Preparing for high school has been a overwhelming struggle for me. All the 8th grade students woke up before the sun. We were going on a journey to Seabury Hall in Makawao. When we arrived on the campus, we walked to the Cooper House where it was nice and warm. Then we were greeted by the head registrar, Elaine and our 9th grade student leaders. I was paired up with a girl student leader. She led me to the building where the assembly was held. The assembly started, and we were introduced by Mr. Schmidt who spoke about intentional acts of kindness during the Christmas season. Although he never used the term "intentional acts of kindness," I could understand what he was trying to say. After assembly I followed my student leader to the first class, English. I was in the same class with Nicole, Max, and Brandon. We greeted the English teacher and sat down as if we were 9th graders. After the teacher spoke to the students about their assignment, she clarified the class schedules to us. The teacher then gave us books to look over and paper and colored pencils to draw on. I could really feel the high school sensation because after that class, we walked into the hallways filled with students rushing to their next class. The next class was Geometry with a teacher similar to Mrs. Wurst. Although the class seemed boring to me, the teacher was there to entertain as well as teaching the class. As he put some of the problems on the board, I could quickly answer them in my head but I was too shy to raise my hand. Clearly, I was smarter than a 9th grader if I could mentally answer the problems. After his class, I was reunited with my class in the Cooper House to have a snack. We reflected on what happened after we broke apart and what class we liked best. Snack was over, and my shadower took me to Spanish class. I found that this class was distinct from all the classes because the teacher spoke in Spanish as well as the students! Even after the class, students would speak in Spanish forgetting that they could speak English again. It was time to go to the chapel, the room above Cooper House, and say good bye to our student leaders. As we were sitting in the chapel, I could oversee the beautiful view from the window. Listening to the principal of the high school speak, made me realize how grateful I should be that I have the opportunity to be educated.
Bill Brown the producer of the movie, The Hiding Place visited our classroom today along with his "daughter in love," Alicia, to talk about his experiences with Corrie ten Boom and creating the film. He endured many obstacles such as being told that the movie could not be created due to financial problems, but he always had his faith in God. He eventually figured a way to get the kind of money needed to produce the movie. The main point I believed he was trying to make visible to us was that love is the most important. Even with many struggles in my life, God has made an amazing plan for me. I can have fame and fortune but my life would still not be fulfilled, it takes love to make your heart whole. "The love you give, is the love you get back."
About two months ago, Ms. Enriquez proposed that we would come back to O'o Farms for her birthday. That idea lingered through our minds and we made it happen to a reality. She had a week filled with tiny gifts leading to the biggest, being able to go to O'o Farms. We were grateful enough to go on this natural experience again. Before Ms. Enriquez arrived, we decorated the farm with balloons, streamers, and signs. Mrs. Easler was so thoughtful for providing us a variety of embellishments. As usual, we harvested the crops and brought it to the table. We had the delectable, handmade pizzas for dinner. To end the night, we gathered around the fire munching on s'mores. I expected the weather to be chillier than our previous visit but it turned out to be warmer. The dark sky expanded before our eyes. It was time to rest. I had a pleasant time and enjoyed sleeping on the comfortable bed.. I remember last time I slept on the floor. We all rose up at 6:30 am, excited for the day. We walked down to the eating area and cleaned up our mess from last night. I sneaked a few marshmallows in my mouth before eating the delicious breakfast. Mrs. Macedo (Summer's Mom) cooked one the best eggs and bacon I ever tasted! Before leaving the farm, our class had time to run around and play in the very great area. It was time to pack our bags and leave. I had a spectacular time as usual.
Have you ever gone back in time to the masses in Latin? The 8th grade class was invited by Canon Moreau (a position higher than a Monsignor) to a Latin Mass. The mass was distinct, very different from regular masses. This type of mass has been practiced for about 1600 years. To think how old this mass is, I felt that we were traveling back in time. Before the mass started, Canon Moreau gave us a little background explaining the features of mass. He asked us several questions, one would be, "What language would you speak in heaven?" I was struck by this question thinking the answer would be from my intellectual side of my brain. I realized the question could only be answered using my heart and faith. I enjoyed the mass very much. I devoted my listening to the way pronounced the words. After the mass, he came to the classroom and asked if we had any questions or comments about the mass. I appreciated the time he came to the class. His visit educated me about the traditional ways of mass.
A normal school day to the 8th grade class would involve another school to visit our class. You might be thinking, "Well how is this normal?" It has become a daily routine for the students to be the teachers. The 6th grade class from St. Anthony indulged into an experience that was different from what they are learning. First, we invited the students to enter the room. Our website was already set up on the projector so we directly spoke about the website and how it came about. We had to throwback to grade 7 and how our big ideas for the revolution of education began. After switching classes with the 7th grade, we brought the students outside onto the courtyard and presented Nainoa's star compass. The day went by quickly, we had already created peace flags and presented the World Wide Voyage sail plan, what now? One comment from the students that stood out to me the most was that it takes a long time to get to one place to another. That had a connection to not only the Hokule'a but to us. It took us a long time to get our education to become "revolutionized."
