Easter Excitement

This Easter was different from past Easter’s because I did not spend it with my parents and sisters. Usually for Easter we go to my aunt’s house in Virginia but I didn’t have enough days off to be able to get there and have a decent amount of time with them. If I didn’t have … Read more

This Easter was different from past Easter’s because I did not spend it with my parents and sisters. Usually for Easter we go to my aunt’s house in Virginia but I didn’t have enough days off to be able to get there and have a decent amount of time with them. If I didn’t have anywhere else to go my parents would’ve made it work but I have a friend who lives in Greensburg about 20 minutes from my other aunt’s house. So this year I went home with my friend Alie and spent Thursday night at her house and then went to my aunt’s house Friday night through Sunday afternoon. I’m really glad I had to chance to stay with this aunt because in the past I have only ever seen her once a year at Christmas. My aunt also has two sons, Andrew and Nick, who are 15 and almost 13. It was great to spend time with them and experience some new things that I’ve never done before- like playing street hockey! I did not really play street hockey though, I was the goalie so I got to play dodge ball with the ball in the net. I was able to stop some of their shots though which felt pretty nice!! Saturday was just a perfect day outside so we spent most of our time outside playing lacrosse, street hockey and lots of basketball. We played around the world (a basketball game) and named each of the lines a different city or country. My cousin Andrew broke his collar bone in the beginning of March and after a while he started hurting so we quit and went down to the basement where I beat his cocky brother in ping pong. Then they tried teaching me how to play COD, which was very interesting. By the end of the weekend I got up to six kills in one game though! I was pretty pleased with that.

My aunt also had activities for us to do relating to Easter, such as an Easter egg hunt, finding Easter baskets and dying Easter eggs. The Easter egg hunt was by far the most fun!! She hid 12 eggs and we each had to try to find our four eggs first (any four, they were not labeled). I finished first!! Maybe that’s why I enjoyed it so much. We did not get around to dying the Easter eggs until Sunday though because we started  watching the basketball games on Saturday (NCAA) and we also went out to dinner. Amazingly Friday and Saturday night I was able to get some of my homework done! Sunday we went to church, found our Easter baskets and then hung out downstairs until dinner because it was raining. We had an early dinner at 2 p.m. and then I had to get ready to leave to be at Alie’s by 4 p.m. Then Alie and I made the two-hour drive back to Mount Union and spent the rest of Easter doing homework. Before she went back home Alie’s mom (who drove us) gave me a little Easter gift basket that has lots of goodies in it! I also have the bag of candy my aunt got me.. It’s so tempting to just eat it all and not just one a day!!!

Hope everyone reading had a great Easter as well and is ready for the final stretch of school before you graduate!!

The Benefits of Traveling Young

The Benefits of Traveling Young

I graduate in just over a month. Wow. There are many different things I am contemplating as the countdown to commence has begun. Should I go back home for a job in Milwaukee, or move just about anywhere else in the country? Should I take a little travel break after I receive my diploma? What … Read more

I graduate in just over a month. Wow. There are many different things I am contemplating as the countdown to commence has begun. Should I go back home for a job in Milwaukee, or move just about anywhere else in the country? Should I take a little travel break after I receive my diploma? What about working internationally? I seem confused about my future, but optimistic I am not settling for something I would hate. In light of all these thoughts, I can across an article by Jeff Goins called Why You Should Travel Young, and needed to share excerpts of it with you. The morality if the article is that travel may not seem like it’s preparing you for a job, but there are many immeasurable assets you take away from being on the road. Read on to learn some!

“Do you think I should go to graduate school or move to Africa?”

I don’t think she was talking to me. In fact, I’m pretty sure she wasn’t. But that didn’t stop me from offering my opinion.

I told her to travel. Hands down. No excuses. Just go.

She sighed, nodding. “Yeah, but…”

I had heard this excuse before, and I didn’t buy it. I knew the “yeah-but” intimately. I had uttered it many times before. The words seem innocuous enough, but are actually quite fatal.

Yeah, but …

… what about debt?

… what about my job?

… what about my boyfriend?

This phrase is lethal. It makes it sound like we have the best of intentions, when really we are just too scared to do what we should. It allows us to be cowards while sounding noble.

