Hello everyone, here we are again- you, me, and this wonderful column that I know you’ve been dying to read. I wonder if this column is turning into a bit of a diary… it probably is–especially since all I do is write about myself. But you guys seem to enjoy it, so I’ll continue to write about what I know best–me.
There’ve been a couple noteworthy things that I’ve had happen to me this week that you’ll probably get a kick out of. First off, my entire bathroom as gone kaput. My toilet won’t flush. It bubbles up with water and then doesn’t go down. It just sits there and slowly drains of all liquid and leaves gross mushy toilet paper.
My suitemates continued to use the toilet even though it did this and now there is an excessive amount of grossness brewing in there. We can’t get it fixed until Monday, and until then we have to go down three flights of stairs in order to use the bathroom. When you have to walk (or run, depending on the urgency) up and down three flights of stairs, you really question just how badly you need to use the facilities.
The only bright spot that I can see in all of this is that we’re saving so much toilet paper by using the public restrooms. It’s something– not much, but something.
Our shower has also joined the bathroom strike. It no longer drains. We don’t have a bathtub. It’s a regular little shower with about 3 inches of depth before all the water sloshes over the edge and creates a great big puddle mess. I don’t know what the deal is, it just doesn’t drain water anymore.
So now when I take a shower I have to turn off the water and stand there freezing for five minutes or so until it drains. It doesn’t drain quickly and I got tired of waiting so I just shower as fast as possible and hope for the best. Normally I love taking showers. I’ll take a hot shower if I’m cold to warm me up, if I’m tired to help me relax, or if I just want some alone time I’ll pop in there and just relax under the water.
That’s a no-go for a while. I also don’t want to go and work out anymore because if I work out, then I’ll have to shower, and showering means that I’ll probably flood the bathroom. I’m not exactly too keen on paying the fine for that.
The only thing that seems to be functioning is our sink, and I’m eyeing it suspiciously because I feel like at any moment it’ll join the boycott . Just you wait, I’ll be writing to you next week about how I’ll have to find a way to clean myself in a public bathroom in the wee hours of the night.
When I was at home I never had so many bathroom problems in my life. Everything was functioning just fine–no major utilities ever decided to on strike. Nothing ever got clogged, flooded, or simply gross. When I came back to the dorms from Christmas break at home, I discovered mold growing on my shower door. That was a lovely surprise. Happy Christmas, I guess.
I think that I’m discovering that cleanliness takes on a whole new meaning when you’re in college. Back home, I would do chores every day. I’d scrub, vacuum, dust, sweep, and disinfect. I owe that tidy work ethic to my mom.
Shout out to my mom: Mom, I take back every mean thing I’ve ever said of chores. How to clean was probably one of the best things you’ve ever taught me.
People in college don’t have the same standards for cleanliness like I do. I make my bed every day, I vacuum at least once a week, and I always clean up my desk. My books are organized by the days that I have them, my class folders are color-coded, and my closet is organized into sections of types of clothing. I’m organized, I’m neat, I’m CLEAN.
I keep my space and my things clean and, therefore, feel like I shouldn’t be the only one who has to clean the shared spaces (like the bathroom). If it’s not my mess, why should I clean it? I don’t think I should, so I don’t.
Look where that got me: a dysfunctional bathroom.
I’m learning that not everyone is like me. I feel like I should have learned that earlier, but I don’t think I had the epiphany until I had to run up and down three flights of stairs over the span of 10 minutes. Because everyone isn’t like me, then I guess that means that I have to make sacrifices to accommodate my needs.
I can’t force people to clean as often as I do. So, I’ve made a compromise of sorts; I clean the things that I use after I use them if I think they’re dirty. And, after a while, when things get grimy, I gather everyone into the bathroom, I hand out the cleaning supplies and then I supervise as they clean.
It’s only fair, I think, since I’d been the[only] one cleaning.
NOTE: This column was written on March 1. As of today, March 4, the bathroom has returned to working order, and as of March 10, I am still the only one cleaning.
Cursed dorm life.
It’s been a while since I checked in with you guys. Sorry that I haven’t written in a while.
One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to write to you more often and consistently. Hopefully that pans out and satisfies your desire to know what’s going on in my life.
For all of you curious, wondering souls, I am back on Maui and am working at Subway! Feel free to come by to say hello, and if you’re feeling some holiday cheer, tip the wonderful sandwich artists of Subway. Or just me. Whichever.
