First day in Paris…

My name is Tiffany Duquette. I am a senior at SUNY Oswego. I have two majors and they are Adolescence Education and French. My goal is to become a French Teacher. So, I am studying abroad in Paris, France for fall of 2009. I just got to my housing in Paris. I am staying at temporary housing at La maison des etudiants canadiens. Anyway, it has been a very long night and I still have to get through today. It’s 6:43 am in NY, which is what time zone I am on, but it’s 11:43 maybe 12:43 in Paris. Although, I am so tired and mentally exhausted that I really don’t know the time exactly. I guess that is what happens when to travel for over 16 hours and skip ahead in time zones.

500 Days of Summer Review

A few months ago, I saw the trailer for the film 500 Days of Summer, and it instantly went on my mental list of movies that I had to see. Although I can’t recall the exact date, I remember that it was supposed to come out sometime in July, and when that date came, I realized that it was only playing in certain cities, and my city was not one of them, unfortunately, which I was pretty upset about, because I had been waiting and looking forward to it for so long. Thankfully, however, it just opened in my city this past weekend, so I finally got to see it.

As a whole, I really liked it. I thought that it was really cute and original. At first, I didn’t like the whole idea of time jumping around so randomly, but eventually, I became used to that, and now, I see it as one of the ways in which it was original. I really wish I could go into all of the ways in which I thought it was original, but if I do that, then I will be getting into heavy plot details, and I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone. I will do my best anyway; this is the type of the movie that is somewhat difficult to discuss and review without getting into plot details, so I will try to be as vague as possible.

I thought that the choice of acting was really good, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tom Hansen and Zooey Deschanel as Summer Finn. I really liked the way that Deschanel dealt with the character. Summer Finn is a firm feminist who doesn’t believe she has to give herself to any man, and her firm beliefs sometimes initiate stubbornness in her character, and I personally thought that Deschanel played this out so well. Gordon-Levitt played Tom’s role really well too, the casual, somewhat awkward Michael Cera-like dude that you would just naturally expect to be with a girl like Summer.

The plot follows the two of them who meet at a club and pursue a friendship. However, Tom likes Summer as more than just a friend, and even though the relationship starts to get a little bit more serious, such as the two of them becoming intimate, for example, Summer doesn’t want anything serious with him, and she doesn’t want to call what they have a relationship. Another reason why I found this movie to be original is that you see right at the beginning of the movie that she breaks up with him, but you don’t really know why or if they’ll end up back together or not.

However, my biggest problem with the movie was a personal one, which is why I say that overall, the movie was really good. I honestly couldn’t really connect with it or understand it, because I’m not in the same boat as the theme of the movie is. I am in a very serious, loving and trusting relationship, and I wasn’t really sure what this movie was trying to say. Perhaps, it was trying to say that love is only a fabrication, that it doesn’t actually exist, but I see that as being ridiculous. I offer that as a suggestion, because a line very similar to that is actually in the script. Another message that it could have been trying to convey is that events don’t happen because they are meant to be; everything is coincidence, but I don’t believe that either, so ultimately, I wasn’t really sure what to make of the movie, but like I said, it was really cute. The acting was really good, the soundtrack is exquisite, it’s cute, and the plot is original. Ultimately, it’s a decent “summer” movie.

New Year

Welcome back, or for any freshmen reading this, it’s a mere welcome! So, here we are are back at college, and for me, the summer seems as if it really flew by! It doesn’t seem like that long ago at all that I was packing my bags and heading home for the summer, and now, my sophomore year has begun, and I’m thinking, “Wow, one year of college is already behind me,” and the thought is rather daunting to say the least. Forget about the summer flying by; everything is flying by! It doesn’t even seem like that long ago that I was in high school let alone a college freshman!

