Monthly Archives: May 2014

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Student Spotlight: Kristine Balslev

Category : Student Spotlight

A Rock Lover Comes to America

Meet Danish ASH student Kristine Balslev, a geology major from the University of Copenhagen who also composes and performs rock music.

Kristine on a geological site in Spain

Kristine on a geological site in Spain

Home School: University of Copenhagen in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Home Town: Copenhagen, Denmark

Major: Geology

On a geological site in Southern Sweden

On a geological site in Southern Sweden

Favorite UHM Class: Indian Philosophy with Professor Dalmiya. This class is a dream. The teacher is incredible, and I get the impression that the entire philosophy department is outrageous! I learned so much. I’ve never had a professor who brought me so much knowledge and presented it in a way that I could remember it all. I was never bored in that class.

Favorite Form of Social Media: Face-to-face interaction is the best. There’s too much of the other kind, and that’s the problem with social media.

What’s on your iPod? Right now it’s on shuffle, and I’m currently listening to “The Band”. I listen to all sorts of music, as long as it’s good.

What one word would you use to describe yourself? Distracted.

What one word would your friends use to describe you? They would say the same thing.

Describe an important accomplishment: Deciding to come to Hawai‘i. It took some work to make this happen, I did all the work myself, and now I’m in Hawai‘i. It’s true that if you decide to do something, you can make it happen.

Fun Fact: I’m giving up geology to work on being a rock star. I play, sing and write music. My music can be found at I’ve already broken the news to my parents; I’m ready to give it a real shot.

Ambition: To become a recording and performing music artist.

Favorite music artists: George Harrison, Dave Grohl, and Stevie Nicks

What’s next? I’ll return to Denmark, do a lot of music, and go to a music festival called the Roskilde Festival. This will be the 12th year in a row that I’ve gone to this festival.

Favorite Book: I’ve read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas so many times! I also really enjoyed Shantaram, an autobiography written by the author while in prison in Australia, recounting his escape and exile in India and the friendships and craziness that went with it all. It’s funny, beautiful, and touching, and I can’t believe it’s real.

Favorite Movie: Any Quinten Tarantino or Coen Brothers film.

Favorite TV Show: While here in Hawai‘i I’ve been watching Arrested Development and 30 Rock. I don’t watch TV at home, but usually stream shows.

Greatest Vice: Eating doughnuts. They are so cheap and readily available here. But I think I’m now cured.

If Movie Were Made About Me, I’d Want This Actor to Play Me: James Franco. He’s kind of weird, and his vocabulary is very narrow, but he’s saying weird stuff, and it’s like where is he going?

Person I’d most like to meet: Dave Grohl. I wrote a song about him. He’s funny, talented, and been through it all. He’s like a bumper sticker!

If I’m cooking we’re having: Rattlesnake Chili, with coleslaw. I usually make it with chicken, since it’s hard to get rattlesnake. The recipe is from a cookbook by a guy who cooked for 80s rock bands.

Favorite Thing to Do in Hawai‘i: Snorkeling and surfing. I didn’t do either enough, but I really enjoyed it.


Favorite Thing to Do in Copenhagen: Be with my friends and play music.

Favorite Local Food: I like the restaurant “Korean Hawaiian Barbecue”, which is near where I live.

Favorite Hawai‘i Tradition: Lei giving, and I like the ukulele.

Favorite Hawai‘i Place: Diamond Head. I live right next to it and enjoyed seeing it transform from green to brown. When I heard that it would turn brown after the rainy season I thought, “Oh no,” but I like it better now in the brown stage because you can see all the features and the lineation.

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Student Spotlight: Brooklynn Cookson and Emily Ishihara: Southern Connection

Category : Student Spotlight

Emily and Brooklynn

Emily and Brooklynn

Hometown and Home School
Brooklynn: I’m from Tahlequah, Oklahoma and attend the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
Emily: I’m from Andover, Massachusetts but I attend Mercer University in Macon, Georgia.

Favorite UH Class
Brooklynn: “Drugs and Society”; I like everything about this class!
Emily: “Hawaiian Language”; growing up I heard about many of the things we talk about in class from my grandfather, who is from Hawai‘i, but in class we go much more in depth.

Favorite Form of Social Media
Brooklynn: Writing letters. I like the old-school stuff because it’s calming and eases my mind.
Emily: I like letter writing, too, but I’m also into Instagram because I see what other people are doing, not just hear about it.

