Favorite Part of Italy

Favorite Part of Italy

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I believe every person has his or her favorite part to each vacation. I just got back from Italy, and in my opinion, my favorite moment was singing in The Pantheon. It happened at the end of our choir tour in Rome, where we had spent almost three hours walking around, taking pictures and learning all about the city. Finally we came to The Pantheon and since Dr. Shearer had mentioned to the choir that we might perform an impromptu concert, we all went straight to him at the end of the tour to ask. He said to get into a big circle and choose a song to sing. We all agreed to sing “E’en So Lord Jesus Quickly Come.” As we began to sing, people started to stop and gather around us. You could feel all the eyes in the room watching us. I noticed a few people taking pictures and videos of us, which was a great feeling because people were actually enjoying watching us perform.

As we left, there was still that energy and intensity in myself that felt so amazing. A few people even stopped me before we left and told me that we sounded amazing and they really enjoyed hearing us. The experience was truly my favorite. Even though we did perform in three other churches while in Italy, this was my favorite performance and really inspired music in me to come out for the rest of the week.

I am adding a video that I had found of this performance and trust me, it sounds amazing, so please take a listen.

Ciao from Italy!!

Ciao from Italy!!

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Well was what the Mount Union Concert Choir was saying for a week in Italy on the 2011 Choir Tour. The choir spent five days in lovely Florence, Sienna, Rome, and Vatican City, the weather was beautiful, the food was amazing and of course of music sounds fantastic.

The trip began the day after Mother’s day in Cleveland-Hopkins airport,and may I just say an eight hour flight is a very long one. When we finally did land though, we took a three hour bus ride to Siena and had an entire day there full of walking and shopping and lots of eating. In my group, we had pizza at a small restaurant and it was really nice, but my favorite part of the day was going to The Duomo in Sienna. There was an amazing stairway on the side of this building and it was so fun to climb up. As we continued to walk around the city there were many small coves and stores that we found and had such a great first day.

Day one ended in Montecatini, which was were the choir spent two days. The city was very small and made it very easy for a some students to do some late night shopping. I will warn anyone who has never traveled over seas your bed may be a bit tiny and the temperature controls are in Celsius.

Be sure to keep checking for more stories of the trip to Italia and any stories from the choir

Tying up the loose ends

Tying up the loose ends

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I just got off the phone with the registrar at Mount Union because I got an e-mail yesterday about my classes.  It said in the e-mail that I am missing one English class to fulfill my minor. EEK.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m graduating early so I will be done in December and I wanted to get this schedule figured out ASAP so I will definitely be able to graduate when I want to.  :]

I picked up another English class so that minor will be complete, dropped one class that I changed my mind about and picked up two more one-credit courses.  I am good to go for next semester!

That’s another one of the many things that I love about Mount.  The faculty is soo nice.  I mean, I haven’t talked to many other registrars at other schools but ours is very personable and wants students to be able to achieve whatever they want to.  The teachers are also super nice and personable; that is just one of the perks to going to a smaller school. The teachers are able to dedicate more time to their students because they have less of them.  Even the deans at our school and the president are constantly around and available to chat with.  I’m sure some students at big schools have never even seen their president and deans!

Right before that phone call, I was on the phone with the Columbia Gas company trying to change the gas bill over from my name since I’m not living in that house at school anymore.  Next year I will be living in the new apartments on Union Ave. that are still being built and I am sooo excited! However, when you move out of a house, it is important to make sure to get your name off of the bills or else you will have to keep paying for them.  :[

I feel like all of my friends are on vacation right now. Everyone just seemed to leave at the same time and I’m stuck here working!  It’s okay though because I work tonight and the next three days but then I’m off for three days and I have a mini-vacation planned.  I will write about that next week I’m sure :)

Hope everyone is enjoying themselves this summer so far!  I see good weather coming about in our near future… fingers crossed!!

-Shannon

Experiences that College Students Have?

Experiences that College Students Have?

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Some people come to college thinking life is a party and I am here to enjoy it. Others believe that you are at college to find your career and then graduate. I however came to college hoping to gain experience, and so far after my first year I believe I have gained quiet a bit of experience. From things that I did with my friends to the classes I’ve taken as well as talking to my professors – I’ve gained a lot of experience and have learned so much.

