Mount Union vs. Universidad de Alicante

Mount Union vs. Universidad de Alicante

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Spanish life is very different from back home, there are many things I am going to miss, but also customs I wish I could take with me. When it comes to the two universities I have attended the past few years, they share this same perspective. I am going to give you a quick comparison of seasonal UMU and tropical UA. First and foremost the size of the campuses is much different, which is a change to me. Mount Union enrolls about 2,200 students on a rather small campus, whereas Alicante has approximately 25,000 students studying there (with more faculty than all students at UMU: 2,319), and sits on a one square kilometer modern campus. La Rabassa airfield was located on these lands until the opening of El Altet Airport in 1967, until the university opened. Alicante is bigger in both aspects but both campuses are rather modern.

One other things differentiating the two would obviously be the climate. Mount Union has very harsh, seasonal weather with surprise snowstorms and ice glazes whereas Alicante has many palm and pomegranate trees, and a warm but dry climate. I would say both campuses are beautiful just in a different aspect. On Alicante’s campus there are many more restaurants and cafes which would attribute to the size as well.

Both places have their respective sports too. Alicante has fútbol or soccer teams (outdoor and indoor – the women’s indoor team is nationally ranked), fencing, rowing, and more, whereas Mount has American sports like baseball and football, but no rowing or fencing. Lets just say we would dominate in a football match, but fútbol would be a close call.

A few things I haven’t noticed in Spain are greek life and school spirit. They have clubs and extracurriculars, not as many, and fraternities and sororities are nonexistent from what I know. Also, in the states it is very common to select a school because of its great reputation, and people are very proud to say that they are from Mount Union or Harvard or Princeton. So far, I haven’t really gotten the sense of this, school is more so just classes and the extracurriculars you enjoy.

Classes for me in Alicante are a little different because I am an exchange student, so I am just taking Spanish courses along with some culture ones like cooking and sailing. It is to my knowledge that Alicante has a rather strong engineering program, and offers many more majors than Mount since it enrolls more students like tourism, etc. In Ohio, I am used to waking up last minute before class and getting there right on time, but here it is a whole different story. To get to class at 9:30am I need to leave my house my 8:20 to catch a train, which connects to a bus, then walk about 10 minutes to class. If I forget something at home or wake up late, tough luck!

One last thing was trying to figure out the Spanish keyboard in the computer lab!¡!¡!¡! It was quité thè experience learñing all these néw symbols. Adios!

Back to work

Back to work

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A Tidy Desk

 

We’re back. I hope that you’ve all had excellent breaks, but it’s time to begin again. Instead of telling you all the things that I’ve enjoyed doing over the holiday, and believe me there were a lot of them, I’m going to tell you why I’m glad to be back on campus.

Food
Despite the complaints, I actually enjoy the food here. Maybe it’s the fact that my house can’t keep up on volume when compared to the cafeteria, but there are other things I like too. I like the social aspect of eating in a common area. I love to people watch and around 2 p.m. on Wednesdays makes for a perfect opportunity. As with all mass produced food, there is going to be the occasional meal that isn’t delicious. However, being able to have a fresh salad each meal and plenty of variety is more than enough to be grateful for.

Classes
I love my classes. But I love the second semester classes even more. I think it’s because I feel warmed up, like an athlete who’s been able to stretch and jog a lap before a game. First semester can be hit or miss depending on how feverishly you attack your classes, but second semester won’t bring any surprises; you know the drill by now.

Friends
Part of this “college experience” is being able to see all your friends. This is the one part of our lives where our friends all live very close together. I like being able to send out a text to 10 people for pick-up soccer and have nine of them show up. When we graduate, it’s going to be much harder to throw together spontaneous get-together events like that; we’ll all just have too different schedules.

Routine
I love a good routine. I feel so much more in control of my schedule when I have a sketch of what I need to do and when. I should note that on the weekends, this routine affinity is gone as I thoroughly enjoy sleeping in. A good routine is the backbone to a productive and fun, lifestyle. At home, I find that unstructured time is wasted more often than not. It’s good to be back and have a routine.

