Super Student: Break filled with UV rays, mixed drinks and diabolical plots

Tony Reiss

Tony ReissSuper Student

Last Christmas I gave someone my heart and the very next day I found it sitting in the garbage can. I am not sure if it got mixed in with Grandma’s fruitcake or some discarded wrapping paper, but there it was, sitting in the garbage. So this most recent Christmas, to save me from tears of course, I gave that someone something special. That special thing was a soul excreting drink of tap water from Mexico. While the thought of someone keeled over in pain over a low-flow toilet and praying to whatever god will listen for it to stop is hilarious, I didn’t account for one thing: We were sharing a room. My diabolic plan 8212; that would make the Grinch look like St. Hipparchus- 8212; backfired. I was awakened no fewer than three times throughout the night to the sound of a person’s soul trying to escape out of any open orifice it could find. As the sun came up I became remorseful for my actions and prayed that I would not fall victim to the debilitating prank that was pulled. Luckily, like the second born male in an Egyptian family, I was spared. My point is this: I spent most of my Christmas break in and around the Tropic of Cancer.

My Christmas break consisted of an old-fashioned Minnesota Christmas sandwiched between two tropical vacations. The first trip was a quick jaunt the Yucatan Peninsula. This trip was purely academic I assure you. I was there to study the impacts of massive doses of Vitamin D mixed with moderately dangerous levels of ultra-violet rays and mixed drinks. Through my research, I have found that when levels of Vitamin D and ultra-violet rays are naturally increased, a person’s propensity to consume drinks made out of and from coconuts is also increased. I plan to pitch my research to some scientific journals in time for spring break.

My return flight out of Cancun was delayed for a couple of hours. As a result, I had the opportunity to celebrate part of Christmas Eve in the airport. Normally this wouldn’t be so bad, but the Cancun airport decided to dress their employees up as Santa Claus, the Grinch and Leprechauns. The merry band of mismatched characters complemented the bright signs hanging the airport that read “Corona Presents: Merry Mexican Christmas.”

I made it back just in time to greet the last guests at my parents’ annual Christmas Eve party. As I left Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, I called my father who estimated that it would take 67 minutes to arrive at his home. The road conditions were favorable and I made it from the airport to his garage in 59 minutes.

During the Christmas Eve party I informed my 9-year-old cousin about the dangers of reading the Harry Potter series. The dangers of Harry Potter do not rest solely within the intrinsic evil that is witchcraft and wizardry. There is a far greater danger at hand. That danger is lifelong loneliness. Reading too much Harry Potter will not only ostracize an individual from the most religious groups (thus preventing him from ever celebrating Christmas again) but also from the dating pool. In short, reading too much Harry Potter is like being a set of identical twins that never marry. Except in this case you’re not a twin, you’re just an individual who is destined to grow up and be alone. Even your cats won’t want to spend time with you.

After a week in moderately cold temperatures I came down with a case of seasonal affective disorder. For those of you who don’t know what SAD is, it is a disorder that allows people to blame their brusqueness on a lack of sunshine. Not wanting to have long-term damage because of SAD I decided that it would be a good thing to head south again. This time it was a cruise ship. We set sail out of Tampa and headed to the very edge of South America.

While sailing through the western Caribbean I noticed that most people find it relaxing to read the first chapter of a book. I have never seen more people reading the first page of a book than I did during that second trip. I am glad that I received a Nook Color by Barnes & Noble for Christmas. That way no one could tell what page of a book I was on.

It was a great 20th century philosopher who said that Christmas is the time of year when people of all faiths gather to celebrate the birth of Santa Claus. Christmas time has always provided an opportunity to spend time with family and loved ones. I am glad that I was able to see so many loved ones during Christmas break including parents, in-laws, siblings, and Captain Morgan (he was our pilot). I got almost everything on my list except for the thing I most wanted: a TSA patdown.

Tony Reiss is a non-traditional student majoring in economics. Reach him at [email protected].