Most people I know who waited to travel the world never did it. Conversely, plenty of people who waited for grad school or a steady job still did those things after they traveled.

In a year, I will turn thirty. Now I realize how wrong I was. Regardless of the intent of those words, there was wisdom in them.

As we get older, life can just sort of happen to us. Whatever we end up doing, we often end up with more responsibilities, more burdens, more obligations. This is not always bad. In fact, in many cases it is really good. It means you’re influencing people, leaving a legacy.

Youth is a time of total empowerment. You get to do what you want. As you mature and gain new responsibilities, you have to be very intentional about making sure you don’t lose sight of what’s important. The best way to do that is to make investments in your life so that you can have an effect on who you are in your later years.

I did this by traveling. Not for the sake of being a tourist, but to discover the beauty of life — to remember that I am not complete.

There is nothing like riding a bicycle across the Golden Gate Bridge or seeing the Coliseum at sunset. I wish I could paint a picture for you of how incredible the Guatemalan mountains are or what a rush it is to appear on Italian TV. Even the amazing photographs I have of Niagara Falls and the American Midwest countryside do not do these experiences justice. I can’t tell you how beautiful southern Spain is from the vantage point of a train; you have to experience it yourself. The only way you can relate is by seeing them.

While you’re young, you should travel. You should take the time to see the world and taste the fullness of life. Spend an afternoon sitting in front of the Michelangelo. Walk the streets of Paris. Climb Kilimanjaro. Hike the Appalachian trail. See the Great Wall of China. Get your heart broken by the “killing fields” of Cambodia. Swim through the Great Barrier Reef. These are the moments that define the rest of your life; they’re the experiences that stick with you forever.

Traveling will change you like little else can. It will put you in places that will force you to care for issues that are bigger than you. You will begin to understand that the world is both very large and very small. You will have a newfound respect for pain and suffering, having seen that two-thirds of humanity struggle to simply get a meal each day.

While you’re still young, get cultured. Get to know the world and the magnificent people that fill it. The world is a stunning place, full of outstanding works of art. See it.

You won’t always be young. And life won’t always be just about you. So travel, young person. Experience the world for all it’s worth. Become a person of culture, adventure, and compassion. While you still can.

Do not squander this time. You will never have it again. You have a crucial opportunity to invest in the next season of your life now. Whatever you sow, you will eventually reap. The habits you form in this season will stick with you for the rest of your life. So choose those habits wisely.

And if you’re not as young as you’d like (few of us are), travel anyway. It may not be easy or practical, but it’s worth it. Traveling allows you to feel more connected to your fellow human beings in a deep and lasting way, like little else can. In other words, it makes you more human.

That’s what it did for me, anyway.

Thank to you Converge magazine for the post!

The show is coming, the show is coming!

I’m starting to get so excited; the musical Company is just a week away! We just started putting light cues together last night at rehearsal. It made for an interesting rehearsal. Usually they’re called cue-to-cue rehearsals, because we’re literally acting from light cue to light cue. That means we’re freezing wherever there’s supposed to be … Read more

I’m starting to get so excited; the musical Company is just a week away!

We just started putting light cues together last night at rehearsal. It made for an interesting rehearsal. Usually they’re called cue-to-cue rehearsals, because we’re literally acting from light cue to light cue. That means we’re freezing wherever there’s supposed to be a change in the lights.

It’s really a cool process. I appreciate that our Department of Theatre professors are professional and very good at what they do. It’s because of lights, sounds, staging, and costumes that our shows consistently look fabulous.

The show is really starting to come together too. Everything is memorized and show-ready, and every night we improve things in the show—even when it already seems like we can’t improve much more!

The curtains are hung, the props are all ready. We’re performing with a darkened audience and lights and a pit band. We’re ready.

This is going to be a fabulous show. I can’t stop talking about it to people—which is why I’m blogging about it :)

Seriously, if you want to see one of the coolest musicals Mount Union has put on stage, come see the musical! Plus, it’s the last one ever being performed in Rodman Playhouse! Of course we’re going to go out with a bang!

The show is April 4-6, 11-13 at 7:30 p.m. and April 7 at 2 p.m. To order tickets, call (330) 821-2565.

