Pandora’s Box. Where By ‘Box’ I Mean ‘Radio’

Pandora’s Box. Where By ‘Box’ I Mean ‘Radio’

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Pandora Radio might be the single most used app and website I visit other than Facebook. Although music has always helped me to make it through large amounts of homework, I find that when I am in control of the song order, I spend a lot of time switching tracks or setting up new playlists. Enter Pandora.

One of the reasons radio has remained so popular over the years, even with on-demand music from iPods or websites, is because there is something very freeing (and addictive), about not being in control of the song track order. The only problem is that before, turning on the radio was a bit like playing Russian Roulette; every time the song would end you had the possibility of having to sit through a track you don’t enjoy. Pandora solves this problem by “creating” channels based on what you’re in the mood to hear. All you do is type in a song, artist or genre you want to listen to and Pandora throws together a playlist which revolves around the musical elements you chose. The result is the perfect combination of random music, but all from things you like.

Pandora is free to use, with occasional audio ads, and you can create an account to save your custom stations. If you haven’t looked into its website or app yet, I highly recommend you do; and prepare to kiss your old radio goodbye.

New perspectives at Mount Union

New perspectives at Mount Union

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Coming to Mount Union, I don’t think I fully understood what it meant to study at a “liberal arts” school.  According to the dictionary, the definition is as follows: “the academic courses of instruction at a college intended to provide general knowledge and comprising the arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences, as opposed to professional or technical subjects.”  Mount Union tells students that the terms liberal arts comes from the Latin phrase “artes liberals” which can be translated to mean “the education of a free person.”

I remember when I was still looking at schools trying to decide which one to go to, and I really liked Mount, someone told me not to come here because “they make you take a bunch of useless classes.”  I basically ignored that comment and did what I felt was right and came here.  I wondered to myself, “why would the college make you take useless classes?  There would be no point to that.”

The liberal arts studies really does relate to the definitions in the first paragraph because they require that students take classes not only in their major, but in a variety of areas to ensure that we are getting the most well-rounded experience while being in classes.  It doesn’t give students just one point of view, but instead helps students to gain perspectives from all fields and departments.

All students are required to have at least one major and one minor.  I guess the school was talking recently about making minors optional but they decided to keep them when it was put to a vote.  I have at times dreaded the classes that are outside my major, specifically science.  I’ve thought at times that these classes seem like a waste of my time since I won’t be going into science for my future career, but after all is said and done, they have been really interesting.  I took a biology lecture and a geology lecture and lab.  Geology is all about the earth and its layers, reading maps, volcanoes, lakes, oceans and rocks.  It’s actually interesting though, who knew?!  It makes me appreciate the work that geologists do on a daily basis in their careers and it makes me think a lot more about things that we all take for granted.   And although I’m not a history buff or a big fan of geography, it is useful to know certain things and there is such a variety in classes you can take.

My favorite class that I’ve taken at Mount in the past three years is definitely Intercultural Communication.  If you are planning to go to school here or if you already are enrolled, you should take this class.   It consists of half American students and half international students.  There are students in my class studying at Mount from Japan, Ireland, China, Vietnam, India, Russia, Germany and Malaysia.   The reason I love this class so much is because studying abroad was something that I always wanted to do. But once I got to college, I never wanted to leave the campus.  Although I do understand this is different than being completely immersed in a culture … being in this class, hearing all of the different accents and being able to learn first-hand about all of these cultures,  is so fascinating.

Every day in that class, we have group discussions and are able to speak with different people and talk about their experiences growing up in other countries. We talk about what it was like to learn English and other aspects of the culture.  Ahhh, I loooove it!  Today, we had a discussion about the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was interesting to hear the perspective that people from other cultures have on this very heated topic.

I’m sure I will have more to say about this class in the future because it really is so interesting.  I have met so many great people and made really cool friendships.  I would not trade this class for anything and as I said before, I highly suggest you take it, whether you are a communication major or not!

-Shannon : )

Thankful for…homework?!

Thankful for…homework?!

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Yes, you did just read that I am thankful for homework … before you think I’m crazy, let me explain.

The past two semesters have been loaded with work … (maybe not so thankful for that part, sorry professors!). HOWEVER, the assignments that I have been given have actually been great.

While I might not agree with that last statement at first, I come to realize that the assignments we get in school are pretty interesting.

For instance, last semester in my marketing class, we were assigned a huge project where we chose a business to team up with the Inspi(RED) campaign. We had to research a company and I chose Chipotle! We found all these creative ways to team up with RED and do fun promotions. My group got t-shirts made of a red foil wrapped burrito, and we learned new ways to promote our idea. I’m really interested in social media so I focused most of our project on just that. I was able to learn all about Chipotle and get graded on it… (be honest – who is craving a burrito now?)

In my advanced public relations class, we were assigned real clients from the surrounding area and we had to work with them on projects that they assigned to us. My group was given two projects that, at the time, seemed overwhelming (heck, they still kind of do) but they really taught us so much.

