Author Archives: Kaitlin Jeffreys

About Kaitlin Jeffreys

My name is Kaitlin and I am a junior at Mount Union. I am majoring in Psychology and minoring in both Intervention Specialist and Sociology. In my free time here at Mount I am a part of Alpha Phi Omega (a co-ed service fraternity), Delta Sigma Tau, and the Relay for Life Planning Committee.

Spring Break… Service Style

Spring Break… Service Style

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It seems that campus is alive again about a one week hiatus for spring break and it also seems that each student has come back with a different story from their break. A lot of students relaxed at home, my boyfriend included (I’m a little bit jealous), about just as many probably went on vacation to somewhere in Florida or one of the Carolinas, but a fairly small handful decided to spend their spring break on an alternative spring break work trip. Each year various trips are planned, from volunteering at an orphanage in St. Croix, to cleaning up the Gulf in Florida, but this year there was a new kind of trip planned through Alpha Phi Omega. This trip would turn out to be one of the most life-changing experiences any of us had ever been on.

Twelve lucky students who are brothers in APO were selected to take their spring break and spend it at Give Kids the World Village (GKTW) in Kissimmee, Florida. Most have probably never heard of this small wonderland, but I hope that one day, every single person on this planet will know the name. GKTW is a village that sits on 70-acres right in the middle of Florida’s best child-friendly attractions. This foundation often works closely with Make a Wish and their sole goal is to give any child with a life-threatening illness the chance to visit all the attractions in the area and have a place to stay, all at no cost to their family. That’s right, every single family who stays at the Village (over 100,000 to date) receives accommodations, park tickets (Disney, Universal, and Sea World), food, flight, rental car, and much more… all for free.

Going into this trip, we were not told exactly what our duties would entail. All we knew was that this not for profit foundation runs on volunteers; 1,400 volunteer shifts need to be filled each week in order for the village to run smoothly. Our trip advisor prepared us as best as she could to interact with children with these life-threatening illnesses. One of the biggest things about GKTW and the child and family never have to worry about thinking about this illness that brought them there. For one week, they are able to be care free, with no hospitals, no needle-pricks, no doctors.

The Legacy #11in11

The Legacy #11in11

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It has indeed been awhile since I last posted … I guess the Thanksgiving food coma, Black Friday hangover and the end of the semester blues have gotten to me, but I realize it’s time to make a comeback. This comeback is going to be about a comeback for the Mount Union football offense and NOT the Wesley College football team.

I’m currently sitting distributing care packages to students whose parents love to send them some cheer during this wonderful exam season. During the long spurts of waiting between people who actually come to pick these things up, I’ve been alternating between Facebook creeping, Pinterest pinning and d3football.com skimming. Let me just tell you, normally Pinterest would be winning all the way, but it’s d3football.com that is really getting me fired up.

Now, by no means do I think I’m a football expert. In fact, most games I go to I find it slightly difficult to keep track of the ball on the field because all the cute butts distract me, but I do know a thing or two.

  • I know that it takes 10 yards to make a 1st down. There are four quarters in a game. And, offense is when you have the ball and defense is when you don’t.
  • And when a flag is thrown on the field that means there is a penalty… and if that penalty is against us, then that’s a bad thing.
  • I know that a touchdown is worth six points and you can get an extra point if the kicker kicks the ball through the field goal.
  • It gets a little fuzzy with other ways to get points, but I think there’s something called a two-point conversion.
  • Last week at the game, I learned about something called a safety, which can be intentional. A safety has something to do with the other team getting a point by pushing you out of bounds past the end zone when you have the ball.