Top 10 Random Awesome Things

Top 10 Random Awesome Things

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Watch the video LAST. If you watch it early, it will take away the excitement of knowing why it is #1 on this list.

I’ve decided to make a Top 10. Everyone loves a good Top 10 of anything and if it is awesome, then who wouldn’t want to read it? I’ve recently been excited about a few things lately, things that have or haven’t even happened yet. Basically, just read this list and I hope something on it makes you smile.

10. Back to the Future: Trilogy. Travel back in time with a Delorean? I’ve seen these movies multiple times and I keep finding new things I didn’t realize before. Good job Spielberg. These movies had action, comedy, romance, time travel and even a dog. Back to the Future is awesome.

9. History section of the library. There are very few people in the history section of the library, which means I am able to get my studying, homework and blogs completed. The history section, it’s awesome.

8. Gerard Butler. I realized that I have a man crush on him. He is always the toughest and manliest in movies, and he always wins. He also was the Phantom in the Phantom of the Opera and has an amazing voice. I don’t sing well. It doesn’t matter if I sing well, it only matters if girls think I sing well and it is a lot easier to get girls when you have a voice like Gerard Butler. Gerard Butler, he’s awesome.

7. Christmas sweaters. They are only in fashion for about a month and everyone notices when you wear one. They are usually made with love or in China, but they are always warm and people are usually uber jealous of your sweater. Christmas sweaters, they are awesome.

6. People who read my blog. I like attention just like any other person and when people read my blogs and tell me nice job, it’s a good feeling. I like writing, but I never see my audience or hear their applause. The only way I know is if there is a comment or if someone tells me they read it. Readers are awesome.

5. Women that don’t wear make-up. Most men would agree, we prefer a woman without make up and also dyed hair. I don’t mind girls with make up or dyed hair, I just have simple preferences. Women without make-up are awesome.

4. Letters in the mail. I’ve already made a post about this, but simply getting a letter from a friend in the mail makes my day way better. Friends that send me letters are awesome.

3. Anything free. Free t-shirts, free scholarships (money), free food, free massages, free Play-Doh, free socks and free laundry, etc. Free stuff is awesome and usually comes at no cost to you, which is what makes it free. Free stuff is awesome.

2. Peaches. I just love peaches. They are awesome. The Presidents of the United States of America even made a song about peaches titled “Peaches.” Peaches are awesome.

1. This video. I love dancing and it is fun for everyone, no matter what style. These people are insane. They are awesome.

This list isn’t the most awesome thing in the world, but I hope it brought you into my little world for just a few minutes. I like to change things up once in awhile. Next semester will be interesting since I have only one class on Tuesday and for the first time I start class at 9 a.m. instead of 8 a.m. This is awesome.

Just Dance

Just Dance

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What is one thing people love to do, but they usually aren’t good and hate doing it in front of other people?  Dancing!

Let’s be serious, who doesn’t sing and dance in the car?  I do!  I also dance in my room when nobody’s watching.  I am pretty decent at Dance Dance Revolution and Just Dance, but I’ve always been eager to learn how to dance, any kind of dance.  I can Bernie like nobody’s business. The running man is an easy one. Every day I am not shuffling, and I can dance like any other person at a club, but that’s all too easy.

The dance class I am taking is PE 140 and it takes place in the multi-purpose room in The MAAC.  I’ve learned Foxtrot, Swing and Rumba.  It is a 1-credit course, although we meet twice a week on Monday and Wednesday.  My class is small so we are personally taught, which definitely helps a great deal when you’re doing something you’ve pretty much never done before.

My favorite is probably swing simply because it is upbeat music and I can’t help but smile when I am doing it.  This is easily the only class I have taken where I am smiling and laughing nearly the entire time.  Simply put, it is fun!  Foxtrot is meant for slow and smooth movement across the dance floor.  I feel classy while I am dancing and I feel as if I should be in a tuxedo.  Rumba is all in the hips.  I am no Shakira but you have to be sexy to say the least while dancing.

