Ithacranium is the IC Honors Program blog, created and edited by students. The blog, which originated as a newsletter in spring of 2010, is updated weekly with new and relevant content.
Friday, November 30, 2012
Kat Crowe, Class of 2016
I remember before Hurricane Sandy swept the east coast, it was such a joke to everyone. Chris Christie came to each town, exclaiming “all the beach towns must evacuate!” Just the year previous, New Jersey experienced Hurricane Irene, Christie repeated the same words as before, the media told everyone to leave, but nothing serious happened except some minor flooding after the hurricane came. Everyone made such a big deal about it, but nothing serious occurred. But, Hurricane Sandy was a completely different situation.
I am from Keansburg, New Jersey, which is located on the Shore of Monmouth County; a beach and amusement park along the shoreline facing New York City. Hurricane Sandy’s winds broke the flood gates at Raritan Bay and caused the whole bay to flood into my town. Up to nine feet of water swept through the amusement park and the proceeding streets.
My friends all over town found refrigerators, ski ball machines, boats, and cars that they did not own, on their streets and front lawns. Sandy had not only completely wrecked my town’s main source of revenue, but it displaced two thousand families out of eleven thousand. Keansburg is not an affluent district; the average income for families is about forty-four thousand dollars a year. Knowing that my town would need more help than ever, I decided to start a fundraiser where all the proceeds would go to the re-establishment of those who lost their homes.
My fundraiser started off with two-hundred bracelets that stated “Jersey Strong” on them. Each bracelet cost two dollars each and within the first forty-eight hours of me selling them, I made six-hundred dollars with only one-hundred bracelets sold. I made a PayPal account so anyone could buy the bracelets online or just donate. I have sent bracelets to people in South Carolina, Florida, Maine, Missouri, Oregon, California, and Arizona. The news of these bracelets has spread across the country. So far, I have sold five-hundred bracelets and have made sixteen hundred dollars in profit. I have four hundred more bracelets coming to me and I will be continuing my fundraiser through Fun Without Drinking and the Keansburg School District.
If you would still like to buy a bracelet, you can easily contact me through Facebook at Kat Crowe or look up “Keansburg Jersey Strong Fundraiser,” which is my open event that anyone can join! I never believed that my fundraiser would be so successful. Based on the generous donations I have received, I have a lot of faith in my fellow Ithaca College Students, friends and family back home, and the general public.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Sara Gardner, Class of 2013
You pass by tons of people in the course of a day, people who you don’t know and probably will never see again. I find this to be extremely fascinating, the fact that we all exist here at this point in time together, but each person has their own life that they are the center of, their own personal struggles and their own triumphs.
Looking around online one day, I stumbled upon a picture of a silhouette with a quote written on it: “When you look at someone, remember that everyone has a story. Everyone has gone through something that has changed their life, their hearts, and their destiny… Including you.”
Something about this quote resonates with me. It isn’t just celebrities, athletes, people you Facebook stalk, etc. that have interesting and often inspiring stories. Everybody, including yourself, has a story that has the potential to be meaningful to somebody other than you.
My classmate, Ryan Haddon, first proposed a project like this to me at the beginning of the semester and I was more than happy to scrap the script I had been working on in favor of exploring this idea more. We wanted to chronicle the stories of the every day person – incredible, mundane, horrifying, depressing, exciting stories – and really delve into the emotions behind each specific scenario.
After interviewing a few people, we began to find that a common theme seemed to appear with the stories. Even though we had asked for one story about any emotion, the one that most people chose to talk about was one of loss, or of overcoming a problem or struggle of some sort.
This struck me as very interesting, and also very telling. We hold on to our memories where we hit our lowest low, yet so easily we forget our stereotypical “gold medal” moments. When asked to tell a story of personal significance, we search for one where we prevailed over sadness - a story in which human resilience shines.
From this concept is where my senior Television-Radio thesis was born. We are interviewing people and asking them to tell a story. We do not stipulate what the story should be about, or what we want it to be about, however the stories seemingly all fit together.
Ryan and I with our thesis project tentatively titled “Resilience,” we are hoping to immerse viewers within these stories and make the audience recall a moment where they experienced those same emotions. This is also meant to truly be an experience for the viewer, as it is an experimental video installation piece that will be projected on four walls in the room that we did the interviews in.
