Winter at the North Pole.

Many people speak about the Michigan’s winter as a long winter. I looked up the winter in the North Pole, and besides some amazing pictures, I found out the Michigan’s winter is not as bad.

The winter in the North Pole has 9 months of winter as 3 months of summer. “In both summer and winter, a mass of very dense cold air hovers over the Arctic.”

It is cold and dry winter. North Pole could be called an icy desert. The skies are usually very clear during the winter, but that is only because the humidity is very low. Low humidity equals dry winter. And it can North Pole can be called ice desert “because the sea is frozen, water cannot evaporate, so rainfall is as low as in the Earth’s deserts.”

Another photo of the North Pole´s night.
Another photo of the North Pole´s night.

Surprisingly, there are some places on Earth like Siberia, which are colder during Winter than the North Pole. The North Pole’s temperature in winter is about -40°C (-40°F), but in Siberia can be as low as -67°C. ( -88.6°F).

The "icy desert" at The North Pole.
The “icy desert” at The North Pole.

The Michigan’s winter does not sound that bad anymore.

“The Climate and the North Pole.” The Climate and the North Pole. Jeanlouisetienne, n.d. Web. 08 Feb. 2016.

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!

Things I’d Rather Do

Happy Thursday! This week seemed to have flown by, at least for me. However, today was a complete drag, mostly because it was so cold outside, that I was dreading leaving my cozy apartment. I woke up this morning, convinced that Hope would cancel class because it was so ridiculously chilly, but unfortunately that email was never sent. While looking out my window at all of the snow, it got me thinking—there are so many other things I would rather do than walk in these negative temperature conditions! Here’s a list of some practical and also unpractical things that would please me more than having a frozen face walking around campus:

  • Watch Netflix—literally any show because I wouldn’t care what I was watching as long as it distracted me from the freezing weather.
  • Organize the refrigerator—I don’t think anybody ever wants to do this, so it’s saying a lot that I’d rather do this than walk through a bunch of snow.
  • Eat/drink a bottle of ketchup—I personally have never done this, but I imagine it’s better than slipping on ice outside.
  • Stub my toe—this and paper cuts are probably the worst injuries that seem so small, but I would gladly deal with a stubbed toe than have to thaw my whole body after walking to classes.
  • Hiccup for an hour straight—even hiccuping for ten minutes gets super annoying and depending on the severity of the hiccup itself, it can be painful. I would rather suffer through this feeling and sound over not having visibility while walking outside.
  • Do laundry—I think everybody dreads doing this, along with going grocery shopping.
  • Organize and clean up my desktop on my computer—this is something I always put off and sometimes never do, so getting around to this would be a difficult feat.
  • Watch a documentary on ancient architecture—I cannot imagine something more boring and dull, so sitting through this would be more enjoyable than having icicles forming on my face.

I don’t know if you would rather do these things as well to avoid going outside, especially with the wind chill here in Holland, but staying inside is very appealing for days like today! All I can hope for is that it will warm up a tad this weekend in time for the dodgeball tournament tomorrow men’s basketball game on Saturday. Stay warm everybody!

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @hopeleslie15.

Death by Winter Fantasia

I realize that Winter Fantasia was a week ago, but I wanted to share my awesome experience with you all. Firstly, Winter Fantasia is an event hosted by Student Activities Committee, or SAC for short where people eat and dance in Grand Rapids’ Amway Grand Hotel. It’s great because you get to dress up and kill it on the dance floor. Let me tell you, I ate copious amounts of food and really killed it on the dance floor.

I am so proud of my organization, SAC, for planning out this event. It took so much work, time, and energy. I applaud you, SAC! Seeing as it was my last Winter Fantasia, I went all out. I ate at an Italian restaurant just outside of Grand Rapids with friends, then I ate some more at the event. Followed by the dancing of course. Another way in which I went gung-ho was that I wore a BOWTIE, WITH ANCHORS. Wow, so Hope, right?!

It was great to be with friends. Many many many pictures were taken, many memories were made, and many laughs were a given. Winter Fantasia, you did it again.

But as you may have noticed, the title says, “Death by Winter Fantasia.” Why death? Because it took so much out of me. I feel as if I can generalize to others because it took out so many people. So much food, so much dancing, staying up late. And yes, being up past midnight is now late. That was merely not the case freshman year.

Anyway, after I drove back to Holland, it was around 1:00 AM and I was beyond ready for sleep. I hopped into bed at around 1:30 AM and I slept like a ROCK. I slept in like it was my business; recuperation is key. But ultimately, all college students are sleep-deprived so no matter how long I slept, I was still tired. To be so exhausted after an amazing event like Winter Fantasia is so totally worth it.

