On Friday, April 17, Stockton’s Entertainment Team (SET) hosted the fifth annual “Woodstockton”, an event where a chosen band or performer, depending on who gets the most student votes, visits Stockton and performs a student concert in Big Blue Gymnasium. This year, Panic! At the Disco was chosen over many other famous performers, such as 21 Pilots and Jesse McCartney, to perform. Being I had never been to a concert before, I was really glad that a band I particularly like was chosen for my first concert. Two of my friends from back home are also huge fans of the band, so they came and visited Stockton for a night and saw the concert with me.
Panic! At the Disco were opened for by two bands. First, the student band, My Life in Film, winners of Battle of the Band a few weeks ago, performed a few songs, some of their own and some covers of well-known songs. Overall, they were clearly very talented and got the audience excited for the performance to come. The second opener, a guitarist and singer named Clark Kelly, performed a few songs by himself and engaged himself with the audience by speaking in between songs and getting the crowd even more excited. Finally, after the last set change, Panic! At the Disco made their appearance and began playing immediately, during which the audience all began singing along and dancing. Luckily, my friends and I decided to stay in the standing area so we could have just as much of a good time.
Panic! performed many of their well-known songs, as well as some I was less familiar with but others knew by heart. They also covered the song, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which is a song that almost everyone seems to know. Overall, we spent the whole time dancing and enjoying the concert as a whole. The performers of Panic! most definitely really enjoy what they do, as one could tell watching them perform live. Considering it was my first concert, I can surely say it was great experience and I would love to go to another concert in the near future.

Seeds for the Future

Earlier tonight, my RA Julie Eller hosted our final program. During it, we were each given a small flower pot, a plethora of paints, and paintbrushes; we were then given the freedom to paint them as we wished, followed by filling them with soil and a plant of our choice. The point of the program was to have it as a final program as a floor for the semester and to reflect on our favorite times during our freshman year. Many people shared stories from throughout the year and laughed at each other’s favorite memories.
My first year at Stockton has been full of amazing memories that I will always remember and take time to reflect on when I am older. I have met some of the most amazing people in classes and the honors residence hall that I am also proud to call my honors family. We have all laughed, cried, had fun together, studied for exams, gone out for birthday dinners, and have done many more fun things. Everyone in my residence hall has provided me with reassurance in my already existing notion that there is good in everyone as long as you look for it; in fact, they proved this to be true and more.
Next semester, I will be an honors resident assistant, along with current honors RA’s Julie and Anthony. I am thrilled, honored, and humbled to be joining the staff, especially in the honors community. I have enjoyed every moment I have been in the honors program so far, and cannot wait to mentor a floor of incoming honors girls and show them what family has meant to me during my time at Stockton. I am truly grateful for Julie and Anthony and the leadership and caring they have shown their residents through their friendly attitudes and fun programming throughout this year. I can only hope to follow their footsteps and provide my residents with such guidance.

Blog 15: D200 Plants Seeds for the Future

Tonight my RA had our final floor program for the year titled “Plant Seeds for the Future”. Most of the girls on my floor attended the program along with people who are here so often they might as well live on D200 with us. This program was a great way to reflect on our freshman year of college.

The activity that we did for the program was adorable. Every person received his or her own flowerpot. Everyone painted their flowerpots however they chose to do so. I painted my flowerpot pink with a blue rim. I put green polka dots within the blue, but it still needed one more thing. I decided to write “Stay Positive” in purple because those words are what got me through this year. When things are looking down I try to continue looking up. While it is sometimes a struggle, it is effective and everything always works out in the end. I also put a smiley face on the flowerpot as a finishing touch.

Once we were done painting, we put soil into the flowerpots and picked out the type of flowers that we wanted to plant. When we were planting our flowers everyone seemed to be confused about the proper way to plant. I was clueless, so I just stuck the seeds wherever and then watered them. After we watered our flowers, everyone’s flowerpots started to leak. That’s when we realized all of the flowerpots had small holes in the bottom. You would think a group of honors students would be able to figure out this problem to begin with.

Throughout the program people shared their best memories of their time on the floor. Everyone seems to have had a great time this year. While it is sad to see this year end, I am excited to see what the seeds of my future grow into.

