Student Experience Blog

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

I can’t mop to save my life readers. If a vicious serial killer approached me, pushed a mop into my hands, and said “Mop my kitchen floors or else you’ll be pushing up daisies,” I would immediately start filing through movie speeches to use as my last words. Already, I’m leaning towards either Denzel Washington’s speech in Remember the Titans, or the lyrics of “We’re All in This Together” from High School Musical (you know, just for one last joke before I go).

I mention my lack of mopping skills because, as sad as it is to say, the school year has come to a close. Before I could revert back to my aggressively introverted, casually Super Villainous persona at home, my roommate and I had to deep clean every inch of our dorm room; including dusting, scrubbing, chiseling, crying, praying, and, of course, mopping. Ugh. Mopping.  I shudder at the word.

But, clearly, I made it. I am currently back at home writing this from the dimmest of candlelight with a sharpened quill and ink (my town is one of those back woods, quintessentially quirky southern towns that happen to be nowhere near the south. We have apple pie festivals and friendly townsfolk who believe electricity is witchcraft. I’m joking…maybe). Truth be told, my hometown is pretty spectacular. Every year I come back from C of I in May, I always manage to catch the last few days of Payette’s pride and joy, the Appleblossom Festival. There’s a carnival, which I refuse to participate in due to protesting cliché conventions put about by the patriarchy, there are pie eating contests, concerts and toddler beauty pageants. Speaking of things that I wish I could say I am joking about, I actually won “Best Eyes” in said baby pageant when I was but a young lass of 2. I almost won the whole thing as well, but I lost out to (and I seriously am not making this up) my roommate at C of I, Ms. Hannah Dixon. I don’t think a month goes by where she does not rub that in my face. Fame changes a person, readers, don’t forget that.

Where was I going with this tangent?

Oh! Right. There’s a philosophical point I am getting to, I swear. So I got home this week just in time to enjoy the best part of the festival: The firework show they put on in my old high school’s football field. It’s a huge, massive show that can be seen from pretty much anywhere in the town and it is easily one of the highlights of coming home for summer. Because, as any true American will know, there is something ambiguously joyful about fireworks. Not to mention poetic. Between my internship and my classes and working with clubs and having a social life and getting the bare minimum of sleep and crying about Star Trek things, the last four months have been the longest stretch of unending work I’ve ever experienced. And when the going got rough, it was impossible for me to think that I would ever actually make it through the semester without losing my mind or going on a rampage and destroying an innocent Japanese city—a  reference, of course, to Godzilla. I’m not a weirdly specific psychopath, I swear.

In high school, I had thought those four years would be the most important, stressful years of my life (remember the SAT, readers?!? BECAUSE I SURE DO) and there I was, sitting on the lawn of that very same high school, alive and knowing how completely and utterly wrong I was back then; wrong about high school being the most difficult thing I could physically imagine, apart from, I don’t know, a giant lizard ruining your home with radioactive rage (I’m stuck on Godzilla, I don’t know why) but, most importantly, I was wrong about it being the most important thing in my life. As I watched the show with my roommate, Appleblossom’s Prettiest Baby 1996, I felt extremely at peace. This semester was a challenge, of that there is no doubt. But it was a challenge I would take again and again. C of I has a habit of doing that do you; it pushes you to push yourself to new levels, making you hate it just a little bit (Finals week? A lot a bit.) but at the end of the year, you’re itching to go back right away. Because it’s home too, just as much as my little ol’ hometown that may or may not think the internet is the Devil’s handiwork. And that, readers, is something that is pretty great.

Until next week,

Ashley A. Miller

Ashley is a Junior Creative Writing major from Payette, Idaho.