Arts & Culture

  • Terrance_Mitchell

    The Known: Leaving the Battlefield and Hitting the Books

    The convoy crawled through the hot desert. Insurgents were in the area; it would only be a matter of time before they would have their first contact. Suddenly, an explosion: the convoy had hit an improvised explosive device. Intense fighting followed. This was war. Sergeant Terrance Mitchell looked out and saw a wounded soldier—an AK-47 firearm had blown his leg off below the knee. Instincts kicked in and Terrance had to help him. “Permission to dismount, sir,” he said to his sergeant. Despite being denied multiple times, Terrance dismounted and rushed to his first casualty. His training was being put to the test: Move the casualty to a safer zone. Control the bleeding—use a tourniquet, apply direct pressure to the wound. Get fluids into him through an IV. Provide antibiotics and pain medication. Call the medical evacuation team and transport him out. Another wounded soldier was brought to him. Those were their only casualties from this fire fight. “Only two were wounded, but we killed 11. We won that one,” Terrance said of the battle. “That was when I realized: This is war. You can’t be afraid.” Terrance was a part of a specialized group sent to Afghanistan for Military Transition Training. “It’s pretty elite,” said Terrance. “It’s male, non-commissioned officers: all professional soldiers, no young recruits.” His team worked with the Afghan national army and police. “We trained them and fought with them against the insurgents. We were essentially combat advisors,” he said. “I wasn’t attached to a particular team. I was dispersed pretty often,” Terrance said. Missions varied: seek and destroy, claim new land, humanitarian efforts… All of this began for Terrance after high school when his best friend put him up to the idea of joining the Army. After meeting with an army ranger recruiter, Terrance began taking the idea seriously. The recruiter suggested he join health care. Basic training was nine brutal weeks of physical conditioning and learning soldiering skills and weapons. Terrance spent basic training in Georgia at the hardest training site in the U.S. He then moved into Advanced Individual Training, where soldiers learn their specialties over the course of 16 weeks. Terrance’s specialties were as a dietitian assistant (hospital food service), medic, and cook. Through an Additional Skill Identifier, he gained another specialty: combat advisor. “I took on all the leadership positions I could. In the barracks, in classes, wherever,” said Terrance. “I wanted to be a good soldier.” In two years, Terrance earned his ranking as a sergeant. Normally, it takes five years. “I was just motivated,” he said. “It’s something I believe in.” Overall, Terrance spent nine years in the army, one of which was overseas. The rest of the time was on active duty within the U.S., completing missions and further training. Like so many other soldiers who experience war firsthand, Terrance was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and was discharged from the army. Now 32 years old and a sophomore at GFU, Terrance studies Business Management and minors in Finance. He originally started out as a Nursing major. Terrance said, “It just made sense. I had spent all this time as a medic, it seemed right to go into nursing.” However, being a nursing student proved to be difficult. “In military training, you focus on one topic at a time. You are so much more focused. In school, you have to study five different topics at a time and the subjects are more scattered,” he explained. With a degree in business, Terrance has the opportunity to fulfill his dream of working with Nike. “I love sports; I play pretty much all sports. I’m athletic and enjoy training and being physically active. I absolutely love what Nike stands for,” Terrance said. Everything in that statement is reflected in his image. His love for being active is evident in his athletic build. Most of his clothes or gear has the famous Nike “swoosh” logo. Each arm displays a tattoo peeking out from under his Nike shirt. Both are Chinese symbols. One means, “Forgive me, Lord”; the other, “Feel my pain.” Besides translating the symbols and a brief comment about getting the tattoos while in the army, Terrance did not elaborate much. Yet the tattoos speak loudly of his character and faith, which he shared a little bit more about. “I have to say I have a unique relationship with God,” he said. “I definitely believe; my faith is strong. I try to walk a straight line and live a good life. I don’t read the Bible or go to church as often as I necessarily should, but Jesus knows I love him. “While I was deployed, I went through a lot of emotional stuff,” Terrance continued. “I learned who I was. There were lots of stresses. You have to sleep where you killed people, with your body armor on, with your rifle loaded and ready. Stuff like that was hard.” But those experiences contributed to the strong person he is today. “I know I’m strong—I’ve been through a lot. I grew up in a broken home; I overcame a lot of adversities. I bought my own house when I was 26. I’ll be the first person in my family to graduate college. I can make it through anything,” he said. When asked how others see him, Terrance replied with humility. “Not to speak highly of myself, but my friends admire me. They know I’m a real person. They respect me.” “I definitely have my weaknesses,” Terrance said. “I can be closed off because my life experiences taught me to not depend on anyone for any reason. It’s hard because you can’t live alone.” For Terrance, being at GFU has helped him stay connected with good community as he works towards graduation. He will keep working hard so he can achieve his career goals and continue to be a leader.   “The Known,” a weekly series written by Amy Rose, introduces you to people at the GFU who deserve to Be Known.
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    Looking Up: Thoughts from Oxford University