Check out these fun pictures from Winter Fantasia of me and my awesome friends. If you want to see what Hope life is like for me, make sure to follow me on Twitter at @HopeMarvin15 or on Instagram at MarvSolberg. My life is interesting so I say the follow is worth it!

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Back To School, Snowpocalypse, Africa Oh My!

Well, the first week of the spring semester is finished. To top it off, it finished on a great note because we have a SNOWDAY TODAY! For those of you who don’t remember, the weather was like this exactly one year ago. It was so bad that people coined the term, “Snowpocalypse 2014.” I definitely think it’s safe to say that it can be carried over to this year. But in comparison to last year, my gut tells me that its worse this time around. In less than 24 hours, Holland accumulated 1 foot of snow, and more is expected. The wind gusts are so strong that it shifts the snow making it very deep in some places. This snowday is for a good reason,

The text message that brought the best news of the week.
The text message that brought one of the best news of this week.

Despite all of this cold weather, the winter and Mother Nature make Hope look very pretty, making this week back to school that much better. Personally, I’m not a big fan of the winter except that I can go skiing. Other than that, snow is only pretty from the inside. My plan for today’s snowday is to stay in my sweats, eat food, watch Netflix, and stay in bed. Oh, and maybe do some of that thing called homework.

Okay, enough about the weather. Classes are going swell. I just can’t believe this is my last undergraduate semester, so everyday counts. Before I know it, May 3rd will be around the corner. It feels great to be back and go on a routine. Seeing all of my friends is also a plus! Back to the weather one more time, even though today’s snowday is a highlight, I have better new for you. In October, I applied to the Peace Corps in hopes to serve our country abroad in the health field. This past week, I have been notified that I am being considered to serve in Cameroon for the Child and Maternal Health Volunteer Program. To top it off, I RECEIVED AN INVITATION FOR AN INTERVIEW NEXT WEEK! To be considered for a program and to have an interview is such an honor in itself. I am looking forward to my joinery with the Peace Corps. I will keep you all updated!

Well, that’s it for now my fellow readers! Enjoy these two beautiful pictures of Hope I took this week, and make sure to follow me on Twitter at @HopeMarvin15 and follow me on Instagram at Marvsolberg to get a feel for what life is like at Hope! Stay warm!

Excitement in the Air

It feels good to be back. I’m not sure what it is – the winter air, maybe? It feels different, but it feels good. It could be the feeling of a new beginning, except without all of the nerves and awkwardness of first semester. It’s like I’m a freshman, but I’ve been through conditioning already. I know, pretty much, what I’m doing and what’s in store for me. I just feel so excited and I can’t explain it.

What’s there to be excited about for me at Hope this semester?

New Classes – After having the same classes and schedule for a whole semester, it’s nice to mix it up. We start tomorrow, and while I’m nervous, I’m excited to be taking more classes that I’m interested in!

New & Old Friends – Seeing everyone back on campus is fun. It’s overwhelming hearing people throughout Dykstra scream as their friends walk in with all of their stuff. I’m excited to be back with the people I met last semester, but also make new relationships with others!

Sorority Rush – Hope’s Greek Life does sorority and fraternity rush in the second semester, not the first. I’m not exactly sure if it’s for me yet, but I wouldn’t be doing myself a favor if I didn’t rush and find out! I’m really excited to see what’s in store for me in this area at Hope, and I will for sure keep anyone who’s interested in finding out about Greek Life at Hope updated on my experience!

Winter Fantasia – This is Hope’s formal, put on by the Student Activities Committee! It’s coming up pretty soon and it should be a fun time. I love any chance to get dressed up!

Sounds pretty exciting, huh? I look forward to posting more of my adventures from this semester, like last semester, here and thank you all for reading!

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!

The First Snowfall of the Year!

Whether we like it or not, Mother Nature made an appearance to Holland and the greater West Michigan area. The snow is here folks, and it’s here to stay until the spring. People have and will continue to complain about, and some people will obsess over it, but as for myself, I’m in the middle. If snow could be here for a month, I would be totally fine with that, but anything more, it’s just redundant. But let’s be real, the first snowfall of the year is so beautiful and is ALWAYS exciting. Just think of the snowflakes as little blessings falling from the sky!

Here’s a weird phenomenon: many areas in the state don’t even have snow. Lucky them, or lucky us?

