Archive for September, 2011

Friday, September 30th, 2011

by
Sasha, Class of 2012

Every September, I come down with what I call the beginning of the school year blues.  I think everyone gets them in one way or another, especially first year students who are adjusting to a new college environment.  Here are some small tips to help beat those blues.

First, stay healthy.  Exercise, eat right and get plenty of sleep. No, six hours will not cut it! If you need to sleep in on the weekend, do so in moderation. Set a bedtime and make it stick.

Second, mentally challenge yourself. Make a promise to yourself to study and not procrastinate. But at the same time, don’t study if it is going to end up being unproductive.  Set study goals for yourself, and if you meet them, reward yourself.

Lastly, do things that you normally wouldn’t try. Join new clubs or start an exercise routine. You could even start a blog about your college experiences!

Friday, September 30th, 2011

by
Brian, Class of 2012

Last weekend brought a beautiful early fall warm spell, just in time for our first frisbee tournament of the year across town at Clarkson University. We had roughly two weeks to practice and get prepared for this tournament, and I think it’s safe to say that we have made the necessary adjustments to be successful this year.

On Day 1 of the tournament, we ended up with an undefeated 4-0 record. We played some solid teams, but all of our wins were pretty one-sided. The first day got our confidence up, and we came back on day 2 with our eyes on winning the tournament. We played a team of SUNY Geneseo alumni first on Sunday morning, and came out with an 8-4 win to advance to the semifinals. In the semis, we met Ruckus Bus, St Lawrence University’s team. Our team has gotten to know Ruckus Bus over the years and we have a pretty competitive rivalry with them. But in the end, they had the depth and endurance to outlast us and they ran away with the game in the second half.

For a team that graduated so much experienced talent last year, I felt nothing but pride for how we have come back strong. Going 5-1 overall and losing in the semifinals was a great sign of things to come for us.

Perfect Storm, SUNY Potsdam's ultmate frisbee team

Perfect Storm, SUNY Potsdam's ultmate frisbee team

Perfect Storm in Action

Perfect Storm in Action

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

by
Chelsey, Class of 2013

Hi. My name is Chelsey Smith and I am a Buffalo Bills addict.

One of my favorite fall pastimes is to lock myself in my room and scream at the TV while my team relentlessly makes mistakes on the field. (I constantly get picked on for being a Bills fan – but don’t worry, I know we’re not too great.) Though some would be shamed, I am just the opposite. I take great pride in cheering for the Bills win or lose, and I will never give up hope that we might actually win a Super Bowl someday. I don bills apparel as much as possible – scarf, shirts, head phones, jerseys, shoes…the list goes on.

This season however, has been totally different. After three nail-biting games, the Bills are 3-0! (For non-football fans this means we’ve won all three games.) I’m not sure I’ve ever felt so much excitement. Maybe I’m being a little dramatic, but after suffering years of disappointment, the beginning of this season has got my heart pumping.

I won’t be able to see the game this next week, but I’m thinking positively! You can bet I will be by my phone checking updates every chance I get. I am not the fan who thinks their team’s going to the Super Bowl because of the start of the season. Nor, however, am I the fan that will admit that my team isn’t. So I guess all I have to say for now is, “Let’s go Buffalo!”

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

by
Becky, Class of 2014

Because of the Carlos Jones residency causing so many conflicts, most rehearsals for the weekend were cancelled.  It was disappointing because a lot of my friends got to spend the weekend working with such a talented man, but it all worked out because I got to enjoy one of the few weekends I have the opportunity to actually have a life outside of the DUNNgeon (we call Dunn – where the main dance studio and Dance Ensemble office is located the dungeon).

Saturday morning, we drove out to Massena to go shopping at the mall.  It’s not the biggest mall by any means, but it’s adequate.  In true broke-college-kid nature, we scoured the clearance racks and went home with a pretty decent amount of stuff.  I didn’t really have a ton of money to spend, but I was in desperate need of professional wear outside of my summer wardrobe.  Even though the weather is still unusually warm here, I’m trying not to push my luck.  Nice warm sweaters, yes please.

