Thursday, July 23, 2015

Gender Meeting - Sofia Villalon & Sean McPhillips

This past Wednesday was the gender meeting where students of each respective gender spoke about and understood the different issues culture and society poses on them whether it be on a college campus, family and relationships, or day to day situations.

Being apart of the women's meeting, I looked forward to being on the other side; preparing the poem, scenarios, and linking arms questions in order to relate with the women on not just a surface level. Last year as a student I felt empowered and this time around the meeting made me recognize that I was not alone in this world. This year I could really distinguish which activities sparked the most emotion and fear - a natural feeling when adjusting to college life and it's challenges. It took a bit for the women to lighten up but after mentors jumped in and added their insight, the ladies felt comfortable.

I believe its very important to talk about the societal issues women deal with on an equal level and not as facilitators to women because regardless the title we all have, women will all encounter the same pressures from society. It was imperative this workshop was woman to woman; it allowed honesty and comfort. Looking back to my workshop I realized how much that type of session helped me feel comfortable in my setting, skin, and surroundings because the main goal was to make these women feel comfortable with who they spent their summer with and who they confided in... AOP continues to recognize that education isn’t just in your T-9 calculator, heavy textbooks, and 8 AM lectures at Newton; its what students take away and remember the most about confronting real life situations in workshops like the gender meeting.

Wednesday, July 15 marked the date of this year's annual AOP summer gender meetings. These gender meetings give opportunity for both male and female students to converse in a confidential environment about sex and gender on campus and throughout society.

For the young men of the Access Opportunity Program, this meeting was meant to inform them on what it is like to be a man in modern society and media. Understanding common misconceptions on gender, gave awareness to how we can alter the way we perceive one another.

Throughout this confidential meeting, student were told to "hold nothing back" when discussing stereotypes. This made the overall discussion more honest and comforting for the young men involved. We were able to discuss issues on and off campus involving sex and gender, in a safe and accepting environment. The relevance of these issues was made clear, so students could view the meeting as a learning experience.

This year's gender meeting was eye-opening for students and educators, a-like. Bonding over the way society views gender, gave all the men of AOP the ability to see through new perspectives.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Rochester Museum and Science Center - Mary Legawiec

This past Saturday the peer mentors and students embarked on a mini adventure to The Rochester Museum and Science Center. Each floor offered different hands-on activities to engage the students in each exhibit. When we first walked into the museum we were presented with an interactive site to “excavate dinosaur remains”.  Although some students weren’t as thrilled as others, once they began exploring, their demeanor quickly changed.

I believe I can speak for everyone when I say the Adventure zone was probably everyone’s favorite exhibit throughout the whole museum.  It was hard to get bored with all this floor had to offer- between climbing a rock wall, pretending to be a weather forecaster in front of a green screen, diving into the Ontario lake in a deep submergence vehicle, or crawling across the obstacle course up to the 3rd floor. It was so rewarding seeing students laugh and smile with their new friends. Moreover, Every few hours the students were given the opportunity to attend the Electricity Theater which was an indoor display of lightening bolts that produce musical notes- the higher the wattage, the higher the musical note. Bad Romance by Lady Gaga was one of the many songs that the Electricity Theater made  with the power of lightning, conductors, and insulators.

Students and Peer Mentors ended their day with a Planetarium showing of Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia. The students enjoyed comfy seating, and a giant  dome-shaped screen that encompassed the entirety of the ceiling.  The Domed-shaped screen gave a 3D effect as you watched the hour long movie. Overall, I can easily say this field trip was a enjoyable experience for the students and staff.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Training and Student Arrival - Jennifer Liriano

After a week and a half of training and team bonding, the AOP Summer Staff felt a mix of excitement and nervousness in preparation for the incoming pre-freshmen on the evening of July 4th, the night before they arrived. As the students trickled in one by one, we began to realize how utterly real this experience was becoming and we started to feel less nervous and more ecstatic. The day was long but once we had all of the students in one room and split up into mentor/mentee groups, preparing them for orientation we knew that our job had officially begun. The very first night after our first meeting, a number of students and student staff joined together in the lounge to play an exciting game of Mafia where the students were able to bond with the staff and everyone was able to get a little more comfortable. 

It was a little disorienting going from having no students to having our students plus all of the other students attending orientation but it was a fun way to get to know and bond with as many incoming freshmen as possible. The peer mentors paired up with the Orientation Advisors (OA’s) and we got to enjoy the best of both worlds. We all bonded most during the end of the first day at the first Geneseo Late Knight event (GLK) over karaoke, billiards and snacks. After two long days, our exhausted students returned to Steuben to prepare for the first day of classes.

At 7:30 we all had breakfast and everyone seemed to be a little nervous about the first day of classes. The students had heard so much about the difficulty of the INTD course and how challenging it would be, leaving them curious and slightly intimidated. The tutors, such as myself were also nervous, hoping that we would be as helpful as possible but prepared to do the best that we could to provide aid for the students and keep them from getting overwhelmed.

Overall, the first week is almost over and everyone is accustoming to a new routine. The tutors and other student staff are getting used to being on the other side of the program and we are all excited to create a new experience, and the students are getting ready for a life changing experience that we hope we can all provide!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Geneseo Students Participate in 4th Annual Insomnia Film Festival

On Tuesday, April 21st GREAT Day, students participated in the Insomnia Film festival, spearheaded by Joe Dolce, in the CIT Department. The insomnia film festival presents an opportunity for students to create a short witty and interesting video under three minutes long, that coincides with the themes and guidelines presented.

Twenty teams participated this year, and students learned how to edit, create, and film video. This gave students an opportunity to work on a team, practice their acting skills, and learn more about digital media in the process. Teams compete for a spot in the top three, who win prizes such as book store credit and amazon gift card funds. However, every insomniac knows that their participation isn't about winning prizes, but about enjoying the experience of working closely with others, editing a video, and enjoying all the creative fun moments in between.

Mr. I and Mr. Rivera were a part of the judges for the event, and enjoyed being part of a band, led by Professor Glenn McClure in the English Department.

What an amazing experience this was!