Best. Summer. Ever.

Best. Summer. Ever.

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We haven’t even been out of school for a month and I am already having the best summer ever!

I’ve made a lot of time in my schedule to catch up with some friends from home that I haven’t seen in a while due to us all attending different schools. Since the Cleveland weather has provided us with a few nice days, we’ve went on bike rides, beach visits, roller-blading trips and exciting nights out. That’s another thing I love about college; while you have to take some time away from your friends to all go to different schools, when you come back for breaks, it’s like you were never even apart.

My boyfriend came up to visit this past weekend and, well, the Cleveland weather wasn’t so nice… however, we were able to go to the Great Lakes Science Center and enjoy a day running around there like we were still in elementary school — don’t judge … college kids can have fun too :] We also watched the movie “Tornado Alley” that was playing in the IMAX Theater.

However, the best part of the summer so far would definitely have to be my summer job. As you know, it is with the Cleveland Indians, and by reading my previous posts you know I love the team very much. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve worked for them for a couple of years now, but no experience comes close to this one!

I get to be down at almost every home game and I am out there cheering with the fans. I could not ask for a better summer job. The people I work with are awesome, not to mention that there are six Mount Union students on our team. There are also a bunch of other Mount Union students working down at the ballpark whether it is through volunteering or internships; that makes it a lot of fun to run into my friends during the game. That’s not even including all of the Purple Raiders that make the trip up to Cleveland to go to the games … they come from all over! I guess that’s what happens when your city has a winning team. Ha Ha!

Progressive Field is a little community in itself, though. All of the employees in all of the different departments automatically become friends just because of the atmosphere. Like I said, it’s awesome!

If you’re wondering where I was Friday night when Travis Hafner hit that homerun to win the game against Seattle… I was up in the outfield with one of the other Mount students I work with, cheering with the crowd and having the best time ever. After that, we ran down to the field to celebrate with the rest of our team and we stayed on the field during the fireworks. What a great time!

I will definitely be keeping you all posted on my life down at the ballpark — it will keep getting more and more exciting! (Did you see the score of last night’s game?! 19-1?!?!)

This week holds plenty of excitement because I am going to Vegas with my mom on Thursday! Next post will be all about my trip so make sure to check back next week!

-samantha

Mount Union’s commencement

Mount Union’s commencement

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As I’ve mentioned before, this past weekend was Mount Union’s 165th Commencement Ceremony… Fun fact – this year’s class was the FIRST class to graduate from The University of Mount Union. Pretty cool, eh?

I was in attendance for this year’s Commencement because my boyfriend and some of my friends were in the graduating class. Let’s just say the tears started about two hours before the ceremony! I’m such a sap for events like these.

Mount’s Commencement Ceremony was held in the Peterson Field House of The MAAC — it looked absolutely beautiful! It is so funny because usually there are people running around the track, playing tennis, jumping hurdles, etc… Now, there were hundreds of chairs, flowers, flags… A perfect spot for graduation! If it were outside, the ceremony would have been held on the south lawn Chapman Hall, but no, Ohio spring has been full of showers! Oh well, it was still perfect.

The ceremony lasted about two hours… sounds like a drag, right? Actually, it wasn’t! All of the speakers were entertaining and nothing seemed like it was dragging on… in fact, it went kind of fast. I’ll admit it, I shed some tears watching my friends walk across that stage and receive their diplomas. I can’t believe that it will be me up there in one year. Where did time go?

Mother’s Day was the next day and my mom and I went to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo for the day. It was free for moms so, as you could imagine, it was so crowded! We still had a great time! The new elephant exhibit is amazing — I definitely suggest you make a trip there at least once this summer!

The sun is finally shining and the rain has (maybe temporarily) gone away — I have sunburn to prove it! Hope you all are enjoying the sunshine!

-samantha

INTERVIEW: Jonah Wilson. The artist behind popular “Raider Nation.”

INTERVIEW: Jonah Wilson. The artist behind popular “Raider Nation.”

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I woke up this morning with a link in my inbox to a YouTube video from one of my friends. “You have to check this out” was all the message said. After clicking through, I was taken to a video titled “Raider Nation” and the beat from Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow” started playing. Within seconds, I was listening to one of the coolest remixes of “Black and Yellow” I had heard since Lil Wayne’s “Green and Yellow” for the Super Bowl. With over 700 plays in just 24 hours, I did some searching and finally found the Facebook profile of the account, which uploaded the video.

Meet Jonah Wilson. An alumnus of Mount Union and former football player, I asked him if he would be willing to do an interview with me about his song and also get us a link to the MP3 file for download. He enthusiastically agreed to both and I spent a couple hours messaging him with questions and reading his answers. Read on to see where Jonah got the inspiration for the track from, who his collaborator was and what he plans to do next! I’ll put the video and link to the MP3 after the interview. Enjoy!

