Monday, January 30, 2012

Writing College Papers, AKA the thing I do the most at MU

Hello future and current Mercyhurst University Lakers!

On this surprisingly sunny winter day, I thought maybe I would take a second to tell you all what I REALLY spend most of my time in college doing...WRITING PAPERS!  So, fair warning, this is one of thsoe boring, pictureless, complain-y blogs about the downside to be a college student, not matter what school you attend!

As a history major, papers and research is the majority of my schoolwork.  Almost every history class assigns at least one 10-12 page research paper.  Some classes assign other papers throughout the term along with the bigger research paper.  For example, for my two current classes, I have two major papers and I had three other "smaller" papers to write and turn in.  Unfortuantely, I means that I spend a ridiculous amount of time in front of the computer typing out the papers!  I sometimes think about totaling all the pages I have written in my college career...but then I would probably just lose my mind thinking about all the hours spent pounding them out!

One good thing about being in a major that relies heavily on writing lengthy papers is that I have a very effective method for writing and it usually turns out good grades.  If you are looking at a major you think will have a lot of writing, I DEFINITELY suggest figuring out a routine and method that works well for you!  Also, DON'T PROCRASTINATE!  In the next 2.5 weeks, I have 2 major final papers due and I have hardly started!  Makes me regret spending my free time being lazy...

Anyway, the important thing is that my writing ability has greatly improved and writing research papers helps me to actively learn about subjects I am interested in more in depth.  Hopefully you all can find a way to manage your time and your stress in order to get your papers written efficiently!  Meanwhile, it's back to the books to research for my upcoming papers!

Happy Monday...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It's OFFICIAL! Mercyhurst University!

So my original plan for my blog this week was to talk about my stressful quest to find, apply to, and wait to be accepted to graduate programs.  It is a feeling many seniors in college probably can empathize with...but on a bit of a different level since the grad school I ultimately attend will define a whole lot about my future!

Dr. Gamble annoucing
university status!
BUT, instead of boring you with my complaining about the application process, one of the most exciting and newsworthy events has occurred at this school today: Mercyhurst College has OFFICALLY become Mercyhurst University!!!!

This morning, the entire student body got in email that our president, Dr. Gamble, was going to make an announcement and the entire student body was encouraged to attend.  Naturally, there were people guessing about what on earth this might be; I heard one boy convinced that the school was shutting down because the world might end in December 2012...sorry bud, but you were WAY OFF!

Around 1:30, the Student Union began swelling with students, faculty, and news cameras in anticipation of the announcement. I luckily got there early and sat on the floor right in front, so I had a great view of the president as he made the exciting announcement that our school has now become Mercyhurst University!  Check this link out to read the official announcement on the Mercyhurst website!  Or click here to view the Merciad article!

Mercyhurst University logo!
As he told the huge crowd of proud Lakers the excited news, everyone erupted in applause.  This is something so exciting for Mercyhurst and likely one of the biggest events to occur in the history of the school, since it's founding by the Sisters of Mercy in 1926!  At the end of the short speech by the president and board of trustee chair, the new logo to represent this school was unveiled.  You can see it in the picture just to the right!

You may be wondering what this means for current and future students of the school.  For the most part, it means new signs, apparrel, and a different logo on top of your diploma.  But, it also means higher national and international recognition, greater opportunity for our grad programs to grow, and boasting rights to say you attended Mercyhurst University, of course. 

As I leave you to soak in this momentous news and gigantic step for this awesome institution, I want to give you a quote from Dr. Gamble himself as he announced our new status:

"While we’ve long known and celebrated who we are, Mercyhurst can now officially tell its students: You are getting the best of both worlds – a university-quality education with the personal attention and flavor of a liberal arts college."

Such an amazing moment to be a current or future Mercyhurst Laker!

Monday, January 16, 2012

My Education Practicum

Since I am planning on becoming a social studies teacher when I am finished with all of my schooling, I have had to take a few education courses.  I know I am primarily a history major, but I must say that my education courses are my favorite!

I am doing my practicum at Harborcreek!
This term I have a class called "Comparative Issues in Education."  It is basically a foundations class that gives an overview of important aspects of the world of education.  Part of the requirements for the class includes a practicum.  Basically, I observe a real teacher in a real classroom for 15 hours to see what it is really like to be a teacher.  I have been doing my practicum at Harbercreek Junior High, which is a local school district about 20 minutes from Mercyhurst!

