Hello November!

Hello November!

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I can’t believe it’s already November. Where has 2011 gone? This year has come and passed so quickly. When you think about the course of the past year, did you do everything that you wanted and achieve all the goals you had set for the year? Did you accomplish your New Year’s resolution that you established many months ago or did you simply let it slip away like most of America’s population? Speaking for myself, I did not keep a hold of my resolution. I am among the large group of Americans whose New Year’s resolution lasted until about mid-February. But I did, however, do many of the things that I wanted to and accomplished many of the goals I had set for the year.

Now as winter rolls in, the holidays grow closer and the time to make a new resolution approaches, do you ever wonder if making a resolution every New Year’s has a true purpose? I mean, for most people, they do not last the entire year. So I say, instead of making a resolution for the entire year why don’t you make a resolution for each month.

On the first day of each month, make a resolution of something you will do, quit doing, etc. So as the first day of November is now here, what will you do this month? Will you work at a soup kitchen, deliver Thanksgiving meals to the elderly or help at a homeless shelter? Will you promise to be more kind to others this holiday season and strive to give more than you receive?

Leave me a comment.  Let me know what you plan to do this November and this holiday season.  I challenge you to make a resolution this November.

Khaled Hosseini comes to Mount

Khaled Hosseini comes to Mount

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Every year, Mount Union holds the Schooler Lecture, which is basically a large event in which a famous person comes and speaks to the community. Some examples of speakers who have came in the past would be Gerald R. Ford, Henry Kissinger, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sandra Day O’Connor, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Desmond Tutu and Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. Yea, and those are only some examples.

Usually we have to wait until the spring to attend the Schooler Lecture, but for some reason this year it took place in the fall. This year’s speaker was Khaled Hosseini, author of Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns.

I have attended the past four Schooler Lectures as a student (Fareed Zakaria, Greg Mortenson, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Khaled Hosseini) and have enjoyed them all very much. They’re always great because they all have such good things to say and there is always so much variety. I don’t really remember what Zakaria spoke of, give me a break, it has been a while! But I do remember Mortenson speaking about his work as a humanitarian and his acts to bring education to poor countries. And, Tyson was amazing. If you want to read the little article I wrote for our newspaper about his lecture, visit http://umudynamo.com/?p=1026.

Well, as you may or may not know from reading my recent posts, I am heavily involved in the radio station at Mount Union. As a part of the station, we get to get “media” privileges.  Every year we attend the media press conference where we get to ask the speakers any questions we like, we attend the event dinner before the lecture which is always VERY fancy and we sit at the media table and of course we sit in the media section at the lecture where we take notes and make some stories for the radio station. The past two years I have produced stories for our newspaper that summarizes the speech.

Attending these press conferences and being a part of the media really inspires me. I couldn’t be more happy with my choice to major in communication and to get involved with all the media outlets on campus. I really have gained so much experience and couldn’t appreciate it anymore.

Check out our podcasts from WRMU at http://www.mountunion.edu/best-selling-author-discusses-life-and-books.
Check out my Dynamo article at http://umudynamo.com/?p=1543.

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?

“The Haunted House on the Hill”

“The Haunted House on the Hill”

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Halloween brings about the words scary, candy, trick or treating, costumes, ghosts, witches and pumpkins.  However, on Mount Union’s campus Halloween also brings about the words St. Jude, helping others, service, raising money, and giving. This year, the Delta Sigma Tau sorority and the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity joined together to spend their Halloween weekend in a much different way than most people do. Instead of dressing up in costumes and spending time with friends, they found a way to make a difference. The sisters of Delta Sigma Tau and the brothers of Alpha Tau Omega put together a haunted house to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital seeks to advance the treatment and prevention of cancer and catastrophic diseases in children.

The sisters and brothers put weeks of preparation into this event, which was known as “The Haunted House on the Hill.” The Alpha Tau Omega fraternity house, which is located on the Mount Union campus next to Bracy Hall and across from the Kolenbrander-Harter Information Center (the library), was transformed into a haunted house. Friday and most of Saturday, was spent decorating the house, setting up each haunted room and getting all aspects of the haunted house ready for business.

Following the set up, the house appeared as if it was a real haunted house that many people go to each year during the Halloween season. It took about five minutes to go through the whole house and in my opinion was scary! I know I screamed many times when I went through it! The haunted house was open to the community on both Saturday and Sunday night from 6-9 p.m. The admission fee was $3 and there was also a refreshment table featuring assorted cookies, cider and hot chocolate. Donations also were accepted, and over the course of the two nights $579.78 was raised for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

This truly was a remarkable event that raised a good amount of money for a great cause. The sisters of Delta Sigma Tau and the brothers of Alpha Tau Omega made a difference during their Halloween weekend!

