Archive for October, 2011

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Becky, Class of 2014

For the past few weeks, I’ve been pretty shifty on my feelings toward going home for break.  Knowing that I’d be walking into the aftermath of the flood, I almost felt as if I was better off staying in my little bubble of Potsdam.  I knew my family was counting on seeing me though, which is why I ultimately decided I needed to take the trip.

I arrived home Friday evening and was greeted by a FEMA worker: exactly what I wanted to come home to.  Off to a rough start, yes, but needless to say, it got better from there.  I spent most of the break with my family.  We took my little cousins to Pie in the Sky, a local farm, to get pumpkins and homemade treats like honey apple butter and the best cookie dough ice cream in the world.  I’ve gone with my cousins every year since they were born, so I was glad we were able to keep the tradition alive, despite the rough condition of the surrounding area.

While I was home, my town had a flood relief event called “Sidney Rocks: Flood Relief 2011” where dancers from my old dance studio performed as volunteers.  I was glad to be able to see what they’ve been working on this year and how much they’ve all grown, especially my little cousin, Brie.  I also taught a workshop class during my break, so I was able to spend even more time with my dance family.  Being away from all my “little sisters” is one of the toughest parts about being away, so I was glad to have them back!

Overall, I’m glad I went home.  I got to spend time with two of my best friends, Megan and Cynthia, reunite with the dancers, enjoy Sunday night dinner with my family, and even (gasp!) have a little bit of time to myself.  It was a nice break and chance to step back.  But now that we’re back…let it begin again.

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Becky, Class of 2014

We made it!  This week has been crazy, which has only been made crazier by the fact that I’m moderately sick at this point.  Among all things, all of our Alpha Psi Omega events seemed to be the silver lining on it all.

Again, APO is our Theatrical Honor Society and Fraternity here at SUNY Potsdam.  I’m finishing my third week out as an “understudy” and will become a full member in about three more.  I’m so excited!  Sunday night we had our Scavenger Hunt.  It was a lot of fun and a great bonding experience with my fellow understudies of the Theta class.  We even had time for a breadstick stop, which was completely satisfying.

Last night, we had a tea and Shakespeare party.  Part of the national requirements for joining APO is the memorization of a Shakespeare monologue, so we had an event where we could practice our parts.  It was a nice break from rehearsals, and the tea was a nice contrast to my sickness.  Playing dress up in ridiculous hats was the cherry on top of a lovely evening.

Now that all is said and done, it’s time to go HOME!  I hope everyone enjoys their long weekend!

Becky in her APO t-shirt

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Becky, Class of 2014

Can you believe September is gone already?!  This semester is flying by.  I’ve had so much going on that I think I’ve lost all sense of time!

First, a bit of exciting news…I’m going to France over Winterim!  This January (during our winter break from school) I will be spending 18 days traveling around France, from Paris to Corsica to Nice and everywhere in between.  I’ve never been to France, and the only time I’ve been to England at all was a trip to Germany to visit family when I was just a year and a half old, so you can imagine how excited I am right about now.  The program is being offered through SUNY Potsdam and will fulfill my Foreign Language General Education Requirement.  Really, I can’t think of a better way to get that little box checked off on my advising form.  I got the itinerary, and I’m beyond excited to be completely immersed in French culture.  It’s an amazing opportunity and I’m so glad that I have the chance to be able to take part in it!

On a less thrilling (but still moderately exciting) note, last Saturday was this semester’s first open house.  Being a new Student Ambassador this semester (a fancy term for tour guide), it was my first time helping with the event.  It was also kind of a weird experience, since I’ve only ever been to two other open houses in my entire life, and neither of them were at this school.  It was fun to see all the prospective students and to share my Potsdam experience with them.  Overall, I was impressed with how Potsdam runs the event, especially with the food PACES provides for them…YUM.  I only wish it were a little warmer for all that walking around campus!

Also last weekend, my mentor from Alpha Psi Omega and I started working on our duet for Dancing with DE (Potsdam’s version of “Dancing with the Stars”).  A lot of people choose to do silly or funny dances for it, but my partner was really determined to do a serious dance…and do it well!  I’m so excited to be working with her, and I really can’t wait for the show!  If you have the chance to check it out, it’s November 2nd!  All proceeds go to help us fund our trip to the American College Dance Festival in March.

Speaking of funding, I’ve got to get going on thinking of ways to scrap money together for this trip to France.  Opportunities like this don’t come cheap, unfortunately.  Ideas, anyone?!

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Becky, Class of 2014

Last night was the first showing of all the group B dance pieces for the Student Choreographers’ Show taking place in December.  All of the choreographers are part of a class that guides us through the entire process – from idea development, to casting, to staging and everything in between – and a showing is our opportunity to show what we have worked on thus far and get feedback from the other choreographers, as well as our faculty advisor for the class, Don Borsh.

I’ve been through many showings since I came to SUNY Potsdam, but yesterday was my first time “on the dark side” as a choreographer, rather than just a dancer.  Showings always made me nervous, because it really was a time for judgment, but it is aimed at helping develop choreographers, not dancers, making last night extremely stressful.  It didn’t help the situation that my choreography was set to go last, giving my nerves time to build to the extreme.

When all was said and done, I couldn’t be happier with the performance of my soloist.  She gave her all and left everything on the stage; I couldn’t ask for more!  Even though I was so pleased with how she did, I was literally shaking when it came time to hear from my classmates because I had no idea what they would think of it.  What they said left me floating on cloud nine.  They did give me some helpful ideas of ways to add even more to it, but it was really well received.  I wanted to jump up down and hug my dancer because I was so happy about the feedback!

The rest of the night had mixed reviews for the two pieces I was in.  One was generally well received, but the other is still a work in progress.  I’m confident that by the time the show comes around, they’ll all be looking clean, polished and ready to go.  Now the pressure is on before the next showing…

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

Chelsey, Class of 2013

I realized this summer, as I sat idly on my couch, how much I missed Potsdam and its life-force. I yearned for my friends and the hurried meals we shared; I longed for laughter at the most ridiculous things; couldn’t wait to experience the sleepless and busy life that I live here. As rows of corn blurred into the tree line and howls of the coyotes blended in with my dog’s snores, I pondered and pondered what had made my summer life so uninteresting to me. I was, after all, surrounded by the people that I had missed all semester. I had my family didn’t I? As days passed, however, it dawned on me that I was entirely wrong in that assumption. I quickly discovered that what I truly missed was the other half of my family.

Over time at a college, there are just certain things that bond you to people. Running side by side to class with no makeup on. All-night study sessions. Being around each other when everyone else who cares is miles away. There are inescapable experiences that we all share. Over the summer, I realized how much I had under appreciated the network of friends here. They have become my family in every way, and I now know how much they mean to me.

I guess the moral of my story is, don’t be afraid to give college a try. Believe me, I know it seems a daunting task to move away from every friend you’ve ever had and turn away from the protection of home. But if you break away from your comfort zone and dare to try, you could meet the best family you never knew you had.

Chelsey and friends at Minerva Plaza