This year, I am living at Waterbury, and I actually really love it! The only part of it that I don’t like is that there is no dining hall connected to it. Lakeside and Cooper are approximately the same distance, with Lakeside perhaps being a bit closer, and right now, I don’t mind in in the least, but when it starts getting really cold, and the snow starts to fall, which basically always guarantees for ice, then it becomes something that I mind. Other than that, however, I really feel as if Waterbury matches me; whereas last year, when I moved into Oneida at the start of my freshman year, there was quite a bit that I didn’t like.
There’s always the homework, which never seems to end. For any freshmen reading this, keep that in mind. I made the mistake last year of assuming that college was going to be high school with a dorm room, and it’s not by any means. College gives a lot more homework than high school, and you need to do your best to manage your time, because I myself ran into a lot of problems last year with that, literally being driven insane with the homework and feeling as if I didn’t have enough time to do it. Already, I have been given a great deal, but I have figured out what to do differently.

The work actually doesn’t take as much time as is usually taken to complete it. The problem is when your mind wanders and wants to check Facebook, or go on AIM, or talk on the phone, or text, or eat, etc., and I therefore learned that I needed to go somewhere where distractions such as these weren’t going to be an issue, and what better place is there than the library? That’s therefore where I have been doing my work, because I have come to find that the work gets done a lot faster there. I feel more concentrated and “in the zone,” and things like Facebook and AIM don’t distract me, which is surprising, because if it’s not reading out of a book or something to that effect that needs to be done, I am on a computer, which still gives me the opportunity to steal time and hop onto Facebook, but for some reason, I don’t feel the temptation like I do in my dorm room. I think that it might be because in my dorm room, I am in a tighter, more enclosed space.

Another thing that I vowed to change about this year as opposed to last year is a more appropriate bedtime, which, so far, I have been doing a very good job upholding. Last year, I often went to bed at like 4 or 5 a.m., and that simply didn’t work, because then I had class, and I was exhausted, therefore taking a nap in the afternoon, losing more time. The first night that I was here, I went to bed at around 1, and last night, I went in at around 10 (I am currently sick and therefore felt pretty tired early). It’s been awesome, because this morning, I woke up at around 9:30 feeling totally revived and awake and got right up and went to the gym to workout. I even had time to do a little bit of work.

I know that this year is going to be better, despite the fact that my current issue with books is looking like a bad omen. I tried to get a job over the summer, but my attempts were futile, because no one was hiring, and I therefore have no money for books. Yesterday, I got my refund, which totaled over $300, and I figured for sure that that was going to be enough, but it isn’t. I bought everything yesterday except for what I need for two classes, Psychology and History, and that came to $213. My Psychology book is going to cost $90 used, and the books that I need for History are going to cost $40 and $60. To break it all down for you, I still need almost $200 and only have a little over $100. I’m trying to figure something out. My Psychology professor brought up a really good point in my class last night. He said that in the book that we will be using for our class, there will be roughly thirty pages out of the 150 or so that are really going to count, and yet we pay $90 for that book, which breaks down to approximately $3.00 per page; it’s ridiculous. Books are so expensive. I’m not looking at this as a bad omen, though, because I just have a very strong feeling that this is going to be a great year.

Sweet Summertime

I’ve moved into my apartment in Oswego! It’s the cutest little apartment, just right for me, myself and I. I’ve spent the last week decorating (buying some things I probably didn’t really need) but I purchased all the necessities. I have an extra bedroom that I turned into ‘my office’. When I’m in there… I’m doing business as my mom would say. I’m not allowed to have pets which kind of makes me sad because I LOVE animals but the more I think about it, I won’t be home that much. It wouldn’t be fair to them to be alone most of the time. Some things have gone wrong, the refrigerator blew up at me when I was cleaning it last week, sparks flew, very scary! But my landlord is taking care of it. The light bulb blew, that was all. The shower is either scolding hot, or freezing cold. But if I play with the nozzle the temperature adjusts to just right. It wouldn’t be a new apartment if something didn’t go wrong, right?!
I still can’t believe that I’m living on my own, paying bills, cooking my own meals and everything else that comes along with living alone. I spent two years on campus. I met so many great people in the residence halls I lived in. Now that my class load is getting a little bit tougher and I’m taking two extra classes which puts me at an overload, I just need my own space. Sharing a room with someone I didn’t know was a great experience I learned a lot about myself but it does get tough sometimes.
Another reason I moved off campus is because I’m looking at grad schools out-of-state and I figured I need to learn how to cook and manage money and things of that nature by myself; where mom isn’t going to be there to cover my butt quite as easily.
It’s been a great experience so far. I never really saw the beauty of Oswego in the summer because I’ve been busy with orientation the past two years. It’s nice being able to go to the farmers market and just sit out at the lake and relax, go running, visit some little shops and other things. It’s been great.

