Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Final Blog

Hi Again!

Well, this is my final blog of the year - where has the time gone? It's hard to believe that I am officially at the halfway point of my time at Mercyhurst. I remember my first day as a freshman and all the thoughts I had racing through my head wondering what the next four years of my life would be like. As my sophomore year comes to a close, I think back to that lonely day - saying goodbye to my parents and living for the first time on my own. It was certainly sad leaving my family and I knew that homesickness was sure to set in. And I was right. The first month of school was the hardest - not academically but mentally. I was pretty homesick and was trying to adjust to a new lifestyle.

 My biggest fear about going to college was my roommate placement. During the summer, I received a letter in the mail with my assignment, along with his contact information. I never had the chance to meet him before I left for school, but I we communicated  through email and text message. Simple stuff though - who was bring the TV, refrigerator...etc.

When I arrived at Mercyhurst my parents helped me unload my belongings into my dorm room - Warde Hall - highly recommend it! It was then that I was finally able to meet my roommate. I lucked out with a great roommate. Throughout the course of the year we developed a bond and became great friends. We also met a few other great friends. By the end of the year we had a solid group of about 12 of us that met for dinner each night, and watched movies and played games every weekend. We were an extremely close group that had an extraordinary amount of fun.

As freshman year passed, we left each other for the summer. It was sad to see the people you spent practically every day with leave, but I took comfort in the fact that the following fall we would all be back. We even planned a weekend get-together in July and we all went to Buffalo and Niagara Falls. We had a blast, especially on the Maid of the Mist!

When our sophomore year began, I found myself living with the same roommate and my same friends. Unlike freshman year when it was two guys to a room, we had four guys to an apartment sophomore year! We cooked our own meals (well...not often but we tried) and laughed literally every day and all night. One weekend I took my roommates home with me to spend the weekend. We had a great time in my hometown and were able to spend a night at our cabin.

The second half of the year flew right by and before we knew it May had arrived. So as I sit in my room typing this blog, I look back at the first half of my college experience. I think of my very first day, the courses I've taken, the troubles I've encountered, and grades I've received. But most of all, I look back at the friends I've made and the memories we've made that will last a lifetime. That is what I treasure most.

The past two years we've shared together and the memories we've made can never be taken away from us. If the next two years are like my first two - I could not be more excited to start my junior year next fall. Mercyhurst has become my home away from home, and I can honestly say that I've finally been able to feel what it's like to have brothers - LJ, SM, BL, AE, SK

Hopefully that gave you a little insight into my Mercyhurst experience. Thank you to those who have taken the time to read my blogs, even though I know they have been repetitive and at times boring. Nonetheless, I have truly enjoyed being able to share some of my experience with you.

Have a great summer!
Ryan Smith

Monday, April 23, 2012

Kids & Sibs Weekend!

Well...the countdown has begun! We are getting close to the end of the term and summer vacation is quickly approaching! 

So far this term has been busy, mostly with Intel work and projects. Last week we completed a serial sexual assault case project. We were given 10 victim's reports and we had to analyze each and break each report down in terms of location, behaviors, time elements, victim description, and offender descriptions. We then had to create a briefing book with our analysis and findings. My partner and I easily put 40-50 hours into the project. Some of the nights we were in the lab from 7pm-4am! 

Right after we turned in that particular project we were given another project! This one deals with drugs and we have to construct a link chart. This project is due the Wednesday of finals week, so we have about three weeks to complete it. Again, I expect to put in some long nights.

This past weekend we had a special weekend on campus- Kids & Sibs weekend. It comes once a year and is a blast! Kids & Sibs weekend is when siblings of Mercyhurst students are invited to spend a weekend on campus. My youngest sister came and spent the weekend with me and we had so much fun! We checked in on Friday and were given a bunch of snacks and two matching official Kids & Sibs weekend T-shirts! 

We then went out to dinner in Erie and went to Starbucks for a drink and to talk. We ended the night by watching a movie. Saturday we took the bus to the mall and did some shopping. We then returned to campus and grabbed dinner at the Egan dining hall. Surprisingly, my sister liked the food! haha

Sunday afternoon we went to Panera for lunch and then my parents met us there and we went to the mall. I am glad she was able to come down and I know she enjoyed her stay at the Hurst! Can't wait until we do it again next year!

Below is a picture of two stuffed animals we made on Saturday during the events on campus:

Anyway, I'm currently at work study typing this blog so I better get back to work! 

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Law Enforcement Intelligence

Hello Again!

Happy April Fool's Day! It's hard to believe today is April 1st! We have one more full month of school and then it's summer vacation. We had Major Day and Laker Live-In over the weekend. Major Day is when prospective students are invited to come to Mercyhurst and learn about the various majors the school offers. Each major holds a discussion/information session for those students who are interested. We had a great turnout this year.

Students who attend Major Day are also invited to spend the night (Laker Live-In). Each prospective student is paired with a current Mercyhurst freshman to spend the night with. The prospective student is then able to get a better grasp of life on campus - especially life in the dorm rooms. The school hosted a few musical groups last night as well as a comedian.

Well we are approaching the middle of the term and Easter Break is coming up! The first half of this term has flown by and midterms are approaching! I have on midterm on Wednesday and another the following Tuesday. Yikes.

This term I am taking a Law Enforcement Intelligence class and so far it is awesome! Mr. Grabelski teaches the course. He was a homicide detective with the LAPD. That is one thing I value in the Intel Department - our professors have real-world experience. They come from the field and what they are able to teach us from their own personal experiences is wonderful.

