Journal Entry 1 – Who is Ryan J Orr?

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Who am I? As embark on a new journey to journal my experiences, and take a reflection as to who I am, ask who the question who am I?

I am Ryan, from a small town in upstate New York called Lancaster. I am the son of James and Nancy and the brother of Scott. I was raised as a Redskin as our school mascot, which today would be considered taboo and as a source of controversy in my hometown. I was raised as an Irish Catholic, and raised on family traditions. I have family scattered throughout the eastern seaboard, and and of been actively creating a family of our own here in Southern California. I was raised a hard-working family, a dad who started out in college with UPS washing trucks to where he finally retired as a division manager in Southern California. My brother and I were very fortunate, as my mom stayed home with us as we grew up in that my dad was able to provide for this to happen. My parents are still the hard work in yes, and always do the job right the first time. And what we made mistakes, we were to own up to them. It was never anybody else’s fault it was ours and we were to own it whether the outcome was good or bad. One line my dad would say over and over again, “in life, everything is about choices, and you always have a choice.” He was also very clear to let us know that as a result of her choices some of the outcomes would not be so pleasant. However, it was a choice. My dad let us fail at times to learn from our mistakes. And I can personally tell you that sometimes it was extremely difficult.

Growing up I also learned a value of a dollar, and realized there are a lot of things that I wanted. In order to achieve these things, I knew I needed to work for them. So I found jobs around the house in early age that I could do, to earn money. When I was old enough, and I had learned how to mow and take care of the yard I started a lawnmowing business in the summers. To send this may sound funny cause everybody but seems to believe that in Buffalo it’s snows year round, but I did. I mowed 12 to 15 yards a week, and I had $15-$20 per yard. At 12 years old I was making some great money. In addition for those who think it snows all year round, I found five driveways to my left five driveways to my right and 10 across that I could snow blow when it snowed. I didn’t make excuses, I got it done I charge $60 a month whether did the driveways or not. When it snowed, I was up extremely early before school, when it didn’t I collected a nice paycheck.

In high school is very active, in sports clubs, and extracurricular activities. We are always on the go. My parents advice much for my passions and sports, and I was very lucky to be involved with Eden volleyball club. We traveled the country competing, learning, discipline, tenacity and practice. I learned what it was like to win, and probably even more, probably, how horrible it was to lose. I didn’t like losing, nor do I today.
It was my passion for volleyball the actually brought me to the West Coast. I came out in 1994 to Pepperdine University to Marv Dunphy’s volleyball camp. I immediately fell in love, with California. I knew it was my desire in my passion to be out here, so I applied to Pepperdine my first choice, Lola Marymount, and University of LaVerne. Fortunately for me, I had choices, as I was accepted all three universities. I really wanted to go to Pepperdine is it an incredible University, however tuition increase to $38,000 that year, I really didn’t care for Loyola after visiting the campus, and La Verne was a welcoming incredible university that I would ultimately choose to join. They had a D1 volleyball team, and we would end up traveling the West Coast playing some of the top teams in the nation. It was one heck of a learning experience.

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