The hardest part of this trip was waking up at five in the morning, the rest was easy and intriguing from there. Most of the students from my class and I traveled to Oahu to visit Holy Nativity School last week Thrusday. The purpose of going there was to 'lokomaka'i' or 'to share with each other' the knowledge of the Hokule'a and our revolutionized curriculum.. We were greeted at the Honolulu Airport by this enthusiastic and friendly character, Ms. Ogata. After meeting Ms. Ogata, we were introduced to Ms. Overton who also has common qualities like Ms. Ogata. We entered the small yet comfortable room greeting the students as we tread in. From there, we started our presentation with a little background information about the A'o program from what was taught by Ms. Enriquez. We opened up our website and showed our blogs. I could see the students were captivated with the glow in their eyes. During recess, we prepared for an interactive activity to show the students the star compass. Determining the directions of north, east, south, and west took us quite some time to figure out but eventually we attained a refined product of a large star compass on the courtyard. The students came out with clueless looks, not knowing what the star compass was. The demonstration consisted of knowing which direction to take if our canoe was sailing to Alaska and what kind of obstacles might be encountered. After that, we went inside the classroom to view my O'o Farms video. Deep inside, I was extremely pleased after the loud applause for my creation. Next, the students led us outside to their garden and compost pile - a way they practice Malama Honua. At the ending part of the day, we expressed our gratitude statements and presented our gifts. I was touched to see tears in Ms. Ogata's eyes and crackles in Ms. Overton's voice. I could feel the vitality of their appreciation and joy across the room. I was thankful to know that there was another school with an interest in the 'revolution.'
What a 'wonderous' field trip we had yesterday. Taken By Wonder is an art exhibit that seeks in-depth interaction, engages in obeservation, and requires initiative perception. This exhibit was created by Wes Bruce, a mastermind in making forts. You walk into the room and see wooden planks shaped into a fort. How on earth is this an art exhibit? I expected to see plain, old, boring pieces of art but I realized that art takes place in many different forms and sizes. I walked in the installation, thinking it would just be a structure with nothing inside. Never judge a book by its cover! I encountered a 'never ending house.' This structure was spectacular! The hidden rooms would surprise me with beautiful pieces of art on every corner. I listened to voices saying, "I want to build my house like this! I can't believe its going to be torn apart!" Can we bring it to school?" I was definitely 'taken by wonder.'
Our final day at the Lahaina Yacht Club, NOOOOO! Today, we managed to do something very distinct from what we usually do; we went far out to the large anchored boats. Curtis instructed us to go around the the trimarans and the catamarans. After what he thought was an adequate amount of practice, he called the race time. During the second race, the wind shifted, so I needed to adapt to the modification. The acceleration of the boat speed was pleasurable. We presented the burgees we created as our thank you cards after lunch. I could see volunteers' admiration in their faces. We were given the privilege to do whatever we wanted the last portion of the day. I sat in my Bic, laughing at how many purposeful capsizings there were due to "Pirate Attacks." I hopped onto Erin's Bic when we caught a wave and surfed in! Sadly, we had to end our experience at the Lahaina Yacht Club. I will continue to cherish the moments of my adventure sailing on the ocean.
Last week Thursday was the best day of sailing class, although the first portion was uninteresting. Ms. Enriquez was absent so Mr. Mason took her place. It was humorous watching Mr. Mason capsize right when he left the dock while there was no wind. It was a luminous and motionless day. I remember watching the flags barely move before we got into the water. I loved that it was calm because that lowered my chance of capsizing! The weather definitely alternated after lunch. As I looked out into the great blue landscape, these wondrous waves came at along with the feel of the wind. I knew it was going to be a good day with the sun shining and the wind blowing. I could feel the acceleration of the boat speed pass by me. Every time I tacked I felt like I was in a race car. I was so thankful I did not capsize. I know I learned from our previous experience of the frequent capsizing because I took Mike's advice in action. Every time I felt like I was going to capsize, I let go of the sail and the boat became balanced again. At the end, we were just surfing the waves. It was the best day of sailing. I have conquered my fear of sailing.
As two classes, the seventh and eighth grade ventured off in the 'aina of Honokowai Valley last week Friday. I recall experiencing choppy and rugged car rides driving into the valley. As we arrived on the ancient soil, I felt the elements of wind rush through my ear along with the alluring sound of the birds. Listening to Aunty Puanani chant the pule was such a powerful experience. Her voice was synthesizing with our surroundings, an example of a sense of place. It was our time to contribute to the gathering and call up the ancestors by chanting E Ho Mai. After that we walked down to the terrace of weeds. We had lots of work to be completed. We needed to pull out all the weeds and fortunately we finished on time. After we took our breaks and had our lunch, we brought our positive energy to plant new life to the 'aina. It was a strenuous and exhausting day but I am proud that I was given the opportunity to give back to the land.