What’s on your iPod?
Brooklynn: Everything! The 1975, Zedd, Beyonce, Mylie Cyrus, Eric Church, Josh Abott, and more.
Emily: I like country, rock, and basically everything except rap.

One Word That Your Friends Use to Describe You
Brooklynn: Compassionate. I care about others.
Emily: Loud!

One Word That You Use To Describe Yourself
Brooklynn: Peaceful. I always make peace with others. I don’t like that feeling of being angry.
Emily: Loud!

Greatest Adventure
Brooklynn: Coming to Hawai‘i and not knowing a single soul! At first my family was not really happy about my plan to spend a semester in Hawai‘i, but since I’m paying for college myself, I’m able to make my own decisions.
Emily: I guess my greatest adventure was going to college far away from home. I didn’t apply to one school in the North East. I wanted to go away and see something new.

Brooklynn above Rabbit Island

Brooklynn above Rabbit Island

Emily at Kilauea Caldera

Emily at Kilauea Caldera

Something Few People Know about Me
Brooklynn: I have a freckle on the inside of my lip, and my dad has the exact same thing.
Emily: Laughing. I’m related to The Brothers Cazimero, a famous singing duo here in Hawai‘i.
Brooklynn: You’re related to the entire world, Emily!!

Favorite Thing to Do at Home
Brooklynn: Float on the river, go to the lake, and be outdoors with friends.
Emily: Taking the train into Boston and exploring without a set plan.

Greatest Vice
Brooklynn: Spending too much time on social media. I deleted Facebook for a while because it can be so negative and I needed to be more productive.
Emily: I have really bad sweet tooth!

Best Talent
Brooklynn: I’m a good listener.
Emily: I’m a good singer.

Dream Job
Brooklynn: Being a mom.
Emily: Photographer, travelling the world and taking pictures of everything.

Person You’d Most Like to Meet
Brooklynn: Bob Marley
Emily: Ellen DeGeneres

Favorite TV Show
Brooklynn: Grey’s Anatomy, hands down. I feel like I can perform surgery after watching that show!
Emily: Laughing. That’s my favorite show, too.

Favorite Movie
Brooklynn: Pocahontas
Emily: Mulan

Reality Show I’d Go On
Brooklynn: Grey’s Anatomy. But that’s not a reality show.
Emily: You be good on The Real World.
Brooklynn: Yeah, The Real World.
Emily: I’d go on The Amazing Race or The Voice.

If A Movie Were Made About Me, I’d Want this Actor to Play Me
Brooklynn: Pocahontas
Emily: Jennifer Lawrence

If I’m cooking we’re having:
Brooklynn: Anything you can get a recipe for.
Emily: Burgers on the grill.

Favorite Thing to Do in Hawai‘i
Brooklynn: Exploring, not knowing where I’m going, just going.
Emily: I love to take pictures of everything.

Emily with her camera at Kalae on the Big Island, the southern most tip in the United States

Emily with her camera at Kalae on the Big Island, the southern most tip in the United States

Favorite Spot on Campus
Brooklynn: The Japanese Gardens and Jamba Juice.
Emily: Campus Center area. I like to study there with the background noise.

Favorite Place in Hawai‘i
Brooklynn: The beaches at Bellows or Waimanalo. The water looks like blue Kool-aid!
Emily: Makapuʻu Lookout. We saw whales when we were there. It’s a very peaceful place.

Brooklynn at her favorite beach

Brooklynn at her favorite beach

Emily, Brooklynn and Sam at Makapuʻu Lookout

Emily, Brooklynn and Sam at Makapuʻu Lookout


Favorite Local Food
Brooklynn: Malasadas! I could eat them at every meal and never get tired of them!
Emily: Shoyu chicken (my grandfather makes it at home in Maine) and manapua.

Favorite Hawai‘i Tradition
Emily: Taking your shoes off before going into someone’s house, which is a sign of respect.
Brooklynn: I like that too. I also like the shaka, which means, “no worries, all is good”. And everybody is so relaxed here.

What’s next?
Emily: I’m going back to Mercer next semester, and in two more years I will figure out what I want to do with my life.
Brooklynn: More adventure is next for me, I hope. I’m going wherever the wind takes me.
Emily: That sounds like Pocahontas!