Anyways, yes, the first snowfall is pretty, but it can unfortunately have consequences. It’s a recurring pattern every first snowfall that many cars end up in ditches or accidents simply because people are not ready for the conditions winter brings, seeing that the last time snow was on the ground was in March/April. That’s almost half a year! Even though such bad things happen, we can count on two things with snow on the ground: 1) THANKSGIVING and 2) CHRISTMAS! These two holidays are my favorites because they encompass the thing that matters to me most, FAM BAM!

Back to Holland though, when the snow was falling from the sky yesterday night, it produced some pretty gnarly conditions. ALL roads were slick and icy. The road was my personal ice rink and I didn’t even need ice skates! In all honesty, I am excited that the snow is here. It’s part of the reason I love Michigan, we get all 4 seasons! Check out my slideshow below of some awesome pictures of the snow! Until next time!

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It Held Off, But Now It’s Here! Welcome, Snow!

Well, Hope College, it held off for as long as possible, but it’s finally here!

The first snow!

Waking up this morning, I was like a little kid on Christmas. The snow put me in a great mood, and as I was walking to class this morning, the white puffy flakes brought me back to my childhood…

I can remember the first snow of second grade. Where I’m from, it isn’t the beautiful white curtain that covers the ground, it is a spotty mess that looks like mud puddles on the roads. But the first snow of second grade was magical! There were so many possibilities that came with it and it the many thoughts of the happy times of Christmas. After the first snow, many snows came after that, and being in second grade, I got to experience all the fun things winter brings along with it.

Sledding down (what seemed like) huge hills, snowball fights with my dog, snowman building, hot chocolate drinking, reading Junie B. Jones by the fire in the fireplace, and best of all, snow days. Here at Hope, I know snow days might seem like a foreign concept, but in grade school, they snow days happened all the time it seemed like.

I can remember one snow day that made all the rest pale in comparison. It had just snowed the best packing snow of the season; at least one and a half feet! Being a second grader, I was just happy to stay home and play in the snow with my family all day! But just because school is cancelled, doesn’t mean parent’s jobs are. My mom and dad both had to go to work…but they couldn’t leave me alone by myself, so my mom chose to bring my sister and I to work with her. She worked at a golf course at the time, and worked in the office. So sitting there cooped up wasn’t the most appealing thing in the world for a kid on a snow day, so we packed up the car with sleds, snow pants, and whatever else we would need to see if we could make the most of this snow day. On the way there, there were cars in ditches everywhere and the roads were a mess, but in my mind, this was the perfect sledding weather; nice and slippery to get the farthest distance with my sled! When we arrived, my sister and I headed straight to the back patio of the golf course and, since the lawn furniture from the summer had been put away, we had the most perfect place to play all day. We adventured, built snow forts, and pulled each other on our sleds for hours, and before we knew it, it was time to go home and play even more in the snow! It truly was the best snow day ever and every time there is snow on the ground, I can’t help but think about that day.

Even though today wasn’t a snow day, or even a winter day, snow brings back great memories for me, and I hope it does for you too. There’s just something about the way it glints in the sunlight and makes the world seem so peaceful at night that makes it a great trait of winter.

To close out this post, here is a picture of what the street looked like tonight with a bit of snow on it:

This was right in between Gilmore and Phelps! And yes I was standing in the middle of the road.
This was right in between Gilmore and Phelps! And yes I was standing in the middle of the road.

Until next time, readers!

Spring Semester Highlights

Okay, friends. This is my last post for the semester 🙁 It’s crazy to think that at this time tomorrow, I will be unpacking my stuff at home and I’ll be getting ready for Vienna. My junior year just flew by, and in less than 24 hours, I’ll be officially a senior. Life, STOP! Well, to end my blogging “reign,” I want to close with some of my semester highlights!

1) SNOWPOCALYPSE

This was just awesome. And by awesome, I mean having so many days of class canceled because that is very rare for Hope College! This past winter, Holland had more than 100 inches of snow. Lake Michigan was completely frozen, we had crazy arctic winds, and temperatures were LITERALLY below zero. But in the midst of all the winter storms, here is one picture that captures God’s awesome creation.

Here's a snapshot of the beauty of winter at Hope College.
Here’s a snapshot of the beauty of winter at Hope College.

2) FINALIZATION OF VIENNA

Yes. This semester, everything for Vienna was taken care of. Tuition, flights, and even my little vacation to Rome for one weekend. I remember when going to Vienna was just a thought. Now, it’s a reality and I’m leaving in 5 days! I can’t emphasize enough how fast time flies. Not even kidding! I’ll be here in no time!

