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Meet Your Summer Tour Guide: Karl Turnlund ’12

June 27, 2012

Student Tour Guide Karl Turnlund ’12 just graduated from St. Olaf this May. He joined the student work staff this summer before beginning student teaching in the Twin Cities area this fall. For Karl’s complete bio, and to learn more about the other summer tour guides, check back to the Admissions website! Stay tuned as we feature the entire student staff throughout the summer.

Karl Turnlund ’12 at his favorite place on campus — in the back of Old Main

About your time at St. Olaf…

Why did you decide to come to St. Olaf?

There was a moment during my Admitted Student Day when I was sitting on the quad in an Adirondack chair enjoying the beautiful day, and suddenly I heard a choir rehearsing in Boe Chapel. There was something about the combination of that setting, the people, and all of the experiences I knew I could have here that made it clear that I wanted to make this Hill home for the next four years.

What’s the most memorable moment of your first year on the Hill?

I have a vivid memory of sitting around the backyard of Ellingson during Week One just talking about what we were excited about, what classes we wanted to take, and what we were nervous about. So many of those things ended up coming to fruition in different ways, and I’ve always looked back on that day as one where some of my closest friendship were solidified.

What is one thing you didn’t bring with you when you moved to St. Olaf… and wished you would have?

Baking supplies. Not only are cookies delicious, but spreading the love through baked goods is an excellent (and really fast) way to make a lot of friends!

What is one favorite study spot/chair/couch/floor/patch of grass on campus?

There’s a bench right behind Old Main where I’ve spent a lot of time reading, chatting, and studying. It’s on a less-traveled end of campus which affords a person some necessary alone time, and view down to Northfield from Old Main Hill is one that never gets old.

In your opinion, what’s the best St. Olaf tradition?

I really, really love Reunion Weekend. Though it happens once many Oles have left the Hill for Summer, seeing the Ole alumni community come together and relive their time here has helped me appreciate my time here even more. I’ve been lucky enough to have been on staff for the events, and the stories I’ve heard are incredible, and definitely makes me excited to continue participating in the St. Olaf community even though I’ve graduated.

If you need a few hours off the Hill, what’s a favorite place in Northfield?

I love Goodbye Blue Monday –it’s a coffee shop right on Division Street. It’s a place I’ve gone to study on weekends, hang out with friends, meet with professors and other community members, and enjoy some Mexican hot chocolate (which I highly recommend!) Check it out:

Where and how did you meet your best friend at St. Olaf?

One of my really good friends, Kaleb, and I were neighbors freshman year, but we actually didn’t meet until the first day of classes when we discovered that we had both Environmental Studies and our first course in the Great Conversation together. Experiencing both those classes, a number of shared study hours, and a number of hours of procrastinating by watching Kristen Wiig SNL sketches created a great friendship!

And now for some fun facts…

If you’re feeling a little down, what YouTube video cheers you up?

Without a doubt, this has gotten me through some rough times:

What’s the most played song on your iPod?

Currently, this one: Pearl and the Beard performed at St. Olaf not once, but TWICE last semester. Once with Ingrid Michaelson for our Spring Concert, and then a second time in their own feature performance celebrating the end of classes. Since hearing them once, I haven’t been able to get enough!

If you could conquer the world and be a leader, who would you choose as your second in command?

Associate Dean and Director of St. Olaf Residence Life, Pamela McDowell.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what celebrity would you want to be with?

Natalie Portman. Enough said.

What’s a unique hobby of yours?

My family and I raise ornamental chickens that we enter into poultry shows. It’s a little bit like showing purebred dogs, but in our case, it’s chickens! We get pretty serious about it too–my grandfather is licensed poultry judge, and we show chickens, ducks, and turkeys across the country!

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