• Malvern Madondo

    Malvern Madondo

    Harare, Zimbabwe
    Mathematics & Computer Science

    Malvern's Bio:
    I have heard that the average human being uses 10% of their brain's potential. Whether that's true or not, this blog is a mirror of at least part of my brain's functionality and activity. It is an outlet through which I share my experiences and escapades here at CSS. I hope that in between the mixed metaphors and rambling in my posts, you find something valuable. I have an overwhelming interest learning new things and expanding my horizons (which is why I am here). Wait, I just lost my train of thought... Welcome to my 'Pensieve' ~ thinking out loud..

  • Neena Koslowski

    Apple Valley, MN

    Conrado Eiroa Solans

    Madrid, Spain
    Psychology Major, Biology minor

    Brooke Elvehjem

    Mora, MN

    Jason Chavez

    Minneapolis, MN
    Psychology, Organizational Behavior, and Social Work

  • Laura Salazar

    Bogotá, Colombia
    Marketing and Business Management

    Yael Ikoba-Ndjip

    Brussels, Belgium
    Accounting Major; Finance minor

    Takudzwa Munjanja

    Gweru, Zimbabwe
    Health Information Management, CIS minor

    Halle Nystrom

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

  • Daniela Moreno Gomez

    San Salvador, El Salvador
    Computer Information Systems and Finance

    Katelyn Gehling

    East Bethel, MN
    Exercise Physiology for Pre-Physical Therapy

    Shivani Singh

    Mumbai, India
    Management & Marketing

    Jin Baek

    Aurora, CO
    Biology and Chemistry (Pre-Med)

  • Shauney Moen

    Graduate Student
    Oak Grove, MN
    Doctorate of Physical Therapy

    Malvern Madondo

    Harare, Zimbabwe
    Mathematics & Computer Science

    Bryan Chavez

    Richfield, MN
    Accounting and Finance

    Kathryn McCarrick

    Saint Paul, MN
    Elementary Education

  • Laila Zemar

    Casablanca, Morocco
    Biochemistry, Biology and Pre-med

SNOWvember… Diary of a MinneSNOWta newcomer (Volume 1)



I have heard stories. Stories about how cold Minnesota, Duluth in particular, gets. I have heard of how spring is just a calendar name here in Minnesota– it doesn’t really happen, because, it seems, the winter goes on and on. In Minnesota, when people talk about ‘cold’, they mean ‘below freezing point’ temperatures. Negatives are normal, just dress in layers. Some say, winter is manufactured in Minnesota and the best way to enjoy Minnesota is to move to Arizona. It starts as early as October/November and ends as late as May/June. I have heard stories of blizzards and of the ‘freezing rain’, of how breathing will be so tough because the air will be icy dry and of how walking to class will be like a Hunger Games challenge.



It doesn’t snow in Zimbabwe. It gets cold but it doesn’t snow. Actually, some of the record lowest temperatures in Zimbabwe are like daily average temperatures in Minnesota. The current headline is: I had my first snow experience yesterday. Those who knew about my not having experienced snow before were anticipating this moment, shocked that it was real and excited that it was my first experience. Do you like it? How do you feel about the snow so far? It’s beautiful isn’t it? We should go ice fishing… skating… build snowmen and form angels, play snowball fighting… and an endless bucket list of winter activities. Do you want to go cross-country skiing some time, when the real winter comes? Wait, this isn’t real? Oh, yeah! It’s just a highlight, cheer up buddy, it is going to be fun! In response: I liked it! But am not looking forward to living half a year’s time in such conditions. It was so beautiful! Looked like a snapshot from a Disney movie — so snowptecular! We should indeed go fishing — wait, did you say we will have to walk on top of the frozen lake? Like, seriously? Building snowmen – check. Angels – check. Snowball fighting – uuhm, maybe check. Skiing? – sounds like fun – can I simulate it on the computer first? Okay, I understand there’s nothing I can change about the current and extremely cold circumstances save my attitude. I will try out all the winter activities I can as long as I don’t expose my delicate tropical skin to the cold.


I also understand that I have to brace myself and walk all the way from Kerst to Tower and back, forward ever and backward never comrade. Of course, I won’t walk on the famed ‘Stripes of Death’ — that’s like walking the plank on a pirate’s ship; my shoes will have a Herculean grip and never will I endanger my teeth by so much as slipping on the salty and icy sidewalk. Certainly, I will dress in layers, after I have put on a few more layers. Thank you very much.


Image Source


As I commit pen to paper, I’m also trying to figure out how I can best explain ‘snow’ and ‘cold’ to my family and friends back home. The cold they experience in a normal Zimbabwean winter is not really a ‘cold’. Is it? The real cold is here in the northern hemisphere, so close to the pole. I am yet to experience the ‘real winter’. I was excited yesterday, admittedly, but don’t expect me to be as excited when it snows in, say, December, …, February or April. I will be too experienced to do that, hopefully. In fact my impression in fact will be just like how some adults view some cartoons as not-so-funny when kids giggle all the time from start to finish. I hope so and I hope it doesn’t get to that. Thoughts of winter fill me with a joyful sadness, joyful because it’s a new experience and because the weather is  as it is, sad because the weather is as cold as it is and I no longer have to worry much about freshman 15 but become more concerned about freshman flu!


Am I the only one with this odd train of thought? No, apparently. Laura, from Colombia, had a little bit experience with snow, but not Minnesota snow. She was excited to experience it too but not so happy about the length of the winter perhaps. Yeabsira, Ethiopia, had the same mixed feelings and so did Shivani, India. In fact, almost everyone in the international students circle had the same mixed feelings. Just when we were starting to fall in love with the Fall, winter came along. Snow shovels and snow removers have been awakened yet again from their deep slumber and the journey, cold and long, is about to begin. May the warmth be with us all during this season and beyond….





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