Well. This winter has been the weirdest Michigan winter I have ever experienced. We continue a strange cycle of getting dumped on, followed by three-seven days of 40-50 degree weather–melting all the snow. We are on our sixth or seventh day about now so I’m expecting a storm any day.
Last weekend, I attended Hope’s Winter Happening. It was really cool. It consisted of two sessions in the morning followed by a lunch. I chose two very interesting and diverse sessions. First, I attended Entrepreneurial Leaders and Student Start-up Companies at Hope presented by Dr. Steve VanderVeen, the Director of the Hope College Center of Faithful Leadership(CFL). Dr. VanderVeen actually didn’t lead the discussion. It incorporated six students involved in their own small business startups that have been aided by the CFL. I learned about some really cool projects that are going on like Student Blogger, Colleen’s, non-profit called Hope Grows that teaches orphanages in Juarez, Mexico how to grow their own food through sustainable gardens and teaching lifeskills like gardening! The coolest startup was that of Kylen Blom(’12) who started My Great Lake, targeted towards Michiganders or foreigners that have had some kind of great experience centered around one of the Great Lakes. You can check out his website here and order a shirt of your own!
My next session was Reading and Writing on the Nanoscale: Imaging and Manipulating Nanoparticles, Molecules, and Atoms presented by Dr. Jennifer Hampton (Physics) and Dr. Beth Anderson (Chemistry). They talked about really cool technology that allows them to write on the nanoscale. They also discussed particles like the Buckyball, discovered by Hope’s own Richard Smalley. Smalley is the only person associated with Hope that won the Nobel Prize because of his discovery of the buckyball configuration. After the presentation, I came to find out that I was sitting beside Smalley’s Chemistry teacher!
Richard Smaley with his BuckyBall!
In the meantime, classes and activities have been anything but consistent. I have been lacking the ability to study in my room (mostly because of motivational problems and the added distraction of social networking), and I have been branching out to new areas of campus that previously I haven’t hung around much. In my 9:20AM-10:30AM break, I inhabit the first floor of VanWylen Library, where most days I pick up a vanilla cappuccino from the Cup and Chaucer to awaken my brain cells and encourage my energy level.
After 6pm you can probably find me in the Kletz. Hopefully not snacking, but working studiously on homework while enjoying the aroma of coffee products and the soft whisper of conversations nearby. Plus, a big bonus is the comfy booths with electrical outlets for my Mac. Last night I was pleasantly surprised when the Kletz hosted Taste of Hope with the Asia Project. I only got to stay for a little while, but it was AWESOME. I don’t know much about beat poetry, but it’s what I’m assuming this performer was doing as his friend strummed along on his acoustic guitar behind him. His poems were awesome. It was definitely one of the highlights of my semester so far.
Check out the little vid I was able to capture of him reciting a poem about the pressures on women in society: