Archive for February, 2011

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Chelsey, Class of 2013

As with every place, Potsdam has something new to discover every day. It might be kind of hard to remember during winter, but as long as you do a little searching, there is a world full of treasures hidden amongst the sand-covered sidewalks and icy breaths that constitute Potsdam during the winter. Here are my top five so far this semester!

Maxcy offers a variety of exercise classes in which you can partake for FREE! I’ve tried a few, and I’ve found them to be really fun. My favorite is kickboxing. It’s a great way to let out the stress of the day and get a good work out in at the same time!

This semester I tried intramurals for the first time. I have to admit, I never gave them much credit – but they’ve proved to be a blast! I tried Canoe Swamp, and right now I’m in the midst of volleyball. Carboard duct tape boat race is coming soon!

Lehman Brunch
Who doesn’t love a plate full of bacon? Well, some people, I’m sure – but that’s okay because there’s a million other things to eat! I’ve been enjoying weekend brunch in my pajamas on the weekends. (I live in Lehman so I don’t even have to go outside!) It’s a great way to start my lazy days.

Time With Friends
Ok, so this one isn’t exactly something that Potsdam has been hiding from me. Rather, it’s something that I neglect far too much and have really found value in this semester. It’s hard to find spare moments with such a busy schedule, and sometimes it makes things a little more hectic – but it’s so worth it!

This isn’t a new one. Since I discovered Saguaro’s, I can’t stay away. But it’s still definitely one of my favorite things on campus this semester!

“These are some of my favorite things!” Now go find your own! Don’t use winter as an excuse to hole up; go find the hidden gems that truly make life a treasure.

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Becky, Class of 2014

Last night we had our first “showing.”  Showings are performances of the pieces that we’re working on for the Senior Choreographers’ Concert as well as the American College Dance Festival that’s coming up way too fast.  We normally have them in Dunn Theater, but yesterday only 3 pieces were being showed so we had it right in the studio.  The showings are a chance for us to get feedback from Don Borsh (one of the senior faculty members here, and my Modern teacher this semester… he is also the advisor for the student show this semester) as well as the other choreographers.  They help us clean our dancing and fix our phrasing as well as help the choreographer of the piece better develop the concept as well as the visual they are creating.  These showings are extremely helpful to all of us when working on a piece.

Yesterday was our first showing of the semester.  We performed Talisa’s piece—the Bond of a Storm—from last semester’s show first.  Don was impressed at how much the two new dancers learned in the short amount of time and remarked at how he forgot that they weren’t part of the piece before.  He gave us each a few small corrections, but overall seemed pleased with our work which clearly made us all very happy.  The next piece was Talisa’s large piece, which I am not a part of.  Normally during showings we don’t get to watch the others perform, but since it was in the studio it was an exception.  It was so cool to be able to observe her work in this stage because I have only ever see it from the viewpoint of performer, not audience member.  Mollie’s quintet went last, and I was SO nervous.  She set it so I start the piece in a solo, which was stressing me out just a little.  I was afraid I’d forget the choreography or mess something up.  All was good though and the performance went well.  Don made us run through it a sound time since it was his first time seeing the piece or even hearing the concept.  He also spent some time coaching me on my phrasing in my opening solo, which was extremely helpful. He enjoyed this piece as well and remarked how excited he was to see the show as a whole go up later in the season.

We also had another CariDanco rehearsal last night, meaning that I got not one, but TWO doses of CaribFunk in one day.  As I type this, I am noticing it’s hard just to hold up arms out to the keyboard.  My entire body is literally exhausted.  We started working on our first performance piece last night and it’s different from what I expected.  The music is difficult and the phrasing is also a challenge, but I think it is going to be awesome once it has been rehearsed enough.  After our class, Professor Carey called Talisa and I into her office to ask us if either of us wanted the position as Rehearsal Director or Secretary for the company.  Talisa jumped at the opportunity to be Rehearsal Director, which I was glad for since I’m uncomfortable with leading the group through a rehearsal given that I am the youngest one.  That left me with the position as secretary, which I was more than happy to accept.  I will also be working closely with Anthropology students in the study of the historical context of the movement.  I can’t wait to begin!

