Archive for April, 2011

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

by
Becky, Class of 2014

Normally, I go through a period of post-vacation depression following a really amazing trip, especially one so short.  Potsdam has somehow managed to prevent that from happening!  For starters, the weather has been AMAZING.  We’re talking mid-seventies, sunny, beautiful!  It’s been absolutely perfect.  We’ve had rain in the forecast, but so far so good.  Last night it did thunderstorm, but it was actually really cool to watch.  We didn’t even really mind the rain since it was so nice and warm out all day.  It’s seemed to put everyone in a really great mood too, which always makes a good thing even better.

Speaking of making things even better, our guest teacher for the week has certainly done just that.  His name is John Lehrer and he owns a dance company, LehrerDance, in Buffalo.  He is here for the week (Monday-Thursday) to teach classes and work with the seniors on a new piece.  Needless to say I’m immensely jealous of them for getting to work with him more because he’s that amazing!  His philosophy is to exhaust dancers’ muscles in the warm up so by the time we actually start dancing, we can’t muscle through it and have to use our momentum to keep going.  I’ve never felt so right while dancing.  He’s an amazing teacher and I’m so glad that we have the opportunity to work with him these few days.  I’m certainly going to look out for more chances to take class with him and maybe I’ll even audition for LehrerDance one day!  You never know; the assistant he brought with him, Rachel, is a SUNY Potsdam alumna from 2010.  It goes to show the kind of dancers that Potsdam is able to produce because Rachel is amazing in every way possible.  I can only hope to dance like her someday!

As great as this week has been, I still have a lot of work to do.  I have tech week for the Senior Concert all of next week and lighting rehearsals this weekend, so that won’t leave a lot of time for writing papers or studying.  I should probably get a start on that now, even though I certainly don’t want to!  It’ll all be worth it in the end, I suppose.  At least I have the blue skies and sunshine to make it a little more painless.

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

by
Brian, Class of 2012

Last weekend brought a welcome break for SUNY Potsdam students. Our Easter break lasted from Wednesday evening to Sunday night and provided a short four-day “breather” in order to prepare for the last dash to the end of the semester. We have three weeks of class remaining plus one week of finals. In this time, a pile of tests and final projects loom ominously. Despite how busy this time of year can be, it is my favorite time to be a college student. The weather is taking a turn to the beautiful, people can begin cutting the step of bundling up out of their morning routine, and friends are motivated to get out and spend time with one another, knowing that school will be over soon and that time together is running out.

On the note of busy schedules, I am always impressed with the variety of caffeinated products offered on campus. Ever since my 8AM Mineralogy class last semester, I have become an avid coffee drinker (addict). Coffee brands vary from one dining location to another; the Union serves Green Mountain, Paul de Lima can be found in Lehman, the library offers Seattle’s Best (my personal favorite), and Becky’s Place provides both Pura Vida and Seattle’s Best. It would be a safe bet that in the next few weeks, Potsdam students will consume an astounding amount of coffee, and I will probably contribute significantly to this total.

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

by
Becky, Class of 2014

Even though this week is short because of April break (yay!), sometimes it’s the shortest weeks that are the hardest to get through.  We’re all excited to have some time off, especially since finals are looming overhead (didn’t we JUST finish midterms?!) and are starting to stress us out.  I know for me personally: I CANNOT wait.  I’m leaving Wednesday after my last class and going straight to the airport to fly to Florida to spend Easter with my Godmother.  Growing up, she only lived half an hour away and we always had Easter dinner together as a family.  Since she moved to Florida two years ago, I’ve only gotten to see her twice, so returning to our old tradition will be nice.  Plus, the fact that I’ll be soaking up the rays on a beach in Florida isn’t so bad either!

Dealing with the anticipation to go on break can be excruciating, especially with so much going on here in Potsdam.  Luckily, Dance Ensemble hosted an activity last night that helped lift everyone’s spirits.  We had a free tie-dye event right in Dunn Hall where anyone that wanted to could bring in white clothes to dye.  We had shirts, socks, hats and even sports bras being dyed!  It was a fun event and something that didn’t require any sort of knowledge or skill. We had a blast and all left with colorful hands (so we forgot the gloves…oops!).  Afterward, we had a little dance party in Dunn Studio.  Hey, we are Dance Ensemble after all!  A few new faces were there too so it was fun to get to know them while participating in this fun activity.

I hope everyone has a great and RESTFUL break!  I know I will.

