The New Mailbox App is Here

The New Mailbox App is Here

I have been reading many articles about this new email app for the iPhone that is supposed to “put my email in it’s place.” I dug a little deeper and have been anticipating the release of the Mailbox app for quite some time, and it’s finally here. It’s very true that the email can be … Read more

I have been reading many articles about this new email app for the iPhone that is supposed to “put my email in it’s place.” I dug a little deeper and have been anticipating the release of the Mailbox app for quite some time, and it’s finally here. It’s very true that the email can be a doozy, and everyone can attest to always trying to clear notifications until all messages have been marked as read.

“For the most part, apps that exist have tried to cram an existing desktop experience into a mobile phone. That’s not a very effective way of building a good tool,” said Gentry Underwood, CEO of Orchestra. ”I think most people have a poor email experience on the phone and are hungry for something better.”

The app’s unique interface allows users to turn a Gmail inbox into a type of “to-do” list, where each message can be “snoozed” for later perusal. For example, if an email isn’t urgent, but will require action the next day, a user can select the “tomorrow” snooze, which will move the message out of the active inbox and return it the next day. Snooze time settings are fully customizable.

The iPhone-only app features swipe gestures reminiscent of to-do app Clear, with users being able to swipe left or right to activate snooze timers and send message strings to the archive folder or a customizable lists folder. Emails can also be deleted with a longer swipe.

Anyone can download the app for free from the App Store, and those users who pre-registered can enter their reservation numbers for first-come, first-served account activation. Those who have yet to sign up can do so in-app, while all users can watch the reservation line in real-time. I am currently the 343,429 person in line for the waiting list, as you can see. Patiently waiting…

Special thanks to Apple Insider and Mashable for the details.

RecycleMania Has Begun!

RecycleMania Has Begun!

The past several years Mount Union has participated in a month-long, nationwide recycling competition called RecycleMania. The competition started on February 4 and runs through March 30, with the involvement of 523 schools, more than 4.4 million students and nearly 1 million faculty and staff participating in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. During this … Read more

The past several years Mount Union has participated in a month-long, nationwide recycling competition called RecycleMania. The competition started on February 4 and runs through March 30, with the involvement of 523 schools, more than 4.4 million students and nearly 1 million faculty and staff participating in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Canada.

During this whole month, all the competing schools will recycling and compost roughly 94.4 million pounds and have Greenhouse Gas Reduction of 148,897 (MTCO2E). Last year Mount Union finished 206 place while achieving a recycling rate of 20.18%. You can download the full 2012 Competition Final Results here. We want your help to help improve this rate and climb to the leader board! Please help remember to recycle at all possible times and spread the word.

Download a Mount Union RecycleMania flyer to help promote the competition!

National recognition is provided to the winning school in each category on the RecycleMania website and in a national press release. Winning schools receive an award made out of recyclable materials, and win the right to host that category’s special traveling trophy for the coming year. Here are some overall goals of the competition:

  1. Motivate students and staff to increase recycling efforts and reduce waste generation.
  2. Generate attention and support for campus recycling programs.
  3. Encourage colleges to measure and benchmark recycling activity in their effort to improve their programs over time.
  4. Have a fair and friendly competition.

Schools compete in 11 categories to see which can recycle the most paper, cardboard, cans and bottles and food waste on a per capita basis; which can produce the least amount of waste; and which recycles the largest percentage of their overall waste stream. In one of two new categories – Game Day: Basketball – schools are challenged to increase their recycling and reduce waste generation at a single home basketball game. A second new category targeting film plastics will call attention to the recyclability of items such as dry cleaning bags, shrink wrap and shopping bags. Mount Union just competes in the general categories.

Happy recycling, and follow our Facebook page!