Sunday was a more economical day for me.  My roommate and I walked downtown and just spent the greater part of the day frolicking around downtown Potsdam.  We ate at the Bagelry (quite possibly the first time I’ve ever done this in daylight…), went to the bus station so she could buy her ticket to the city for October break (which was pointless, since we soon learned that the station is closed Sundays), “window” shopped at Isle of You (okay, by window shopping we actually mean going in, touching all of the pretty things, and then leaving without actually buying anything due to our dismal financial standings), and headed over to Kinney’s Drugs for some random necessities (like nail polish, of course) to be purchased with our Bear Cards.  Thank you, Potsdam.

Overall, it was a really restful and fun weekend.  I probably should have spent more of it studying for my Biology exam on Wednesday, but I guess we’ll know soon enough.  Bring it on, week five…I’m ready for you now!

Becky and her roommate, Noemi, at Ives Park

Becky along the Raquette River in Ives Park

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

by
Vince, Class of 2013

Composition courses are a real treat here at Potsdam. We have an excellent faculty and a great creative writing program to offer at the college. After completing Comp 101 or transferring applicable AP test scores, any major is allowed to take an introduction to creative writing course. The course load spans over multiple genres like playwriting, creative non-fiction, poetry, fiction, and personal memoir. Last fall I took a course specifically on creative non-fiction, an up and coming genre, and it was a very unique style of writing. The creative non-fiction genre fuses together the tools of the fiction writer but adds an authors’ personal touch into the mix. The class was small, about fifteen students, with smaller student groups to work with outside of class time. Writing courses have a lot of peer reviewing on essay drafts to fine tune pieces until they’re ready to be handed in. Working with other aspiring writers is rewarding and there’s a lot of talent to be found at Potsdam. Professors give individual attention to students if they need help on a piece and in future semesters ambitious students have an opportunity for independent study. This semester I’m in an independent study creative non-fiction class where the pieces I worked on last year are now being polished for publishing opportunities. I hope to get some of my work into literary magazines within the next few years and the class is really helping me achieve that. There are plenty of opportunities for writers at the college, check them out if you’re interested on the English department’s webpage.

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

by
Becky, Class of 2014

When you’re in high school, I know it’s not always the “cool” thing to get involved with clubs and activities.  At my school, at least, it was something people usually picked up their Junior year when scrambling to add things to their weak college applications, or left to the “nerds” or “goody-two-shoes” (who’s laughing now?!).   That gets flipped in college; all of a sudden it is cool to be involved and to have school spirit.  But if being “cool” isn’t enough to entice you, there are plenty of other reasons to get involved on campus too.

First off, it’s a great way to meet people.  Joining Dance Ensemble was probably one of the best decisions I made upon coming to SUNY Potsdam.  It brought me into the “in crowd” within the dance program and made me feel so much more comfortable.  Actually, the friends I made through DE probably contributed a lot to why I chose to stay at SUNY Potsdam.  It also opened up a lot of doors for me within the department, including getting the opportunity to attend the American College Dance Festival.

I’ve stayed with DE and am serving as Comptroller this year on the Executive Board (basically my job is assistant treasurer…or “baby tre$” as I much prefer.  I’ll take over as Treasurer next year).  We had our mixer tonight and it was a lot of fun!  A mixer is a party that clubs throw for interested members (and returning members too!) to introduce everyone to what the club is all about and get to know everyone.  We did a dance around the world theme and had a huge dance party.  Also, another great point to getting involved – free food.  Mixers and other events are full of free food and Potsdam food is actually quite delicious…NOT stereotypical cafeteria food.  Even if you’re not interested in the club, mixers are great for mooching food, if nothing else.  Plus, you may even surprise yourself and discover a new passion in the process of mixer hopping!

There are also a ton of career related reasons for getting involved.  This past Sunday marked my first day as an “understudy” of Alpha Psi Omega (or “APO”).  APO is the Theatre Honor Society at SUNY Potsdam.  It is also one of the only fraternity organizations attached to an honor society, as well as the only co-ed fraternity on campus currently.  They follow all of the honor society rules, but there is also an additional screening process consisting of a theatre resume and faculty approval.  APO is a great organization to be a part of because it puts members into a network of working professionals within the field…plus, it’s a lot of fun!  As an understudy, I’m sort of a member in training.  In a few weeks, I’ll be inducted and become a new member.  I’m so excited to be a part of such an amazing and talented group of people.

