The Enlightenment of Sports

This past weekend, my girlfriend and I attended the Geneseo Women’s Soccer game against Brockport in the College Stadium. I wanted to attend this game due to the fact a friend from my hometown plays on the Brockport Women’s Soccer team. It was a nice experience to attend the game and watch her play. The Geneseo College Stadium is one of my favorite places to go on campus, because when I watch sporting events (especially soccer) it makes me feel energetic and happy. The atmosphere in the stadium is so enlightening: everyone there has some type of enjoyment for sports as I do.

As I watched the women’s soccer game, a very cold breeze came upon us and made my girlfriend and I very chilly. The cold breeze made our teeth clatter together throughout the game; the wind was very strong and made the trees around the stadium sway back and forth. As the game went on I realized that none of this mattered, sitting in a cold stadium and watching the ball going back and forth between both teams. It made think of when I used to play soccer on cold November afternoons in damp and cold weather. While watching the game, I thought of nothing but my love for the game of soccer and I just wished I could be out there playing alongside them. Finally, the game came to a close, the cold breezy wind continued and–this was something unexpected–it was one of the first time this autumn it had been chilly outside and we didn’t enjoy it. Although it was a windy and chilly day, every time I go to the College Stadium I find myself focused in on the game and never on what is around me.

Where the Wind Takes You

Wind turbine located in the SUNY Geneseo eGarden

After my long run this past Sunday I was walking back from the track to the locker room. The wind was so strong it brought tears to my eyes and it sent chills through my whole body. I’ve done this walk every Sunday since I’ve came to college and I’ve never noticed the windmill that stood by the track and playing fields on the lower North side of campus. This turbine was spinning so fast it created a rickety sound as it spun a million times around.

I paused for a moment and thought back to my experience with windmill the year before right around the time of deciding where to go to college. I was on my way traveling to the cross country pre-state meet in Rochester, NY when we passed a series of windmills. The bus driver was lost and my coach was trying to give him directions. After he attempted to help the bus driver he turned to the team and said “We are just going where the wind takes us.”

What my coach said, although it was meant to be funny, really stuck. I was confused when it came to deciding on a college and it just reminded me that, wherever I chose to go, everything would turn out okay. As I passed this windmill on Sunday it gave me a reassurance that I had made the right choice on going to Geneseo.

Just remember: go where the wind takes you.          — Laura Jackson

The Tunnel With Windows

Photograph of sunset as seen through of SUNY Geneseo townhouse residencesThe only thing connecting South side, where I live, and the rest of campus, are the Townhouses. Walking through them, it’s almost as if I’m in a tunnel. A long stretched out, symmetrical tunnel, with one beginning and one end. The only way I know I’m outside is by looking up at the sky, looking straight ahead to see a patch of lawn grass, and the crosswalk.

One night at 7pm, I was walking back from dinner with my friends. They were well ahead of me, because I had stopped at the stairwell to my right facing an opening. Past the evenly aligned sides of the apartment walls, was a violet pink sky, making every building and shadow around purple tint. The white lines on the soccer field were pink. The normal color of every object was juxtaposed, which made me feel lucky to notice it.  Now that the sun is setting later, and the sky is much darker, I was lucky enough to acknowledge and capture this moment in time. From what I thought was a tunnel of destination, turned into a window of openness to color, light, and admiration of my surroundings.          — Samantha

Winter is Coming!

Yesterday evening, my friend Luis and I were returning to the college union after walking our friend Juli to the south side dorms after dinner. The sun had set, and the evening had become quite chilly! The wind was howling around the corners of buildings, and something cold and wet was falling sideways from the sky. “Ugh, cold rain is the worst,” Luis said as we rushed past the townhouses with our heads down. I stopped and looked at how the precipitation was passing through the light cast by a lamppost; it appeared far more chunky than regular rain, and it began to hurt my face as it fell. Extending a hand, I realized that it was, in fact, hail that was falling from the sky! I hadn’t seen hail since the spring, but because Luis is from Long Island, his experience with hail is severely limited. We discussed the weather predictions for the coming days: Friday the temperature is supposed to be in the mid sixties, and on Sunday it might even snow. I am from Syracuse, so I consider myself to be quite accustomed to the crazy weather variations that are common here. Luis, however, has never even gone sledding, which was a common childhood (and teenage) occurrence for me. An intriguing conversation ensued about the local climates in our respective regions of New York. It’ll be wild to see everyone’s reactions to the copious amounts of snow we’ll be receiving this winter. Let’s hope everyone packed warm clothes!          — Vizma Leimanis

Some Much-Needed Time Off

Crabapples on ground near Letchworth Hall, SUNY Geneseo

As I sat outside one cool Tuesday afternoon eating my veggie burger from Letworth Dining Hall I took a deep breath knowing fall had finally begun. The sun wasn’t out but it was still warm enough to just wear a lightweight sweatshirt and some jeans.  The leaves on the trees were different shades of yellows and oranges. The brisk wind brought goose bumps to my arms and made my nose preticulary red. I watched as the multicolored leaves swayed in the trees and a few began to fall on the green grass. Next to where I sat was a crab apple tree with crab apples surrounding the ground around it. Crab apples would fall from the tree and hit the ground amongst the already fallen. Some, squashed into the cement walkway from a passerby or a stressed out college student worrying about their midterm tomorrow. It was amazing to just sit and watch everything around me not thinking about anything else. I sat there taking in the perfect weather, soft breeze, beautiful colors, and of course my veggie burger.

