Happy Thanksgiving & Happy Thanksliving

So thankful for each and every blessing! Here are the Top 10 things that I am thankful for in 2018:

1. Jesus.
2. I am thankful for my family and friends. I do not deserve them.
3. I am thankful for my health. I just need to get in shape. (Pears do not count.)
4. I attend a wonderful church, Inspire Honolulu. Consider yourself invited.
5. I am blessed to be at the Kamehameha Schools with an amazing team. I laugh everyday.
6. I live in the best neighborhood. #OurKakaako
7. I am blessed to sponsor a child in the Philippines. I was happy to sponsor Marla for 15 years, and now I sponsor Maekylyn. This is the most important thing that I do.
8. TED-Ed. Technologies will come and go. Great ideas never go out of style…
9. Travel. This is my passion. Seoul in 2018. Hopefully Hong Kong in 2019.
10. Life.

“Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing,  in everything give thanks…”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Punahou Global Educator Strand

Photo credit @rokada55

Excited to have attended Punahou’s Global Educator Strand this past week. My fave summer PD. Global Educator Strand was first developed for the chaperones of SGLI (Student Global Leadership Institute,) and is now open to anyone. I first attended Global Educator two summers ago in 2016.

Was able to reconnect with great friend Roddy from Japan, who facilitated this year’s event. And yes, it was great making new friendships from around the world. There were nearly 40 of us from 22 schools in 9 different countries. It was an amazing three days at the Wo International Center.

On Day 1, we introduced ourselves and our schools. We began to develop a working definition of global education. After lunch, we visited Jamey Clarke’s lab and learned about his teaching of physics through ukulele building and social conscience.

On Day 2, I had a morning meeting with teachers from Trinity School in NYC whom I had met at Global Educator in 2016. I missed Dr. Scott’s presentation, but was able to make it back for lunch and the afternoon breakout sessions.

Photo credit @Lausensei

On Day 3, we were treated to wonderful student presentations in the morning. I was later able to present on my TED-Ed journey. We ended our day with afternoon breakout sessions and the completion of our “Great Wall of Ideas.” We had our afterparty fika at the Study Hall in Puck’s Alley. It was great to spend time with these amazingly, awesome people.

The PD ended on Wednesday, but I attended the SGLI farewell picnic at Kaimana Beach (Waikiki) on Friday afternoon. A beautiful sunset, and a great way to end our time together.

Mahalo to Chai, Wendi, Lorelei, & Roddy, and congrats on another successful SGLI.


Received my makana for 15 years of service at the Kamehameha Schools today. 15 years went by really fast! So many good memories. My ETS ʻohana, Camp Erdman, Hoʻolauleʻa, Song Contest, field trips, sporting events, student admission interviews, conferences, the laughter, the relationships, and so much more.

Too many good things to mention in one post, but here are a few highlights…

2003 I had the best job in the world at Kapolei Elementary. Still, it’s always a good thing to try something new. I will always remember my very first day at Kamehameha Schools. (No matter how hard I try to forget.) It was a disaster. I flew over to the Big Island campus and laid an egg. An inauspicious debut to say the least.

2004 At first, I supported KS Preschools and Extension Ed. In the Fall of 2004, I moved to the elementary campus. Highlights were Camp Erdman, iMua Video, and my very first ISTE Conference in New Orleans.

2005 Went on my first 6th grade Big Island Huakaʻi. What a blast! Also got to go to ISTE in Philly. Played “hookie” one day and visited NYC.

2006 This is the year that I signed up for over 30 social media accounts. Launched iCan Café (informal professional development.) Our ETS Team also had an awesome retreat at the Punaluʻu Beach House.

2007 I volunteered for our Big Brothers Big Sisters after school program. Chaperoned our Hawaiian Astronomy Class in the summer with Judy. Tiana graduated.

2008 Presented at our first KS EdTech Conference at the Blaisdell. Joined Renee at the middle school. A definite highlight was leading worship for the 7th Grade Chapel. Celebrated 5 yrs at KS.

2009 My first experience as a club advisor. I believe that iMua Sports Network was the first of its kind at the middle school level.

2010 The highlight of the year was traveling to Australia for JEM. My homestay was with Deborah & Henry. Awesome life experience. Tris graduated.

2011 I attended ISTE. It was in Philly again. Also attended Blackboard World in Las Vegas.

2012 In the Spring, I tagged along on an EF Tour to Italy & Spain with Metz. My first time to Europe! In the summer, I attended ISTE in San Diego.

