Back from biking!

Back from biking!

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I’m back home now from the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure (GOBA). It was a long week and we had fun but I am definitely glad to be back at home and sleeping in my actual bed.

The week started out last Saturday evening in Kenton, OH and we woke up the next morning at 5:30 a.m. to head out to Marion, OH. It was a 58-mile ride that day and the morning was really foggy but the rain held out on us, which was really nice. When we arrived to Marion, we found out that we were staying the night at a fairground. They actually had a really nice set-up for us. My family put our two tents right next to an ice cream booth and we got milkshakes after we were all set up. That night, we explored Marion a little and enjoyed the entertainment that the city had provided for us.

One of the events was a game show modeled after the television show ”Minute to Win It.” My sister and I love that show so we wanted to be contestants. The host of the show picked the two of us to go head-to-head in a challenge called “Junk in the Trunk.” If you’ve never seen the show before, this challenge involves a tissue box being tied around your waist with about 8 ping pong balls inside. The point of the challenge is to get all of these balls outside of the box that is on your lower back without using your hands. Molly and I were dancing around and doing backbends until all of our ping pong balls flew all over the stage and we ended in a tie.

The next day we woke up before the sun again to ride 50 miles to Delaware, OH. We were in Delaware all day Monday and Tuesday because Tuesday was a layover day. Those days are optional for riders and the tents stay put that day. While we were in Delaware, my family and I visited a local pool, saw a movie at America’s oldest continuously running movie theatre called the Strand Theatre, did our laundry at a local laundromat and rode about 30 miles out of town to cross the long causeway over a lake.

Wednesday morning we headed to London, which was a 58-mile ride and we were there for two days because Thursday was another layover day. Wednesday night we had our first relaxing night. We spent a few hours just sitting inside the air-conditioned auditorium inside the high school where we were camping. Then after that we walked to a local church that was hosting a dinner for the GOBA riders. The meal was really good. It was $5 for a shredded chicken sandwich, a loaded baked potato, a salad and a drink.

The next night in London was the London Strawberry Festival that they have each year and it was really neat to be there to be a part of it. They had a pageant for the locals and we stayed to watch that for a few hours. There were about eight categories of both girls and boys starting with 20 month-olds. The young kids were so cute and they basically just had to walk on stage, spin around, and answer what their name was, how old they were and what their favorite thing was. The older kids had more difficult questions to answer but it was really entertaining to watch. Molly and I split some fried strawberries since it was the strawberry festival and it was only appropriate. :]

Friday was our trip to Bellefontaine, which was 56 miles. It rained for about the first hour and was mostly up hill so I’d say that was the hardest day so far. We were all soaked by the time we got to the first snack stop but we dried out by the time we arrived to Bellefontaine. Here, we had dinner at Bob Evans and then headed into downtown to enjoy the block party and the annual GOBA song contest. The song contest consists of GOBA riders singing comical parodies of songs that they created about the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure. It’s fun every year and it really brings everyone together to celebrate the last night of the trip.

Saturday we rode 42 miles back to Kenton, which was where our car was parked and our journey had began a week before. It was a really great trip overall, the snack stops along the way each day were so great and all of the small towns were extremely welcoming to this large group. My sister, mom and I wore matching outfits for most of the rides and a lot of riders really got a kick out of that and commented on how we looked like triplets.

Throughout the week, we rode 310 miles. It was a great experience again, as it was last year. I’m excited to travel to a bunch of new places throughout my life and hopefully continue bike riding in the future. :]

-Shannon

Cavs Draft Party

Cavs Draft Party

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Being a die-hard Cleveland sports fan means having hope that eventually that pass or bounce will go your way. Well luckily, for Clevelanders, a few ping-pong balls bounced our way landing us the #1 and #4 picks in this year’s NBA draft. In 2003, the Cavs got lucky landing the number one pick. And, in hopes that the Cavs would fare even better in this year’s draft, I attended the free draft party held at Quicken Loans Arena.

