My Test

It’s the end of the semester. Time for a test. I asked my students to tackle a personal challenge, on video.

SPRING 2013

Jillian Nadiak’s Test


In this short documentary, I explain the traits that make KPOP so special and how it has affected my life. I also go without KPOP for three days to see what would happen to me.

Check out the teasers:

Teaser 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxKSjEEi8cY
Teaser 2: http://vimeo.com/65845324

Salvatore Vona’s Test


Watch my very own personal test and journey to bring back one of the most influential objects in my life, the trumpet. A long lost love of mine that seemed to be missing for far too long.

Sean Engvold’s Test


Follow the journey of two friends as they make the unholy pilgrimage to Leonardo/ Red Bank, New Jersey, in search of the legendary Quick Stop as well as Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash, made famous by Kevin Smith. Gaze in amazement as our heroes brave the darkest depths of Jersey and shriek in terror as they slay their way down the Garden State Parkway.

Chelsea Hirsch’s Test


When I was just three days old, I was diagnosed with Alagille Syndrome — a genetic disorder that resulted in two liver transplants. After 17 years of living with a healthy liver, I went for routine blood-work before a trip to California for Spring Break, and found that I was in extreme liver rejection. Despite being asymptomatic, my liver was inflamed and not functioning — leading me to travel back to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh (where I received my transplants) for the first time. Watch as I discuss having to put my senior year of college on hold to tackle the most difficult challenge of my life — staying alive.

Sam Burstein’s Test


Come watch a 5 minute video documenting the struggles I went through on the journey to get rid of my addiction to cigarettes. Only one cigarette has been smoked since the video was made, and that was a slip up. This video helped me become smoke free. Thank you to Professor Phillips for the inspiration and the motivation to get me where I am today.

Rocco Romeo’s Test


Throughout my life, I’ve had my mom, girlfriend, restauraunts, and fast food chains provide food for me to eat. I thought it would be nice for a change to challenge myself to learn how to cook semi-difficult dinners to be able return the long overdue favor of making food for my loved ones as well as myself. Hope you enjoy this small comedy as much as I did!

Adiana Rivera’s Test


Skateboarding is something that I have loved for more than five years. The only problem is, I can’t skate. I gave myself a test; to learn how to ollie. I had about two weeks to practice and it turned into something else. I was also testing my self-confidence to see if I had the will to keep practicing even though it made me feel sheepish. Watch to see if I succeeded in accomplishing my test.

Alessandra Cirenza’s Test


I have never been confident in my writing, especially not enough to share it with my peers. After a shocking heartbreak I finally found the inspiration I had been waiting for to write something I am finally proud of, so proud that I was able to get the strength to perform it in front of a crowd of people. What this video as I learn about aspects of spoken word poetry in order to prepare for the performance of my poem at an open mic night at Snugs Harbor Bar and Grill in New Paltz, NY.

Michelle Handler’s Test


Hey guys! Check out this video of me traveling to a nature spot near New Paltz all by my self! Come watch while I explore nature and get really close to some tretorous waterfalls! Enjoy!

Alex Perlman’s Test


Over the past week, I challenged myself to to see if I can survive seven days without accessing social media. That includes Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Going from using these sites every single day to not using them at all was a difficult challenge for me. Watch and listen as I take you day by day through my struggles of going about life without social media. Can I do it????

Allaura Pagano’s Test


After being hurt on the field my senior year of high school I thought that I would never be able to throw a softball again. Through this test, I challenged myself to see if my passion for this sport. Watch as I talk about what softball really means to be and to see if I can conquer this fear with the people I love.

Max Korstein’s Test


Watch my test as I challenge myself to get back into shape after getting extensive surgery on my right hip. Am I able to to get the results I was looking for?

April Castillo’s Test


This summer, 98 percent of my salary is going to rent. Not much money is going to be spent on food — but millions of people live this way. Millions of people receive benefits through SNAP, the governmental Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. An adult on the program receives an average of $35 per week. That’s not much — with my future limited budget in mind, I wondered if I could do it.

Michelle Falese’s Test


I played on organized sports teams my entire life until my senior year in high school when I hurt my back and decided I wanted more time to myself. Since coming to college, I find it very hard to stay in shape without the constant soccer practices and obligations to work out. Now, I struggle to push myself to go to the gym and stay in shape on my own. Here is my test to stay in shape.

Ashley Riefenhauser’s Test


This video is a five day challenge about eating healthy and staying fit on a college campus. Students have so much access to junk food and soft drinks, that they do not realize the amount of unhealthy foods that are going into their bodies. Is is possible for students to eat right? Stay tuned and watch my video!

