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!

Oz Bucket List

We are already two weeks in and I am trying to figure out where all the time has gone. This year was always guaranteed to go by quickly because (drum roll) I am graduating! This semester to be specific, into the winter I came and out of it I will go.

Knowing that the end is in sight has gotten me a little sentimental and reflective. SUNY Oswego has been good to me and  I truly want to cherish every moment that I have remaining here. I’ve definitely had good times but when I leave I want to say that I’ve done it all and with your help I just might be able to accomplish that goal.

Here’s how

I along with some truly creative and gifted people from SUNY Oswego have devised a plan.  A senior bucket list or sorts where I go around gathering different people’s suggestions and ideas of the best things to do on campus or in the surrounding area before it’s all said and done.

You suggest something, and me and my camera man (the ever talented Kevin Graham) will go out do them and cross it off the list. Ideally I’d love to hear from everyone freshmen all the way up to my fellow seniors(who knows maybe one of you can join me on a couple) and even the alums. I would especially love to get some alumni opinions on what are some of the things that formed your fondest memories in Oswego.

You can provide your suggestions in several different places as I’m sure ideas come to you at different times.

The comment box below

Twitter (with hash tag #Ozbucketlist)

@Mr_Belle 

Or @sunyoswego

Facebook

SUNY Oswego

Kwame Belle

Look forward to hearing what you guys have in mind the more the merry the clock is ticking and the camera is rolling!

 

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

Senior Year

School has been in session for several weeks now and it is really starting to hit home. This is my last year, not only is this my last chance to get some 4.0 semesters but I also have to start preparing for my life post graduation. This will be even more work outside the classroom in addition to my internship and campus responsibilities. There are many things a senior has to do that everyone else does not have to worry about. Not only will the classes probably be the hardest this year but there is so much more to do. Some things I have planned to do in the upcoming weeks are to research some schools, start filling out graduate school applications, apply for graduate school scholarships, begin studying for the Graduate Record Examination more commonly known as the GRE’s, begin studying for the LSAT, research some companies I would like to work for and possibly begin preparing for relocation. Whew! Let me catch my breath. That is an enormous amount of work to do considering I am also going to be a full time student. This can all be managed with some Time Management, a skill which I have developed over the years.

Maybe I will do some heavy studying for my GRE’s this semester and do some heavy studying for the LSAT’s next semester. Maybe I will study each section of a book in quarters over the next four months (Random Thoughts). There I am not exactly sure how I will go about that yet but I will be putting a plan of action together very soon.

As you can imagine this process can be a very stressful one and everyone partaking in this journey with me should use adequate resources, plan everything out with spare time, and use mentors to help with the process. The compass has information on when the practice GRE’s and practice LSAT’s are so Ill begin this journey by consulting with them.

Long time, No Blog :(

Hello there!
I apologize for my absence on the blog scene. I have had a lot going on, but when don’t I?

So this summer, I didn’t get the chance to go to Italy, the financial aid didn’t come through in time so hint of advice, DON’T WAIT! I saw some pictures of a few friends who went and they were absolutely beautiful. I WILL be going either on Spring break for a week to Rome or I’ll go in the summer of ’11.

However, I did get the chance to camp in the Adirondacks for 5 days, let me tell you that was an experience! I have never really camped, I mean with a tent and cooking out and all that jazz. It was amazing. I woke up every day around 5 a.m because of the sunrise and Rollins Pond was as calm as could be, it was a humbling experience to say the least. I’d get up and fish with those I was camping with and I caught my first two fish ever! I was so scared to hold them. I got to visit the Olympic Village in Lake Placid and see Saranac Lake. I climbed to the top of Whiteface Mountain! That was unbelievable! I plan on going back to climb the rest of the peaks in the ADK! That was definitely the highlight of my summer experience.

So on the school side. I’VE STARTED MY SENIOR YEAR! Holy moly, where has the time gone? My co-blogger Samantha Shelton, was my roommate freshman year and we can tell you every single detail about move in week. It was so much fun! It seems like that was just yesterday.

I’m in the capstone class for Public Relations Majors, which is the final class you need for the major to graduate. I am so excited. We’re working on a PR campaign for any business of our choice and my group decided to work with The Mustard Seed, an all natural food store. We are able to put into practice everything we’ve learned from freshman year on about surveying, research methods, print layout and design and of course the writing of press releases! I am so excited to see the end result. The business has the choice of implementing our work or not but the manager seems really excited to work with us and use our materials.
In my other PR class, we’re working the United Way Kidney walk and we get to put that on ourselves. Our class is broken up into groups such as T-shirt committee, recruitment, thank you committee and others. Also in that class, we get the chance to design our own campaign for ScanDisk and send it into PR student of the year! How awesome, we’ve had 5 students in the top 5 of the competiton and last years winner was from Oswego! How awesome! He was awarded a paid internship and a cash prize!