Looking Forward

As the summer is very rapidly dying off (there is only a little more than a month until we return), I am beginning to seriously think about this coming year and what I am going to try to do in order to make it better than my freshman year. I didn’t really have the best year last year, and I know that that really is more or less the case for most if not all freshmen (since they’re in a new environment and are just beginning to learn the ropes), but for me, it was more of a personal thing. I made a really stupid decision, and it seemed like I was becoming something I didn’t want to become, and I blamed it on so many things, including myself. The point is, however, that I am actually looking forward to my sophomore year, because it seems as if so much is going to be different.

Yes, there are some of the usual things that bothered me during my freshman year, one of which was my roommate and I coming from very different environments and attempting to tolerate each others’ very different personalities and lifestyles, which, I admit, was not very easy for me to do, even as accepting of a person as I am, and this year, that’s going to be different. I am rooming with my friend Allain, and he’s a really cool kid, so I’m looking forward to that. I also know of a lot of friends who will be living in the same residence hall as me (Waterbury), on the same floor even, so that will be great as well!

There are some people who don’t think so because they see a totally different side of me, but I am a very social person. I don’t like being alone (I vehemently loathe it, in fact), and I don’t like feeling isolated, which I did almost all of the time during my freshman year, and that became a very serious problem for me. I like being with people, even if it’s just to watch a movie or even just to do homework together. Like I said, though, I will be with a lot of friends this year, so I think that things will be a bit different.

I definitely need to try to improve my sleeping pattern; that’s for sure! That’s because, for the most part, during my freshman year, I didn’t have a sleeping pattern! There were times that I would walk to class in the morning like a zombie, because I didn’t make it to bed until 4 or 5 in the morning, and obviously, that’s just not acceptable. I can’t and won’t do that this year! I am making it a mission to be in bed every night by 1 a.m. at the latest. The biggest issue last year was the unbelievable amount of homework I had (which will most likely, God forbid, only be worse this year), which I stayed up very late doing, but my hopes are to try to manage my time better, which, I know, is easier said than done, because as a college student, you kind of just want to have fun and be free of authority and responsibility, but my education is very important to me, and I don’t want to screw it up. I want to be responsible, and I want to do the very best that I can do, which I don’t feel as if I did my freshman year.

As far as my summer is concerned, it has been relatively uneventful so far. I have spent a lot of time with friends, sure, but it’s not like I’ve taken any vacations or anything like that. I have had a massive amount of dentist appointments (bleh) thanks to my inexplicably massive amount of cavities (I rarely ever drink soda, and I brush all the time), so that hasn’t been much fun, but taking it easy is nice; that’s for sure. It’s certainly a very different lifestyle than what it was like in college. I very much enjoy not reading ninety pages out of my Astronomy book or writing three papers all due in a week’s time. I have been tutoring a kid who is in transit between sixth and seventh grade, and of all things to be teaching, yes, I am teaching math! Let’s just say that it has been rather interesting. Well, I’m going to run for now, but I hope to write again soon!

Human Communication. What has it turned into?

As you may or may not know, I am an orientation leader. We do a skit called Life on Campus that describes issues that happen on college campuses, some scenes are specific to Oswego State.
It hit me the other day that at least four of the scenes deal with technology; specifically cell phones, how rude people are becoming because of it and the distractions it causes in everyday life. I guess I knew it subconsciously but never really thought about it, if you will.
I actually sat down at the mall last night, I was by myself, for about three hours just observing the people. There was not one person who did not have a cell phone on them. The sad part is, every single person I saw was with someone else while they were on their own phone. Is it so hard to communicate with the people we are with? Face to face communication? Is the company of the people are with not good enough that we have to resort to texting and calling other people? If this is the case, why doesn’t everyone just sit at home on their cell phone or instant messenger and have multiple conversations at once and not have to worry about being rude, if they even think about that. I just can’t believe how much this really happens.
I remember back in the day, in elementary and middle school where I would pass notes or talk in class and get in trouble for verbally speaking. Today, children starting as young as age 5 have cell phones and are texting their friends in class. It is absolutely ridiculous that we are so reliant on technology to speak to one another. What would happen to the world if the cell phone towers suddenly had a disconnection and cellphones stopped working? It would be a mad rush and people would probably start hyperventilating because they don’t have their phone and might miss an important text or a phone call. I may be a little biased on saying all this all. But I challenge you, for one day. Don’t use your cell phone. Don’t take it to work, don’t take it to class and see how you feel at the end of the day. I mean seriously, what did we all do before we had cell phones? We survived. We actually had to speak to people face to face and we got to see reactions on faces rather than a smiley face on a screen. So I challenge you all, feel free to let me know what you think or how it worked out for you if you’re brave enough to not use a cell phone for a day.

