Monday, July 21, 2014

Youths. What a stupid breed.

Saturday night and Sunday morning Laie was being punished by Zeus and his thunderbolts. It was disruptive enough to make our bed shake and ruin our sleep, but it was still fun all the same. I like lightning storms a lot. To me they are nature's version of fireworks. Or is it that fireworks are man's version of lightning? In a lot of ways lightning storms are even more fun than fireworks because you never know when they're going to happen, and you rarely have to spend hours trying to stake out a decent spot to watch before it actually happens. Yay spontaneity!!

Heavy rain in Hawaii is a lot like snow anywhere else. When you're a student you find yourself wishing and praying that it will rain hard enough in the night so that school and work will be cancelled. Then when it DOES rain hard enough, you go out and play in the streets with all your rain toys. People skim board, body board, wrestle, have water fights, and get up to all sorts of shenanigans in this truly disgusting ground water that adults try to scare you away from playing in, because it's got "sewage" water in it. Hey, if you didn't stop us from watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the 90s, sewers aren't going to frighten us now. Plus, heavy rain usually means winter in Hawaii, the same way snow usually signals winter on the Mainland.

Thus, even though it's mid-July, this storm brought back a lot of memories from our Freshman year at BYU-Hawaii. My first experience with a wicked flash flood was one that lasted for about 10 hours straight one evening in December 2010. At first we were all laughing and splashing in our hales, but then we were all laughing and splashing, and urgently bailing water OUT of our hales as the female rooms began to flood. By the time we realized that we were in danger, it was about 10:30 at night, and everyone on campus, male and female, was gathered in Hale 5 with garbage bins and in a conveyer belt formation to bail and lay down sandbags as fast as humanly possible. It was close to being the middle of the night, yet every three seconds the entire sky would light up as though it was noon-day and every piece of sky visible was split with bright white lightning bolts. It was fantastic.

Now here's where the story becomes incredibly, worrisomely stupid. With our homes mostly protected by an incredible amount of sandbags, my friends and I began to run around campus, overly excited by the world coming to an end. There is a place on campus known as the "little circle" or the "flag circle." It is located at the very front entrance of the school, and is the first thing you see as you approach campus from Kam highway. This circle is a large circle of grass enclosed by about a hundred flag poles. Each morning and evening flags are raised on each pole to represent the diverse homelands of the students on campus. TadaH!! here's the little circle, you are now educated:

We have dances and festivals here because we're cool like that.
As we ran around campus we found that hundreds of other like-minded students had congregated in the middle of the little circle and were having an incredible impromptu party. "WAHOO!" we all screamed, "LET'S GO!" Even though this was a couple years before "YOLO" we all essentially screamed YOLO and ran to go play in four feet of ground water in a circle enclosed by hundred foot flag poles in the middle of a lightning storm.

Let's evaluate all of the life choices happening in this circle right now, guys. A bunch of humans (large conductors of electricity), playing in deep water (large conductor of electricity), in an area surrounded by metal poles (hashtag: metal + electricity = lovers 4 lyfe).

Every couple of seconds, when the sky would light up, I would stop to look at it and think to myself how beautiful the world is and how amazing life was in that one moment. Now that I look back on it, I think that was the tiny smart part of my brain saying, "I am going to die within the next five minutes, let's treasure every last second we have inside this dense 18 year old body."

Oh well, we all survived and many will probably do such a thing again if the opportunity presented itself.

Here are some pictures of me and my stupid friends.

Here we have several students jumping in an attempt to become more obvious targets for the electricity bolts. 
Granted, none of us have university degrees at this point, so we're relatively uneducated

I am so very proud of all of us for not dying.


  1. Replies
    1. hehehe, I'm so glad! Do you remember this storm? I mean, I don't think you were living on campus at the time, but still! <3