February 2011 Archives

I've Still got that Dancin' Spirit

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I woke up at 8:30 on Monday morning and began my normal morning routine before my ten o'clock tour began in the Shields Building, which houses the Office of Admissions. I stopped at the creamery on the way, got my french vanilla coffee (That is an underrated aspect of the Berkey Creamery. They have great coffee), and trudged through the snow and slush to pick up my tour group.

Everything about campus Monday morning was normal, except there were almost no students. No one yelled "WE ARE!!!" at my tour group and no one was racing past us as quickly as possible to get to class. Where was everyone!? The answer was, they were all asleep! If you have read my fellow bloggers' posts you will have learned all about the Penn State Dance Marathon. More than seven hundred Penn State students participate in a no sitting no sleeping dance marathon for forty-six hours while thousands of other Penn State students support them during the weekend.

THON is not just one weekend. Penn State students prepare all year for THON and can during the fall and winter to raise money. The money goes to the Four Diamonds Fund, which helps children and families who are fighting pediatric cancer. THON brings Penn State together for the kids and for the families. It is one weekend in which Penn State students truly make a difference and I am proud to be a part of it.

I was on a Morale committee for THON 2011. I was paired with one dancer and it was my job to help them get through the weekend. The experience was amazing and my dancer made it through the whole weekend! THON is my favorite Penn State experience and I hope that each new student coming to Penn State looks for a way to get involved. Although I have finally caught up on sleep, I have not caught up on my homework. Adios until my next post!

Winning the Future

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I realized that in my fog of sickness my writing focus became my own miserable experience and that I totally skirted my entire Obama experience. I get sinus infections ALL the time, but, for whatever reason, rare events seem less important when you are leaving class to blow your nose and cough because everyone is convinced each cough is more contagious than the last.

A few days before the president's speech the White House staff sent an email to my advisor asking for volunteers. He easily found the amount of students they needed, and two days before the event the I was briefed by White House staff about what I would be doing, why running was a bad idea (secret service will think something is wrong), and told not to gawk at important people (gawking at important people while running was out of the question). I was at the ADA (or Americans with Disabilities Act) entrance and my job was to escort anyone in a wheelchair or with any other noticeable disability to their seat. EVERYONE who entered the building  was scanned with metal detectors. Rec Hall, which held the event, was totally secure.

After making it through security and escorting people to their seats on the floor, I was finally able to watch the speech. I was on the floor and made a few appearances on the televised version on the Big Ten Network (my friend's computer froze on my face). It was an incredible experience. Policy interests me and the experience whet my appetite to work in D.C. this summer.

It is currently 46 degrees and sunny in State College. I need to enjoy the beautiful February day! Adios until I feel impelled to post next!

Sick at (not of) Penn State

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February is a crazy time of the year. THON is in nine days, I am applying to as many internships as I possibly can, and although I am only taking four classes this semester, they are still challenging. That said, this is by far the worst time to get sick. Its really cold and walking absolutely everywhere to meetings and classes does not exactly aid my situation.

Thankfully, Penn State does not support allowing students to wither away without any professional medical attention. All Penn State students have access to the University Health Services Center (you can read more about it by clicking the link). Make sure you take note of the pictures of smiling students. From personal experience, I have always been happy leaving UHS. I have had the same doctor for each visit and yes, she is real doctor and not a student or an engineering major who got lost.

The convenience never ends with UHS! There is also a pharmacy on the ground floor of the building so you can pick up your medication right after your visit. As you can see on their website, UHS offers many other services as well, including physical therapy and health and wellness education.

I don't have any great Barack Obama pictures from last week but the volunteer experience was amazing and his speech was inspiring. The link above goes to a story with more about his visit. Today is a busy day so its time to get back to it. Adios!

YObama...

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... I imagine this would be a pretty sweet way to greet our nation's president. Chances are if I actually did get the chance to meet him my greeting would be a little more shock and awe and a little less attempted witticism. President Obama will be at Penn State tomorrow and I am volunteering at the event so I get a free ticket to see his speech, which will be on energy. Although I am missing class, my professors have been really cool about recognizing that this is a very unique opportunity. Hopefully I will have pictures from the event tomorrow!

This is an incredibly busy time of the year for Penn State students. Now that everyone has finally settled in to the spring semester, exams, group projects, speeches, and presentations are spread across everyone's schedule. When this is combined with preparations for the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (or "THON," which is how I will refer to it most of the time), stresses from organizations, and snow all the time, spring can get intense.

So make sure your planner, warm jacket, and gloves are ready for State College. Although life does get stressful managing time and responsibilities is possible. I love running, listening to music, or reading something that is in no way related to the classes I'm taking. Finding something that makes you happy and can help you free your mind, even for a few minutes, can be the key to being more productive.

Blogging now has been my distraction for the afternoon. Hopefully I will be back with pictures of Barack Obama tomorrow!

About Me

    Sean Barney
  • York, PA
  • Class of 2012
  • Education and Public Policy

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This page is an archive of entries from February 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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