Music for the show

Let’s talk about the pit band for a minute here. We’ve been working on Company for weeks now, with the vocal music director Ian LeRoy. He’s a junior music performance major, and he’s been doing an excellent job. Come see the show, and you’ll know what I’m talking about. The first thing you’re going to hear … Read more

Let’s talk about the pit band for a minute here.

We’ve been working on Company for weeks now, with the vocal music director Ian LeRoy. He’s a junior music performance major, and he’s been doing an excellent job.

Come see the show, and you’ll know what I’m talking about. The first thing you’re going to hear is an a capella bit that leads to a cluster chord–basically, a lot of notes at the same time. It’ll make you shiver it’s so good.

So acting, check. Vocals, check. What we needed was the band.

And they are sounding pretty incredible. With everything from two pianists, a ‘cello, trumpets, and more, we are gonna have such an amazing sound for this performance.

I think the only relatively difficult thing thus far has been nailing down the times. But now we’re golden.

Here’s some things to listen for, voally and instrumentally:

1. The opening of the show. It’s just jaw-dropping.

2. The girlfriends’ trio. Their voices are gorgeous and complement each other very well.

3. The sax in the opening of The Ladies Who Lunch scene. Junior Ian Bell :)

4. Anything the husbands sing together.

5. The end of Someone is Waiting and Sorry Grateful. Senior Kenny Leep and junior Jesse Phillips are going to make every girl in the room fall in love with them.

6. Another Hundred People by freshman Erin Bell

(PS, have I mentioned that all the other girls in the show besides me are freshmen? Such a talented freshman class, holy wow!)

Just wanted to give you a couple things to look forward to :) Come see the show!

The show is April 4-6, 11-13 at 8 p.m. and Sunday April 7 at 2 p.m. at Rodman Playhouse

Raider Relief launches the Abandoned Stuffed Animal Project

Raider Relief launches the Abandoned Stuffed Animal Project

Visit raiderrelief.org today! The Project Welcome to Project ASAP, brought to you by Raider Relief. We’re putting together the biggest stuffed animal drive ever! Help the University of Mount Union and our awesome supporters in the city of Alliance as we donate our gently used stuffed animals to be professionally cleaned (by Cintas) and sent … Read more

Visit raiderrelief.org today!

The Project

Welcome to Project ASAP, brought to you by Raider Relief. We’re putting together the biggest stuffed animal drive ever! Help the University of Mount Union and our awesome supporters in the city of Alliance as we donate our gently used stuffed animals to be professionally cleaned (by Cintas) and sent out to kids who will love them.

When does it start?

We officially begin collecting donations on March 31 and will continue until April 5.

Take the Teddy Pledge!

Click HERE to take the “Teddy Pledge!” Give us your best guess of how many abandoned stuffed animals you’ll collect from home Easter weekend, and we’ll send a text message to remind you before you leave home!

Where to donate?

Feel free to drop off your donations at the University of Mount Union Library (KHIC) or Family Video in Alliance.

What exactly to donate?

Please bring your used, lovable, stuffed animals to donate. We’re looking for the sort of stuffed animal that you used to love playing with, but is ready for another child to love

Want to chat?

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter for some Teddy shenanigans! Follow the #ProjectASAP hashtag as well!

March madness mania

It’s an understatement to call the NCAA tournament “madness,” because it exceeds that every year with completely astonishing upsets. This year Harvard stepped up and really caught everyone off guard. Of course there are always the teams that sometimes end up with a seed they shouldn’t have so they are underestimated and come back to … Read more

It’s an understatement to call the NCAA tournament “madness,” because it exceeds that every year with completely astonishing upsets. This year Harvard stepped up and really caught everyone off guard. Of course there are always the teams that sometimes end up with a seed they shouldn’t have so they are underestimated and come back to win, but I had heard no talk of Harvard being any type of contender. Another big upset, at least for me, was the Georgetown game. I really thought that they could go all the way to the final again Louisville. As of right now I have 8 out the sweet 16. Considering all the surprising upsets I don’t think that is too bad. I am only missing one of my final four so far. I ended up getting 21 out of 32 on the crazy upset round. This year I even tried to predict some upsets but all of the ones I tried to choose were the wrong picks! My dad and I usually have a little competition, but this year our brackets were very similar, we event had the same champion! It’s hard to compete but I unfortunately think he is beating me because even if a team is good, if I do not like them, I will have them upset. An example of this is Florida Gators and Marquette. A few years ago I got the privilege of watching UNC beat Marquette in the sweet 16 round. It’s one of my favorite memories with my dad!