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

by
Becky, Class of 2014

This weekend, we had to participate in load-in for the Senior Choreographers’ Show.  Load in is where we hang all the lights and put the floor down in the theater that the show is going to be in.  It sounds like a relatively small project, but it is NOT.  I worked for six hours on Saturday, primarily taking down the lights from the last show, hanging new lights and running cables so that the lights can actually work. Each choreographer and dancer in the show is required to do six hours of work for the show.  Even though things like this can be a real pain, we learn a lot in the process.  I now know a lot more about lighting and all the work that goes into it than I did before!  After a while, I wound up really enjoying my time spent in the theater doing the tech work.  I also think that it is going to make me even more proud of the show when it’s finally time to perform for an audience.  It gives us all an additional sense of pride because not only did we put the work into the dancing, but we had a hand in every aspect of making the show go on.  It’s a unique experience that SUNY Potsdam’s dance and theatre majors get to experience through their participation in the department’s productions.

Also this weekend, I was reunited with a friend from my home town.  Lauren, who went to Potsdam all of the 2009-2010 school year as well as this past fall semester, had moved back home temporarily for family reasons.  Lucky for me, she’s back!  She has been here for a few weeks already, but because of my crazy rehearsal schedule and her crazy work schedule, we haven’t been able to meet up yet.  Today we FINALLY had that golden opportunity though!  She came to campus to help me use up my meals (since I’m leaving on Wednesday, I have 14 meals to use up in only three and a half days!) and catch up on our lives.  I’m so excited to have her back!  She’ll be starting classes again this summer and will probably graduate Spring 2013…the same time I’m hoping to graduate, too, if an early graduation DOES wind up working out for me.  She was a history education major, but changed to communications last semester.  This means there’s a chance we’re going to have a lot of the same classes together since my second major is communications.  It’s just another reason for me to look forward to the next few years in Potsdam.

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

by
Sasha, Class of 2012

SUNY Potsdam is not a large campus, in fact there is no shuttle service unlike some of the bigger SUNY campuses. However, Potsdam does have it’s nooks and cranies (pun intended), and some of them I take comfort in knowing they exist when I am stressed out and just want to go somewhere nice and peaceful. One is definitely Crumb Library, since it’s nice and cozy in spots.  I spend a lot of time in the group study area in the basement, which is sort of plain, except with iMacs, couches and a hell of a lot of books. Becky’s Place is also one of my favorite spots, since it’s close to the Helpdesk and the food there is really good. And plus, as one of Potsdam’s biggest ginger ale drinkers, the soda dispenser at Becky’s has….yes, you guessed it,  ginger ale!

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

by
Becky, Class of 2014

Last week was a whole slew of unusual things.  First of all, I had to sit out of dance the last two days because of an injury, which was extremely frustrating.  To add insult to injury, they worked on my favorite combination in CaribFunk and then Don Borsh gave one of the best classes of the semester in Modern Dance.  Sitting out was far less than enjoyable and I think this tendonitis needs to go away…NOW.  Hopefully I will be a lot better soon so that I can fully participate in CariDanco rehearsal.

Last week also consisted of plenty of decision making.  Each semester around this time, we have to pick classes for the following semester (fall 2011) and are thus forced to consider if we’re on the right track, and if we’re doing what we really want here.  Inspired by our recent trip to New York City, I have decided to jump on the fast track and attempt to graduate early.  Luckily for me, my dance major is already more than halfway done and my communications courses are well on their way because of the amount of flexibility the department offers.  Should I continue taking my general education classes during summer and winter terms and taking the same amount of credits I’m taking this semester (aka, an overload of 21…the recommendation is 15 per semester), I should be done in three years.  I’m planning to remain a student for my fourth year, but to stay in the city doing internships and continue accumulating credits this way.  I’m all for keeping student status as looong as possible!

Another decision I made was what I wanted to choreograph in the fall dance concert.  I would tell you, but that would ruin the surprise!  Just know that I’m far beyond excited and you’ll seriously regret it if you miss it!  From what I’ve heard from my fellow choreographers, it’s going to be a great show.  A lot of them have some really interesting ideas and I can’t wait to see them all come to life!  It’s nice to see how much the department is growing and how students from all different majors are starting to gain interest and get involved too.

