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.

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The view from my balcony

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The balcony

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My room

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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!

Australia in T minus 7 Days

Hi everybody! My name is Kelsey Thomas and I am a senior zoology major with a photography minor and I am studying abroad at James Cook University in Townsville, QLD, Australia this upcoming fall 2014 semester. It has already been a stressful process of filling out an endless supply of paperwork however this last week is going to be crazy! There are still so many things I need to do, such as going to doctors and dentists appointments, verifying my visa (which was not completed correctly the first time), verifying my flight, printing out all necessary papers, visiting family and friends, oh, and packing too. I am just praying that I remember to do everything. Determining what is necessary to bring with me will probably be the toughest part of this whole process! What to pack and what not to pack will be difficult but starting a week early will hopefully give me enough time to look through everything a few times over.

I have to say, I am very nervous about the trip. Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely excited as well, but I will be sad about leaving everything behind for the next four months. Learning a new culture and finding my way to classes is going to be stressful at first but I know it will all be worth it in the end. It does make it a little easier with Australia speaking English (kudos to those studying abroad in countries that don’t). I really can’t wait for all of the new memories and friends that will be made in this country. The school looks absolutely beautiful and the town itself looks nice as well, not to mention that it’s located right on the Great Barrier Reef.

Heads up to all of the Biology and Zoology students out there; I picked this school because the man I talked to in the international office said that Australia was the best option for our major. It is so different from what we have here and they do focus a lot on science majors. If you’re looking to study abroad, check out JCU’s website!

http://www.jcu.edu.au/

James Cook University

Townsville, QLD www.nextstepaustralia.com

Departure is in one week and now I am just counting down the days. I will be sure to keep you all updated on this wonderful adventure!

-Kelsey

Intro to Tasmania

Hello! And welcome to my OZ blog. I am hoping this blog will demonstrate (somewhat mundane) sociological and cultural differences that I come across in Australian culture in Tasmania. For now, I am keeping the blog light, as this is just an introductory post to prepare my followers for my adventure (and to practice blogging skills…).

Honestly I still don’t really think about how I will be across the world In Tasmania, Australia in about a month and a half. It really hasn’t sunk in yet, I suppose. At the same time, I don’t know how I would be able to “expect” anything since I’ve never done something like this before. Sure I’ve traveled before, but never alone. Which happens to be the most appealing part of the entire experience for me.

It’s funny because being alone is what was once deterring me from the idea of studying abroad. Oddly enough, I eventually decided to follow in my sister’s footsteps, who recently traveled for a semester abroad to Tanzania, Africa. DISCLAIMER: Sarcasm should be included in the previous sentence. Following in my sisters’ footsteps is something I have been doing since I can remember.

I’m weirdly excited to be in a place where no one has any idea who I am. And I happened to choose Tasmania… mainly because I’m not ready to take on another language (AKA: I’m lazy).

a building on UTAS campus that I thought looked cool

a building on UTAS campus that I thought looked cool

Check out the school’s website here!

Before I go, I’d like to give a few shout outs. As the Spring 2014 semester came to a close, I became sad thinking about the many ineffable people I would be leaving behind for almost five months.

Dear…

OSWEGO:

I will miss you, my geese….

 

PATHFINDER:

I will miss working with this wonderful, hard working, personable crew. Thank-you so much for opening my eyes to a group of dedicated and caring individuals, and for being patient and helpful. You have impacted me in ways more than you will ever know, and I’m glad that I am showing my appreciation before I graduate! I’m excited for working for you for one last semester! ;)

me workin' hard

me workin’ hard

 

NEWMAN CENTER:

Ahh.. the center. Sorry for not saying bye to anyone, by the way… I really wanted to avoid any crying that may have occurred, and I’ll see you next semester anyways so no harm, no foul. I hope everything goes well with the retreats and please know that I will miss all of you so much! I’m also upset I’ll be missing the Fall retreat… make sure you folks stay up late and have extra special conversations in dedication of my absence. And have some of those sugar cookies at the meetings at LEAST one time. You know what I’m talkin’ about.

peace OUT.

peace OUT.

