A Filling Weekend

Hello!

I hope your Mondays are going well and aren’t as stressful as mine is (Three exams in one week?! Crazy talk. But it’s happening.) I can’t complain much though, because instead of locking myself in my room this weekend and studying like I should have, I went to a lot of events.

On Friday was Women’s Night Out – an event sponsored by Campus Ministries. We went to Tunnel Park, ate pizza, and had a huge game of capture the flag. While my team lost, it was still really fun and I met a lot of people I wouldn’t have otherwise. After playing capture the flag we walked to the beach and found an area where we could all sit down. Here, our new chaplain Lauren Taylor led us in a small worship, discussing how we are the women of Hope College and we need to be here for each other. We sang and began a cool new tradition where the upperclassmen wash the feet of the underclassmen as done in the Bible. It was a much needed night after a week of exams and papers.

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Come Saturday, come the Pull. If you don’t know what the Pull is, you should read this blog post from my fellow blogger, Jakub Myska. You can’t exactly call it “just a big game of tug-of-war”, because it’s a lot more than that. It’s a full physical, mental, and emotional experience for those who participate. This year I got to watch four of my sorority sisters, moralers and coaches, participate on the even year side. Here are some pictures from my time at the pull!

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In the end of a super eventful weekend, my hall went apple picking together at Crane’s! We picked out our apples, which are great to have in the dorm and personally one of my favorite fruits. I wasn’t able to stay long because I had to get back to campus for a meeting, but it was still a cool way to spend time with some good friends.

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It was a busy and fun weekend, but now it’s back to the books. I’m full of experiences and memories that will last for years to come with people who mean a lot to me.

Thanks for reading,

Brooke

A is for Apple (Picking)

Hello Readers! Happy Hump Day!! Only a few days until the weekend – hallelujah!

Speaking of the weekend, what are you planning on doing with yours? SAC always has a movie or some fun event going on, or there’s always the option of staying in and watching documentaries on Saturday night (which my housemates and I may or may not have done last weekend…), but what if you want something fun to do off campus during your lazy Saturday? Plus, it’s the beginning of fall and end of summer, so you want to be outside, right? Well in this post, I’m going to talk about just one option for your weekend – Crane’s Orchard.

Cranes, if you don’t know, is an apple orchard. There’s Cranes in the city, which is right here in Holland, but that’s not the orchard, and that’s not where you’d go to pick apples (silly). The orchard is in Fennville, Michigan, about a half an hour drive from Holland, and like any typical apple orchard, you’d go here to pick apples! According to their website, they have just about every apple you can think of – Macintosh, Gala, Golden Supreme, Blondee, and Honey Crisp. The way it works once you get to the orchard is you get a bag, fill up your bag with as many yummy apples as you want, and then pay just $0.90 per pound of apples. What?! That’s a fantastic price! And I’m telling you, these apples are absolutely delicious and well worth your money. Once you’ve picked your apples, you can head to Cranes Pie Pantry and Restaurant, which is in the same vicinity as Crane’s Orchard, for some cider and donuts – a fall classic. (**A note to East-Siders** Crane’s isn’t a cider mill. You’ll have to get your fill of watching cider being made when you go home for fall break.)

Lucky for the Hope community, Crane’s Orchard just opened back up last weekend for the fall season, so if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, you’ve found exactly what you’re looking of! I’ve gone to Crane’s at least once every Fall while at Hope, and this year it’s become an event for our house, complete with baking pies after we pick our apples. I’m pumped!

Keep looking forward to the weekend, Readers! Try out some Crane’s if it fits your fancy. Enjoy!

Until next time.

Movie of the Weekend: Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler-poster-excerpt

It’s cold, dark, and snowy and I just watched what could be one of the best movies of the year. On sale on Google’s Play store for about 5 bucks, my girlfriend and I ordered some Hungry Howie’s and decided to escape the Michigan life and delve into the the neo-noir underbelly of Nightcrawler’s Los Angeles.

For those who have no idea what I am talking about, check out the trailer here.

I didn’t really know what to expect from this movie. From the trailer, it was something about a guy with a camera filming tragedy on the Los Angeles pavement. So Rachel and I turned down the lights and mashed our faces in pizza unaware of the mental roller-coaster we were about to experience.

