The Ending of an Era

May 7, 2012

Still, a few days later, it feels a little strange. On Saturday I graced the stage, shook the hand of my College Dean, and proceeded down the stairs with a diploma in hand. I turned my red and white tassel from right to left and turned my frown into a smile. And after the fact, I have a few pieces of final advice for you guys as I hang up my Ball State cap and gown.

First, relish in the moment. Because before long, that moment will be gone. My favorite moment of graduation was when I looked up at the stage and saw the 2012 banner. That was me. So for that moment, I thought about the best and the worst times of the last 4 years.
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Secondly, remember your support system. Be kind to those family and friends that have been through it all with you. College is a rough, stressful, and taxing time of your life. You’re going to need a strong wall that will hold you up when you can’t hold yourself up any longer.
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Finally, make lasting relationships with your professors, faculty, and fellow graduates. This is four years that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Don’t forget the people that college brought into your life. They’ll be part of your heart forever. Below is me taking one final laugh with one of my favorite professors, Dr. Joe.
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I hope that you all find the right college for you. I can assure you, I will be a Ball State Cardinal forever. But for now, I will say so long to the beautiful college in little ol’ Muncie, Indiana. It’s been real Ball State. It’s been real.

Muncie’s hidden Gem!

April 25, 2012

Off of Ball State’s campus, the city of Muncie is full of gems. But, by far my favorite is Muncie Frozen Custard. And let me tell you why. Not only does it have the best custard in town (wedding cake custard with sprinkles is my favorite!), but it has a miniature golf course and batting cages. As a reporter for NewsLink, when interesting stories arise, I have the opportunity to spread the word on these business through news. This year, even with exceedingly warm temperatures in March, Muncie Frozen Custard waited until April 1st to open. Customers, like myself, were in an uproar. “We want our custard, and we want it now!” But little did we know, owner David Hinkle had other things on his mind during the month of March. Check out the news story I did a few weeks ago for NewsLink and when you come to Muncie, don’t forget to make a stop at Muncie Frozen Custard!

A couple Senior things

April 22, 2012

It’s getting to be that time. That time I’ve been talking about for weeks. It’s time to do the all the “Senior things” before I leave Ball State. Some “Senior things” have been done before, and some I’ll never do again.

Then there was Spectacular. It has been a tradition for 4 years now. I believe 4 years constitutes as tradition worthy. The University Singers Spectacular is a once a year performance put on by, you’ve guessed it, the University Singers. Every year they put on a “Spectacular” performance in the late Spring. When Spec rolls around, I know it’s time to start packing up my things and start heading home for the summer. However, I won’t be just heading home for the summer, I’ll be heading home for good. As scary of a thought as that is, seeing Spectacular for the last time in my college career has pushed me into the path of closure. Because the person I go to Spec to root for is also graduating. I met Lauren during my freshman year. She lived 6 doors down and roomed with my current roommate Niki. After 4 years, I’m still proud to say we’re still friends. And I hope that just because Spec and our college career are both over, our friendship will not end here. If you did show choir in high school or just like to sing, check out the University Singers on the Ball State website!
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Me, Lauren, and Niki after “our” last Spectacular. Congrats Lauren!

Last week was just a busy week! It gets like that at the end of the semester. On Wednesday my parents came up for the “Senior Recognition Dinner.” President Jo Ann Gora spoke and congratulated all Seniors graduating with Honors. It was an Honor to be recognized and it was great to be able to share this with my parents. Working hard throughout college pays off in the end!
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The stage and a server serving us a 3 course meal!
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My parents and I at the dinner. Working hard sure has its’ perks!

As promised, here is my tour of Ball State’s campus. It includes just a few of the places that have been important to me in the last four years. Under each picture I’ll tell you what it is, why it made the list, and why you should come to Ball State and see it for yourself! Just like everyone who comes to Ball State, we’ll start at my freshman year dorm…
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Johnson Complex, in particularly Schmidt/Wilson Hall hold a special spot in my heart. It’s where I met one of my best friends in college and where I learned a whole lotta lessons. I look back on freshman year and realize how much I’ve grown in these last four years. But it all started here, in Schmidt/Wilson. I hope you find a place like this that is special to you too!