Super Bowl Sunday

Yet again, the Super Bowl proved to be an interesting one. I was unable to watch the whole thing but I think the parts I caught were the best! I went to the gym at the second quarter and ended up catching the whole thing, which turned out to be a great quarter for the … Read more

Yet again, the Super Bowl proved to be an interesting one. I was unable to watch the whole thing but I think the parts I caught were the best! I went to the gym at the second quarter and ended up catching the whole thing, which turned out to be a great quarter for the Ravens! I really thought that the Ravens had it in the bag at that point. So instead of hanging out at the lobby party with some of the other people in our dorm, I went back to my dorm to study. During the fourth quarter my roommate started noticing tweets about the 49ers making a comeback so I went to CBSonline and caught it at the five minute mark of the fourth quarter. I was so surprised by the score! I’m glad it turned into a close game though and not a blowout because those are always boring to watch. Even though I don’t really prefer either team, when the 49ers had a chance to get a touchdown (at the two min mark), I was rooting for them to get it. I couldn’t believe the offense just let it go. Props to the Ravens defense though. I think the 49ers made a good comeback but their early performance just couldn’t be made up for.

The next day at the gym the news was on and one of the top stories was about investigators trying to figure out why the Super Bowl went black. I didn’t know it was such a mystery. I just thought that maybe the halftime show just shorted something. I wish I could’ve seen what it looked like when it went from light to dark! What did you think about the blackout? What are some reasons you think could have caused it?

Skype Surprises

Last Friday was my mom’s birthday and since I couldn’t go home to be with her, my dad set up a plan for me to Skype them. It’s a tradition in my family that the birthday person gets to chose what home cooked meal and cake they want for dinner. Both of my parents are … Read more

Last Friday was my mom’s birthday and since I couldn’t go home to be with her, my dad set up a plan for me to Skype them. It’s a tradition in my family that the birthday person gets to chose what home cooked meal and cake they want for dinner. Both of my parents are excellent cooks and can really cook up some good treats! My meal is usually chicken in a biscuit with some type of shrimp and corn with homemade caesar salad. For dessert I usually choose a blizzard cake from Dairy Queen. My mom on the other hand prefers veil parmesan with pasta. She also gets an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen. So after they were finished with dinner my dad called me and went in the other room with the computer. Then he brought me into the dining room and surprised my mom! We all sang happy birthday to her and I watched her blow out the candles. Thankfully I already had my sweets fixing at the cafe and wasn’t too jealous they were having ice cream cake. My dad then gave my mom the present I bought her at Christmas but wasn’t able to bring back home for winter break. It’s a Mount Union Christmas ornament. She was really excited about it because she loves Christmas and decorations; it was great to see her reaction. Then I watched her open all her other gifts and chatted with my parents for a little while afterwards. It was really nice to see them and my mom was really happy about seeing me as well, which was great. I know she really misses me so I hope it made this birthday a little more special than she thought it would be without me there.

Birthday’s and special traditions my family has (like a Super Bowl party) are things that I really miss when I’m at school. My little sister’s birthday is this Sunday so I will probably be skyping in to her dinner as well to be with them as much as I can. She usually likes to go to Chuck E Cheese’s though so it all depends what they have planned. I can’t believe she’s going to be nine already! Then in a month I’ll be 19! Time is really just flying by. Doing little things like this for your family though is always nice. It may seem trivial to you but your parents really will appreciate and adore it because they probably miss you more than you realize. My first semester I didn’t talk to my family all that much and I know they were really unhappy about that so I’m trying to stay as connected with them as I can with my busy schedule.

Taste of Spring

Hello all! So last week we had a nice surprise of some warmer weather! Unfortunately it was raining the three days it was above 50, but some people still enjoyed that over all the snow we’ve been having. Personally, I love the snow! It’s not as wet as rain, it’s fun and it usually looks … Read more

Hello all!

So last week we had a nice surprise of some warmer weather! Unfortunately it was raining the three days it was above 50, but some people still enjoyed that over all the snow we’ve been having. Personally, I love the snow! It’s not as wet as rain, it’s fun and it usually looks gorgeous! I would choose snow over rain any day. The warmer weather was a very nice change of pace though! Not having to wear big sweaters and gloves all the time felt nice. Some people were even in athletic shorts one of the days!

It was nice I admit but I don’t mind the cold as much as some other people. The weather is pretty bipolar here though. One day it’s 57 and the next day it’s 20 degrees outside! It was a really dramatic change. Ever since then it has been off and on snowing, some days more than others but it’s still there. The staff members who clear the sidewalks usually can’t keep up with it. The salt doesn’t seem to do much because there is just so much. The snow makes everything mushy though, which makes walking a balance trick. I almost slipped today going out of the library! It would’ve been really embarrassing and I’m proud to say so far I have been able to keep my balance well.

