Don’t Look Into the Light

Norway is the land of the Midnight Sun and the Northern Lights. Growing up I watched the movie Balto about a thousand times and it was in that movie I first learned of the Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights. Since then I have always wanted to see them. Obviously summertime is not ideal for Northern lights regardless of how far up north I may travel, so my time in Norway will go without bearing witness to them.

The light here is peculiar. Not only does the six hour time difference throw everything off for a while but the amount of sunlight skews your biological clock continuously. Here the sun sets at around 10:30pm and rises at 4 am. Although the sun does fall below the horizon still it is never truly dark here. Its wild staying up late and seeing the sky start to brighten again at 2 am.

Our Norwegian culture teacher says that in Norway you have to choose when to fall asleep. Likewise in the winter you have to choose when to wake up. Back home light is a pretty good indicator as to what time it is but the further up north you travel the less that is true. Choosing when to wake up and go to sleep (aka setting an alarm) is not my favorite thing in the world but it is proving to be useful. Each day it gets a little easier to get up and I find I have more energy.

But the habit of choosing to do something rather than just acting on instinct is something we all should practice in many aspects of life. It’s easy to let life happen to you but I believe that it is the people who make deliberate choices that are the happiest and most successful. Norway is definitely trying to make me into a better person. What a jerk.

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Steven Listopad

Steven Listopad, Henderson State University faculty and NDSU PhD candidate, has been an assistant professor of JMC and student media director at two North Dakota universities. He’s received honors from the Hefner Foundation, AEJMC, JEA, and SCJ for his work with New Voices USA and currently coordinates the New Voices USA website and the national campaign in conjunction with SPLC. His converged student media center at UJ was a finalist in North Dakota’s annual professional entrepreneurial competition, InnovateND, and he was a Scripps Fellow for Entrepreneurial Journalism. He has taught journalism in China, France, Italy, and Norway. He is currently the ieiMedia program director for OsloRocks, a music and culture international journalism experience. Listopad has been a member of CMA since 2005 and has served on the CMA and ACP Advisory Councils. He was chair of the CMA Adviser Awards Committee from 2013 to 2015. Listopad was honored with CMA’s Distinguished Multimedia Adviser Award in 2010 and has received two CMA Presidential Citations.