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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Opinion-- A list of regrets before I graduate
Opinion-- A list of regrets before I graduate
Sal Wiertella March 1, 2024

Five hours at Rokerthon

My eyes struggled to open as my alarm disrupted my sleep and cut my dream off too soon. Blindly I clawed at the side of my bed for my phone to turn off that terrible noise or at the very least put it on snooze. The light of my phone stung my sensitive eyes as I tried to get a closer look and remember why it was I had to get up. My phone read 4:30 a.m. and the reminder I set for the alarm bannered the screen: Trevor, don’t forget to go to Rokerthon and DO NOT press snooze.

“Ugh,” I groaned as I slipped out of bed and into the nearest clothes I could find. I usually try to avoid any time before 6 a.m. or else I get a bit weird but there was no getting around this one. I had to go interview people for our sound off and if I got a selfie there I would get extra credit for some classes, so off I went.

Call me unspirited but I’ve never been one for school activities and events. Maybe I think I’m too cool, maybe I just think I have something better going on; either way it’s never really been my thing.

Media pass and free breakfast sandwich in hand, I wandered around the dome trying to gauge how the next few hours would go down. Right off the bat I noticed that the line for registration was about half the circumference of the Superior Dome and there were a ton of people, students, faculty and community members.

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At first it seemed like a whole lot of commotion. There were a bunch of guys with megaphones guiding the participants like sheep dogs. And then there were very long periods of standing, walking and migrating till the actual game of freeze tag started.

As the coffee kicked in and the atmosphere charged me up, my attitude towards the whole thing turned the other cheek. First off Al Roker is a darling man. He really knows how to captivate an audience and is shorter than I imagined. Overall he seemed glad to interact with everyone he could and really has an infectious, bright smile— and head.

Along with Al Roker being a pretty cool guy, the event was actually a lot more enjoyable than I expected. Once I got past the early time and the noise and nonsense, I came to realize that events like this benefit Northern and ultimately the community.

When I was walking around talking to people, asking why they showed up, there were plenty of students who were ecstatic about being on TV and promoting our beloved Northern Michigan University. “You’re never going to get this chance again” was another phrase I heard a lot, probably because it’s true. As silly as the world record for largest game of freeze tag sounds, you’re more than likely not going to have the opportunity to break a world record lobbed at you again like this.

You didn’t even need to run, you could have just pretended like you were frozen. That’s what I would have done.

Going forward, I’m going to make more of a point to get involved in events like the Rokerthon and students and community members should too. Along with the other things I mentioned, it enhances the NMU culture and brings the community closer together. Having pride in your school, town or community is the foundation to any livable area and Marquette is one of the nicest I’ve seen so far.

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