The NCAA live app has done wonders for me this year! I was so much more connected with what was going on, even if I didn’t like the outcome. I saw a lot more games then I usually do. I have a feeling this championship is going to have some surprising teams in it and I can’t wait to see who makes it. My bracket this year is a reminder though to be more involved during the regular season if I ever want to go into a betting bracket! During the regular season I may focus a little too much on the tarheels, but they are amazing so it’s no surprise that’s where I spend my time! How did you do on your bracket this year?

Wilderness Trip

About a month ago I went to a meeting for Mount Union’s Wilderness Trip where students go to the mountains for 10 days. I was really interested in this because I go camping every year so I am used to being outdoors and I also enjoy hiking! I thought it would be an awesome experience … Read more

About a month ago I went to a meeting for Mount Union’s Wilderness Trip where students go to the mountains for 10 days. I was really interested in this because I go camping every year so I am used to being outdoors and I also enjoy hiking! I thought it would be an awesome experience to try. At the meeting they gave a lot of information, some of which I was surprised to hear. While on the trip besides doing hiking you also help the rangers with service projects, which was really appealing to me. I have been on three mission trips building houses so I know I could handle whatever they needed help with! The hiking was pretty extensive though. I do not remember how much exactly but I was surprised when they said it. I do not think I would have a problem with it because I run a 5k in a decent time and enjoy walking but it would probably be a challenge for some people. Someone asked about wild animals, which elicited a chuckle from the group leaders. Of course animals are present but they have not encountered any. The biggest problem I saw with the trip was having to carry a giant pack on my back. I have had serious back problems in the past and can only handle carrying a backpack for so long before I get bad shoulder and back pain. I was still interested in applying though. Yes it is an application process because so many people are interested in going on the trip and they can only take 21 I believe. After talking to my parents we discussed that this year I could not go because of financials and our family vacation. My sisters swim all summer so we have to wait to go on vacation until after the second week in August when they are finally finished. The trip is affordable- about $400, but after joining a sorority I spent more this year then expected. If you enjoy outdoors, hiking or anything else of the sort you should definitely attend the meeting they have the previous spring about going! It seems like a great trip and I have heard nothing but good things from friends I know who have gone on the trip.

College Advice, Take More Risks

College Advice, Take More Risks

My brother recently shared a LinkedIn article with me called Wanted at Work: Take More Risks in College by Jeff Selingo, an editor and columnist at The Chronicle of Higher Education, which describes how risk taking is so important in college and how it will help you in the workplace. It’s safe to say, although … Read more

My brother recently shared a LinkedIn article with me called Wanted at Work: Take More Risks in College by Jeff Selingo, an editor and columnist at The Chronicle of Higher Education, which describes how risk taking is so important in college and how it will help you in the workplace. It’s safe to say, although I do not know quite yet, that you will have more freedom and room to do this while you are young and in a collegiate career. The moral of the article is that focusing on major research projects, putting yourself in unfamiliar situations and developing a portfolio are all crucial to future success.

I feel that I have accomplished all three of these, and that Mount Union prepared me for two of them. First in the research realm, Mount has a Senior Culminating Experience (SCE) for all majors. Last semester I wrote my Spanish research paper on an economic analysis of La Liga in Spain and FIFA mega-events, particularly the World Cup. For my management major this semester we are going through a game simulation of running a company, and also are required to write several papers. These two classes, among others, have helped my analytical skills. Secondly, putting myself in unfamiliar situations was easily accomplished by studying abroad in Spain for a semester. This stretched me beyond comfort zones and helped me achieve cultural and experiential learning. Lastly, through much of my time at Mount Union I have been fortunate to be part of several organization and work a couple internships, allowing me to develop a portfolio and e-presence. At any rate, I encourage students to take as many risks in college that they can, it may pay off! I hope it does for me.

Please take a moment to read the actual post by Jeff Selingo, it’s worth the read, and Mount Union will prepare you for the first two for sure, and in most cases the last! Enjoy.

Photo taken by Zak Suhar in Calpe, Spain while studying abroad in spring 2012.