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Becky, Class of 2014

This weekend (as the first of many) was completely FULL of rehearsal.  It all started Saturday morning at the leisurely hour of 9am.  Yes, you read that correctly; that wasn’t a typo.  Nine in the morning—on a Saturday!  It was our first CariDanco rehearsal and it went from 9-12.  This wasn’t a one-time occasion; this will be my schedule for the next four years.  Friday night social life, I’ll miss you so very much!  On the Brightside, rehearsal went really well!  Professor Carey talked with us about her goals and we signed contracts binding us to the company and saying we’ll follow all the rules.  She cares a LOT about not only our dancing (we’re required to take classes year-round) but also our academics (we have to keep above a 2.5 GPA) so it was a little overwhelming for all of us.  Thankfully, I’ve always been a good student so I’m not overly concerned about the GPA requirement, and I’m always dancing so that shouldn’t be a problem either.

After 3 sweaty hours of intense CaribFunk training, the day was far from over.  After a half hour lunch break, we were back at it again in rehearsal for Talisa Davis’s piece “The Bond of a Storm.”  It is one of the pieces that we will be showing at the ACDFA concert in only 3 weeks!  We rehearsed for another three hours, mostly bringing the two new dancers up to speed but also cleaning it as a whole.  Six hours later, I was soo ready to leave Dunn Studio.

But of course, I would never dream of a day off!  Sunday morning I was back at it again in rehearsal for Tani Currier’s piece – Proceed Openly.  Again, it was a lot of catching everyone up and helping the people who were new to the group.  It was hard remembering all twelve minutes of choreography when I could barely keep my eyes open, but we were all starting to feel the pressure of only having 3 weeks until ACDFA so we kept going full-force.  We wound up getting a lot done, thankfully.

Finally, I am out of rehearsal for the weekend.  Now on to the 18 tons of homework I have!  It’s gonna be a looong night.

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Brian, Class of 2012

Last week, SUNY Potsdam students witnessed a rare event that was just as welcome as it was surprising; a snow day! Starting in the early morning hours of February 2, a monster storm made its way through the Midwest and headed northeast toward our neck of the woods. I woke up at 7AM for Geochemistry, checked my email and was very surprised to see a cancellation notice from President Schwaller for all morning classes. The snow continued to fall steadily and heavily and before long, all classes and activities had been called off for the day. Needless to say, students embraced this special occasion with open arms. I chose to go back to bed for a few more hours before work, then spent the rest of the day off playing music with friends off campus. The atmosphere was truly festive; I have a feeling that most of us will fondly remember Snow Day ’11, especially considering that snow cancellations are so few and far between. My advisor has been teaching at SUNY Potsdam for 25+ years, and this was the first full day weather cancellation he has witnessed.

Indoor Ultimate Frisbee at Clarkson University

More recently, Clarkson University hosted an indoor Ultimate Frisbee tournament this weekend. Clarkson tournaments are always a welcome change for our team, since having to drive 5 minutes across town removes the hassle of hours of driving to a distant university and sleeping on a basement floor. We played well on day one of the tournament, with a record of 2-3. The good news there was that two of our three losses were by one point and every game was extremely competitive. The next day, we were seeded in the loser’s bracket of the championship, where we played even better than the day before. We played an undefeated day two, going 3-0 and winning each game by a very wide margin. We won the loser’s bracket (affectionately called the “Chumpionship”) and left the tournament feeling very good about our performance.

Indoor Ultimate Frisbee at Clarkson University

Indoor Ultimate Frisbee at Clarkson University

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Vincent, Class of 2013

This week I finally ran out of the food that came down to college with me.  It was probably enough to satisfy three people for a good four weeks but I polished it all off in about two.  As expected of course, in college eating becomes more of a pastime rather than nourishment.  After all my granola, dried fruit, Kashi products, and vitamin water was long gone from my closet shelves I decided it was time to finally hit up the stores in town.  Although wal-mart is normally where you can find college students shopping, I decided to go against the grain and hop on over to the Potsdam food co-op.  It’s a nifty little establishment that has vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, and organic products for a healthier selection.  Personally, I enjoy the wide selection of organic and fair trade breads the place has to offer.  There are also local farm cheeses and an aisle devoted to eco-friendly cleaning products.  It’s like a Whole Foods on a smaller scale and very friendly on the college sized budget.  If you happen to be up in good old Potsdam for a visit anytime soon, check out this hidden gem.

