Study Hal: Week 12 – Cooped Up

This weekend we saw some heavy rain. The rain itself wasn’t all bad. Hal enjoyed the time to take it easy and finish up his book! But Hal’s dog, Sparky, was not as excited. He’s used to playing outside, so being inside all day gave him a ton of pent-up energy!

Finding a bright side can be important, too. At least the rain cooled the weather down. Now Sparky can go out and stay out for longer!

Hal’s a U-Mich student who’s around every week to share his experience this summer. Check out the Study Hal tag if you’d like to see more!

Study Hal: Bonus! Behind The Scenes

Hey friends! Today I’m bringing you something a little different: a behind-the-scenes vlog about how I make the Study Hal videos! The video is a crash course in my process, including how I made the Hal puppet, how I come up with ideas, and timelapse footage of the animation process.

Let me tell you first-hand, there is a huge amount of work that goes into stop-motion videos. As short and silly as Study Hal is, each video takes hours to prep for, shoot, and edit. From characters and props to audio, almost everything in these videos is crafted by someone behind the screen. In the case of Study Hal, that person is me!

I hope you find the video entertaining and that you’re staying well. I look forward to sharing the next Study Hal video with you on Tuesday!

Study Hal: Week 11 – Initiative Roll

Aside from a few essential appointments, Hal’s been staying home for months. This has made him a bit rusty at keeping track of the time. Today, for instance, he almost missed his favorite part of the week: socially-distant Dungeons & Dragons!

Every week, Hal calls his friends and plays D&D over the internet. He brings the music, but they all have costume pieces to match their characters. Hal’s character is a level six wizard named Ignatius Lightsheild. Hal would like to know, what’s your favorite character class to play?

The music this week is “The Red Fox Tavern” by Curran Son. If you’d like to see more of Hal’s exploits, search for the Study Hal tag!

Study Hal: Week 10 – Movie Night

Grab a tasty snack and a refreshing beverage, we’re having a movie night!

Last week, Hal was really stressed out, so he spent some time finding a low-stakes hobby to keep him grounded. After some research, he discovered that plenty of classic horror movies are in the public domain and available for free online! So now, once a week, he sits down with his tea and popcorn to watch one. More often than not, though, Hal comes to movie nights so tired that he falls asleep halfway through the dang movie! I guess it’s good that he’s getting some rest…

Hal’s favorite movies are ones with the campy special effects, but he’s been more open to other psychological horror flicks, too. Can you figure out what movie he’s watching here?

In case you haven’t heard, Hal’s a U-M student back in his hometown for the summer of 2020. He shares his experiences of this weird time every week, so check out the Study Hal tag if you want to see more!

Study Hal: Week 8 – Heat Wave

For the first few months of this pandemic, Hal found a lot of comfort in taking breaks outside. Now, though, it’s starting to get hot outside. Like, really hot… As nice as it is to be out of the house, the house has air conditioning and cover from the sun.

Hal tries to get outside early in the morning or later in the evening now that it’s so hot during the day. That way, he can enjoy nature without overheating. He’d like to remind everyone to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen, even if you’re just sitting in your backyard!

Hal’s a U-Mich student staying at home in suburban Michigan over this summer. He’s back every week, so check the Study Hal tag for more.

A Summer in Ann Arbor

Now that it’s four weeks into the new school year, I can’t help but reflect on how my experiences over the summer have shaped the current year. During break, I had the opportunity to stay in Ann Arbor, where I worked and took two classes. One of my jobs was through UM Housing, which provided room and board. My other job was a position as an RC peer advisor, which entailed helping incoming students in LSA’s Residential College program pick their classes during orientation.

During my free time, there were a plethora of wonderful things to do. Campus was breathtakingly beautiful throughout the spring and summer, with flowers in full bloom and an overall more relaxed environment. I went to the Ann Arbor Farmers Market/food truck rallies, enjoyed nights at the Ann Arbor Summer Festival’s Top of the Park series, and made frequent trips to the Ann Arbor District Downtown Library (while participating in their Summer Game program, where you can explore A2 places, log your reading, etc. for real-life prizes). Additionally, I witnessed the gradual bloom of peonies at the Nichols Arboretum, experienced a green tea tea tasting at TeaHaus, and went down a water slide at the Fuller Park outdoor pool. 

Now for the artsy part of this blog post. When looking online for things to do in Ann Arbor, there was one thing I consistently came across: the Ann Arbor Art Fair. Nearby friends and family detailed it as something I had to check out. In the days leading up to it, I was prepared to feel squished among the enormous crowds that flock to downtown Ann Arbor for the event. What I didn’t anticipate, however, was the stormy weather. There were moments when artists struggled to hold down tents as rain and gusty winds came out of nowhere. It was heartbreaking to see the artists’ work knocked over and people scrambling for cover; I can only imagine the damage done to both attendance and physical pieces of art due to the inclement weather.

Nonetheless, it was very cool to see four independent fairs – each featuring incredible art – simultaneously occur to form one huge event. I was thoroughly impressed by the quality, beauty, and diversity of all of the art being presented.  Live music, interesting food, and good friends contributed to a positive experience.

Overall, summer was the perfect opportunity to explore some of the many amazing activities, shops, and history that Ann Arbor has to offer. The knowledge gained regarding Ann Arbor’s restaurants, bus system, and more have positively translated into feeling more comfortable and at home throughout the current school year.