We are still currently in production and will be conducting one last round of interviews on Monday, Nov. 26 from 6pm to 9pm in Room 140 in the Roy H. Park School. Please feel free to stop by during that time or send me an email if you are interested in participating!
If you are interested in viewing the final product, we will be showing our piece on Friday, December 14 in Room 140. The rest of the Television-Radio senior thesis students will be presenting their work that evening as well, so be sure to come by Park and check it out!
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Kayle Belval '13
On Friday, October 5 at 7 pm, I held a screening of “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” in Textor 101. It was a 40-minute screener of a four-hour PBS Independent Lens documentary, which aired in two parts on October 1, and 2.
As a campus ambassador for the Half the Sky movement, part of my role in promoting a campus-wide discussion about gender issues is to show the film. The 40-minute cut was shown because it was given to us at no cost and seemed a much more reasonable amount of time compared to four hours on a Friday night.
“Half the Sky” was co-sponsored by IC Feminists, SAFER, More Than Me and She’s The First, all clubs on Ithaca College’s campus dealing with issues related to those featured in the film. The audience watched as Nicholas Kristof, one of the authors of the book of the same name, traveled to various countries with celebrities to explore gender issues such as sex trafficking, rape, maternal mortality rates, education and economic empowerment.
After the film, there was a discussion of the issues that it displayed and the way in which they were depicted. Some thought that Kristof had no business pointing a finger at these other countries while not at the U.S and acting as a “white savior.” Others thought that the use of celebrities detracted from the stories of the girls that dealt directly with these issues. More questioned why Sheryl WuDunn was not the author depicted in the film. There was also discussion of why there were no strong, supportive male characters from these countries that were shown and why we were not watching a film made by people from one of these countries.
I was taken aback. As someone who read the book two years ago and was deeply affected by its reporting, I did not think that people would voice these issues with a movement dedicated to raising awareness of gender inequality and its solutions. That is the beauty of a college like Ithaca.
Although the screening caused some uncomfortable discussions, they were necessary to see the movement as a whole. I related the information to the other campus ambassadors so that these issues could be a larger part of the screenings held by other schools across the country and in some cases, the globe.
Next Monday and Tuesday, October 29 and 30, Ithaca College is showing the full film in two-hour sections. Thursday, November 1, Sheryl WuDunn is coming to our school to talk about the book and the film as the Difficult Dialogue speaker. The book is available in the bookstore and she will do a signing after the event.
I have the opportunity of meeting WuDunn and addressing these issues with her directly. I get to meet someone who has accomplished so much that I want to model my career after: winning a Pulitzer Prize, writing for the New York Times and exposing gender issues that were not being covered by traditional media outlets. She told the stories of the voiceless women in the countries that she and her husband reported on.
That being said, I hope to see a lot of people in Ford Hall at 7:30 pm next Thursday to see WuDunn speak and challenge her, if they find issues with her experience. The book helped me to see how local organizations can work from the ground up, fighting every institution that they have grown up oppressed by, to help other women. It showed me that media is a good outlet to expose people to social justice issues and that everything I saw implemented in the book, I could do here in the United States. It gave me solutions of education and economic empowerment to help women achieve their goals of a better life. So looking forward, this was only one small step fueling my passion of eliminating gender inequality and seeing the ways in which I could make my contributions better than those who came before me.
For those interested in discussing issues of gender inequality further, IC Feminists meets Mondays at 7 in Friends 205. We are a safe space to discuss how you have been affected by gender differences, as well as solutions to these issues or events that can bring this conversation to a campus-wide audience.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Amanda Lee, Class of 2016
My first thoughts about visiting the Cayuga Nature Center were a little skeptical. Spending all day outside in the rain, making a fool of myself in a class skit, and spending time with people I barely knew didn’t seem like the best way to spend my Saturday. But was I wrong.
