Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Conclusion of my Hawaii visit

Well, I'm back from Hawaii now. I had a great time, but it was an atypical Hawaiian vacation. It was really less like a Hawaii vacation and more like a visit to a potential grad school followed by a visit with my grandparents. Well, that's what it was.

Basically, I didn't get to the beach. At all. I did walk along the beach one night, but I was wearing rolled up jeans so didn't go in past my knees, and it was night, so I wasn't exactly in danger of being sunburned (though I may have been in danger of stepping on broken glass or being mugged--my mother has trained me well). What I did do in Hawaii was eat. A lot. Of the ten meals I shared with my grandparents, only one of them was NOT all-you-can-eat, and that meal was dim sum, and I have never had a light dim sum in my life. Between dim sum and Chinese buffet and Hawaiian buffet restaurants and the retirement home's dining room buffet, I came in contact with quite a lot of food. And my grandparents, always making sure that I got my money's worth, kept telling me to go back and get more food. My grandfather would even order things for me ("You want the Belgian waffles?" "No, Gung-Gung, I'm full." "Okay, I'll order you the Belgian waffles." "No--." "Excuse me, can you get her some Belgian waffles?" "How many?" "Two."). And I of course was not about to disappoint them. So in short, on my visit to Hawaii, I didn't get tan, I just got fat.

I did get to see some movies I'd been meaning to see, thanks to the library with free DVD rentals at the retirement home. Well, one movie I wanted to see but for the sake of my grandparents' sensibilities refrained from renting was Borat (I was somehow amused that their library had two copies of it). But in addition to No Country for Old Men and Gone Baby Gone which I mentioned in an earlier post, I got to see Vicky Cristina Barcelona and The Lives of Others. I loved both of them, and while neither were exactly fairy tales, they were considerably happier than the previous two. Javier Bardem is so much cuter without that awful haircut. And when he's not murdering people. I remember being a little bitter when The Lives of Others beat Pan's Labyrinth for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, since I had seen Pan's and liked it a lot. But The Lives of Others was beautiful in many ways and I think it deserved to win (and Pan's got some other Oscars, anyway).

About an hour before I caught the taxi to the airport, I received an email saying that I could expect two different professors at the University of Hawaii to give me offers to work with them. Both have funding for a grad student (which is a must for me). So I will be choosing between three grad school options, after all. I really liked my visit at UH, and I feel fairly certain that I want to go there instead of work with the professor I've been working for here for the past two years. Even though I live on the mainland now and can drive to a big city in a couple hours and in several hours could get to any number of cities, I still feel more isolated out here in what sometimes feels like the middle of a wasteland. Hawaii is truly isolated, in the middle of the ocean, but there is a lot going on in Honolulu, and I feel its isolation makes it a special place. And of course, if my goal is to study the ocean, Hawaii isn't isolated--it's in the middle of everything! Still, I'll have to decide which professor to work with. There are many factors to take into account: the professor, the project, technicians and other students (there is a chance that one of these professors will also be mentoring landlocked-Germany girl... I'll try my best not to let that be a factor). It's hard to make this decision after just a two day visit; I only talked with one of the professors for half an hour. This is the next 6+ years of my life we're talking about. I'm a little overwhelmed at the moment. And of course my mom already wants to know what date I'll be moving out there. Ack!

Well, that about sums up my visit to Hawaii. It is likely that next time I go there, it won't be a "visit." Kind of crazy to think about. I'm excited. Almost as excited as my grandparents.

1 comment:

Emily said...

sounds like a wonderful time. any where you can go that allows you to just relax and eat yourself senseless is great by my books! :]