In Four Years’ Time


Although a large faction of Pomona has migrated South for Spring Break (the intuitive move,) I’ve returned home to Seattle, which has greeted me with rain, hail, thunder, and a thick layer of immobile clouds.  (Or, maybe they’re quite mobile, continually replaced by new ones that I can’t differentiate because they’re all opaque and they’re all grey.)

A factor that nearly kept me from applying to Pomona was Claremont weather (despite its obvious popularity.)  A girl reared in the homeland of drizzle and dark skies, I embraced the only weather I knew, and appreciated the pitter patter on the tin drain outside my window at night and the ever-present moss that grew under rocks and upon houses and on cars and underneath benches.  I pictured Pomona as some desert saloon straight out of Blazing Saddles, without any of the lush-lush-lushness I appreciated in the ever green greenness of the Evergreen State.  Spring Break has not proven particularly effective in instilling in me any academic lesson (there’s always the weekend?) but it has taught me that I’m a changed person.

Listlessly scrolling through beach pictures of coconut drinks and sun umbrellas and tan bodies and bikinis and that bright, shining light high in the sky, I find myself suddenly averse to the rain falling around me.  And I’m not longing for some vacation spot, either—Pomona’s campus has exactly what I need (this:)

claremontPerhaps Pomona is molding me in ways too subtle for me to expect.  Somewhere I gained Southern California appreciation (perhaps Scotland contributed to that a little {a lot.})  Not to say this has tossed me into some identity crisis over the weather—I still enjoy baking under a yellow light looking out the window unto a contrasting grey landscape, and I still listen to my recording of rain sounds when I write essays.  But I am changing, and I am no longer a high schooler wearing shorts in the middle of December.  I am not the stoic 16 year-old who wore her hair in a bun each day and wished on 11:11 and wrote angry Haikus about her evil French teacher (although I still hold that she really was vile and that wasn’t just a teenage phase.)  Instead, in just four years, I’ve become a 21 year-old, perhaps averse to rain but still excited to wear rain boots, who (voluntarily!) eats Pad Thai and kiwis and (voluntarily?!) reads The Leviathan and laughs under the Claremont sun.

I found the Pomona College Magazine on the counter yesterday, and flipped through it for the first time.  In the wedding announcements at the end, I found a little blurb about an ’09 alumni couple tying the knot.  In other words, I could be a mere four years away from some fluffy white gown and matching rings and…marriage!  Just one more four-year cycle and my fingers could meander to the back of the Pomona College Magazine, Spring 2017, and find a picture of myself and some mystery groom holding a fat bouquet of white roses with rice suspended above our hair-sprayed heads.  Needless to say, this is a surreal thought, and I can better imagine the next Mega Millions number than a similar, but older, more worn, maybe wiser, hopefully more secure, perhaps funnier, and with any luck smarter version of myself, because such changes only become clear in hindsight (not that that’s some revolutionary moral.)  My current self is somewhat powerless in shaping this to-be 25 year-old, as she will fade into the past (or perhaps bits of her are carried over?)  In the meantime, she’ll (I’ll?) (we’ll?) listen to the sounds of Seattle (read: rain) until Spring Break ends, when I’ll no longer have the time to let my mind wander to the end of Pomona’s magazine.