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Hannah, Counselor

A few weeks ago, a friend told me that I should check out a place called The Birchbark Bookshop which is known for its collection of about 50,000 +, used books and so, off I went for a weekend excursion in the rather cold weather  of Northern New York.

On My Way to Birchbark Bookshop

When I arrived at The Birchbark, I instantly knew that I was going to like this place.

Birchbark Bookshop

Inside, the books are neatly lined on wooden shelves that are reinforced by birch trees. There is a large, wood stove glowing in the middle of the store and chairs nestled in the corners. The owner was great and when he found out my love for Southern Gothic writing, he recommended a few books and told me to come back soon so that he could show me some more. After I meandered through the store for about thirty minutes, I decided to buy a strange looking copy of Wuthering Heights and a Carson McCuller’s book titled, “Clock Without Hands” which the owner assured me was an excellent read that could be returned to many years down the road.

This place is definitely worth the ten minute drive outside of campus to find an old favorite or a new read!

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Chris, SID

Welcome back to the athletics blog. Maxcy Hall will be busy this weekend with several events going on in SUNY Potsdam athletics.

On Friday, the athletic department, in conjunction with the alumni relations and residence life offices, will host the eighth annual Bear Pride Night as part of the women’s and men’s basketball doubleheader against Cortland, which begins at 6 p.m. There are a number of events planned for students, including the Sears Shootout (halftime of the men’s game), the Subway sub-eating competition (between the women’s and men’s games) and t-shirt launching throughout the night, sponsored by Great Northern Printing. It should be a fantastic evening, especially for students, so come over to Maxcy and check it out.

In addition, Friday’s games will be televised by Time Warner Cable Sports, adding even more buzz and excitement to the night. Fans unable to make it to Maxcy can watch the game live on channel 9 in the North Country. The game can be viewed throughout Central and Northern New York, as well as the Binghamton area, so it should be a great opportunity to showcase our talented teams, dedicated fans and top-notch facilities.

On Saturday, the women’s basketball team will participate in the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Pink Zone in its 2 p.m. game against Oswego. The Bears will join college teams around the nation to raise money for breast cancer awareness and research. Pink t-shirts will be sold at the door for $10, with 100 percent of proceeds to benefit the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, an organization aimed at fighting against women’s cancers. Donations will also be accepted at the door. Fans are encouraged to wear pink, as the Bears will on the court. Come to Maxcy on Saturday to support a great cause.

The men’s basketball team will host Oswego at 4 p.m., while the women’s hockey team will face Neumann in the Maxcy Ice Arena at 4 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.

All three teams competing at Potsdam this weekend will also honor their seniors, who will be playing in front of home crowds for the last time.

With a full slate of events and promotions at Maxcy this weekend, and more snow and cold temperatures expected this weekend, I’m not sure there’s a better way to watch live sports than in the warmth of Welsh Gymnasium or under the large heaters in the ice arena bleachers.

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Becky, Class of 2014

When I came to Potsdam, I expected it to be like every other college I had ever experienced.  You go, sit in class, do your readings, hand in your papers, get a passing grade, and never see them again.  What I didn’t see coming was to have teachers that actually care.

Robin Collen, my advisor and one of the Dance professors here (I have her for Improv and Dance History this semester) helped me to set up rehearsal space in Merritt studio, a pretty unused studio across campus from most of the other dance and theatre classrooms.  When I had asked her if she knew anything about it, I assumed she’d just give me the name of whoever was in charge and send me off to take care of it myself.  She actually set up a meeting with the director of the department that was in charge of that room and contacted the custodial staff for that building to get me permission to use the room, my own designated reservation block on the schedule and possibly even my own key.  I’m so grateful for Robin helping me with this and allowing me to have rehearsal space to work on all the projects that I am a part of this semester.

