Friday, April 17, 2009

Grad School Decision, Take Two

Once more, with feeling...

I announced my grad school decision the other night in a totally depressed manner. That was inappropriate. I should not be feeling sorry for myself and poor Professor A. I should just be really excited and happy about grad school. So let's try this again.

I am moving to Honolulu this summer to begin studying for a Ph.D. in physical oceanography at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa! Yay! I will be doing a project that involves coral reefs, and I will probably get a scuba certification and go scuba diving for my research. My advisor is a really nice guy, and I'm sure I will have a wonderful time. And, I mean, I get to live in Hawai'i!

Hawaiian monk seal I saw last summer in Haleiwa

The weather is always warm but never gets too hot thanks to the trade winds; most houses don't have air conditioning because all you need to do is open up the windows and the breeze will keep you comfortable. It rains, but usually stays sunny while it's raining--"liquid sunshine" as they call it--which means there are lots of beautiful rainbows. I'll be able to go to the beach year round, get a beautiful tan, snorkel and boogie board and maybe even learn to surf. I'll eat fresh tropical fruits for breakfast and get shave ice whenever I want. There will be great Asian cuisine of all types and inexpensive sushi.

Look at that water!

My grandparents live in Honolulu, as do many of my relatives on my mother's side, so they are thrilled that one of their grandchildren will be living near them again (my mom and her two siblings all live on the East Coast). I envision many dim sum parties with second cousins and aunties and uncles and barbecues out at Haleiwa. With time, I may be able to shed the "Mainlander" designation and earn the title of "kama'aina".

Not actually a relative of mine, but still cute, checking out the honu (green sea turtle).

And hopefully once I get settled in an apartment, my friends will come visit me! It's an expensive flight out to Hawai'i, but off-season tickets when bought far in advance can be reasonable, and free boarding on a futon may tempt people out for a visit. Where I live now there is basically nothing interesting to do, so I haven't exactly had all my college friends come to visit. But living in Hawai'i, I'll have a reason to invite them.

Aloha, Hawai'i, here I come!


floreta said...

that must be so exciting!! i haven't been to hawaii before. i'm sure it will be amazing.

Sebastian said...

Can I visit?!

Can I also ride on the back of a turtle...? Or do they really hate that?

Eleni said...

Sure, it's going to be a long trek from the U.K., but you're certainly welcome.

But no on the turtle riding. That is generally frowned upon. In fact, I think the kid in the photo is closer than the recommended distance to keep from the sea turtles.

Ambles said...

That's so exciting!

Oooohhh, I want to move! it's so cool being in a new place, being able to go exploring... you really get to discover the feel of it instead of just doing touristy stuff. Very cool.


Sebastian said...

Do they snap, or something...?

Surely they can't reach you if you're on their back...

Eleni said...

This may come as a surprise to you, but it is actually illegal to ride sea turtles. You can be fined a ton for disturbing them. I think it is generally recommended that you stay at least 15 feet away from them to avoid causing them unnecessary distress.

Sebastian said...

What ever next...? Will I be fined for trying to ride those cute little Jack Russell terriers in the local park?