Two weeks ago, the bitter blizzard blinded me with blistering snow and cockily ripped apart my quality $3.50 umbrella. A week ago, the winter permafrost coquettishly flashed a little green under the shining sun. The next day, a foot of snow covered all hints of life. New Haven climate is more fickle than a girl deciding what to wear on a Saturday night. But I’ve been told the schizophrenic weather is supposed to be an indication that spring is on the way.
Taking my cues from squirrels so cute you want to nail them with a snowball — I saw this happen in front of Lanman-Wright last week — it’s time to shed my extra layers of insulating flab and fur. As I bust out my rusty razor and dusty crosstrainers, I simultaneously look forward to and dread the imminent warm weather when the truth that has been hidden beneath multiple layers of down and fleece will be revealed. No more attributing my “puffiness” to my winter coat and baggy sweaters.
In anticipation of the transition to the all-exposing spring wardrobes, I have joined the massive exodus to the gym. During a depressing shopping trip this weekend, the revelation that late night pizza and frozen yogurt were residing in not so desirable places on my body motivated me to boldly cross the treacherous road of death, also known as Tower Parkway. After countless minutes at the gym, I was determined to be disciplined and confidently resolved to work out everyday, possibly two or three times a day. A week later, I have slightly undershot my goal by about seven days.
As I struggled with the five-pound weights in the gym and tried to avoid seeing my exercise-starved self in the annoyingly ubiquitous mirrors, I noticed how pasty white I had become. Hopefully, I will get a little color (not red) back into my cheeks during Spring Break, the two weeks magnanimously appropriated by the Yale administration to prevent thousands of students from going crazy from the eternal winter. I plan to combat my seasonal affectation disorder with endless hours in Puerto Rico under the bright sun without an arctic wind desiccating my face. Here’s to sunburn instead of windburn.
Spring Break is a time to relax and supposedly catch up on procrastinated work. I definitely have the first part down, but as I learned the hard way during Thanksgiving break — when I dragged my textbooks to Boston, where they sat at the bottom of my bag for the rest of the week — work does not get done. I have humbly acknowledged this fact and will not make my shoulders pay the price of my inefficient mind; the unwieldy books will stay in New Haven where they belong. The only things I hope to read are menus and English subtitles on television.
The secret to a good spring break is planning: booking airline tickets early, securing a place to stay and other stuff I’m sure I should have thought of months ago. I have already reserved my airplane seat after a tedious and frustrating telephone experience with Muzak. But who has the time to worry about itineraries and travel budgets in the midst of midterms? Luckily, all problems can be solved with the marvelous three by two-inch plastic wonder-card: Visa is everywhere I want to be. I’ll worry about the bill later when I return and as I’m recovering from sunburn.
Finding a traveling companion is just as important as choosing a vacation destination. Investing hundreds of dollars to go somewhere together is a true test of whether you have friends in college.
I am going to Puerto Rico with my high school friend — but I do have college friends, I promise. We’re staying with my college roommate in Puerto Rico. Most students would happily take a break from their cellmate — I mean roommate — whom they’ve seen in less than flattering states, but I don’t think I could handle sleeping without her bed five feet above my face.
Having made most of the arrangements, I’m now preparing for the cultural shock by paying extra special attention to my Spanish 115 video about “Andres” and his enthralling trip to Puerto Rico. I’m optimistic about how far a semester and a half of college Spanish will take me because I go to class as often as five days a week.
My roommate has also taught me some vernacular to say to the natives: Paren de chuparle dinero de Los Estados Unidos — Stop leeching money from the United States; Muestrame tu ron puertorriqueno bueno — Show me your fine Puerto Rican rum; and Donde puedo conocer a Ricky Martin? — Where can I meet Ricky Martin? Like learning any foreign language, I’ve already mastered the essential naughty words and profanity. All I have to learn is regular everyday conversation.
I can’t wait to defrost in Puerto Rico, live la vida loca and back that Bacardi up. So while all those conscientious students are freezing in New England cities while gaining invaluable externship experiences, I will be “getting my groove back” — and hopefully on — in the sizzling Caribbean.
Nicole Lim is a freshman in Berkeley College. Her columns appear on alternate Fridays.