The first project was to create a video on Alliance and show it at a convention type event being held on the campus in April. There is so much more to creating a video than just filming – we toured Alliance, saw places we’ve never knew existed, met awesome people who are trying to turn Alliance into the hot spot it once was and also met inspirational people who are dedicating their lives to help the people of Alliance. After taking the tours and learning all we have so far, I really have a new level of respect for the city.

The second project we were assigned was to help a family in Alliance that wants to start up a Carnation business. We met with our client and she had all these goals for her company, including the making of a website, which we are going to be helping her with. We were able to pick out the name for her company, design their logo and got the website and social media up and running – basically help the company blast off!

In one of my sport business classes, we are making sponsorship proposals for a  professional team in Colorado (I chose the Rockies!) and then picking a potential sponsor for the team and creating a plan to go along with it.  We get to be as creative as we want while creating promotional events for our team. Remember my marketing project with Chipotle? Since I’ve learned so much about that company, I’ve decided to use Chipotle as my potential sponsor, and it’s a huge plus that they’re based in Denver. I am really looking forward to completing this project because I’ll learn so much more about both companies and I can use it in my portfolio! (Ok, if you weren’t craving a burrito before, are you now?!)

So, sure, it may seem like an overwhelming amount of work but it isn’t. Would you rather be sitting in class taking notes and listening to lectures? The projects I’ve worked on in school (and those were only a few examples) have taught me so much about the real world and have made me excited to start working someday!

-samantha

Guest Speaker (Pro Football Hall of Fame)

Guest Speaker (Pro Football Hall of Fame)

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My boss at the Pro Football Hall of Fame (HOF), Pete Fierle, was a guest speaker in my public relations class today. Pete is the manager of digital media and communications, and he talked today about the HOF’s future 50 project and how the HOF uses social media. Social media is a rapid emerging market for organizations, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame is very active in social media. Check out the Pro Football HOF’s Twitter and Facebook. Pete is in charge of HOF’s social media. He and I have talked previously about my interest in social media, and I hope to potentially intern at the HOF again and help to develop its social media efforts.

Pete also touched on how to conduct a press conference (we will be hosting a mock one as a class project). I also found it very interesting how much the HOF relies on its public relations department for brand recognition. Pete gave us a lot of insight on the HOF’s induction ceremony and their involvement with Super Bowl weekend as well as the brand recognition HOF obtains from the Super Bowl. This video features Pete talking about the HOF’s interaction with Mount Union students. This special relationship will allow for numerous opportunities for future Purple Raiders.

Spring Break is Over

Spring Break is Over

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The past nine days flew by faster than I could believe. And, if you ask me, it didn’t feel much like a vacation at all!

I’m from Chicago, and there are pretty much two seasons – windy and sunny and windy and snowy – each one lasting roughly six months. But this past week the weather has been absolutely nuts. Right now it’s 30 degrees and hailing. But, when I woke up this morning it was 60 degrees and sunny. Two days before that there was a winter storm warning and all of the local high schools were closed. Two days before that it was 65 degrees and I was running around campus in shorts and a t-shirt. If you don’t like the weather in Ohio, just wait five more minutes, it’ll change.

The last half on this past week was pretty hectic for me because it was the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships down in Columbus, Ohio. I went with senior Scott Thomas who finished sixth place, which earned him All-American honors at the meet. He is the first All-American for our new head men’s track coach, Kevin Lucas, who is taking over for legend John Homon. There is no rest between indoor and outdoor track. The Stark County Championships will be held this Friday at nearby Walsh University, and a lot of Purple Raiders will be trying to qualify for conference and nationals in the next few weeks. This Saturday is the first step…

I am looking forward to the start of this week because the Annual Student Art Exhibit will open featuring artwork done by students at Mount Union! If you want check out some of these great pieces they will be on display at the Crandall Art Gallery starting Monday, March 14 and running through the end of the month. Types of art on display include drawing, design, printmaking, photography and sculpture. The Gallery is open Monday-Friday from 8 -9 a.m. and from 1 – 6 p.m. on weekends.

‘Twas the night before classes…

‘Twas the night before classes…

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It is the night before classes resume.. I cannot believe spring break is over already.  Ugh. Seriously, time goes by waaaaay too fast.  Not to mention it was daylight savings today so we lost an hour. : (

Anyway, I always contemplate when to go back to school after a break or a long weekend at home. Most students want to get back on Sunday, but I just loooove being at home on Sundays.  We always have a nice family dinner and watch “Desperate Housewives.” It’s like our ritual and I hate missing it by going back.  Obviously one of the perks to going back on a Sunday is that I would be able to unpack all my stuff so my room isn’t a mess when I get back.  I have no idea what happens but I feel like every time I come home, I accumulate so much more stuff to come back with me.  Ugh.  Oh well.

I decided to wait to go back tomorrow (Monday) morning.  I’d like to get a good night of sleep here and then head out for an early morning drive.  As I said before, I’m an hour and a half away so it’s not too bad of a drive and the mornings are much more scenic than driving in the dark!