I went to Founder’s Day as an alumni along with 67 of my graduated classmates. It was a very…humbling experience.
I don’t think Kamehameha students fully realize what Pauahi has given them until they leave. If it wasn’t for her will and her school I doubt that I would be the person I am today. I don’t think that I would have the same morals, values, or character if I hadn’t been influenced by her and all she employed to teach and nurture me. My philosophy of life would be completely different.
Most people graduate from high school and see graduation as an achieved task. They believe that all high school gave them was an education. For four years, they sat in a classroom, took some notes, passed some tests, and maybe learned a thing or two.
High school gave me a family. The teachers I had were more than instructors, homework collectors, and disciplinarians.
They were mentors, friends, counselors, role models, and people I aspired to be. They were my family.
Let me tell you something I learned in college. Family isn’t biological. The people you call your family don’t have to be the people you were born to. They don’t have to have the same blood type and genetics as you.
A family is a group of people you care about and who care about you. They fulfill your needs for affection, love, and nurturing.
Kamehameha Maui is my family. Pauahi is my family. I am so thankful to them for allowing me to not simply go through life, but to grow with life, for teaching me beyond the books and for opening the doors that allowed me to follow my dreams. I believe that I am truly indebted to her and all the people she put in my life.
Now that all that gratitude is out of my system, did I mention that I’m home?
This break came at the perfect time. I was longing for Maui’s warm weather and tan lines. Outside my dorm room the weather is 57 degrees, and it is cloudy and rainy. I’d much rather have the 80 degree weather with warm sunshine and cool trade wind breezes.
I didn’t realize how many things about home I took advantage of until I came back. Allow me to share some of the things that I am so happy to have back home that I didn’t have in college.
1. A never-ending supply of toilet paper! At college we have to pay for our own toilet paper. It sucks. Since we don’t want to waste all our money wiping our butts, we’ve limited ourselves to a set number of squares that can be used for each function. I won’t go into detail, but the max is 5 squares, and I think you can guess under what circumstances that would apply. Needless to say, I’ve been taking advantage of public restrooms and my own house.
2. Bathroom doors! This one might seem odd, but in my dorm bathroom there are no doors to the toilet or the shower. We have curtains. Curtains are not sound-proof. Therefore, I’ve realized that doors are the greatest invention known to mankind.
3. Driving! At college I have a bike and my own two feet. I know that in the beginning I hated driving with a passion. I shed tears over having to practice and swore that once I got my license I’d never drive again. Remember that column?
Well, I was wrong. Driving is the best thing ever!! The sound of the engine purring, the smooth glide of taking turns, and singing in the car! I love singing in the car! You can’t really sing on a bike because for some reason you just look dumb. It might have something to do with a lack of windows.
4. Washers and dryers that DON’T cost money!! In college, washing and drying clothes costs me $2.25. That $2.25 adds up! In the course of a month, I could have bought myself a fancy dinner, a new t-shirt, or a new pair of rubber slippers. I try to stuff as many dirty clothes as I can into to one load and even re-wear things that I don’t think really got dirty in an effort to save money. If you see me in jeans, chances are I’ve worn them at least once before.
5. MY FAMILY!! How could I possibly neglect the most important, most valuable, greatest thing in my life? It’s a wonder how I’ve managed to survive 3 months without my family. I’m so ecstatic to be back with them- it feels like I never left! But at the same time, I think about how quickly my last day here is approaching, and I want to cry. I feel like there’s no way I’ll be able to leave again!
The nice thing about my family though is that they’ve always encouraged me to leave, to go to another state for college. And, I’m okay with leaving and being kind of far away from them because I know that no matter what, no matter where I am, they’ll always be right here waiting for me. It’s true what they say: you can always find your way back home.
The first semester of college is officially over! The sleep talking continues. I doubt that it’ll ever stop. My roommates think it’s the best thing ever though. They have plans to film me as I fall asleep. If they ever do, I promise to post the video for your viewing.
Personally, I felt like college wasn’t that hard. I don’t think I ever had a moment where I was really freaking out and stressing like no other.
Ms. Haina’s journalism class was way more stressful than college if you ask me. So for all you journalists: don’t worry! If you can survive journalism, you can survive college. I got a 4.0 and I took 3+ hour naps every day.
