I’ve missed you, readers! I apologize for my writing absence during the last week as I was living out of a backpack (clothes and all) and didn’t have room for my laptop. It’s so good to be back, and I’m PUMPED to tell you all about my travels.
Here’s how I’m going to structure this: since I didn’t write at all last week and I have three places that I went over break, instead of two blogs this week, you’ll get three! Each one will go into detail of what I did in the different places I visited.
First up – Parents Week in Dublin!
As I mentioned in my last post, my sister and I were blessed with the opportunity to have our parents cross the pond to see us for a bit. Let me just say I didn’t realize how much I missed them and loved their presence until the moment I saw them in Dublin. They’re my best friends and it was life changing for them to experience a taste of this chapter of my life.
This was the first time they’d been overseas and I think Meg and I showed them the very best of Dublin. As soon as they got here last Thursday morning, we showed them our apartments so that they could see where we lived and get a better sense of the IES program. They loved it!
Friday morning was an early one because we were off to see the Cliffs of Moher. We made a couple stops at some passing castles, but after that we were on our way! Meg and I had been to the Cliffs before, and compared to last time, it was rather cloudy and rainy. But we made the best of it and got a good ten minutes where the fog lifted and we got to see those gorgeous Cliffs! We didn’t get back until 7pm that night and ate dinner at one of my favorite pubs – The Hairy Lemon.
Saturday was my favorite day with my parents I think. We toured Dublin Castle and Christ Church, then during the night went on a pub crawl! Not the usual type of pub crawl though – this one was cozy, intimate and led by two musicians who played and taught us about traditional Irish music. It was all very tasteful – just my cup of Irish tea! We stopped at three local pubs and it was one of my favorite nights in Dublin so far.
You can feel it in your bones – the need to get out, to put down your pencil, to print out the final draft of your ten-page research paper, close your computer, and breathe.
I feel it, too. The itch, the annoyance, the anxiousness that hits us every time we’re about to go on break. We students know that within days we will be home with our families enjoying a warm dinner, laughing with our siblings about moronic things we did when we were little (because we’re probably still sitting at the kids table, let’s be honest here), and attempting not to count down the days until we have to return for the daunting and unavoidable: finals.
Hope is a lovely place… but the stress from classes and extracurriculars hits you by this point in the semester. If you can’t scratch the pre-break itch, you might drive yourself crazy. Here are a few suggestions on getting through the last few class days before Thanksgiving:
Don’t save all of your homework until the night before it’s due. You’ll be up all night, bitter that you’re in the library when you want to be in your warm bed at home. Instead, break the homework up the weekend before, maybe try to get a little bit ahead. That way, when you’re daydreaming about your grandma’s famous mashed potatoes and stuffing, you won’t be getting as far behind on your work.
Use your favorite study spot. Everyone should have the place on campus that they go to and get the most work done. Mine varies on how willing I am to walk to the library as opposed to Lubbers.
Have a Friendsgiving. Not only do you get to eat Thanksgiving food one more time than usual, but you also get to relax and spend time with your friends before going on break. A lot of halls will actually throw Thanksgiving dinners together (ie. Phelps has Phelpsgiving). I wasn’t able to go, but it can be the perfect study break and exactly what you need!
There are only three tips because, let’s be real here, getting over the hump between those two papers and one exam is pretty difficult. Only so much can be done to make it easier.
Wherever you are, I hope you’re making it through the week to Thanksgiving. Take the time to be thankful for your education and the life you’ve been given, but don’t feel guilty for complaining about the fidgeting, restless feeling of just wanting to be home, because that’s something to be thankful for too.
This Fall Break I had the privilege of introducing my best friend, Ashley, to my hometown: Pittsburgh. On Friday after class we set off and left campus behind us for a few days of fun times with my family.
We arrived at my house in Wexford (a suburb just north of Pittsburgh) around 9:45 p.m. to be greeted by my parents, brother, and my dog Teddy.
Saturday we slept in, as is necessary on break, and then went to Soergel’s Orchard with a couple of my friends from high school that we also home. We visited Mabel and Clover, the resident goats, bought apples and looked at the multitude of pumpkins and gourds of all shapes and sizes. We wrapped up our outing with late lunch at good ol’ Eat’n Park, a Pittsburgh favorite restaurant chain.