FALL 2012

Alex Nye’s Test

Jacks, BK, Asian Fusion, Jacks, KFC, Jacks, Fat Bobs, China House, McDonalds, Jacks, Gourmet, Jacks… and the pattern continues week after week. I’m finally ready to drop the poor diet and change my habits.

Cat Tacopina’s Test

I’ve had a fear of needles and getting vaccines my entire life. My mother has described it as “manic;” I can’t say she’s wrong. Throughout my life, I have cried at doctor appointments, avoided vaccines that would benefit my health and have missed out on opportunities like donating blood at school. All because I’m terrified of a needle’s contact with my body.

I decided that at 20 years old, it was time to put my fear aside and donate blood*. Even if it’s at least a month later, hospitals in the tri-state area desperately need blood donations. Watch as my two friends and I venture out to Poughkeepsie to attend an American Red Cross Blood Drive.

Drew Thompson’s Test

Imagine being sucked into a daily routine of rolling out of bed, throwing on sweatpants and going to class. My life became just that when I enrolled into college three years ago. Just recently, I’ve realized that in less than a year I will be out of college and thrown into “the real world.” Watch me in “my test” as I try to break my habit and attempt to get dressed for class for four consecutive days.

Giancarlo Camacho’s Test

There are memories from our childhood that we all cherish. However, there are also things we wish we could have done as children. For me, ice skating was one of them. Although, it would have been helpful to learn it at a young age, I feel that it was up to me to take on this task and learn a bit about ice skating, as well as about myself.

Faith Gimzek’s Test

In this short documentary film, I challenge myself to bake almost five dozen cookies in one day, so I can show off my newly acquired dessert skills at a friend’s annual cookie exchange holiday party. Will my cookies come out okay, or will I have to go empty-handed? Watch to find out.

Ricky Hernandez’s Test

We all have our fears. I’ve always been afraid of being tested positive for HIV and sexually transmitted infections. It’s this fear that continues to haunt me in my daily interactions and dreams. I’ve grown to detest doctor visits and examinations because of my fear. However, I am a sexually active gay male, which means I have a duty to myself and to future sexual partners to know my status. In this video I explore my sexual past, my goals for the future and face my biggest fear of all, getting tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

Kelly Fay’s Test

Dealing with stress has always been a problem for me. My methods of dealing with the pressure I feel consist of biting my nails, smoking or eating junk food. As a personal test I decided to try out four different types of healthy stress relief, something I’ve never forced myself to do before. Check out my video to find out what worked for me. Special thanks to local artist Nice and Toasty for letting me use their track “Trigger Happy”.

Ben Sherry’s Test

Fitness is one of my hobbies. I enjoy lifting, fighting, and anything that will challenge me. In this experiment, I attempt to run a half-marathon without any former training and without having run more than half a mile in the past six months. Hilarity ensues and ice-packs will be needed.

Caterine De Gaetano’s Test

Before I discovered Journalism, my heart’s desire was to study medicine and become a doctor. Ever since I was about eight or nine years old, I knew exactly what I was going to become, where I would study and the type of doctor I would be. Twelve years later, I am a senior studying journalism and with graduation approaching in May, I am confused as to what it is my life’s purpose really is.

For my test, I challenged myself mentally and emotionally trying to study for the MCATs, the entrance exam for medical school, and attempted to take a practice test. If I had chosen my original path, I would be preparing for this test right around this time now. Follow my journey to one of the most difficult tests a person may possible have to take in his or her lifetime!

SPRING 2012

Jonathan Bulla’s Test

Having a full head of hair can be a gift or a curse. Any woman can testify to having a bad hair day or two. We all know that women are extremely particular about their hair, and I’m here to tell you- Nay, show you that men are no different. In this video I, Jonathan Bulla, tell you about the history of my hair growing experiences and provide an insight to the down side of having lengthy hair.

Kimberly Locke’s Test

What do you do when a special family tradition that you look forward to every year ceases to occur anymore? You take matters into your own hands and do it yourself! Watch as I learn how to cook one of my family’s  holiday meals so that one day, I can bring my family’s tradition back to life.

Terence Gardner’s Test

To some, the simple act of throwing some ground beef on to a frying pan might seem pretty trivial. Throw in some tater’s and a couple cloves of broccoli into the pot and you got yourself dinner. But for a true culinary novice such as myself, it’s a real lesson in cooking. For the vast majority of my life, each meal has been handed to me on a silver platter. Time to return the favor… I hope.