Yeah… I guess that’s about it for now. I’m here until Jan. 2, so feel free to find me and have me autograph your favorite column or take a ridiculous picture with you. I guess I’m pretty famous here for my silly faces; that’s what I hear, anyway.
Also, if any of you have questions about college or life that you want me to share and write about, feel free to email them to me! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. (If you write to me, it could become fodder for future columns, and this will save me some brainstorming work later, haha.)
Happy Holidays, Folks!
I miss home. I didn’t think I would, but I do. Sometimes, it still hits me that I’m not in high school, I’m not with my classmates and friends that I’ve grown up with, and that my family is actually 3,000 miles away across an entire ocean. It’s strange to think that the places and people that I’ve always associated with home, aren’t here anymore.
A part of it is exciting because I love the idea of being somewhere new, of meeting new people, and of trying new things. But a part of me misses the old things. I miss the drive I took to school and strangely enough, picking out which shade of blue polo to wear with my khaki uniform bottoms.
I miss being able to look up at the sky and see the stars. I miss the beach. I haven’t been to the beach once since I’ve been here, and that makes me so sad.
Mostly though, I miss my family. I miss my siblings and our squabbles. I miss my mom’s home-cooked meals because cafeteria food gets old really fast. I miss my old routine, my old norms, my old life.
In my sociology class, we talked about mirrors. Not actual mirrors, but the mirrors that we build around ourselves to help us see who we are and how we identify ourselves. These mirrors that we build can be found in the things we do, the people we hang out with, and the places we go. They reflect us. Our personalities, our likes and dislikes, and the type of person that we are.
But, when you leave the people and the places that you’ve built your mirrors in, your mirrors shatter and you have to figure out who you are all over again.
Granted, you’re not starting from scratch, but you’re in a new place, a new environment with new people. You have the opportunity to shed any reputations, expectations, or images that you used to have and reinvent yourself.
Reinventing yourself is exhausting.
While there’s nothing wrong with branching out, trying new things, meeting new people, and building up those mirrors again, it can be tiring.
Sometimes, I long for the familiar; for the people who knew my back story, who knew about my past and my history.
I long for the people who knew me. Because, then I wouldn’t have to explain why I thought this one thing was funny, why I always have to do that odd thing, or why I say a certain something.
People back home get me, know me, understand me. There was a mutual understanding of who each other was and what they were like.
In college though, when you’re essentially starting all over, there is no understanding. There is no reference page to look back on.
Sure, it’s new, it’s exciting, and exhilarating, and maybe you feel a little dangerous and cool. You’re a new person meeting new people, studying new things at a new school, and living in a new room. Everything is shiny and glamorous and untouched. It’s pure; a clean blank slate where you can write anything and everything or nothing at all. You are the master of your universe.
But, being the master can be a little lonely. Because, at the end of the day, when you’re lying down in the dark in your new bed sleeping next to people you hardly know, you realize that you’re in an unfamiliar room, surrounded by unfamiliar people at an unfamiliar school. Everything is a first, and that’s daunting. Firsts are hard.
Sometimes, I wish for seconds, or lasts, for things that I’ve done before and become accustomed to. I wish for the routine and the regular. I wish for the comfort of worn beds and ritual conversation. I wish for the familiar, the known and the practiced; for the memorized, the habit, and the unconscious subtleties that embellished my life.
Sometimes, I just wish for home.
Honey, I’m hooomee!!
Hello, dearest readers! Did you miss me? I missed you so much and am so happy I’m back! It was simply too hard to not write to you guys. Without you, I had no one to tell all my secrets to and have an internal dialogue with. There were some dark times guys. Dark. Times.
Well! I have so much to tell you all. I have to update you on my life here in the OC (Orange County) and at the highly-esteemed Chapman University! I suppose that, as with all good stories, the best place to begin is the beginning. So, without further ado, I present to you “My Life So Far.”
After I graduated from high school I spent most of my free time either working at Subway or worrying about college. Mostly the latter. Then, before seemingly any time had passed, I was packing my bags for my one-way trip to California.
Let me tell you guys, it is so hard to pack up your entire life into five suitcases that weigh under 50 pounds. I was still packing the morning before my flight left. It was extremely stressful and I don’t advise you do it. Ever.
Fast-forward past all the stress, the tears, the panic attacks, and the innumerable times I got my parents lost on California freeways, and we are at Chapman University!