Trick-or-Treat with the Raiders

Trick-or-Treat with the Raiders

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Once you’re in college, most people would agree you are too old to trick-or-treat. I disapprove that thought, but none of my friends want to go trick-or-treating anymore so what did I do instead? I helped hand out candy to kids with the wrestling team and the rest of the athletic teams on campus in the Peterson Field House during Trick-or-Treat with the Raiders.

This was the first year this event was held and I’d say it was a success. All of the sports team were dressed in their jerseys, game wear and even singlets, and each team had their own station. The kids couldn’t simply just say trick-or-treat for candy, they had to earn it.

The children could kick a soccer ball, shoot a basketball, hit a baseball, bump a volleyball, swing at a golf ball or complete an obstacle course to get their piece of candy. Every kid there was enthusiastic and stubborn toward getting their candy, nothing was going to stop them! For wrestling, we had an obstacle course where kids had to scoot, hop, run with weights as big as them, army crawl and then hit a giant muscle beast as hard as they can. All of this effort was for a piece of candy.

For a college student, all the work doesn’t sound worth it, but for the kids it is. That was the point of this event, to make kids happy by getting candy from their athletic role models. It really did make me laugh seeing kids in their costumes struggling to hold and run with a weight and getting to hit someone with a ball. It was also interesting seeing my professors and other coaches with their kids. It was a reality check that professors aren’t just professors, they are parents that love to dress their kids in embarrassing costumes and watch them eat candy.

If this event is held again, I am definitely going to do it. I might even dress up to scare the kids just a little. If you’re an athlete and you didn’t help out this year, I recommend doing it next year. It’s nice to get away from all the studying and interact with kids once in awhile.

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!

Join A Cause

Join A Cause

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The University of Mount Union is a unique campus. It strives do all it can do to support other people and organizations. The University holds many on campus events as well as attends outside events, and over the years, the campus has raised a significant amount of money for different groups and organizations.

One event special to Mount Union is the annual Relay for Life event, which raises money for cancer awareness. Many students, faculty, staff and community members come out to relay for the cause. This event occurs over a two-day span as people stay up an entire night to walk and raise money. Mount Union also holds it’s annual Up ’til Dawn event, which raises money to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Each year, there is a letter writing competition in the fall where letters are written to friends, family members and neighbors in hopes of receiving donations. In the spring, there is a party where the total amount raised is announced. Additionally, annually Mount Union sponsors an event called Take Back the Night, which raises awareness about domestic violence. Each year a speaker comes to campus and presents a firsthand account of a domestic violence situation and educates people on this matter. After the speaker, there is a candle light walk around campus.

Those are just a few of the large events that occur on campus, but there are also many smaller ones. Mount Union participates in many local walks such as the walk for Breast Cancer, Autism, Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. The Breast Cancer walk actually occurred this past Sunday at McKinley High School in Canton, which I attended along with many other Purple Raiders. It was a wonderful feeling knowing that the 3.2 miles we walked were for a cause and for someone fighting Breast Cancer today. Different organizations also hold many events and fundraisers in support of projects and groups they are part of such as the group Raider Relief and the co-ed service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega.

No matter what, at Mount Union, there is always a cause to join, a way to make a difference and a way to help fight.

Stay tuned as there will be more blogs to come about each of these events as well as many more!

Hell Week

Hell Week

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Wrestling is a sport that demands every aspect of athleticism, from pure strength to the most refine technique.  It was the first sport ever, and the purpose of it back in the day was to literally kill your opponent while competing naked in oil. Today there is a different reason why it is popular and for me, it is an addiction. I can’t quit because I need it to function normally, but at the same time, I can get so tired I question myself “Why am I doing this to myself?”

Hell Week is what it sounds like … hell! Football has two-a-days, but our coach went one step further and is doing three-a-days. One practice at a time isn’t bad, but it is the continuous practicing three times a day for five days of the week that will get to you.

This week consist of 6 a.m. cardio/sprinting for about 45 minutes. During this time, the sun isn’t even out yet and you can see the stars, Jupiter and shooting stars. After class and maybe a few naps, we have 4 p.m. practice for two hours in a constant 80 degree wrestling room. This consists of drilling, live wrestling and you guessed it, more sprints, which can easily be added on for people who are late, not wearing their headgear and other various reasons. It’s pretty simple, if everyone does what they are supposed to do and not what they aren’t supposed to do, then no sprints.  That’s never the case, so we run more.

