IUP

So it looks like my visit to Indiana, PA paid off!  Last weekend I visited IUP (Indiana University of Pennsylvania) for an admissions interview, and the chance to interview for 9 different graduate assistantships at IUP and other schools in western PA.  I interviewed for Seton Hill, Carnegie Mellon, Penn State and some others for positions in admissions, judicial and residence life.  I was nervous and exhausted by the end of it, but I got accepted so it was all worth it!!  I haven’t found out about an assistantship yet, but there’s one I’m hoping for.  I’m not excited about IUP being six hours away from home, but it’s definitely exciting to think about life after undergrad.

Coming Back/Spring

Something that I find really weird is the feeling I have when I first get back to Oswego after break. It’s oddly blissful, even though before I get here, I don’t want to come back. Yesterday was like this, especially since the weather was so nice. I’m so happy that spring is here. Well, it’s sort of here anyway. It isn’t according to the calendar, but it is according to the weather! I just hope this isn’t another mockery like we got last month. “Spring is here… just kidding!”

I love Spring, and I love Autumn too, because the weather is just right. It’s not freezing cold, and it’s not scorching hot. It’s comfortable, and it’s definitely a really nice breakaway from the biting cold we’ve had the past couple of months.

What is really odd though is how we were only gone a week, and yet, it felt like a lot more than that. While seeing everyone again, it felt like I hadn’t seen them in weeks. I think that the main reason why that happens, for me anyway, is because my life at home and my life here are two totally different lives, and I live in two totally different worlds, so being away from it for even a small amount of time feels like a huge change.

I just hate having to come back and give up so much time. I’m constantly working here, for the most part, in one way or another. At home, I usually felt relaxed, and I spent time with my friends all the time. Here, on the off-chance that I do, it’s just to eat dinner or something along those lines. Don’t think that I’m dissing Oswego; I’m not. I just don’t have a lot of time on my hands, and that’s college in general. By saying I have more time to myself at home is stating what should be the obvious.

Kelly Clarkson New Album Review

All right, so once again I’m writing about a topic that’s not exactly related to Oswego, but I find it acceptable seeing as how we haven’t been here for the past week. Tuesday, I got the new Kelly Clarkson album, All I Ever Wanted, and I am loving it. Following up on the raw, somewhat dark material of 2007′s My December, Clarkson portrays sheer energy on the album, with a few songs, such as “Tip of My Tongue” (only available on the deluxe edition) and “If I Can’t Have You,” that can be heard as dance songs. Other tracks such as “Impossible” nearly evoke an electronic mood. Ultimately, All I Ever Wanted is catchy and charismatic, qualities some consider the last record to lack.

The record opens with the first single, “My Life Would Suck Without You.” Although I had never thought of it myself beforehand, someone suggested to me the other day that the song’s melody and style closely resembles that of “Since U Been Gone,” Clarkson’s massive hit single from her sophomore record Breakaway. After the thought was set on the table, I began to think about it myself and realized that it was indeed true. The record then moves into the catchy and fast-paced “I Do Not Hook Up” (originally written and recorded by Katy Perry as a demo). Other standout tracks include track 4, “Don’t Let Me Stop You” (most likely a future single), track 8, “Save You” and track 10 “Long Shot” (also noted as originally being a Katy Perry track).

The whole album is so easy to love and sing to. I fell in love with it within the first hour of owning it Tuesday morning. If you’re a Kelly Clarkson fan, then for sure, go buy All I Ever Wanted. You won’t be disappointed. Keep in mind, however, that the standard edition of the album ends with track 14, “If No One Will Listen,” whereas the deluxe edition has two bonus tracks, “Tip of My Tongue” and “The Day We Fell Apart.” The deluxe edition also features a bonus DVD, which includes the “My Life Would Suck Without You” music video, the making of the music video and the making of the album.

Harry Potter vs. Twilight

All right, so I know that this isn’t wholly Oswego-related as usual, but I just figured I’d post this anyway. Hey, it’s something to talk about. I recently read a review of Breaking Dawn (well it was actually written in response to this novel but was relevant to the whole series) that said that it’s not good but is rather entertaining, and I think that that is something with which I can agree. Meyer’s Twilight novels as a series is far from being good literature. Like I said, it’s entertaining. (This review may contain some spoilers; you have been warned.)