I think that about sums up what I know about the play of the game, but there’s a lot more to it. These articles I’ve been reading online about the game this Saturday have really got me thinking and you can blame it on the fact that I’m a girl and get emotional sometimes or the fact that my boyfriend plays and I feel really protective. But, I was honestly near tears thinking of the idea of losing this Saturday. To think that something our guys have been working all year for could not come to fruition nearly put me over the edge! I know that Wesley College football team probably has worked as hard as they could and hoped as hard as they could that they would make it to the Stagg Bowl this year. And, by the looks of the opinions online, they’ve done a pretty good job bettering them this year. I’ll give them that, but it is our time. It is our time to not only make it to the national championship, but to win it! Here’s what I know about Mount Union football, which is more important than any understanding of any playbook, touchdown, interception or anything else that happens on the field.

  • Larry Kehres is an unbelievable coach. He has led this team to all that they have become and our football program would not be where it’s at right now without him (even if he scares me when he gets really revved up at the games and I can hear him all the way from the stands). I love a coach that loves the game!
  • Our players have more heart than any other team. Ever. The look on their faces on game day is priceless. You can tell they are ready to put their all into it, they’re ready to leave everything on the field.
  • Even with one of the most winning records in Division III football with 10 national championship titles since 1993 and the all-division record for the most consecutive victories at 64 wins, the players don’t go into each game taking their winning for granted. They know that winning doesn’t always last forever.
  • They have respect for each other, themselves and the other teams. College football players may be some of the most competitive college athletes. Obviously, you see some animosity on the field after a particularly hard play or a cheap shot, but they admire the other team for all that they do well, pointing out that even the worst team has good players.

I hope that the rest of Mount Union’s campus, the rest of our community and the rest of our state see what I see in the players here at Mount. Football is a legacy at Mount Union. We knew that when we decided to attend college here, so let’s support that legacy and hope it lives on until our children attend Mount Union or until our grandchildren attend Mount Union. #11in11

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

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Christmas, that’s the holiday coming up this week, right? I mean, I’ve only been hearing Christmas music since November 1, so it must be pretty soon, right? Or is there another holiday coming up… ummm… I think I remember turkey being involved and maybe some pumpkin pie. I don’t remember what it’s called though because it’s being so overshadowed! Panksgiving? Sanksgiving? Ganksgiving? … uhhhh Hanksgiving? … Thanksgiving? That’s it!! But really, what’s with forgetting completely about this holiday and jumping straight to Christmas?

I remember when I was little, decorating for Christmas didn’t come until December 1. As the years progressed, my family moved it to the day after Thanksgiving because we could ensure everyone would be home then, and that’s still where we’re at I think. I’ve seen Christmas decorations going up for the past couple weeks and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet! And Christmas music, man, that has been on as long as I can remember. Now, I’m not trying to be hypocritical because I am currently listening to my holiday station on Pandora, BUT I just started listening to it this week. I think we’re all forgetting to appreciate Thanksgiving because Christmas is overshadowing it. We do need to remember this important holiday!

I’m not completely against Christmas music starting early, though. As I said before, I’m listening to it and it’s putting me in such a cheery mood! On top of that, I think Christmas music puts people in the mood to Christmas shop early, which eliminates scrambling on Christmas Eve to remember everyone’s presents (like I always do!). I haven’t always been able to see the good in early playing of Christmas music, though. I was a complete disbeliever of it happening in November until I was forced to see the upside of it last year when my grandmother passed away in early November. Christmas had always been her favorite holiday. She would sing along to the tunes without a care in the world (like what she sounded like to everyone around her!). My mom (like myself) thought Christmas music the first week of November was just preposterous, but my grandma convinced her to play it and just for that day, my Grandma had her own Christmas. It meant the world to me when my mom told me she got to live in her favorite season again, even if it was for just a few days.

Not trying to be a downer! But I wanted to investigate the pros along with the cons of Christmas music extremely early. In case you all aren’t already in the mood, here is a little Bieber for your fever.

Thankful November

Thankful November

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You may have noticed on your Facebook or Twitter news feed that many are taking part in “Thankful November.” It’s pretty self-explanatory … you just make a status/tweet about what you’re thankful for on each day in November. I think it’s really important in such a busy world to remember to stop and think about all the things that make you fortunate. Some of my friends have posted about their parents, friends, siblings, boyfriends, girlfriends, hardships, happiness, education and sorority … so many things!

