We Have Arrived: James Cook University

After travelling for over 35 hours, I am happy to say that I made it to Australia! This was the longest trip that I have ever made away from home and it was not a fun time. I started my travels by leaving my house at 9 AM on Tuesday, July 15th and drove down to JFK with my parents where I met  my travel buddy, Deanna. She is in the same program however she does not go to Oswego, but goes to Oneonta instead. We had been discussing everything before the trip but this was the first day meeting each other. After having trouble printing my boarding ticket, I finally said goodbye to my parents and headed toward the gate. It was easy to find the gate and navigate through the airport. But of course there had to be a thunderstorm directly headed our way so our plane to LAX was delayed 3 hours! It was a good thing we had a long layover there because by the time we landed and got our next boarding pass, the plane was boarding for Sydney, Australia. This wonderful flight was a whopping 14 hours over nothing but ocean water, and it was a red-eye flight so there wasn’t much to look at. Luckily it wasn’t too hard to fall asleep and I slept for 8 of those hours, making the trip a little more bearable. There were also plenty of movies to be watched which took up the rest of the time. But this flight did have one good part to it; the girl who sat down to my right happened to be going to the same exact place as Deanna and I; town, school, dorm building and all. So we made a new friend, Natalia. There was another study abroad student, Luke, who sat in front of us who was traveling from Kansas State to Perth, Australia.

We all got off the plane together at about 6 AM on Thursday, July 17th. After collecting our luggage in Sydney, and going through customs, we got separated from each other! I did freak out for a few minutes but then realized that if I just keep going to my next gate that we would meet up there. As I got back in line to recheck my bags, I found Natalia but Deanna was still nowhere to be seen! I waited with Natalia for a few minutes before getting on the bus to our next terminal. Finally, when we found the gate, Deanna was there with Luke, safe and sound. Luke’s plane left first and we said goodbye as we prepared for boarding as well and after landing 3 hours later at our final destination, we went to pick up our bags and meet our ride to the Uni (what they call the college campus). There was of course one more setback; my bags were lost. Come to find out, they were left in Sydney and never boarded the plane to Townsville. But I brought 2 changes of clothes and travel size shampoo. Deanna let me borrow a towel for the shower and I should be getting my bags today (Friday)!

Townsville Airport

Townsville Airport

After arriving to uni and our dorm building, I met my RA, Andrew, and got to see my room for the next 4 months. It has its own balcony which is the highlight of the whole building. People, mostly those here for the whole year, have decorated them and even have hammocks too. But besides this awesome feature, it is a pretty standard dorm building. It’s not as enclosed as those in Oswego, for obvious reasons, so there is more air flow making for a beautiful tropical feel.

_MG_7804

The view from my balcony

_MG_7802

The balcony

_MG_7807

My room

_MG_7808

My room

Deanna, Natalia and I decided that we would go to the store and get a few things after we showered and looked decent after travelling for such a long period of time. We asked someone on our floor how to get to the store that was on the uni and they said it was a short walk down the street, so off we went. It was literally a 5 minute walk, and I just got a few things, including a phone that I could use just in Australia. We walked back, dropped our stuff off in our rooms and walked around for a bit, exploring a little before we went to the dining hall for dinner. We had a nice chat with one of the cooks who told us about some of the local birds and the kangaroos that enjoy sitting on the grass right next to the dorm building! I also met another exchange student from Norway! She got there the day before. Her name was something very Norwegian (I could not pronounce it to save my life) so she told us to call her Chessa. There are so many people to meet still and O week hasn’t even started yet. It is going to be an exciting time here in beautiful Australia!

Graduate School Isn’t For Everyone

Whether you’re thinking about going on with higher education to pursue a Masters or Doctoral degree, there are a lot of things you need to take into consideration before taking the dive. Financing is an obvious issue, as is how you’re going to support yourself in the meantime- you know, eat and stuff.

Beyond those types of things, there are some others which aren’t as apparent; things that don’t happen during undergrad.