Next stop, the Bell Tower. Formally know as Shafer Tower is the tallest Bell Tower in the state of Indiana standing at 145 feet. Although it chimes every 15 minutes (to let students know if they’re running late!), it does not have a clock? Why you ask? Because the clock tower at Purdue has got us beat by 15 feet! However, Shafer Tower still looks pretty tall to me!
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Like I’ve mentioned before, Frog Baby is my favorite landmark on campus. Maybe because she’s small like me (if you didn’t know, I stand just at 4’10”) or maybe because she just looks so happy all the time. Anyhow, the next three pictures will be dedicated to her, all for good reasons.
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Legend #1- Don’t swim in Frog Baby’s pool. It’s hers and only hers. Rumor has it (actually, truth has it) that there are cameras all around her. And taking a dip with her is strictly prohibited. Which leads me to my next legend…
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Legend #2- If you rub Frog Baby’s nose, you’ll get an A on your exams. While this has not been proven, so many students believe it that she has had to have a few nose jobs in her career because people have rubbed it off. True or not, you’re still not allowed in. But it might be worth the risk if you’re failing a class…
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Okay, okay, this might be my own person legend. In any case, Legend #3- Kiss a frog and it will turn into a prince? There are plenty of frogs to kiss around Frog Baby fountain. So if you believe this too, check out Frog Baby fountain!

Next up, another fountain. If you haven’t already guessed, I’m obsessed with fountains. That is half the reason Frog Baby is my favorite. While the fish kind of scare me, this fountain also holds a special place in my heart. All last year a friend of mine said if I hit his new tattoo then he would throw me in the fish fountain. Needless to say, I’m an instigator. Yep, you’ve guessed it, I got thrown in the fish fountain.
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Last, but definitely not least is DeHority Hall.. I was a Resident Assistant here for two years. Probably my two favorite years at Ball State. It houses Honors students and was beautifully renovated in 2009. I will forever be an honorary DeHority Hall resident!
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So that’s it, that’s the tour. Or at least that is my tour. If you have another favorite place on campus, let me know! All I know is I can guarantee places on this campus will leave a footprint on your heart. One place will become special to you like many places have become special to me. Good luck on your college searches, and remember, follow your heart!

Le Tour de Muncie

April 10, 2012

It’s hard to make one of the biggest decisions of your life without testing the waters first. Choosing a college is one of those big decisions. Just like you wouldn’t buy a used car without test driving it, right? Therefore, I want to give you a little taste of Muncie. While Ball State is a driving force in Muncie, it isn’t all that is out there. And there are even more sights to see. But here, as promised, is a taste of good ol’ Munsee (originally named after the Munsee Indians!).

The first thing we need to start our tour of Muncie is a nice cup of coffee. This laundromat on University Ave. is just one place to get it. While it provided me with a nice photo-op, Concannon’s, The Cup, and Coffee Junkiez are my true coffee favorites in Muncie.
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Now that we’ve got some energy, let’s check out what else Muncie has to offer. McCulloch Park has a frisbee golf course, various picnic areas, and even a roller box derby track. The park is also host to food drives throughout the year. I’m an avid frisbee golf player so if you’re out for a little outdoor fun check out this course, or head over to Yorktown and check out their frisbee golf course!
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Next, for everyone 18 and up, why not try out Bingo? There are various Bingo Halls in Muncie, and it is a fun night out with friends!
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And I never realized how many animal statues there are in Muncie. Here are all the ones that I have found, but if you have found more, please leave me a comment and tell me where! Also, if you know where I took the following animal pictures or would like to know, feel free to comment as well!
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This last statue can be found on Ball State’s campus. Which leads me to my next blog post, sights to see at BSU. Stay tuned…

Lovely Lucina Hall

March 28, 2012

If you’ve visited here, you’ve been there. If you go to Ball State you’ve been there. If you’ve heard of Ball State, you’ve seen pictures of it. I’m referring to the building on campus that everyone who goes to Ball State has been to at least one time in their college career: Lucina Hall.