Kristen, Raka, and Ashley with Mabel and Clover
Mabel (left) and Clover (right) 🙂
On Sunday we introduced Ashley to downtown Pittsburgh. We started out exploring the Strip District, stopping at all the different stores and taking a picture with Bill the bear at Wholey’s Fish Market.
Our new friend, Bill the Wholey’s bear
A snap shot of a mural in the Strip District
Finally, we rode the Duquesne Incline (pronounced “du-cane” if you were curious) which rides up the side of Mt. Washington and has the best view of the entire city.
For our last day of break that didn’t consist of the 6 hour drive back, we went to one of my favorite places by my house: North Park. This is where I go to run, kayak, play Ultimate Frisbee, bike, ice skate in the winter, basically anything and everything fun. So I was so excited to show Ashley this place I spend a lot of time in that I always tell her about. We hiked over to the Fountain of Youth, had a picnic lunch, threw around a frisbee, walked by the lake, and stopped to check out Marshall island. It was a beautiful day and just the best way to end our Fall Break PA explorations.
Pine Creek which we crossed to get to the Fountain of Youth
The Fountain of Youth. AKA an old stone building built around a natural spring.
Inside the grotto style building is a hole in the wall from where pipes used to channel the spring water before it was shut down.
Ashley on top of the world! (otherwsie known as the roof of the Fountain of Youth)
Blackrock Pavilion where we ate lunch
The Veterans Memorial
North Park Lake
A bench on Marshall Island
It was so fun to get to watch Ashley experience Pittsburgh for the first time and to show her around my hometown. And now we have a new list of other things to see and do when she makes the trip back to PA with me some day. Yay for breaks and fun hometown adventures!
You betcha. Crazy weeks are upon us here at Hope, but I’m sure they’re at your high schools, too. For some, it may be your spring break, and for others, this is the homestretch. If you’re on spring break, be sure to take advantage of your relaxing time. After spring break, everything is going to happen FAST.
This week has been hectic to say the least, and unfortunately, the remaining weeks look the same. But it’s okay, the days may seem like they drag on, but the weeks will fly by. That’s usually what happens (I sure hope that happens!) For me, the next few weeks might be stressful and hectic, but I have something to look forward to afterwards that make it so worth it, EUROPE! That’s all I can think about, EUROPE EUROPE EUROPE. Only 39 more days. I merely cannot wait.
In the present moment, this week has been packed. Monday and Tuesday were clinical days. Tuesday afternoon, I conducted interviews with my fellow directors for SAC next year! It was so exciting to get interviews rolling! Wednesday, I had class from 8:30 a.m. until around 4:00 p.m. I had some time to relax before TAing for a nursing lab. From Monday-Wednesday, I also studied for my first Adult Nursing Theory exam. Thursday, I woke up early to conduct more interviews, followed by an exam, lecture, and more interviews. And today, my day was packed with interviews from 10a-5:30p. I know that it may not seem a lot in words, but living that life was just stressful. But now, I am so glad I can chill for a little bit. This weekend is going to be a precursor to my next week, which is as intense. If not, MORE CRAZY!
Here is a prelude to next week: 2 exams, 2 nursing process worksheets and nursing care plans (you have no idea, these take a solid 8 hours for quality), 1 research critique, study guide questions, meetings on meetings, and I have to fit in sleep somewhere. To prevent stress and being overwhelmed, I am mapping out my weekly plan. Yes, I do use my planner, but this next week, my planner simply cannot handle my workload.
Before I finish, a couple of exciting things happened that ended my week well; SAC interviews are complete, and my leadership team will be making decisions soon! AND My flights to Rome and Prague have been booked for this summer so I AM PUMPED! Alright, that’s all for now, but look forward to “Dear Abby #3!”
Haha, I’m just kidding. I thought I was funny there for a second. Anyways, yes, Hope College is on spring break! Very very very exciting for all students around. Why? A break from all of the school work! Although I may not be in sunny paradise enjoying the beach or sand, I am in Holland getting ahead on my school work and preparing for the rest of the semester. Because when we do come back, there are only 26 days of class left. Holy cow, that is not that much at all. OOOOOOO I am getting so pumped as I type this!! Ok, kept it together Marv. So another countdown reminder for myself here. I only have 48 days until Europe! Eeeeeek, I cannot contain my excitement.
This spring break hasn’t been really “spring,” but it has been break for sure. When we got out last Thursday, I stayed in my apartment because I had some last minute work to do. I left for home Friday afternoon, after the Michigan v. Illinois basketball game of course. Let me tell you, that was one close game. Good thing Michigan won! So, I drove home, and as I continued to climb north, the temperature kept going down, and the amount of snow I saw kept increasing. Go figure. By the time I arrived at my house, it was literally 39 degrees, and when I left Holland 2.5 hours ago, it was 55. #notimpressed.
Well, I decided to only stay home for the weekend because I had a lot of work I wanted to tackle, and it is so hard for me to focus on my work at home. I end up doing nothing. But Hope’s library is open from 9a-6p, so it is absolutely perfect. Anyways, at home, I merely relaxed and did nothing because I deserved it. My weekend was full of basketball. I could not complain at all. I returned to Hope Sunday evening, just in time to watch my favorite TV show, Revenge. After, I headed to sleep.
Since Monday, I’ve been doing school related work. Doing homework due the week we get back from break, and work due throughout various times in the semester. People may call me insane, but it’s for my benefit!! I will have a smooth rest of my semester, and can look forward to Europe! My spring break hasn’t been really eventful compared to my friend’s, but I’m okay with that.
But, there are some exciting things that did happen during my week of break! Yesterday, it was warm enough to run outside. YES! So of course, I took advantage of this weather, because it can literally change at any minute.
I thought it would be a good idea to start running to get back into that groove. I can tell you for sure that compared to this past fall, my running stamina has decreased a little bit. Time to incorporate running back to my life! Another exciting thing is that Foster The People came out with a new album! I was super stoked because their last album, “Torches,” came out in 2011, so they were due. It’s on Spotify and iTunes. I already bought it. It’s super good, and highly recommend you listen and download it! Last but not least, I figured out my schedule for my fall semester of my senior year. CRAZY! But what’s more crazy is that for the first half of the semester, I only have class on Tuesdays and Wednesdays! How is that even possible!? I definitely got lucky, because that does NOT happen to nursing majors! I am super excited to say the least!!
There you have it! That is what is happening so far. If you don’t already, make sure you follow me on Twitter at @HopeMarvin15! Otherwise, have a great night and rest of your week!
It’s Thursday, and today marked freedom from higher education. In “normal” terms, it’s officially spring break for Hope College! #SB2K14! It’s quite an exciting time because all students deserve a nice long break, whether that is down south, or home, a break is a break. The weather may not be spring-like, but at least there is break! Alright, anyways, my break will consist of the following:
Then you repeat that more for an extended period of time. Who knows, maybe I’ll throw in something spontaneous! Anyways, as many people will be relaxing and enjoying the sun and beach, I’ll be getting some serious work done. My motivation for so much work? The rest of my semester would be a smooth ride with little stress. Who doesn’t want a semester with little stress? So, that’s my prelude to spring break.
Here is more about what I did this past weekend and week!
WEEKEND: Dance Marathon was on Friday. I wasn’t there, but I was definitely supporting my friends who were there! Friday night was nice because I had time to myself, something that rarely happens. I truly enjoyed it. Then on Saturday, one of my best friends Joey and I went to Ann Arbor to watch the University of Michigan Wolverines play the Indiana Hoosiers in Michigan’s last regular season basketball game. Road trips are a blast, especially with awesome friends. This made the drive to Ann Arbor fun and fast. When Joey and I arrived, we ate at Noodles and Company, one of our favorite food joints. Then we walked to the Crisler Arena for the game. Want to know something cool? Joey and I tweeted a picture about the game, and it got on the jumbotron! I was SO excited. Here’s a picture of it!
That was just such a cool experience. The game had so much energy, and it was very close. But in the end, Michigan won! Go Blue! But again, don’t worry, I am an avid Michigan fan, but I am so glad that I go to Hope! My experiences here make me who I am today. If I went to Michigan, who knows where I would be in life! But Michigan is DEFINITELY my #1 option for grad school.