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    Upper Rad Cam Photo
    October 16, 2014
    I’ve started looking at the ceiling. Most afternoons, I sit in the upper levels of the Radcliffe Camera, one of Oxford’s 100+ library buildings. I sit at a wooden desk, fitted with its own light and electrical outlet. I read. Or try to. It is silent here, mostly. The echo here amplifies every noise, making nearly every action that is not reading—someone sliding their chair back, coughing, or (the horror) dropping a book—into an Event that draws eyes towards the perpetrator. “You WILL sit and you WILL read,” these walls say. I reread the paragraph I thought I read. But after three hours of sitting at this desk, these are no longer English words, but little black hieroglyphics, taunting me with their impossibility. I don’t know what I’m reading now. What’s my research topic? Does this book even have anything to do with it? Why am I here? I lean back in the chair (also wooden, probably here when the library opened in 1749), close my eyes. And then I open them and see the ceiling. Wow, I think (any powers of eloquence have sizzled to a crisp by now). I get to study here. I don’t HAVE to. I GET to. I take a deep breath and look back at my page, and discover I can somehow read hieroglyphics.

    A Sip of Fall

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    October 16, 2014
    Oregon has seemed to think that it’s August for far too long. But fall is officially here and so are the fall inspired drinks! Normally it is easy to tell by the nip in the air and the changing of the leaves that fall is upon us; however this year, Mother Nature seems to have had a short in her circuits. Only recently has the weather begun to change, calling for warmer clothes and toasty fall drinks. One of the things that I love about GFU is its close proximity to several wonderful and distinctly different coffee shops. Everyone has a favorite place to sip warm java and meet up with friends and study groups, so why not review some of the featured fall drinks from each location? Coffee Cat has always been a favorite of mine, so I was very excited to try their Pumpkin Pie Latte. When I took my first sip, I was reminded of eating a slice of pumpkin pie and then drinking a cup of coffee to wash it down. I really enjoyed the drink; the flavors of pumpkin and coffee were very distinct to me. It reminded me of the smell that wafts up from carving a pumpkin during Halloween. The latte came topped with cinnamon, which added to the flavor to the drink as well. Coffee Cottage’s Apple-Cranberry Spiced Cider with caramel whipped cream was like taking a warm bite of delicious apple pie. The cranberry flavor gave the drink a little bit of a crisp and tart twinge that I really enjoyed. My favorite part was the caramel whipped cream; it paired with the drink deliciously. Think crunchy fall walks through orange, yellow and red leaves, scarves and sweaters, and staying inside wrapped in a cozy blanket. That is what I thought of when sipping this delicious toasty beverage. I highly recommend giving it a try. The Spiced Apple Scone also from Coffee Cottage was in the one day old sale, but still sweet and a sensation for the taste buds. It was a bit crispy on the outside and had real chunks of cooked apple in the center. It reminded me of eating apple pie crust, which is my favorite part of the pie. The center was moist and had the texture of sweet corn bread with pockets of apple. An overall win. As far as chai goes, Chapter’s Pumpkin Pie Chai was good, but it wasn’t my favorite fall drink of the bunch, because I couldn’t taste distinct pumpkin. It also had a hint of graham cracker taste, which might have been an attempt at pie crust flavor. Overall, for a chai it was well-prepared, warm and comforting. After going around to many of the local coffee shops and trying their different fall specials, I am fully ready for the change of season. Summer is over and fall is officially here.  

