Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Hello All,
It's been a little while since I last checked in. Things have been pretty hectic with midterms and all, but now those are all over and i'm on spring break! While all of my friends are off at a rowing training camp or partying their face off at Lake Havasu or Cabo i'm sorry to report that mine hasn't been all that interesting. I've mostly been working, sleeping, and watching Netflix. I realized yesterday that I haven't done something really adventurous and exciting for a long time so I started doing some research into a new hobby: bike-touring.
The idea is pretty simple, you attach a small trailer to a bike containing food and camping gear and you bike to your destination, camping along the way. This summer i'm planning a trip up to my cousin's house in Gig Harbor, Washington. I'm planning on spending around two weeks biking up there from Santa Barbara, camping and adventuring along the way. Once I get there my uncle and my cousins are taking me on their sailboat to explore the numerous islands groups and sites around the Puget Sound area. After that i'll bike home. It sounds like a potentially life-changing experience and i'm really excited to start working towards it.
First off i'll need to start riding my bike more often and start going on some weekend-long mini expeditions to places like Malibu or San Luis Obispo, both under 100 miles away from Santa Barbara. I'll also need to start saving up for a proper touring-bike which will cost me at least several hundred dollars (yikes). Time to start asking for more shifts bussing tables! I'm also looking for a partner to make the ride with me, although to be honest i'm not very optimistic that anybody that I know will be willing to commit the time and effort necessary to complete such an epic endeavor. I have to say that i'm ecstatic about having an adventure on the near horizon. My ideal life always includes epic adventures and experiences in new places, and I've decided to stop being complacent and to make those ideas into realities.

I'm also still waiting to hear back from colleges, which is a source of mild anticipation in my life. I'm not freaking out with worry, but I would definitely like to hear some positive news from one of the three schools that I applied to so that I might rest a little easier. It's a strange thing, not knowing where you'll be living a year from now. That being said I've been realizing how excited I am to move out of SB (although I love it dearly) and start up life in somewhere completely new and unfamiliar. That's all for now!

With any luck, i'll spend my summer doing this!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Hey All,
It's been quite some time since I last posted! Part of the reason for that is that I have been as sick as death itself for the last little while. I have also been working on finishing up college apps, so that has taken up a good amount of time as well. I'm not sure if i've mentioned this before, but I did very poorly in high school and when I applied my chances of acceptance were essentially nill. This time around I feel very competitive and proud of the work i've done at CC, and I think that I have a very good shot at getting into some of the places that i'm applying to (Georgetown, Tufts, Berkeley, and UCLA). It feels really good to be able to be genuinely proud with the work you've done. Once you've done something that you consider very good work on your part it's very unsatisfying to settle for anything less. And not only do I have more to show for my work, i've had a better time as well. CC has offered a lot of great opportunities and i'm happy to say that i've taken a great many of them. I can't remember a time over the last two years when I wasn't busy doing something that was either enriching or seriously entertaining, usually some mix of both. People call you busy and ask you how you manage it all, but it makes for a seriously fun life.

 But sometimes it is nice to be able to relax and do absolutely nothing, and in a way being sick for the last week has been kind of relaxing in that regard. I've gotten a lot of work done, but i've also spent a lot of time reading, relaxing in bed, and watching Netflix. I've gotten really into a new show called Top Gear, which is basically about driving really cool cars and doing all of these exotic experiments and trips around that premise. It's great fun, i'd suggest checking it out. That being said, I hate being sick, It feels like the worlds left you behind while you've been sitting inside isolated from the excitement of everyday life.

 On a less dreary note, Santa Barbara has been getting some very much needed rain over the last few days, and hopefully it will give us some alleviation from the awful draught that we're currently in. And as an extra perk for me and my crew team, the water level in Lake Cachuma will rise and we won't have to carry the boats as far down t the water. Speaking of crew, my team had their first race down in Long Beach today and did very well! Out of all the boats we raced not a single one placed anything besides 1st or second. It was disappointing not being able to be there, but i'm very proud of all my fantastic teammates. I'm off to bed now, but i'll be increasing the frequency of my writing on here. Stay Tuned!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Second Week Down!

Hello Everybody!

So last time I wrote something more along the lines of an introduction, and I realized that I haven't told you about my semester thus far. This is my fourth and final semester at SBCC before I transfer and so far it's off to a fantastic start! I've definitely hit the ground running and this semester is definitely going to be a non-stop grind. I'm taking four academic classes: a two-class in a semester math class, American government and politics, and political thinking. So far I definitely enjoy thinking the most, it's essentially about the different philosophies behind political ideas; the teacher is one of my favorite at CC, the conversations are thought provoking and interesting, and it's a lot of reading (which is good if you're looking to kick your procrastination habits before transferring) it's a complete nerdgasm.