The film revolves around the persistent character of Lou Bloom portrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal as he desperately finds work. Captured by the energetic allure of crime journalism, Lou muscles his way into the gritty work of capturing late-night tragedy on camera with the encouragement of morning news director Nina Romina. His newfound career expands as he hires a protégé, Rick Carey, to help him capture crime and feed the news machine with tragedy, violence, and loss. The rest you must watch for yourself.

There’s more at stake than journalism with Nightcrawler. The film itself was an intense rollercoaster ride of action and suspense, but it ultimately had us, the audience, look both into ourselves and around us.

There may be spoilers so I do not recommend reading my reflection about the movie below until after watching it yourself.

Mouseover for Potential Spoiler(s)

I highly recommend everyone to watch Nightcrawler and if you can, enroll in a cinema class at Hope!

The Most Wonderful Weekend of the Year

Hello everyone!

It was quite an eventful weekend here at Hope, the best so far, in my opinion. There were so many cool things going on around campus, including the Christmas tree lighting and 80’s Rollerskating Night! I also had the opportunity to attend the Delight muffin and painting party; Delight is a woman’s worship group here on campus.

Friday night, a few girls and I went to the Christmas tree lighting. It was so lovely. They had sugar cookies, hot chocolate, hot pretzels, and a few other warm treats to keep our frozen fingers from falling off while we sang Christmas songs around the tree, our candles glowing throughout Silent Night. At the end of the ceremony, out mascot Dutch came in by reindeer and sleigh!

Later that night, SAC put on an 80’s Rollerskating event: Sk80s! It was held at the Home Roller Rink in Holland, and buses were provided to take students without cars over there! My friends and I didn’t really want to leave, that’s how fun skating around the entire time was! When it was over, we went to Steak ‘n Shake for shakes (obviously) and a late night snack.

The next morning was the Delight event. We walked to the Mouw Cottage, where worship is held every Saturday night, to spend some time with some other Hope girls, painting and worshipping while we enjoyed some delicious muffins and coffee. It was a very calming event, and I’m definitely going to be attending more Delight worships!

It was a very eventful weekend, balanced by friends, fun, and God.

If you have any questions for me you can contact me at brookelyn.wharton@hope.edu, through Facebook, or my twitter @hopebrooke18! I’d love to answer them!

I’m Goin’ Home

The best meatloaf in town by far is located in the town of Sterling Heights, Michigan, on a little side street with excellent shrubbery in the front yard and a dog peaking out the bay windows overlooking the street.

In case you didn’t catch how much I love my dog in my previous post, the house I just described is indeed my very own, and the meatloaf I talked about is honest-to-goodness the very best. Meaty, flavorful, and everything a girl could want in a home-cooked meal.

The best thing about this meatloaf, however, is not the taste. It is the fact that it can only be found at my house, and made by my mom, just for me. Especially when I go home to visit.

Thinking back to when I was a first year, not so very long ago, I always thought to myself “I’m not going back home until Christmas because I’m in college and independent and whatnot!” But I am here to tell you, folks, that whether you’re a first year, or a senior, you’re going to go home. You’re going to need your nice soft bed, a cuddle with your pooch, and the endless conversations with your loved ones.

So I thought I’d give you some advice to make the most out of your visits home this year.

First off, ENJOY. Put your heart into your visits home, because your loved ones are excited to see you!! Tell them about the crazy adventures that you’re having, how your roommate is your best friend (or not) and what you’re deciding on majoring in this week. They just want to know that you’re doing well. And no matter how many times you hear the question “So how’s school?” always answer with a smile, because the people asking care about you. And what’s better than having people care about you? Nothing, people.

Next, don’t stress. You might have a huge Chem exam on Monday and obviously you need to study, but don’t spend your whole weekend studying. After all, the weekend home is meant to be relaxing and fun, so don’t waste it on boring homework. Do something you love to do at home, like eat breakfast with your family or read a book on your porch. Maybe even visit some high school friends. You do you.