There was a sense of excitement and anticipation in the building, which was not hard to have with all the rumored trades and deals leading up to the draft. While the Cavs never officially announced who they would select as the #1 pick, most people knew all along it would be Kyrie Irving. I was extremely happy with this selection and by the cheers from the crowd when the Irving was announced as the #1 pick, I would say most of Cleveland was too. Unfortunately, the Cavs were unable to land the one of the two people (Derrick Williams/Enes Kanter) I wanted with the #4 pick, but I feel Tristian Thompson will be a solid player for years to come. While no actual basketball was being played (besides young Cavs fans getting the opportunity to shoot free throws on the court), there was definitely excitement in the air and the everlasting hope that this is the first step toward bringing a championship to Cleveland.

Sales & Marketing Executives of Cleveland Scholarship

Sales & Marketing Executives of Cleveland Scholarship

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Besides studying for finals, the only other task on my to-do list at the end of this semester was to apply for the Sales & Marketing Executives of Cleveland Scholarship. After getting a few recommendation letters from my managers at both the Cavaliers and Indians, I sent in my application and a few weeks later I was lucky enough to receive a phone call congratulating me on being the scholarship recipient. In addition to winning the scholarship, I also was invited to attend a luncheon where I would be recognized along with the other scholarship recipient from Lake Erie College. The guest speaker at the luncheon was the chief marketing officer (CMO) at the Cleveland Clinic. The Cleveland Clinic is one of the most respected hospital systems in the world so hearing the CMO speak about brand management through social media and its new sports health sponsorships with the Indians, Browns and Cavs was a great opportunity. At the luncheon were members of the Indians, Browns and Cavaliers along with representatives from numerous organizations and small and large businesses in the area. I made sure I spoke and networked with some of the members of SME Cleveland. The scholarship will definitely come in handy when it comes time to start paying off college, and the free SME membership I received as part of being a scholarship recipient also will help in building my network for when it comes time to apply for full-time jobs. SME Cleveland holds numerous luncheons throughout the year with an array of speakers and I plan to take full advantage of these unique opportunities.

It’s Preview Time!!

It’s Preview Time!!

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We are at the start of day two of Preview and Orientation at Mount Union! Day one went great for the students and parents. It was filled with lots of cool guide group activities for parents and students, language and math placement tests and of course an awesome play put on by the guides! The play really helped the students learn valuable lessons on what experiences and difficulties they might experience in college. The night ended with an awesome mixer in Campus Grounds where the students and guides danced the night away!

Today, Preview is going to be filled with lots of valuable information for the freshman including a technology session, academic advising and the academic resource fair in Bracy Hall. I think all of the parents and students will find today very useful.

-Alexa

PS. The Preview and Orientation staff is currently using Twitter as another means of social communication between guides and students. You can check out what’s going on at Preview by logging into Twitter and searching for the hashtag #umupreview. Be sure to follow all of the guides too!!!

Bicycling across Ohio

Bicycling across Ohio

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I can’t believe this time of year is already here but it is time for GOBA! What does GOBA stand for? The Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure, of course! My mom, dad, sister and I are going on GOBA again this year and we are currently preparing for it.

This is a week-long bicycle trip that takes place in Ohio. Every year, the trip is in a different part of Ohio and this year it is right outside of the Columbus area.  Each day we wake up around 6 a.m. and pack everything up to head out to a new city. We bike ride about 55 miles a day to get to each new city and our luggage and tents are carried by semi-trucks.

There’s somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 people that participate in GOBA each year and it is such an awesome site to see – all of the bicyclists riding through the countryside, in the city and on the road to arrive at a camp where we all can explore a new city for the evening. It is a lot of work but it is also so much fun. GOBA is not a race (although some hardcore riders act like it is) so people can just go at their own pace to arrive at the camp whenever they’d like. The reason we wake up so early in the morning is for two reasons. Reason #1 is to beat the heat and reason #2 is to get to the camp ahead of most people to get a good spot to set up our tents (preferably under a tree or on a soft patch of grass).

Every year, they alternate flat terrain and hills and this year happens to be a flat year. Last year was pretty rough with all of the hills. Some of these hills would continue going upwards for a couple miles and we had to walk our bikes because it got too hard. The nice thing about hills though is that when there’s an up, there’s always a down and we were able to coast a little bit and let our legs rest while the wheels did the work. With this year being a flat year, we’re not going to have that same luxury so it will be a challenge as well but I’m excited to take it on!

