One of the best parts of December, other than the holidays, food and time with family and friends, is the fact that it's your last chance to burn the vacation time you had stored for a rainy day. Well, in my case, I saved is for a snowy day. Braving the below zero temperatures, I recently visited UMN to check out their graduate program in English (five years after completing my undergraduate, I'm finally getting back to that plan I originally set for myself).
As I walked around campus, trying not to slip on the compacted snow covered ground, I couldn't help but get nostaglic about my own time in college as well as excited about the potential of returning. What I miss most about college is devouring texts and discussing them (arguing in some cases) with classmates. While I know I'll probably complain about writing 10 page long essays if I do indeed go back, I can say right now, I miss writing academically.
I worried I would feel out of place, i.e. old, returning to a college campus. Truthfully, I didn't really care that I was older than most, especially when I saw a tall, lanky boy walk into a building wearing shorts and sandals. IT'S -3 DEGREES OUT KID, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! So yes, I may be older, I may be wiser, I may walk around slower because if I fall I will end up seriously injuring myself. So what?
My favorite part of the trip was visiting their beautiful Weisman Art Museum which is located on campus near the union. It was recently expanded and boy, do they have a lot of great artwork in there, especially for a college campus.
^^Doesn't the building look like it would be Mr. Freeze's lair, if he wasn't a fictional character?^^
^^Warhol's Annie Oakley and Lichtenstein's Moonscape^^
^^View from the museum - a frozen Mississippi river, the UMN pedestrian bridge and downtown Minneapolis^^
After my campus tour, I stayed in the north Minneapolis region passing by the historic Grain Belt building and Ford building, which is actually designed very closely to the Tip Top building in Omaha's North downtown.
Back at my brother's warm house we sat by the fire, listening to Christmas music and decorated one of his two trees while making sure their dog Nippy's tail didn't knock the whole thing over.
So for any of you who are avoiding the north during these winter months, I say buck up! Pack and wear multiple layers, bring your thermal socks, gloves and a hat and enjoy this winter wonderland.