Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Here Comes the Sun, But Where's the Snow?

Hello, all! It's me, the one and only Laura Elizabeth Miller! Okay, perhaps not the one and only, considering that I don't have any very unusual names. But, it is me, nevertheless, and I have finally gotten around to another post.

In Utah, it's getting cold. In Washington, it's getting cold and rainy. In Hawaii, however, it is hot and sunny; sweat-inducing and blinding; non-Northwest-like and non-winter-like. It's just not what I'm used to, and it certainly does not feel like winter is coming. Perhaps this is why a lot of students don't want to go to class and just want to be on the's still summer here!

Speaking of not going to class, I had the most wonderful experience yesterday. I was feeling extremely reluctant to go to class in the afternoon and was just dreading walking into that classroom. To my happiness and joy, my class was canceled! On one hand, that is wonderful and I spent the time messaging buddies and doing my homework. Yes, I did my homework earlier than usual; yay me! On the other hand, the teacher was sick, and I simply cannot be pleased by such an ill-fated occurrence.

School has been going quite well; classes aren't too agonizing and I seem to be able to take on the load very well. Of course, my mother's wonderful packages from home help me plow on and work those two jobs and classes! Considering that I can never truly look at my apartment as a permanent residence, I don't have very many options for fun things to do. I suppose I could go to the beach, but I like walking the shore better at night without the crazy UV rays and blinding sunshine. Although, now I have something to record my shows, so I am truly blessed to have full advantage of our huge television! Oftentimes, I doodle, or look up rice recipes online. Just yesterday, I drew a picture of a "flying crocodile machine." If you are wondering where in all the planets I got that from, my housemate and I discovered it while watching Pirates of the Caribbean bloopers. In one of his blunders, Johnny Depp described the "Flying Dutchman" as the "Flying Crocodile Machine." Indeed, we chuckled about that many times. Sometimes, we just giggle about it in the class we have together, along with the phrase, "Button, oh button." I have also drawn the true story of the Titanic. Obviously, the tragic fate of the ship was nothing like this, nor was it comical at all, but I find krakens to be fantastic, fictional creatures!

As Halloween comes nearer, I find myself unsure of what will happen on the 31st. I have a costume, should I find myself invited to some party or realize there's an on-campus celebration of the frightful holiday. In some ways, I miss home, because Halloween was a day I would spend with my best friend, or amongst people I know and cherish. Plus, I would much rather walk through a scary maze than the "Haunted Lagoon" at the Polynesian Cultural Center. I hear scary things coming out of the PCC at night sometimes...

Now is sort of the time that students are asking each other, "are you staying for Thanksgiving?" Most reply that they will be, since we really don't have that much vacation time to fly home, eat some turkey and fly back. My housemates and other students explain that it's not a big deal, because Thanksgiving isn't really any more than lots of food. But they also don't eat as much as me. To me, Thanksgiving is kind of a serious family holiday. Perhaps that's mostly because we like to eat! If there's one thing that I will miss, besides the green bean casserole, it will be the nine pies my mom makes with the homemade crust. Where else can I get a peanut butter and chocolate pie? Or a to-die-for-chocolate-mousse-pie? I am not expecting such joys to be in Hawaii. I'm pretty sure there will be something coconut at the Thanksgiving table this year.

As for Christmas, I am bouncing on my heels with excitement for my winter break. I get to fly home and see my entire family: parents, siblings, nieces, nephews...the whole lot! I'm so unbelievably excited, but I'm also quite worried about getting them gifts...I have no idea what to get them. I'm also eager to see my best friend this winter and my sweet, sweet little pooch. Beside all the wonderful living beings, I'm also thrilled to be in Washington weather. Sun is great, and it gives me an excuse to tell my mom that I need new shorts and a plethora of summer shoes (not that I've taken advantage of said excuse), but I grew up in the rain and the clouds. I grew up wearing jeans and jackets and loving every minute of it. I came to love the ocean on a cloudy day; I find Northwest beaches to be so beautiful and so under appreciated. Though, ultimately, I miss the snow. Hopefully there will be some when I fly home this year, but not until after I come so I don't get snowed in.

College has given me an excellent opportunity to discover what I have taken for granted and to count all my blessings in great detail. At home, I was thankful, but not to the extent as I am now. Now, I understand the beauty of a dishwasher and the greatness of a home cooked meal. I can now comprehend the convenience of a car and the perfection of having a quiet house without vacationers stomping upstairs. I don't only marvel at the things I don't have, but I also have come to appreciate all the many things that I have at the moment. I am so grateful for food; for clothes; for an incredibly nice apartment; a bike so I don't take forever to get to campus; a computer; roommates with printers; a television; gym shorts; kind housemates; some cooking background; cookie recipes; skype; a phone; and definitely a longer list than that. But, most of all, I have come to love my family and my best friend even more. Not having them here is kind of hard, especially when you're a new student on campus. On the island, I don't really have that many people I can turn to that think the same as me, that share secret jokes with me, that have the same humor as I do. In this tiny place, I don't really have anybody that understands me as much as my family does.

Just this morning, I received a most exquisite package from my mother. When I opened it, I could imagine heavenly light bursting out of the cardboard insides. Literally, I hugged the shirt inside and then I ate a cookie. I took out each object like it was the best thing in the world because, right now, it is the best thing in the world. One of the many gifts inside was a pair of white vans and my fabric markers, preparing me to celebrate Halloween all the way down to my toes...really. I am planning a Halloween pair of shoes to embrace such a fun and exciting holiday! Now, all I need is an edited version of Sleepy Hollow. Maybe I can record it on TV.

I'm pretty sure my roommates think I am quite strange and nerdy at this point. At least, three of them do, I think. I have to admit, I'm not surprised. They often find me watching the unusual, but intense show of Doctor Who and it can take awhile to grow on something. It would be strange to walk into a room and encounter David Tennant yelling random things on the screen; I'd be a little frightened. I'm pretty sure that the anime I watch doesn't suit their tastes either. The weird talk of mushi and odd folks that turn into animals when hugged raises a few eyebrows but also slight chuckles. One of the anime I watch, named Fruits Basket (and I know that a couple of my brothers are aware of this one), has been nicknamed "Fruits" in our apartment. Sometimes, there is a holler of "Fruits!" by either my housemate or myself.

Besides my television strangeness, I also tend to exclaim odd things and appreciate...different things. Such as, I often talk in a series of accents and voice tones. If I am simply saying "I need butter," I may say it in a nasally, high pitched voice or in a very epic British accent. Sometimes there is a moment of silence...then a laugh. Or if we watch a movie where I tend to pick up a line I like, such as "there's shrimp in this!" in a very extreme, dwarf-like voice from Lord of the Rings, I may say it sometimes. Recently, I have begun to replicate the voice of Dumbledore from Harry Potter Puppet Pals. It certainly makes college life interesting for my housemates. Can you imagine living with me? I'm pretty sure they never expected this.

Nowadays, I work two jobs. I've never had an official job before, but I'm doing pretty darn well with securing them and handling them. For one, I am an art teacher's assistant, doing the basic duties of preparing the classroom for their various projects, grading, handling powerpoints and all that great stuff. For the other job, I'm an usher for the auditorium. So far, I've handed out programs and monitored the doors and I find it to be quite relaxing sometimes. Even though it sounds rough that I have two jobs, I hardly reach seventeen hours a week. In other words, it's way easier than it sounds.

Anyway, that is life right now. It's pretty smooth, sometimes dull (which I spice up by using strange voices) and sometimes unusual. But, always sunny. I just miss everything I'm used to!

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