My dorm is all cutesy and decorated, I’ve got all my books and am pretty much set to begin life in this strange new place.
(Fun Fact: The first time I saw Chapman was when I moved in! I didn’t visit ANY college campuses. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing…)
Then, it’s the momentous moment guys: the moment when you say goodbye to your parents and they leave you stranded with a bunch of hormonal young adults to get smart.
I’m not going to lie, guys, I cried. A lot. I thought I was so set for the goodbye. I thought to myself, “College is going to be so fun! I can’t wait to be on my own! I’m going to be FREE and it’s going to be GREAT!”
And don’t get me wrong, it’s great to be independent, but it was also a lot harder than I ever thought possible to say goodbye.
So, now, here I am in college. I think the most profound thing about college so far is the culture shock. I thought I was pretty universal back on Maui. I didn’t think I was very different from someone who grew up in California, or Oregon, or Texas. This is not so. I am actually very different, I can’t figure out if it’s just me, or if it stands for all people from Hawai´i.
Mostly, I just say lots of things differently. For example: Laundry. I have never called laundry “laundry” ever in my entire life. I called it “wash.” So, when the first week of school passed by, and I had a full load of “laundry,” I knocked on my friend’s doors and said, “Hey everybody! Let’s do wash!”
I’ve never gotten such a large collective “HUH?” from a group of people. They gave me a half hour grammar lesson on how to properly use the word “wash” and had me look up what “laundry” meant. I keep forgetting and calling it “wash,” but I think they’ve just accepted that I’m weird now.
Another thing: no one here knows what saimin is! My parents bought me a huge tub of Cup o’ Noodles and I went into my suite-mate’s room to ask her if I could use her microwave to heat up my saimin. She gave me this weird look and tentatively said okay.
As I’m microwaving my noodles she asks me, “What’s a Simon?” I pulled out my noodles and said, “This is saimin!” and she asks me if I normally name my food before I eat it. She thought I was practically a cannibal! I had to inform her that saimin is Chinese for noodles, and I don’t normally personify my food before I eat it.
We’re actually really good friends now, although sometimes I think she only keeps me around to see what strange thing I’ll do next.
I don’t think I fully realized just how special and unique life on Maui is in comparison to the rest of the world. We have our own culture, our own language, traditions, and norms that are completely different from the lifestyle that people lead in California. It’s not bad, it’s just different. It’s definitely taken more adjusting to than I was anticipating.
Culture Shock, guys. It’s real. If I were you, I’d eat all the musubis, li hing mui, and “Simon”out there before you leave our little tropical paradise. People here just don’t get us.
Stay tuned: I have LOTS more stories. Trust me, this is only the beginning.
The time has come for me to write to you for the last time as a high school journalist. Looking back, this has been an interesting year, full of new experiences, new friends, and new lessons learned. It has been a year of growth and discovery, and I’m glad to have shared everything with you over the course of these past two years.
It’s hard to believe that in two and a half months I’ll be in a different state, in a different city, in a different room surrounded by new people. I had dreamed of this time in my life for as long as I can remember, but now that it’s here, I find myself wanting to go back and hide myself away from the world. I find myself wanting to linger.
I’m going to miss so many things. I’m going to miss the familiarity of the school, all of the friends I’ve made over the years, and all of the teachers who have taught me everything I know. At school, they say that we are all a family, but I don’t think it ever really sunk in until now. I think of everyone as an extension of me. I worry about my classmates and I want them to succeed in everything they do. I care about them in the same way that I care about my siblings.
The teachers at this school have become more than instructors to me, they’re like my “school parents/aunties/uncles.” They’ve kept me laughing, handed me tissue after tissue whenever I freaked out, welcomed me into their hearts, and took me under their wings. They supported me and helped me achieve everything I have ever wanted to get out of life.
I can’t believe it’s all over. It’s so strange to think that I won’t be here next year, picking out a locker and getting lost in the halls trying to find my classes. Four years ago, I was a twiggy little freshman who was afraid and intimidated by the high school, who couldn’t muster up the courage to go inside the building before class, let alone raise her hand in class. Now look at me, I’m writing all of my personal thoughts and feelings to you here on this column. How the times have changed me…
Before I leave though, I want to leave some wisdom from the wise experienced one (this being me). I could tell you all sorts of things, stereotypical things, things like how you shouldn’t procrastinate, how you should always be honest, proud, and humble. I could tell you all those things, but people told me those things, and I didn’t figure out how important those lessons were until I learned them on my own. So, I’ll spare you those clichés because I know you’re going to procrastinate (this column is actually late, so maybe I didn’t totally learn my lesson), but, you’ll figure out how to manage all of those things on your own.
