The second FRO workshop

For my second workshop, I attended a performance in Mason Hall called Baruch Voices. It was held by having several performers read out a few selected monologues written by Baruch students. The varieties of viewpoints here helped to keep the stories fresh and interesting. I heard about everything from smoking to cutting yourself… but hey, there were some lighter ones too. I mean, I might have fallen asleep once… or twice… but still, I enjoyed it.

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How I got my book signed by the author ^.^

Today, my peers and I came to the conference hall for a FRO workshop. The author of our freshman set text, Brooklyn, came and was talking about how some experiences from his life ended up in his book. He also talked about being an author in general. Later on, there was a Q/A session. Of course, as I’m an amateur writer, I asked him about his creative process. Also, after the workshop was over, I got his autograph on my copy of the book. All in all, I feel like I gained a lot from today.

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So I have to reflect the semester. This is a day late, because for the life of me I couldn’t log in to this blog site. I actually typed this before I posted it to make sure I don’t curse a lot. There were days where just being in Freshman seminar and Baruch in general annoyed me. I didn’t really care to get to know anyone, because the idea was that in college you get serious. I was pretty motivated to do just that, because I had friends outside of school close by. That is, until I joined the Baruchettes. I was happier to be in school, and then I actually started to kind of open up to my other freshies. Baruch itself made out to be a pretty cool place, not accounting the lot of smokers and sometimes rude pedestrians. But this first semester of my college life was actually pretty rewarding. I made friends and have spring courses with them; I have a close group of dancers and the best coach. And I have made friends all around the school in forms of store owners to random walkers. My professors proved to be pretty good, and class hours strolled by as classes came to an end. I won’t go so far as to say I’d do it all again…but maybe to have semesters just as exciting and meaningful.

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Baruch Voices

I actually found Baruch Voices to be surprisingly better than at Convocation. Most likely it was because it was way shorter…but the stories I heard were deep. Even if it was simply about bacon, or a friend you could never see anymore, or just a smoke addiction, each story wasn’t just “I did this crap, now can I get a pass?” They had effort to them, like they really wanted every freshman to understand them. Another thing was that the actors were still very amusing in how they each presented the monologues.

I do find it annoying that freshman are forced to go, no matter what. But it does help you kind of see that everyone else around you has a pretty deep lining to them. It’s not just you who has a circle around you of people who don’t care. They suffer like you. they are scared like, and college is just as new to all the others just like you. I even heard my dance mate and new friend’s mono. I could easily make out her voice, even if she wasn’t reading it.

I probably wouldn’t mind actually giving a mono for the next convocation (just maybe). It helps, even the tiniest bit.

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Baruch Voices

The workshop Baruch voices was surprisingly an entertaining one. I found it surprising how different these monologues were compared to the ones at convocation. It is strange how they essential ideas expressed in these monologues change each semester. It seems like a certain theme is reoccurring in these monologues each semester  whether this is purposeful or not.  It is nice to get to know our students, hear an important event in their lifer their views on Baruch college as well as their experience there. Every person has a certain story, a secret, or something that determines the person they are today. I found some of these monologues a bit too personal, there are certain things that shouldn’t be revealed to the public in my opinion. Yet overall I found voices a very interesting experience and a way to get to know each other. I found these actors that presented these monologues very professional. They helped bring these ordinary students story to life These actors presentations of the monologues were much more exciting than the actual students. They seemed much more life like, much more real, vivacious, and just more professional. They gave me a much better understanding of the true meaning of the dories behind these certain students and what was really trying to be expressed. Voices is a great way to get to know what kind of students attend Baruch college and to get an understanding that you cant judge a book behind its cover. Thus, I found voices an overall great opportunity for this, I was able to get a better understanding that Baruch is one of the most diverse school enviornemnts around.

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United States of America. New York, New York. 55 Lexington avenue. How did the Ukrainian girl get here? Let’s start from the very beginning…

Lively and crowded but at the same time peaceful and cozy, beautiful ancient town in the Western part of Ukraine, known as “Little Wien”, but originally called Lviv is the place where on the August 7th of 1994 a woman called Natalia gave birth to a baby girl. That was the moment when my life story began. The funny thing is that is started from the fight among my parents about the name, which they wanted to bless me with. Thanks God my father won after long hours of arguing and bringing in arguments. Otherwise, I would be given a very abandoned Ukrainian name that has not been in use for years or even decades as my first one. Even though I received a beautiful Greek name Yulia I still had to wear a brand of having that ancient name as my second one thanks to my mummy, who insisted on me having it…

I remember my childhood as being very vital. Those years were really hard for Ukrainian citizens due to the collapse of Soviet Union a few years before my very first birthday. That resulted in difficulties in finding an apartment so all my family lived together in one place. That were 6 people and a dog.

Sometimes I had a good luck to slip into my aunt’s room while she was at school as long as I wasn’t welcome there. The room seemed to be so out of this world. There were a lot colorful paintings on the wall, beautiful and fancy clothes and shoes in the wardrobe, different stickers and interesting comics and a cave with the blue budgie I liked to play with. The room itself was full of colors, weird hand made objects and an easel with watercolors, that would make every child take the brush and completely spoil the painting with drawings from the baby’s sick imagination. My aunt is an artist. Now you know the reason why wasn’t I, a four year old child, welcome in her room.

When I came to school to write my enrolling exams the headmistress said that it’s no way I will go to the first grade because I know too much. I started school directly from the second grade. I didn’t like school.  First, all my friends (who went to state schools) finished their classes at 1pm everyday, I did at 6pm though. I went to a special private school with their own curriculum, which was stronger than in any other school. Second, all my classmates came from very rich families and they had everything they wanted and even more, while my family wasn’t doing that well. The children were just spoiled.

