August 31, 2004

Calling all SHU photographers!

The Setonian online editor (that's me) is looking for a photo that embodies the first few weeks of Seton Hill student life. If you have that pic, or think you can get one within the week, you will have the honor of being the first published contributor of The Setonian 2004-2005 year--on the online site.

I know you probably aren't jumping up and down at the prospect, but this would be a sweet addition: newspaper/online Setonian contributor, to your co-curricular transcript that SHU requires. I will accept most e-mails with pic attachments. You can contact me at if you are interested.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 7:42 PM | Comments (0)

August 29, 2004

Breathe, Amanda, Breathe

Yes, school will be back in session tomorrow.

After the arduous week of orientation at Seton Hill University: Griffin Days filled with exciting activities, such as Playfair, a Variety Show, and the World Series, a set of play stations in Sullivan Gym, I am sagging in exhaustion, but strangely, edgy.

This afternoon, Anne Stadler and I also spruced up the Setonian/Eye Contact office. The new carpet, open areas, and much cleaner work spaces, create the welcoming and attractive atmosphere that we hoped to achieve. I can't wait to start the first issue--if anything, we could just sit and admire our handiwork :-D

However, the week had to come to an end. The saddest sensation washed over me today; as I was lugging out my suitcase and duffle to my car, everyone else was lugging in theirs. Commuting really stinks sometimes.

Now, finally back at home, I can reclaim my room that my sister has been inhabiting for five days, and get ready for tomorrow.

I just did some preliminary work with my planner. Keeping my "schedule" (English pronunciation; it always sounds better) is going to be a job in and of its self. I am signed up for 17 credits, but I am doing an 18 credit workload. I know that others are taking on more, but nevertheless, I am still wary. Some things never change.

I guess now my readers from the EL 236 class: Writing for the Web that click on my link will have something new to read. I have never been described as a mentor before--what a heavy title; let's see if I can lighten that up a little this year--not to mention myself. :-)

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 8:45 PM | Comments (5)

August 23, 2004

Fall Down a Flight of Stairs...

...laughing. Come on you know you want to do it.

It's about time these guys get some publicity. I have been laughing at them all summer, seemingly alone.

If you don't know what I am talking about, the Cellar Dwellars are an improv group that performs regularly in Beaver County. Through their blog, however, anyone can enjoy their antics without wasting money on gas, which should be spent on over-priced textbooks.

I am digressing...Consistently humorous with a cynical, yet lovable, wit, the Cellar Dwellars' blog is a laugh every time--even if it is hosted by Blogger.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 11:01 PM

August 22, 2004

No Planner to Dust Off

Another Wal-Mart excursion. Binders only $2.48 each. I only bought three because, oh gosh, I am reusing the ones salvageable from last semester. While perusing the shelves for functional, yet hardy, yet pretty binders, I also scoped out the planners, resting unawares on the shelves above.

If you know me, or know of my office supply obsession, or more succinctly my need for organization, you will understand the importance of a great planner. The Seton Hill-provided planners that freshmen received last year--myself included--were perfect. However, as the year has waned, so have the pages in my little red book.

And onto my search for the next planner-o-Amanda...

The criterion:
--Big calendars at the beginning of the planner, big enough for me to write detailed descriptions of events (if needed).
--Strong binding (My old one looks like it been chucked into a woodchipper)
--Large day areas in a weekly format for me to write assignments.
--Decent-looking cover
--Note space in the back in case I forget paper for a class

When I was at the SHU bookstore last week, I asked another student if they provided planners for upperclassmen as well. She said that she doesn't remember. Does anyone really know? Does anyone know of a planner that encapsulates all that I desire?

In the mean time, I will wander aimlessly from shelf to shelf, ardently searching for my planner-to-be.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 11:14 PM | Comments (7)

August 19, 2004


With my second year of college fast approaching and my summer ending, a bittersweetness accents these days.

Alas, tuition, books, and school supplies will bind me financially, as usual, but this time around, I am apprehensive about more complicated things.

Karissa will not be returning this semester, much to my dismay. I can be so selfish. Things will not be the same without her.

And I keep having these crazy dreams about school. Disintegrating staircases. Singing arias in the chapel. Nutso. No more pickles before bed.

However, I am ready to head back to work on all fronts. The Setonian. Classes. Personal Life. Yes, in that order (or so I have been advised ;-) ).

Though I am sorry to see my favorite season come to a close and the work looming (dust off that planner), I am ready to start a new year armed with some experience and a refreshed mind. Let's hope EBSCO Host cooperates this year. *Gags* (onomatopoeia is cool, isn't it?) . I can't believe I thought of that.

Who knows? Maybe I will try some of my "supercool" adventures at Seton Hill :-) Awww yeah.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 12:15 AM | Comments (8)

August 12, 2004

Future Promos for Class Blogs

After the last orientation, I have a definite impression of polar sympathies from SHU students on blogging. Those that love it--love it forever, those that hate it--always will, and those that are in the middle, well, they'll blog, but will villify it in public and will downplay their own role in the blogosphere.

The 2008 blog has had minimal freshman-to-freshman success, and I don't know if it is because of those promoting it (the term "bloginator" does denote a psychotic tendency) or if we haven't given it enough press within the orientation sessions. I think the latter.

This year, we tried to tell our groups what blogging is in a five minute span during the introductions/icebreaker period, but not every group had a leader familiar with blogging. The handout did help, but the newbies die under the paperwork they give on the first day; why would they want to figure out something else?