Later this week it’s supposed to get back up to the 40s but I’m sure it probably won’t last for long. I just hope if it’s nice out it’s clear, sunny and not rainy. Rain makes me want to lie in bed and not go to class. So far we have not had any snow days or class cancellations because professors couldn’t make it in. It’s kind of disappointing because that was always the best part of getting snow in high school but at the same time missing a week could really throw off your class. I know a lot of people here are ready for spring to officially start but as for me I can handle the snowy weather for another month or so.

Weekend fun in Viterbo

Weekend fun in Viterbo

The weather in Viterbo this weekend was beautiful and today did not disappoint either. The sun has been making many appearances lately and I am loving every second of it. They say that February is the worst month in terms of weather here, but I am hoping that we experienced the worst in January. This … Read more

The weather in Viterbo this weekend was beautiful and today did not disappoint either. The sun has been making many appearances lately and I am loving every second of it. They say that February is the worst month in terms of weather here, but I am hoping that we experienced the worst in January.

This past weekend was a lot of fun and I stayed right here in Viterbo. I thought I might get bored not traveling outside of the city, but it was relaxing, fun and proved just how much I have left to discover about this quaint, enchanting city.

Friday I went to the hot springs with a few friends. We missed the bus by about 20 minutes, so instead of waiting another hour we took a taxi ride there, which was only about seven euros for a 10 minute drive. The taxi driver dropped us off at the hot springs, which you have to pay for and we had no idea where the free ones were. Thankfully, we had Nerea with us, a fellow study abroad student from Spain, and she was able to communicate with a local and ask her where the free hot springs were. The lady was so nice and told us to jump in and she would take us! So, the six of us crowded into her little car and she drove us there. It was not at all what I expected. There was nowhere to change and it was literally a huge hole in the ground, in the middle of a field, with steaming water. It was extremely awkward stripping down to our bathing suits since the Italians stare. A lot. We were told when we arrived here not to take any offense to the staring, that Italians are just curious. However, dying my hair brown and getting dark colored contact lenses, in attempt to blend in a little more, is a tempting thought. After getting past the staring, the rotten smell and not questioning the extremely mushy substance at the bottom, the hot springs were so relaxing! We stayed for about two hours and then reluctantly jumped out and changed back into our clothes (imagine six girls holding up towels for eachother, hiding behind small plants, trying to change in front of 20 staring Italians). We were not sure where the bus would pick us up and long story short… I have no doubt that the bus driver was doubled over laughing as he saw us in his rear-view mirror running down the road after the bus, waving as frantically as we could, to get his attention to let us hop on.

Friday and Saturday night my roommates and I went out at night for the first time in Viterbo. Heading out around midnight was a bit difficult for me, since I usually go to bed around 11 p.m., but hey, do as the Italians do, right? While I am not a big party girl, I had so much fun! All of us girls got fruity drinks and danced at the “Book Bar.” A lot of students from our program were there, but we also got to meet many local Italians! I only understood about two sentences that the Italians were saying, but they weren’t at all upset that I couldn’t communicate that easily. They actually taught me some phrases and words that they use.

sarah

Sarah and I walked up to the bar and asked for “a Blossom con no alcoholico” and the bar tender replied, “Oh my heart breaks! Per que no alcoholico?!” When we just laughed, he said “OK, but next time… ALCOHOLICO!” He put bananas and strawberries in the frozen drink and it will most likely be my “go to” drink this semester.

I am so excited for this week because my dad surprised me and told me that he is coming to visit! He was asked to go to Germany for work, so he is going to stop in Italy before heading there. I can’t wait to show him around Viterbo and take him to a few of my favorite places!

Ciao for now!

Bobby baby

Bobby. Bobby. Bobby baby. The first music rehearsal for Company was last night, and we began to learn the title song of the show. It’s the most difficult song in the show. (This recording starts the song at 6 minutes 50 seconds) The song is trying to simulate the mothering, incessant phone calls of Bobby’s … Read more

Bobby. Bobby. Bobby baby.