Lastly, your parents have missed you, and will be more than happy to do a lot of things for you (like your dirty laundry), but don’t forget to tell them how much you appreciate them, maybe even give them a really big hug! They love you and have just let you go on the biggest journey of your life and maybe are even helping to pay for your education. So even though you are an independent college kid and deserve to make your own decisions, know that they just want the best for you and are still getting used to the fact that your gone and growing up.

Everyone does something different when they go home, but hopefully this advice helps you to unwind and take in the special qualities of your own home while you’re there.

Until next time, all!

The Final Days

Oh my goodness, just one more Monday after this one. It’s crazy to believe that the school year is finally winding down. When you, the new admitted students, come to Hope, your time will fly by. Make every second count! It’s hard for me to believe that I’m going to be a senior nursing major really soon. Being a senior just really seems like a foreign concept to me! But I am just so excited and ready!

If you were here this past Saturday, thank you for coming to Admitted Students Day! It was such a blast to be able to start your morning as an emcee. Yeah, isn’t that a weird spelling for emcee? I always thought it was “MC…” Back to the point, I hope you were able to attend you academic session and see how academics work at Hope College. I also hope you had fun enjoying the social aspect of Hope. Now I know a lot of you had fun. But just imagine, that will be YOU having fun EVERYDAY starting this August! It was so great to meet some you as well, and I can’t wait to see you around campus next year!

Anyways, this weekend was eventful and busy, but a good busy. On Friday was the Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Performance. What a cool thing to go to! A bunch of my friends had research to present, so I attended for moral support. It was also SO AWESOME to see how much Hope College invests in undergraduate research. Not many schools do this, but Hope does and it’s evident because we’re ranked in the top 10 for undergraduate research! Afterwords, a bunch of friends and myself went to some dunes here in Holland to appreciate Mother Nature. And it was a perfect day because it was warm and sunny. I forgot that there was sun and warmth, thanks Mother Nature! At the dunes, we watched the sunset and enjoyed the company of each other. After, we went to get some frozen yogurt, because who doesn’t like frozen yogurt? Then, we watched a movie after. To say the least, I actually had a social life Friday!

Then, Saturday was Admitted Students Day, and I was able to emcee for that which was awesome. I definitely want to do that next year! Working for Admissions is seriously a blessing. Being a part of admissions is just very rewarding! Then, I had a 3-hour CPR renewal class. Following this class, I went to a sorority formal with one of my great friends! Saturday was very busy and eventful!

Sunday was a day for catching up on work and just relaxing. Believe it or not, I started packing my stuff already! Because this Friday is Good Friday, there is no school, so I get to leave Thursday. I’m just going to bring a lot of my belongings home, so when it’s actually time to part for summer vacation, I won’t have that much! I just can’t believe I’m already packing. This just means I’m one day closer to a summer of a lifetime! Alrighty friends, that’s it for now! Keep posted, I’m going to post soon! Thanks!

It’s OK to be Social

Alrighty folks, I’m back again with another post. Great right? So here is my “thesis” of this blog. Although college has a large focus on academics, it is OK to be social. I felt as if I was writing a formal paper there for a sec. Anyways, yes. As a nursing major, I am completely buried in homework and study literally 24/7. It can get irritating, but it’s the life I chose, and it’s my calling. So secretly, I enjoy this work sometimes (weird, I know). But last weekend, I did a lot of homework so I had time to just relax this week. But, I also was social and hung out with my friends! Ultimately, you have to find that balance between academia and the social realm, which is pretty unique here at Hope.

So, my homework is already done for this week. It is SO nice to have this work done. I have had so much time to focus on relaxing and working on SAC stuff. I’m a project lead for the annual Chicago Trip, so that is stressful. Just imagine schoolwork on top of that… it would be a disaster!! Regardless, maybe I’ll do this more often, the doing my work ahead of time because i have so much time for myself now!

But along with the completion of my work, I found time to be with some of my best buddies. It is good to have this time in college because it maintains your sanity. Trust me. Anyways, it was fellow blogger’s Chelsea Barfield‘s 22nd birthday, and my friend Nate’s 21st. So, we went over to his house to enjoy each other’s presence. We played trivia about each other, and all I have to say to that is we learn something new everyday, HAHA!

Maizey Jane and Me!
Maizey Jane and Me!

