New plans for the fine arts building

New plans for the fine arts building

For a long time, the fine arts building on campus has been pushed to the back burner with updates and remodeling. I understand, if the funding and support from alumni isn’t there, it’s hard to do. But since last year there’s been talk in the halls about remodeling. Some of our music and theatre students … Read more

For a long time, the fine arts building on campus has been pushed to the back burner with updates and remodeling. I understand, if the funding and support from alumni isn’t there, it’s hard to do.

But since last year there’s been talk in the halls about remodeling. Some of our music and theatre students actually had a chance to meet with the architects helping with the design. And now, with almost all the money raised, the plans for the new theatre space are under way.

As of right now, the fall theatre program is going to be a little different. We have some choir and theatre collaborations to look forward to that will take the place of the fall shows.

Band camp and school next semester will also be a little interesting with construction going on.

But it’s happening. The time is near. And it’s going to be SO AWESOME!

I literally can’t help but bounce in my seat whenever I hear about it.

Here are some of the proposed changes right now:

  1. A new theatre. Very cool and up to date. I’m told it will be acoustically ready for orchestra, band, theatreand choir!
  2. New seating. I believe there’s even talk of a balcony!!
  3. A black box theatre rehearsal space. This will essentially be a bare room with different sized black boxes that will allow for some of the more minimalist and modern theatre education.
  4. A rehearsal place for choir. Right now, band and choir rehearse in the same room. No more! I hear the choir room will have a tiered floor so we can have chairs and rows instead of just working with risers.

The building will be completely different, and I’m only sad because I won’t be there for it because I’m graduating.

So. Exciting.

Here’s a look at the proposed theatre:

cope

Anything Can Happen in Paris

Anything Can Happen in Paris

Day 3: Saturday I woke up early Saturday morning, wanting to take full advantage of my last day in Paris. First stop was the bakery for breakfast. I was sad that there were so many French pastries left to try and yet no more days left to try them, so I purchased an éclair along … Read more


Day 3: Saturday

train station

I woke up early Saturday morning, wanting to take full advantage of my last day in Paris. First stop was the bakery for breakfast. I was sad that there were so many French pastries left to try and yet no more days left to try them, so I purchased an éclair along with my breakfast pastry to try later on in the day. (While walking down Champs Elysees Avenue, attempting to be a lady but failing miserably, I ended up shoving the DELICIOUS éclair in my mouth while cream was pouring out onto every inch of my face. A French man walks by laughing his head off, saying “Bon Appetit!” Cue embarrassed, red-faced Hannah.)

paris fashion

While the rest of the group wanted to do separate things, I decided to venture out on my own. I was a bit nervous at first, but I loved every single second of it. I felt like such a city girl, and so grown up, hopping the metros with my vanilla chai tea latte in hand and camera in tow. I first went to the Arc de Triomphe and then walked up and down the most famous shopping street in Paris, Champs Elysees.

arc de triomphe

After a few hours of window shopping, picture taking and strolling the streets of Paris, I met up with my friend Tyler at the Eiffel Tower for a little photo shoot! He loves taking pictures and wants to be a professional photographer someday. We had fun joking around and snapping photos. There were people taking pictures of HIM taking pictures since he was lying in the busy streets for half of the shoot. Leave it to Tyler to “have to shoot from the perfect angle”…risking his life in the process. After the photo shoot I purchased my THIRD Nutella banana crepe (I told you I was obsessed!) and then headed to meet Kevin and Henal for some souvenir shopping and dinner. For dinner I wanted to try French onion soup. I would have never ordered this in America, but I wanted to try an authentic French dish. It was pretty good!

photoshoot

Kevin and Henal wanted to see the Arc de Triomphe and I wanted to make one last trip to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night, so we headed our separate ways. I hopped on the metro and when I arrived at the Tower I sat down on a nearby park bench. It was 11 p.m. on the dot and the Tower began to sparkle. I was so happy to be ending my trip with one last trip to the Eiffel Tower. Paris is something I will never forget for the rest of my life and will always be a reminder to me that no dream is too big.