Going through the History Masters program here at SUNY Oswego has made one thing painfully obvious to me: There are people who are much, much smarter than me. During undergrad I was a pretty good student. I loved studying history, writing papers, analyzing- all that stuff most of you hate. It made me seem smart because I was invested in the process. However, at the graduate level, I had to step up my game. There aren’t a ton of us in the program, so standing out negatively is easy. Teachers, and frankly your peers, expect more out of you. The days of the kid who doesn’t know what he’s talking about speaking up every class making people look good are over. You’re in the big leagues now. If you didn’t read for that day, stay home. People will eventually figure it out.

This is a good time to bring up my next point: You better love what you’re studying. If you’re pursuing a degree after your Bachelor’s it should be something you don’t mind spending every weekend for a few months…who am I kidding? You’ll probably be spending most days researching, studying, and writing about. You may have to skip out on some nights out with friends or with a significant other, which is never fun. Dedication and perseverance will be key. It’ll get tiring, trust me, but at the end of the day I’m proud of the result and focused on getting my degree. If you feel that maybe it’s not for you, do more research, talk to people already in the program and the professors in the department, and choose your University or College very carefully.

Finally, being in graduate school also brings on this feeling of limbo: Am I a student or a professional? I work 30 hours a week, but I go to class at night. How do I introduce myself in a meeting or to people I meet? I’ve personally had trouble understanding the difference. Many times I’m expected to be professional, going to meetings and creating events, but I need to make sure I’m home in time to finish a paper or study for an exam. It’s a delicate balance that will work itself out. In the mean time, do your best to just concentrate on what you’re doing.

At the end of the day, make sure you take your time with your decision and way all the pros, cons, and everything in between.

- Jon (@jonzella)

 

Wait, what month is it?

When I started Graduate School in late August of 2012 graduation seemed distant. Now, in the midst of my second semester, it seems to be coming up quicker than I thought. Though most people will explain Graduate School programs in years, 1-3, in the grand scheme of things Graduate School is only 4 semesters. When you break that down, it’s easy to lose track of time when you think of how the semesters themselves get fragmented with school work deadlines and, before you know it, it’s the end of the semester. 5 months flew by and you can barely remember what you did. This made me think about what was important to me, what I needed for professional development, and what I just needed to do to survive.

It was a hard decision to stop doing certain things that I had become accustomed to doing here at SUNY Oswego for the last few years (I received my Bachelor’s Degree from here, too.) I realized that in order to stay sane it was important that I did things that I wanted to do for me and stop thinking about the big picture 24 hours a day. Professional development is important and taking time out to do that is something everyone should do. However, sacrificing happiness now for future happiness wasn’t how I wanted to live my life. So I changed it. I left some things behind, adopted a new attitude, concentrated on a few things instead of a handful, and opened my self, and my schedule, to new experiences. One of the most important things that I’ve picked up along the way is that personal development, learning more about who you are, will help you in the long run when developing yourself professionally. With a more relaxed schedule no longer filled with the stresses of simply too much to do, my spring semester has slowed down in comparison to the fall of 2012. I take my school work one day at a time and leave enough time for me to relax, go nuts, enjoy food, favorite sporting events, and well- anything else I want.

How to Survive Oswego’s Weather

Is anybody else confused as to how Oswego can go from 56 degrees and sunny one week to negative temperatures, massive amounts of snow, hail, sleet, and forty mile an hour winds the next? After last weeks beautiful weather I was just about ready to pack away the snow gear and bring out the shorts and tee shirts. Unfortunately, that isn’t looking like a possibility anytime soon. It seems that the weather here changes every other week, and mother nature doesn’t want to give us a break! This weather proves to be a major problem when it comes to having classes all the way across campus. It may seem near impossible to enjoy this weather, but there are definitely some great ways to stay warm, make it to class, and have a great time while the winds rage and the snow piles up.

 

The number one rule for surviving these frigid temperatures: LAYER, LAYER, LAYER! Unless you want to freeze, bundle up as much as possible. A heavy jacket, gloves, hat, and boots are all pretty much essential. Face masks are also great to block out the wind and keep your face warm.

