Author Archives: Kyle Dreger

About Kyle Dreger

I have a passion for clean design, expertly-crafted typefaces and the art of living simply. I strive to create beautiful products, and obsess over making every detail perfect.

Search and destroy

Search and destroy

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One of the hardest parts of keeping on top of your schedule at college is actually knowing what you have to do. Most of us get the work done, but sometimes I find myself wanting to avoid having to see what I need to do for a project. What little motivation I have is further squandered when I have to go out of my way to check on assignments; whether they’re online or the teacher sends them out after class.

The best way I’ve found to keep track of, and actually do the work I’m assigned, is to get into a mindset of actively seeking out my tasks. Once I do that, I take 30 seconds and assess how long a given assignment is going to take me. Suddenly, things get a lot easier. Even though the difficulty of the task may not have changed, at least now I am aware of the time and energy it will take to complete, which allows me to schedule my day around my work more effectively.

Stay away from throwing the task into a long list of to do items. Rather, actually block off time in your day to attack the assignment. Have a half an hour between lunch and class? Start your Introduction to Psychology flashcards. Make an appointment with your tasks and keep to them.

Search for your work.
Assess how long it will take to complete.
Mark it into your schedule.
Do it.

Next Stop: UMU

Next Stop: UMU

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Let’s talk about that huge purple elephant in the room; getting ready to leave for college. You should be excited. Moving into this next stage of your life is going to be something that you remember for a very long time and hopefully you have a great time while you do it. As I prepare for my sophomore year at Mount Union, I was asked to do a video on what I might suggest the class of 2015 bring with them as freshman to campus. I realize that some of the things I talk about might not be applicable, but I tried to make broad enough suggestions and share some of my own tips that you will find something unique and helpful here. Be sure to watch the video and contact me if you have any questions.

Google Calendar
This is one of my favorite tools to use. I love Google Calendar because of how easy it is to quickly add anything you need to set a date to. What makes it even better is how accessible it is to people who don’t like getting on the computer, or don’t have smartphone. I originally started using Google Calendar via text message (text to GVENT) to keep track of things I got assigned in high school. It was very easy to get assignments and then quickly text them to the service, but the real value of Calendar is the alert system is sets up for you. Right now, I have it send me a text message 15 minutes before any event I add while I’m on the go. It also sends a daily schedule of my day to my email inbox at 5 a.m. each morning, as if I had a personal assistant dedicated to keeping track of the things I love to do.

Attire
As I mentioned in the video, you will want to bring a formal outfit of sorts for the various events you attend on campus. You don’t need to have a full wardrobe of ties and dress clothes, but a nice suit with jacket, for the guys, really goes a long way when making a first impression with the many faces you’ll be meeting this fall.

Lifestyle
Along with my recommendation of bringing foam earbuds to help you get a good night sleep, I would also encourage you to get shower supplies that either can hang on a bathroom hook, where you can place your towel, or have a suction back so you can stick them to the wall of the shower. The showers at Mount Union are nice, but they aren’t the most spacious ones you’ll ever use. Being able to not worry about your things falling off of the shallow ledges is something you will appreciate as the semester goes on. Leaving for college is definitely going to be something that many of you will have a hard time adjusting to for the first couple of weeks on campus. It’s a big lifestyle change, but if you give it time, it does get easier. If you have any specific questions that you would like to ask me, or just want to know a familiar face when you come in the fall, feel free to send me an email at dregerkq@mountunion.edu. I check my email quite frequently, so I’ll most definitely get your message well before we move in later this month.

The G+ Effect

The G+ Effect

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Interesting that Samantha wrote about Google+ when I was planning to do the same! I guess that goes to show that we’re quite interested in this up and coming social media effort from Google, as well as where it will put our other social networks like Facebook.