However, I will say that I began reading this in late December shortly after Christmas, and I just finished yesterday (today is March 10). Not only have I been incredibly busy with schoolwork as a college student, but I also simply didn’t have the motivation to read this one like I did the second and third novels. They were really good, and I immensely enjoyed them (as opposed to the first novel which I basically consider to be a literary joke). This one lacked a lot.

It’s very slow. That’s part of the reason why it took me so long to read. There is so much of the book in which nothing really happens, especially Book II: Jacob. The novel is over 750 pages, and it seemed to me as if through this book series, Meyer was hoping to achieve the status of being the next J.K. Rowling, at which she has failed miserably. She lacks Rowling’s creativity, and Twilight is not Harry Potter by any means.

Bella does not have to make sacrifices, as I also read in another review. She basically gets the best of both worlds, and that doesn’t make for a good protagonist by any means. Sure, in the same fashion as Harry Potter, Bella prepares to walk to her death at the end of Breaking Dawn, but that’s part of my point when I say Meyer was trying to make this series the epic journey that Harry Potter is, and she failed. Here are some reasons why

Harry was sacrificing himself for everyone, not just his family, and it was only him that he was sacrificing. Bella was prepared to sacrifice as many people as needed to selfishly save her daughter. I understand that the relationship between a mother and a daughter is one that is nearly impossible to break, because its strength is unmatched, but that was really ALL that mattered to her. She didn’t care who had to die for HER cause. I therefore don’t think it can be argued that Bella’s intents were as good or as tactically epic as Harry’s.

Secondly, Harry was marching to his death, ready to be slain by his WORST enemy, someone that destiny predicted from an early time that he would have to fight, and either he or his enemy (I’m obviously referring to Voldermort here) would have to die as a result. Harry was ready for that person to be him. There was a personal vendetta between Harry and Voldemort, and other than the fact the Volturi were using Bella’s daughter as an excuse to take them down since they saw them as a threat, this vendetta had a very pressing absence in this novel, especially since Voldemort had been Harry’s enemy from the beginning; the Volturi don’t really become Bella’s true enemy until Breaking Dawn, therefore withdrawing from the explosively epic ending that never was.

I don’t want to use the entire review to make contrasts between the Twilight series and the Harry Potter series, because as a fair critic, I should be looking at the Twilight series on its own. It’s just that I can’t help but make contrasts, especially since (a) it is so common to do so, and (b) I hear people actually say that the Twilight series is better, and although every person is wholly entitled to his or her opinion, I couldn’t disagree more. I think some of it may have to do with Bella obviously being a female and Harry obviously being a male, and I can therefore relate to Harry on a deeper level, but that’s definitely not all of it. J.K. Rowling is a much better writer than Stephenie Meyer, and the story of Harry Potter is much more powerful.

I think that the only aspect of this novel that made it epic was Bella finally becoming a vampire. I suppose that here I should negate what I said earlier about her not really having to make any serious sacrifices, because during the time period in which her body changes, she undergoes extreme physical pain and can’t scream or say anything about it for a couple of reasons, one of them being because she’s weighted by morphine which doesn’t help her at all. However, she knew that the transformation was going to be painful; she was willing to accept that. She knew that was part of the deal, so it wasn’t really a sacrifice if you think about it.

I just don’t understand the hype over it. I am not going to say I hate it, because I don’t. I’d be a hypocrite if I did that. I own a tee-shirt. I appreciate it, but it didn’t come anywhere close to having the impact on me that Harry Potter did, and Twilight has an incredibly long journey to go before it reaches Harry Potter’s standards, and I don’t think that that’s a race that it’s ever going to win.

RM Job

Two days ago, I had my RM interview with Trenton Barry, Johnson Hall Director. I think it went well, and I am thinking that I may actually have a chance. I figured it would be a beneficial exercise to talk about my reasons for wanting this position.

