Thursday, January 17, 2013

Graduating in style

It has been a month since I have graduated from Texas State University, and what a journey this has been! My time at Texas State was one that I will always cherish. The my roommates, the Ad Club, and the people I met there all played a part in my amazing experience.

I would like to say to all of the people that helped me get through this great accomplishment, thank you! If I were to specifically point out everyone that made an impact in my journey, this blog post will turn into a novel. I am sure we all don't want that. However, I will take time to reflect and show my appreciation to all that helped me from a distance. My life at Texas State would not have been the same if it weren't for the people that God had placed in my way. The Ad Club showed me so many things. I met with advertising professionals, took notes from speakers, and most of all made friends that I will never forget.

I also want to thank my roommates! My brothers from other mothers! You guys always challenged me to be better, and not to settle for being mediocre (whether you knew it or not.). We had so many good times playing video games, trash talking, and playing basketball at the Rec. I truly believe that words cannot describe how much you guys mean to me and my journey, and I will always stay in touch because you guys are my boys!

Now I am on a new journey. A journey that consists of finding a job. So, I now understand when people say finding a job is hard. I guess I was a little naive to that fact, but it has come and hit me real hard. Luckily, I have a great network of former Bobcats, and I have learned to meet new people. It is a combination of my knowledge that I have learned from Texas State, the relationships that I have made during my time in college, and God that will help me find a place to work.

So, wish me luck on my job hunt! I really am excited to see where God has me as I continue to grow as a person, and as a man of God. (Raising my glass of water) Here is to a great ride through the journey that God has provided me!


Friday, May 11, 2012

Hall of Fame Run

There are so many coaches that have had amazing careers in their specified sports, coaches like Vince Lambardi, John Wooden, Mike Krzyzewski (Coach K), and the list goes on and on. These coaches all had a great "Run", and now they are in their respective Hall of Fames. One might ask how these coaches got to partake in this famous honor. Well, I am sure they all had their ups and downs, but they were determined to get through the adversity and enjoyed the fun times.

Although I have talked about famous coaches, I would like to write about one "Coach" in particular that is not as famous, Coach Paul Michael Gilmore. If you are wondering why I am calling Paul a coach, well it is because "Coach" is a common nickname around here. We just call everyone coach, that is how we greet each other.

So, the reason why I am posting this is because my roommate and best friend graduates from Texas State. Since he is leaving for the real world, I couldn't help but wonder what life would be like next semester. For all of those people that don't really know much about Paul and I, let me give you a break down of our relationship. Paul and I met in the 8th grade at a church retreat when my brother, Chris, was an intern. Chris and a group of youth were walking around talking about pick up lines. Yeah, I know, probably not church material, but that is where the journey started. It wasn't too long after that that him and I became good friends. Hanging out every sunday during sunday school, and even the occasional sleep over. However, it was in 10th grade that we became best friends when we went on a mission trip to Honduras. I have heard many people say that going on a mission trip brings people together... Well, imagine 5 mission trips, a multitude of volunteer opportunities, and living with each other for two years can do. That is a pretty close bond.

When we were in the college community at Houston's First Baptist Church, everyone knew that we were always together. It would seem in ways that were a pair. It was always, "Paul and Shawn"and there were even times when people called us the others name, even though him and I don't look that similar.

Paul has been such a great friend to me. He has always been there through the times, good and bad. He is such a man of God and he sets a great example, not only for me but for everyone else. I could always depend on him for telling me the truth, even when it hurt. He also has influenced me in so many ways. Just from being around him so much, I have learned the importance of encouraging others and having strong character. That is one of his qualities that I like. What you see is what you get, and you get a lot... And that is not a fat joke. You will always laugh, smile, and feel welcomed when he is around. He is just that type of guy, laid back. Another thing that I love about Paul is his servant heart. He is always wanting and willing to help anyone in need, and that is another thing that I have learned from him. There is a lot more things that I could say, but I don't want to make this post a novel.

