Three: Finale

As the first snowfall came a few days ago, along with it comes the end of the semester and finals. Reflecting on my semester, it’s hard to recall memories; everything went by quickly. Not much has changed since I first arrived on campus; I still enjoy spending time with all my roommates and doing dumb things with them. I have gained some other friends outside of my suitemates, and it has made my classes more enjoyable. When I was in high school, I often was annoyed with having to participate in group work;

In contrast, at Geneseo, I’ve had to participate in multiple groups, such as my science laboratory and a project for English. Being put in those situations taught me to work better with others and cooperate. Since midterms, my classes have pretty much stayed the same. The workload is similar to before then, maybe a little heavier, but it will lighten up as we approach finals.

In particular, my INTD class has been enjoyable. We are approaching some final due dates for a couple of assignments and starting to work on our final projects. For our final projects, groups of three to five students are tasked with writing a script for a skit that includes the ideas of PTSD we have learned in class. In my opinion, this is much better than writing an essay or something along those lines. With the production of this script, we can express a lot more creativity and voice than if we had to write a paper. We have read two plays out of the book Acts of War in the last month. Both plays were hard to read for different reasons.

As a class, we read American Tet and 9 Circles. Both plays were exciting and allowed the reader to immerse themselves in the everyday struggles service members faced when they were active and after serving. In American Tet, my eyes were opened up to the other side of war: The side that the US is fighting against. Knowing the atrocities that occur in war for both sides makes you wonder if it is worth it- which is something that one of the protagonists argues in American Tet. Overall, I’ve enjoyed taking this course and am excited to continue working on the final project.

Two: Halfway mark

I am now halfway through my first semester at Geneseo, and wow, it has zoomed by in a blink. We recently had a fall break, and I went home to see my family. If you had told me in August that I would be itching to return to school, I would’ve called you crazy. But there I was, sitting on my bed at home, waiting to go back and see my roommates. So far this semester, I’d say that everything has gone smoothly. This past Friday, I finished fall ball, which is the off-season practice we do in the fall. It’s a bittersweet end to fall ball for my roommates and me. We are disheartened that we don’t have lacrosse until the spring. On the other hand, we now have much more free time to do assignments and go on weekend trips, like seeing the fall foliage at Letchworth State Park.

It’s good that we have this free time now because midterms are happening, and the assignments are coming in thick and fast. Although the workload has increased, it is still manageable. Often the work is a review of what was gone over in class, so it’s relatively easy as long as you attend class. Two weeks ago, I got a test back in my math class, and the grade was not where I had hoped it would be. The good thing is that the teacher offered a retake of that test to improve scores. I set up an appointment with a tutor in the Math Learning Center (MLC) and was able to go over the mistakes I made on my previous test and learn how to solve the problems I had missed. So far, that is probably the biggest thing I’ve learned. I think people my age, including myself, often think they are invincible and don’t need to ask questions or ask for help. I can say firsthand that it helps with clarification and a deeper understanding of topics. So if you are even a little confused, ask for help. It can’t hurt and will be advantageous in the long run. Other than that test, my courses are going well. Compared to high school, the speed of courses is faster; it feels like we’ll get through a unit in a week in biology that would take a month in high school, but as I said earlier, still manageable.

This class, in particular, is going well for me. I enjoy what we cover and the readings we have to do. It is also nice that the class is at eleven o’clock so I can sleep in, my other day’s first class is at eight-thirty so no sleeping there. In class, we read a piece of literature called _The Theater of War _by Brian Doerries. In this book, the author mentions the story of Ajax; in the play, the Greek legend Ajax loses his best friend Achilles in war. He is eventually driven into madness and takes his own life. I have never lost anyone in battle, but I have experienced the death of a close friend, so I could relate with Ajax about the mental toll that type of stuff takes on you.

By the end of this semester, I hope to make the dean’s list. To achieve that status, I need to earn a GPA of 3.5 or higher; that is my big goal. I, of course, have consistent goals of wanting to be a better person and lacrosse player. Hopefully, by the end of this semester, I can also learn to kick this bad habit of procrastination, as I am currently writing this blog the night before it is due.

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.