Greening the globe: market or movement?

Since the argument for and against climate change has gained more speed in the past couple years, people are becoming more aware of what’s happening on the earth around us. These global changes, however, have been happening for hundreds of thousands of years as part of a cycle. In more recent times, global warming (happening through the hole in the ozone, polar ice caps melting, rising sea levels, and increasing temperatures) has become a common phenomena with many people saying “Oh, the result must be global warming,” or “It’s hot because of global warming.” The words “global warming” are widely used, but how much of the actual problem is being recognized?

I went to the mall the other day to get some scrubs for work, and while I was there I noticed how green everything was. Green for green, if you will. Handbags, countless t-shirts, wristbands, necklaces, socks, posters, bracelets, flip flops, and tons of more merchandise shared the same words “Go Green,” “Respect Your Mother,” “Save the Planet,” etc. Being “green” and environmentally friendly isn’t in the interest of the environment; it’s in the interest of manipulating a global awareness trend into a marketable venue.

This wouldn’t be too much of a bad thing if this awareness was actually getting somewhere. Most of the t-shirts and handbags made in the name of “eco-friendly” ideas were made in very unfriendly, polluting ways. Just by looking at the tags of the products alone, you see “made in ______.” Insert China, India, Brazil, Indonesia at your convenience. Items traveling from China go over 9,000 or more miles to get to my mall in Elmira, NY. More than ten tons of CO2 is dumped into the atmosphere for each load of clothing or tote bags. Not to mention the materials of which the clothing and totes are made. How does this make it more environmentally-friendly?

I fully support spreading awareness, but how effective is this awareness? By wearing a t-shirt that says “I recycle” makes the statement that obviously you recycle. But, then you go home with your smoothie from the mall and throw out your plastic smoothie container when you’re finished. It’s recyclable; you can surmise this from the recycling sign and a number on the bottom. If it’s recyclable, why aren’t you recycling it? It’s one thing to claim to the general public that you’re eco-friendly, and it’s another thing to actually be eco-friendly. If you’re going to represent the trend, represent it! Offset the carbon footprint from buying that t-shirt through Buy from local vendors. Research where the items you buy come from and where you can find some of the same products closer. Do something in the movement!

A movement starts with awareness, but it needs action to actually move.

Do the research and help move society into an actual “eco-friendly” atmosphere.

Other sites:

Journey to Kiwi Land

I have been on a plane for almost 2 days now. Overall the trip has been successful. We will be touching down in about an hour. I did find a place to live, it panned out last week but was a little bit close for my own nerves. I will be living in a place called College Hall. Creative right? I am very excited though I get to be transported by some international shuttle, it sure sounded cool in the brochure. I have to say though that the staff at the University of Waikato are great so far, they arranged practically everything for transport.

I still don’t have classes to attend though. Everything is topsy turvy because there was a mix up in my return dates. I will have to take finals in the states or make special arrangements to take them early in NZ. It’s a good thing that their international center has free international calls because BASAC and Career Services are going to have become even tighter to try and figure this out.

(BASAC = Business Advisement Center. Career Services = Part of the Compass in the bottom of the Campus Center with career advice, graduate school searches, internships, volunteer stuff and everything that you could think of that you could need. The staff at both places is so great. However if you are a business student, go to Lisa at BASAC; she is my personal favorite, she always figures it out. I will be calling her as soon as it is a normal hour for Oswego again. I wrote this at 5am July 2 in NZ and 1pm July 1 back in Oz.)