I spent all day yesterday running from CaribFunk, to Dance History, to Ballet, to Improv like a crazy woman.  However, I’m not reeeeally in the Ballet class.  I wanted to keep up with my Ballet technique because I have always been taught the importance of a good technical foundation and didn’t want to let that slip.  But already being at 19 credits (the max load) without Ballet looked like it would be impossible.  Plus, I wasn’t sure I’d consistently have the time to take it.  When I asked Professor Carey about this, she said that she would allow me to drop in on Ballet whenever I could, and when I wasn’t able to, that it would be fine.  I thought it was a pretty sweet deal.

Oh, and speaking of Professor Carey, did I mention that I’m one of the 11 dancers that was cast in her new company, CariDanco?!?!  I’m beyond excited.  Professor Carey, Robin, Don Borsh and all the rest of the teachers I’ve come in contact with here are really so wonderful.  They go above and beyond to help their students in any way they can, no matter what.  I can come up with dozens more examples, but I don’t think you’d want to read a blog that long!  Until next time, I’m off to rehearsal!

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Becky, Class of 2014

This past Friday, Professor A’Keitha Carey held auditions for a brand-new student training company, CariDanco.  The company will be training intensively in her CaribFunk fusion style of dance several times a week and will be traveling literally around the world to perform and hold training workshops for other dancers.  Obviously, I was there!

First off, I should probably give you some background information.  Professor Carey is new to SUNY Potsdam this year.  I took her CaribFunk class last semester and all I can say is it was nothing like I expected.  Her unique style fuses Ballet, Modern, Caribbean, East African (think Congo) and fitness techniques.  Basically, it’s a workout and a half…think Zumba on steroids.  Her style of movement is very unique and it involves a LOT of hip movement (if you weren’t comfortable shaking it before, that’s going to have to change!) and a LOT of sweat (2 hours non-stop for the average class) but it’s so much fun!

Professor Carey had contacted me about her company this past December asking to consider being part of the process, which I eagerly accepted!  At auditions Friday, I helped people fill out their audition forms and gave each dancer a number.  I’ve been to different auditions here before, but it was NOTHING like this.  Everyone was so stressed out and so eager to impress Professor Carey enough for a spot in the company.  Once everyone was signed in and had their numbers, the audition began with a slight explanation of what we’d be getting ourselves into.  She told us about how we would be performing over the next few semesters throughout the Bahamas, Congo and all across the country.  She hoped that those cast would remain a part of the project, allowing us to progress technically and also aide in her quest to codify the movement so that it may be taught around the world.

Even as I write this I’m having a hard time resisting the urge to squeal with excitement like a little girl!  This company is such a huge opportunity for the dancers at SUNY Potsdam, and we’re all so honored that we could be part of it.  Alas, we have a few days to wait until the list of company members and apprentices (In dance, the term “apprentice” means kind of like an understudy.  These people aren’t officially company members, but they sometimes perform with the company, travel with the company, or even perform on their own as a 2nd part company.) is posted.  We’re all so anxious because we see what an amazing opportunity it is.  For now we wait in limbo, but we should know soon!  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Vincent, Class of 2013

After a fantastic break back up in good old Maine I’ve finally trekked back to Potsdam.  Back to the refreshingly cold weather, challenging classes, clubs, and the place I call my second home.  Believe it or not, Potsdam is just as lively in the winter as it is in the fall.  The first weekend back is always full of things to do.  There was a hockey game, a disco night at the ice rink, a murder mystery party, and countless other club sponsored events to get involved with.  I went rock climbing with a few friends and went to the hockey game afterward.  Later on in the surprisingly temperate night I hit up the town and spent some time relishing in the nightlife Potsdam has to offer.  Even though it may get a little cold up here in the North Country, students never run out of things to do.  My radio show also has kicked back up again and my second show will be on Friday at 9:30. Interested viewers should tune in at to listen in and I’ll even be taking some requests.  Call in and you might even be able to have your voice heard on the air!

Hockey Game

Satterlee in the Snow