Back to School

The story about this year’s first day of school is the opening of our brand new middle school campus.

Festivities began this past Monday with a blessing and ceremony.

And no opening is complete without a little sustenance….

The 7th graders were welcomed in on Thursday. There were campus tours, orientation sessions, and team building activities.

The 8th graders joined the 7th graders today. It was also picture taking day.

It was a great start to the new school year. We know that this campus will provide us with 21st century learning, fond memories, great friendships, and new discoveries. Mahalo to Ke Ali’i Pauahi. Imua….

New Year, New Dreams….

New shoes! The new school year ushers in new hopes, new dreams, and a new pair of Chucks, Vans, or Nikes. I took this photo outside of Kumu’s hula class. I asked a few of the students to line them up for me. They thought that it was kinda awkward, but funny.

I had to get a new pair this year as well. I actually tore my old pair on “Snake Hill” this past Monday. Picked up a pair of waterproof Timberland oxfords. Now I’m ready for the Keku Stairs, the football field, and yes…. Snake Hill.

1st Day

of school….

….is a huge transition for the new invitees, whereas the KES students kinda “know the ropes” (and are much more talkative.)

After the “shock & awe” of the orientation, the day gets better.

In fact, much better….

Memories of My First Day….

Today’s summer school technology training debacle brought back memories of my very first day as a Kamehameha employee. Everyone remembers their first day. Mine is hard to forget….

The week before my first day, my manager (let’s call him Dan) called me. He said, “Al, I know it’ll be your first day, but would you mind flying out to the Hawai’i Campus for training?”

“No problem!” I thought to myself, I need all the training I can get. Little did I know, I was supposed to give the training, not receive it….

My first day: wanting to make a good first impression, I arrive at the airport at 4:45am. Back then, the inter-island terminal’s parking structure opened at 5am. Not knowing this, I turned around and parked in the Mahalo Airlines parking lot. I walked it back to the terminal huffing and puffing.

I sat at the gate and waited for my colleagues (let’s call them Davin & Momi.) 5:00, 5:15, 5:30, I waited. At 5:45, passesengers started boarding. I had to make a quick decision. Do I get on the plane not knowing where to go or what to do, or do I call in sick on my first day? Finally, Davin & Momi arrive as the “last call” announcement is made. Phew.

We had breakfast at Ken’s House of Pancakes. Little did I know, this was to be the highlight of my day….

We arrive at the newly built Kamehameha Schools Hawai’i Campus. The campus is grand, spacious, and pristine. We set-up, say a pule, get introduced, and then my adventure begins. Everything moves in slow-motion. My portion of the training is on Microsoft PowerPoint. Easy. Only thing, I’m a Mac guy. The Hawai’i teachers are all on PCs. They also have the brand new version. Back in the DOE, I was using the old stuff. Here we go….

“Aloha! My name is Al. Welcome to the wonderful world of PowerPoint! You and your students are gonna create amazing presentations! First, you go here….oh. Hmm. Wait. No, first you click here…. Oh? Uh, then let’s do this. Um, let’s click here…. oh. OK, here’s a trick.” (I show them something flashy.) All right, I’m good now. “Now move your cursor down here to… OH. OK, Then you do this…. oh….?” (Before OMG, I think I invented “Oh?”)

Minutes seemed like hours. Finally, like a good UFC referee, Momi stepped in to protect the beaten fighter. “Thanks Al! Can I also mention a few things?” (Everything that happened after that was a blur.) The gracious teachers at Hawai’i Campus thanked us and told me that they couldn’t believe this was only my first day. Unless my unconscious body got up and delivered a morsel of good training, I don’t know what they were talking about. Of course, they are genuinely nice people.

Through the years, it all came back full-circle today. The difference? I can laugh now. LOL….

Mau Kau Kau….


Great weekend! Was asked to help chaperone a weekend retreat at the Makaha Resort for the KMS Hula Club. My role was to provide additional supervision, drive the school van, take photos, help with the food, and have fun. The kumu and students worked really hard at their rehearsals. We did have free-time. Some of the girls were able to help me move up levels on Angry Birds. We also had an outing and went to see Soul Surfer at the Kapolei Theaters.

And we ate well! We either had a snack or a meal every 2-4 hours. Think I gained weight again….

I really enjoyed my time. I was worried that being a dude might “cramp their style,” but we got along great and had a blast! Another happy memory….