    A Review of CBS's "Scorpion"

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    October 10, 2014
    With the beginning of autumn comes the releasing of the fall television schedule, much to the anticipation of most college students. Not only is this the chance to be relieved from cliff-hanging season finales of favorite shows, but it presents the opportunity to check out new shows as well. Last week. CBS introduced a new show called “Scorpion” to its Monday night lineup. The pilot aired Sept. 22 right after “The Big Bang Theory” at 8/9 central. CBS normally reserves this time slot for sitcoms, but they are trying something new by placing an action drama in the nine o’clock time slot. Ratings and time will eventually tell if the show will be renewed for a second season, but I can say for certain that Scorpion has made my list of shows to watch even though I should be studying/doing homework/sleeping. Loosely based on the real life of computer prodigy Walter O’Brien, this show is about a group of geniuses who are asked to help the United States Government solve problems that only people with high mental abilities could solve. If Scorpion were to have parents, the BBC’s television show “Sherlock” and “The Big Bang Theory” would likely win the DNA test. Walter O’Brien (Elyes Gabel) is one of the top five smartest people in the world. He has an IQ of 197 (to put that in perspective, Einstein had an IQ of 160) and is the leader of the Scorpion team. The Scorpion team includes mechanical prodigy Happy Quinn (Jadyn Wong), world-class shrink Toby Curtis (Eddie Kaye Thomas) and human calculator Sylvester Dodd (Ari Stidham). They are joined by Paige Dineen (Katharine McPhee), a single mom and former waitress who helps the characters connect to the human world and emotional side of things. The pilot episode opens explosively and keeps the viewer sucked in until the end. Walter O’Brien, who was able to hack into NASA to get the blueprints for a space shuttle to hang on his wall at the age of 11, is the leader of Scorpion. The team is asked by Federal Agent of Homeland Security, Cabe Gallo (Robert Patrick), to help stop a national security threat. At the end of the episode they are all offered full-time jobs working for the government as the last line of defense against high tech threats around the world. The show does a good job of being believable. One difficult aspect was that some of the secondary characters are hard to relate to, because they are so smart and lack basic human emotional skills. It’s hard to tell if that is simply because they aren’t played by the best actors, or because their characters are supposed to come across as a little wooden and lacking social skills. That is why the show needs Paige Dineen, the humanizing character. Ever since being the runner-up on American Idol in 2006, Katharine McPhee has not only worked on her musical career but her acting career as well. McPhee shines in this new series; her acting is real and raw. She brings comedy as well as a human aspect to the show; she is not afraid to call the geniuses out on their lack of empathy and sensitivity (something that happens a lot). Overall, this show is worth the watch. But be careful: it is a show that sucks you in. I am already addicted after just one episode. You can view the pilot episode here: Scorpion Pilot