Check out my video from Paris here!

Day Two in the City that Always Sparkles

Day Two in the City that Always Sparkles

Day 2: Friday Le Grenier a Pain bakery: I purchased a chocolate chip roll for breakfast and my first macaroon (a pink one!) to save for a mid-morning snack Metro ride to Tuileries Garden: while the garden wasn’t really “alive” since it was winter, it was pretty nonetheless and I loved the surrounding palace and … Read more

Day 2: Friday

  • Le Grenier a Pain bakery: I purchased a chocolate chip roll for breakfast and my first macaroon (a pink one!) to save for a mid-morning snack
  • Metro ride to Tuileries Garden: while the garden wasn’t really “alive” since it was winter, it was pretty nonetheless and I loved the surrounding palace and distant view of the Eiffel Tower, ferris wheel and Arc de Triomphe
  • The Louvre: While I was excited to see the famous Mona Lisa, I was very underwhelmed. It is actually very small and, compared to all of the other incredible paintings, it was not very impressive. However, it was still awesome to see! We walked around for over three hours, only seeing one small section in the Louvre!
  • louvre

  • Poor, traveling college student lunch: Kevin purchased an 80 cent French baguette and some cheese from the supermarket and we sat on a bus bench passing it around. It was the most fresh tasting baguette I have ever had! Very good.
  • Pont des Arts Bridge: This was definitely one of my favorite things in Paris. I was so excited to write my name on a lock, lock it to the bridge and toss the key in the Seine River. To all you cute French men, I’d greatly appreciate if you found that key ASAP.
  • pont des arts bridge

  • Berthillon Ice Cream: I read in my Paris guide book that this ice cream was the absolute best ice cream in Paris, so we of course had to give it a try! I decided to go with a classic and picked chocolate. It was very thick, rich and delicious!
  • Notre Dame: Our next stop was the cathedral of Notre Dame, where we got to see the nine new bells the cathedral received in honor of its 850th birthday! The original bells were destroyed in the French Revolution and replaced by bells that were said to be very out of tune. Now, these new bells are replacing the 19th century bells. The bells will only be on display until February 25 and I thought it was so cool that I am one of the few thousand who will ever get to see the new bells!
  • bells

  • Carousel and Eiffel Tower: We headed over to the Eiffel Tower next to make our way to the top! Since the line was a bit long, my friend Henal and I crossed the street to the beautiful carousel. I have seen the carousel in front of the Tower in pictures and have always dreamed of taking a ride. Afterwards, we took our places in line for the Tower. It was beyond worth the wait! I was so excited and the view of the city from the top is amazing. However, I preferred the view from the second level since it was easier to pick out favorite landmarks in the city!
  • Perfect ending to a perfect day: After the Eiffel Tower, my friend Kevin said, “Let’s end our night the right way and get some crepes!” We all burst into laughter. As if ending the night climbing to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris wasn’t perfect enough. However, none of us argued as we headed over to the crepe stand, next to the carousel, and purchased heavenly Nutella banana crepes.

crepes

J’adore Paris, Where all my Dreams Came True

J’adore Paris, Where all my Dreams Came True

There are no words, images or videos that could possibly express how absolutely perfect, sparkly and beautiful Paris is. I felt as though all of my dreams came true the moment I arrived in the fairy tale city and saw the twinkling Eiffel Tower for the first time. Day 1: Valentine’s Day We started Valentine’s Day off … Read more

There are no words, images or videos that could possibly express how absolutely perfect, sparkly and beautiful Paris is. I felt as though all of my dreams came true the moment I arrived in the fairy tale city and saw the twinkling Eiffel Tower for the first time.

