Student Spotlight IX: Rachel and Blaine

Brimming with vitality and verve, Rachel Davis and Blaine Koenig have taken on A Semester in Hawai‘i with full force. Both are positive, out-going and crackling with electric personalities, ready to take on any adventure. Here is a synopsis of their thoughts on Hawai‘i and life in general.

Rachel at Waimanalo Beach

Favorite UH class

Rachel: Mineralogy, because the teacher is so organized, knowledgeable, and excited about the subject matter.

Blaine: Hawaiian Studies. The professor is passionate about what she does and fair to all the students.



Blaine at Byodo-in Temple

Favorite form of social media

Both:  Facebook.

Rachel: I’ve tweeted only once!


Favorite Hawaiian tradition

Blaine: Everyone is so laid back, especially in how you dress and look.

Rachel: No shoes! I like the cleanliness of “no shoes in the house”.


Favorite Hawai‘i place

Rachel: Kailua Beach – the water is clear, the sand is fine, people are windsurfing, walking their dogs;  it’s so relaxing.

Blaine: Na Pali Coast on the island of Kauai. The hike along the coast is tricky, with severe vertical drops off the side of a really narrow trail, but the views are amazing!

Editor’s note: This semester Blaine travelled to the islands of Maui and Kauai with friends he’s met at UH. Some of his adventures included a helicopter tour on Kauai and hike down into the crater of Haleakala on Maui.


Defining characteristic

Rachel: Both Blaine and I clicked with Hawai‘i when we first arrived; we made lots of friends quickly! I try to live in the moment and take in everything around me – the sun, the breezes, even the little lizards on the ground.

Blaine: I try not to dwell on the bad and cherish what I have right now.


Decisive moment

Rachel: My senior year in high school I realized I wasn’t invincible. That’s when I began to try to appreciate everything in the here and now!

Blaine: My mom passed away a few months before I came to Hawai‘i. My family and friends rallied around me, and it was a meaningful and powerful time.


Proudest accomplishment

Rachel: Mapping the volcano of Kilauea. We went on site to take measurements; we also learned the Hawaiian story of Pele (the goddess of volcanoes) and how it relates to the science.

Editor’s note: Rachel travelled to the Big Island with her geology class to study the volcano.

Blaine: Running a half marathon. I’m not a distance runner, but last year I trained really hard and then dedicated the race to my mom. It was great feeling to cross the finish line.


Dream Job

Rachel: Working with solar panels or other alternative forms of energy. I’d like to see us break our dependence on oil.

Blaine: Sports Psychologist for a collegiate or professional sports team.


Favorite thing to do

Rachel: I’m from Philadelphia, and my friends and I like to go clubbing and enjoy the nightlife. We also go shopping and study a lot.  Here in Hawai‘i it’s different; we go outdoors all the time, to the beach or hiking; it’s always beautiful outdoors.


The most famous person I’ve met

Blaine: Well, last weekend I was standing right next to Paris Hilton. We were at a concert in Kapolei , and her boyfriend was DJ-ing. I also shook hands with Barack Obama in Iowa, before he became president.


If I’m cooking we’re having

Rachel: Candied yams, pumpkin cheesecake, and wine.

Editor’s note: Thanksgiving just passed! And Rachel is the legal age to drink alcohol.

Blaine: Pizza with lots of meat on it.


If a movie were made about me, I’d want this actor to play me

Rachel: Eva Mendez for looks and Jennifer Garner for personality!

Blaine: Will Ferrill. Absolutely.

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