My mom had always told me that my life is a puzzle, anytime something happens … I make a new friend, new boyfriend, have a dramatic day or anything for that matter … that they are all pieces of my puzzle. As my freshman year of college comes to an end I believe that I have gained a few puzzle pieces along the way. I began my Mount Union adventure when I went to marching band camp. The first night of being there I met my best friend and we are still best friends today. She is like my twin. We share so many stories, and I am so glad to have her in my life. As my first semester continued, I made many other friends. In fact, something that really popped out at me were that some of the guys I knew in marching band had a band of their own, Ram In the Bush. If you haven’t heard of them I would highly suggest listening to some of their music on Facebook or even coming to one of their live performances. They have just released a new CD and it actually has a full storyline behind the music and includes an orchestra. Anyone in the Mount Union community should really try and support this local band. Supporting local music is very important. So if you know someone who is in a band, go and listen to them because it really helps with everything the musical community is trying to accomplish. Also, if anyone is interested, I am adding a video of Ram in the Bush to this post. Please take a moment to listen.

I just also got back from my first choir tour – the amazing part was we spent it in … Italy!! This was the best investment I have made and I am so glad that the school gave me this opportunity to take such an amazing trip. Keep reading as I post more about the trip and any other stories I receive from the other members of the choir.

So if you are just beginning your college experience or are just about finishing it up, take everything you learned and experienced and add to your own puzzle. I truly hope that it turns out to be a masterpiece.

Rain, rain, please go away!

Rain, rain, please go away!

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This weather is ridiculous. I thought it was supposed to be “April showers bring May flowers” ?? It’s been raining almost every day. Ugh … it makes it seem a little less like summer. :[

Tuesday, the one day it didn't rain this week, the boyfriend and I went to the Cleveland Zoo. I absolutely looove it there! I am such a huge fan of all animals and my favorite animals in the entire world are giraffes so I always take a ton of pictures with them. Also, the elephants are back with a whole new setup and it looks really nice. It was a beautiful day to be outside and then after that we went to Dave & Busters and played games for the rest of the night. It's so nice when I get a day off to just have some fun. :]

As I’ve been talking about in my past posts, I recently started at the Winking Lizard Tavern and went through nine days of extensive training and tests. It’s been so fun and I’ve loved the challenge of learning new things but it’s sooo awesome that my training is finally over!! I started serving on my own last night and it went great. It was Friday the 13th but thankfully nothing scary happened.  They have me scheduled a lot this upcoming week so I’m really excited! I LOVE my new job :]

A lot of college students still haven’t even taken finals yet and it’s so nice that I was able to train for two weeks already and be ready to start this job. That, as I’ve said before, is one of the many things I love about Mount Union. :]

-Shannon

Mount Union’s commencement

Mount Union’s commencement

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As I’ve mentioned before, this past weekend was Mount Union’s 165th Commencement Ceremony… Fun fact – this year’s class was the FIRST class to graduate from The University of Mount Union. Pretty cool, eh?

I was in attendance for this year’s Commencement because my boyfriend and some of my friends were in the graduating class. Let’s just say the tears started about two hours before the ceremony! I’m such a sap for events like these.

Mount’s Commencement Ceremony was held in the Peterson Field House of The MAAC — it looked absolutely beautiful! It is so funny because usually there are people running around the track, playing tennis, jumping hurdles, etc… Now, there were hundreds of chairs, flowers, flags… A perfect spot for graduation! If it were outside, the ceremony would have been held on the south lawn Chapman Hall, but no, Ohio spring has been full of showers! Oh well, it was still perfect.

The ceremony lasted about two hours… sounds like a drag, right? Actually, it wasn’t! All of the speakers were entertaining and nothing seemed like it was dragging on… in fact, it went kind of fast. I’ll admit it, I shed some tears watching my friends walk across that stage and receive their diplomas. I can’t believe that it will be me up there in one year. Where did time go?

Mother’s Day was the next day and my mom and I went to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo for the day. It was free for moms so, as you could imagine, it was so crowded! We still had a great time! The new elephant exhibit is amazing — I definitely suggest you make a trip there at least once this summer!