The first music rehearsal for Company was last night, and we began to learn the title song of the show. It’s the most difficult song in the show. (This recording starts the song at 6 minutes 50 seconds)

The song is trying to simulate the mothering, incessant phone calls of Bobby’s friends. They are always calling him and wanting to hang out, asking for favors, etc. To illustrate this, there are a lot of times when people are singing over one another, and sometimes people are literally jumping into the song.

It’s AWESOME.

The song is this entire cacophony of sound as the different characters chime in with “Bobbys,” “Bobby Darlings” and invitations to dinners, shows, whatever.

Another thing that’s prominent is a minor third (if you sing the first two notes of the national anthem, you have a minor third, for example).

Cool fact, the minor third is called the “Mother Interval.” For whatever reason, in every culture without fail, the minor third is the first interval an infant hears. Think of how your mom says your name when she’s trying to get your attention—it’s a minor third.

“Bobby” is sung over and over on this interval, and it represents the way Bobby’s friends “mom” him. Sondheim, the composer of Company, is a genius.

The cast of the musical includes 6 men and 8 women, all of whom are extremely talented musicians and actors. This show is seriously gonna be so good.

We’re actually going to do all the notes and all the harmonies. Some of the Broadway cast recordings available have a slightly watered down version of the song.

The song we worked on last night is just one of the many amazing songs in Company. This musical is going to test everyone’s musical ability, and it will be such an intense production.

April 4-6, 11-13 at 8 p.m., and April 7 at 2 p.m. in Rodman Playhouse.

Steel drums!

Steel drums!

At this very moment, I’m typing my blog to the rhythm of a set of steel drums. They are just the neatest instruments. They look like oil barrels or metal trash cans with the tops dented in, and they make the most delightful metallic percussion sound. The drums were graciously lent to us by the … Read more

At this very moment, I’m typing my blog to the rhythm of a set of steel drums.

They are just the neatest instruments. They look like oil barrels or metal trash cans with the tops dented in, and they make the most delightful metallic percussion sound.

The drums were graciously lent to us by the Canton Symphony Orchestra. We were told that they were going to lend them to someone else, but heard Mount Union was interested and said, “Here you go!”

I think it’s a great opportunity for the percussion students to learn a new and interesting kind of instrument, especially because steel drums aren’t easy to come by.

The steel drums are being used with the jazz band, and their sound combined with trumpets is really cool. The jazz band concert is going to be really awesome this semester!

The jazz band concert is April 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Campus Grounds. This will definitely be a concert you don’t want to miss!

Okay. That, up there, was going to be my blog. Then I decided a few minutes ago, “I think I’ll go take pictures of the steel drums!”

(USUALLY, if a rehearsal hall is open while an ensemble is working, you can pause in the door and listen without bothering anyone. Taking pictures though, no. I just did because…well because I was discreet!)

So I was listening and taking pictures surreptitiously, and I just wanted to reiterate how awesome the steel drums sound. They’re not only working with brass, but a jazz flute and a few other percussion instruments.

Awesome sound, I’m excited, and you should be too.

April 24. Be there.

Andrew

Andrew Whitman, playing steel drums

Group1

(L to R) Brian Archer, Sean Eppler, Jeff Neitzke, Tim Bagnola, Sara Hall

Group2

(L to R) Lizi Glanemann, Jake Husted , Kevin Princic, Heather Rice, Demi Lohr, Thomas Gaskins

New Language

This semester I am taking a language class. I chose to take French because during my junior year I want to study abroad and am thinking about going to France. I thought it would be awesome to be familiar with the language of the country. So instead of taking one year of Spanish (which I … Read more

This semester I am taking a language class. I chose to take French because during my junior year I want to study abroad and am thinking about going to France. I thought it would be awesome to be familiar with the language of the country. So instead of taking one year of Spanish (which I took in high school), I went with French. So far I really enjoy it but it is definitely something very new. It’s surprising how much Spanish I actually still remember which blocks my knowledge of the newly learned French vocabulary. When words are spelled the same in French as in Spanish I almost always pronounce it the way it would be in Spanish. Unfortunately the two languages actually sound nothing alike even though on paper they look similar. In French, a lot of the endings are just not pronounced for words. Also, words that are plural sound the same as the singular tense! The rules are just so different. I am getting the hang of it though and have a test tomorrow to prove how much I’ve absorbed so far! I do enjoy learning it. It’s just a lot of note cards and repeated studying. My professor is great though which I think will impact how I succeed in the class. She goes through a lot of the vocabulary with us multiple times and has us speak French in class with each other to practice pronunciation. We also took a practice test before our exam which was great to see how exactly our exam would be set up. I love hearing our professor speak in French. I think it’s a really pretty language. Hopefully I can sound half as good as she does by the time I’m done with French 2!

