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

Putting my skills to work

Putting my skills to work

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Hi there!

All of the kids are out of school and summer has (almost) officially begun! The sun is shining, the greens are bloomed (allergy season is almost over) and, well, it is the best time of the year!

Indians aren’t doing so hot lately, but ya know, that’s ok. We had a fun winning streak while it lasted. A losing streak doesn’t make a difference to me; I am still enjoying my part-time job with the Tribe.

However, I started a new part-time summer gig this week, which will help me keep busy, bring in some extra cash and use my communication knowledge that I’ve gained at Mount Union.

I am starting to do some communication/marketing/public relations work for Aladdin’s Eatery. My mom works in the corporate offices for the restaurant and I’ve always helped out with random tasks. However, now that I want to improve my skills and add some more hands-on experience, I am now moving past the random tasks and having way more responsibilities.

My favorite part of the new gig is working with social media. Ok, I’ll admit it… I am kind of a social media nerd — totally proud of it though! I’ve seen how the Indians used social media last year with my internship, and of course I see how my campus organizations use it, but now I get a whole new point of view! Restaurants have many different and unique ways to interact with their customers and social media has a big influence on many of the ways.

Another one of my favorite tasks that I am responsible for is the calendar making for the restaurants, which will allow me to use my graphic design skills. Even things as simple as making a calendar require a lot of creativity! I will be helping with monthly newsletters and fundraising events as well!

Overall, this job will give me a taste of the whole communication/marketing/public relations field. What is nice is the fact that I am pretty familiar with the business because of my mom, so that will make the learning experience a little bit easier.

This coming week will be full of excitement! The stars of one of my favorite TV shows, Hot In Cleveland, will be in Cleveland for the season premiere of their show and I plan on attending some of the events. I’ll be sure to keep you updated :]

Have a great week!

-samantha

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.

The Tribe Experience

The Tribe Experience

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So this post is definitely going to lack the usual “GO TRIBE” cheering … That winning streak that had the Indians fans coming out of the woodwork has went away … Let’s just hope it’s on a little hiatus and it’ll be coming back soon.

Despite the team’s dry spell, I have been down at every home game, enjoying the ballpark atmosphere. As I’ve mentioned before, I work with a bunch of people from Mount Union and I couldn’t love it any more. Come fall, I will be living with two of my friends from work – Sam and Stephanie. So, it is really nice being able to spend the summer together before a year of school!

Everyday at work I notice different parts of the job that I love more and more, however, I have found that the fans are what make the experience the best.

For instance, do you know how great of a feeling it is to hand a pack of baseball cards to a little kid and watch his or her face light up with excitement? Sure, it is just a pack of baseball cards, but that pack may have made the kid’s day! Sure, you’ll have the fans who get disappointed and complain … you’ll have that anywhere! But the excitement that the grateful fans give makes up for all of the negativity out there.

Also, it is almost inevitable that every single game I work at I see a handful of Mount Union students.  It’s great running into them because otherwise, I wouldn’t see them until the end of August! That’s a long time if you ask me.

Other than working downtown, summer has been going well. I’ve been keeping super busy which has made the beginning of summer fly by – is it already June? Yikes!

-samantha

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

 

Summer, nice to FINALLY see you!

Summer, nice to FINALLY see you!

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Well, well, well … looks like Ohio-summer has finally arrived. This morning as I was running my errands, the thermometer in my car read a whopping 95 degrees… can we say ‘IT IS ABOUT TIME!’ ?

Unfortunately, our Cleveland Indians have hit a dry spell too, losing to the Red Sox, Rays and Jays. It’s OK though! Everyone is starting to doubt the team, saying the early winning record has went straight to their heads and now they are getting lazy. It has only been a few losses, folks. We’ve been playing decent teams, so we can’t win ‘em all! Here’s to bringing home some more’s… and soon!

The Tribe has been out of town for almost a week now, which means I haven’t been able to enjoy the ballpark lately. However, Sports Time Ohio filmed an in-game promotional clip and has been using it during every away game… guess who the clip stars… moi! It has been nice to check my Facebook, Twitter and text messages to hear from all of my school friends that they have seen me on TV! Maybe that will be my 15 minutes of fame :]

Since I have been away from the ballpark, I’ve been able to spend more time with my friends and family. This weekend I went up to Geneva On The Lake with my boyfriend and we enjoyed a little bit of our Memorial Day weekend there! We actually ran into quite a few Mount Union friends during our trip.

My mom and I soaked up the sun on Monday – the pools around here are finally starting to open and it is all so very beautiful!

Of course, the Jim Tressel incident has pretty much all of Ohio in a rage, along with the Indians’ little losing-streak; not a good weekend for Ohio sports fans. Oh well, there is always tomorrow!

-samantha

Memorable Memorial Day

Memorable Memorial Day

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Memorial Day is here and it seems that everyone is gearing up for a party of some sort or traveling to attend one. I will be traveling out of state to the west for a graduation in Michigan. My cousin will be entering his last summer before college and my whole family is looking forward to celebrating the day with our relatives. In that regard, I hope everyone traveling this weekend gets to and from safely and quickly.

What are you all, our lovely subset of readers, doing for this Memorial Day? Any great parades or parties you plan on attending? Leave a comment below and the best comment or story will be featured in my next post as a follow up to this weekend. Party on and be sure to thank a veteran or someone you know who serves in our military. Have a good one!

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

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