What have I learned from this class?  The man is the leader and the woman follows.  Dancing and haunted houses are possibly the only two things where the man leads and the woman follows.  Mount Union doesn’t only offer the traditional academic classes like high school, you have a chance to let go and have fun.  When I am just having a stressful week, I honestly look forward to dancing.  It takes my mind off of all the stress and I just focus on stepping in time and making sure my partner follows my lead.

If you want to add another class for next semester, I highly recommend PE 140 or PE 141.  It is only one credit but it makes it feel as if you are taking less classes simply because you are having more fun than you normally would.  You also have to learn to keep up the beat with the music, and it requires some coordination. But don’t worry, even if you don’t have the best coordination, that’s what this class is for … teaching you how to dance.  So go for it, just dance!

Lose The Stress, Find Your Escape

Lose The Stress, Find Your Escape

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This photograph was taken in Hawaii.

Stress is something that hits every student. Knowing how to deal with it or just how to avoid it all together is a big thing. Finding something that gets your mind off of your school work and grades is important when trying to live a balanced life. Nobody likes to just live in stress, so knowing that you are able to turn to something to turn off that stress is important. Find something you enjoy doing.

I turn to wrestling because it’s a great way to exert all of my physical energy and all of my emotions that might have been running through me throughout the day. It’s just seven minutes my opponent and I trying to figure out who truly is smarter, stronger and faster.

When I started writing poetry my junior year of high school, I didn’t think I was good. I still don’t think I am good at it but that’s not the point. Writing down a poem about how I may have felt that day was something I had never done before. It was a way for me to literally see what was going through my mind. It’s as if I collected all the junk from throughout the day and sneezed it on a piece of paper. I finally saw what was going on. Everyone feels better after they sneeze, and I felt better after writing a poem.

Sometimes talking to friends or listening to music just wasn’t enough for me. If what you might turn to usually isn’t there, try to have alternatives. For some people, simply screaming at the top of their lungs makes them feel better. Breaking things is always fun too, just make sure it’s not something you might have to pay back. Sleeping and dreaming is another great way to get away from reality, but that never lasts long enough.

Hopefully you have found something that helps you relieve stress. If you are stressed out about it, just talk about it with someone. Chances are he or she is freaking out about something and needs to let it all out too. Even if it is a five-minute conversation, at least you got it out.

Tying up the loose ends

Tying up the loose ends

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I just got off the phone with the registrar at Mount Union because I got an e-mail yesterday about my classes.  It said in the e-mail that I am missing one English class to fulfill my minor. EEK.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m graduating early so I will be done in December and I wanted to get this schedule figured out ASAP so I will definitely be able to graduate when I want to.  :]

I picked up another English class so that minor will be complete, dropped one class that I changed my mind about and picked up two more one-credit courses.  I am good to go for next semester!

That’s another one of the many things that I love about Mount.  The faculty is soo nice.  I mean, I haven’t talked to many other registrars at other schools but ours is very personable and wants students to be able to achieve whatever they want to.  The teachers are also super nice and personable; that is just one of the perks to going to a smaller school. The teachers are able to dedicate more time to their students because they have less of them.  Even the deans at our school and the president are constantly around and available to chat with.  I’m sure some students at big schools have never even seen their president and deans!

Right before that phone call, I was on the phone with the Columbia Gas company trying to change the gas bill over from my name since I’m not living in that house at school anymore.  Next year I will be living in the new apartments on Union Ave. that are still being built and I am sooo excited! However, when you move out of a house, it is important to make sure to get your name off of the bills or else you will have to keep paying for them.  :[

I feel like all of my friends are on vacation right now. Everyone just seemed to leave at the same time and I’m stuck here working!  It’s okay though because I work tonight and the next three days but then I’m off for three days and I have a mini-vacation planned.  I will write about that next week I’m sure :)

Hope everyone is enjoying themselves this summer so far!  I see good weather coming about in our near future… fingers crossed!!

-Shannon

Last full week of classes

Last full week of classes

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Mount Union is unique from other colleges in many ways, and one of my personal favorites is the date of our last day of classes. We end school more than a month earlier than even The Ohio State University. If I don’t count exams, I am done with classes before the end of April!