Last year, living in an on-campus residence hall, I would always worry about what time I would get back to school because of the parking situation.  I’d either try to get back on Sunday night or just get to school really early the next morning.  If I got to school just a few minutes before my class would begin, I’d have to park “far” and then lug all my stuff farther to get to my room.  It’s such a weird thing though, parking at Mount.  So many students say that their biggest complaint is that “we don’t have enough parking” or that “we have to park so far.”

First of all, we have a small campus, so anywhere you park on campus isn’t really that far.  Second of all, one of my favorite things about Mount that I think most students take for granted and forget about is the fact that parking is free.  Most colleges and universities have to pay a parking pass fee, and it’s usually anywhere from $60-$200 from what I’ve heard from my friends that go to other schools.  Mount does not charge for parking AND they allow freshmen to bring cars (also for free).

I loved bringing my car freshman year.  Being new to the campus and to the city, it was nice to be able to travel around the city to the grocery store when I needed to or be able to go home for the weekend when it was convenient for me.

Now that I live in an off-campus house, I don’t have to worry about when to get back to school because we have our own personal driveway, which is awesome : )  So, it’s back to the grind tomorrow.  Classes, meetings, homework, workouts, friends and social events.  Break has been extremely fantastic but I guess I’m excited to go back.  Just about a month and a half left of this semester!! : )

-Shannon

Back to class we go

Back to class we go

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Spring break is nearly over and I can’t seem to understand where the week went?! One week goes by so fast (especially when you don’t want it to). Even though I wasn’t experiencing the warm sun and sandy beaches this week, I did spend some quality time with family and friends and that was just as great! I had, as always, many things on my to-do list for this week that did not get done. But, in the middle of several Starbucks trips and mall days, I did manage to find a dress for my sororities formal, which I can consider to be a great accomplishment! Formals for sorority girls are similar to the prom for high school girls. It is the biggest social event of the year and is always a great time that is greatly anticipated by all members of the Greek community! So, I would have to say with formal just a few weeks away and summer vacation only 52 days away, I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things on Monday morning at 9 a.m. for French 101 with Dr. Triplett and finishing up the rest of the semester at Mount!

Time to Return

Time to Return

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I’m preparing to head back to campus. It’s the end of spring break, and I am getting things ready back home to go back to school. The most difficult part for me is saying goodbye to my family. We are a close group and I hate not being able to see them every day and talk to them about things that go on in my life and their lives. Another difficult part is when I get back to school I have to be ready to jump right back into the swing of things. Tests and student recitals … speaking of which, if you have never attended a student recital in Cope music hall, I would suggest going. It is a chance to see fellow students perform. I have my first one this Tuesday, so if anyone is interested in hearing a bassoon, come on over to Cope at 10:30 a.m. Hope everyone is ready for the last half of this very long semester, and that it was a good week off for everyone.

Spring Break for Me

Spring Break for Me

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Wow. It’s spring break already. I wanted to relax and take a break from school work. Most students take this time to let everything from school escape them and sleep in. But, me on the other hand, I have gotten up early every day and have gone to elementary schools in my area to observe a music teacher. Being an education major, I am required to observe a teacher for 30 hours. I don’t have enough time in my regular schedule so I’m doing it during spring break. It actually has been quite enjoyable seeing all of the students and being back in a teaching position. Doing this really makes me very excited to teach.

The last part of my spring break will be like other students’, but for the week I’m going to go to school and teach music. Hope everyone else is having a great spring break and comes back to school all refreshed and ready for the last half of the semester.

#prayforjapan

#prayforjapan

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pray for japan

When I woke up this morning, I had an unusually high number of notifications on my phone. Still in a state of grogginess, I fumbled with the unlock screen and brought up the app which had the largest number of messages; Twitter. Reading through hours worth of updates within about five minutes brought me up to speed on why the Internet was unusually active.Japan had been hit by an 8.9 magnitude earthquake. While this is devastating enough by itself, the, as of this writing, 27 aftershocks have really wrecked havoc on the area. Because of this massive shock, areas surrounding Japan, and eventually many Pacific-facing coastlines, will be impacted by the tsunamis created in the aftermath.As I watched the updates, videos and images pour in; I couldn’t help but feel helpless. While sitting on my couch, eating my breakfast, flooded waters and devastation are sweeping through the Pacific region. I know, realistically, there is little that we living on the Eastern United States can do. I know I am not the only one either; the hash-tag #prayforjapan has been the number one trending topic on Twitter for over the past five hours.This wasn’t intended to be a news update post, but I felt that the events today should remind us all of how lucky we are to be living in Ohio right now. Even with the snow, bi-polar temperatures and the nearing end of spring break, we are incredibly better off than many living in Japan at the moment. So as we enter the last weekend of break, I encourage you to take some time and think about the people affected by today’s events. With that in mind, I hope that this break was relaxing and enjoyable wherever you ended up, and enjoy this last weekend!

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