A young Sarah Palin’s reason for spending only one semester at the Hawaii Pacific University is under debate after The New Yorker’s Sam Tanhauser revealed this gem of info in a comparison of Palin’s autobiography, Going Rogue: An American Life, and Scott Conroy and Shushannah Walshe’s career examination, Sarah From Alaska:
She is equally circumspect on the issue of ethnicity, pointing out that Todd, whom she met in high school, is “part Yupik Eskimo” and opened her to the “social diversity” of Alaska. (Wasilla is more than eighty per cent white.)Palin, though notoriously ill-travelled outside the United States, did journey far to the first of the four colleges she attended, in Hawaii. She and a friend who went with her lasted only one semester. “Hawaii was a little too perfect,” Palin writes. “Perpetual sunshine isn’t necessarily conducive to serious academics for eighteen-year-old Alaska girls.” Perhaps not. But Palin’s father, Chuck Heath, gave a different account to Conroy and Walshe. According to him, the presence of so many Asians and Pacific Islanders made her uncomfortable: “They were a minority type thing and it wasn’t glamorous, so she came home.” In any case, Palin reports that she much preferred her last stop, the University of Idaho, “because it was much like Alaska yet still ‘Outside.’ ”
Frankly, we’re neither surprised nor terribly bothered by the fact that Palin was freaked out by all them minorities in, uh, HAWAII (and yes, we keep imagining her saying, “but in the movies, everyone in Hawaii is blonde!!”). If we were her, being surrounded so many people with actual functioning brains, non-toxic attitudes, perpetual tans and lovely skin would have made us want to cut and run, too!