I’m taking part in this challenge and sometimes it’s a little difficult to sit down and actually think about your life. I mean, there are so many things to be thankful for each day, little things and big things too, but it’s almost harder to narrow it down to just one. I’m going to leave you with a few examples of what myself and/or my friends have been thankful for in the past two weeks or so.

  • Today I’m thankful for my education. So many people in this country don’t finish high school, much less finish college or plan to go to graduate school. I’m thankful that my family is fortunate enough to be able to send me to Mount Union. I’m also thankful for the professors here that have pushed me to do my best in all my classes.
  • I’m thankful for the opportunities that have been given to me ♥ … I have the ability to travel and live in some of the most beautiful places, attend a variety of schools and experience a lifestyle not many will ever get the chance to. ♥
  • I’m thankful for all the troops fighting for our country’s safety.
  • Today, I’m thankful for the beautiful sunshine. It’s not often that we’re able to drive with the windows down well into November in Ohio, so I’m appreciating it today.
  • Today I’m thankful for sorority. Never have I met another more wonderful group of women who genuinely care for each other as these women do. Every time I walk into that house, I feel a warmth wash over me and I know that I’m home. I love knowing that around every turn on campus, I’ll have a friendly face to say hi to. These women accept everyone for who they are with no questions asked, no judgments made.
  • I’m thankful for my parents and all they have done/given up for me. I know everyday that I am number one in their lives and that means the world to me. I love you, mom and dad!

The Bane of My Existence

The Bane of My Existence

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As I sit here “multi-tasking,” thinking that I’m taking in real information from my study materials while keeping my eyes on NCIS and slowly scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, I realized I really need a reality check. I guess thus far the reality check isn’t working because logically I realize writing this is just my latest procrastination tactic. However, a little more productive than Facebook or TV, eh?! Anyway, the reality check… I really need to study up on my study skills. I’m standing at the bottom of a very tall mountain of a week: three exams, one quiz and one paper due. For some strange reason, the panic has not set in that the first of these exams happens in just over 12 hours.

So… for all of you out there who also have a bit of difficulty getting started on that paper or starting the long road to preparing for an exam, I’ve decided to compile a few study tips. Now, I’m doing this for myself too, so bear with me if they aren’t the greatest.

1. Turn the TV off. I know, the Law and Order marathon that’s on right now is killer, but chances are you’ll waste at least 25 minutes of every hour staring at the TV. No, turning the volume all the way down does not work… I’ve already tried it!

2. Don’t have music on too loud either. Personally I enjoy classical piano music when I’m studying… that way there’s no lyrics that will distract me.

3. If you don’t need the internet, turn your wifi off/unplug your ethernet cord. Facebook is a daunting thing to avoid.

4. If you do need the internet, try this to “keep you out” of Facebook, Twitter, any website that will distract you: http://keepmeout.com/en/. All you need to do is put in the website you’d like to be kept out of, make a bookmark for the page, and it keeps you out of the website for a designated period of time.

5. Take breaks. Going straight for six hours will make your brain turn to mush. Try smaller chunks with short breaks between each, maybe an hour of studying with 15 to 20 minute breaks between. Take a walk, make some food, watch a funny YouTube video (here’s your time to Facebook creep as well!).

6. Try studying with one or two other people. Maybe you missed some of the notes… chances are someone else will have caught it. Not to mention, actually saying things out loud sometimes engrains them in memory a bit better than just reading them over and over again.

7. Finally, and arguably most important, is that you GET SLEEP! It’s recommended that you get at least six hours the night before an exam. If you study all night and only get an hour of sleep, your brain doesn’t have time to process it. (It’s true… my cognitive psych professor told me!)

Explain this to me again… why am I taking this class?

Explain this to me again… why am I taking this class?

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Why am I taking this class?