So far we have completed two projects and we were assigned our third one last Friday. For our third project we are analyzing a serial rapist case with ten victims. We have to analyze each victim's statement and pull out the important information and organize it into an Excel chart. We've done several examples in class and it is challenging but intriguing.

Our new Intel building is coming along! They have made tremendous progress on it so I thought I would post a picture I took a few days ago.

Thank you for reading!

The new Intel building!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Term!

Hello everyone!

I know it's been awhile but I'm back on the blog! I'm so glad winter term is over and done with - spring term is the best! We've been having some beautiful weather lately. It's been in the 70s a few days and the upcoming week looks nice too!

The highlight of this term will probably be Spring Fest, which occurs is May. Sean Kingston is coming to Mercyhurst to perform. Tickets are free to students and it's just an all around good time. Last year we had the Plain White T's and they were great!

Well...St. Patrick's Day weekend was this past weekend and we had awesome weather! Friday night I just hung out with my roommates and we watched the Grinch haha - I know it's a Christmas movie but we all love it and watch it year round. During the day Saturday we hung out and Saturday night I went to the Presque Isle Casino for a Bruce Springsteen Tribute Band Concert.

I'm a fan of Bruce Springsteen and I didn't quite know what to expect from a  tribute band but they put on a heck of a show. The group was called the "B Street Band" and they were from New Jersey.

Below is a picture of my girlfriend and I at the concert with the stage in the background.
My girlfriend & I at the Bruce Springsteen Tribute Band Concert.

We also had an event for the Ambassador Club last week called Spring Tea. This is when we formally induct our new members. This year we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the ambassador club. It was a nice ceremony and we had a great day for it.

Well...that was a quick update but there will be more coming! My next blog I'll be talking about the new Intel course I'm currently taking - Law Enforcement Intelligence. So far it's a great class but I'll give you the run down next blog!

Have a great week!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lovin' Life at the Hurst

Hello again!

Well, it's official....we are now Mercyhurst University! Last week our college president, Mr. Gamble, announced our university status to the entire campus. We have a new name and a new logo! Check it out on the school website. Although we became a university, the college itself isn't changing much. We still and will always have a quality education and the one-on-one interactions with our professors. Mercyhurst will never change at the core.

We have been trying to figure out if it is winter or spring outside. We have had unusually nice weather this past month - I'm not complaining though! I'm ready for spring and the sunshine!

Classes are going pretty smoothly for now. I have an American Government test tomorrow, so I plan on studying the rest of the day. Competitive Intel is going well too. We are now in the process of compiling our final project, our class company profile of Tim Hortons. We plan to get the company profile professionally bound, which will be a great thing to take into future job interviews.

I cannot believe how fast this term went - it seems like we just started. We have about 4 more weeks until another break. I should probably start preparing for finals!

I had a great time with my friends this weekend! On Friday night we went to the movies and saw The Descendants with George Clooney. It was a pretty good movie. Last night we went to the Hibachi Japanese Steakhouse and it was fantastic! They cook your food right in front of you and they also put on quite the show for you. Our chef was hilarious and he made some amazing food! You also sit with people you've never met before. We had four total strangers at our table but by the end of the night we were laughing and getting along great! Here is a picture of a all of us at dinner:

At the Hibachi Japanese Steakhouse! Yum!
Well, I'll post again next week!

Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Intel Update

Hey everyone!

In my last post I said I would try to update you all on competitive intel this week. Today I submitted my first draft of my Marketing & Sales section for our class company profile. Our class has its own wiki that we upload assignments to and then the class peer edits each others. It is a neat idea, however aggravating to use - especially when formatting pictures.

In class today we had six book presentations. I am scheduled to give my presentation on Thursday. For the book report, we need to be formally dressed (suit and tie) and have a visual aid (PowerPoint). Our presentation is to last anywhere between 7-13 minutes.

I was walking back from class today and I took a picture of our new intel building. It's just about complete! Here it is as of January 17th:
The new Intelligence Studies building at Mercyhurst College.

I posted a picture last week of our campus covered with snow. Notice how quickly the snow has melted! It has been unusually warm here the last couple of days. 

I had two tests today, one in criminal justice and another in intel. They went alright and I hope I did well. 

Anyway, off to dinner with my friends! We're heading the the Laker, which is a dining place on campus. Great food!

I'll keep the posts coming!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Busy Week in Intel

Hey everyone!

Before I talk about intel, I just wanted to post a picture I took today. WE FINALLY HAVE SNOW!! It came Thursday night and when I woke up for class Friday morning I looked out my window and I was shocked! I wish we had snow for Christmas though, but at least we have some now. But I know come next month, I'll be ready for the warm weather to return.
This is a photo of Garvey Park, located pretty much in the center of campus.

Next week is going to be a very busy in Intel. On Tuesday my section of our company profile (Sales & Marketing) is due. I need to analyze the marketing strategy of Tim Hortons and analyze how it reflects in terms of sales. I plan on doing most of it today and then finish it up tomorrow. My Sales & Marketing section is just one small part of our Company Profile. By the end of the year we will compile our sections into one professional document. 

On Thursday my book report is due. Throughout our competitive intel course, we have to read a business book. My book is The 5 Levels of Leadership by John C. Maxwell. It focuses on leadership development. On Thursday I'll have to give a 10 minute presentation to the class on my book and also submit a written book report. Each student in the class is required to do the same thing, and at the end of the year we are publishing a book of our book reports.  We will have a book to carry with us throughout our careers that contains a synopsis of various business books that we can refer to. 

I'll try to post a blog next week and let you know how everything went!

Have a great weekend!