UMU: Hi, Jonah. Thanks for agreeing to this interview about your video/music track “Purple Nation.” At almost 700 views on YouTube and being shared all over Facebook, I think we can say you have a hit on your hands. Can you give us the backstory to how you came up with the idea or were inspired to remix “Black and Yellow” with a purple twist?

JW: I am a Mount Union alumnus and former football player, so the song was inspired by my own personal experiences with Mount Union. Me and my best friend, VT, who collaborated with me on the song, planned to do a resin for Mount and it actually fell together in about two days after we started writing it.

UMU: I think the track gained a lot coming from someone who was on the football team and went to Mount; it added that authenticity factor. What about your collaborator VT, does he have ties back to Mount Union?

JW: He went to high school with me and has been my friend since my sophomore year at Copley, but no ties to Mount Union. He has been on campus and experienced the Raider experience, but no actual ties to the school.

UMU: You mentioned it took two days to put the track together after you started writing it. One of my favorite lyrics is “this is Mount Union / all we do is win / we at home on the road / yea we moving in.” Judging from how well this song came together, I’m guessing this isn’t the first time you’ve both came up with lyrics before. What was the actual writing process like? Any writers block, or did it all come pretty easy?

JW: In fact, we just started writing and making music about two months ago or so and we haven’t hit writers block or a proverbial wall yet. The writing process for this particular song was strange. Neither one of us had planned it. I was at home and decided to just record the chorus, so that took about 20 minutes to write and record. That night, Versean (VT) stopped by and listened to it and loved it, so he went home and came back the next day after he finished the middle verse. I wrote the first and third verse the same day, and we recorded and edited the second day. The rest is history. It all came easy to me because everything I talked about I’ve actually been a part of and it came easy to him because there is just so much history with Mount Union.

UMU: That’s really impressive for just two days of work. After you had finally finished, did you share it with your friends privately or did you just put it up on YouTube and let the Internet do the rest?

JW: After I wrote the chorus and recorded it, I sent a snippet of it to a few close friends and that was Wednesday. That Thursday, we finished the song and I was visiting a few alumni and coaches at Mount so I brought the finished song and surprised them with it because they all wanted to hear it after I sent them the teaser. That night they ended playing the song a few times at the bar stopped in. After I saw how excited people were about it I ended up putting it online Friday around noon.

UMU: It seems to be doing pretty well with the online audience as well with over 700 plays and no signs of stopping. Now for the question I’ve been most looking forward to: any future songs planned you want to tease for our readers?

JW: Haha, we have a lot planned for some music finished already. And if Mount Union keeps showing love, Raider Nation part two will definitely be a priority!

UMU: Sounds good! Now to wrap up this interview, I’ve already provided our readers with the link to the YouTube video, but do you have any plans to put up a link to the MP3 file for us to download to our computers and iPods?

JW: Absolutely, I’m currently trying to figure out the best way to put a link in the description of the YouTube video for download so by the end of today [April 30] it will be up and available for download!

UMU: Excellent, I know a lot of people will throw this into their warmup playlist!
Thank you again, Jonah, for doing this interview with me. I know our readers appreciate the insight into the making of “Raider Nation” and we all look forward to your next tracks!

JW: Thank you.

I would just like to thank Jonah again for doing this interview and be sure to check out the video on YouTube and download the MP3 today!

“Raider Nation” music video on YouTube
“Raider Nation” MP3 Download

 

Preview and Orientation!!!

Preview and Orientation!!!

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It seems that we can not get enough of all of the April showers … but I have just one question, are they really going to bring May flowers? Well, I’m really hoping so, because May is my favorite month … and it just happens to be when my birthday is! Even through all of these April showers, it’s still good to know that summer is almost here! Summer is THE BEST time of the year for me. Not because I’m not in school, but just because of what it means to me and all of the great opportunities and things I have to look forward to.

To me, summer means vacations on the beach, spending time with family and old and new friends, country concerts, babysitting, PREVIEW AND ORIENTATION and a bunch of other really cool stuff I plan on doing! Preview and Orientation is something I am super excited about for this summer! I was just hired this year and will be working as a Preview and Orientation guide for the new freshmen coming to Mount Union next year! Preview was something I had so much fun at as an incoming freshman and I’m so ready to make it just as fun for all of the new students Mount is welcoming next fall! I think what I liked most about Preview was the fact that we were placed in a group on the first day and stayed with the same group the whole time, playing different games outside and doing different stuff to help us get to know each other.

Coming to college is a big transition, and by attending Preview and Orientation at Mount Union it makes it so easy for all of the students to smoothly start this new chapter in their lives! Preview is not only good for the students, but the parents have a blast too! There are guides who will also have groups of parents and take them around to learn everything about Mount Union and what college life will be like for their sons and daughters.

Next week, as Preview and Orientation guides, we have our final retreat together at Camp Fred. I’ve heard this last retreat is really fun and helps all of the guides to become even closer and really get to know each other well before we start our first Preview session for the freshman in the end of June! Overall, Preview is a really great experience and I can’t wait to see how it goes on the other end of things this summer!

