Relay for life!

Relay for life!

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This past weekend Mount Union hosted Relay for Life, which is a nationwide program to help raise money for the American Cancer Society. Mount Union students, their families and their friends raised money in support of cancer all weekend long. It was a great cause and a great time because it is a nationwide event. I’d say that most high school and even elementary students have participated in the event in someway or another. I remember as a child I participated in “Jump Rope For Heart.”

One of the great things about Mount is how active the students are with the community and charity events. I know I’ve talked about that before but I wish to talk about it again as it is something that really makes Mount special and sets us apart from other schools. It’s the students and people you meet here that change your life.

Write and Forget With Simplenote

Write and Forget With Simplenote

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I’ve had a few people come up to me and say that they’ve really enjoyed the app recommendations from my last couple posts, so I’ve decided that one of my posts per week will feature a new app and how I’m using it to make college more fun, manageable or social.

Today, we’re going to depart from the game apps and take a look at a productivity app for all you note takers out there. Now, I know that most phones come with a built in notes application, but the one I’m about to show you has some great advantages over the competition for always having your notes available.

simplenote

With these last few weeks of school being increasingly important, it can help to have a “catch all” system for your ideas. Simplenote (link here) is an extremely simple way to sync your notes between your phone and the web. Along with having a web interface to access all your notes on the computer, it also has apps available for iPhone, iPod Touch, Android and WebOS. If using the computer is more of your style, it also has Windows and Mac applications to keep you in sync.

The beauty of Simplenote is how simple it is (no pun intended). You create a new note, write down some things you want to remember or keep track of and you’re done. All changes are sent to your account on their website and transferred to any of the applications you use.

I personally use Simplenote as a way to quickly grab ideas I have while I’m on the go, but may not be able to act on at that moment. For example, if I’m out and suddenly remember I need to email someone when I get back to my dorm, I throw it in a list called TODO and forget about it. Later, when I’ve gotten back to my dorm, I open up my TODO list and there are all the items I added, but didn’t have to remember.

The other ways in which you can use Simplenote are endless. For me, Simplenote has had a spot on my first page of apps since I first downloaded it. Being able to throw all my ideas in a note and then forget about them has been amazing and low stress. Never forget another thing on the go again.

Go check out Simplenote and its free apps (although there is a paid version to remove ads at the top of your lists) and give it a couple days of use to get accustomed to this new “write down and forget” system. I’m sure you’re going to like it.

Mount Countdown

Mount Countdown

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Want to count down the seconds until summer, but don’t want the hassle of keeping track yourself? Check out the countdown time I made! It counts down the seconds until April 30 at 12 a.m., or essentially the last day any classes will have been giving exams.

mount countdown

Feel free to bookmark and reference this page to watch those seconds disappear!

Mount Countdown – Click Here

 

 

21 Kindergartners, 1 great experience!

21 Kindergartners, 1 great experience!

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This week, I finished my observation hours for my education class, and much to my surprise I became fairly upset when I realized that I wouldn’t be coming back anymore. I have been spending my time observing in the same kindergarten classroom at the Early Learning Center here in Alliance since the beginning of last semester. I have spent almost one whole school year with 21 kindergartners and really got a chance to see them grow. The time that I have spent with the kids at the Early Learning Center has really helped me to understand more of the kind of teacher I would like to be one day. I had such a great experience working with this class! The class consisted of nine boys and 11 girls, who were, for the most part, really well behaved. The cooperating teacher that I worked with could not have been a better mentor for me. Right away, I picked up on certain cues and methods she used in teaching the students and was able to also use them myself when working with the students. This gave the students more respect for me and helped me to establish a great relationship with them.

The day before my last day of observation, the students and teacher presented me with a gift. The gift was a book with a picture of the class on the front, and inside each child completed a page with a sentence entitled “Miss Farmerie and (their name)” as well as drawing of a picture of us together. They also gave me a travel coffee mug that they had each signed and drew on (the teacher caught on to my obsession with coffee)! The moment they gave me these gifts, I was speechless. I was so touched and thankful that they would think of me. I believe that, in that moment, I truly realized why I wanted to be a teacher so much. Not because of the gifts or any of that, but because I knew that I had impacted them, and helped them in some way because they were thanking me for it. I had established a bond with those 21 kindergartners as my first observation class, and I will never be able to replace that. As soon as I drove away from the school on that final day, reflecting upon everything I have done there, I realized how happy I am to be going into the field of education, and how excited I am to be a teacher!

