Friday, October 23, 2009

Expanding Horizons

So, when you apply for college, they want you to tell them everything about you; what extra-curricular things you do, what sports you play, what hidden talents you might have (nose kazoo falls into this category, in case you were wondering). They also want you to tell them why you'd be a good fit at their college, how you would, to use that wonderful cliche that we all love hearing so much, "broaden your horizons."

I like to think that occasionally mine expand, kind of on their own or with the help of my friends.

Tonight was one of the latter occasions.

My campus has quite a few international students. I could probably look up the percentage, but I feel kind of lazy and am expecting a phone call from my parents in a few minutes, but mostly I just feel kind of lazy. Of these international students, there is a very large Asian population on campus. Out of all my friends, I think about 1/3 of them are Asian (Jenny is a Chinese native, that's where the rest of her family lives) or of Asian descent. Then there's a few who find the culture very fascinating (like, someone may find Russian culture very interesting and immerse themselves in Russian - which, is kinda sorta an option here) and can speak the language almost like a native.

All of this combined led me to Sushi Night.

I know right now that those of you who know my digestive issues are cringing and going, "SUSHI!! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING!?!?!" Bear with me. I am of the mindset that you only live once. Along with that, I'll try almost anything as long as it won't land me an ambulance ride. Even then, if it might get me an ambulance ride, I'll at least wear a helmet.

So, lo and behold, for dinner, myself and a group of friends trucked up the hill to the ballroom and proceeded to make sushi. I had no idea what I was doing, but that way okay. Honestly, there were quite a few people there to teach me. It's not really as difficult as you think it is.

You take a sheet of seaweed. I don't recommend going in the lake for this, because you'd probably end up growing something unpleasant in your stomach and digestive tract, and since I already have enough issues, I have no desire to do anything more down there. Anyway, you take some white rice, drop it on the seaweed, and then proceeded to smash it flat and try to cover as much of the seaweed as possible. (Please note that the seaweed is on a light wooden mat thingy that's covered in plastic wrap for sanitary reasons.) Next, add whatever you want to your sushi. Mine had tuna fish in it. With some spicy sauce (that was actually kind of burn-the-inside-of-your-mouth-accidentally-hot) but still good. Add a thinly sliced (longwise) cucumber. Then fold the mat and the seaweed over on itself and squeeze so that it kind of sticks together. Continue this until you have rolled the entire thing. If you want to be realistic and get kind of technical, go ahead and cut it into traditional sushi-sized bits. Or, if you're like me and kind of woefully American some days, pick it up and eat it like a burrito.

Another reason that I love my college is because of Fall Nationals.

Which, when you really think about it, is probably macho maleness at its finest.

Fall Nationals is, quite literally, a soapbox derby. Starting on a chosen Monday, students are encouraged to build their own soapbox derby cars (they'll get reimbursed up to $50, provided they have the receipt) and then they race them down the Hill. The Hill, I should mention, is not straight. It has curves. So, not only does your car need to support you, but you also need to have a way to steer, and brakes are usually a good idea.

As the first time witnessing such an event, I must say, it was absolutely hilarious.

A Hobart alumni won. He put a single, old white, obviously doctored arm chair onto a cart frame that would usually house the little tent thing you would pull your kids behind a bicycle in, and went down the hill on that. Absolutely priceless were the guys with the couch on wheels (it was so ugly it was hilarious) and the dean even had one. A length-wise sawed-in-half plastic barrel with two wheels in the back and a bicycle tire and handle-bars hooked on front.

At least everybody wore a helmet. And it was some of the best free entertainment I've had in a long time.

And that's how I "Expanded My Horizons" today. I feel kind of accomplished.

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"The difference between life and the movies is that a script has to make sense, and life doesn't."

-Joseph L. Mankiewicz