Jazz Education Concert

On April 15, I attended the Somers Point Jazz Society Education Concert hosted in the Stockton Performing Arts Center. Many students from different elementary schools who were young musicians attended, as well as other Stockton students and some community members. Tickets were free and seating was very informal, which made for convenience in entering the performance. The jazz group consisted of a piano player, bass, drums, guitar, trumpet, and saxophone, some of the musicians being adjunct members of Stockton’s faculty. There were plenty of different sounds from the instruments that made for a well-balanced concert.
Studying for a music minor at Stockton and previously being a member of my high school’s jazz band, I appreciated the way the group went about their performance. The leader of the group, the saxophonist, talked in between pieces and explained the style of the jazz music they were about to perform, as well as giving background information about the composers of each. He also arranged their performance in such a way that the music was chronological in style as the jazz era progressed from the early 1900s on. My favorite piece that they played, St. Thomas, composed by Sonny Rollins, was a piece that my jazz band had once performed, therefore it is also close to my heart.
Although I am doing classical music studies here at Stockton, jazz performance will always be something I enjoy very much. I am always surprised by musicians’ ability to improvise in jazz music, as this concert was very much based by playing melodies in synch, followed by improvised solos from each of the musicians. Improvisation is especially hard because one must keep to the key signature of the piece, as well as follow the main melody, with a personal twist. Personally, I have much difficulty with this as a musician, and luckily classical music does not include this difficult task too often. I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing this in concert and learned about a lot of jazz composers, some of which I had not yet heard of.

Blog 14: Delta Phi Epsilon Interest Meeting

Stockton University is bringing a new sorority to campus next semester, Delta Phi Epsilon, which is also known as DPhiE. On Tuesday, I went to an interest meeting about being a founding member of this sorority at Stockton.

The opportunity to be a founder of a sorority is amazing. As a founder, you would get to decide how you want the sorority to be seen here on campus. You would be able to create a lasting impression about what it means to be a sister of this sorority on the Stockton campus. Founders get to choose things such the annual events of the sorority and how the process recruitment will be done each year.

Even more amazing than being the founder of a sorority is the opportunity to be a sister of DPhiE. The sorority’s motto is “Esse Quam Videri” which means, “To be rather than seem to be”. DPhiE sisters aim to be the best possible versions of themselves. They do not want people to change in order to fit into some kind of “sorority girl mold”. They know that every person is wonderful in their own way and they strive to bring out the best in everyone.

DPhiE works with two philanthropies: The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD). Both of these philanthropies are dear to the hearts of the DPhiE sisters as they personally relate to alumni of the sorority. When raising money for ANAD, DPhiE sisters host events that are all about loving yourself. The huge emphasis that they put on being comfortable in your own skin really makes DPhiE stand out. This idea draws people to the sorority who otherwise would have never even considered being involved in Greek life.

On top of that, their mascot is the unicorn.

DPhiE will start recruitment events in search for founding members at the beginning of the Fall 2015 semester.

Blog 13: Yoga

For the past two weeks I have attended the Thursday yoga class sponsored by the Wellness Center. This class is held every Thursday in the TRLC from 6:30 to 7:30. This is a free class opened to all Stockton students.

I went to my first class without a mat, but luckily the instructor had a few extra ones for people like me. If anyone is planning on attending a yoga class I suggest bringing your own mat, as mats are limited.

We started both classes with the Tibetan Five Rites. This exercise consists of five poses and quickly raises your heartbeat. The instructor told us to try to do the Five Rites every day as it is a quick exercise that will gradually make your body stronger.

In the first yoga class I went to, we did a form of yoga that is meant to make you sweat. The poses were challenging for me, and at times it felt like I was in an aerobics class. By the end of the class I was definitely sweating. However, there were still several times when we were doing poses and staying in them for a while. My favorite pose was heart bench. In this pose, you place one foam block between your shoulder blades and one under your head. Then you lie still for several minutes. This pose felt great for my back.

In the second class that I went to, we did Yin Yoga. This form of yoga is intended to channel your connecting tissue. It is done by getting into a pose and then releasing all of the tension in your body. Once you are in the pose with no tension, you stay still for several minutes. By the end of the class I felt relaxed, my body felt stretched, and it was just wonderful overall.

I would recommend this yoga class to anyone interested in the free fitness classes offered by Stockton.

Billiards Club Tournament

On Friday, March 27, my friends and I attended the weekly Billiards Club meeting, which we are frequent members of. While I am no billiards expert, I definitely have improved my game since coming to Stockton. My other friends in the club have a bit more experience than I do, and are actually pretty good. This week, all of the members were put into brackets in a singles tournament, where we played a race to three, and the winner of each would move on to the next round. I happened to be randomly chosen to play first, against one of my best friends, Ryan, who is probably the best pool player of my friends. While I put up the best fight I could, Ryan ended up winning, thus knocking me out of the tournament. Over all, he ended up winning the entire tournament of that week, defeating even the president of the club, who is also very talented.
Billiards club, while small, has been a fun and rewarding club I am a part of at Stockton. I have made new friends from joining, who have been a part of the club since they were freshmen as well. I also have gotten a lot better at billiards, since the last I had played since coming to Stockton was probably about five years ago! My friends and I look forward to Fridays because of pool club, but we do not let that stop us from playing during the rest of the week. At least once a day, everyday, whether it is during a lunch break or when we need a break from studying, my friends and I will head over to the Campus Center and play pool, sometimes for one game, or other times for ten games, depending on what we play. Billiards has proved to be a relaxing way to get our minds off studying or class when we can afford to, and I am extremely glad that it is offered in the Campus Center Game Room.