Great Weekend!0

Great Weekend!0

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Relay for Life was a success! The Black Student Union (BSU) won best banner at Relay. I’m super excited about it because my friend and I designed it!

My Favorite Job-Umpiring

My Favorite Job-Umpiring

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The most common question when you’re getting to know someone is: “What’s one unique thing most people don’t know about you?” My answer always is: I am a certified baseball umpire.

It is pretty obvious by now that baseball is my passion, and when I was a freshmen in high school I decided that my summer job would be umpiring youth league baseball games. I have been an OHSAA certified umpire for six years, and for the last two, I have earned Class 1 rank, which is the highest umpire classification in Ohio. Most people ask why in the world I would ever consider such a job, but I feel like it is not even a job. I get paid to be involved with baseball.

I was only 15 when I umpired my first game … and yes I was nervous, but the key is to be confident. Some coaches now will even try to test me when they see a young umpire behind the plate. But, I am only young in age, as I have more umpire experience than umpires twice my age. Last summer, I umpired 75 baseball games that ranged from high school games to eight-year-old travel baseball games. I have even had the honor to umpire in Cooperstown, New York twice for weeklong national baseball tournaments. I would suggest that anyone who has a passion for baseball consider becoming an umpire.

Because of umpiring I have a lot of life experiences that I am able to draw upon later in life, and the major life skill I have learned is to be confident. I have not been able to umpire a lot of high school baseball games so far this year due to my internships, but this Tuesday I will be umpiring my first game of the season – a JV baseball game in the Canton area. I have always considered attempting to become a MLB umpire but this is an even more daunting task than attempting to become a MLB player. This summer, I will have the honor of being able to meet a MLB umpire who I have been connected with through a mutual friend. Since MLB does not disclose where umpires will be stationed prior to the beginning of each series, I unfortunately do not know when this opportunity will occur. However, I make sure to check out the umpires for every game at Progressive Field.

Opportunities to give back

Opportunities to give back

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When I was in high school, I was highly involved in community service.  I was in my school’s Key Club for four years and was the president of the club my senior year.  We rang the bell to raise money for Salvation Army around Christmas time, cooked and served food to those in need at a local soup, held various canned food drives, had a clothes drive for people in the wintertime and so much more.

It’s a little sad to think that since I’ve came to Mount Union, I haven’t volunteered a whole lot in the community.  I have certainly tried to as much as I can but it is just time that always seems to get in my way.  The past few years I have volunteered with WRMU to hand out candy at Trunk-or-Treat.  This is an event where kids from all over Alliance can come to receive candy on Halloween but it’s in the middle of the day so it’s light outside.  This is just safer for kids than going door-to-door in the dark (although I bet a lot of kids do both!).

I have done a few more things here and there but nothing close to what I was doing in high school.  Recently, for a class project, I visited the Alliance Community Pantry.  This pantry serves so many people from the community every single day.  Families can go receive food to make it through their week.  The owner of the pantry said, “This food that our clients receive from us is ‘emergency food.’ It’s not going to be enough for them to survive on but it is enough to get them through.”  This means that if they are having a rough week with money they can go to the pantry to receive food for their family until they get their next paycheck and are able to go to the grocery store themselves.

Volunteers at the pantry help the clients go through and pick up the food.  Clients are only allowed a certain number of food items depending on the size of their family, so the volunteer also keeps track of that.  Next semester, it is my goal to volunteer more and specifically to volunteer at the Community Pantry once a week.