Along with having fun at the birthday party, I met Chelsea’s precious puppy, Maizey Jane. She DEFINITELY wins the cutest puppy award. This is the kind of dog I want when I get out college. Something cute, cuddly, and fun. Something Maizey! Afterwards, I ended up watching Despicable Me 2 with one of my best buddies, Joey. Oh man did I laugh a lot. Another thing I wish I could have are Minions. They’re simply the best. That following Saturday, I did some homework, worked out, and hung out with my friend Hannah! We watched 21 and Over and Pitch Perfect. It was a nice way to unwind. She also took me grocery shopping, and I bought a box of clementines. By the time we finished our movie, I ate 8. Yes, 8. They are the best. Then, that Sunday, I slept in a little bit, had breakfast with Joey, did some homework with Hannah and Allie, ate dinner, then watched my favorite TV Show, Revenge. If you haven’t seen it, GO. It’s on Netflix. It’s full of mystery and suspense, and in the perfect combination.

Ultimately, I had a productive weekend. Because I had those intervals in which I hung out with my friends, I got a lot done! See, everyone has 24 hours in a day, we just spend it differently. That’s it for now! If you haven’t already, FOLLOW ME on TWITTER! Just shoot me questions if you have any! I’ll be posting again later this week!

Until then!

Big School vs. Little School

I know it’s beyond Wednesday, so this week is practically over. But, I just wanted to share with all of you my experiences from last weekend! So, Friday, October 18th, one of my best buddies and I left Holland, MI and road-tripped to Ann Arbor, the home of the University of Michigan main campus. I’m going to be honest, I love U of M. It was in my top 3 choices my senior year of high school. When Joey and I arrived there, it was around 10:00 PM, because we made a pit stop in Howell, MI to do some outlet mall shopping. I was actually disappointed with the selection and even the prices, but that’s what’s not important! We ended up staying the night in Ann Arbor. We needed all of the energy we could reserve for the big football game!

The football game started at 3:30 PM, so Joey and I slept-in a little, and we did a little tour of the HUGE campus. We ended up in downtown AA where we ate at Noodles and Company and shopped at the MDen, the official supplier of Michigan apparel. That store was packed beyond I could imagine, and I even heard from the locals that it’s that way all of the time. Crazy to think, right?

Whenever I go to Noodles and Co., I ALWAYS get the Pad Thai. I would recommend it.
Whenever I go to Noodles and Co., I ALWAYS get the Pad Thai. I would recommend it.

Just touring around South Campus was so overwhelming for me. Although this trip was such an awesome experience, it made me realize how lucky I am to be at Hope College. When you think about, we are very spoiled as students at Hope! We get the attention from our professors, they know us on a first-name basis, they care about our success, and Hope is just a closer, tight-knit community. Of course, the big universities have so many things to offer, but so does a small-liberal arts college. Here are some of the pictures I took from this weekend at U of M. Take a peek!

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Perks of going to Hope College:

For the seniors, and even juniors in high school, hear me out! The size of the college you want to go to will matter! Think about the faculty to student ratio. Glance at the average class sizes. DO YOUR RESEARCH! At Hope College, we pride our faculty to student ratio and class sizes. You will get all of the attention you need. The small class sizes truly enhance your learning. For me, I feel super comfortable asking my profs questions, which furthers my learning.

Big universities do offer financial aid, but for many, they’re only given such a limited amount. Again, Hope College prides itself in financial aid packages, making school affordable for all students. Yes, ALL STUDENTS. Hope College also offers various academic scholarships and grants. Let me tell you, I’m SO glad I came here. This is also what drew me in.

I know you are thinking about college, but it’s also a time to think about post-college education. Hope College prepares all of its students for graduate school. Hope offers many pre-professional programs that can get you in the door. Hope is also very distinct in research. It is ONE OF THE BEST undergraduate research schools in the NATION. Yes, NATION. Want proof? Click here!

Hope has an atmosphere that you won’t see anywhere else. The campus is both small and large. You can cross campus in at least 10 minutes, but the student body is at the perfect size. You will recognize others, but not know them necessarily. I know I keep yapping but Hope just has so much to offer.