    Guardians of the Galaxy: A Cinematic Experience

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    October 1, 2014
    “Guardians of the Galaxy” is a surprising action comedy that will keep you on your toes. Think “Star Trek” meets “Star Wars” meets “Iron Man”. This movie has it all: stellar visual effects, great comedic timing, a hint of romance, a killer soundtrack and even scenes from which you will get all “the feels.” This movie has been out since Aug. 2014 and I only wish that I would have gone to see it sooner. Recently Marvel has been topping the charts with movies such as “Thor”, “Iron Man”, “Captain America”, and “The Avengers.” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, and Bradley Cooper is no exception to this blockbuster success. According to Forbes.com, “’Guardians of the Galaxy’ [is] the biggest domestic grosser for a superhero movie not involving Batman, Spider-Man, or Iron Man. It’s also the first Marvel superhero movie to top the weekend box office on four occasions.” With all this success, there is already a release date for the sequel slated for the year 2017. This action/adventure/sci-fi, directed by James Gunn, is about a band of unlikely heroes who come together to save the galaxy from a power hungry villain. Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is a space junker who has tons of cool gadgets. He finds a mysterious orb in the beginning of the movie and an adventure quickly ensues when he discovers that the orb is wanted by the evil Ronan (Lee Pace). Through unforeseen events, Peter Quill is thrown together with sassy and tough Gamora (Zoe Saldana), lovable Groot (Vin Diesel), hulking and powerful Drax (Dave Bautista), and crude but likable Rocket (Bradley Cooper). They must protect the orb and keep it from falling into the hands of Ronan. This movie is well done and appropriate for all ages. It won’t leave you hanging and has something for everyone to enjoy. Viewers even get blast from the past with the Nova Prime being played by Glenn Close, who starred in “102 Dalmatians” in 2000 as an iconic Cruella DeVil. “Guardians of the Galaxy” is one of the best movies that I have seen in a while, but there were some aspects that did not blow me away. The villain, Ronan, was forgettable to say the least. The scariest thing about him was the fact that he had horrible oral hygiene; his mouth was constantly full of blue ink, as if he had been chewing on the end of a ballpoint pen and it exploded in his mouth. I found him more creepy than scary. The movie also lacked character development. Maybe the sequel will delve more in depth, but as for the first movie, the characters could have been stronger if they would have been explained more and given a bit of a stronger history or explanation of where they came from/what they had been through. Though the movie had a few weaknesses, those were strongly made up for by the rest of the movie. My favorite part about the movie was the comedic timing. The makers of the movie did not leave the audience wanting in the laughter department. The jokes were well done and not too over the top. I am a person who likes to keep an eye out on what’s going on in the background or how the secondary characters are reacting to things — and I was not disappointed. The comedy in this movie was on point from beginning to end. Another point of strength was the visual effects. They were very believable and there was never a point in the movie that was clearly computer animation. In fact, as soon as the movie started, I became lost in the world of spaceships, cyborgs and extraterrestrial creatures that painted the screen in vivid hues. The costumes and makeup were out of this world (no pun intended). Many of the characters were in full body paint; I can only imagine how much fun that would have been to get put on early every day before shooting. Extra shot of espresso, anyone? The movie also has the most amazing soundtrack. The main character Peter Quill is very protective of his mix tape which holds songs such as “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede, “Cherry Bomb” by The Runaways and “Ain’t no Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. These songs are utilized at key points in the movie and work well with the action scenes. If you like to jam to oldies, then this soundtrack is for you. Check out a compilation of the songs from the movie; they make a nice soundtrack for cleaning your room or working on homework. Guardians of the Galaxy Soundtrack When the credits started rolling, I was honestly disappointed the movie was over and cannot wait to see the sequel. I would highly recommend this movie to everyone. Go see it while it is still in theaters if you get the chance, you won’t regret it.

    Professor John Knox: Teacher, Author, and Servant

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    April 25, 2014
    Biblical Studies Professor John Knox (students call him Knox) arrives to class in a broken-in blue baseball cap and a Doctor Who character shirt. Students in class immediately wrap up their conversations and wait for Knox to begin his lesson. He is infamous for showing video clips highlighting lessons or to create conversations. Not one to hear himself talk, Knox encourages interactions between students. He often asks students to open their Bibles and read the text out loud with a James Earl Jones voice. Knox has been teaching and enriching peoples’ lives at George Fox for ten years. “I have enjoyed working for the past decade at GFU mainly because of the people—students, faculty, administrators—who have consistently demonstrated their love of God, others, and learning,” Knox said. “I sincerely think God has opened doors and used me in His service at GFU, and for that I am grateful.” At the start of this academic year he was asked to be a Visiting Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies.  His PhD focuses on the state of Religiosity in the West and he intends to add to his ever growing portfolio.  Knox is pursuing his other passion–writing.  Last year his fiction novella, The Letter of Alon, was published.  This academic year saw Knox publish three articles in an online Fuller Journal regarding radical individualism in the Pacific Northwest.  His most recent publication was on April 9 in Christ Cascadia entitled “Future Emphasis of the Church in the Pacific Northwest.” When asked about writing Knox smiles. “I loved writing my first novel published in August, The Letter of Alon, and have been working on its sequel as well as a new Christian SciFi novel, too,” Knox said. “It is a joy to utilize all my university learning in my writing—my ultimate goal for each is to produce works that are entertaining, educational, and inspirational.  Once a teacher, always a teacher.” With regard to the classes Knox teaches, they fill up fast and stay that way throughout the semester. His teaching style is engaging, refreshing, entertaining, and honest.  Knox requires students to read, question, and share.  There is no coasting in any of his classes. “If I had to define Knox in two words I would call him ‘unconventionally ingenious.’ Knox is one of the few Bible professors who reminds me every class session why I’m here at Fox,” says junior Jordan Nelson. “He displays the dedication, love of teaching, and love of learning that I’ve come to expect of George Fox professors. His non-traditional methods lead to non-traditional results. His students are not only intrigued by his lessons, but engaged in the Word beyond what one would expect of a standard Bible class or even an insightful sermon. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Professor Knox, a man whose teaching allows students to reach beyond the security of the conventional into the boundless void of new and unexplored knowledge.” As the next academic year approaches, Knox looks forward to the new experiences to come. “Regardless of where the Spirit moves me, like Dr. Seuss said, ‘Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.’  My GFU friendships and relationships have left a legacy of love in my heart,” Knox said.