Besides all that tings I hated about the school there were three more thing that made me feel uncomfortable in the school’s society. I was a new student while everyone else already studied at this school from the first grade.  Furthermore, that was the time when only ten years passed after Soviet Union collapsed so most of the people, especially in the Western part of Ukraine due it’s was very nationalistic at the time, didn’t like anyone, who had something to do with Russian Federation. Unfortunately, I had. I was. Am and always will be half Russian. When my classmates found out this small detail the real hatred began. They just erased me from the list of human beings and started treating me like an object that was being mocked, teased and laughed at.

Our educational system is so that people in your class are with you till the prom night of your senior year.  They never change if they do not decide to change school. So my middle school was pretty much the same disaster with the same people involved as the previous one. The only “but” was that thing started getting well.  The biased attitude towards Russians started fading away so I had one problem less. My relationship with the classmates started getting better. And it was perfect up until my prom.

September 2011. Graduation year started. It was the most horrible and hard year ever in my life. I didn’t know whether I will be enrolled in the American university so I needed to get prepared to Ukrainian one too. Fortunately I got in and came to the US. I did a University preparation year for foreigners in Westchester and after that got enrolled to Baruch. So here I am now in United States of America, New York, New York, 55 Lexington avenue writing this monolgue.

P.S. My life was not as horrible as it seems to be. I travel a lot (i’ve been to at least 30 countries), do photography as my hobby, read a lot of books about psych and philosophy, speak 6 languages and have a lot of friends now. I love my life and I’m not that solitary little girl anymore.

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Baruch voices

I liked the performance. It was surprisingly for Baruch very well organised. The stories the actors picked were very touching. I find two of them to be my favourite: the guy who tried to quit smoking and the girl who moved out from her mom. The first one reminds me of myself since I’m a smoker and sound like that guy too very often. I used to buy packs and say they were my last one. It never happened though. I still smoke. The second story kind of refers to my experience of moving to a different country and leaving my parents but not in terms of everything. That girl’s mom was very determined in taking care of her daughter and never gave her private space. My parents did but they thought that i would never be able to live on my own since according to them I will not manage to take care of myself far away from them.

The acting itself was beautiful. The actors depicted the emotions that those must have felt very clearly. I could feel those people and understand them as if they were telling it to me. The performance was engaging. I liked it!


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Good morning everyone! My name is Jordan Giordano. Today you will learn a little more about me. In college is important for me to determine and express my identity in college, thus this is one of colleges true purposes. Overall it is important for all of us to get to know each other more especially since we will be spending the rest of the semester together as well as potentially all four years. Like all of you, I am a current freshman in college that is still adjusting to this new lifestyle. The change from high school is quite difficult, in some ways I actually  miss high school yet in some ways I don’t. Yet in other ways I found college to be a big disappointment compared to what I expected. In many ways this semester does not seem that different from high school, the fact that I can’t choose my classes as well as the fact these courses are somewhat similar to ones I had in high school. Aside from this the overall freedom and greater opportunities that are offered outweigh the drawbacks. Overall I can describe myself as a hardworking student who wants to make the most out of this semester and at Baruch in general. Some of the biggest challenges I face this semester are the new adjustments compared to high school as well as the overall workload of 5 classes. My biggest goals this semester is to develop better study skills, get used to college life overall, make new friends in colleges and try to develop hobbies and interests related to my major in school. Another goal that I have this semester is to get a job; though this semester is practically over I still maintain these goals throughout the rest of the school year. Yet an internship would be another important goal as well though this would come later in my time at Baruch. Some of my goals for Baruch in general include to maintain a good gpa, graduate with a BBA in real estate development which is my intended major, join clubs and make new friends closely related with my interests, improve myself identity and determination as well as overall improved academic skills. Aside from school I can describe myself as a typical 18 year old. I am the type of person who makes the most of their free time and try to enjoy every moment. My biggest enjoyment during my free time is to spend time with my friends and family. One of my biggest interests is traveling, whether its exploring places far away or even just in my area, undiscovered places overall fascinate me. Traveling is also one of my greatest skills that I possess, I am the type of person who will always find their way around and never get lost. Some of my other interests include listening to music, working out at the gym, going for long walks, photography as well as just overall relaxing. It is important to maintain as much free time as possible regardless of your situation; it is a great way to reduce stress especially in my life. Overall I can describe myself as a typical 18 year old college that is determined to achieve their goals and make the most out of their college experience. Thank you for listening and if you have any questions please feel free to ask!

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resources at baruch


Baruch has a lot of different resources located on campus that are available to every student, such as Starr Career Center and Sacc Tutoring Center. The one that I found the most helpful is the Writing Center on 8th floor. Tutors in the Center help with writing papers and improve student’s writing skills. Every tutor has, at least, Masters degree in English or Journalism and some even have Doctorate degrees. It’s always a good idea to schedule an appointment at the Center as early as possible because sometimes, especially during finals week, it becomes impossible to find any available spots. It’s a great resource that everyone should definitely visit sometime during their time at Baruch.

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I really liked the book “Brooklyn”. After meeting Colm Toibin I can say that i like it even more since now I know the fascinating story was true even if partially. I liked how casually and interesting the author spoke to us. It didn’t feel like a meting with the famous person at all, more like a casual conversation. The fact that he wrote a book about an imaginary story about his mother made me laugh. He has a descent imagination.

It was a great event.

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