In reality it turned out to be a beautiful fall day, and it proved to be a wonderful bonding experience. Initially, I was scared because I didn’t know very many people in the Honors Program, only a few girls, from my seminar Lethal Girls and Lady Knights (which is composed of mostly girls). Earlier in the week we had attempted to prepare a skit, but what resulted was thirteen girls and one lonely guy singing along and fake fighting to “Man I Feel Like a Woman” by Shania Twain. After thoroughly embarrassing ourselves, and watching other groups perform, well planned, thought out skits, we were treated to a gourmet lunch of round food, including pizza, pasta, and lots of apple cider.
We were given the afternoon to explore. After the sun turned up we were able to romp around the center, exploring the massive six-story tree house, and marveling at the changing autumn leaves. It turns out that if you leave a bunch eighteen year olds alone, they can come up with pretty creative ways of entertaining themselves, through board games, Frisbees, and just sitting around, talking. Not to mention the six different delicious deserts that our classmates made from scratch. It was a great way to spend the afternoon, nestled among the golden treetops; I grew closer to friends and established new friendships. After spending all day together, a newly formed group of friends decided to meet for dinner. We stayed so long that we were kicked out of the dining hall, however, not before we made plans to meet again.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
My name is Brian Schmidt. I am a Violin Performance and Education major with a minor in Honors in my sophomore year. As a music major on campus, I spend the majority of my time in Whalen. I am a member of the Ithaca College Symphony Orchestra (ICSO), Ithaca College Chamber Orchestra (ICCO), and Chorus. I hold a job at the Library of Ensemble Music and help run the TC lounge Open Mic night every Wednesday. I am also a member of a band comprised of 6 Ithaca College students including myself. The name of the band is “Second Dam”.
“Second Dam” sprouted from a project involving founding members K.c. Weston (Junior-Lead Vocals) and Kayla Sewell (Junior-Cello/Ukulele). They had contacted each other at the very start of their freshman year in the interest of creating and making music together. They met up and did exactly that. The two of them continued this through there freshman year. By the next year, they had more serious aspirations. The group solidified its current members in the spring of 2012. PJ Scott (Graduated-Bass Guitar), Zack Jones (Sophomore-Guitar), Andrew Weir (Sophomore-Drums), and myself (Sophomore-Violin) were the new additions to the band.
Through joining this band I have talked myself through some very pertinent issues involving me as both a music student and a student at the collegiate level.
The first issue relates to professor Bleicher’s honor’s seminar “Why are we here?” In today’s American society, success is connoted with a college education. But what does it mean to have a college education? Why do we come to college? Is it to learn or to experience? Some would argue that college should be about the learning with a healthy dosage of experience, while others would argue the opposite; that college should be about the experience with a healthy dosage of learning. These questions can’t be answered in a small blog post, but I can say that through being a part of “Second Dam” I have realized that college should absolutely be experienced to the fullest. I would argue that experience is learning, especially in the music world. I probably will not be exposed to such a high concentration of extremely talented musicians of varied stylistic backgrounds for quite a while, if not ever again. Because of that, I am going to take advantage of everything here at Ithaca College to the fullest. Through the band, I’m gaining real world experience of gigging, rehearsing, recording, networking, managing, and countless acts of shameless self-promotion (www.facebook.com/seconddam).
As of right now, Second Dam released It’s first five song EP September 15th and has gigged very frequently at local hotspots like “The Nines”, “The Haunt”, “Castaways”, “The Gates”…etc. It’s hard to describe the sound of our band to someone who has never heard us, but since iTunes needed a classification, we put our selves into the indie/alternative/folk category, even though that’s not really accurate. This leads me to my next issue.
As a Classically trained violinist, Alternative violin is quite a different road. It has a much different approach, and is not supported by as large of a community compared to a classical musicians’ community. If anything, being a part of this group has expanded my knowledge as a musician and made me a better violinist because of it. I definitely have struggled with the question of what should music means to me. The answer to this question is always changing, but my current take is that the music should be played for both the performer and listener equally. If either side becomes too selfish, the music becomes either very flashy, or the performer grows bored with performing such “simplicities”. There exists a middle ground between the two that I believe all musicians should acknowledge.
So far, my growth as a musician has grown immensely since I entered Ithaca College. I have experienced so much already, despite it only being my sophomore year. I am excited to continue my years here at Ithaca continuing to explore myself as both a musician and student.
Violinist - Ithaca College School of Music '15
B.M. Music Performance & Music Education