The sun is finally shining and the rain has (maybe temporarily) gone away — I have sunburn to prove it! Hope you all are enjoying the sunshine!

-samantha

Wait, I thought exams were over…

Wait, I thought exams were over…

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Well, hello again :]

As I wrote in my last blog, I’m working at the Winking Lizard Tavern this summer.  I did the whole internship thing last summer and I really am trying hard to make a ton of money this summer because I graduate in December!! Aahhh.

It’s been so fun so far working there. They have an extensive training process, which includes nine days of shadowing, hands-on work and a ton of tests.  Their menu is very large, not to mention they have over 250 different kinds of beer that I should be able to answer customers’ questions about.

Luckily, since school is out, I have the time to study when I am at home and I’ve been doing really well on my tests.  I have three more days of server training and then I finally get to serve on my own! We also just opened the patio because it’s so nice outside; I hope I’ll be able serve outside this summer because I looooove being outdoors. :]

That’s really all my summer has consisted of so far. I’ve worked every day since I moved home and I had Mother’s Day off. They wanted me to work the next seven days in a row, but I asked if I could do a double one day instead and they were fine with that. So, I get tomorrow off and I’m going to the zoo with the boyfriend!

It’s important to work hard and especially to work hard to be able to achieve your goals and dreams, but you always have to make sure you save a little bit of time to do things for yourself and have fun.  It can’t just be all work and no play.  :]

P.S. I’m sooo happy the sun is finally out and it is PERFECT running weather!

Happy Monday :]

-Shannon

Summer?

Summer?

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Summer is finally here – vacation from school wise, of course. The weather, eh, not so much. But you know what, I’ll take it! The crappy weather kind of gives me a reason to stay locked in the house and unpack my (what seems like) thousand boxes and bags. I do not know how one person can accumulate so much junk! Although, I do love rearranging my room and decorating, so I can’t complain much.

This weekend I’ll actually be headed right back down to Mount for the graduation ceremony! The only college graduation ceremony I’ve ever attended was Boston College class of 2001… yeah, I think Mount’s ceremony is going to be a little bit different. I am excited to see what it will be like though — minus the fact that my boyfriend and a lot of my friends will be the ones leaving :[

-samantha

 

Finals Week

Finals Week

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For most students at Mount, this week is a hectic one, but it starts out slow. Monday is our last full day of class, Tuesday is a reading/studying day and then finals begin and continue through the following Tuesday. Personally this week I have four finals, a job interview and the OAC Track and Field Championships at Mount Union. My four finals this week include – American Family, Forensic Psychology, Theories and Practices of Professional Editing and Critical Theory and Rhetoric. I also had a final project due for my basic drawing class. Next week, I have my human experience in literature and language final exam.

Most of my junior classmates in addition to studying for finals are preparing themselves for internships this summer. My senior roommates, however, are preparing themselves for job interviews and graduate school interviews in the next few weeks. It is a curious thing to observe the four different stages of “end of school” experiences. Freshmen are ecstatic to be going home and spending the summer with their high school friends and their new college friends. Sophomores are starting to get more professional jobs and taking a summer course and spending time with their college sweet heart. Juniors are getting internships, and seniors are preparing for adulthood.

The spring weather has been uncharacteristically poor in all of Ohio, a record setting performance I believe. But on this week of finals and pressure, the weather has decided to play nice and allow for a sunny, warm quad to study in.

Home sweet home

Home sweet home

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One of the many things I love about Mount Union is how early we start the summer.

I moved out this past weekend (while it was still April!) and it so nice to be home now.  Moving out took so much more time this year than it ever has because of all the furniture I had (because I lived off campus in a house).  It was a lot of heavy lifting and packing, but we did it!  Now, it’s just a matter of unpacking everything at home and figuring out places for it all to go.  :]

It’s also nice getting out early because we get a jump start on jobs! I interviewed at the Winking Lizard Tavern back in March and they hired me, and I’m going in for my orientation today! I’ve been waitressing at Bob Evans for the past five years and I’m really excited for a change of pace and scenery but to continue serving.  I love being around people and it’s usually good money too! $

Well, that’s all for now.  I’ll keep you updated on my latest happenings throughout the summer.  Happy May everyone!!

-Shannon