Well, it’s pretty simply actually … it broadens your horizons. It makes sure that you leave this university with a little bit more information than on just one topic. Yep, I’m talking about general education courses, which are the bane of my existence. Would I have a 4.0 GPA without those nasty gen eds? Pretty close to it. Would I be as informed on a wide range of topics from geology and government to literature and international politics? Nope … not even close.

For those readers who are already Mount Union students, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Those pesky 100 or 200 level gen eds really are killer sometimes. For those readers who are looking into coming to Mount Union, you’ll know soon enough! I’m not here to bash these classes though, because I do honestly believe they are just as beneficial to a college experience as majorand minor classes.

I started thinking about this because once again because it’s a class that doesn’t go toward my major that will be pulling my GPA down a bit this semester, but then I got to thinking about what I was actually learning in the class. First of all, I’m learning how the world works. No one, NO ONE from any major can honestly tell me that knowing how the world works isn’t helpful. No matter if you are into science, education or religion … knowing how the world works is pretty integral. Second of all, I’m interacting with students who I usually don’t even see. This might also seem kind of trivial, but sometimes in major classes, we fall into comfortable groups. By junior and senior year, you’ve been in classes with the same people for your whole college career. You probably sit next to the same people, work on projects with the same people and pass the same people in the hallways. My gen ed course this semester is literally the only class I have that isn’t in T&H. Further, it’s the only class that isn’t in either T&H 101 or 201. No joke. Same two classrooms for all my classes, except ONE. Crazy, I know.

The last thing I’d like to say about general education classes and professors is that they work with you. Courses that count for general education are usually made up of students taking it for that reason and just a few who are taking it for a major class, so professors know what they’re getting into before the class starts at the beginning of the semester. They understand that this might not be your favorite subject or your best subject, so most of them do their best to make it better. Some professors throw in some humor just to spice it up, some professors take it slow and make sure everyone understands and some professors take an interdisciplinary approach. This is the reason I love my gen ed class this semester. We have a major final paper that we have to write and turn in on the last day of class and it obviously has guidelines surrounding the topic of the class; however, we had a whole lot of freedom when picking the topic. The professor suggested that we bring in our individual major if we want to, so naturally, I centered a political paper around psychology. How cool is that?!

Moral of the story: don’t knock general education courses until you give them a shot!

Scaring Away Childhood Cancer

Scaring Away Childhood Cancer

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6n53CIi_Zo&feature=youtu.be

I hope this video had as much of an affect on you as it did on me.

Every year, Mount Union holds an event on campus called Up ’til Dawn, which is an event that is held on college campuses all throughout the United States to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The event is in two parts – a letter writing campaign in the fall and then the actual “Up ’til Dawn” finale in the spring. All organizations on campus are encouraged to take part and write as many letters as possible in order to raise the most amount of money.

This year, Delta Sigma Tau sorority and Alpha Tau Omega fraternity started their fundraising efforts before the event by putting on “Haunted House on the Hill,” a haunted house. All proceeds from this event will go to St. Judes. It took place this past Saturday and Sunday evenings and really did prove to be quite a scare! The picture below are all the “scarers” for the two nights… they scared me and I knew who they were the whole time! This is a very early recommendation to make your way over there next year if you didn’t get the chance to go this year!

Anyway, back to the actual event. The letter writing campaign is in the fall, and this year is taking place this Wednesday. This part is a really open-ended event, usually starting around 4 p.m. and ending around 9 or 10. Now, it’s called letter “writing,” but really you don’t have to do ANY writing of letters. When you arrive, prepared with addresses of people to send these letters to, you are given pre-printed letters and envelopes from St. Jude’s.

The letters explain what Up ’til Dawn is and what St. Jude’s Hospital is all about. All you have to do is fill in the “Dear ___________,” sign each letter, write addresses on envelopes (or slap on an address label if you planned ahead) and write on your return address. It is recommended that you write 30 letters, but any amount is OK and definitely appreciated.

A lot of students opt not to take part because they feel that most people they would send letters to wouldn’t donate anyway. All I have to say about that is… could you honestly say no these children’s faces, their families’ struggles and St. Jude’s unwavering support?