2013 Went on the Koa Planting trip to the Big Island. Moved to the high school to join the Bishop Boys. Celebrated a decade of service at Kamehameha. Presented at the iSummit at RDFZ Xishan in Beijing. Got to walk across the Great Wall of China. Wow!

2014 RDFZ visitation to our campus. Held our very first TEDxYouth@Kamehameha event! Went to ISTE in Atlanta. Serviced the Hawaiʻi campus middle school in the Fall (34 trips.)

2015  Established our TED-Ed Club and held an event. Had summer interns for the first time.

2016 Amazing, amazing trip to Machu Picchu and the Amazon. Bucket list stuff! Also participated in the Takahagi Friendship Exchange Program with the Japanese Club. Helped to bring EdCamp Honolulu to Kamehameha Schools. Incredibly, was selected to the TED-Ed Innovative Educators global cohort. Our Entrepreneurship Club participated in Kakaʻako Night Market @ SALT.

2017 Chaperoned our KES Children’s Chorus trip to Aotearoa. Attended the PL Summit in San Francisco. Was accepted into the Kealaʻula Innovations Institute.

2018 Attended SXSW EDU in Austin, TX. The following week, went on an R&D trip to the Bay Area with Kealaʻula. Capped off the school year with TED-Ed Club @ Hālau ʻĪnana. Phew.

The past 15 years have been an absolute blast! Very grateful for the blessing. Looking forward to the next 15. Imua…

Stories from My Childhood

“I remember days when we were younger…”

Growing up in the shadows of the old Honolulu Stadium in McCully was special. It was a place & time that no longer exists. I remember catching crayfish in Duck Pond, riding bike through my neighbors’ clotheslines, Checkers & Pogo, pinball at the Bowl-O-Drome, neighborhood okazuyas, Hawaiʻi Islanders baseball, Chunky’s Drive-in, Kikaida, and the manapua man. We would play all day and go to anyone’s house for lunch (oftentimes saimin & baloney sandwiches.) Ahh, memories.

“So long ago it seems it was a dream…”

Dad loved watching sumo on channel 13, KIKU tv.

Too bad for sis.

During commercial breaks, it was ON. I was Takamiyama. I would advance with hand thrusts while doing the referee’s call, “Ta dai, ta dai, ta dai, ta dai!”
Gale would say, “I’m not playing. I’m not playing.”
More attacks, “Ta dai, ta dai, ta dai, ta dai!” “Ta dai, ta dai, ta dai, ta dai!”
Out of frustration, Gale would unleash a combination of hand thrusts, slaps, and windmills at me.
“Woh,” I said. “I’m not playing.”

Kam School
Growing up, my best friend was Nathan (could only pronounce his name as “Natan.”) We’d play football, baseball, marbles, and burn beetle bugs with magnifying glasses. His sister was my first crush.

One day, looking sad, he said, “I’m moving schools. I have to go to Kam School.”
I said, “Then I’m going with you.”
He said, “You have to be Hawaiian. But all you need is a ‘pinky tip’ of Hawaiian blood.”

The next day, we came up with a plan. We would become blood brothers. I ran inside the house and grabbed two pins from mom’s pin cushion and dad’s cigarette matches. We crawled under the house and lit a match to sterilize the pins. We poked our pinkies and rubbed them together. Blood brothers!

Then I heard dad yelling, “What da h*ll are you doing?!! You trying to burn down da house??!”

Nathan ran, “I gotta go home.”

I stayed. I got dirty lickings. Dirty lickings with Hot Wheel tracks.
I cried, but it was worth it. “I’m going to Kam School,” I thought to myself.

Plumeria Tree
We had a plumeria tree in our backyard. It bloomed dark-pink flowers, almost fuchsia.

One day, sis and I were up in the tree. Being the inquisitive boy that I was, I pulled on a large branch, generating a ton of torque. I sorta let go. The inconsiderate branch then catapulted my sister over the fence and onto the sidewalk. She fell flat on her back. I turned pale. To my surprise, Gale instantly sprang to her feet and ran down the sidewalk (like hair on fire) and into the house. It was the loudest wail that our neighborhood has ever heard.

I slowly made my way across the yard towards the house, dragging my feet one-slipper-at-a-time through the grass. I heard dad yelling, “What da h*ll??!!” Tears started flowing down my cheeks. She came home later that afternoon from Queen’s with a broken collarbone. As for me? Not as lucky…

Postscript: Only a couple of years ago, sis and I were reminiscing about that day. I recalled every single detail as if it happened yesterday.

Gale said, “Wait a minute. You mean I didn’t just slip off the tree on my own??”
I said, “Um. Oh gosh. Y’know it happened so long ago. It’s all kinda fuzzy to me…”


(To be continued.)