Follow me on Google+ here!

google plus

From what I can tell, Google+ (hereon referred to as G+) has been a big hit so far. Lots of people, influential tech people primarily, have jumped on board. I was able to grab an invite from a Twitter user within the first week and have had plenty of time to get a feel for how Google wants to change the online-sharing world. Some thoughts so far:

  • Whatever personal information I had been holding back from Google, or had flat out lied about in the first place, is now correctly updated and proudly sitting on my G+ profile page. Interesting change of events.
  • I take particular joy in adding people to my “Brain Trust” and “Inner Circle” circles. Say that ten times fast.
  • Limiting the content you post to certain circles at the time of posting is insanely easy. It is all done from the keyboard and the implementation of auto-complete is very well done.
  • I use my other social networks more. Not as in a direct comparison to my G+ usage, but more than I use to use them. I’ve found myself around Facebook and Twitter more frequently as of late.
  • Flash, being used for a full-site experience, is dead. G+ showcases, especially with the HTML5 photo upload, that an immersive, interactive experience can be built without the need to call up Adobe.
  • Google is throwing all its weight behind that little +1 button. It is key to its succeess. A Facebook search engine, powered by the “likes” of your friends could very quickly make Google search results seem artificial; partly because they already are. Google, not given access to the huge amount of data on our Facebook pages, needed its own way to begin curating results. You can have the most advance search algorithm in the world, but I will always go off of the recommendations of the people I trust before I turn to a machine.
  • G+ is the result of a lot of vision and hard work. It is very clear that Google put effort into the experience and design. It might be the best looking first-launch of a Google product, that wasn’t simply bought and rebranded, in my memory.

The biggest thing G+ has hurting it right now is the lack of users. Social networks without your friends signed up feel like awkward house parties where the amount of food provided vastly exceeds the capacity of the guests there. Sharing with a circle of friends that only has one or two people in it isn’t very compelling, but every day I get another notification that “so-and-so added you to their circles.” Slowly but surely.

G+ may not be able to dethrone Facebook because it is much easier for Facebook to change up features than it is for Google to establish hundreds of millions of active users. But G+ is the first sincere push at a more social version of Google’s creed to organize the world’s information. I really like G+. But I know I’d like it a whole lot more if all my friends were here.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Review

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Review

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By Kyle Dreger

harry potter

Movie reviews are long and often, depending on the reviewer, can be highly biased one way or another. Myself, a frequent movie goer, wanted to start keeping track of the movies that I watch and what I think of them.

A great website called [Review in Haiku] by MG Siegler reviews movies in the standard 5-7-5 haiku format. I love this, primarily because it allows for a quick digestion of the film and it forces the author to really cut out all the unnecessary information; being that you have a total of 17 syllables to work with.

I have adopted this method of reviewing movies and my first shall be the final installment of the Harry Potter series. Many of the people in my grade and above grew up with the books and movies. To have followed the actors and actresses through the past 10 years has been a really fun experience, but now it has come to an end. Final films, especially where it takes two parts to complete, are often hit or miss. Thankfully, the final Harry Potter film did a great job of wrapping up the series. Without further ado, my review:

Final, darkest film
The boy who lived, come to die
Leaves us with closure

Review: Great.

Short and sweet, yet says so much. If you’ve watched any of the previous films or read the books, you owe it to yourself to go and see this one. You won’t be disappointed. Plus, with the cheap (awesome) movie tickets we get right here in Alliance from the Carnation Mall, there is really no excuse not to.

New Turf. New Game.

New Turf. New Game.

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I can’t wait for pre-season soccer to start. If you haven’t been following the pictures posted by our @mountunion Twitter account regarding the new football field turf, you really should be. As an athlete that used the field this past year, I think I speak for everyone when I say that it will be really nice to have a brand new field on which to play.

mount turf

The previous turf looked nice from the stands, however years of competitive playing had worn it down. I’ve been following the construction of the field since they started back when school got out and it’s really coming together now. The new alternating shades of green and fresh new numbers will help reflect the strong dedication our athletes have whenever they step on the field.

plans

Keep an eye on our Twitter feed for more pictures and start getting excited for some Purple Raider athletics. They’re almost here.