We drove back that night following the game, but before doing so, we hit up another great place to eat; Chipotle. Honestly, I do not understand why Holland does not have a Chipotle. Can we please get a petitioned signed to get one established? Sunday was a sleep-in, catch day on homework. Oh oh oh! And my favorite TV show, Revenge, returned. It was such a great day. To make things even better, my co-leader, Jess, from the immersion trip we lead to Washington D.C. last year visited Holland for the weekend. Obviously, she graduated last year, and now interns for Sojourners in Washington D.C. So cool! What a treat it was to be with her. Although it was super short, it was great to see her and catch up with her for a little bit!
To sum up my weekend, it was awesome, A+. Now this past week has been HECTIC. I felt as if everyday lasted one week. Both Monday and Tuesday, I had clinicals and was at Grand Rapids for them. I worked Tuesday night, then I had a large assignment due Thursday. All I did Tuesday and Wednesday night was homework, and by homework, I mean this assignment. Having so much work before any break is annoying, but it feels so good to have it done. It makes the smooth transition to Spring Break much easier!
Anyways, thats all on this post. I am in the works of posting another blog that I think you will all like. Stay tuned!!!
As of today, there are 6 days until spring semester commences. Let’s make these last 6 days memorable, probably because this is going to be the only time we have time to relax before Winter Break! Here is a post on some ideas you can do in the last 6 days. I have done most of these, but to those that I haven’t done, I’d like to do ASAP. Are you up for it?
Read for Enjoyment! Ok, this might sounds weird, but I like to read FOR FUN when it’s not mundane textbooks. Right now, I’m reading Love Does by Bob Goff. SO GOOD. And the coolest thing is that he is coming to HOPE COLLEGE IN JANUARY! I’m so pumped. Maybe, I can even get him to sign my book! Regardless, you don’t have to read his book, but read something you enjoy before you’re forced to read a textbook!
Enjoy the Outdoors! Ok, this may sound even worse, but just appreciating winter weather CAN be relaxing, at least for me. There are so many activities to do outside during the winter, like XC skiing, downhill skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, tubing, and etc. Also, I’ve ran a few times outside too. I sound crazy, but I really like running. There was a day last week where it was 50 degrees, so I definitely took advantage of that. The only bad news is that it’s only limited to people who ACTUALLY have snow. If you don’t have snow, and live in the sun, don’t complain. 🙂
Watch Movies! There are a plethora of movies (that are actually good) that are out in theaters. If you’re a fan of Will Ferrell, Anchorman 2 is for you. I saw it, and it was just so funny. When a movie can make me laugh out loud, it’s pretty good. Another awesome movie to watch is Saving Mr. Banks. Oh my goodness, this movie was the best movie I have seen in a while. It was well directed, produced, casted, and was super genuine. No wonder why it was such a success. Another thing you could do is stay in bed all day and watch Netflix. Don’t worry, this is a judgment-free zone. I would consider that a success because you need to catch up on your TV shows.
CLEAN! Again, you’re probably asking yourself, “Why is Marvin so weird?” Well, I don’t know how to answer that, I just am. You can clean your house and your room. Yesterday, I cleaned my room, and I’ve accumulated so much stuff since high school that I never organized. I recycled so much paper, and now, my room is immaculate. I’m only suggesting this because before you know it, it will pile up.
HANG OUT WITH YOUR FRIENDS! So, this is probably the hardest one for me. Since leaving college, my relationships with my high school friends have been lost or disconnected. But I have those select few individuals I still talk to while I’m at school, and just being in their presence is awesome. I’ll be honest, I have more friends at Hope than I do home, and I’m 100% okay with that. All that matters to me is that I’m hanging out with the people I care about. Now, if you have a great group of friends at home, go. Go and hang out. Catch up over food, watch a movie, or just sit down and talk. Remember, time with your friends doesn’t matter, it’s the quality of your friendship.
I’m sure there are more things to do, but I just posted some ideas. I honestly can’t wait to be back at school, although this break has gone by so fast. But I have another post for you all later!
Usually around Thanksgiving Break, I’m rushing to finish my homework and trying to go to earlier classes so I can be home as soon as possible. This year was a bit different. Yes, I still rushed to get my homework done so I didn’t have to do anything in LAS VEGAS! This year for Thanksgiving, I had the great opportunity to go Las Vegas. One of my aunts turned 60 just this past week, so my cousin wanted to do something grand. Her solution = Las Vegas. To make the whole vacation even better, my aunt didn’t know that I was coming, until I surprised her at McCarran International Airport in Vegas! She was shocked to say the least. Ok, I am going to give you the rundown on my vacation! Hope you enjoy it!