After dinner, there is a little over an hour that I am able to get homework and studying done until an 8 p.m. lift.  These lifts aren’t meant for the weak, they’re meant for the insane. I mean, 3-4 sets of anywhere between 1-20 reps, and why not, let’s just throw in 100 pull ups in the middle of the lift to add a little flavor. By the end of the day, you’re ready to pass out and just enjoy your sweet dreams…until they are disrupted by your alarm telling you to wake up to go run.

This week sounds bad, because it is.  But in the end, you feel like you’ve accomplished something the average athlete would never want to do.  It is obviously a little harder since you have to worry about studying, homework and tests, but that’s just a part of being a student-athlete.

I have respect for all college student-athletes. Everyone puts in their effort because everyone wants to be the best. I still keep hearing from athletes that they think wrestlers are crazy and they could never do it. I always thank them for that compliment (yes, being called crazy is a compliment sometimes) because you have to be a little crazy if you want to be a good wrestler.

Hell Week is an animal that chews on you.  It is an animal that swallows the weak but spits out the strong at the end of the week, and if you are able to withstand it then you are able to withstand any other challenge put in front of you. After just one week, you’re more conditioned, stronger, smarter and you know your physical and mental limits.  And there is a reason why Hell Week is at the end of October … Halloween Work-Out.

WRMU: More than just our music

WRMU: More than just our music

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Over the past few months, I’ve noticed myself blogging more and more about WRMU. What can I say? It is the organization I am most involved in and it is the one I chose to put my heart into the most.

When people come to our campus and see we have a radio station, I hear a lot of “How cool!” comments. Heck yea it is cool! How many other schools can you go to where you can have your very own radio show during your freshman year? How many other opportunities will you have to be a live on-air DJ?

As if that isn’t appealing enough, I can say with confidence that WRMU is more than just a radio station.

RECAP: I joined WRMU’s staff as a freshman knowing I wanted to pursue communication. Mind you, I was only a freshman, and here is what I was able to do:

  • conduct interviews regarding the 2008 presidential election
  • be on-air and give listeners up to date voting results during said election
  • create fliers and promotional items to spread the word about the station
  • attend a Cavs came and represent WRMU
  • broadcast live from various events such as Relay For Life
  • and more… (it was a few years ago, of course it is a little blurry!)

So, after a year of participating in various events, I fell in love with the station and applied to be a director — a (paid) work-study job where we work on the internal part of WRMU.

My sophomore year, I was named sponsorship director and I was in charge of finding sponsors for our radio station and its airtime. I learned a lot about sponsorship, but it wasn’t really my strong suit, which is why the next year I applied to be the public relations director.

Since then, I have had many public relations duties that I absolutely love doing. I love finding new ways to promote the station, raise awareness and do other activities on behalf of WRMU.

OK, so now you know that people actually work at the station and have fun doing so… but, is there more? You bet.

As a staff, we LOVE doing things outside of the station. Our directors have our business meetings at restaurants to get out of the office; we do live remotes (broadcasts) at various locations in the community, which often result in us just having fun; we go on trips; we have fun at football games where we broadcast the game; and so much more!

  • A few weeks ago, as a staff, WRMU volunteered at an animal sanctuary in Salem, OH called Alchemy Acres. We spent the day playing with the animals at the shelter, and it inspired us so much that we organized a campaign to raise supplies to donate to Alchemy.
  • We also participate in different campus events where we try to win money and accept donations to donate to our charity, the Alliance Food Pantry.
  • This past weekend, we traveled to Hartville, OH and did a live broadcast from Maize Valley, where they were having a breast cancer awareness weekend. Aside from our broadcast, we were able to enjoy Maize Valley’s activities.
  • For the past three years, my best friend Shannon (who also works at the station) and I went to Stark County Board of Elections and broadcasted each year’s election results live as they came in — we were right next to real media outlets as they were receiving the information with us!
  • Mount Union holds the Schooler Lecture every year where famous speakers come to speak to the community. Since the WRMU is media, we are able to not only attend and record the lecture, but we are able to attend the media press conference before the lecture as well as be a part of the fancy dinner beforehand.

These are just some examples of what WRMU does on and off campus. So, next time you think of WRMU and think of music, know that there is so much more than just music!

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.