Finally, I went to an interest meeting for a new student group on campus.  The group, which is up for Student Government Association recognition and funding for next year (cross your fingers!) is about Autism awareness.  Autism is a social disorder that affects 1 in every 110 people, so chances are you may know someone with a form of Autism and may not even know it.  The disorder comes in varying degrees from extremely mild to somewhat extreme.  I think this would be such a valuable club to have on campus and that it would really help raise awareness and promote acceptance among students.  I’m excited to see how far it can go and what a big difference it can make.  Last week has certainly brought a lot to look forward to, and I can’t wait until it all unfolds!

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

by
Becky, Class of 2014

Day 1: We left right after Modern class on Wednesday in a twelve person van carrying only 4 people.  Professor Carey was driving me, Len (an African drummer from Potsdam) and my good friend Taryn, who is also a dance major, down to Queens.  Meeting us in the city were Stephanie, another dance major, and Joey, an Anthropology major and Dance minor – All members of CariDanco, our student company.  The trip was funded by the school, so we didn’t have to pay for our travel or the four classes we were going to take.  It had opportunity written all over it, and the trip was more than worth the seven hour bus ride.  I finally arrived at my uncle’s apartment around 11pm, completely exhausted but unable to sleep because of all the emotions I was feeling from being back in the city.  It’s always had my heart and it was an amazing feeling to be back.

Day 2: The next day I finally got to see my uncle for more than five minutes.  We went out to lunch at a little diner up the block that we go to pretty much every time I’m in town.  They make the best omelets in the city, I’m convinced.  After catching up with him, I was off to meet my friend Brianne.  We’re from the same town and have been close since 6th grade.  She lived about 30 blocks uptown from where I was staying, so it was just a short train ride and I was there.  We spent a few hours just wandering Central Park and eventually made our way down to Union Square to do a little shopping before I had to go to class.  Class started at 6, so we needed to be there at 5:30.  It was an Afro-Caribbean class held at Peridance Center, a dance school in Manhattan.  The teacher was a big-name artist and gave an amazing master class that was non-stop for the entire hour and a half.  I was covered in sweat, but so content by the end of it.  We were all exhausted and starving afterwards, so we walked a few blocks to this little Indian restaurant for some quick and delicious food.  After I went back to the apartment to clean up, I met my friend Brianne for an evening out in New York.  It finally felt like I was really home again.

Me, Taryn and Stephanie after our 1st class

All of us at the Indian restaurant

Day 3: Friday during the day mostly consisted of randomly running around the city with Taryn and Joey.  We went into a lot of little stores and had some great pizza that we obviously paid way too much for (it is New York City after all).  We had two classes that day—back to back.  The first, which began at 6, was Haitian.  It was most definitely my favorite class of the week.  I loved the movement and the fast-paced teaching style of the teacher.  His personality certainly came through in his work and it was something I could really appreciate.  The second class was West African.  I think that even though I did enjoy it, it was my least favorite of the weekend.  It was a beginner class and the pace was beginning to get rather boring and repetitive in my opinion.  I enjoyed the steps, but I didn’t like that we weren’t allowed to bring our own personality into them as much as I am used to doing with Professor Carey or the other master teachers.  Either way, it was a great learning experience and we were all beyond exhaustion when we left class.  We grabbed some frozen yogurt at this amazing place a few blocks over and then headed back to our apartments for a night of relaxation.

Day 4: It was up at 7:30 to catch the train to West Harlem for a 10am Bikram Yoga class.  Bikram Yoga, also known as Hot Yoga, consists of an hour and a half long session based on the Hatha Yoga positions.  However, it’s done in a room that’s 105 degrees.  The point is to get the heat deeply into your muscles and to sweat our all the toxins in your body.  And let me tell you—boy, do you sweat them out!  My clothes were literally drenched when we left and I was praising the showers.  After Yoga, we headed to grab a quick lunch at Penn Station before heading to Brooklyn for our final class of the week, an Afro-Caribbean class at the Mark Morris Dance Center.  I’d never been to Brooklyn before, but the Ft. Greene district that we were in was beautiful.  It was bursting with art and local culture, which I loved.  The Mark Morris complex was equally as impressive.  The class included the same sense of culture, community and togetherness that I saw around the neighborhood, and seemed to be more of a dance jam than a class at times.  It was structured very differently, but I absolutely loved it.  After class, we headed back to Manhattan to get dinner at a place called Cafeteria.  One of the managers there is a grad from SUNY Potsdam, actually!  We had some AMAZING food (I will be going back frequently, I’m sure) and had a great time just spending the day together.