So on Thanksgiving Day, I woke up at 2:30 AM. You heard me right. Don’t worry though, I went to bed really early so I wouldn’t be exhausted. So after getting ready an hour later, I said goodbye to Michigan. I drove to Gerald R. Ford International Airport at 3:30 AM. I brought one of my best buddies with me so he could drive my car back. Joey, if you’re reading this, I just want to tell you that I am eternally grateful. At around 4:15 AM, I arrived at the airport. Then, I did the usual. Check-in, security, wait, board, then TAKE OFF at 5:30 AM! My itinerary was ridiculous, but the cheapest flight is what I wanted. I went to Chicago, followed by Houston, then Las Vegas. Here are some pictures during my two flights!
After arriving at the airport, I only had to wait a half hour at the gate my family was arriving through. Then, BAM. SURPRISE! From this point, my vacation began! We got our rental car, and the first stop we made is to Jollibee, a Filipino fast food chain. You all have no idea how important this was to me. The last time I ate Jollibee was this past summer in the Philippines. I never knew when I would eat it again. I am so thankful for the strong Filipino community in Las Vegas.
Ok anyways, after that, we checked into our hotel!!!! Guess where? (It starts with a “B!”). After settling in and taking some time to relax, we hit the famous Las Vegas Strip. We went to the Monte Carlo, Aria, New York New York, Paris, Bellagio, Paris, and Caesar’s Palace. Check out my slideshow below to see some pictures!
Because I was up at 2:30 in the morning, I hit the hay pretty early, and that was at 9:00 PM. Not to mention that Nevada is in the Pacific Time Zone, which meant I gained an extra three hours to my day, added to my exhaustion. I had to get a great sleep because I had to be rested for Black Friday shopping!
I had set my alarm for 5:00 AM. so we could be walking around shopping at 6:00 AM. Usually when I am home for Thanksgiving, I don’t sleep and stay up with my cousins and hit the shops at midnight! This year was an exception. We went to the Premium Las Vegas Outlets North, which had a bunch of stores, and was I thankful! I got some pretty sweet deals at Nike, Lacoste, and Tommy Hilfiger. I got A LOT of my Christmas shopping done! Of course after shopping was eating and resting. I also worked out around noon. I can’t break my cycle! The athletic area was phenomenal to say the least! So after my workout and rest, we walked to The Venetian for a gondola ride. IT WAS SO COOL. The Venetian made it seem like I was in Rome! Las Vegas actually made me feel like I was in so many countries at once! At Caesar’s Palace, I felt like I was in Greece. At The Venetian and The Bellagio, I felt like I was in Italy. Paris made me feel like I was in… PARIS!
After The Venetian, we went back to our hotel to rest (of course). We took a lot of naps just because we had really busy days! My family and I got spiffied up and we went to Todd English’s OLiVES restaurant at The Bellagio! It was super fancy, so I’m glad I dressed up for the occasion. I had the Sea Scallops, and boy were they the best sea scallops I’ve ever had! They are my favorite seafood. After dinner, we relaxed some more.
At around 9:15 PM, we headed our way to the Cirque du Soleil “O” theater at The Bellagio! “O” is an aquatic acrobatic performance put on by Cirque du Soleil. Have you heard of them? Even if the answer to the last question was “YES,” watch this YouTube clip of it. I WAS IN AWE THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE SHOW.
After the show, it was bedtime. We had so much planned for day 3 that we needed sleep!
Ok, you know the drill. Wake up, eat, shower, and then get going on our day. Today was another special day because we went to the Hoover Dam near Boulder City, Nevada! Boulder City was only about 45 minutes away from The Strip, so why wouldn’t you go to the Hoover Dam? After the drive, we went sightseeing. I’ve only seen the Hoover Dam in pictures, so seeing it in real life, TWO THUMBS UP! Here is the dam’s little “synopsis.”
It was built in 1931 and finished in 1935. It is located on the Colorado River near the border of Nevada and Arizona. Once the dam was completed, the Colorado River backed up (of course) creating Lake Meade (which is technically called a reservoir). Then in 2010, the Hoover Dam Memorial Bridge was completed, which was another link between Nevada and Arizona. Look at my slideshow below to see my pictures!