Mount is a great place to spend a lot of time (even during the summer months), as I spent all of last summer living in Alliance. It is good to have all the pressure of exams and projects off your back and even more pleasing when all your friends at other schools have to wait till June to be finished with school … while you get a head start tanning and barbequing!

How to Deal with Stressure

How to Deal with Stressure

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This a turbulent time in the semester for a lot of students at Mount Union. We have to register for our classes in the fall, we have to pick our roommates and where we want to live. We have to write a billion papers and take another billion tests.

You don’t have a lot of time for yourself, or for your friends, especially when you’re involved in a sport which becomes even more tumultuous when it is snowing in April. You get sick from the crazy weather in Ohio, you get sick from stress from all your classes and you get sick from being all cooped up for the past six months.You have to enjoy the little things, whether it’s the cafeteria serving your favorite food or a deadline extended on a paper.My high school football coach used to say this corny thing about free time. He’d tell us after our football games on Friday nights that we have the whole week off.”You have Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon, Saturday night, Sunday morning, Sunday afternoon, Sunday night, Monday morning and Monday afternoon, all off!”If you look at it like that then you have a lot more time than you thought before.

When it’s Tuesday morning and you get assigned to read 40 pages of a book and write a paper about it, remember that you have Tuesday afternoon, Tuesday night, Wednesday morning, Wednesday afternoon, Wednesday night and Tuesday morning to get things all wrapped up. That’s like four or five days, which doesn’t seem so bad after all.

Music

Music

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As I have mentioned in my previous blog posts, I am a music major. I love music and it is my life. The one thing that many people don’t know about music majors is our schedules. A music major has classes all day and they aren’t just classes that start at noon.  Actually, most classes have started before or by 10 in the morning. Another part to our schedule is recitals. We are required to attend and participate in a certain number of recitals every semester or our grades for lessons will go down. Being a freshman, I just completed my first recital performance and let me just say I was very nervous, but I played my bassoon piece well.

Even though our days start pretty early, that doesn’t mean we don’t go to bed early. In fact, many of the classes we take require practicing parts. Basic Musicianship is a class taken all through freshman and sophomore year and it requires a lot of practice. The class helps music students learn what they will need to be teaching or using in music.

If anyone ever has the chance, come over to Cope and hear some wonderful music. There are always recitals going on and there are many amazing musicians in this building!

My Schedule

My Schedule

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The time of the semester when scheduling takes places is filled with meeting with friends, advisors and planning your future semester – all the way from figuring out what classes you need to take for your major to what time you want to wake up in the morning. And, when you’re getting ready to schedule your academic classes, the best plan is to have a plan. The first time you meet with your advisor you should create a plan for at least the next few semesters.  Here are the classes I have already taken as well as the classes I will be taking in the fall of my junior year.

1st Semester Freshman Year

Intro to Art (3)

Intro to Information Management (3)

College Writing (3)

Intro to Environmental Science (3)

Freshmen Seminar- Apocalyptic Expectations (3)

Religion & Human Experience (3)

2nd Semester Freshman Year

College Life Options (1)

Management Principles (3)

Public Speaking (3)

Quantitative Methods I (3)

Wellness (2)

History & Philosophy of Sport (3)

Elementary Spanish II (3)

1st Semester Sophomore Year

Elementary Accounting I (3)

Marketing Principles (3)

Evaluating College Life & Options (1)

Life/Career Plans (1)

Intro to Microeconomics (3)

Elementary Statistics with Business Lab (4)

Sport Program Management (3)

2nd Semester Sophomore Year

Elementary Accounting II (3)

Quantitative Methods II (3)

Intro to Macroeconomics (3)

Business & Technical Writing (3)

Sport Public Relations (3)

Sport Area & Facility Management (3)

1st Semester Junior Year

Federal Income Tax (3)

Intermediate Accounting II (3)

Managerial Cost Accounting (3)

Business Law I (3)

Legal Issues in Sport (3)

Careers in Sport Business (1)

Direct Experience:  Sport Recreation (1)

(number of credits)