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Hard work leads to fulfillment

Michael Escañuelas, Editorial Cartoonist

Michael Escañuelas, Editorial Cartoonist

It is difficult to write a column within the first weeks of school without reflecting the past couple months of my life. I’m sure a lot of people would agree that the events of summer are always quite interesting. My summer consisted basically of writing stuff, playing music, reading and video games. That already sounds like winning combination.

Considering that La Verne releases its students about a month before anyone else does, my first couple weeks of summer consisted of me calling up friends only to find out they have yet to come home from school, or are suffering a slow excruciating death at the hands of the local community college. This loneliness that filled my days with my progression to beat Psychonauts on Xbox. In case you were wondering, I had a blast doing that.

In July, I began an invigorating internship at the Daily Bulletin in Ontario. My job was to report on various stories that typically dealt with local city news. All around, the experience was a lot of fun. My editor made me laugh every week and the reward of working for a publication is always a treat. I was very lucky to have that experience.

Although interning was fun, the highlight of my summer did not come until the month of August, when I embarked on a two week tour with my band, The Motel Life. The tour was set to take us out of California through the hot desserts of Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and Texas playing various shows. The trip was our second one out of state.

Being a small band out of California, we knew things would probably not go as smoothly as we would like.

For example, our first show in Tucson, Ariz., was cancelled 10 minutes before we even left home. Disappointments like this floated in and out of our trip, but never did they outweigh the fun we had.

Driving through rain, lightning, darkness, animals (alive and dead), and long nights were a big part of our trip.

Although it is a gross generalization, the basic concept behind every day on our tour was: drive to a venue, unload our equipment, play music, pray to God we sold merchandise so we can put gas in our tank, load up our equipment, drive to the next venue, or sleep in the car, and repeat.

The trip definitely had its ups and downs. For example, being an indie band sandwiched between hardcore and deathmetal bands, only to find out that the audience liked us, can twist anyone’s stomach. It would be difficult to detail my journey in this column, but I guess that is how I know I had a good experience.

Sometimes the idea of money or maybe a bad show (I’m looking at you, Austin, Texas) would bring the band down, but the feeling of playing a show for kids, who otherwise you would have never met in your life, and seeing them rocking out to your music, singing your lyrics, sweating out the same passion that you sweat night after night; it is all very rewarding at times.

Hands down playing those shows and traveling to various cities was the highlight of my summer vacation. The rest of my summer, after coming home, consisted of playing Pokémon and reading.

The best part about that last week, was that I would not have it any other way. After traveling so far from home and being away from everyone I loved and my way of living, it felt good to be home.

Michael Escañuelas, a junior English major, is editorial cartoonist for the Campus Times. He can be reached by e-mail at

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