So, the moral of the story – GET INVOLVED!  It’s helpful, it looks good, AND it’s fun!  Meet new people and try new things…that’s what college is all about!

Comptroller

Dance Ensemble

Dance Ensemble

Monday, September 12th, 2011

by
Becky, Class of 2014

We’re finally out of audition season, hooray!  Last night was quite the process for the Student Choreographers’ Concert auditions.  I knew what it was like to audition, but had no idea it’d be 10x more stressful to be on the other side of things.  I came in knowing what I wanted, but not the slightest idea as to who. Needless to say, I was freaking out just a little.  I was planning a solo piece, which I thought would be easier since I’d only have to work around one person’s schedule.  However, I never really anticipated that the process of picking my soloist would be far more stressful because in a solo, rather than a group piece, you can’t just kick someone out when they don’t work.  You kick out your soloist, you kick out your solo, hence the stress.

There was an incredible amount of talent at the audition, which made me SO excited, but even more worried about how I was going to be able to make the right choice.  What I was looking for was very specific, and I needed someone who is willing to trust me, even when I ask them to do things that may seem ridiculous.  Luckily, I narrowed down my long list and it became clear to me pretty quickly who I needed.  She was the one that was going to make my piece, and I was ready to fight for her.

…But little did I know how much of a fight that would make for.  We spent two and a half hours arguing about who would get who, all while trying to respect the rules that first year students can only be cast once, and that we can’t cast for any more than they said they were willing to accept (though one girl said 1,000,000…I wish everyone was that agreeable).  Lucky for me and one other choreographer, Zada, soloists take precedence in selection because it’s recognized that they need to be able to carry a piece on their own.  I got my girl right away, and I couldn’t be happier, even if I had to sit through another two hours of bickering, crying and manipulating until everyone else was just as happy.

After all was said and done, rehearsal times were chosen and cast lists were posted.  All that was left to do was waiting for our cast members to initial that they would commit to the pieces, which I was so happy to see mine did!  She’s an amazing performer, and I can’t wait to get started working with her.

Today was made even better because it was our first CariDanco rehearsal of the semester!  The group is different now, and it’s definitely a different vibe, but not different in a bad way.  We had a lot of fun and I can tell the company is already starting to bond.  We also started working on repertory for the Faculty Choreographers’ Concert.  I’ve missed Professor Carey’s CaribFunk style so much, and it feels great to have it back in my body.

Earlier tonight, I went out to Alpha Psi Omega’s mixer.  APO is the theatre honor society here at SUNY Potsdam.  Even though it’s an honor society, there is also a fraternity aspect to the group because they go through a “pledging” process (but much differently than the greek organizations you see on tv), and have “bigs,” or specific mentors , for each new member.  A lot of my friends are involved, so I thought I’d check it out.  It’s a great group, and they do so much for the department and the SUNY Potsdam community.  I’m proud to go to a school that offers the opportunity to participate in things like APO, the Student Choreographers’ Concert and CariDanco; it’s a great way to network and blaze the trail for a bright future in the field.

Alpha Psi Omega's Mixer

Friday, September 9th, 2011

by
Becky, Class of 2014

This week has been…one of “those” weeks.  It had some really awesome points, but some devastating ones as well..an emotional roller coaster to say the least.  Luckily, it’s almost the weekend and time for a breather!

Wednesday was CariDanco auditions.  CariDanco is our resident dance company, directed by A’Keitha Carey, in her CaribFunk style.  It’s a fusion of ballet, modern, African, Caribbean, and fitness techniques all in one, and quite the workout!  They went really well, and I think Professor Carey was pleased by the outcome and the new members that she selected, as well as the apprentices.  I’m starting to get excited about the new group and can’t wait to start working with new company members, as well as those that are returning.  Even though we were already in, we still had to participate in the audition class.  Let me tell you, my thighs are STILL (two days later) killing me, and I can definitely feel my CariDanco abs coming back.  I’ve never been happier to be so sore.