SCHOLAR Day Surprise

SCHOLAR Day Surprise

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SCHOLAR Day is a day in late April when all students at Mount Union get the day off to attend research project presentations by current students. Not only are research projects presented but the school also hosts an end of the year award ceremony. It’s primarily for seniors but Mount always recognizes the success of all undergraduates as well. I was lucky enough to be one of the undergraduates that were honored. At first I had no clue what I was being honored for because all I got was an email telling me to be in the Mount Union Theatre at a certain time. Unknowingly, my parents also got a letter with the same details. Since I knew we did not have classes on SCHOLAR Day I stayed up late and almost decided to sleep through the awards ceremony. However, I did decide to get out of bed before 11 a.m. and head to the theatre. Shortly after arriving at the theatre I got a pamphlet outlining the ceremony, and to my surprise I was chosen to receive the Department of Economics, Accounting and Business Administration Sophomore Student of the Year Award. I was also surprised to see my parents and grandparents sitting in the audience, but the best surprise was yet to come… After walking onstage and getting my picture taken with President Giese I sat down and opened the envelope I received expecting to see a certificate in it, but it was a $450 check for my hard work. I was glad I decided to attend the awards ceremony, and it just goes to show that hard work does payoff.

Scholar Day

Scholar Day

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If you haven’t seen one of the many posters around campus, SCHOLAR Day is this Tuesday, April 19. SCHOLAR Day is more than just a day off from classes (although I’m sure we all will appreciate the break!), it is a chance for the students of Mount Union to show off some of their best work; some which has taken months to put together.

Odds are that you know someone who is presenting either a poster or a presentation on SCHOLAR Day, however the schedule is divided up into several different parts and can be confusing at first. To help make sure you get the most out of your day this coming Tuesday, I’ve curated through the SCHOLAR Day resources and put them into a simple page for you:

  • The Main SCHOLAR Day Page contains all information about the day and it’s activities
  • 9-9:45 a.m. The first round of poster-presenters go. You can view all the names and posters here.
  • 10-11 a.m. The first presentations will begin. These presentations range from ones about cognitive and behavioral neuroscience to political science. All names and presentation descriptions can be viewed here.
  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. The Senior Recognition and Honors’ Convocation will take place in the Mount Union Theatre.
  • 12:30-1:30 p.m. No presentations or posters are being shown, as this time is blocked out to let the participants have lunch.
  • 1:30-2:30 p.m. The second round of presentations will begin. Refer to the aforementioned link to see the abstracts and details.
  • 2:30-3:15 p.m. The second round of poster presentations start.
  • 3:30-4:30 p.m. The day will be coming to a close with the third, and final, round of presentations being shown.

I encourage you all to take advantage of SCHOLAR Day and at least check out two or three of the presentations / posters. Months of hard work by students you know will be on display and it is a great opportunity to learn something new. See you there!

Hookie for a good cause

Hookie for a good cause

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So remember a few posts back I told you how I was working on that huge sponsorship proposal in one of my sport business classes? Well, it was (finally) due last week — how refreshing — but yesterday was the day of presenting. One of our professors in the Department of Human Performance and Sport Business somehow knows pretty much everyone in the sports world. He hooked us all up with different execs all over the surrounding area for our presentation. Some went to Cleveland (lucky), some went to Columbus, some headed to Youngstown and me and my group were able to head over to Pittsburgh.

I’ve been to Pittsburgh a couple times recently but never on a trip like this. Three of my classmates and I got in our professional attire, grabbed our “briefcases” and laptops and started off on a mini-road trip. The weather was pretty crappy here — you know, spring in OH — but once we hit PITT the sun almost automatically started shining. We timed our trip just perfectly because we arrived at PNC Park — home of the Pirates — right at 2 p.m., just in time for our meeting with the senior account executive with the Bucs.

PNC Park’s front offices reminded me of Progressive Field’s, but both are pretty unique to themselves. We went up to a conference room on the suite level of the ballpark and we had a great time talking about sports, talking about business and presenting our projects. Afterwards, he took us four out to the ballpark to show us all of the work he has done with getting sponsors. Now, I have never been inside of PNC Park, I’ve just looked at it from the outside. Let me tell you, it was gorgeous. What a great opportunity it was to go there!

After spending a couple of hours at the ballpark, we said our goodbyes (and got business cards) and went on our way home — but not before stopping and grabbing some sandwiches from Pittsburgh’s best Primanti Bros.

As I’ve mentioned before, Mount sure does a great job hooking us up with some fantastic opportunities. Yesterday was definitely one for the books.

-samantha

oh yea, and how ’bout them Indians? :)

21 Kindergartners, 1 great experience!

21 Kindergartners, 1 great experience!

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

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

My Favorite Job-Umpiring

My Favorite Job-Umpiring

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

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

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

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

Words With Friends

Words With Friends

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words with friends screenshot

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy spelling!