All in all, Paul and I have had a great "Run". We have had a lot of great times, and I would never trade our relationship or the time we have spent together for anything else in the world. So, coach, we had a great run and I appreciate your friendship. Congratulations and I know that God will use you in great ways. Much love bro and if there was a "Best Friend Hall of Fame" you would be there on the first ballot!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

NSAC Finish Line

It was a picture finish of the last lap to see who won the AAF National Student Advertising Competition. Texas State University... took home the Bronze. Can an Olympian look at a bronze medal and call that a failure? Could it be both a failure and a success at the same time? I probably would never know what an Olympian would think, but for me it is exactly like my last question. A failure but a success.

I say failure because I am a competitor. As the great Herm Edwards said, "I PLAY TO WIN THE GAME!" Maybe it is not a failure, but it definitely stinks that we didn't come home with the first place trophy and had the opportunity to compete at nationals. In my mind, I wanted first so bad not because I felt that ours was better (although I do think that), but because of all the hard work my team and I put into this. I guess I felt that since we worked so hard that we were entitled the first place trophy.

However, I started to think that it was a success because I thought of all the teams that put just as much time into this competition and went home with nothing. How did they feel? To waste a spring break, to spend countless late nights at the school, to get so very little sleep, and to come home with nothing would just be heart breaking. My heart goes out to those teams that did have good ideas but came up short.

Of course, in any hard events that everyone goes through, there are lessons to be learned. Here are some things that I came away with. First, it doesn't matter how good your idea is. It is how you sell it and even then it is up to the client. If you don't get the job, take it with a grain of salt, and keep on going. Second, the friendships that you build are very important. Yes it's a competition, but the friendships that you make could last forever. Nick Melita, Kelby Schmidt, Ryan Tyson, and Adrian Bennett, it was a great pleasure to go into battle with you and I would never take this experience away. I hope I am not being extra weird... The third thing that I learned is to always work hard because if you do, it will pay off someday. Maybe not everytime, but people see that you work hard and they want to work with you. Also, let's just face it. People like hard workers.

This AAF NSAC was hard. I didn't sleep very much, I was tired a lot, but in the end it was worth it. It was worth staying at school until 3:30 AM. It was worth being tired... because at the finish line I saw how I have grown through this experience. I saw the friendships that I made, and I saw how the real world works. This is what counts... This is my life... This is my Poreia

Friday, August 26, 2011

New Year, New Experiences

Well, it is August 26th and I have now completed my first two days of classes. Even though I will be taking a smaller load than usual, I think it is going to be a busy semester. I will be taking Intermediate Spanish, Advertising: Media Planning, Biology, and Advertising: Copywriting. One great thing that I am looking forward to is not having a class until 12:30 everyday. Some might be jealous and some might not, but having that schedule has its perks and downfalls. This semester I am starting my major classes and it is really exciting/intimidating. There is no more "I don't have to read for this class" mentality. This is what I am going to be doing for the rest of my life, and I need to know what I am doing.

I want to tell you what I am going to be doing this semester in my ad classes. In my Media Planning class, I will be learning the first part of the semester and then the second I will be making a media plan for actual client! If you don't know what a media plan is that's okay. Media planners use calculations to find out what area is best for the placement of the ad. That is why you see tons of Miller light commercials on ESPN and not on PBS because the audience is totally different. Media planners have to place an ad in the right place for the best production to happen. Anyway, you might know this client; the client is Nissan! There is a competition every year with the AAF (American Advertising Federation). In that competition many schools come up with a ad campaign for the client of that year. Last year it was JCPenny, and the winner of the competition got to use their ad campaign for JCPenny. So that is going to be fun! In my copywriting class I will be choosing a client and use them the entire semester, making print, radio, and internet ads for that client. It is not really for them, although it could be. They could use my ads and publish it in a paper or whatever! So that is exciting.

I will be working hard all through this semester making ads, studying, and using my talents working for KTSW, the local radio station here in San Marcos. One thing that I know for sure is that God will never leave me. Like Joshua 1:9 says, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." I need to carry that mindset everywhere that I go on campus, whether that be in the classroom, at KTSW, or even in my own apartment. I know that God has put me here for a reason. This is my life right now, this is my Poreia.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Life this past year...