Just a short 5 more days!
Just a short 5 more days!

3) SOCHI 2014 WINTER OLYMPICS

Olympics are seriously the best time. The world gathers as one (doesn’t matter whether countries have bad relations with other countries) and competes in several disciplines. Being that the olympics were in Russia, they were quite controversial. But regardless, it was so much fun to watch. I wish I could do what olympians do, but I’m happy at Hope too!

The Olympic Rings
The Olympic Rings

4) UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN BASKETBALL GAME

Yeah yeah yeah, I know I go to Hope. But the University of Michigan is cool, too. My family is an avid fan. Last semester, I went to a football game there, so I thought I’d give basketball a try as well. When Joey and I were there, we did the typical Ann Arbor stuff, eat, walk around, look at how huge campus is, and obviously watched the game. It was so cool through because I tweeted, and my tweet showed up on their jumbotron. It was just so cool! Don’t remember? Here’s a pic!

Look! It's Joey and me on the JUMBOTRON!
Look! It’s Joey and me on the JUMBOTRON!

5) JESS VISITS HOPE COLLEGE

So last year, I had the opportunity to lead an immersion trip with my good friend Jess. But here’s the problem, I was just a sophomore and she was a senior, so she graduated! She had the awesome opportunity to intern at Sojourners in Washington D.C., where our immersion trip was. Naturally, she moved there to take this awesome opportunity. But this past March, she also had the opportunity to go back to her beloved school where she could see her beloved friends! Although it was a short time, it was just so awesome to have her in our presence!

Jess visits Hope!
Jess visits Hope!

6) GIRLFRIEND

Yep, the title says it all. I’m not usually public about these things, but this will be okay. Well yeah, meet my girlfriend Brooke. She is a bunch of fun and I enjoy being around her because I always smile! Yeah, I know that sounds cheesy but it’s the truth. This is definitely a HUGE highlight of my semester. Here’s a picture of us at the Bowl!

Here we are!
Here we are!

7) LASTLY, SPRING FLING

Being on SAC this year, I had the opportunity to plan several events for our campus. Last semester, my largest project was Chicago. This semester, it was Spring Fling, a celebration of the last day of classes! Another thing I am excited about it my director position for SAC next year. I am so incredibly blessed and excited to be working with some amazing individuals to make our campus a better place. Speaking of directors, here is my co-director and myself at Spring Fling!

Here are your new SAC directors for the 2014-2015 School Year!
Here are your new SAC directors for the 2014-2015 School Year!

Third Year: CHECK. I am basically 3/4 done with my college career. I still can’t wrap my mind around that. Thank you so so so so so so much friends for reading my blogs this past year. It means so much. I am happy that I can serve you all. I’ll probably be blogging while in Europe, so look forward to those. But as this school year comes to a close for me, I just want to say your time at Hope is coming class of 2018! Cherish every moment you have here. Before you know it, you’ll be a senior. Take the opportunities to face challenges and try new things. Your college experience and value will increase without a doubt. If you haven’t already, follow me on Twitter at @HopeMarvin15 and follow me on Instagram at MarvSolberg. Thanks again, and I can’t wait to see the class of 2018 on Hope’s campus shortly!

Your Final Dear Abby Post

Hey friends! I know it’s been a while since I posted a “Dear Abby” post. Here is your last one. Many of you sent really interesting questions, and I had to think hard about these answers, but I know it’s enough to give you guidance. It’s unreal how tomorrow is the closing day of the entire semester. One more year of college under my belt. But before I get into Dear Abby, look out for my final post either tonight or tomorrow. It’s good.

Dear Abby, I am looking forward to going to Hope, but I feel as if I am not mature in my faith yet. Any suggestions?

Great great great question. I was once at your place, and many students who go here are still in this position! So first things first, don’t feel uncomfortable, you’re not the only one! For me, I’ve always identified myself as a Christian. I went to church, sang hymns, was in youth group, you name it. It wasn’t until I came to Hope that I realized what faith was, and where I was in it. It helped that I had friends that were already a good distance in their walk with Christ, so they were truly there for me and supported me. Let me tell you, even with their help, my journey was rough.