To begin, I love Johnson, and having to leave it is going to be difficult. I have been inside every single residence hall on campus, and Johnson is really the only one that truly feels like home, although I really like Riggs too. However, that isn’t even the main reason or the most important reason.

I want to take on a leadership position, because I want to be able to exercise one. I want to be a high school teacher after college, so this would be very beneficial to me. I would definitely learn a lot from the experience, especially as an RM since I’d technically be a TA with the GST course.

I would also like to serve as a positive role model toward people, and I like feeling as if I can help people. I would hope that people would trust me and come to me with a problem in the event that they needed help that they felt I could provide. Again, it’s beneficial to someone like me due to my chosen career field.

I am supposed to find out on April 6th whether or not I got the job, so wish me luck!

Acting

Friday night, I had the exciting opportunity to appear in a short film that a senior Cinema major is directing here. The film is called Hysteria and is based upon the Muse music video of the same name. I left Oswego at approximately 4:00 PM, got to Syracuse after 5:00 PM and had such an amazing time. I auditioned for the film two to three weeks ago, and although I was really hoping to get a lead role, I still had a lot of fun being an extra.

I have an interest in acting but unfortunately don’t have a lot of experience to know what my real talent is. When I was in eighth grade, I played Motel at my middle school’s production of Fiddler on the Roof. Apparently, that was good, because the critics that came to the school to review our performance said that they enjoyed it more than they did on Broadway. However, although my role was pretty important, I’m not sure how big of a factor I played in that critique.

When I went to high school, I tried out for the ninth grade play, Meet Me in St. Louis, hoping to obtain a lead role like I had in eighth grade. I didn’t receive a lead role, but I was asked if I wanted to be an extra, and I agreed. My mom, however, told me that I couldn’t be in it since I didn’t get a lead role. I tried making my claim and telling her that I wanted to be in it anyway just for the acting experience and to have fun, but she refused. My next tactic was to try being in the drama club, but that didn’t work either, because my mom put an end to that after a while as well, telling me that there was “no reason” for me to do it.

I don’t remember what happened in tenth grade (Once on This Island), but in eleventh grade (Little Shop of Horrors), I wasn’t going to be in town (not in the state, in fact) the weekend that the call backs were taking place. For my senior year, the play chosen was Thoroughly Modern Millie, and there were fliers around the school which said that you had to tap-dance, and that turned me away. My interest in acting was thus thwarted by fate for four consecutive years.

I am hoping for some opportunities here at SUNY Oswego. So, if any Cinema majors have any projects they’re working on, let me know. I can’t guarantee I’m what you’re looking for, but I’d be happy to audition, even if I only get an extra role.

Iraq

I found out a few days ago that someone that graduated from my high school was killed in combat in Iraq.  Coming from such a small school, everyone knew him and it has been something that has been really hard for the whole community to understand.  I hope he knows how extremely proud so many people are of him and how brave he is for sacrificing his life for the country.  In times like this, I can only help but think that God makes everything happen for a reason.  It really is a reality check.  I’ve been thinking lately that people, including myself, take so much for granted.  A lot of us (and no, I’m not saying everyone) walk around and act like our lives are so horrible and stressful all the time and really, we should all just be thankful that we are living.   I find it incredibly sad that most people forget that there are soldiers still fighting in a war and to be honest, if someone asked me why we have soldiers in Iraq right now I would have no answers.  I’ll admit, it’s the last thing that I think about most days but in the end, it should be something that I pray about every single day.

RIP Mike…so many people are proud of you.  I hope I can do something extraordinary with my life just like you did.

Oswego vs. Plattsburgh

Unfortunately, as most of you most likely know, we didn’t declare victory over Plattsburgh Friday night, or over Potsdam on Saturday. However,  I did get some footage of the game. Unfortunately, my camera broke, and I didn’t really get any footage of the actual game. There is some footage of the fans, nearly all of them dressed in white as well as footage of the Plattsburgh team throwing pucks at the window as fans chant, “Plattsburgh sucks!” There’s also some footage of my friend Danielle as she is immensely enjoying her soda. Enjoy!