Saturday Japanese Class

I’ve been teaching myself Japanese through daily self-study since February. It has become my passion. たのしいです。They say that you can acquire a language quicker if you live in the country (“immersion.”) So I’ve been trying to virtually immerse myself in the language & culture through YouTube, apps, music, anime, travel, and even grocery shopping. The only thing lacking was the opportunity to converse with native speakers.

I signed up for the UH-Mānoa Outreach Japanese class this Fall. We meet on Saturday mornings on campus at Sakamaki Hall. I found out about the class from ふみこせんせい who taught summer school at Kamehameha. She is awesome! I really enjoy the class and my classmates.

After class, we have optional conversation sessions with volunteer native speakers. We speak half-hour in 日本語, then half-hour in English. It has been amazing so far! すごいです!Everyone has been so kind. Aside from practicing the language (which is already great,) I’ve been able to make friends from Japan. In fact, one of the volunteers lives in my building! びっくりしました!We hope to meet up at Mr. Tea Café for weekly practice.

This class has been an absolute blessing. I’m truly enjoying this journey on hopefully becoming fluent in three years. がんばります。

Mixtape

This is a great era in music. We all have personal listening devices. Music is customized to our individual tastes. Great for the listener, and great for the artist.

But what have we lost?

Back in my high school days, we would all cram into one car and pop in a mixtape. We would cruise through Waikiki while singing our favorite songs. Boston, Journey, REO Speedwagon. Kalapana and C&K. This was the soundtrack of our youth.

At our high school reunion, they played Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Love’s Holiday.” When Maurice White sang,

“Would you mind
If I touched, if I kissed, if I held you tight
In the morning light?”

our class shared the same heartbeat.

Does this still happen today? Not saying that one is better than the other. Love all my playlists on my iPhone. Still, so blessed when I hear Maurice sing,

“Love has found its way, in my heart tonight”

and know that my classmates feel the same.

Washoku

In my Japanese language self-study, I’ve been immersing myself in the culture. Washoku is traditional Japanese cuisine. I’ve been eating Japanese food all my life, and only now do I notice that the bowl of rice is always on the front-left side. The foundation of Japanese cuisine is called “ichiju sansai,” meaning “one soup – three dishes.”

This pic is of my washoku style tableware. The chopstick rest was gifted to me by Lance-bro. The chawan (rice bowl) front-left is from the old Shirokiya from 10 years ago. The beautiful, wooden shiruwan (soup bowl) front-right is from the Rice Factory. The mame zara (tiny plate) in the middle is for tsukemono. In the rear are the “three dishes.” The nimono bowl (simmered dish) back-left and aemono dish back-middle are from the Itadakimasu gift shop in McCully. The sashimi dish, back-right was gifted by friends from ERD.

Picked up a few of these bowls to motivate me to cook more. To learn more about washoku and ichiju sansai, click on this link. Hope that eating Japanese food will help me to learn Japanese better. Sure can’t hurt…

いただきます。

Soapbox

“Soapbox” was launched at the Kamehameha Schools Education Technology Conference in 2013 as a new platform to collaborate and share ideas. Soapbox is an informal session, much in the spirit of mini TED Talks. Speakers are given 5-10 minutes to share an idea, an innovation, or tell a story. The goal is to include student voices as well as innovators, thought leaders, makers, and creatives from industry.

At this year’s conference, we wanted to highlight teacher voices. It was an absolute blast! The hope is that this session could expand into perhaps a quarterly meetup for educators statewide. Here is a summary of the past few years…

2019
Soapbox returned to the KS EdTech Conference on June 4th, 2019. We heard stories from educators in (public, private, charter schools, homeschooling, online learning, and entrepreneurship.) Our theme was ‘A‘ohe pau ka ‘ike i ka hālau ho‘okahi. All knowledge is not learned in just one school. Mahalo to our speakers!

Cecilia CC Chung, Kaʻimiloa Elementary

• Trevor Atkins, Hālau Kū Māna

Dorothy Hirata, University of Hawaiʻi

• Carey Yen, Homeschooling

• Nick Wong, Nalukai Foundation

2015
Soapbox 2015 took place at the Kamehameha Schools Education Technology Conference, on Tuesday, June 9th, at the Blaisdell Center’s Pikake Room. Here was the lineup:

• Genesis Leong, Lead Curator of TEDxHonolulu

• Russel Cheng, Co-Founder of DevLeague, Hawaiʻi’s first coding bootcamp

• Katelyn, kindergartener at Hongwanji Mission School

• Elizabeth Garrison, President of HSTE, Hawaiʻi Society for Technology in Education

• Tiffany Chang & Isabel Wong, Co-Founders of The Canvas, Hawaiʻi’s first student workspace

• Jenny Engle, Teacher Liaison at the Honolulu Museum of Art

• Burt Lum, Executive Director at Hawaiʻi Open Data & Producer of Bytemarks Café on Hawaiʻi Public Radio

2014
Soapbox 2014 took place at the Kamehameha Schools Education Technology Conference, on Wednesday, June 4th, at the Blaisdell Center’s Pikake Room. Here was the lineup:

• Casey Agena, Nichole Adolpho, Punahou School / Kimo Carvalho, Envision Hawai’i

• Marion Ano, Salt Water Apps, HICapacity

• Erin Kinney & Kirra Downing, “mojo managers” for Our Kakaʻako

• Michael Fricano II, ‘Iolani School, JoAnn Jacobs, Mid-Pacific Institute, EdCamp Honolulu

• Chad Nacapuy, Hawaiʻi Department of Education

• Jonathan Honda, Kamehameha Schools Senior, Louise McGregor Award for Outstanding Student Director

• Kaleiohu Lee, Five by Five

2013
At Soapbox 2013, topics included coworking, design thinking, TEDxHonoluluED, and the Google Teacher Academy. We even brought in a “soapbox” platform from our drama department. Here was the lineup:

• Katie Sakys, Kamehameha Schools Sophomore

• Rechung Fujihira, The Box Jelly

• Adam Pating, Punahou School Junior, TEDxYouth@Punahou

• Douglas Kiang, Lab School @ Punahou

• Cathy Ikeda, KS-Hawaiʻi

• Ian Kitajima, Oceanit

• Liz Castillo, Kamehameha Schools, Google Teacher Academy

• Kourtney Puahala, Kamehameha Schools Senior