You can find amazing things when you stop and look around. I know it can be hard especially with all the work and stress put on us as college students but trust me it is some much needed time off. When you take the time to use all your senses and engolf yourself in that moment then you can find and experience amazing things that you never thought you would.          — Ashley

Autumn Authenticity

Photograph of Wind Swept Meadows farmstand, Watertown NY

This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to visit and reconnect with loved ones and experience the familiar and calming atmosphere within my hometown. While it felt out of the ordinary at first, I quickly adjusted and became reacquainted with my surroundings. I was overjoyed to make a stop at the biggest “tourist-spot” nearby at our local cider mill. Nothing beats a bag of fresh apple cider donuts first thing in the morning. And of course, this trip had to include getting a few classic snapshots of the rushing waterfall just behind the building. The cider mill wasn’t always such a highly regarded establishment; its growing popularity certainly alters the authenticity of the environment. Evidently, this has little observable impact on the love the community shares for this fall-filled favorite.

In significant contrast, just a few short minutes from all of the hustle of the mill is an independently owned farm stand along the edge of the road. Wind Swept Meadows Farm, as photographed, is well known for their wide variety of homegrown produce, as well as flowers and fresh baked treats, all of excellent quality. Not only does buying from personal stands benefit the growers, but it also shows support of the locavore movement and promotes nutrition and small-scale agriculture. One of the main aspects of this stand that I personally adore, though, is the trust system established with the public. As opposed to having constant watch to ensure all is payed for, the roadside stands in my hometown run solely the principle of honesty. This stand specifically always has a small notebook and pen sitting out alongside their metal tin for visitors to pay and record the goods they purchased. All in all, this just goes to show the impact that the public can have on a given environment. Despite this, the simplicity maintained in this single farmstand is implicit of so much more regarding the true genuinity of individual experience.          — Michaela

The Sustainability Lecture: Xiuhtezcatl Martinez an Inspiration to Youth

Today I attended the sustainability lecture given by Xiuhtezcatl Martinez. At first, I thought it was going to be weird listening to a kid my age speak about all of the crazy things he has done in his life; more things than I will ever be able to do in my life time. It was truly inspiring to hear him speak. The amount of passion he had in his work is what captivated me. The fact that he has written a book taught in courses, presented at a UN meeting, been on several talk shows, and given TED talks is incredible. His story was fascinating to listen to as was motivated by his family around him to make a difference in the world. Oh, and the fact that he and his group got a court date for their movement is amazing. While I don’t usually enjoy spoken word hip hop, I could appreciate what he was doing with the feeling and passion behind it.

Line drawing of environmental activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to see my home engulfed in a flood or a fire. What he was able to live through and keep moving forward with his movement is incredible. The Earth Guardians movement is amazing. Its crazy to think that someone my age is doing so much good for the world. The story of the boy in Africa that had this movement started was fantastic. He managed to spread this movement to a level that the government recognized and adopted.

I was stuck for a while on what to write for my blog entry, but this lecture was truly inspiring, and I had to share. This lecture will be in the back of my mind for a long time to come. It makes me wish that there were more people out there that were doing what he is, in getting the youth involved.          — Doughty

Inside a Photograph

Photograph of crabapple tree branchA couple of weeks ago during class, my Nature Writing Professor brought us three types of cookies to taste as part of an introduction to our next assignment. He made delicious homemade cookies for my class and explained the ingredients that he walked for a half hour to get. Professor Cooper told us about his walk and explained how, even when in a rush, he takes time to cherish his surroundings.

That day on my walk back to my dorm from class, I saw things around me that I usually had not noticed. I stopped to photograph a dewy tree that held vibrant, red berries that glistened in the early sunlight. I walked among the hot pink flowers that lined the sidewalk and took photos of these as well. As I neared my dorm, nearly a mile walk away on south campus, I stared at the leaves that were in the process of changing color from green to red and yellow and brown and orange. On the ground, I saw some leaves that were made of each of these colors, holding rain from the night before. Some leaves had several drops of water on their backs, and a few had small pools of water in the center of their curved figures. I photographed these as well.

Being an artist myself, I have always known that the art of photography is beautiful. But after taking this class for a mere few weeks, I have learned that it is not necessarily the photo that is beautiful – what is beautiful is the object in the photograph and the time taken to cherish it.          –Heather

Comfort

It is well known that the transition into college can be difficult, you miss your family and all the things attached to home. Being in a brand new place, not knowing anyone or being familiar with anything is a stressful and intimidating experience. It is easy to be consumed by all the work given to you or feel like you constantly have to be doing something or hanging out with the new friends you have made. There is barely any time to be alone and appreciate where you are in life. The thing that I really appreciate about being here at Geneseo is, although there may be a lot of work and it may be very stressful is a very pleasant environment. The times when you get to walk around and see all the nature the campus provides are very comforting. Watching a sunset as you walk home or observing the vines of ivy on the sides of the buildings as you walk to class will occasionally stop the overwhelming “to-do list” inside your head and remind you to appreciate the world around you and take a deep breath. The nature here is what gives me comfort in such a huge transition in my life, it has really shown me how important it is to notice the little things around me and remember that there are other things happening in the world other than what is happening to me.          –Devin

On the Very Southside

Students lead a tour of SUNY Geneseo's Spencer J. Roemer ArboretumOur thanks to Katy and Adam, student assistants of Dr. Jennifer Apple, for leading an interpretive walk in the Roemer Arboretum. We learned about slave-making ant colonies, the complex dynamics of native and invasive species, and two fox dens that are on-site. So many semi-familiar plants! Fortunately, a lot of them are labelled for visitors who don’t know the names.