This practicum for my education class has been a wonderful experience for me!  I have gotten the chance to feel what it may feel like a couple years from now when I am the one standing in front of the class.  Not to mention, it is much more fun to sit through a 7th grade geography class than a college course!  The only downside is that I have to get up reallyyyyyyyy early to head out to the school at the beginning of their school day!  Luckily, I only have three more hours left to complete to fulfill my requirements!

As I continure toward a degree in education, I will be spending even more time in the classroom.  Eventually, it will lead up to my student teaching!  While it is stressful and scary to think about, I am pretty excited to finally be doing what I have wanted to do my entire life!

Well, back to the overwhelming stress of paper writing...I swear it never endsssss!  Enjoy the last few hours of Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

Monday, January 9, 2012

A History Class Field Trip!

Some of us in the van on a field trip!
For the most part, this past week had been mostly classes, writing papers, and meetings for various clubs that I belong to.  Fortunately, my American Material Culture history class took a refreshing step out of the classroom this past Thursday for a field trip!

Since the class directly deals with material objects, artifacts, and cultural trends, the best way to learn is to go out and see the things for yourselves.  So, we all climbed into a couple giant Mercyhurst vans and took a history class tour of Erie and its cultural landscape.  It was a short tour; only about an two hours, but it was still enjoyable and an awesome way to break the monotony of sitting in the classroom for so long.  The highlight of our Erie mini-tour was definately stopping at Erie Water Works.  Here we got to have a tour of the facilities and the GIANT engine from the early 20th century that is nicknamed "Big Bertha."  It doesn't work anymore, but it was used for a really long time to pump water from Lake Erie to the surrounding areas!

The history class field trip definately reminded me that Erie isn't just the place where I go to school.  It is a thriving city with a lot to do, see, and learn about.  When you visit Mercyhurst, make sure to check out downtown to get a true feel of what Erie is all about!

Well, back to my long to-do list!

Monday, January 2, 2012

An Amazing Whirlwind of a Christmas Break!

Gingerbread Train!
My dog ready for Christmas!
Well, here I am back at the Hurst after my fourth Christmas Break and feeling not quite ready for classes to start up again tomorrow...!  Even though I am dreading having to do work and actually think, my break was one of the best ones I have EVER had in my life...and I mean that literally!

This year our break fell to be a little bit longer because Christmas was on a Sunday.  Normally, we get two weeks at Christmas time to celebrate the holidays.  This year, we had SIXTEEN days away from classes, books, and papers.  It was fantastic.  Plus, as you may have read in my previous posts, Christmas is my favorite time of year so I was especially excited.  And my family, friends, and I jam-packed those days with so much FUN!
Christmas Eve

Christmas Morning! (pre-proposal)
Some of the activities we planned over break included all-day-cookie-baking-marathons, ice skating, shopping, dinner out at our favorite restaurants, going to the movies, building gingerbread trains, puppy therapy, and trimming the tree.  I even had the chance to catch up with some old friends from high school a few times.  Thinking about all of the fun things that I did at home makes me smile!  There is nothing quite like being home for the holidays!

The moment he proposed!!!!
Even though all of these things are super fun, the cherry on top of the awesome-break-cake happened on Christmas Day.  I was completely surprised. overwhelming excited, and totally speechless when my boyfriend proposed to me in front of both of our families.  It was the most exciting and most squeal-worthy moments of my life and I am very happy to say that in two years I will be marrying my best friend in the entire world!  Needless to say, I am still on cloud nine and sometimes in disbelief when I look at my finger and see my beautiful ring that signifies my commitment to my fiance!

Ringing in 2012 as an
engaged couple!
With all of the excitement and craziness that was happening in my life and all the laughs and smiles I shared with my family and friends, I admit it was really really hard for me to head back to school today.  With such an exciting life outside the Hurst and lots of things to look forward to in the future, I am only hoping to make it through the rest of the term in one piece without missing my new fiance and my amazing family too much!

All college students get homesick sometimes.  If you choose Mercyhurst and you find yourself missing home, don't feel like you are alone!  This is my SENIOR year; my fourth January starting out school away from home and I still find myself desperately wishing I was back in Cleveland!  Just remember, home is usually only a phone call or short drive away!

Alright, time to try and focus back on school work and all the papers I have to write before I can finish the term...wish me luck and stay warm in the blustery weather!