I want to leave something original behind for all of you to take away. The most profound thing that I’ve learned throughout high school that has left an impact on me is this: you can always find your way back home.
For me, high school was about change. It was about trying new things to figure out who I am. It was about taking risks, branching out, and re-inventing myself over and over until I figured out what I wanted to be. I think that this is something that everyone goes through.
Perhaps on some level we have some idea of who we are, we know what our name is and what our favorite color is, but we are searching for some sort of greater understanding of who we are and what we want to be. I have found that the perfect place to do this is high school.
While you’re trying to figure out the complexity that is you, you’ll get lost, stuck in places that you didn’t want to be in, and with people you realize you don’t like. Sometimes, you lose sight of who you really are because you’re trying so hard to be something/ someone else. But, there’s no need to worry. No matter what happens to you, no matter where you are, you will always be able to find your way back home, back to who you really are.
I hope that helps, and makes you not so scared of embarking on this journey of self-discovery. High school should be fun, so please, don’t waste it hiding away in the shadows. Find your spotlight, and show people how beautiful you are.
Thank you so much for everything you have all given me, your compassion, teachings, kindness, and memories will be with me forever. You are all a part of me and very dear to my heart. I will miss you all more than words could possibly explain.
Until we meet again, this is Amanda Lee reporting for Ka Leo O Nā Koa for the last time.
Good luck and good-bye.
Do you remember when you were a little kid and were learning how to ride a bike? Do you remember the feeling of excitement and anticipation when you saw this strange new machine waiting for you to mount it and ride off into the sunset?
It started with a slight sense of fear and nervousness; this foreign contraption offered all sorts of possible injury. It beckoned to you, promising freedom, danger, and the possibility of flight. With this unknown device, doors opened that were closed before. Things that you had seen, heard of, or wished for were waiting for you. All you had to do was get on the bike.
So you start off slowly. Maybe with your dad holding the end of your seat so you stay upright, your training wheels rolling steadily alongside you on those first hesitant rolls. You start off slowly, not quite embracing the freedom. You are counting on the steady hand that keeps you upright and the two training wheels that roll steadily next to you.
But then, you get braver. Little by little you start to move a little faster and go a little bit faster on your own. The hand that was there behind you, holding you, is gone. Now all it does is hover in the background, waiting to catch you but knowing it won’t have to because you won’t fall. It and a small part of yourself know that you can do this now.
Soon, there are no hands at all, nothing holding you, nothing hovering around you. You’ve reached the point where the training wheels have lifted off the ground, and you’re soaring on the pavement. The wind is blowing through your hair, and your wheels are spinning in time to your heartbeat.
You relish this moment, the moment of pure freedom. You can do a full circle around the driveway, ride up to the mailbox and then back to your front door. You are completely and totally autonomous, making your own path out into the world and all that follows you are your skid marks on the sidewalk as you move faster and faster, hurtling into your future, into every moment of your life. There’s one, there’s one, there’s one. You’re living, breathing, flying.
You get the metaphor, right? We start out as these fragile creatures, young children who look out with hesitant and unsure eyes. The only force that propels us forward is our parents, our brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunties or uncles: our families.
And so, with their support, we slowly start to move forward. We begin to take the first steps that lead us to the rest of our lives. We begin to run full force towards our future until we go so fast that we don’t need to hold hands. We are on our own and living our lives. How liberating.
So, I ask you, do you remember when you were a little kid and learning how to ride a bike?
For us, that time is now.
In the movie The Vow, Channing Tatum, who plays Leo, says :
“I have a theory…. My theory is about moments, moments of impact. My theory is that these moments of impact, these flashes of high intensity that completely turn our lives upside down actually end up defining who we are. The thing is each one of us is the sum total of every moment that we’ve ever experienced with all the people we’ve ever known. And it’s these moments that become our history. Like our own personal greatest hits of memories that we play and replay in our minds over and over again.”
Let’s be honest with each other for a second. Every one of you will have to make choices; lots of you already have. Some of those choices have been easy. It wasn’t difficult to see what you needed to choose and then choose it; others though, were probably a lot harder. A lot of you were probably torn between what you wanted to do and what you needed to do.