A Year After

A Year After

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Remember your preview for freshman orientation? So do I. It only happened a year ago, but it was very much a turning point from a high school mentality to one of college. We set up our first schedule, took tests in both foreign language and math and got a chance to socialize with our classmates. Good times. Times which I got to revisit recently, even though I’m not a preview guide.

My brother just got back from his preview yesterday and was filling me in on all the details of the two days. Once again, the preview guides were stellar. They really do a great job of creating an environment that allows time for both structured activities and relax time to get accustomed to the campus.

As my brother was telling me about how preview had gone, I was thinking about how much I’m looking forward to returning to Mount this fall. It feels, and I’m sure many from my class can attest to this, that we have it all “figured” out. We know the campus, we know the professors in our departments and we know the daily lifestyle. I’m excited. It means more time enjoying the experience and less time trying to remember where classes are and settling in to a routine. These were all fun things to go through as a freshman, but it’s nice that each year spent at Mount will offer up something new.

Any incoming freshman read this blog? Feel free to ping me in the comments or on Twitter (@kyledreger) and we can get together. You’ll be making lots of friends over these next few weeks so keep an open mind and be outgoing. You’re going to love it here.

 

Memorable Memorial Day

Memorable Memorial Day

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Memorial Day is here and it seems that everyone is gearing up for a party of some sort or traveling to attend one. I will be traveling out of state to the west for a graduation in Michigan. My cousin will be entering his last summer before college and my whole family is looking forward to celebrating the day with our relatives. In that regard, I hope everyone traveling this weekend gets to and from safely and quickly.

What are you all, our lovely subset of readers, doing for this Memorial Day? Any great parades or parties you plan on attending? Leave a comment below and the best comment or story will be featured in my next post as a follow up to this weekend. Party on and be sure to thank a veteran or someone you know who serves in our military. Have a good one!

Cavs get #1!!!

Cavs get #1!!!

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Cleveland sport teams have been on a roll recently. Joining the recent phenomenal form of the Indians (coined the “WINdians”) comes news from the 2011 N.B.A. draft lottery for draft picks which will occur next month.

Just one year after Lebron James decided to take his talents to South Beach, the Cleveland Cavaliers have landed two of the top five picks from this year’s lottery which now positions them perfectly to grab some of the hot talent we’ve all been watching from this year’s March Madness.

The last time Cleveland had the #1 overall pick, they choose standout Lebron James. Now, seven years later they have a chance to grab another chance to grab another player who, although not the physical presence of Lebron, brings his own tactical and special talents to the table; Kyrie Iriving.

We still have to wait for the actual draft to be able to see what happens, but I know that a lot of Mount Union students (who happen to be some extremely dedicated Ohio sport fans) we’re really excited to hear the news. Let’s go Cavs!

Preparation for New Students

Preparation for New Students

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Although we, the current students of Mount Union, have left campus for the summer, the University has not slowed down a bit since we left. Driving back up to campus today, it hit me how nice and beautiful our campus really is. With the grass cut, trees pruned and lakes sparkling, the whole presentation is really something to see in person.

The campus is getting all dolled up primarily for the new students that will be visiting over the summer as we near the coming semester in the fall. Much like a first date, you want to make sure you are cleaned up and looking sharp for the meeting. Mount Union has undoubtedly succeeded on this front and looks stunning. Kudos to all of the students and staff responsible for helping out.

I know we just got back home and have settled in for about a week, but if you find yourself with a need to drive through Alliance, or back to Mount, be sure to take a little time to wander around campus. I think the actual “Mount Union Experience ©” started when we first walked on campus as freshmen. Take some time to reminisce and enjoy the view.

Cecil Shorts drafted to Jacksonville Jaguars in 2011 NFL Draft

Cecil Shorts drafted to Jacksonville Jaguars in 2011 NFL Draft

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cecil to jaguars

Congratulations to Cecil Shorts on being drafted to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2011 NFL Draft! He’ll do Mount Union proud. Be sure to follow him on Twitter at CShorts10!