Beginning at Geneseo

What’s up, everybody, my name is Callaghan Oberst, and I am currently a freshman. I am a biology major and a member of the varsity lacrosse team. I am from Rochester, New York, and, more specifically, Brighton. I live with six other lacrosse players, all from Long Island, and none of us knew each other before coming here. To be completely honest, I was nervous about rooming with six random people I had never met before, but it couldn’t have turned out any better. We all get along well and balance each other out. Last week my suitemate Jake and I stayed up until three in the morning watching a tennis match; before that, I had never watched tennis. The first couple weeks of being here have been nothing short of exciting. I’ve always been more of an introvert, but being surrounded by new people always made me come out of my shell and helped me find people who do the same extracurriculars as me. This place opens you up to so many new experiences and people. What’s had the most significant impact on me here is the friendliness of everybody; it seems as though most people here are genuinely kindhearted people, rather than cliquey, which high school is often like.

My second biggest worry coming into college was the courses and workload because in high school, all the teachers would say it would be ten times harder. Are the courses and work harder? Yes, but you are provided many resources to receive academic help if needed. In both of my general science courses, we have Supplemental Instructors or SI’s who hold instruction sessions outside of class to help clarify and break down material in the course. The other nice thing is that you can plan your schedule around your practices and lifts if you’re an athlete. I’ve had to improve my time management because if you don’t, your work will catch up to you. I made a color-coordinated excel spreadsheet organized by the due date of assignments which has helped me stay on top of my workload.

As I am only three weeks into taking Theatre Therapy for Veterans, I still am not entirely sure what to expect from it. Often was told to write a paper in science or history that would be very dry. I have not steered away from that type of writing, which often makes my English papers slow and hard to read thoroughly. Therefore, my goals are to become a more elaborate writer, especially when writing to break down a novel or some writing piece. I also hope to make my writing more captivating and exciting for the audience.

I relate quite a lot with the textbook we are reading in class, _They Say I Say_ by Gerald Griff and Cathy Birkenstein. In chapter one, the authors refer to a speaker at an academic conference as Dr. X. In this chapter, they explain how although Dr. X backed his speech with evidence, it was hard for the audience members to understand why he was trying to emphasize this point. The writer’s point out that you must start your writing with what they say. In other words, you need to address what you are responding to or arguing. When writing argumentative essays, I never understood the use of a concession. Still, I see that it is not necessarily for me but for the reader or audience to understand the entire situation rather than just your snippet. I also related that you (as a writer) must put yourself in the shoes of the reader. When writing about a topic you have a bank of knowledge, your reader might have absolutely no clue what the writing is about unless it is broken down into digestible pieces.

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