepping off point. Oh, and I’ve always wanted to study abroad, but I won’t be able to because of finances and courses (try not to transfer colleges, it’s a PAIN!) So, this is the next best thing. I want to use my skills for a greater good while developing my own character at the same time.

This is going to be an incredible experience. I cannot wait. I’m not sure where I’m going to get placed. I’ve had experience with children (vacation Bible school, camp, retreats, dance choreographer). I’ve had experience with the elderly (working at a nursing home, going to church). I’ve also had a lot of experience with community group organization (too numerous to count- not bragging, just one of my passions). So, we’ll see where I get placed.

So, now that you’ve had a run down of my trip – I’ll give you some details about Ghana:

Official name= Republic of Ghana
Independence=March 6, 1957 (from Britain)
Capital City = Accra (A-car) – population ~ 2.5 million
Main Cities = Kumasi, Tamale, Sekondi-Takoradi, Tema
Geography = coastal plains, rain forest, savanna, and mountains
People = 22 million (99% Black African + 1% Lebanese)
Climate = Tropical, rainy summers, dry winters
Source: The Essential Guide to Customs and Culture – Ghana—Ian Utley

That’s it for now. Oh, and I will be bringing school supplies and American novelties with me, so if anybody has extra notebooks, pencils, markers, colored pencils, etc., please let me know!

Ta-ta for now. :)

Celebrating Independence Day (March 6th)
Ghanian celebrating Independence Day Source: http://english.people.com.cn/200703/07/images/ghana4.jpg

Back to school, to prove to Dad I’m not a fool…

Oh, back to school, back to school, to prove to Dad that I’m not a fool. I got my lunch packed up, my boots tied tight. I hope I don’t get in a fight. — Billy Madison

So, I’m back here in Oswego, living in Funnelle – same room/same roommate- different set-up, working in Cooper – dishwashing, writing for Oswegonian, attending Students for Global Change, and doing 8 million different things as once.

My Room in Funnelle

I tend to enjoy keeping myself busy from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep. I’m a big planner and I try to maximize the definition of time management. A day planner is very helpful to do that. “From 4-6 p.m. I need to read, buy parking permit, eat, fold laundry, etc.” I also leave notes for myself on my desk to remember to call people or to do assignments. Organization is important to doing well in college. And acknowledgment of time constraints.

Enough of the boring stuff. Social life at college! It’s F U N ! It was great to come back to school and to see everyone you hadn’t seen in a couple of months. It’s nice in college to be able to go away for a while but then be able to pick up right where you left off.
My advice to people who are new to the school – keep an open door policy for the first couple of days (don’t let it be detrimental to your work, though). Also, maybe walk around your hall and introduce yourself to people you haven’t met yet. The easiest way to NOT make friends is to keep yourself holed up in your room. Get out of your comfort zone and walk around talking to people! You’ll be surprised at the people you meet who have trepidations about college life, just like you! You’ll make friends in no time.

School work (this is a piece meal blog this time). School work is a pain sometimes, yet it’s the reason why you’re in school in the first place. I personally am taking 18 credits plus three more hours added on to my web design class – plus two hours of choir and then my added on extracurriculars. SO, that being said, I have lots of school work and little time. But, like I said, I time manage to get it done. That also means sacrifice. So when my friends want to go out Friday and Saturday on every weekend, I have to weigh my options. Should I go out both nights and put my reading off til Sunday afternoon? Or should I go out one night and then go to bed early another night? Not the ideal situation to think about. In college, it’s supposed to be all parties all the weekend and no time for sleep or homework, right? That’s how I was freshman year, and I quickly learned that you can’t do it all by getting behind in my classes.
The most important thing to remember is your priorities. Is the party going to be so incredibly awesome that you can neglect to finish your paper on time? Maybe. Just remember to think before you go out! Not everybody parties hearty on the weekend (contrary to popular belief and the message we get from popular culture).

Mom spiel over. Go out and have fun, do your work, join organizations, and enjoy life! Don’t get too bogged down with life. Take a break and enjoy college!

‘Til next time…..

p.s. I got a free armchair from the side of the road, which I was super excited about… anyways.. It’s amazing, and it’s in my room. Named the “Reading Chair” or Agatha for all intents and purposes.
Agatha AGATHA!

Some useful sites!

http://collegetips.com

http://college-freshman.com