Here’s the website if you’d like to read more about GOBA: http://goba.com/

Last year, I called into WRMU 91.1 FM once and did a report on-air about how the trip was going and this year I will be doing a few reports as well. They will be online as podcasts after the trip is over, so if you miss them, you’ll still be able to hear them. I’ll also be tweeting throughout our journey so you can follow me @shannonbrys3 if you’d like to get my updates and read about what the trip is like. :]

Also, if you want to listen to last year’s bike trip podcast to get a little taste of what it’s like you can click here and scroll down until you see “Great Ohio Bike Adventure With WRMU’s Shannon Brys podcast”.

So I’m going to go and get back to packing. I will definitely write all about the trip when I get back! Let’s all hope for dry weather :]

Have a great week and think of me out there on my bike!

-Shannon

Hard work and passion

Hard work and passion

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My trip to Columbus this past weekend brought much excitement and honor. As I mentioned in my last post, I took a road trip with my mom down to Columbus for the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters awards that took place at the Hilton in Easton.

Mark Bergmann, WRMU’s station manager, met us there and we were able to sit at a table together with people from a radio station in Dover. What’s cool about that radio station is that one of the reporters is a Mount Union alumnus. Her name is Jessica Eggan and I met her last year at these same awards.

Here’s some background about this event: newscasters, writers, photographers and producers from TV news shows and radio stations are given awards for their work during the previous year. Once the professionals submit their work in December, a panel of professionals in another state judges the works. (I think they do it this way so there is no bias). Since the title of the event has ”Ohio” in it, you can assume that the awards are for professionals in the State of Ohio but it also includes West Virginia as well.

Last year at this ceremony, I won my first Associated Press award for a three-part series I produced on global education at Mount Union. I won second place in a category called “Best Documentary or Series.”

Going into the awards this year, I knew it was possible but kind of unlikely that I would win first place in any category. I am afterall, the only college student that was present for the second year in a row. All of these people in attendance are professionals in their field; some have been doing this for decades. It is simply an honor even to win second place.

However, this year I didn’t win second place. As the announcer arrived at my category, he announced the second place winner first … and it wasn’t me. Mark and my mom just looked at me with open mouths because they knew that must’ve meant that I won first place. A couple seconds later, we heard, “… and for first place in best feature reporting, Shannon Brys from WRMU in Alliance for ’Take Back the Night.’” Woah.

Yes, you can say that I may have been the only person at these awards that had tears in my eyes after I received my award. I could not believe that I just beat out professionals from around the state. This is also exciting for me because I set another record for Mount Union.

I am the first student to ever win two professional radio awards, and now I am the first student at Mount that has ever placed first. :]

Hard work really does pay off and it’s awesome when your hard work is also something that you love doing. I’m pretty sure I’m not going to go into the radio field after I graduate from the University but I have such a passion for it and I will continue to be involved in it until I leave Alliance in December. I’m also the program sirector this upcoming semester (which is the same thing as being president of a club) and I’m really excited to teach new students what I already know. :]

Have a great week everyone!

-Shannon

The Big 21!

The Big 21!

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I turn the big 21 on June 3, and birthdays are always great days. I plan on using my free meal from Mongolians BBQ, one of my favorite places to eat. I suggest everyone join the fan group and redeem the free meal coupon everyone gets for their birthday! I will be unable to celebrate much for my birthday because the Indians begin a six game home stand during my birthday, but the weekend when the tribe is on the road, I definitely plan on celebrating with my friends.

Unfortunately, as you grow older, parents seem to have a harder time buying gifts for your birthday so this year I get to pick out my gift for my birthday. I’m not quite sure what I am planning on buying yet but possibly a new business suit or two. A nice business suit is a must for every college student as a lot of presentations in college require business attire and it also never hurts to look professional even if a business suit is not required.

So far, I have had to dress up on multiple occasions for class every semester … so a suit is a great investment. Luckily, it looks as if the weather will be good for my birthday, which is always a plus, but the best present would be a win from the Indians!

Team iPhone

Team iPhone

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Recently I received some of the best advice of my life, get an iPhone. Luckily, for me, I took this advice and now I am glued to my new phone. Last week, I purchased the iPhone 4G from Verizon and while I have yet to get 4g service anywhere yet, the benefits are still unbelievable.