 

Another great strategy to survive the winter is to utilize the Centro bus system, also known as the Blue Route. I was extremely surprised when a couple friends of mine told me that they have never ridden the bus before. If you look around campus, you’ll notice blue signs by the road (they usually have a picture of a bus on them) or the enclosed bus stops such as the ones behind Penfield Library and next to Oneida Hall. Just about every 20 minutes the bus will leave the Campus Center. The bus is free to ride, and is great if you need to get to a class that’s particularly far away. Here is the link to the times the bus departs from the Campus Center as well as a map of the Blue Route: http://www.oswego.edu/Documents/auxiliary_services/ShuttleMap090111.pdf

 

If you’re snowed in on the weekends and feel that the only thing the weather will permit you to do is sleep, I’m pleased to inform you that there are great things you can do in your Residence Hall without even having to go out into the cold! Normally, I’ll just read and relax, but if you have different preferences, you could always rent a movie from the front desk free of charge! There really is a huge selection of movies and TV shows that the front desk can rent out to you. Board games are also available for anybody. All you need is your Oswego I.D.!

 

This weather may seem to be a drag, but there are many things that the school provides to it’s students to make it as tolerable and comfortable as possible. All you need to do is utilize these services. hopefully these tips will help you out!

 

Who doesn’t like free stuff?

Hello bloggers!

If you’re a student here on campus, you should obviously know what CTS is. For those of you who don’t, you’ve been missing out on a very helpful group of individuals. CTS, or Campus Technology Services, is the primary source of help when it comes to any technological pitfalls you may be experiencing. If you are having a problem with your computer, the internet, or any other electronics, CTS should be your first phone call. Conveniently located on the ground level of Lanigan Hall, the CTS Help Desk is open Monday through Friday fro 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. During this time, walk-ins are available to SUNY Oswego students. You can also email them at help@oswego.edu or call at (315) 312-3456. Along with their expertise, CTS also provides students with a variety of programs that are available for download on their website. They pay for the licenses to the software in order to allow students to download it for no charge. The programs available for download include:

 

Minitab: A program used in most statistics classes in order to provide students with a way to complete problems and create graphs.

 

Sophos Anti-Virus- An anti-virus program that will protect your computer from malware, spyware, trojans, and other threats to your computer’s security.

 

Microsoft Office- All of your run of the mill Microsoft programs such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Publisher.

 

Along with these programs, Spyware and Malware removal tools are also available for download. These programs are essential if you believe your computer may have a virus. Be sure to utilize the wonderful service that CTS provides for students on campus!

 

 

How About a Quick Introduction….

Hello all! My name is Josh, and I’m a freshman here at SUNY Oswego. I’ve recently returned for my second semester here and let me just say, thank god the first semester is out of the way. Between meeting new people, finding things to do, doing homework. and adjusting to all of the new classes I had, the first semester was strictly transitional (and quite hectic at times). I’d like to focus this blog on general campus news and/or interesting experiences I may have throughout the semester. Currently, I’m a declared economics major, but once I turn in the paperwork, which will hopefully be done sometime this week, I will be enrolled in SUNY Oswego’s newest program: Electrical and Computer Engineering. I’m particularly excited about this due to the construction of “The Richard S. Shineman Center for Science, Engineering and Innovation”, which is the name of the new Science building that has been in construction for quite some time now (even as I was touring the school before I applied). This building is going to provide students with a state of the art learning environment, and I can’t wait to see it in the Fall of 2013 when the project is completed. Of course, this will likely be the building where I’ll have to take Calculus and Chemistry, but I won’t let that ruin it for me just yet! I’ll just have to cross that bridge when I get there.

The semester ends when?!