Day 1: Valentine’s Day

french bakery

We started Valentine’s Day off with a visit to “Le Grenier a Pain,” the cutest little bakery that was a short walk from the apartment that we rented during our stay. The French man we rented from put together a little book for us with maps of the city and suggestions for places to eat, shop and visit. His bakery suggestion was my favorite, as I found myself there each morning testing out a different pastry.

rainy day

After breakfast at the bakery we headed to see the Eiffel Tower. However, soon into our walk the group decided to stop since it was pouring down rain and we were soaked head to toe due to a huge truck that zoomed past us on the street. We hopped on the metro to do some shopping indoors instead. The street we found ourselves at was lined with tons of clothing shops. We stopped at a café where I had my first Nutella banana crepe. Big mistake. Huge. I am now seriously obsessed and found myself purchasing three more Nutella banana crepes within the next two days of my stay.

crepes

After a full day of ducking into shops to keep out of the pouring rain and cold, we came across a Starbucks and were all so excited since Italy has no Starbucks, or such a thing as flavored drinks. I ordered a vanilla chai tea latte and have never loved it so much. I was just so excited to have something familiar from home I think… and something to warm me up from the cold!

That night, the group wanted to get sushi for dinner, so I went along and got my first sushi. My first sushi? In Paris? Yes, I know. I ordered sushi with avocado and crab meat and surprisingly I really liked it!

I was a bit disappointed that we did not see much of Paris the first day, but when I think back on it now I am ashamed that I felt that way. How could I be disappointed? I was IN PARIS. That alone was such a blessing.

eiffel tower

After dinner, Nicole, Caleb, their baby Lila and I went to see the Eiffel Tower. I think that may have been the most special and memorable moment of my entire trip. I stood there in front of the Tower for the first time as it began to sparkle (which it does only the first five minutes of every hour) and felt like every dream I have ever had came true. It was my first real fairy tale moment. The Eiffel Tower sparkling is my favorite sight in the entire world. I promised myself that I would go see the Tower sparkle each night I was there.

Surfaces and Spaces

Surfaces and Spaces

If you haven’t been to Crandall Art Gallery lately, you should totally head over there. The current display is by artist Christopher Ryan, and it’s called Surfaces and Spaces. The pieces are from his Pavimenti and landscape series. This display will only last until March 6, so the time to see these incredible works is … Read more

If you haven’t been to Crandall Art Gallery lately, you should totally head over there.

The current display is by artist Christopher Ryan, and it’s called Surfaces and Spaces. The pieces are from his Pavimenti and landscape series.

This display will only last until March 6, so the time to see these incredible works is now!

I found this gallery display particularly interesting. Most of the pieces look like some sort of tile or marble floor that’s had something set or dropped on it.

Cupcakes

(Torcello Plates by Christopher Ryan. I especially love the cupcakes and colors in this one!)

 

All the floors in his paintings are based off of mosaic and inlaid stone floors found throughout Italy.

I like two things about it. First, there seems to be a definite difference between faded and bright colors. Second, there’s a contrast between the ancient floors and the modern things set on them.

There’s also a couple of works made with interesting materials. My personal favorite is one where the figures in the piece are made out of newspaper. Really eye-catching stuff!

newspaper(Golden Age, by Christopher Ryan. Those figures are made out of newspaper!)

All in all, this exhibit catches my eye whenever I walk by it, and I think it’s really cool. Crandall Art Gallery is yet another opportunity to see fine arts in action on Mount Union’s campus, and the gallery is free and open to the public!

yellowchairs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Outdoor Cafe, Gubbio, by Christopher Ryan. This is the one that catches my eye every time I go through the gallery.)

Transparency

Transparency

Something that I really enjoy is configuring my devices to be as transparent as possible. A good tool is one that you don’t have to think about using – you just use it. It should fade into the background of your day and let you frictionlessly get things done. For me, the device of choice … Read more

Something that I really enjoy is configuring my devices to be as transparent as possible. A good tool is one that you don’t have to think about using – you just use it. It should fade into the background of your day and let you frictionlessly get things done.