Well, it has been awhile since I have written, but I am back and ready to talk about what has been going on in my life.

As of today, I am three semesters away from graduating from the best college ever! (Texas State University- for those that don't know where I attend) This was my first full year at Texas State, not to be confused with my first year at college all together, but these past semesters have been full of new things and opportunities. For all of the people wondering, no I did not go to any parties, or get in trouble with what some call drugs. None of that, but the new things like going to my first home football game or living in an apartment with my best friend.

I started my journey at Texas State with 15 hours and an eager heart. In the fall I took some great classes: Mass Media and Society; English Literature to 1865 (not that great of a class lol.); Spanish 1; Visual Communication; and Statistics. I did pretty well and was happy with getting 4 "B's" and an "A".

This semester was a lot better school wise. I took 15 hours and achieved full major status, which means I can take upper level courses toward my major. My grades were a lot better than the fall, 3 "A's'' and 2 "B's". This gave me a 3.65 GPA and landed me on the Deans List!! What what!! I am proud of this accomplishment and I am glad that all my hard worked paid off.

All in all, this school year has been quite a journey. God has shown me a lot of things, some of which I recently learned. It's funny how that happens. One lesson learned is how to live away from my mom! haha I thought dishes magically appeared in the cabinets and the sink was alway empty... Well, that is definitely not the case! Sorry mom; I love you so much, and I now know how much of a servant you truly are.

Another lesson learned is... no matter what happens just have faith... and accountability. There were a lot of ups and downs this year and there were times where my faith was shaken, but the thing that helped me was my roommate/best friend Paul Gilmore, even though he didn't know sometimes that he was helping me. He continued to shine the light of the Lord which encouraged me to do the same. Thanks man for being there bro. The other one was Caitlin McClanahan, my amazing and beautiful girlfriend, she always pushes me to be a better leader and points me to Christ. Every time I talk to her there is always encouragement that takes place. She lifts me up and makes me happy!

This summer I will be working at Daycation for my 4th summer in a row as Assistant Director. This is a great opportunity to show the kids who Jesus is and how much he loves them. It is amazing how he works and I can't wait to see how he works this summer.

This past year made me learn that God is in control and is above all. He was there for me when I was fully relying on him and he was there for me when I was furthest from him. He has shown me forgiving and unconditional love. He is in control of my life and in control of... My Poreia

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Camping... A change in lifestyle

This past weekend I went camping for the first time in my entire life. That is right, I just said that, my entire life. Now before you start to judge just let me explain... Well, the truth is... Uhh... Umm...No one took me! I guess the people that really do care about my adventurous life are my lovely girlfriend and her father.

Before I get started on what we did on the weekend and what I learned from it, I would like to have some time to talk about how nervous I was. For the people that don't know Caitlin and the rest of the Mcclanahan family, they are in love with camping. They love it so much that for a family of four they have multiple tents, cooking ware, 7 sleeping bags, and basically anything anyone would need to have out in the wilderness. I knew I was in the right hands, but like I said, nervous.

The main response that I received after discussing the nervousness of my new awaiting journey was, "Why!? There is nothing to be worried about! You will be fine!" Well, the thing was, I wan't nervous about surviving or anything, I just didn't want to look like a complete idiot in front of the father, that I am still trying to make a good impression for. That's why I was nervous. The image in my mind was this goofy kid in city clothes with cans of bug spray clipped to his belt, fumbling over himself, and getting tangled in the tents. (That of course didn't happen)