Like most students on campus, I’ve been as busy as ever juggling  jobs and classes, relationships and hobbies, and most of all… me time. This also means that I neglected updating all of you with how my semester was going. So, here it goes. It’s been a long one. It’s interesting to see how far I can push myself and it’s really rewarding when the grades that come back reflect the work that’s been put in. Graduate school is no joke, but at the same time I feel that this is where I’m supposed to be and that I was prepared for the work. Civic Engagement is going well, we were super busy until the election and now we’re planning for next semester, which is just as time consuming. The Women’s Club Hockey team is off to a decent start, not where we usually are at this point but we picked up our play as of late. Coaching teaches me a lot about leadership roles, professionalism, the game of hockey, and myself. Right now we’re 5-3-0 with a few games left this semester to improve that quite a bit. It’s something that I love to do, though it’s really time consuming. On a lighter note, being a graduate student means no finals! it also means that there are only 8 days left in my semester. Definitely thankful for that. Well, hope all of you are doing well. I’ll try to get on this more often to keep it updated.

New Chapter

Hello all,

For those who may not know, I just graduated from Oswego in May, and I must say it still hasn’t hit me that I actually am done there. I guess that’s kind of because I’m in graduate school at Syracuse University now.

As of tomorrow at 4pm, I will have successfully finished my first semester of graduate school with 3 more to go, and I must say I am excited. It’s weird that just three months ago, I was rushing to hand in final papers, and stories. Flash forward to now and I’m rushing to hand in designs, edit feature viedo stories and cover local feature stories.

As much as many recent graduates encourage taking a break between undegrad and grad school, I have truly appreciated going straight though. Since my program is only a year long, I’m basically studying as long as someone my age who may be doing an extra year o undergrad. So in just 5 years, I would had accomplished two degrees. I think that is a great accomplishment and ready to tackle even more.

For now, I’ll be starting fall classes in two weeks, work as the assistant housing director of Bryant and Stratton College, and TA an undergraduate journalism ethics class. This may seem like a lot, but in fall 2011, I had three jobs, three internships, three class, while also working as the president of a club and an RA. So this should be a breeze right?

Although I’m no longer a student at Oswego, I would love to keep writing on this blog and kind of show a glimpse into post-graduate life. The ups and downs. Good, bad. ugly. And whatever other cliché outcome that comes mind.

To commemorate a successful first semester at Syracuse and say goodbye to a hectic last semester at Oswego, I leave you with this video. It is my first multimedia piece from grad school. I’ve done work like this before, but I am especially proud of this video in particular because it marks the beginning of something great for me… my career as a multimedia communications professional.

White-Out

It’s just been a week since the Oswego Men’s Hockey slammed Plattsburgh in the one the SUNY Oswego’s biggest events of the academic year. This was my third time attending the event so I was pretty familiar with everything that goes on with the game. This time, I was more focused on the fans. I was impressed with the amount of students who put so much work into preparation for the game. Whether it was painting themselves in all white, dressing up in a skin tight greenman costume, or intricate face makeup, it all was superb.

Before coming to Oswego, I had not watched a single hockey game. But here, I have myself sitting in the seats of dozens of games. I think it is more than fights, pucks, and encouraged violence. The true experience manifested far beyond the ice. I enjoyed the unity it brought students. Everyone was there to have a good time…..Tormenting the opposing team’s goal serves as one of the primary team building activities!

Space

Poetry used to be a passion of mine. I loved getting my thoughts and feelings on paper. And ironically I was not a fan of non-fiction. After deciding to pursue both genres in my creative writing minor, the tables turned. I think that taking a poetry class taught me a lot, but stressed to0 much formalized uniformity to a chaotic passion of mine. There was a time where I thought I only had space for one: non-fiction or poetry…. But recently I have learned, that just like jello, there’s always room for more…

This inspired me to write a poem focusing on the word Space

Spatial Issues

Confined in our own place
Intertwined in our given space
Love life laughs jokes unshared
Stares, grins, moans, sighs placed upon this burden we all share.

Nucleus membrane microscopic motives
Lovely lashes batted by the mystery queen of vision

You can make no sense but people love you
For you are space
Given arrangements

Love in color coded segments

Bubbles of mercy

Facillitated and delegated before thee

In an emergence of your entity
I find additional space for you
Reservations for two