Music To Keep You Sane While Studying

Anyone who knows me can tell you how little the amount of time is I don’t have at least one earbud in during the day. Any chance I get, I’m listening to music. I figured I’d share some of my favorite albums right now since listening to music while studying is pretty much the best thing ever.

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1. Worlds – Porter Robinson

Worlds is a huge departure from pretty much everything Porter Robinson has done before. It’s got an awesome chip-tune vibe, and also incorporates some smooth vocal tracks from the likes of Amy Millan and Urban Cone. My favorite tracks are Divinity, Sad Machine, Lionhearted and Flicker. The whole thing’s pretty great though.

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2. Pop It – Anamanaguchi

I wrote a post like this last year, and Anamanaguchi’s album Endless Fantasy was the best thing I put in it. Over a year later and I’m still jamming out to that album. Their new single, Pop It, came out of nowhere, and even though it’s a little different than their usual stuff, the bones of their chip-tune days are still there if you listen for them. The vocalist on the song still hasn’t been revealed, but the band promises more info soon.

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3. Hohokum Original Soundtrack – Various Artists

Hohokum is easily the weirdest video game to come out in 2014. The PlayStation exclusive blends trip visuals with a relaxed “do whatever you want” feel that’s a great departure from the Call of Duty clones and GTA imitators we see come out so often. It also happens to feature a soundtrack comprised entirely of tracks from artists under the Ghostly International label. The soundtrack is $10 and comes with 22 tracks from awesome artists like Tycho and Com Truise.

Three Movies To Get You Out of That Cold Weather Blues

I can’t believe it’s only the beginning of November and it’s already snowed. I usually don’t have to write a post like this until Thanksgiving, but you gotta take the curveballs as they come I guess!

Something I really like to do when it starts to get cold is drive to Rivertown Crossings mall and see a movie. It takes up the better chunk of a Sunday, and movies are cool. I’ve been to the movies a bunch this year already thanks to the cold, so I figured I’d suggest a few here!

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1. John Wick

If you’ve been eagerly awaiting Keanu Reeves return to action-star form, then wait no longer because John Wick is as close to a perfect action film as it gets.

The basic plot is that John Wick is a hitman who got out of the game because he fell in love. His wife tragically dies in the beginning of the film from cancer, and she leaves him with a puppy to take care of. Things take a dark turn when Russian gangsters break into John’s house, kill the puppy and steal his super cool Mustang. Surprising nobody, John gets back into the game to get some sweet, sweet revenge.

John Wick is easily one of the best movies I’ve seen all year. If you’re an action fan, you’ve gotta check this one out.

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2. Gone Girl 

Gone Girl, starring Ben Affleck, is a modern twist on the classic “my wife is missing and the cops suspect me!” tale. It features a great commentary on the role of marriage in the 21st century and the way the media reports on relationship scandals.

If you want a good drama, this one’s for you.

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3. Big Hero 6

Big Hero 6 is the first animated film to come out of Disney’s purchase of Marvel Comics, and it’s pretty awesome.

It’s a story about a kid named Hiro and his robot, Baymax. Hiro turns Baymax from a soft, inept and adorable robot into a Iron Man-like super hero. It’s funny. It’s cute. It’s a Disney movie that incorporates Marvel characters. How much cooler does it get?

A Senior’s Take on Time Management

One thing that every college student knows, no matter what point they’re at, is that it’s really easy to get so wrapped up in homework and extracurriculars that time to unwind and relax often gets pushed to the wayside. There’s usually no shortage of things to do, the problem is remembering to make time in the first place. This leads to annoying stress and breakouts that nobody has time for, so I figured I’d share some of the ways that I force myself to relax here at Hope.

Something that really helps me make time for fun is finding an hour-long weekly TV show or two to watch religiously. The two shows I’ve watched since they started are The Walking Dead on Sundays at 9:00PM on AMC, and Agents of SHIELD which airs Tuesdays at 9:00PM on ABC. One issue I used to run into is that I can’t always make time at the time the show airs. Thanks to the Internet though, many of the bigger TV channels put their shows online the next day to watch for free. I usually watch SHIELD on Thursdays so that I have a spread out hour where I have nothing to do.

During these breaks from life, one of the most important things I do is that I turn off notifications on my MacBook, and I put my iPhone into Do Not Disturb mode. Your friends will survive if they can’t reach you for two hours a week, and being on your phone generally isn’t very relaxing.

The main thing to take away from this post is that college is stressful and you have to make time to unwind. Holding in stress doesn’t help anyone, and that’s just a fact. How do you relax after a tough week? Let me know in the comments!

SAC Chicago Shopping Trip 2014 Recap

Somehow I made it all the way into my Junior year not knowing about the annual SAC Chicago Shopping Trip. It only costs $5, and that $5 gets you a bus ride to Chicago for an entire day. I had so much fun on the trip last year that I knew I had to get my name in as soon as possible this year.

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This was the first time in a while where being up at 8:00 AM didn’t bother me so much, and my apartment mate and I both made sure to have a couple cups of coffee before we left. The ride itself only took a couple of hours and before we knew it we were walking around Michigan Avenue.

We had lunch at Portillo’s, a super good hotdog place that we don’t have here in Michigan, and I made sure to follow my friend Greg’s order to a T (see the video below). After we ate lunch we decided that it was time to find more coffee. We spent way too long looking for somewhere that wasn’t Starbucks, but after a while we just gave up and went to Starbucks.