Need a minor?

Need a minor?

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I’m not sure if all other schools are like this, but here at Mount, every student is required to have a major and at least one minor. That is unless they have two majors, in which case they are good to go. In addition, a good number of students don’t have just one minor; instead they have two or three. I personally have two minors – intervention specialist and sociology – and am considering adding another in art just to add more depth to my college career. Each minor is obviously different, but beyond those obvious differences, there are also different credit hour requirements; some are 18, while some are only 12.

Today, I’d like to talk about a psychology minor. Now, it’s my major, so I’m slightly biased toward recommending! It’s 15 credit hours, which is 5 courses… not too bad, right?! It also offers A LOT of wiggle room. Every psych minor is required to take Introduction to Psychological Science (PY 100), which also can fulfill a general education requirement, but aside from this, the last 4 courses are completely up to you! The department offers a wide range of courses that can fit almost anyone’s interests and major. Let’s take a look at a major that psychology would fit perfectly into as a supplemental minor.

First, we’ll touch on a popular major at Mount Union: education. Just quickly going through the psychology course offerings, I find 7 courses that would be helpful for a future educator to take… and a psych minor only needs 5 courses so you could take all education-related psychology classes! Being an education major, you learn all the things you’d need to know including real-world experiences and everything you need to know to be a teacher… potentially the day after you receive your diploma! The purpose of Mount Union making a minor a requirement, however, is to broaden horizons and make students have a more well-rounded education. Psychology is helpful in almost all education settings.

Next, instead of basic psychology, let’s talk about cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, which is a part of the Department of Psychology. This minor is a little less open-ended with 17 credit hours; there are 4 required courses and room for one course of choice. These required courses are integral to this minor, so it makes sense to make them mandatory to take. This minor would be perfect for a biology major who was also interested in the biology of the brain.

In the end, any minor offered is going to be helpful and you don’t have to choose just one! This is just me letting you know that psychology is an option and a useful one at that!

The Big C

The Big C

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Creative, captivating, caring, colorful, cool, corny, confident- these adjectives may all describe someone who is fighting the fight of his or her life… breast cancer. The most appropriate word to use to describe these individuals, however, is courageous. Courage is found in the simplest of things: a child who stands up to a bully on the playground, a middle-school student who asks a girl to the dance or an 18-year-old going off to live on his or her own for the first time, but courage for these women (and men!) is more than shaking off a few jitters; they are fighting for their life. Courage for them is laughing when they only feel like crying, showing off their beautiful baldhead and moving forward when they’re so tired they could lay in bed for days. This is the true picture of courage.

This past Sunday, Delta Sigma Tau, along with quite a few other organizations from campus, traveled to Canton to participate in The American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. It is a 5K walk that is held every year at various locations throughout the country and contributes millions of dollars each year to exactly what its name implies: making strides against breast cancer. On the website, it indicates that in 2010 alone, $60 million dollars was raised by 800,000 walkers. A handful of Mount Union students were a part of this cause last year, but a much larger number of people participated this year.

It was such a moving experience to take part in this event and it is safe to say that everyone who attended and walked will most likely be heading back to walk the 3.1 miles again next fall. Arriving for registration at 9 a.m., we drove into a world of pink. The signs were pink, the banners were pink, all the clothes were pink, the tents were pink… even some dogs were painted pink! We saw babies as young as a month old and women in their 70s. All of us were there from different backgrounds, for different reasons, but striving toward one common cause. Emotions ranged from sadness, joy, grief and triumph but the overarching emotion was definitely hope. Hope for the future, hope for remission, hope of one day finding a cure. Bald women threw their head back and basked in the sun, in the simple glory of life. Whole families walked as a strong front, remembering a loved one who lost her battle. People who had no personal connection to breast cancer, walked to show their support and in their own small way, strive for the cure.