Firenze Forever

Firenze Forever

This weekend I discovered Italian chocolate. If you love American chocolate, boy are you in for a treat if you get the chance to taste chocolate in Europe. My entire weekend involved chocolate, and I loved every bit of it. This past Saturday morning my roommates and I decided to take a trip to Florence. … Read more


This weekend I discovered Italian chocolate. If you love American chocolate, boy are you in for a treat if you get the chance to taste chocolate in Europe. My entire weekend involved chocolate, and I loved every bit of it.

This past Saturday morning my roommates and I decided to take a trip to Florence. We woke up at 6 a.m. to catch the first train out of Viterbo. After the first train, we had a half hour layover until the next one, so we stopped in the train station’s café and ordered pastries for breakfast. Since my arrival in Italy, I’ve always chosen the fruit pastries, but I decided it was time to test out the chocolate. I picked out a croissant filled with half cream and half chocolate. It was so good! The chocolate just melts in your mouth. It is nothing like American chocolate.

After four hours of traveling, we finally reached Florence. Although I always heard good things about Florence, it was not at the top of my “must see” list. I did not have very high expectations for the city, since I heard it was mostly known for museums. Wow, was I wrong. Florence is absolutely beautiful. The pictures I took do not do it justice whatsoever. Unlike any other buildings I have seen in Italy, these buildings were not only decorated incredibly, but were also colored with light greens and pinks. I loved the colored details.

duomo

First we saw the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, the main church in Florence (also known at the Duomo) and decided to climb to the top! We got the work out of a lifetime while climbing all 463 stairs to the top and it was so worth it. The view of the city from the top was amazing. After the Duomo we went to a museum that held marble, gems and collections from the Medici family (the family who ruled Florence back in the day)! We grabbed sandwiches for lunch and then walked on the Ponte Vecchio Bridge. The bridge was lined with jewelry shops galore. Supposedly the Medici family owned it in the past and sold jewelry there. We then went to the Pitti Palace to see the Boboli Gardens! Unfortunately, we missed the last tour of the gardens by two minutes.

ponte vecchio

Since the sun was setting soon, my roommate Min (who has been to Florence previously) wanted to take us to Michelangelo Square, which is a very high hill top, in order to see the entire city of Florence. The hike there took a while. However, what was waiting for us was beyond worth it. The sun setting over Florence was literally breathtaking. At the top, there was a set of stairs and an Italian musician playing the guitar and singing. Being the sensitive girls that we are, my roommates and I all started crying while listening to Fabio (made up name) serenade us and watching the sun set over Florence. The tears were then followed by tons of laughter though, as we realized how emotional we were.

michealangelo hill

We then did a little window shopping and grabbed gelato at the cutest gelateria (I chose tiramisu and chocolate chip this time, on a chocolate waffle cone – my second taste of Italian chocolate).

The next morning we went back to the gelateria and ordered chocolate waffles for breakfast! So nutritional, I know. I also asked for a latte, expecting a glass of cold milk. However, I was brought a steaming glass of milk. Whoops. I will have to ask for “un latte freddo” next time. The waffle was delicious, but also made me miss mom and the strawberry waffles that she makes.

waffles

We did some more shopping since we saw so many sites the day before and then got gelato again, right before hopping on the train for home (attempting to try something new each time, I got mint gelato). On the train ride home, we taught Min some American slang words and phrases and in return she taught us a few Korean words. I think I am learning just as much about Korean culture as I am learning about Italian culture while living here.

We got home late Sunday night and, once again, we were all exhausted. However, it was nice to be “home.” Our program advisor told us upon our arrival that we would soon consider Viterbo “home,” but I didn’t really believe him. It’s funny how soon you can adapt and view someplace new as your home. While I thought there would never be any competition for my favorite city, I am now torn between the huge, magical city of Rome and the quaint, beautiful city of Florence. Firenze forever!

E4tRlaMr987VZ112