• Amanda Vanderbeek

    Amanda Vanderbeek

    Class of 2012
    Ely, MN
    Elementary education

    Amanda's Bio:
    I grew up in the Twin Cities, but now live up in Ely, MN near the BWCA, where my family has been for the last 7 years. I have three brothers, who I adore, and I enjoy fishing, playing basketball, and rough housing with them whenever I can. My mom has been a daycare provider since I was born, which served as inspiration for me to pursue a degree in Elementary education. I also love to paint, draw, and DANCE! I have been dancing for twenty years and am a dance instructor in Superior, WI....I can't imagine a life without it!

  • Shauney Moen

    Graduate Student
    Oak Grove, MN
    Doctorate of Physical Therapy

    Conrado Eiroa Solans

    Madrid, Spain
    Psychology Major, Biology minor

    Laila Zemar

    Casablanca, Morocco
    Biochemistry, Biology and Pre-med

    Laura Salazar

    Bogotá, Colombia
    Marketing and Business Management

  • Malvern Madondo

    Harare, Zimbabwe
    Mathematics & Computer Science

    Katelyn Gehling

    East Bethel, MN
    Exercise Physiology for Pre-Physical Therapy

    Halle Nystrom

    Graduate Student
    Fargo, ND
    M.S. Health Information Management

    Daniela Moreno Gomez

    San Salvador, El Salvador
    Computer Information Systems and Finance

  • Neena Koslowski

    Apple Valley, MN

    Shivani Singh

    Mumbai, India
    Management & Marketing

    Takudzwa Munjanja

    Gweru, Zimbabwe
    Health Information Management, CIS minor

    Bryan Chavez

    Richfield, MN
    Accounting and Finance

  • Yael Ikoba-Ndjip

    Brussels, Belgium
    Accounting Major; Finance minor

    Jin Baek

    Aurora, CO
    Biology and Chemistry (Pre-Med)

    Brooke Elvehjem

    Mora, MN

    Jason Chavez

    Minneapolis, MN
    Psychology, Organizational Behavior, and Social Work

  • Kathryn McCarrick

    Saint Paul, MN
    Elementary Education

Simple Life: In the Sticks

After such a long week of school, I knew I needed to get away this weekend.  I was stressed out beyond belief with an entire list of “to-dos” that needed to get done by Tuesday, which I felt would never be accomplished.  Overwhelmed and sick of the same old pattern I have been in around Duluth, I decided to take a trip.  I packed a bag and began driving north.  When I came within ten miles of Ely, giant flakes started to hit my windshield.  It looked like a shower of white feathers were flying from the sky.  By the time I reached the entrance of town, there was a light accumulation on the grass and houses, looking fresh and new.  It was beautiful!

For the last two days, I have really been able to just relax.  There is something special about small towns like Ely.  They are serene, close-knit, and completely withdrawn from the values and priorities of big city life.  Up here, things are simple.  We work, we hunt and fish, we spend time being outside as much as possible, and (at the end of the week) we throw back a couple with our closest friends.  Whether at a local hole-in-the-wall bar or just sitting in a garage, we are flexible, as long as we are comfortable and can unwind from a long week of work.  Sometimes, when I am in Duluth, I get overwhelmed by going out to the fast and crammed bars and nightclubs that are so typical college locations.  The chase for a new interest, the crying out for shots, the dancing until you can’t stand anymore.  It’s fun to do from time to time, but in all reality, they’re not for me.  I prefer the feel of my country-style watering holes back home.  Where you can wear the dirty work clothes on your back, sit beside people who dedicate their lives to supporting their families and their communities, and sit comfortably on a bar stool without random bodies pushing up against you without a simple “excuse me.”

Being here has been an amazing and much needed break.  I could not have chose a better time to escape the hubbub of college life and return to what makes me “me.”  Return to who I truly care about, and where I feel like I am important.  Best. Decision. Ever.

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