For me, the device of choice is my iPhone. However, aside from actually using my iPhone, I tend to tinker with it. I like to move apps around, much to my girlfriend’s dismay, and frequently change folder names / sorting methods for my home screen. I don’t think I’ve gone more than a couple days without something changing.

Unfortunately, this habit of mine directly contradicts what I want my iPhone to be – transparent. If I’m constantly shuffling apps around and changing things, my mind doesn’t have time to build any sort of time saving habits. Instead of just knowing that Mail is on the bottom right of the first screen, I have to scan for the blue and white envelope every time I switch its location.

At the start of this month, I said enough and started an experiment. Many, many apps were deleted and everything was rearranged one last time. This is now my current homescreen:

app homescreen

That’s it. I have my three most used apps on the Dock, and the next seven most used in the folder; sorted alphabetically. It was hard to get use to, but now I swear by it. I don’t have to think, and my screen gives way for whatever beautiful photo I have as the wallpaper (which does still change from time to time).

There’s a saying that goes “a Japanese garden is finished when there is nothing left to remove.” There is beauty to this system, and the results of this experiment have been astoundingly beneficial to my productivity and sense of peace in general.

When there’s nothing left to tinker with, you tend to stop tinkering.

Missing Out

Last semester I was pretty good with not being homesick. I felt I was
home for all the major events that happened at home. But, this semester
I really feel like I am missing out. In January, I missed celebrating
my mom’s birthday. In February, I missed celebrating my popop and
sister’s birthday. In early February, I missed our … Read more

Last semester I was pretty good with not being homesick. I felt I was
home for all the major events that happened at home. But, this semester
I really feel like I am missing out. In January, I missed celebrating
my mom’s birthday. In February, I missed celebrating my popop and
sister’s birthday. In early February, I missed our annual Super Bowl
celebration, and I also missed the nice Valentine’s Day dinner my
family had. The beginning of next month is my birthday and I won’t be
home for that either. Yesterday I got a call from my littlest sister
telling me how she was communion dress shopping with my mom and
grandmother. I was so jealous and wish I could’ve went out with them!
I love all formal dress shopping. Prom shopping, even though it’s
super stressful, was always something that I looked forward to. I’m sad not to be going this year but I have some friends who are seniors
this year that I may accompany in their shopping endeavors.

Back to my birthday… I think my family was actually planning to come up
and surprise me until they realized my spring break was the weekend
after. So I will celebrate my actual birthday here with my friends
and then go home and have a small party with my family. I hope I
still get to have a birthday meal made for me! It’s a tradition in
our house that my parents cook the birthday person’s favorite meal
and preferred cake, or go out to wherever the birthday person’s want to (my
sister Kayla usually goes to Chuck E. Cheese’s). Knowing I have a
celebration waiting for me at home gives me something to look forward
to the week before spring break, which is filled with exams and
papers.

I’m thankful I will be home for some pretty important events for my sisters. My
sister Jessica is in the school play, which will go on one of the
weekends I am home, so I will be able to see her perform. I will also
be home for the actual celebration of my little sister’s first holy
communion. My other sister and Dad’s birthday are both in June (same
day actually) so I will also be there for that celebration.

When I miss out on something it makes me wish I went to a school closer to
home. But when I think about all I will be there for, it isn’t as bad
and I know my family understands. Just have to stay positive and
focus on other things!