While you might not frequent Lucina much during your college career, they have a lot of great resources that should lure you in for at least one visit. Here are some of the campus resources that are located in Lucina:

1st Stops when coming to Ball State are the Office of Admissions and the Office of Orientation. You hit the Office of Admissions while applying and deciding to go to Ball State and then proceed onto the Office of Orientation once you’ve been accepted! The Admissions Office has great information on different majors, scholarships, and recreational activities provided by Ball State. The Orientation website will help you get acquainted with the activities you will partake in at Orientation and during your Freshman year here!

When your schedule and major classes are getting the best of you, the next stop in Lucina is the Ball State Counseling Center. The word “Counseling” can sometimes cause students to be defensive and scared to go here. However, the Counseling Center provides more than just self-help sessions. While you do receive 12 FREE visits with certified counselors, the Counseling Center also provides many other resources. Other services include Career Exploration for students struggling with a career choice, educational workshops and programs, and testing for a variety of things.

After you’ve got a handle on your major all that is left to do is get a job! That is where the Ball State Career Center enters into our Lucina tour! Like the counseling center, the Career Center provides a variety of services. Students are able to set up one-on-one consultations for help with creating and tailoring resumés, writing cover letters, and branding your major (making yourself marketable). They also provide students with access to national and statewide job databases as well as put on Career Fairs throughout the year. If you’re stressed out about getting a job during or after college, check out the Career Center.

Finally, the last stop on our tour and your last stop in college is the Commencement Office. On the Commencement Office’s website students can apply for graduation (which is a MUST) as well as fill out necessary forms. It also has lists of who will be graduating (Like me!). If you have any questions about Commencement, this office is the place to go.

These are just a few of the offices located in Lucina Hall. As you can see, Ball State students couldn’t function without this hall. And did I mention “Benny” is right next door? If you don’t know who she is, find out, because she’s kind of a big deal around here. Be sure to tune into my next blog all about the landmarks at Ball State and in Muncie!
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Commencement outside of Lucina Hall. I will be one of those graduates in about a month!
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Guess who?

Spring Break a week late

March 14, 2012

Spring Break, the accelerator to the rest of Spring semester. I say this because after Spring Break, May is here before you know it (and for me that means graduation!). However, I didn’t go anywhere sunny, or travel many miles to an exotic destination, I simply traveled back home to Ohio.

You may think, wow, that must have been boring. However, sometimes the best vacations are just a little rest and relaxation. I was able to catch up with old friends, hang out with my handsome nephew, and even catch up on a little reading. All while preparing for my last 8 weeks of college.

The weather wasn’t bad in Cincinnati. It was chilly a few days and on one of the last days of break it hit 60 degrees. I was pretty impressed by my Spring Break weather, that is until I returned to Muncie. Since I’ve been back it has been almost 70 degrees everyday. It doesn’t look like it is letting up either (in the 70s for the rest of the week!). And we seem to be dodging thunderstorms as well. It looks like that dark cloud that usually hovers over Muncie has moved it’s way south. Whatever the reason, I sure am enjoying it.

The best part about the first nice day of the Spring semester is that campus comes alive. Students who have been hibernating in their rooms since December finally decide to go outside and throw a football. The blankets are spread out and the picnics commence. It’s bubbly, loud, and inspiring. It finally looks like a college campus again.

As with still having 8 weeks left of my college career, I had a little homework during this magnificent weather. So I took a break on a bench on the South side of campus with Mrs. Dalloway and a Diet Coke, and started enjoying what felt like Spring Break a week late.

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We’ve all said it…

February 27, 2012

T minus 2 months until graduation. Just soak that in for a second. In just 2 short months my college career at Ball State will be over, for the most part. I’ll still have connections, whether it is with friends, faculty or alumni committees, but Ball State will become a statistic on my résumé. Of course it means so much more than that to me.

However, Life comes at you fast, and Time comes at you faster. In one way or another, we’ve said that line, heard that line, or ignored that line. These last 4 years have felt somewhat like a blur; An influential, arduous, unforgettable blur. Or so I think. As I get older I sometimes forget how I became who I am today. As we all get older, events don’t seem so prominent, and everyday activity doesn’t seem that important.

I would encourage all of you to “Carpe Diem.”-”Seize the Day.” Not just because it is a sunny end to February, but because if not now, then when? Whether you are nearing the end of your high school career, or dawning on something new, take time to take it all in. Because you’ll never be there before.