One of the defining factors that led me to Hope was Chapel and Gathering. But believe it or not, I only went to a few services because I was way too deep in my homework. That’s all I thought there was. I mean, I did well, but all I did was study. I wasn’t always a social butterfly, and my religion had gone down in my priority. But one Sunday, I had an epiphany at the Gathering. I realized that I was at Hope to become a nurse not for myself, but for God. As I continued conversations with my friends and continually attended Chapel and the Gathering, I noticed that I was happier and more productive. It was awesome to say the least. But moral of the story is that no one is at the same spot with their journey with God. Realize that you’re not the only in that position. Hope offers so many great resources to help you with your journey, such as Campus Ministries. Oh man, they do wonders!

Dear Abby, I heard Michigan winters are brutal. Coming from Southern Cali, how should I prepare?

Brutal is an understatement, for non-Michiganders at least! I mean, you’d think Michiganders would be used to the winters, but nope. Sometimes, I swear its like people haven’t seen snow. But you should be prepared to see how beautiful it is. Honestly, the snowfall and especially on this campus is STUNNING and out of this world. So, do that. Then I’d suggest a heavy and comfortable winter coat. Everyone has one, it’s like a requirement unless you want to freeze. This past winter, temperatures were sub-zero, and Holland was colder than Antarctica plenty of times. No joke. With your coat, you should probably have warm gloves if you are going to play in the snow, and thinner gloves for functional purposes (like driving, or going to class). A hat is also recommended. Although I don’t have one, many do. I typically use my hood and it works. Another important thing to something to keep your neck warm, like a scarf. Trust me, you’ll want one. It’s just practical. Lastly, boots boots boots. Do you want to walk in snow with canvas shoes? I think not (unless you want frostbite). If you’re prepared for the winter, you won’t mind it. A lot of students go out to Lake Michigan to walk on the lake frozen. It’s actually really neat! I can’t wait for you to experience it!

Dear Abby, I am really nervous I won’t find friends. Well, not even that, I’m just anxious to meet new people!

Thanks for that. Everyone needs to know that every freshman is going to be anxious. It’s a HUGE transition, no matter where you come from. Being on the finishing up end of my college, it’s actually interesting to reflect on how I met my core group of friends! You will meet so so so many people from your residence halls, classes, and organizations! Hope College does a great life in integrating the social aspect to your college life, because it’s essential! We’re humans, we are social!

My recommendation for you, and any of you who are anxious about meeting others; be open! College is your chance to branch out from your norm. Take advantage of this because it can help you out in life! For example, make connections with your professors and elders. One day, you might be filling out a job or internship appellation, and you can use them as your reference! Another example, if you are used to having that “one friend group” like you did in high school, forget that! Although you may have a group of core buddies, you are going to have so many more bubbles in your social life, which is even better. That way, you won’t get annoyed with your friends!!! My largest piece of advice for you all is to invest your time in this. If no time is invested, nothing will happen! So, 1) invest and 2) be open!

Dear Abby, JP’s or LJ’s?

Classic, haha. JP’s for homework and LJ’s for socializing. Both coffee shops rock. My freshman year, I was always at JP’s. My sophomore year, I was at both, and this past year, I was more at LJ’s. Their pastries (my favorite is the raspberry bran muffin, followed by almond green tea, and then honey bran) are TO DIE FOR. And they also sell my favorite cookie, the snickerdoodle. So, that’s why I’m there a lot. Both places have great student discounts at times and coupons. Being a college student, I’d recommend taking advantage of these deals!

Dear Abby, PC or Mac?

Another interesting question. For myself, I have a Mac, and I love it. I used to use PCs, but I’ve gotten used to Mac and actually accustomed to it. I actually have difficult time using a PC. But hey, it’s all personal preference. Many students have Macs, but many students also have PCs; personal preference! The important thing to remember is that you just need a laptop so you can do homework and type papers. And I guess Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, you name it!

LASTLY

Dear Abby, did you ever get homesick?

Growing up, I was always busy during the summers, whether that’s working or going to summer camps. I’ve been accustomed to being independent and not being home, but it’s totally different for everyone. I think I was homesick twice during my freshman year. The first time I called home was a week into school when college slapped me in the face. And by that, I mean having to do so much homework. It was just different because instead of coming home to my family, I came home to my roommate, which is nice too don’t get me wrong! Just different. Everyone adjusts to college differently. I felt as if I adjusted quickly, but others may take longer and that’s okay. Hope has awesome resources though if you are experiencing homesickness, like CAPS (counseling and psychological services). They do wonders! 100% confidential, supportive, and there for you! Also, your RA and your friends are also great resources. Hope this helps!

Ok Hope 2018. That’s all I have for you! It’s been great answering your questions and I hope they help you with your transition to college! I can’t wait to meet some of you on campus!