Road to Raider Guide

On campus we have students who are called Raider Guides who supervise freshmen during orientation weekend and have specific dorms
that they hold office hours and events. It is a program to try and
get the students to interact with each other and a place for students
to meet others in their building. I am pretty close with … Read more

On campus we have students who are called Raider Guides who supervise freshmen during orientation weekend and have specific dorms
that they hold office hours and events. It is a program to try and
get the students to interact with each other and a place for students
to meet others in their building. I am pretty close with my Raider Guide and a few others so when the opportunity arose to apply to be
one for next year, I immediately decided to go for it. I think it
would be so cool to be a Raider Guide! You would get to meet a bunch
of new people and would be someone stable who a worrying freshman
could come to with any problems they are having adjusting or general
questions. I really enjoy helping people out, which is why I’m a psychology major, and I see this as an opportunity to better my skills. I
also love the community/family that develops with the Raider Guides. I would enjoy being able to meet even more upperclassman and spend time learning and getting to know them. I think
being a Raider Guide improves many skills that will be useful in the
job market. It definitely develops your communication skills, 
which is very important when trying to get a job. I think being a
Raider Guide also improves your leadership skills, which again is a
good skill to be able to demonstrate in job positions. Being a
Raider Guide also helps your creativity because you are always trying
to find ways to make fun activities and incentives for the students
to come. All in all, I do not see any downsides to being a Raider Guide, just great benefits. The process of being considered for the
job includes an application with general information and short answer
questions, an initial interview, a group interview, and if you
make the cut, a second interview. Last Tuesday I had my second
interview and now I am hoping for the best! We find out the day
before my birthday, March 1! So cross your fingers for me and I might end up seeing you at
orientation as your Raider Guide!

Download Everything You’ve Ever Done on Twitter

Download Everything You’ve Ever Done on Twitter

Last month Twitter announced it was officially rolling out its Twitter archive feature to users. The feature, one Twitter users have been asking for, allows you to browse every tweet you’ve ever sent. Twitter is rolling out the archive feature slowly, with the full rollout expected to take months to reach all users across all supported … Read more

Last month Twitter announced it was officially rolling out its Twitter archive feature to users. The feature, one Twitter users have been asking for, allows you to browse every tweet you’ve ever sent. Twitter is rolling out the archive feature slowly, with the full rollout expected to take months to reach all users across all supported languages. Here’s what they said in its press release:

“It’s no secret: You make Twitter what it is. And if you tweet, you may have found yourself wanting to go back in time and explore your past Tweets. Maybe you wanted to recall your reaction to the 2008 election, reminisce on what you said to your partner on your 10th anniversary or just see your first few Tweets. We know lots of you would like to explore your Twitter past.

“Today, we’re introducing the ability to download your Twitter archive, so you’ll get all your Tweets (including Retweets) going back to the beginning. Once you have your Twitter archive, you can view your Tweets by month, or search your archive to find Tweets with certain words, phrases, hashtags or @usernames. You can even engage with your old Tweets just as you would with current ones.”

If you are peculiar on seeing when you tweeted the most, what your first tweet actually was, or are just curious as to what the archive interface is like, there are a few steps to downloading the archive. Here’s what you’ll need to do…

  • To see if your account has the archive feature enabled, log into your account and navigate to Settings. Scroll down the bottom of the page.
  • If your account is one of the lucky few, you’ll see a new “Your Twitter archive” section. Here you can then request your archive with the click of a button. An email containing a link to your archive will be sent once Twitter has your archive ready.
  • Follow the link in the email and download the ZIP file.
  • Open the ZIP file, then double-click the index.html file. Your browser will launch and you’ll have every tweet you’ve posted laid out in front of you in a month-by-month fashion.

I downloaded my archive and it was ready in minutes. My most activity seemed to be in August of 2010, right when the Brewers were getting hot, I was dabbling into WordPress blogging and I worked the Brandon Jennings basketball camp. I must have discovered how to effectively use #hashtags and tweet @users because of my high volume of tweets. I also discovered my first tweet, which was for Mark McConnell’s BA220 11 a.m. marketing class. The tweet was about an ‘unfaithful’ Tiger Woods and an energy drink label prank. Anyways, happy archiving on Twitter!

Thanks to the Twitter Blog and CNET post for content in this blog.