MY FRIENDS:
OMG you know I wish I could put a personal picture up with special captions for each of your individually, but I would say too much and then no one would take the time to read the blog. I will miss all of you SO MUCH and hope you have AMAZING SEMESTERS (but then have an even better one when I’m back from Australia). Thank-you for constantly supporting me, listening to my troubles, and giving me a good time. That’s all we need in life <3

Cats & hats!

Cats & hats!

the last [high school] dance!

the last [high school] dance!

FAMILY:

Thanking you over a blog post seems so lame… but if I didn’t include you it just wouldn’t be fair. I cannot express my gratitude to you in words. I hope I can show you it through my actions for the rest of my life. It is through your love, hardship, fighting, honestly, and trust that I am how I am today, and that alone is inspiring enough for me to go across the world in confidence. Thank-you Mom, Dad, Jenn, and Becca for making me a large part of who I am! I love you all.

Well, the next blog I post will hopefully have a picture of me holding a koala. See you then!

-Patty

 

Time Management-How to Successfully Get Your Work Done on Time

Sometimes, your classes can get the best of you.

 

Have you ever put off a huge project until the last day before it’s due? Ever let your homework pile up over the course of the week? These two things can work together to make you feel overwhelmed, stressed, and buried in work. Contrary to popular belief, a pot of coffee and an all nighter are not the solution to this problem. This bolg post is aimed at time management, seeking help in topics you may be struggling in, and how to survive the semester without stressing over being behind in classes.

 

When it comes to time management, there are many courses of action you can take to help keep organized and work in a productive, timely manner. Here are a few methods you can use to help manage your time:

  • Make a schedule for yourself!-When a professor assigns a project that is due in a month, it may be a good idea to utilize all of the time that you have been given to complete the assignment. This usually means that you’re expected to put a lot of work into the assignment. In order to keep on track, make a schedule for yourself. Use a loose leaf piece of paper, calender, etc. to remind yourself what part of the project you should be working on at a given time.
  • Buy yourself a white board!- This is a must have for any college student. A great idea is to keep the white board on the wall next to your bed so you can see whatever reminders you’ve written yourself as soon as you wake up. That way you won’t forget about an assignment that is due. Plan your week out on the board–it will be extremely helpful!
  • Have a smartphone? Use it!-There are some great features in most smartphones that can work wonders when it comes to managing time. Most phones have a notepad, which can be used to write notes to yourself regarding a project or homework assignment. Another great feature is the alarm. Set alarms for yourself to remind you that you should be doing your work. That way you won’t get distracted by whatever you may be doing and lose track of time.
  • Buy a planner!-Planners are a great invention–especially for a college student. Use them to keep track of all of your assignments and their due dates. This way, you can get things done before they start to pile up.
  • Others- Other great ways to stay on track include leaving sticky notes for yourself, or having a trustworthy friend remind you to stay on track.
Sometimes for a student, procrastination occurs because they do not understand the material in class. If this is the case, and you are struggling in a class, here are a few methods to help you bring up your grade and do better on exams, homework, or papers:
  • Office Hours-Most professors on campus have open office hours–which is a specified time on a given day where they are open to students who may wish to come in and seek help on a project, paper, homework assignment, or seek additional instruction in a specific area. Usually office hours are posted in a courses syllabus. If not, consult your professor to see when they are available. This is a great way to establish a good relationship with your professor as well as receive one on one help with whatever you may be struggling with. Professors are always happy to help!
  • Tutoring Services-  SUNY Oswego’s Office of Learning Services provides numerous resources t students who wish to seek extra help with their classes. A great service provided is their tutoring service. If you visit the OLS office (Located in room 171 in the Campus Center), you can request a tutor to help you. Tutors are available for most lower level courses, as well as upper level courses. These tutors are usually undergraduate students, graduate students, or professors who make themselves available to help you.
  • Need someone to proofread your paper? Go to the WRITING CENTER!-Located on the third floor of the Penfield Library, the Writing Center is a great service offered to those who wish to seek help with a writing assignment. If you wish to have somebody read over your paper and help you improve your writing skills. To make an appointment with a writing tutor, go to this web address and follow the instructions. http://www.oswego.edu/academics/support/OLS/wc.html
  • When studying, DON’T CRAM!-Spreading out study sessions over a period of time before your exam will help you to retain the information better. Study one portion of the material at a time. Cramming is stressful and ultimately is not a good way to study. Taking breaks between study sessions is healthy and gives the information time to sink in.
  • Study with a group of friends- Sometimes, working in a group is much better than working alone. If you have a big exam to study for, study with a group and take turns testing each other on the material.
  • Go to the library!-If you feel as if you may be studying in a distracting environment, go to the library to do your work. There are plenty of places in the library that promote productivity and help you to focus on your work and your work alone. For me, just being at the library makes me study harder and focus more.