    Movie Trivia Quiz

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    April 17, 2014
    It’s a stressful time of year, so here is a little movie trivia quiz to take your mind off of things for a few moments.   1) In “Frozen,” Elsa was originally intended to be… A) The Villain B) Not in the movie C) A very small role   2) The “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” was the first film with a sole female lead to top the annual box office since… A) 2012 B) 1973 C) 1997   3) “Thor: The Dark World,” is the first Marvel Cinematic Universe Film… A) To create a new language B) To have the hero work together successfully with a villain C) To not be set in the United States   4) In “American Hustle” each main character… A) Was written specifically for an actor or actress B) Was not allowed to improvise C) Had to make drastic changes to their physical appearance to appear in the role   5) “The Amazing Spider-Man” started as… A) Spider-Man 4, a direct sequel to the trilogy B) A one-time tribute to Spider Man released on the 50th anniversary of the comic C) A marketing campaign for marvel   6) In “Despicable me 2” if you call the number agent Lucy Wilde give to Gru you will hear… A) A random person telling you that you have the wrong number B) A recording of Lucy Wilde saying you have reached the anti-villain league C) Nothing, the number doesn’t exist   (Answers: 1:A, 2:B, 3:C, 4:A, 5:A, 6:B)  

    A Tribute to Mickey Rooney

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    April 14, 2014
    On April 6 Mickey Rooney, a beloved actor, passed away at age 93. His entertainment career spanned nearly his entire lifetime, lasting up until the day of his death. He co-starred many times along side Judy Garland, and was a revered showman. Here is a snap shot of just two of his many films. National Velvet. In this 1944 classic, Mickey Rooney stars along side Elizabeth Taylor as a scared former jockey who agrees to help a young girl named Velvet Brown, played by Elizabeth Taylor, train a wild horse for England’s National Sweepstakes. Rooney himself plays Mi Taylor, a young man who blows into town and finds work as a hired hand in a stable. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys old-fashioned movies, and inspirational stories. In addition, this movie is considered so important it was selected in 2003 to be a part of the United States National Film Registry in the Library of Congress for being culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant. Pete’s Dragon. One of Rooney’s later hits (1977), this children’s story slightly resembles the plot of Mary Poppins or Nanny McPhee. It is, however, wonderful and unique in its own right. Following the journey of a boy with an invisible pet dragon, this film stars Helen Reddy and Mickey Rooney as lighthouse keepers who take in the boy with the dragon, Pete. They protect him from his evil adoptive family, and defend him even when he makes a mess in the town. If you have ever heard the song “Brazzle Dazzle Day” this is where that song comes from. The music in this movie is actually very good if you enjoy musicals, and it is one of the first movies to mix animation and live action.

