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Pixilated Winter Term: The Adventures of the Her Campus DePauw Staff

Today my cheeks are chapped.  When I look in the mirror they are bright pink, and they burn when I wipe under my eyes with make-up remover.  I’m not surprised after the hours I spent hiking outside in the January chill this afternoon.  30 degrees Fahrenheit in Greencastle, Ind. is a far cry from 80 degrees in Miami, Fla., but I rub the same cool moisturizer over my fiery cheeks that I rubbed over my sunburn earlier this Winter Term.
           
A week in Florida was exactly what I needed after finals ended at DePauw.  I left salt-stained sidewalks and musty library books for hot pavement and tropical plants.  I stowed my winter coat in my suitcase when I arrived in the Miami airport, threw on some flip flops, and stepped out of the gate into the sunshine.  I spent the week jogging along the canal, laying by the pool, and exploring the sprawling palm fields and tropical woods of the Fairchild Tropical Gardens in Pinecrest, Fla. Leaves the size of couch pillows—and bigger—waved over my head, and I felt even smaller than I usually do in my 5’5” frame.

This leaf near the rainforest section of the garden was so large it blocked the sun over my head.
 

The stalks of this plant seem to have a life of their own.  They stretch every-which-way, grappling for as much sunlight as they can soak up.  Even standing, this green monster stood three feet above my head.
 

I couldn’t stay in Miami forever, and after New Years I returned to the frozen Midwest to begin an internship in Indianapolis.  Despite being an hour away, DePauw called, and I traveled back to Greencastle for one last winter term adventure. 
           
Fern Cliff is a nature preserve about 15 miles past DePauw’s nature park.  A double-lined, two-lane road gives way to snow-packed gravel and sharp twists through the hilly countryside.  Distinguishable from the surrounding woods only by a silver gate across its entrance, the preserve contains a trail that leads over a cliff wall into a wooded basin below.  Just past the crumbling ruins of an old farmhouse and silo is a creek that twists parallel to the cliffs.  I pushed my boyfriend ahead of me, determined to take him down with me if I slipped on snow covered leaves and fell forward down the rock-face.  Our booted feet made a roundabout track across the snowy expanse below the tall rocks behind us as we made our way to the frozen creek. “I really want to see if this ice will support my weight,” Matt said, surveying an expanse of creek about six feet wide. “That is a terrible idea,” I said, “and I will laugh if you fall in.”
           
He bent his knees and tested the ice with his foot, while I stood ready to capture his plunge with a snap of my camera.  Satisfied that it wasn’t going to crack, he shuffled forward on the thick expanse of white until he stood in the middle—just long enough to prove that he could—then he padded back to solid ground.  As he pushed off the ice in his last step, we heard a crunch and a wet, sucking sound as the ice beneath him gave way.  He lifted his foot out of the shoe-shaped puddle just in time. “That’s God telling me how stupid that idea was,” he said with a laugh.  I nodded my head in agreement.
 
Ice Champion

Junior Matt Maloof tests a frozen creek at Fern Cliff Nature Preserve in Putnam County, Ind.
           
While I was soaking up the sun in Florida and hiking in the snow in Greencastle, our other Her Campus DePauw staffers were having their own fun.  Take a look at all the things Her Campus did over break and Winter Term.
 
A New Year in Chicago

Diana Edmundson snagged this pic while she was ringing in 2011 in Chicago.  “I’m the little dot with the white hat and purse.  The other two dots are Katie Reising and Kristen Kane,” she said.
 


 
An Epic Snow Fortress

(Left to Right) Campus Correspondent Leanne Schaub and friends Mallory McQuinn, Keltie Lake, and Photo Blog writer Anna Field spent part of winter break in Leland, Michigan.  They put their snow gear to good use when it took eight people six hours to construct this makeshift igloo, complete with cup holders, benches, a cooler, tables, a fire pit and a partial roof.  Their fortress was ready for a party with seating for 20 people.
 
Combining Two Worlds

Her Campus DePauw’s own Kelly Killpack (left) shows off DePauw to her best friend from high school during winter term.  They celebrated Kelly’s birthday and had a great time going out to dinner, walking around campus, and mixing old friends with new ones.

Monkeying Around

Her Campus DePauw staffer Emily Miller took a trip to Costa Rica for winter term.  While hiking through the rain forest she (top), Abbey Ginn (middle left), Amanda Metternich (middle right), and Margaret Distler (bottom) took this picture while climbing a Strangler Fig tree.           
 
            Now that you know what the Her Campus DePauw team was up to over winter term, we want to know what you did!  Whether you traipsed across Europe, snorkeled in the Caribbean, or took a class in Greencastle, send your winter term pictures to [email protected]by Friday, February 8th so we can feature them in an upcoming photo blog!  Want people to know who’s in the picture and what you’re doing?  Be sure to include names and a description of what’s happening in the photo so we can properly display all your Winter Term glory.

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