Another volunteer opportunity that I’m excited (and a tiny bit scared) about is giving blood.  I have never given blood in my life but have always wanted to.  Both my mom and dad have given blood for as long as I can remember and I really look up to them for that.  Giving blood is something that takes a half hour to an hour and helps save the lives of so many people across the world.  I’m nervous about giving because it’s my first time but I think a friend of mine who has given blood before and I are going to go together, so hopefully that will make it a little better. :]

If you’re someone who’s really interested in volunteer work, Alpha Phi Omega is the service fraternity on campus.  Although it’s called a fraternity, it is open to both males and females of all class ranks.  These students focus heavily on community service and volunteer work in the community and also have social events to bring the group together.  They seem like a great group of people and that is one thing I’d get involved with if I had more time.

Opportunities for volunteering are plentiful in the city and on campus. You just have to be willing to ask people if you can help.  Most people would love to receive extra help, and it makes me really happy to think that I can at least be making a tiny bit of a difference.

-Shannon

 

Latest happenings

Latest happenings

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Ok, first of all, how ’bout them Indians? A sweep against the Red Sox followed by a 12-3 W over the Mariners… The boys are on an awesome winning streak — let’s just hope they keep it up!

I finally worked my first game of the season on Wednesday against the BoSox. Gonna be honest, the Sox are second to the Tribe in my heart — always been a fan of both (shh!). The game was amazing… sure, the weather wasn’t the best baseball weather but hey, it was still fun. It gave me a little preview of what the summer is going to be like … let’s just say I can’t wait.

Relay For Life was last night here on campus. WRMU DJed the event and had a pretty good time doing so. Relay is such a great cause. At Mount Union, a bunch of campus organizations set up tables and had different ways of raising money. My favorite was the Sigma Nu Fraternity table — they raised money by waxing — yes, waxing — brothers. It was a funny, entertaining way to bring in the donations. A community organization also had put-put set up and my boyfriend and I gave it a shot (we tied). We stopped back around midnight and listened to some students sing karaoke. Overall, the event seemed to be a success. Everyone was having fun while helping the cause.

This morning was the debut of the documentary I mentioned a few blogs earlier. For our public relations class we were told to make a video about the city to be shown at a Poverty Summit… Well, the summit was today and we went up for the premiere! Everyone loved it!

Word on the street is that it is supposed to be 70 degrees tomorrow! Fingers crossed it continues and spring is here to stay!

-samantha

Words With Friends

Words With Friends

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words with friends screenshot

If you’ve read my last post, you know about the new social networking game, Foursquare. However, for those of us who aren’t as comfortable sharing our locations with our network, there is another game that seems to be taking over student cell phones everywhere.

The game I’m talking about is called Words With Friends (or just “Words” for short). Originally, when I first started playing, it seemed like a ripoff of the classic game Scrabble. But once you start playing, you realize that Words brings some unique features to the table that the average game of Scrabble just can’t compete with. Some of the coolest things about this app are:

  • Available for iPhone, iPod Touch and Android
  • Multiple games going at one time
  • In-game chat with the people you are playing
  • I guarantee some, if not most, of your friends already have accounts

The multiple-games-at-once concept might be difficult to grasp at first, but it’s actually pretty ingenious the way it implements this feature. Typically, the average Words game can take a day or two to finish. This is because moves are made at the player’s convenience, or in my case, when I get a break from homework or soccer practice. Because there can be a couple hours in between plays, Words lets you have multiple games going with different people to help make sure that things never get boring.

Those familiar with the game and rules of Scrabble will be comfortable firing up Words for the first time. But even new players can pick up on the concepts quickly. Words is available in both a free and a paid version. The only difference between the two is that the paid version removes all ads from the app and doesn’t show you ads in between turns. In reality, this isn’t as annoying as it may sound, and while I’ve got the paid version on my phone, I was really happy with the free one as well.

If you want to join in on the game, just search your app store for “Words With Friends” and you should find the app for your device. Feel free to start up a game with me by using my username: kyledreger.

Happy spelling!

 

Ketcham Tiger Woods

Ketcham Tiger Woods

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What does one do on a boring day in Ketcham Hall? Break out the old putter and golf ball of course. The video that follows is taken on the long hallways on the 2nd floor of Ketcham. We get quite a crowd whenever we start up some hallway golfing and it can get competitive quickly.

Whenever someone asks me what college dorm life is like, I show this video.

He or she walk away impressed.

 

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