The reason for the new found profoundness of this post? I read an article today called “Why Time Goes Faster as You Get Older.” And it reminded me of a time last summer when I looked at a 14-year-old freshman in high school and said, “Man, I remember when you were this big (insert small hand gesture here).” And he looked at me, like I most often looked at my elders when they said this to me, and just smirked, like any freshman would do. I stopped dead in my tracks and realized, I’m getting old. Although this moment of realization wasn’t my favorite, I hope all of you have the opportunity to have a moment like this. In some ways, it will either throw you into a deep depression, or light a fire under you. This world is ours for the taking, so let’s take it! Especially on a day that is 50 degrees and sunny!
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“An Indiana Sunrise” A rising sun on an open Indiana road, if that isn’t enough to push you into gear, I don’t know what is!

As a student in the College of Communication, Information and Media, I among some of the most privileged students in the state of Indiana. Within CCIM, there are many student organizations that report the news to the Delaware County Community.

As I have mentioned before, I am an Anchor/Reporter for NewsLink Indiana. This is Ball State’s student run, live news broadcast that airs to the Delaware County community. Therefore, as members of this organization we are able to add “live” and professional experience as aspiring news professionals to our resumes. Not only is Ball State one of the few universities that has a working newsroom, news equipment and a live broadcast, we are also one of the few that own a live-kit which allows reporters to do “live shots.” This is where reporters are able to go live from on-scene locations around Delaware County. So, as well as experience what it is like to be in a professional newsroom, we also are able to see what it is like to go live from locations outside the newsroom.

Last week I had my first live shot. I was nervous and excited. I wrote the story that accompanied the live shot as well. NewsLink has given me so many wonderful experiences that will be very useful when I graduate in May. Ball State’s Telecommunications program is one of the best, and I am very glad that I get to be a part of it. Check out other parts of the College of Communications, Information and Media like Ball Bearings (student produced Online and print magazine) and the Ball State Daily News (student produced online and print newspaper). All of which have won awards and have been nationally recognized. If news isn’t your thing, check out SportsLink, Connections Live, or Reel Deal. All of those put a nice spin on traditional news writing and videography. So if you are thinking about a career in media, check out some of Ball State’s wonderful organizations. As for now, I will leave you with my very own live shot!

The Ball State Experience

February 8, 2012

I’ve found that it is hard to have a Ball State experience without having an Indiana/Indianapolis experience, too. Indianapolis is a growing city and it really has turned into a beautiful place over the last 10 years. It is hard to say that Indy doesn’t have an impact on Muncie and Ball State Students. As most of you may know, the Super Bowl was held in Indianapolis this year. The streets of Indy were transformed into a turf-lined super celebration. And the best part? These had a few GREAT implications on Ball State Students.

For starters, many students were given the opportunity to work the Super Bowl. They helped with parking, tickets, seating, and concessions. It was a paid gig and the students who worked it even got keepsake apparel and tons of memories.

Ball State students were also alotted tickets to see Jimmy Fallon Live in Indianapolis during the week before the Super Bowl. And the best part? They gave the tickets to students for FREE. And Charlie Cardinal and the Pride of Mid-America Band were both in the opening sequence of Fallon’s Super Bowl Special. Check it out for yourself to see the awesome job the Ball State band did, and of course Charlie Cardinal made his mark too!

Aside from the awesome Jimmy Fallon tickets, and the memorabilia students received for working the Super Bowl, the best part was having Super Bowl Village in our backyard! The Super Bowl Village in Indy was open for about 2 weeks prior to the game and there were so many activities that students could attend throughout the weeks! ESPN filmed their shows in front of live audiences, free concerts (including LMFAO, Dierks Bentley, and Katy Perry), and appearances of many celebrities. So, here’s to hoping that the Super Bowl comes back to Indy soon. Because it sure made a lasting impact on Ball State students. Check out the pictures of the Super Bowl Village!
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The JW Marriot in downtown Indy with a XLVI decal!
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People filling the streets of Indy!
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The turf that lined the streets!
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Lauren (A Ball State Alumni!) and I in front of the Super Bowl Numbers at Monument Circle!