Crafts for A Cause

On Precepting Day, March 24, Resident Assistants from the Freshman Housing Staff hosted Crafts for a Cause in the TRLC, where people were welcomed to come and go as they pleased to make cards, coloring books, and teddy bears for sick children. In addition, there were jars collecting donations for Stockton’s upcoming Relay for Life event, each with a building’s letter on them as incentive to collect the most change for our buildings. A few of my friends and I went to the event at 2:00, and as it was scheduled to run until 4:00, we ended up spending the whole two hours there, each stitching a teddy bear. I had never sown or done any sort of project like this, so learning to stitch was kind of difficult at first. However, after cutting the fabric with tiny owls that I chose, and starting the first stitch, I eventually got the hang of it to a beginner’s degree. After two hours, the table full of people I was sitting with each had made one (or in some cases, more than one) teddy bear to donate. Meanwhile, others made coloring books and warming cards to donate as well.
I had a great time at this event because while we were learning how to do something new, we were also helping others who would not have received these bears, books, and cards from us without the program. Unfortunately, it often goes unnoticed that there are so many children that are lacking any sort of warm wishes or toys due to being sick or very poor. Even after making a small bear, I hope that I can impact a child in even the slightest way by them receiving the bear. At the end of the program, 18 bears, 75 cards, and 86 coloring books were made for children in Atlantic Care hospital and the Stanley Home Homework Completion program. In addition, my building, D, happened to raise the most amount of money for Relay for Life! I thoroughly enjoyed going to this program and had a great time with my friends and learning to make a teddy bear.

NJAC Division 3 Championship Game

On February 27, Stockton’s men’s basketball team fought in Big Blue for the NJAC Championship title against William Paterson University. Being from North Jersey, seeing the good amount of fans from William Paterson made me appreciate their dedication in driving all that way to Galloway. However, the student side of the gym overflowed with Ospreys, as we were excited and ready for the “Black out” game. My friends and I even made sure to be of the first fifty to enter the game, and got free shirts and admission. Some were even prepared with streamers that were thrown across the stands each time a three-point shot was scored. Being that Stockton was the first seed in the tournament and William Paterson was second, we knew the game was going to be intense.
The score of the game was overall throughout, as each team gained the lead back and forth. We made sure to hold up our hands for luck as our team made foul shots, and, of course in a matter of good sportsmanship, were loud while William Paterson attempted shots. In the end of the game, the Ospreys pulled through by gaining a lead, and won 65-61, close enough to make it the intense game it was expected to be. At the final buzzer, almost every Osprey ran onto the court and celebrated together. While I only made it halfway onto the court because of the amount of fans, I thought it was awesome to see the spirit we all had as we came together.
Although I had a great time at the game and love playing basketball for fun myself, my only regret is that I did not go to more basketball games during the season. Now that I know how much fun it is to bring friends to these games, I will definitely be attending more sports events at Stockton in the future.

Blog 12: Drag Queen Show Sponsored by the Stockton University Pride Alliance

On March 24, I attended a drag queen show sponsored by the Stockton University Pride Alliance. The show was intended to build awareness of AIDS and HIV.

The day before the show, members of the Price Alliance walked around the Campus Center food court with bags of candy. They had wrapped a piece of paper around each individual piece of candy that advertised their event. I thought this was the best way that you could advertise an event to college students.

My friend and I decided that we would go to the show the next day. We got to the show and donated to the cause before going inside. When we got into the auditorium, it was much emptier than I had expected. I believe this was due to people not knowing about the event rather than disinterest in the event. When I was telling some of my friends that hadn’t been with me when Pride Alliance members came to our table about the event, they were sad that they had not heard about it. If this event is done in the future, I hope they advertise more, because they could get much more people to the event and donating to the cause.

There were two queens who performed several dance numbers for the length of the show. Their costumes were fantastic and I’m jealous of how well they were able to dance in heels. I can’t even confidently walk in heels.

In the middle of the show, there was a break to talk about how to prevent the spread of diseases such as AIDS and HIV, since awareness was the purpose of this event. We were informed of the preventative measures available and the proper way to use them.