After visiting Hoover Dam, we ate at a Filipino restaurant, shopped some more, and then relaxed of course. After dinner, around 6:15 PM, we headed to The Monte Carlo for the last performance of the vacation, THE BLUE MAN GROUP! I was so excited for this. I’ve heard so many great things about them, but have never seen them! Their show was simply amazing. What a great experience!
After the show, it was back to our hotel to pack and get ready for our long day of travel the following day.
Yes, this is a long post. But at least it was exciting, right!? Anyways, this was the shortest day we had. It was simple; wake up at 3:00 AM, check-out, return our rental car, then fly home. This itinerary was much more simple. Las Vegas – Chicago – Grand Rapids. I did have one big bummer though. My flight for Grand Rapids was delayed for an hour. Then another, and another, and another. You read that right. I was delayed in O’Hare for 4 hours! Myself, along with the rest of the plane were so upset. All we wanted to do was be home! United Airlines truly felt awful about our delay, so they reimbursed the passengers on my flight with money (which we deserved, and was a professional gesture!).
Las Vegas was a great place to visit, but I would never want to live there, too crazy! I just wanted to be home on Sunday. When I did get back, my awesome friend Betsy picked me up from the airport, then it was time for HOPE! Followed by studying and seeing my friends!
It is now the last week of class. It is crazy to think about, but it’s reality. I just have to finish this week strong, and get a head start on my studying. Next week, it’s CHRISTMAS BREAK! Stay tuned for another post this week!
Thanks for reading all! Make sure to follow me on twitter!
I’m so glad to be on Fall Break. School has been so hectic, and being away from school is just what I needed. When I came home last Friday for break, I went to my mom’s new café she opened up (her actual opening day was on Saturday). I was so shocked to see how quaint it was. It’s in a little town outside of Traverse City, called Kingsley. The community is tight-knit and welcoming. I’m very glad this is where she put it.
ANYWAY, I started working for her that Friday getting things prepared and ready for the opening day. And guess what, MY BESTIE AMANDA also worked! Vee (my mama) loves her. She’s the Caucasian daughter she’s never had. Anyways, we worked on publicity and logistical needs for her café. We even made this menu. It took us a while!
As you can see, she was working hard.
On Saturday, Amanda and I reported for duty at 7:00 AM. That’s early, we know, but we were getting paid! It was so cool to see the community and my mom’s friends and family come together to support her. She was SO excited. She’s always wanted a little café, and she worked hard to get it! Here are some pictures from opening day!
Practically, I’ve been working for my mom and studying during fall break. I have to study for my first standardized nursing test! It just shows how ready I would be regarding Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing. I’m nervous for this exam, but I’m studying hard! I’ll keep you all posted about the rest of my fall break and what’s coming up this week.
Amanda’s Twitter: HERE | My Twitter: HERE | My mom’s Facebook page for her café: HERE. Make sure you like her page too! 🙂
Wow 2013, new year, new beginnings… I am so blessed to be back at Hope. I enjoyed my time at home with family friends. It is always hard to come back to school and get into the swing of things. I already feel a little behind and slightly overwhelmed with my homework load, but I really enjoy all of my classes so far, so I’m looking forward to a new semester.
Here are some of the highlights from my break. My friends from high school, Abby and Lindsey, have always done a Christmas photo shoot together. This was our 10th year of the Christmas shoot. It is crazy to me that we have been friends for so long and we have carried on this festive tradition for so long now.
Also during break I played a lot of games with my family and friends. Our family hosted dinner parties and prepared a ton of food. My dad and I spent some quality time together while cooking. My family eats Italian food for the holidays so my dad and I prepared some stuffed shells.
After Christmas we traveled to Michigan to visit my dad’s side of the family. We only see them once a year, so I really treasure the time while we are there. It was my great uncle’s 80th birthday while we were there so there we even more cousins than usual. We spent a lot of quality time together and played tons of games.
My break ended with my family picking up my boyfriend in Holland. Then we all drove back to Illinois together and he spent the last final days of break with me. We had so much fun together
Break was absolutely incredible! I am thankful for the time spent with family and friends, but I’m looking forward to another great semester at Hope!