Along with the excitement of auditions came the stress of a difficult situation at home, unfortunately.  My hometown of Sidney, as well as the surrounding areas extending as far as Hershey, is currently suffering severe flooding.  This is especially hard because we experienced a devastating flood in 2006 that many families are still recovering from.  In some areas, this one was even worse.  Luckily, the water is starting to recede now, but the battle is just beginning.  Many of my friends have had their homes destroyed for the second time in two years.  Luckily, my family has narrowly escaped the flood waters, but unfortunately now has to deal with the landslide that landed in what used to be our backyard.  We’re just lucky that’s all we got, and we’re thankful that our house is still dry, with the exception of the basement.

It’s been a challenging week for me, as well as many others from the area, because we’re so far from home and unable to help.  We know what it’s like, and it’s tough to deal with the situation from such a far distance.  I was hoping to be able to get home, but because literally every surrounding roadway has been washed away, I’m not going to be able to.  My thoughts go out to everyone affected by the situation…we’ve made it through once, and we’ll rebuild again!

Becky's Hometown Flooding

Becky's Backyard at Home

Flooding in Sidney, NY

Until then, I’ve got plenty of building to do here in Potsdam.  Tonight are the auditions for the Student Choreographers’ Concert, and I’m incredibly nervous!  I’m not auditioning on my own, but it’s my first time casting.  I will be choreographing a solo to set on someone for the concert.  I have a lot of ideas, but it’s really nerve-wracking, especially with so much else on my mind.  So, in closing, I apologize for the bit of word-vomit that this blog consists of, but my thoughts are pretty jumbled at the moment.  Hopefully it’ll be short lived!

Friday, September 9th, 2011

by
Chelsey, Class of 2013

This summer, I took part in putting on the student leadership conference that we offer to students every semester.  We had the pleasure of listening to Lynne Boles, a very inspiring Class of 1974 alumni. As we listened to  her, she frequently reminisced of her days at Potsdam, and how much of an impact she had on the rest of her life. The funny thing, she mentioned, was that she didn’t even know what Potsdam was until she visited! “Potsdam? In the middle of nowhere? Why would I want to go there?!”

While sitting in her session, I realized that was exactly how I felt. I had no idea what Potsdam was; I didn’t really see any particular reason to attend. Just as Lynne, everything changed when I arrived on campus for my visit. Potsdam just fit. I could suddenly tell that this was the place that I would forever call my home.

The more and more I thought about it, I realized how many similar statements I’ve heard from people who truly love Potsdam. None of us know why, but as soon as we saw it, we couldn’t get it out of our minds. So this is why, my friends, I urge you to visit our campus. Even if you  don’t  feel particularly attracted to us on paper, Potsdam could be the place you’ve been searching for. Loving your campus is what makes a college your home.

Becky with other students from the Leadership Conference

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

by
Vince, Class of 2013

Finally! The weekend came at last when everyone gets to head back to Potsdam for another semester full of excitement and new experiences. I made the trek to the ‘dam two Saturdays ago and after getting all moved in decided to explore the new changes to our ever-growing campus. Lehman dining hall has new chairs, the floors have been re-done in Barrington Union, significant progress has been made on the new performing arts center, and classroom spaces have been expanded in Flagg hall. There’s always something special in the air after everyone’s boxes have been unpacked and that last night before classes comes to an end, a kind of feeling that foreshadows an amazing year ahead. My classes have been going great in the past week and clubs are also starting to make a fresh start. Just the other night I got to attend a Circle K member mixer where we frosted cookies, made get well soon cards for a pediatric center, and used old T-shirts to create some dog toys for Potsdam’s humane society. Soon enough I’ll be doing my weekly radio show on Friday nights at 9, hosted on SUNY Potsdam’s own radio station 90.3 FM. First Saturday is another unique Potsdam tradition that happened last weekend. For those unfamiliar with the festival, it’s a town-wide festival to welcome students back to school. There’s music, local merchants, and delicious food to look forward to, but most of all there’s the familiar sense of accommodation this college town is famous for. Potsdam definitely is kicking back up again and it sure feels good to be back!

 

Vince