Ozzie scored a job at Cooper!

Working in Cooper

Working in Cooper

SUNY Oswego has 13 residency halls as around half of the enrolled students live on campus. To accommodate this large volume of students, Oswego has 5 dining halls. As an international student living in Hart Hall, I eat approximately 80% of my meals in Cooper Dining Hall. Because I was spending a large proportion of my time in this dining hall, I was able to witness the culture and attitude of Cooper and its employees – I wanted in. Whenever I was being served a meal the staff were always smiley, friendly and wanting to strike up a conversation; I loved it. I was also motivated to earn some pocket money due to the AUD being weak.

So I did the next logical thing, I applied for a position. Initially I didn’t hear back as there were no openings, however several weeks later I received a call asking if I was still looking for a position. I started two days later. So far I have only worked as a server (dishing out and serving students food) and in the deli section (making wraps and sandwiches) but I am enjoying the work and grateful for all the new friends I have made so far.

I have a positive attitude towards this job as that’s exactly what it is, a job, it’s not a career, and it’s a way for me to make friends whilst earning some cash. Being employed has forced me to setup a US bank account and obtain a Social Security number, both which put me in good stead if I decide to return to the states in the future for work purposes.

Hard work is good for the soul,

Peace out

K xx

The Oscars! In Hart Hall

Oscars!

Oscars!

Being from Australia an all, I had never actually watched the Oscars – only ever the highlights. This is because the timezones are so out of whack. Anyway! This year because I am in the U.S.A I was fortunate enough to not only watch the oscars, but also attend a party organised by my hall. It was so much fun! The Oscars reminded me of the Logies but on a bigger scale as all the big stars were there, lame jokes were cracked, award winners made moving speeches and all the celebrities looked incredible. My highlight of the evening was seeing Lady Gaga perform a tribute to the Sound of Music, as I grew up watching this film with my Mum and Ba, so this was really special to me.

death2At our event in Hart Hall, there was a red carpet setup to make us feel fabulous as we entered, big cardboard images of cinema film reels and stars dangling from the ceiling and walls, posters on the walls, and food. Lots and lots and lots of food.

We all watched (and cheered) the Oscars and participated in mini competitions whilst continuously stuffing our faces with food. I did not win anything but one of my friends won a Walmart voucher which we all thought was pretty neat. I had a great evening and really enjoyed watching the Oscars all the way through as it’s something I probably will not be able to do again.

 

Peace Out

K xx

 

 

 

 

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

 

The Way to a Man’s Heart

….is through his stomach.

It’s an age-old saying, but it still rings true today. I have yet to meet a guy who can’t be won over with a delicious home-cooked meal, or at least a meal that he enjoys. I’m not sure the home-cooked factor is even an important ingredient in this recipe.

So what’s a girl to do for Valentine’s Day, the holiday of hearts and mushy-gushy romance? Cook, of course!

Dustin is usually the cook in our relationship, which I am eternally grateful for. I have the capabilities of cooking, but I don’t enjoy doing it one bit, especially after a long 12-hour work day. It should also be known that Dustin and I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day that much. He’s a guy, so he believes it’s a stupid holiday that was invented by girls, whereas I believe it was a silly holiday invented by Hallmark. As a result, we just make sure we’re hanging out on that day and do something relatively low-key.

Because Dustin is the main cook, I decided it would be a nice change of pace for him if I donned the chef’s hat. So for the entire weekend, I prepared us two delicious meals, then surprised him with a third on Monday.

Friday kicked off my venture to win over Dustin’s heart by cooking up some delicious chicken. Chicken can be bland or extremely tasty, plus it’s cheap. After all, I am still a college student! Also, it’s important to note that I’m training for a half-marathon, so I can’t eat anything too ridiculously unhealthy. So I headed to FITNESS magazine’s website and whipped up this recipe for terragon chicken. There were a few substitutions, but we stuck to the recipe pretty closely and ended up with a delicious thyme (not terragon) chicken with lots o’ veggies on the side.

On Saturday, Dustin pulled out the stops for a date night and took me out to Ruby Tuesday’s, where we had our first date over two years ago. I had the Parmesan Shrimp Pasta and it was so good, I was tempted to lick my bowl clean.

I took over the cooking duties again on Sunday, this time going Mexican with some chicken tacos! I also found this recipe on FITNESS’ website and my, oh, my, was it delicious! First, I seasoned cut up chicken with salt and pepper and let it cook in a tablespoon of canola oil.

Then I tossed in a bunch of tomatoes, white onion, a jalapeno pepper, a clove of garlic, scallions, lime juice and cilantro to season it up quite nicely.

After everything was mixed in together, I portioned the food on small corn tortillas and dug in! The ingredients gave the chicken a perfect amount of spice and the variety of flavors really gave my taste buds a treat. However, the corn tortillas I bought at Price Chopper were not up to par and kept ripping apart, so Dustin and I ended up feasting on this dish without the wraps. Next time we’re going to give it a go with Tostitos chips and make it a taco salad.

Dustin thought that my cooking duties were over by the time actual Valentine’s Day rolled around, but he was happily mistaken. He works late on Monday nights though, so instead of cooking, I made sure he had one of his favorite foods for dinner….pizza! I was able to order a heart-shaped pepperoni pizza from Cam’s to celebrate the day and Dustin was a happy camper.

Like I said, the way to a man’s heart is definitely through his stomach! I’ll tally this Valentine’s Day in the success column!

What fun things did you do for Valentine’s Day?