>>> The Rollercoaster of Drama
By staff writer Simonne Cullen
March 21, 2004

Spring Break: the one solid week where you get to hang with your friends away from the challenging academic life you're leading and are allowed to embrace drugs, liquor, sun tan oil, and waking up when the sun sets.

Some of our fellow students pack up only their bikinis and razors and head down to Florida to obtain a tan, others fly down to Cancun to collect a variety of STD's, and some go to London and come back with an annoying British accent they picked up the whole five days they were there. Fockers.

But then there are those kids who pack up their duffel bags, rain gear, sleeping bags, Columbia jackets, dried organic fruit, and set up camp. Not to mention driving a total of 15 hours to the middle of nowhere to be surrounded by trees and rivers only to drive back 15 hours back to school and be surrounded by corn fields. These people who choose to hike the road less traveled are easily identifiable on campus, because they all have names associated with mother nature or a season—Autumn, Rain, River, Summer, Ivy, and Evan (which we all know is really short for Evian).

One of these earth-lovers last year was my roommate—and naturally, her name was Summer. Summer got me involved with and even made me an active member of ORC, Outdoor Recreation Club—which is really funny because my initials SFC stand for Simonne Fucks-up Camping.

My camping experience until college life consisted of roasting marshmallows in my best friend's pool house over a fireplace that turned on when you flicked a switch, and an overnight stay at the Days Inn in Jasper, Florida when our former trusty mini-van broke down on the way to Orlando. Obviously I would be a valuable asset to the ORC community.

Nevertheless, having new experiences is what college life is all about, so I went out and purchased a quality top-of-the-line sleeping bag. Which to this day has only been used twice. Once to let a prospective student sleep in, and again on my first and only camping trip to a state park.

Camping I realized, while a lot of fun, is not for me. My idea of a vacation does not involve so much tedious work—hiking, setting up the tent (sleeping in the car when it rains anyway), strategically placing citronella candles around the area as if it were possible to prevent 30 million mosquitoes from attacking your defenseless blood-rich body, and not showering for days at a time.

Summer was short some people for the next trip and I offered to go with her again if she really needed one more person, to which she diplomatically replied, “I'd rather lick the bar floor clean than have you with me.” Like I said, valuable asset.

Shopping with her all week for separate week-long excursions was pretty humorous though. She got hiking boots, I'd purchase flip flops. Her, bugspray. Me, suntan oil. I stocked up on anti-friz hair gel for the humidity, she got a shot for malaria or Lyme disease or some shit like that…. The point is, while I may not be the most earthy person God knows, I respect those of you across the country not able to read this right now because you have no electricity or plumbing or designated spot to poop. I really do because I couldn't do that again—ever.

So that's why as I sit here looking out at the Pacific Ocean I think, “Hey, even though we're on opposite coasts right now, we're both making smores. You're doing it over a real homemade fire and I'm still doing it from my best friend's pool house.” Ah, comforting to know that some things never change.