    Resident Assistant Position Reaffirms Student's Passion for his Field

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    jared
    April 7, 2014
    George Fox University junior and psychology major Jared Larson expresses great appreciation for his position as a resident assistant of Lewis apartments; he also finds the role valuable in equipping him for a successful future. Upon setting foot onto campus in the fall of his freshman year, Larson was enthusiastic about the Christian environment the university had to offer. “I wanted to be surrounded by Christian leaders, who would help grow me as a Christian,” says Larson. “My youth pastor always told me that college was a time when people lose their faith. I didn’t want that to be the case for me.” Fully immersing himself in the community, an energetic Larson sought out opportunities to form relationships with those around him, leading him into an RA position his junior year. Far exceeding typical RA expectations, he strove to form a deeper sense of community within his residence area: planning community events, mediating residential conflicts and even providing occasional chocolate chip cookie deliveries to residents’ doors. “One of my goals in life is to be an inspiration unto others,” says Larson. “I just enjoy making my residents feel at home. I like to help and make others feel included and special. I like developing others and showing them the potential that they have in this life” Through his experience in serving at GFU, Larson has only become more sure regarding his goal of becoming a school counselor. “Being an RA has influenced my college experience by helping me develop experiences that will help me with my future career,” he says. “It has definitely helped me see who I am as a person and who I want to be when I am older.” As Larson prepares for his last year as a student, he is delighted at the opportunity to serve as RA of Woolman apartments for the 2014-15 school year. With his self-claimed characteristics of positivity, encouragement and sass he hopes to unite his newest group of residents and leave with memories that he will not be soon to forget.

    Chocolate Brownies Recipe

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    April 7, 2014
    Bored on a Friday night at Fox? Well, what better way to fill those otherwise-meaningless hours than with a brownie baking bonanza? Start out by melting three cups of butter (we actually substituted margarine, and they still worked out great). Lightly beat four eggs, then add the melted butter to the eggs. Combine 2 ¼ cup sugar, 2/3 cup cocoa powder, 1 ¼ cup flour, and 1 teaspoon baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients then beat with a spoon or spatula. Pour in a 13 by 9 inch pan and bake at 375 degrees for about 25-30 minutes.

    Making Friends With Trolls

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    Norwegian Troll
    April 1, 2014
    I was sixteen and staying with family friends in Norway. I saw very quickly the culture of trolls. Not the kind you meet every day on the internet, but the lumpy, bug-eyed version of trolls, the ones that smell Christian blood and haunt the forests and can have multiple heads but nothing in them. You could buy little troll figures in every souvenir store. They smile ugly smiles at every person who walks by. But I had been warned not to mess with trolls; generally I knew better. I met a troll while traveling between two cities in Norway.  My family friends and I stopped to get something to eat and outside the restaurant there was a hill and on top of that hill sat a troll. He waved out at us, holding his walking stick; it was obvious he was a traveler of these hills. Our plan was to go pay the troll a visit after lunch. I said that I did not think the troll would mind, we would be friends. I was sure of it. I was about to make a new friend. With trolls, however, you do not overstep your boundaries. My friend, her dad, and I climbed to the top of the troll’s hill. We stopped there to take a picture and I assured the troll that we were good friends, and I took one more picture. Then we made our way back to the car. On the way down somehow I managed to slip and fall on the uneven hillside. I said I was fine and kept walking. Back at the car my bottom was in a lot of pain from hitting the ground. I asked myself how I fell. I was being very careful. Then I realized, I must have done something to upset the troll. I overstepped my boundary. I did not earn the troll’s friendship, I assumed it. Even if you do not mean to, do not mess with trolls, and do not think that they will not let you know what they think. The myth and idea of trolls is so ingrained into the culture today, you cannot get away from them. Everywhere I went there seemed to be some evidence of them, but I learned that a friendship with Norwegian trolls was something to be earned, because you may just fall and end up with a bruise for the rest of your vacation. If you ever travel to Norway, you will see in random places that a troll has been put there. I do not know if they are for tourists or natives, but the idea of creatures that resides in the country that protect it but have some unscrupulous, possible dangerous sides to them gives it character. The trolls seen around the country may be funny or silly, but they give the culture character. It also shows the power of the myths of trolls that has survived today to give tourists glaring looks over their long noses.