Cruising through the skies, thinking of everything to put it bluntly, crazy days ahead but it is going to be one of my best adventures yet.

Be Ozzy.



Finding Contentment in Being Less Than What I Want and Being More of What I Need.

Yes, can you believe it? I sure can’t. It’s already been a month after I graduated. I remembered walking through the hall ways not as a college freshman but just as a high school student. I remembered the days of passionately hoping and praying for better ones. I wanted a change in my environment. I yearned for new opportunities to grow and challenge myself in ways that would impact my life. My journey to and through Oswego brought all of those experiences to me. Now that, that chapter is over you ask me what comes next huh?

I have worked as hard as possible and exceeded my goals to this point. I as do thousands of recent college graduates are faced with today’s tough economy where hundreds of thousands of already full-time and part-time workers have been laid off jobs, businesses have foreclosed, and even major corporations seek bailouts. Where do we go from here you say?

Despite these harsh realities I find myself being frustrated but not concerned. Frustrated of course because I wish circumstances weren’t this challenging. But, I’m concerned that people won’t utilize a moment like this to work harder and become more than what they had envisioned from the start for their lives. Yes, that is difficult to do. It’s a challenge and you have to be up for it if you expect to move forward.


Dr. Phil, from the Dr. Phil Show recently published a blog that was dedicated to recent college graduates, “Ten Things I Wish Your Kids Would Hear at Their Graduation.” I couldn’t agree with him more and I think that all of my peers should take the time to read it. What I take from him is to be flexible, loosing a sense of entitlement, and not to be afraid to fail. I am more content now than I have ever been in my life as a result of the job market and the economy. I have learned to be content in being less than what I want and more of what I need. It comes from the expectation of having a degree, wanting the job of my dreams, my own home, and so forth.

It’s so simple and easy to want those things in a condition where the possibilities of having those things in this tough time are highly unlikely. Even if the job market and economy were great I still couldn’t expect that all my wants should be satisfied. It’s just not a reality either way when attempting to get what you want. It takes time, blood, sweat, tears, and dozens of detours on your path to getting where you would like to go. So on that path, on that journey, in your book or however you determine your guide to your ultimate success, you have to be creative and flexible to finding what you need in place of what you want in order to eventually make it to where you would like to be.

Therefore, I chose to focus on what it is that I need. I need balance. I need to work harder. I need to seek opportunities not for money, but for experience and growth mainly. Overall I’m in love with the condition of what is going on around me. It’s shaping me to being a stronger, wiser, and better person. Of all the things I can’t control I shall make it my best and for all the things I can control I shall make them INCREDIBLE! I sincerely encourage that you seek out your passion and go for it. You can make it happen. You can make it WORK! I remember the days of passionately hoping and praying for better days sometime ago to get to this point. The amazing part now is that I will be doing the same thing to get through to this next phase.

It’s it ironic where the time goes…

So, I moved back to Oswego June 14 to begin working on orientation for first-year and transfer students! Things are going GREAT so far! The team is connecting really well and we starting learning LOC, Life On Campus, today and it is going to be amazing. I can’t believe that it’s been 4 days already. I feel like I was just moving all my stuff in to Johnson, where I’ll be living until August 1.
It’s funny how fast time flies when you’re having fun. It’s scary more than anything though. Take college for instance, I remember moving in my first day, August 26, 2007. I remember what I was wearing, the first people I met and meeting my roommate for the first time. Now, I’m going to be a junior! Where has the time gone?! It’s so important to make the most of your college years, in the right way. Make friends, join organizations, get outside of your comfort zone and push yourself to see just how far you can go. You’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish with a little bit of uncertainty and unfamiliarity.
Becoming a college student is invigorating and such an honor. Take it for everything it is and don’t waste the time away. I’ve seen too many people flunk out because of poor decisions and here for all the wrong reasons. Staying on top of your grades doesn’t necessarily mean being in the library every free minute you have or hitting the books, it’s about making smart choices, getting to know professors and where to go for help.
Have fun and enjoy the years, because soon enough you’ll be walking across the stage in cap and gown shaking your head, saying to yourself, where has the time gone?