A New Leader for AIS!

A New Leader for AIS!

On Friday, March 23, the Association of International Students (AIS) began it’s transition towards a new administration. The election for the new executive board took place at 6 p.m. in the Alumni Room. A total of 45 members, foreign and American, turned up to meet the candidates running for a spot in the executive board as … Read more

On Friday, March 23, the Association of International Students (AIS) began it’s transition towards a new administration. The election for the new executive board took place at 6 p.m. in the Alumni Room. A total of 45 members, foreign and American, turned up to meet the candidates running for a spot in the executive board as well as cast their votes for their preferred candidates. Though AIS had more than 45 members, it was enough to reach a quorum; making sure that the election proceeded as planned.

The results of the election was announced to all AIS members via email an hour after the election.

President: Rachel Bateman (USA)

Vice-President: Andrea Toranzo (Bolivia)

Treasurer: Duc Le (Vietnam)

Secretary: Hoang Nguyen (Vietnam)

Program Directors: Ngoc Hoang (Vietnam) and Beteab Negash (Ethiopia)

Public Relations Officer: Xin Fang Mak (Malaysia)

Student Senate Representative: Nicolas Alvarado (Bolivia)

I am quite pleased with the results of the election. Both the president and the vice-president are existing AIS officers and I have worked closely with them throughout my presidency, which gives me great confidence that AIS is in good hands. As for the other elected officers, I have the same confidence in them. Some I have worked closely with on other things, while others gave a good vibe.

It has been a roller-coaster year for me leading the one association on campus that represents the most countries. While it was great fun meeting so many people from different parts of the world, it is also difficult to organize activities that are inclusive of all nationalities and cultures. Despite the challenges, it was a great experience overall.

It is a bittersweet feeling when I think about my time left with AIS and Mount Union. While I am excited to move on towards the next chapter of my life, it feels as though I am leaving a position and a place that I have been at for a long time. At least, it felt like a long time. I can only hope that my leadership this year has prepared the newly-elected executive board to take over.

Until that happens, I still have a job to do. Two of the biggest tasks I’ll be facing in the coming weeks are the budget proposal for the new academic year and the amendment of the AIS constitution. As for AIS in general, watch out for our end of the school year plans!

Palaces & Bike Rides: Caserta

Palaces & Bike Rides: Caserta

Day 5: Caserta I love bike rides. And waterfalls. And gardens. And sunshine. And I loved the perfect afternoon I had in Caserta. Today was our final day of the field study. After an early breakfast, we loaded the bus with our luggage and set off for Caserta. Our trip took longer than expected because … Read more

Day 5: Caserta

I love bike rides. And waterfalls. And gardens. And sunshine. And I loved the perfect afternoon I had in Caserta.

Today was our final day of the field study. After an early breakfast, we loaded the bus with our luggage and set off for Caserta. Our trip took longer than expected because there was a strike at the local train station, causing more people to drive and a lot of traffic on the roads.

royalpalace

When we arrived, we met our guide to tour the Royal Palace. We learned that King Charles of Bourbon wanted to move the capital from Naples to a safer location, so he chose Caserta, a city easier to defend. From the center of the Palace you can see the four main squares, as well as the garden to one side and a road leading straight to Naples on the other side. All of the rooms in the Palace were pretty, but my favorites were the rooms dedicated to the seasons. The spring room was so colorful and flowers were everywhere.

palace

We were free the rest of the afternoon so I found a sunny spot in the garden to eat lunch, write in my journal and finish my field study homework assignment.

bikeride

Afterwards, Tyler and I rented bikes and set off to explore the rest of the garden. I have missed bike rides so much!!! We got to see all of the pretty fountains and waterfalls during our bike ride. All of them symbolize mythological creatures.

The last statue at the top of the hill of the garden is of Diana, the goddess of hunting, who was supposedly beautiful and admired by many. She caught a hunter, Actaeon, spying on her while she was bathing one day and got very upset, so she turned him into a deer. He was then killed by his own hunting dogs!

fountain

This afternoon was absolutely beautiful and so peaceful. The scenic bike ride, sunshine and waterfalls made for the perfect ending to this fun week of traveling throughout southern Italy.

Check out some highlights of my fun traveling throughout Southern Italy here!

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