I seem to be working in groups in all of my classes except for Math 102, which I will give you another hint of advice, don’t wait until senior year to take a 100 level course, you’ll more than likely be the only senior in there and it’s just annoying to look forward to taking “math in the real world” four years later ha! But, in my marketing class we get to design a marketing campaign for any product of our choice and we can’t decide between Dove Chocolate or Starburst. We get to create our own commercial, print ads and PSAs. The graphic design department is working with us to design our commercial, which is great because it will be other students helping us!

In management, we’re working on case studies of ethical behavior and my group is doing the case of “baseball and steroids.” Should be a very heated discussion in class! I also get to write a paper on ethics and leadership, which is a topic that really interests me!

Lastly, my interpersonal communication class is probably my favorite class. Professor Eichhorn is a great teacher and the topic is just interesting in general. I am going to be evaluating a group of people who work together and teach them ways to improve their communication skills in any area I so choose, I haven’t figured out which area quite yet but all in due time!

So, there is an overview of my classes and all that I will be doing this semester. I can’t believe it! Senior year, time sure does fly! I’ll be writing more soon updating you on the extra curricular stuff soon!

Chao :)

How is it senior year already?

Graduation is imminent!

The summer has flown by! I can’t believe it’s halfway through summer! I wish that I had more time to work for the summer, but I also can’t wait to go back to school. I’ve been having the weirdest dreams about being late for journalism classes with Professor Gilligan, who I’m not even taking classes with next semester! I think that comes from being late for Investigative Reporting a couple of times and freaking out until I realized that Prof Gilligan was later than me, luckily.

In thinking about the summer flying by, I think the past three years have flown by, actually. For me college has been a blur of staying really busy and doing a million things, and now, all of a sudden it seems, it’s senior year! In less than a year, I’ll be out of college and into the workforce. Holy cow!

My first year, I started out as a freshman at Paul Smith’s College in the Adirondacks. I remember moving in all anxious about meeting people, but excited to start studying (I’m such a nerd). I had already been to boarding school my junior year of high school in Arkansas, so I wasn’t afraid of being away from home, but there were those moments of “am I going to fit in?”

The nice thing about PSC was that there were 800 students there. And there was a ratio of 7:2 guys to girls; that was very beneficial :) Overall, people were very warm to me because of the size of our community. I loved it there. The students are fun, and the teachers are great. I miss it there sometimes. I left because the program wasn’t the strongest – environmental writing. I had my fun, but moving on to Oswego was a good decision.

Sophomore year came and went. I got used to the bigger size of Oswego and the weather. The classes are my favorite part of Oswego (nerdiness once again). Also, I really enjoy the ability to connect with other people on campus, whether they’re faculty, staff, or students. I feel like with the size of Oswego, there’s the opportunity to build close-knit groups, despite the thousands of students. You find your niche with people of like interests, and you gravitate toward each other, but that takes a little more time than I expected.

I feel like Oswego has been cliquey, though. It’s a lot harder to make friends at Oswego than it was at PSC because people aren’t as open with each other. Where I knew nearly everyone’s name at PSC (no joke), at Oswego my sophomore year, I felt a little lost in the masses at Oswego. It wasn’t until this past year, junior year, that I finally felt like I found my own niche.

The problem I think that I had was that there is only a relatively small group of student activists who have similar causes as I do, despite the thousands of students. Oswego has a lot of divisions from fraternities and sororities, who can tend to seem solely exclusive for members of Greek organizations, to sports groups, who seem to be exclusively for athletes, to the members of Humans v. Zombies, who tend to be just for those who enjoy LARPing (live action role playing).

Maybe it’s just my Southern background that makes me feel like the people at Oswego are a little more separatists than unitarians (in the literal sense of the words_, but, maybe that’s just college life. Anyway, tangent aside, I feel like my time at Oswego has been really great. I’ve made some friends and done A LOT of activities on campus. I’m just looking forward to life after college for a little bit. The time of living for partying on the weekends has been over for a while. I’m ready to start doing what I love as an occupation, and then go back to school in a couple of years.