 

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.

SUNY Oswego Presents: Lupe Fiasco!

Whatsup bloggers?

 

The time has finally come! The artist performing at this years Spring Concert has been announced! I’d imagine you’ve all been as excited as I was for this huge announcement. As stated in the title, this years concert is to be put on by famous rapper Wasalu Muhammad Jaco–Better known by his stage name: Lupe Fiasco. If you remember, we voted on who should play this concert a few months ago. Personally I’m very happy with this outcome. For those of you who have never heard of Lupe Fiasco, I suggest you take the time to look him up. Lupe’s lyrical style is quite unique; he focuses most of his music on controversial political and social issues such as war, poverty, prostitution, terrorism, and religion. Lupe is also strongly opposed to censorship, and believes that it only blinds and deafens people from the truth. He currently has released four studio albums including “Lupe Fiasco’s Food and Liquor”, “Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool“, “Lasers”, and “Food and Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1″. Now I bet you’re wondering about when and where you can get tickets, so here are the details:

 

  • The will be held in the Campus Center Arena on April 20th, 2013
  • Doors open at 7:00 p.m. ; The show starts at 8:00 p.m.
  • Ticket prices are $10 for SUNY Oswego students and $20 for the general public
  • Tickets go on sale for students on March 25th, 2013 and can be bought at the Campus Center Box Office
  • Tickets go on sale for the General Public on April 1st, 2013

 

 

 

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.

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!

 

quest report: “news media bias in 2008 presidential election” by Arvind Diddi

Submitted by Aubrey Mulvey

This Quest program was a content analysis of the television coverage of the 2008 presidential election through broadcast, cable, and public television. The program started with Diddi giving an example of bias in media. He pulled up an article which had the headline “CNN is less biased than Fox.” The speaker of the quote was none other than Newt Gingrich. This has drawn attention back to bias in media, particularly in television. Apparently Newt Gingrich made this claim feeling Fox was biased towards his political opponent Mitt Romney.

According to the presenter, news viewership has seen an increase in the past year. Network TV evening news is watched by 21.6 million people during a presidential election. It is very important that television reporting remains unbiased, given its effect on public opinion and influence on registered, undecided voters who are following the campaign by night to try to decide where to vote. But viewers are becoming increasingly aware of media bias. According to the presenter 55% of Americans believe news media is politically biased. This is a 10% increase since the 1980s.

We then broke down the television coverage of the Obama vs. McCain campaign. Diddi said 846 stories having partisan assertions were published by ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox, and PBS — 425 of these stories were favored by Democrats, 48% of the stories were favored by Republicans and there was a balance of about 10%. It was also noted that cable and public television gave stories for both parties fairly equally while broadcasting networks appeared more uneven.

This was an intriguing program which brought more attention to the ethics of media.