Dinner at Cafeteria

Day 6: Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end.  It was time to leave New York City!  We all took our trains back to Queens and loaded into our twelve person van, which also carried Joey this time, and headed back to Potsdam.  The trip was the perfect length: enough to really let us experience the city, but not enough to throw us completely out of the loop upon our return to Potsdam.  My mind is still marveling at all the amazing things I got to see, learn and do while on this trip.  I’m beyond grateful for the organizations within SUNY Potsdam that helped fund this experience.  It’s nice to be back in Potsdam now though, and I certainly missed my bed!

Friday, April 8th, 2011

by
Brian, Class of 2012

As the weather changes, I always seem to catch some sort of cold. This spring was no different, and I came down with a minor sinus infection/sore throat last week. It wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle, but I needed something to speed up the recovery. So on Tuesday morning, I gave Student Health Services a call and set up an appointment for that afternoon.

All the staff at SHS are really helpful and nice, and being able to be seen by a practicing physician who is only a five minute walk away is invaluable. They can prescribe medications and make diagnoses, as well as give patients prescription medications that they have on hand. In my case, they gave me high dose ibuprofen for my swollen throat and I never once had to leave campus to go to a pharmacy.

All of these services are available to students at no extra charge and are just one part of the equation that makes Potsdam so enjoyable. Stay healthy!

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

by
Becky, Class of 2014

Last weekend, I was able to see some of my family members and close friends while I was briefly home.  Since I’ve been back at Potsdam, I’ve found myself missing them all so much more.  Maybe it was being reminded of what it was like being home, maybe it was because of Relay for Life this weekend (it was something I always did with my family and dance studio from home), or maybe it was because my cousin sent me a bunch of photos from different family events over the past year.  Whatever it was, it was definitely homesickness.

To make matters worse, my roommate is gone for the weekend, leaving me with a big empty room.  After enough moping around, it’s about time I start to make the best of the situation.  To look at the positives: I can watch whatever TV shows or movies I want, I can go to bed and wake up whenever I want without tip-toeing around my sleeping roommate, and I can get a ton of work done.  Actually, it’s probably good timing anyway since I’ll be missing classes Thursday and Friday to go to New York City with Professor Carey and CariDanco.  It’s a good chance to get all my work done ahead of time so that I don’t have to be doing schoolwork while in the city.

The trip will be a nice way to break up my homesickness too.  I’m staying with my uncle and cousin that I haven’t seen since January and I can’t wait!  We used to be so close…I even lived with them for 3 months.  Now that I’m at school, I hardly ever get to see them or any of my city friends, so I’m beyond excited to catch up with all of them!

Rehearsals have also been a great distraction.  Things are really picking up with CariDanco and I get more and more excited about these opportunities with every day that goes by.  It’s amazing to feel how much Professor Carey is putting into this for us and we all want to make her proud.  The same goes with the senior choreographers that I’ve been working with for the concert…they all put so much time and energy into making their pieces as innovative and entertaining as possible.  The rehearsals that I’m taking part in are all across the board and it’s enough to keep me more than busy, so I better get back to taking advantage of this singular chance to breathe before the rest of the semester slips by!

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

by
Sasha, Class of 2012

I am no native of Northern New York. I was born in New York City, grew up in Brewster and then moved midway through high school to the North Country.  My parents decided to relocate to Northern New York to escape the high cost of living downstate.

Many factors drove me to Potsdam.  I have many interests and have thought about jobs as a public servant, autism activist or a politician.  So the politics department at SUNY Potsdam definitely sparked my interest.  Coming from a cash-strapped family was another factor.  State schools are typically more affordable.  My high school guidance counselor was also another major factor in my decision to come to Potsdam.  He is a Potsdam Alum and is a huge fan of the school.

I came a slightly different route to Potsdam from North Country Community College (NCCC).  I was able to work on my grades and come to Potsdam as a transfer student.  Although NCCC was an important step for me, I am a Potsdam Bear through and through which is evident by my extensive Potsdam garb and my car decal!  So don’t fret if you are thinking Potsdam but feel you are a mediocre student right now.  Work hard and remember the successes of others like yourself (Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison or Sir Richard Branson) that might have started off slow but finished strong!

Even though my journey here at Potsdam is three semesters away from being finished, it has been a journey that I have enjoyed.  I think I have learned more and have grown more in the last two years than I have in my entire life.