Let Life Happen

Let Life Happen

After hitting the snooze button twice, I reluctantly rolled out of bed to get ready for class. I dragged my purple slippered feet to the balcony window and pulled back the floor length curtain to see the usual, dreary grey Italian sky and rain pouring from the sad clouds above. I saw that it was … Read more

After hitting the snooze button twice, I reluctantly rolled out of bed to get ready for class. I dragged my purple slippered feet to the balcony window and pulled back the floor length curtain to see the usual, dreary grey Italian sky and rain pouring from the sad clouds above. I saw that it was going to be a floral rainboot and polka dot umbrella kind of day, yet again. I struggled to get ready, changing my clothes in approximately 3o seconds flat since the apartment felt about 15 degrees fahrenheit. Slipping in to my rain gear, I then walked down the apartment stairs and out into the street.

I decided to go to the café across from the apartment for a breakfast pastry, and my bleak mood altered immediately upon walking in the door. Buongiorno’s rung throughout the air and smiles were seen on every face in the café. It seemed as though I have made their day, just by entering the café doors. Upon entering any café, restaurant, office or little shop in Viterbo, you are immediately greeted with a warm smile and truly genuine greeting. Not only the café employees, but the customers as well, treat you, a complete stranger, as if you are family. I felt as though I have been coming to this café for years, as a regular customer.

After the café, I made the trek to the Santa Maria di Gradi campus in the torrential downpour and relentless winds, walking as fast as my legs could possibly carry me. I am always in a hurry in Italy, rushing to get out of the cold and rain. The quaint little shops and medieval buildings are simply blurs; I see only my feet as I keep my head down, attempting to avoid the brutal wind. My mood returned to its downhearted state. That is until I entered my classroom and was greeted once again with multiple friendly ciao’s and sincere smiles from my teacher and classmates.

The smiles and heartfelt greetings continued throughout the day, upon arrival at the supermarket, the book store and the restaurant I met friends at for dinner. In America, if you are lucky, you may get a “hi” or a “welcome to so and so..,” if it is company policy to say so. And even then, you are only greeted with a half-smile, one that is nine times out of 10 forced.

Shortly after my arrival in Italy, I was told that it is easy to separate an Italian from an American. While Americans make life happen, Italians let life happen. Italians live in a world where “to go” orders, pizza deliveries and driers do not exist. They are in no hurry to get from point A to point B. While their snail-like moving pace on the streets simply annoyed me when I first arrived, I began to realize that perhaps they are not the ones who have it all wrong.

While American waitresses bring the check to your table almost immediately after setting your main course down, you have to ask for the bill to be brought to your table in Italy. Americans seem as though they are on a mission 24/7, always in “go, go, go” mode, while Italians have “pausa pranzo.” From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. each day, almost all shops and businesses are closed. This time is set aside for rest, a break from business for a few hours, time to see family or enjoy lunch with friends.

While I was rushing my way to class each day, I wasn’t experiencing Viterbo. I wasn’t giving myself the opportunity to experience Italy. I never saw the friendly smiles on the streets. I never noticed the rows of optimistic flower pots placed along little shop walls. While I was only focused on the cold and rain in the morning, I wasn’t appreciating the beautiful view I had of the Viterbo sunrise from my balcony, or even realizing how blessed I am to have the opportunity to be studying in Italy.

balcony

While Italians find it a pleasure to take time to send warm greetings to everyone upon arrival, I find that a simple greeting when entering a café is enough to turn someone’s entire day around, enough to remind them to slow down and take the time to appreciate life. Taking time to acknowledge someone sincerely, and sending them a smile, can change their entire perspective. Some view Italians’ slow pace and relaxed attitudes as laziness, but I argue that it’s not laziness at all, but appreciation and love of life. While I’ve been spending the last 20 years in a rush, always on the go, trying to make life happen, I think it’s now time to simply let life happen.

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