Back To School

A couple of months ago, I received an email request from a faculty member at Leeward Community College who teaches an English class on autobiographical writing. As a reader of my column, he asked if I would come to speak to the students on writing about mundane, everyday life experiences, but with a slant toward humor.

Mundane funny is right up my alley. And seeing as I attended LCC immediately after graduating from Leilehua High School, I felt an obligation to return and give something back to this learning institution. If they only knew what kind of student I was, I don’t think they would hold me up as an example. But I was honored to have been asked, so I agreed to do it. The day of my visit finally came, and the night before I was acting as though it was going to be my first day at school. I was somewhat nervous about it and not quite sure why.

If you’ve been to LCC lately, you’d find that its parking situation is like Ala Moana after it shut down the parking on the Sears side of the mall. It took me a while, but I finally lucked into a space and literally ran to get to the class. When I walked through the doors, everyone was already seated and the instructor looked at me and then at the clock on the wall. It was as though I traveled through a time machine and it was fall of 1976 – only it’s 37 years later and I’m STILL LATE FOR CLASS! That aside, it ended up being a great experience, as the students were bright and they seemed engaged in my talk. An additional treat was that a friend of mine from back in the day sat in on the class.

She is an attorney, but her passion is in library science, so she made a career at this library of higher learning. After the class, she asked if I would like a tour of the library. I enthusiastically said yes. It suddenly dawned on me why I was so nervous the night before. It’s because I subconsciously remembered that I had checked out a library book and never returned it. It was James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Seems I had come back to the scene of the crime. I was mentally calculating the possible overdue book charges.

After 37 years, I think I’m looking at having to get a home equity loan.