Royalty free music courtesy of Apple’s GarageBand program.

Brittanie Leigh’s Test

I’ve always considered myself to be musically talented, but since I was young I’ve had a desire to play the piano, just never got the opportunity to learn. I would love to be able to play the piano while singing. I gave myself a week to learn the basic chords of “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen (keep in mind that I’ve never played the keys a day in my life). Watch to see if I pass or fail.

Dan O’Regan’s Test

I gave myself a challenge to write a song in a week, then perform it at the Cafeteria’s open mic in New Paltz, NY. Watch me develop my songwriting process and see if I reach my goal.

Zhen Lin’s Test

Mixed Martial Arts a.k.a MMA is becoming a popular sport and everyone thinks they can do it. I am one of those people. However, I want to test myself and see if I have what it takes to become a fighter, starting from the basics. Growing up, most guys like to fight and I was no different. Let’s see if I can endure this training with my friends, Chris Stanley and Simon Shieh from SUNY New Paltz’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Club.

Runner’s High

Produced by Julio Olivencia
In this video I share my journey back to running on a regular basis. It’s been a while since I really devoted myself to running, so I had some kinks to work out along the way. Enjoy.

Lauren Scrudato’s Test

Grilled cheese and tacos are about the extent of my cooking abilities. See how I deal with cooking dinner for myself for 5 days during finals week.


M
ili Ali’s Test

What happens when a college student who doesn’t normally wake up at 7 A.M. to exercise and attempt to change her diet suddenly has to do it for seven days? Will she finish to the end? Let’s find out.

No Margerine for Error: Danielle Plotkin’s Test

I saw the “My Test” challenge as a perfect opportunity to do something I’ve wanted to do for a while now. I decided that for five days I would be a vegan. That means I’d be trading in ice cream for Tofutti, and mac n’ cheese for quinoa. I had my best friend  and fellow long-time vegetarian, Shana as my mentor. How would my body react? Would I be able to pass the test and make such a crucial lifestyle change? See if I passed my test and lived up to the dairy-free challenge.

Perfecting My Shot: Brendan O’Keefe’s Test

As a test for myself, I decided to work on my shot. I only just recently started shooting, so watch and see how my progress is going.

Jaleesa Baulkman’s Test

I learned how to ride a bike. Now I can cross that off my bucket list.

Khynna Kuprian’s Test

Working out and being healthy is a priority for me, that’s why, when finals roll around, its hard to admit there might not be enough time.

Waking up at 5am to workout is my goal. 5 days in a row.

Watch as I test myself and decide where my priorities truly lie.

FALL 2011

All Your Controllers Belong to Us
Produced by Claudia Canales

No one can say they’ve been an avid gamer since they were 3. I remember playing Nintendo with my father when I was that age and haven’t stopped playing since. My need to play games on a DAILY basis has worsened and I realized I have a real addiction. My nerved are a wreck especially after I challenged myself to not touch a single game console, app, or ANYTHING for a whole 3 days. Will I make it?

Ballet Challenge
Produced by Alyssa Klein

In this documentary, I challenged my myself, a hip hop dancer with back problems, to learn ballet and perform it in front of an audience. Watch as I go through pain, suffering, and embarrassment, but also what I come to realize about myself.

Liquid Diet
Produced by Josh Rosman

Josh Rosman survives on 1,000 calories a day to test his will. What planned on being a five day feat turned into a roller coaster ride of emotion, hunger pains, and illness. Not to mention, finals were just around the corner and starvation was making it hard to concentrate. See how Josh shares his day to day hardships as he tries to complete his test.

My Test from Josh Rosman on Vimeo.

Put to the #TEST…
Produced by Denecia Charles

In today’s society teens, adults, and even toddlers cannot live without watching television, playing on games consoles, blabbering on the telephone, or stumbling around on the internet. Watch as 19 year old, college student, Denecia Charles, puts herself to the test as she puts aside all of her favorite electronics. Can she make it?

The Glu-Tarian Days
Produced by Joann Syrek

Being a, what I call, ”Glu-tarian” or someone who has a no gluten and completely vegetarian diet is very hard. However with my will-power I was able to get through all seven days without eating gluten or meat. There are stumbles and grumbles along the way, but for the most part it turned out to be a very interesting experience. The days start from a leisurely stroll through a supermarket trying ham to being overly excited about a turkey bacon pizza with hot sauce.