Feeling more awake we decided it was time to shop. We hit every store we possibly could on Michigan Avenue, and we took a few pictures on the bridge. We put in our names for dinner at The Cheesecake Factory, and by the time we were done it was almost time to head home. I don’t remember the ride back because I basically passed out as soon as I sat down.

I think it’s really cool and really unique that Hope give students this opportunity every year with basically no barrier of entry related to cost. It’s definitely one of those cool experiences that you can only have at Hope.

Is It Fall Yet?

While I love going to the State Park and enjoying Holland when it’s nice and summer-y out, nothing beats Holland in the fall. There are so many trees in Centennial Park that daily walks become a must, and cider and donuts from Crane’s is one of the best excuses to take a break from studying, too. Oh, don’t forget that Lemonjello’s brings back Caramel Cider and Chi-Cider in the Fall.

Fall Break seems like it’s too soon in the year when you start at Hope, but by the time it rolls around there’s nothing to be more thankful for. It’s also right around that time that you really get into the swing of things, and you learn how to knock out your homework on a Sunday instead of taking all week to read one chapter.

My only complaint about fall in Holland is that it usually starts too late and it usually ends too early. Before you know it, the leaves are all on the ground and you’ll see the first snow flake of the year.

Being a Senior, this is the last fall that I’ll spend in Holland. Now that I know exactly what I have the time to accomplish, I’m pretty confident it’ll be the best one yet.

A Taste of The Anchor

Hello!

My name is Jimmy Champane, and I’m returning as a Student Blogger this year. I am also the Editor-In-Chief of The Anchor, Hope’s very own campus newspaper. Below you’ll find the first post from my column, #nofilter. If you like what you see, you may want to consider writing for The Anchor when you attend Hope yourself!

This past summer I re-fell in love with comics. I crazy that I ever fell off the train because anyone who has come within ten feet of me at any point in time knows how much I love Marvel movies. If I’m remembering correctly, it was because Marvel killed off Peter Parker again, (yes, again), and I decided I was done with the cycle of death and guaranteed resurrection that Marvel seemed to be caught in with all of my favorite heroes.

I don’t know what made me do it, but one day last April I decided to look up reviews for the Spider-Man series that started up after Peter’s death, ‘Superior Spider-Man.’ I couldn’t believe my eyes. Every single one of the 31 issues had received a score above a 9/10 from countless review outlets. I decided right then and there to give Marvel another chance by purchasing the entire ‘Superior Spider-Man’ collection from ComiXology.com, and boy, am I glad I did.

What I found was an incredible story about what happens when one of the biggest villains in all of comics, Dr. Octopus, switches bodies with Peter Parker and then sets out to be a better Spider-Man than Peter ever was. Spider-Man lost his wit, his empathy, even his classic costume, but what replaced him was not only hilarious in its own right, it was genuinely exciting to read. By taking Peter Parker, a character that Marvel won’t even let have kids so they can keep him young, out of the equation, Spider-Man was able to travel down one of his darkest paths yet.

Anyone who kept up with the news last summer undoubtedly heard that two of their key characters, Captain America and Thor will have some major changes happen in their respective series this fall. Sam Wilson, commonly known as Steve Rogers’ African-American sidekick, Falcon, will take up the helm and shield of Captain America. In Thor’s neck of the universe, something will happen rendering him unworthy to hold his trusty hammer, Mjolnir, and his title will be taken from him by a woman who is unknown at this time.

Of course, whenever big comic book characters get replaced, there has been a massive uproar from internet trolls, keyboard warriors, armchair lawyers and the kinds of people who make fifteen Twitter accounts just to sling homophobic slurs at writers. I think a few years ago, I would’ve reacted in a not-so-great fashion too. After seeing how amazing something like this can turn out when it’s done with care, I have an incredible amount of confidence in Marvel to get this right.

The good thing is that if they mess it up, and let’s be honest there’s always a chance they will, Marvel isn’t killing Steve Rogers or Thor. Steve just got his Super Soldier Serum removed so he’s about 90 years old physically right now, and Thor just gets to wield a crazy battle axe and he at some point will receive a metal arm. That being said, I think I’ll try my hardest to enjoy it for what it is. I’ll also keep in mind that with ‘Marvel’s The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron’ is looming on the horizon, so it’s pretty much guaranteed that I’ll see Steve Rogers and Thor back in action soon.

Studying Abroad: My Experience So Far

At the beginning of this year, I decided that I wanted to study abroad this summer. I had received an email from Professor Isolde Anderson about the Communication Liverpool May Term, and I knew that second that it would be the one for me.

After collecting some preliminary information, I submitted my application with my two references and started playing the waiting game. A couple of weeks later, I received the email stating that I was in. I was officially part of the Communication Liverpool May Term.

The class that I am officially enrolled in is being taught be Professor Jayson Dibble, and it’s on British Comedy. To prepare, we’ve been attending many different Laugh Fest comedy shows (I know, what a drag), and we’ve been meeting once a month to go over analytical journal articles about stand up comedy.

I’ve also decided that I will be staying an extra week after the trip by myself so that I can explore London for a little while. I have a few friends in the UK I’m excited to meet for the first time as well!

The main piece of advice I would give while preparing for studying abroad is to make sure you not only meet registration and payment deadlines, but that you meet them early. Spots on these trips are limited, so not paying on time could, in the worst case, mean losing yours. Hope is usually pretty accommodating, though as long as you keep them filled in on what’s going on on your end.

Okay, so that’s what’s going on so far with my Liverpool May Term. I’ll be back soon to give an update!