I am Gobsmacked yet Hunky Dory

I’ve learned a lot about myself through writing these blog entries. One of the most important things I have learned since coming to Geneseo is that we’re all adults now and must start acting like it. However, I’ve learned that being an adult doesn’t always mean being more mature or working on self-improvement. All these years before college, we’re told what is moral and what is not, or right and wrong. However, I’ve learned that Geneseo and college generally aren’t just black and white. The idea of morals and fallible information seems to be more subjective rather than objective. Regarding the school, I’ve seen numerous perspectives on various topics. Unfortunately, I’ve learned that college is very biased in which perspective should be respected and which is looked down upon. Holding viewpoints opposed to Geneseo’s social standards is looked down upon. This causes the ability to connect with people much harder.  

All of my classes, for the most part, are going well. I still don’t enjoy learning at Geneseo much, but my courses are generally acceptable. Geneseo has some rigorous courses; however, since I’m on the premed track, it is only to be expected. On the bright side, at least STEM majors weed out people who don’t actually care about their major or education. Ironically, my classes are the only thing I actually enjoy going to, including this class. Getting out of my dorm and interacting with people is refreshing. Unfortunately, most of my interactions are only academic-related, but interaction is interaction and must be appreciated. My interests align with my courses, and this is the only thing that motivates me at Geneseo. This course has been getting more enjoyable as time goes on. I used to do drama, and I was in a choir for years before coming to Geneseo; I am currently, however, just in the wind ensemble and jazz band.

Although we are not acting out the characters in The Theatre of War9 Circles, hearing other people read reminds me of my high school English classes. This is one of the only courses that reminds me of high school, and the fact that we’re learning about a topic not taught there makes it feel fresh. I’ve been able to make a bit of a  connection between 9 Circles, to other readings. Once again, by reading this book, I’ve connected it to Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl (a book that should be read in high school, in my opinion). In connection to PTSD in general, since it’s a big topic in this class, I find it interesting how different people can cope with it. More recently, within the book, we’ve seen how the character Reeves deals with it; Reeves is a very unhealthy example of coping. 9 Circles is very explicit, but that’s what is needed to express true PTSD. Although Reeves is a bit of a complicated character, we can learn that PTSD can be coped with in either a peaceful manner or a very violent and revolting way.

Although this unfortunate semester in my life has been anything but optimal, I am hoping to settle into Geneseo. I’m hoping I can settle into my dorm as well. I’m not too hopeful about this because finals are coming up, and classes finish soon. There isn’t much time to settle in; in fact, it’d be more worth studying for exams rather than settling in right now. In terms of my classes, I hope that I will be able to keep passing all of them. I want to be able to pass all of my finals. I really want to score extremely high on my finals, but the motivation to study after only studying since being here is waning. Ultimately, I’ve realized that my grades are linked to my thoughts on Geneseo. It’s easier to study when you enjoy being somewhere. In this case, I’ll have to study for my own sake, it won’t be amusing, but as a college student, I’m just like everybody else and must do it to prosper.      

Knee-deep in Manure

The first half of semester one has given me ambivalent feelings about Geneseo.  I don’t detest Geneseo, but I also don’t admire it. I don’t hold resentment toward anyone who enjoys this college, but for me personally, I still haven’t settled in at all. I have joined two bands and committed to them in order to be active.  I also run and or go to the gym every day. Compared to high school, I haven’t resonated with anyone here. Greek life is big here, but I don’t mean it’s as big as other schools such as Cortland. Greek life unfortunately is the only way of life if you wish to socialize here. I’ve come to realize we are in the middle of farmland, and there is only one street (main street) that has anything for us to do. Partying and drinking are part of the college experience, unfortunately since we are in the middle of nowhere, it’s the only thing to do.  However, even if I do find people who don’t party and drink, there’s nothing we can really do here besides hang out in dorms or study rooms.  But to reiterate, my experience is different from others, I don’t mind if people are enjoying themselves, in fact I would implore people to enjoy themselves; this culture is just not for me.  Every college embraces it, only problem is at Geneseo it’s the only thing to do since there isn’t much to do here.  Geneseo’s acceptance rate has also been skyrocketing, and I should’ve read reviews from students on Geneseo before committing.  