The Glu-tarian Days: A Documentary Short from Joann Syrek on Vimeo.

Kara-NO-ke
Produced by Samantha Taibi

I have an incredible fear of public speaking. even talking to a camera makes me extremely nervous. To face my fear of being in the public eye, I decided to participate in a Karaoke night at my older sister’s favorite bar. But there was a major set back in the final stage of my personal test.

The 5K
Produced by Danny Sklar

Three days of training to run a 5k.

Stage Fright
Produced by Jessica Gelbart

Ever since I was younger, I have always had this fear of performing alone. Sometimes in groups it was fun to perform, but even then I was still lip syncing or pretending to play an instrument. I was always afraid of messing up and being embarrassed by the thought of being pointed out that I messed up. It got to the point where doing anything in public became a hassle where I hated speaking in class and lost participation points. No matter what happened, speaking or performing in front of people was never my strong point.

For my final project I decided to attempt and conquer my biggest fear: PUBLIC PERFORMANCE. I tried to learn a song and play it for only 2 of my friends and to be honest, I didn’t think I was going to make it to the end. My first thought was that my nerves would get the best of me and I would end up with films of me crying too much. Fortunately, I was able to make it through to the end and here is my way there. Please enjoy my embarrassment.

My American Thanksgiving
Produced by Howard Yew

I made a real American Thanksgiving dinner for my family.

My American Thanksgiving from Howard Yew on Vimeo.

Five Days as a Vegetarian
Produced by Eric Hazucha

Somebody once told me to go vegetarian and I thought they were crazy. However Professor Phillips suggested it to me in class, and I realized that I really did not want to have to do it, which made it great for the My Test aspect of this class. It is in blog type form and shows my whole journey as a vegetarian. Will I make it 5 days? Nobody knows.

The Dinner Party
Produced by Lauren Reid

Throwing a dinner party turned out to be a lot harder than I anticipated. Especially with the harsh comments and criticism of my dinner guests.

No News Is Good News
Produced by Darcy Reddan

Starting on thursday Dec. 8th through Dec. 12th I put myself through a personal media blackout.

FALL 2010
Dylan Gerety’s Test

We live in a connected world. Television and music can be found playing almost anywhere you go, the internet is as fast and expansive as it’s ever been and it can fit into your pocket. We are constantly exposed to media wherever we go and for me, this is a huge distraction. I can barely get any work done without going online to check my facebook or just get as far away from my work as I can. I had been trying with everything I could to avoid these distractions but I had no motivation since it was right there. So, I put myself to the test.

I lived my life for 72 hours without any media interaction to see if I could and to see how I felt. The process was difficult but the results were worth it.

This is the story of my life, disconnected.

Media Blackout: Life Disconnected from Dylan Gerety on Vimeo.

Kelsey Lang’s Test

At this point in my life school is my life, and that isn’t always a good thing. I need to do more than just sit in front of my computer and think about the climate changes of North America and how to conjugate the Italian verb “Andare.”

School keeps me busy, but I realized I don’t need to plan a big trip or travel somewhere new to enjoy life outside of classes. I just need to figure out how to step outside my door and take advantage of the things right in front of me.

Elise Combier-Kapel’s Test

A city girl learns to drive.

Lorenn Kassel’s Test

I am a Senior at SUNY New Paltz, and I am graduating in May. What’s next for me?

Monica Hertz’s Test

In the dead of winter, it’s time to decide what I will be doing during this upcoming summer. Unfortunately, it’s that dreaded summer. The last summer before I graduate. My last chance at holding fast to my youth and freely doing what I want to do. I’m faced with deciding what I want more: to intern and strengthen my connections in hopes for a job after graduation or to take time off for myself. I don’t know if I’ll ever figure out the answer.

Sabrina Ross’s Test

Without a place to call home, where do I spend my break?

Sarah Fine’s Test

From purple fur coats, to retro bathing suits, even some of my favorite jewelry, I’ve found it all at the Salvation Army. Many people think about this thrift store as a great place to find a cheap Halloween costume once a year, but to me, the Salvation Army is a weekly treat where I hunt to find treasures for my wardrobe.

After beginning my first documentary on myself, I knew I wanted to try to work on my addiction to stuff, the abundance of clothes and trinkets I have stuffed in places all over my apartment, but honestly, I didn’t really think that my weekly trips to the local thrift store were a problem. But when I sat down to watch my footage, I saw an addict—frantically sifting through racks of sweaters to find her next fix, and realized I need to do something about it.

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