ANYWAYS... Long story short, this is what my first camping experience consisted of:
Midnight: Get to camp and unpack everything and set up the tents. (Which I didn't do as bad as I thought. Well, at least I think so.)
9:45 : Wake up and realize we forgot some important breakfast ingredients
noon: Eat Breakfast. (or breakfast food for lunch time.)
2:00: Going hiking to the highest point in the whole camp! (which was pretty high)
4:30: Go back to camp and go on another walking journey to find the beautiful Chaquita Falls (don't let the name fool you. The water fall was about 2 ft.)
5:30: Have a snack (PB&J)
5:45: Hang out (play poker and stories around the fire)
7:30: Dinner (Mr. M grilling some nice hot dogs)
8:45: Getting ready for bed (Don't Judge!! When it is pitch black around you time seems later than it really is.)
10:00: Actual time of sleep.
5:30: Wake up and wait for the other campers to wake as well.
6:00: Caitlin wakes up and we watch the sunset together.
8:00: Breakfast
12:00 Pack up and head back to San Marcos

That is the gist of the weekend; however, there was a lot more from the weekend that I walked away with.

Growing up in a suburban area, the closest thing to the wild life was going on church retreats. Now, don't get me wrong, those retreats were beautiful and God showed me things, but this is different. Instead of laying on a bed in a room full of bunk beds that are made for the size of a small child and not for someone my size, I slept in a tent with no heating, and the only warmth was the body heat from the rest of the residents in the tent. Another thing, at a retreat there is still electricity (cell phones, laptops, lights, etc.), but that was not the luxury in this case. None, nada, nothing, and that was it. Total separation from the world, but being in the world. That is the lifestyle change.

The Title of this blog, "Camping... A change in lifestyle", is what this trip meant to me. It was not just a weekend of hanging out with caitlin or getting to show her father who I really am, but to see life in a different way, to change my perspective a little bit, and to be honest that is what really happened.

When you are in total separation from distractions God can really show himself. At night time there are no lights, but the one that God created. The stars just shine God's glory and view from the mountain truly shows how big God is. All of these experiences that I had this weekend, really wouldn't have happened if I didn't go and separate myself from the things that distract me back home. God is truly bigger, greater, and deserves all the glory. His creativity in nature illuminates his majesty and glory.

This camping trip was simply amazing. It allowed me to get a break from school, spend some quality time with Caitlin and her dad, and it allowed me to spend some time with God and see his face in the new perspective that I now have. This camping trip was no ordinary one to the woods or hill country, but... A change in Lifestyle.



Sunday, August 22, 2010

New home, new Poreia

It has been a while since I have written a blog, and I think that it is time for one.

There is a time in everyones life when they need to spread their wings and try to fly away, and this is my time. I am now living in San Marcos going to my dream college Texas State University. This has truly come within God's timing. I thought I was ready last year, but I was not. I still had a lot of learning to do. I had to get my GPA up, I had to learn what responsibility was (that is something I am still learning), and plus I met the girl of my dreams.

I moved up here on thursday the 19th, and it was awesome. I first walked in to my Apartment and just smiled because I knew what was about to come. My move in only took about an hour max, but the organizing a little bit longer. After it was all finished Paul (my roommate/best friend/everyone knows that already) our significant others and I went to eat some burgers! Then, we came back and did some more organizing, and watched a movie and that was that.

Now was the goodbyes! (This was something I was not looking forward to) I looked at Caitlin and just stood there and looked. There was a lot of hugging... a lot of tears... and a lot of I love you, and I will be in Houston before you know it. It was just as hard for me to leave her as it was for her to leave me. She means a lot to me, and I don't like leaving her...

After a while of thinking and being in this somber mood, I realized that I was in my new home. A smile came and I knew it was time... To play video games!!! Then when Caitlin got home we talked and had a good conversation, and then went to bed.

I said all of this because this was my day, but now I am just writing. I am writing what has been going through my mind these past few days. God has truly been showing himself to me. Being alone will do that I guess. I have been looking at this new opportunity and thinking that God has a purpose for me here, and I am in my specific room, in this specific apartment complex, in this specific university for a reason. There is not luck or coincidences with God. Everything is done and planned and for a reason.

I don't know what God has in store for me yet, but I know that he has something. I am ready and looking forward to it. Yeah, life is going to be different, but with God I know that I can withstand anything. As of right now, in this very second, I am going to sit back and relax and enjoy this new journey... Sit back and relax and savor this new.... Poreia!