Academics aside this semester is still PACKED with fun stuff. We had our first International Studies Association meeting of the semester and we decided to make it a goal to sponsor an African child's education. Crew also takes upwards of 30 hours a week, and i've been burning gas like a madman driving back and forth from UCSB where I train and CC a few times a day. I'm not a student at UCSB so unfortunately I can't participate in most of the races this season, but in a few months we'll be doing some travelling which helps get us through the daily torture of water practice, weights, rowing machines (hell in the form of a workout), stadiums, and sprints. If any of you are ever told by a recruit of sorts that "Playing a sport in college is great, I have so much energy all the time!" spit in their face, because they're either a demi-god or a liar. The reality is that you almost always feel a) sore b) tired or c) both, most often the last one. But all of that aside, you do feel in excellent physical shape and your health is usually stellar, and the mental clarity and balance of a sport really can't be over-exaggerated. Athletics adds a sense of balance, fulfillment, and confidence to your life that really can't be matched by anything else.

Another thing that's going to take up a lot of time this semester is my organization dedicated to mentoring local elementary school kids. I'm looking to really get it off the ground, and i'm in the process of planning a movie to show on campus to increase our membership. I went and visited the kid I mentor today and we hung out and talked, played soccer, and talked about a book he just finished. Santa Barbara is such an affluent area, you would never guess how many of these kids are behind in school or come from a completely awful home life. I challenge anybody who believes in the phrase "Everybody has an equal chance at success" to live a few days the way that some of these kids have to. It's nice to believe that everything will just magically work out for everybody, but that's simply not the truth. The only way that things get better is through the unending actions of good people looking for ways to help alleviate some of the pain of their fellow human beings. One really simple idea that I try and remind myself of on a regular basis is this: you have the ability to make somebody else less sad, less hurt, less unhappy. You have the power to make someone's short life a little more fulfilling and a little more meaningful, and pursuing that idea will bring you more happiness than any fast car or large house ever will. The world moves forward when we strive every day to cultivate a mindset of sympathy with the suffering of those around us. With that last idealistic insight I bid you adieu.
This is my friend Angel, who I mentor at Washington Elementary. He made me a monocle, which is the thing on my eye in this picture. He's a classy fellow. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hey All!

My name is Brian Osgood, and i'm the new student blogger this semester. I've always enjoyed writing and cataloging my thoughts, so putting them on the internet to be mercilessly analyzed by strangers should be a lot of fun!I've never written a blog before, but I think it will be a lot of fun because, to be totally candid, I think that I have a really exciting and enjoyable life, and i'm stoked to be able to share some of that with you. Even better, maybe some of the things that i've learned will be transmitted through the things that I write and you won't have to learn them the way that I did for the most part, by making a huge fool of myself. I suppose a blog post should start like any conversation, with an introduction of sorts. So here goes.

My name is Brian Osgood, and I am a second-year political science major at Santa Barbara City College. From my first day off life on up, i've lived in the incredible paradise that is Santa Barbara, California. My childhood was marked by hours at Leadbetter Beach surfing with my family and friends, trips to the local channel islands on my parents boat (yes ladies I have a boat), trips to the pubic library with my dad, and camping trips at local Lake Cachuma with my family and our friends. It's hard to imagine a better upbringing and what's more, so many of these things have somehow kept a place in my life to this day. I take friends who want to learn to surf to leadbetter, go spearfishing at the local channel islands with friends, and spend plennnnty of time up at Lake Cachuma where I row on the UCSB crew team. And I definitely still spend a lot of time in the library. Sometimes going back to the places that never seem to change reminds us that we have.

Besides where I grew up there are a few things that define me as a person. One is that I really love learning. My room is heaped with books on everything from rowing and the history of Western diplomacy to Dostoevsky and Lawrence of Arabia. Activities in the academic realm such as reading, writing, and memorizing poetry are areas that I get lots of enjoyment from. Developing a thoughtful, curious disposition has really made the world a much more enjoyable place for me and I think that it can do the same for anybody else.

 Another thing that has played a large role in who I am is my place on the men's crew team. I've only been rowing seriously for a few months but I completely love this sport. Every workout brings a sense of accomplishment, confidence, vitality, and closeness with your teammates that sums up so much of what life is all about on a daily basis. You'll definitely be hearing more about crew if you read this blog consistently, like it or not.
 On top of crew and school, i'm a member of the leadership of Phi Theta Kappa, the CC honors society,a member of student senate, the president of the International Studies Association, and the founder of a club that I just started up that focuses on helping out disadvantaged kids at local elementary schools. I'm especially excited about this latest program, and i'm sure you'll be hearing more about it later. I read in a book once that the thing people like talking most about is themselves, and that the basis of good conversation is two people giving the other the opportunity to talk about themselves. So feel free to send me a message and introduce yourself, so that this is more of a conversation and less of an online rant to anonymous people! Nice to meet you!