My courses are going well for the most part. I have a lot of free time, although I’m not studying all the time.  The abundance of time I have most would think I’d be able to study all the time, though since I’m not doing anything “fun,” my motivation to study is at a low.  My courses are fine, and I am learning a lot.  Nonetheless since all I’ve been doing at Geneseo is schoolwork, it’s become really stale. Learning isn’t as fun as it used to be. Since learning is the only thing I’m doing, it gets boring really fast. In high school, I enjoyed school a lot; ironically, I don’t enjoy college as much. I prefer having all my courses coming in quick succession, like high school, as well as waking up at 6 am every day. Adjusting to all my courses as a whole will still take time for me.  In summary, I am learning and doing good, but I’m not enjoying any of it.    

This class has been going well for me for the most part. I have been able to connect to the readings to a certain extent. Since I have no connection to the military or know anybody personally who is a veteran, I can’t say I am able to fully understand the situation that some veterans have to endure.  Although I did connect with the idea of faith and free will. The idea that people have a predestined course in life based on their experiences seems infallible. I’ve been able to learn that our choices in life can be very different than others that endure hardships that are similar to us.  For example, I was able to connect The Theater of War to another book called Man’s Search for Meaning. While some prisoners came out of Auschwitz hating the world, there were people who still had a moral compass.  Both types of people endured the same amount of hardships while in the camps, even so it is up to us ultimately to decide our own fate.   

In terms of this class, I expect to come out having more knowledge on P.T.S.D as well as veterans in general by the end of the semester.  With life in general, I hope that I can find a group of people or at least one with that I can find a connection. Being in the middle of nowhere without anybody to communicate with has been devastating. The more time that passes, the more I lose motivation to do any homework that I have.  I hope to find the motivation that I need to carry on before the end of the semester.  Ironically I’m talking about my problems as if they have any significance compared to what we’re learning about in this class.  Nonetheless, I hope I can at least settle in before the end of the semester, as well as be able to sleep.  

Every decision has consequences

My name is Brian Sankar. I come from Bay Shore, New York. I lived on Long Island all my life, and went to the YMCA, Kramer, Fifth Avenue School, Gardiner Manor School, Bay Shore Middle School, and the Bay Shore Senior High School. I am currently attending SUNY Geneseo, and I am majoring in neuroscience. I usually play sports such as cross country, track, and wrestling. However, right now, I am not currently running cross-country because I am trying to settle into college. I may join the track team for the next season. I also play an instrument, the alto saxophone, and I currently play in two bands at Geneseo, the Wind Ensemble and the Jazz Band. 

The first few weeks at Geneseo have been alright. I’ve come to realize that I am here mainly for the education rather than the college experience; as someone who doesn’t drink, or party, it does make most of my days a bit duller compared to many others. However, I’m fine with my choices, and there is a chance that Geneseo can become more enjoyable in the future. Like all colleges, partying and drinking are a huge component, as well as Greek life, such as fraternities and sororities. Maybe one day, I’ll choose to conform to Greek life; however, I’m not open to that right now. Compared to the town I come from, Geneseo is very different. This town is far more extroverted yet quiet at the same time. It’s not easy for me to find like-minded people here, but once again, it may be possible for me to find more people with more time.  

Every course has its easy and sophisticated moments as of now. It’s not exactly the material that’s hard to grasp all the time, but rather the teaching style is very different compared to high school. Most of the time, we have to watch lectures and do much of the learning on our own. In high school, the teachers would’ve had the information ingrained into our brains, and we’d go over the course material. In college, we have to do more problems and questions (especially for science classes) on our own and learn to understand certain concepts before class starts. 

I am interested in learning how theatre helps veterans and those with PTSD. I am interested in how the books we will read relate to real-world problems. I wish to learn from these books as well. I am also interested in learning how to become a better researcher and someone who can use more reliable sources when conducting my research. On top of this, I want to learn how theatre, in general, connects to the real world and how it has influenced the way in which people think. I am also interested in how theatre is representative of different time periods and how it represents the zeitgeist of different periods. Perhaps another significant aspect of theatre would be how it has evolved throughout the years and what purpose it has served.  

One of the most important connections I have made between reading and myself has been learning when to talk and learning when to listen. It is detrimental to understand the point of view of other people, and it is also crucial to understand someone else’s point of view, maybe even more than your own sometimes. If you can empathize or sympathize with their points, it would lead to a much deeper understanding of the message they are trying to convey.