The two apps that I use the most, probably like most any other college student, are Twitter and Facebook. These apps make being connected to social media a whole lot easier than the traditional computer. I have been on a Twitter binge ever since getting the iPhone! One of my other favorite apps is ESPN’s ScoreCenter. For a sports junkie, being connected to breaking news and scores immediately is a huge plus. My iPhone also has turned me onto Pandora radio, which I constantly listen to in the car now. Maybe the best feature of the iPhone is its ability to save me money with the GasBuddy app, which tells me where the cheapest gas in my area is.

As the common phrase goes, the iPhone is not a phone it is a lifestyle. Smart phones are the future and the iPhone is leading the way.

Island Fridays and Associated Press

Island Fridays and Associated Press

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Ahh, it’s been such a nice week so far. Not only is the weather beautiful but also I finally got to see my fellow blogger and best friend, Samantha. We met up yesterday halfway between our hometowns and it was so good to catch up. :]

Even though it is Friday, and I should be about to have a relaxing weekend, I will be doing the opposite. Today, I am working a double at Winking Lizard and it’s “Island Friday.”  That basically just means that we’re supposed to dress like we’re in Hawaii. The first time I worked a Friday I wore a lei and a bright pink shirt. I think today I’m going to wear a huge yellow flower in my hair :] That’s one thing that I really do love, hair accessories. I have a TON of them!

Tomorrow, I picked up a morning shift at Bob Evans and then I will be working at the Winking Lizard at night. It’s okay though because I really do enjoy working and making money.

SUNDAY, I’m going to Columbus!! I’m so excited. I’m driving down with my mom and we’re meeting Mark Bergmann there. He is the station manager at WRMU, our campus radio station. We’re all going down there for the day because it is the Associated Press Awards. I know that I won either first or second in my category, but we have to attend the awards to find out which one I actually received.

This awards ceremony is really exciting because it is all professionals in the journalism and broadcasting field. They are people from news channels and radio stations that have really great pieces of news and are receiving awards for them. Last year, I was the only college student present at the awards and I wonder if this year will be the same… This year is also exciting because I am the first Mount Union student ever to win two Associated Press awards and that makes me extremely proud. Of course, I wouldn’t be where I am without the help of my radio and journalism professors but it is pretty cool to be a part of history. :]

Well, that’s all for now, I’ll write after the awards to let you know how it went! Have a great weekend!

-Shannon

 

Happy Memorial Day weekend !

Happy Memorial Day weekend !

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This summer is so fun! It’s my last summer before I have a “real job” and I’m trying to take advantage of that the best that I can. Last Monday and Tuesday, my boyfriend and I went to Kalahari Indoor Waterpark in Sandusky, OH. It was so, so relaxing. We went with a couple of our friends and spent the two days riding water slides, floating around on the lazy river, eating and drinking. It was so fun because now that I’m 21 I got to visit the swim-up bar! :]

I haven’t had two days off in a row since I started at Winking Lizard so it was really nice to request the days off for the vacation and be able to just relaaaxxxx.

It’s so fun seeing people all around town and all around Ohio that went to Mount Union. I was out with one of my friends a couple weeks ago and this random guy that we happened to come across was asking us what we do and where we go to school. She goes to Baldwin-Wallace and obviously I told him I go to Mount Union. He said that he went there and graduated in 2004. We struck up a conversation about the school and the football team and were instantly buddies!

Then just a few days ago, my sister and I were at the gym and two guys asked my sister if she went to Mount because she had a MU shirt on. She told them that she doesn’t go there but that I do, and both of them went on to tell me that they graduated from Mount years ago too! Everyone that I’ve met that has attended Mount has nothing but good things to say about the university and I know I will do nothing but rave about it too when I’m gone, just as I do now. :]

I worked a double at the restaurant today and I’m working another one tomorrow. We were actually really busy tonight, which was unexpected since it’s the holiday weekend and so many people do cookouts. I’m hoping tomorrow will be busy too, but we’ll just have to wait and see! We are closed Monday for Memorial Day and I’m so excited to spend the entire day doing stuff outside.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend. Have a great Memorial Day! :]

-Shannon