As you approach deadlines for applying to schools, consider Hope. Click here to go their admissions website to learn even more. Hope offers many visit-day opportunities, fly-in weekends, and even crossing Lake Michigan on a ferry to accommodate those living out of state! I know I’ve been yapping for a long time now. But consider your options. Hope is here for you. Take the visit days to your fullest advantage. You’ll be glad you did. Seriously, this college rocks.

My Weekend!

Hi everyone! I had a jam-packed amazing weekend that I have to tell you about!

Friday

3pm-Went to a biology department sponsored lecture presented by a Hope grad about her PhD work in marine biology. It was so interesting!

5pm-Had a meeting at a local coffee shop, JP’s, with my Nykerk oration co-coach, the even year coaches, and the general chair to discuss the oration theme for this year. After lots of discussion, we picked one and I couldn’t be happier!

8pm-Went to the Antrim Dells and Youth Lagoon concert at the Knickerbocker Theater sponsored by the Hope College Concert Series. I’m so glad I went; it was great! HCCS always brings talented performers!

Saturday

9am-Got up early to get a head start on my homework

12pm-Ate hamburgers at a football tailgate with my sorority sisters and the Promethean Fraternity. Added bonus: we won the game! Go Hope!

1pm-Met a student I will be tutoring this semester at Cup & Chaucher in the Library. I can’t wait to get started on my new job!

2pm-Went shopping for some clothes to wear at my high school field placement this semester. The trip was very successful!

7pm-Talked on the phone to my sister about everything that happened in my life at Hope during the last week. I always look forward to our talks!

10pm-Spent the night playing DJ with some friends and doing more studying

Sunday

9am-Got up early and claimed a classroom in Martha Miller where I studied for an upcoming biology test. Martha Miller is my new favorite study spot!

3pm-Worked on a presentation for one of my education classes with my friend Betsey

6pm-More homework!

10pm-Attended my weekly sorority business meeting where I gave out some birthday treats and got everyone to sign a card for one of our sisters studying abroad this semester. My journey to the meetings is short this year because they are held in the basement of our sorority cottage, where I happen to be living! Very convenient!

So that was my weekend! Was yours as busy as mine? Did you do anything exciting? Let me know on Twitter or in a comment! Hope you have a great week!

Rachael

What to do on the weekends?

Hello Everyone! Here is a basic run down of my weekend filled with a variety of activities.

Friday: I started off my Friday afternoon with long run and then played tennis in the DeWitt Tennis center for two hours. After, I showered and went to Starbucks to finish off some homework that was due at midnight. Then my friend Grace and I watched the Phelps boys play in the Student Activities (SAC) dodge ball tournament, and they won! From there, we attended the Phelps hall social event, which consisted of eating pancakes at an upper classmen cottage. The pancakes were delicious, and we all danced after we finished eating. I had to hurry back to my room after the pancake event so my roommate and I could finish decorating our door before midnight. Some people hung out in our room while we were decorating, and then I finished off the night by hanging out in my friend Marga’s room. We stayed up so late hanging out with people, so I ended up just spending the night.

Some of the girls at the Phelps Pancake Event

Dance Marathon Christmas Party for the Dance Marathon children and their families. I hung out with Volunteer Service’s family, which had two little girls named Ella and Libby. I decorated cookies with them, built gingerbread houses, and made fun Christmas crafts.

Grace and I at the Dance Marathon Christmas Party 

On Saturday afternoon, I watched online the Wheaton Women’s soccer team play in the NCAA tournament. I also made some crafts with a bunch of girls and decorated a glass bottle to give to my mom for Christmas =] My evening consisted of trying a new restaurant in Grand Rapids. The restaurant had a definite El Salvador culture, and the food was so delicious. After we ate, some of us went downtown to eat some ice cream at ColdStone. Then we played some racket ball in the Dow to try and burn off our ice cream.

Sunday basically consisted of church and homework. I worked ahead in some of my classes, which helped me feel a lot better. I love the feeling of working ahead in school. I feel a lot less stressed now, because I accomplished quite a bit of work on Sunday. This week is going to keep me very busy with all of the holiday celebrations. I’ll be writing again soon =]

Until Next Time,

CoLLeeN