For 75 minutes, a crowd of people walked, shared stories, laughed, cried and even lost themselves in their own thought. For just over an hour, everyone put aside his or her differences and was a supporter, a wave in the larger sea of pink crashing toward the not-too-far-off shore of finding the cure.

Meet the Organization: Alpha Phi Omega

Meet the Organization: Alpha Phi Omega

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Alpha Phi Omega (APO) is a national co-ed service fraternity. The term fraternity can be a little confusing at first because “fraternity” is associated with only males. This is not only co-ed, so both males and females can join, but it’s a service organization, not a social organization like other fraternities (or sororities for that matter). It is based around three main principles: leadership, friendship and service. This values shine through everything APO does – from countless service projects each week and social activities to members holding leadership positions not only within the organization, but within others as well. There are more than 350 chapters of APO in the United States, 250 chapters in the Philippines and one chapter in Australia … this fraternity is taking the whole world by storm!

Here at Mount, APO is one of the largest organizations on campus with more than 100 members. We have weekly chapter meetings (Tuesday nights at 8:15 in the Mount Union Theatre) as well as weekly executive board meetings (Monday nights at 6:45 in the Hoover-Price Campus Center), but this is not the only time contributed by members of the organization. The meetings themselves usually only last about an hour, and each member must complete 20 hours of service and attend two socials each semester.

Service projects at Mount Union vary greatly. One week you can volunteer at a soup kitchen; play with puppies at the Humane Society; work on your bingo skills at a nursing home; and walk in an awareness walk for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Autism or one of many other walks in the area. Twenty hours might seem like a lot of work, but when you look at it in terms of what is offered each week, you can potentially get all 20 hours in within a month or two, but members have the whole semester! On top of that, there are different levels of service in APO: national, community, campus and fraternity. National and community are probably what you think of most when you think “service project,” but members of APO receive service hours for other things as well. For example, writing an article for the Ant Hill, which is our monthly newsletter, counts as one half hour of service to the fraternity.

Don’t think that APO is all work and no play, though! We have a social chair who puts together at least one to two socials every week. The socials are ALWAYS fun and vary greatly, so if you aren’t interested in attending one, you’ll be sure to find one that meets your interests. We often go see movies at the movie theatre near campus, go out to eat at Applebees and take trips to seasonal attractions such as a hay ride in the fall or Christmas light viewing in the winter. We usually have one or two larger socials every semester as well. Last semester we drove three hours to go to Kalahari in Sandusky for a whole day! We got a group discounted price and got to live it up in the balmy 75 degree waterpark for a day when it was the dead of winter outside.

Another aspect of APO is conferences. Since it is a national (international!) organization, there are events that bring chapters together to interact with one another. Every year there is a sectional conference that is fairly small (about eight or nine chapters are in each section). Every other year there is a regional conference, which is a bit larger, and consists of about five sections. The year’s that are opposite of regional conferences, there are national conferences. National conferences encompass every single chapter in the United States and usually a few chapters from the Philippines.

Last year, Mount Union hosted the section conference for our section! It involved more than 200 brothers from around Northeast Ohio coming to campus to participate in workshops, social events and service projects. We did a lot of work to entice other chapters to attend our conference that we knew was going to be the bomb.com; the picture shown is one of our tactics! It was so stressful to plan, but the rewards definitely outweighed costs! Coming up in a few weeks, APO will be traveling to Louisville, Kentucky for a regional conference. We have a whopping 30 brothers attending and we will be down at the University of Kentucky for a weekend to serve and socialize with brothers from our region. In December of 2012, the national conference is being held in Anaheim, California! This is a LONG trek for brothers from our chapter and will require a lot of fundraising on our part to be able to attend, but it is sure that at least a fairly sizable handful of brothers will be in attendance in sunny California!

There is SO much more I could tell you about APO because it is such a large organization with such intricate parts, but for now, I’ll leave it at that. If you’d like to find out more, come to one of our chapter meetings! We always welcome visitors and we have pledge classes go through every semester, so there’s always going to be an opportunity to take part in this great organization!