As I commented, we need a session devoted to blogging next year. With a hands-on introduction in a computer lab, the students may become more comfortable coming back to the site and posting. I do understand their insecurities; blogging is a big step--you reveal much about yourself, sometimes with the smallest phrase, but we need to let them know that blogging is not evil. We would not even have to make it an hour long like some of the other sessions--five minutes of a well-organized speech and ten minutes of log-on would be sufficient for the freshmen to get a better grasp on what blogging is.

As for past orientations and blogging press, it really hasn't been pretty. I don't want people to lie and say that they love it, but I would ask that they cast blogging in a positive light, despite their own inhibitions about the software/community/style that blogging entails. As OAs we are required to display this type of behavior, and as such, we should do it for everything that Seton Hill offers--including the blogging community.

The Class of 2008 blog can offer a positive environment for those who are really trying to meet people; I hope we don't let our personal biases interfere with great opportunities for others.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 9:52 AM | Comments (10)

August 11, 2004

Adventure 2: The Big GL

Monday was my extended family trip to Geauga Lake. I didn't think I was going to make it out alive.

We left on Sunday afternoon and headed out on the grand PA Turnpike listening mostly to country, but I added in some Aerosmith, Enya, Lavigne, and Hoobastank to break up the G. Brooks cacophony. Introducing my Chesney-loving aunt wasn't pretty. Don't get me wrong, I do love country, but I draw the line at some of this new crap like "Redneck Woman" (I know everyone thinks that is THE BEST SONG EVER, but I HATE it with a passion).

Anyway, as we were driving down the highway in my aunt's car with untinted windows, I noticed many people watching us. I guess our air guitaring tricks and flying Twizzlers tricks caught their attention. But who knows? The car could have attracted some attention--it is a nice shade of black. Very pretty for a black car, I suppose.

After arriving at Aurora, close to my cousin Amy's house (the one that blogs--just got married), we got a room and headed to the local Bob Evans, shunning other restaurants playfully named Mr. Chicken or Uborio's Italian Restaurante.

After eating we went to my cousin's new "yuppie" (my aunt gave it that title)apartment complex. Lovely. Such a nice home for two people starting out. Amy's closet rivals mine in size, but she only gets one side. It must really stink being married. :-)

When we reached the hotel, the pool was closed :-( and we were pretty saggy-eyed from the trip out so we decided to cram ourselves in bed. There were 10 of us in 2 rooms.

Around 9:00 we got ready and had a "continental breakfast", which usually includes a soggy danish, a crumbly bagel, and/or orange juice that has somehow mixed with the other two juices on either side of it in the machine. I like this definition better. Why the title continental? I kept thinking. It makes you think of a breakfast as big as the 48 states, when in fact, it is the antithesis of such a description.

Anyway, when we did finally rech Geauga Lake, I was stunned. I like to come to these parks without expection for fear they will be dashed to pieces by a mega-kiddie land and 2 semi-comatose coasters. Not this time.

The first coaster I rode went so many directions, half of our crew almost spewed forth the continental repast. I loved it.

I can't even count how many I rode. Over and over. Go on a weekday, folks. You can get off, and then jump right back on.

X-Flight, THE RIDE OF THE DAY, however, was something to behold. With green tracks and a black infastructure, this was the first ride I saw, and even from the ground it takes your breath away. We tried riding it first, but it was closed for repairs--inhancing the mystique and danger factor. I had to go back. After waiting in the longest line of the day, we finally got strapped in--chest strap and legs--the closest thing to a straight jacket. The oddest thing is that you lie down, the blood rushing to your head. And then you face the ground and spiral on the first drop. What am I doing? Ride it yourself.

The wave pool was also nice. The no-sand factor was a definite plus.

The mono-rail was excellent as well. Who says it has to be fast all the time. The best part is that they rate every ride in speed. According to the sign, the mono-rail is a "mild thrill ride". I guess being in an open car above the park is sort of a thrill. Who am I to judge?

One sad part filled the day, however. When we walked over to the show side of the park--once Sea World. I loved Sea World. I even dabbled with the idea of becoming a marine biologist, I don't know--about 6 years after my visit there. How sad to know that the tanks were empty and no orcas, dolphins, or sharks were there.

After one of the longest days, we finally hit the parking lot pavement for the long walk back to the vehicles. So much longer than when we came in. My cousins jumping garbage cans--big ones--filled up the monotony however. One made it and the other now has a new skin combination: black and blue.

I slept most of the way home, my five-year old cousin, Daniel huddled at my side. According to Auntie Melanie we were "snug as a bug in a rug". Great days end in the best ways. With a nap.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 10:04 AM | Comments (5)

August 4, 2004

Ms. Liberty meets Security:
A match made in terrorism

Though I didn't get to visit the interior of the Statue of Liberty on my recent trip to NYC, I am happy to see that this beautiful monument's pedastal has reopened.

While watching the reopening news coverage a couple days ago, a reporter mentioned that the statue, one day, may be open to the public as well. What a shame that "one day" will probably the park service's response until the color-coded terror alert system is abolished.

But I won't dwell on the negative; instead, I will thank all things electronic and internetish for the opportunity to see the interior of the statue without breaking federal laws or climbing any steps. The NYC skyline does look a bit different in these pictures, but in turn, they remind us why the monument was closed.

According to this BBC article, the public can look upon the interior structure through a glass ceiling, which does make me want to visit the statue again.

_39914898_statue_liberty_inf416.gifBBC News

However, I must ask: Is this a bold move toward freeing ourselves from the effect on terrorism or just another way to inhibit America by subjecting visitors to several security screenings?

The thought of Lady Liberty's head being blown off does make me in favor of the security precautions. However, the more we "secure" ourselves, the more we box ourselves in--in this case, at Liberty's feet.

Familiar, very familiar. I felt the same way when airline officials searched my bag for nail clippers.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 9:34 PM | Comments (3)