Regardless of what you chose, every choice leads to a moment, and very moment leads to the person you are today. Your experiences define you, they form the person you are and the things you choose to do, the things you think, and the lifestyle you lead.
For many of you, you’ve had someone there to monitor your choices, to oversee what moments you got to experience and what moments were better left untouched. Chances are, for a lot of the things that you were dissuaded from doing, you found a way to do them anyway. That’s natural. People like to experiment, and we crazy teenage folk tend to not trust people based on what they say; we need to experience it for ourselves.
But, here’s the thing. Every time that we’ve gone out on a limb, done something that we weren’t supposed to do because we wanted to see what it was like on the other side, every time we’ve messed up and had nothing but the broken pieces of our lives to show for it, someone was there to help us put it back together. Someone helped us figure out how to glue everything back together, how to remedy our mistakes and help us understand what we should have done instead.
Time after time again, we’ve all messed up. We’ve all made mistakes and had regrets. We have things that we look back on and think to ourselves, “I coulda, woulda, shoulda done this, this, and that differently, and then, maybe things wouldn’t be the way they are now.”
No one is perfect, and I understand that, but I also understand that I couldn’t be where I am now if I didn’t have my parents to help me make choices, to choose the moments I experienced, and then to fix things when I chose the wrong experience. Someone was always looking out for me, and someone was always looking out for you.
Seniors, soon you will be entering a world where you are completely and totally independent and on your own. There’s not going to be someone who sets a curfew, who washes your clothes for you or reminds you to do your homework. You will be in charge of yourself and will be free to do anything you please. But, I want to caution you. There’s a lot of freedom that comes with college, there are a lot of impactful moments that will come flying at you from all directions. Please, remember to choose your moments. I would hate to see you choose the wrong one and be on your own with no one to help you put yourself back together.
It’s like Tatum said, “The thing is, each one of us is the sum total of every moment that we’ve ever experienced with all the people we’ve ever known. And it’s these moments that become our history. Like our own personal greatest hits of memories that we play and replay in our minds over and over again.”
You wouldn’t want to be replaying a sad song over and over again in your head, right? Think about the type of song you want your life to play to the next time you’re at a crossroads and faced with an imminent decision.
Good luck, everyone.
Congratulations, reader! You are about to read an article from the best high school news Web site in the state of Hawai’i.*
*HONOLULU—Ka Leo O Nā Koa’s Web site was officially awarded as the best student-produced news site in the state at the Hawai‘i Publishers Association High School Journalism Awards on April 25, 2012, at the Pagoda Hotel.
“The site is top notch. One of the best I have seen for a high school,” wrote one of the judges on the category judging sheet.
Ka Leo O Nā Koa took home the awards for Best News Writing in the private school division and overall in the state, Best Online Video in the private school division, Best Multimedia Reporting for the private school division and overall for the state, and Best Web site in the private school division and overall in the state.
Hawai‘i Baptist Academy won first in the state for their print edition.
Ka Leo o Na Koa’s news co-editor Amanda Lee was also recognized as the paper’s Most Valuable Staffer, as voted on by her own newspaper’s staff.
“It was a group effort,” said adviser Ms. Kye Haina on their Best Web Site win. “Everyone had a hand in creating what the Web site is today, from writing articles, to taking photos, creating videos, and submitting ideas for the weekly poll.”
Twenty-three private and public schools from all over the state attended the awards banquet, including the school’s sister campuses, Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i and Kapālama.
The editors, Hōkū Krueger, Amanda Lee, Kalani Ruidas, Kelsie Chong, Nicole Ka‘auamo, Dylan Godsey and myself, attended the event with our adviser Ms. Haina.
“The overall experience was great,” said features co-editor Kelsie Chong. “It was something that I was looking forward to since the beginning of the year.”
Chong and co-editor Kalani Ruidas’ video about how the food services department makes lunch was the division award-winning entry for online video.
She was happy to leave with the awards they received, she said. Last year the bar was set really high when the journalism staff won first place overall in the state for the print newspaper, and she felt that the editors tried their best to meet it.
“I tried going into the awards ceremony neutral, hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst,” Chong said. “But I guess you could say that I was not expecting to win so many categories pertaining to the online category, considering we put a lot of our heart and time into the print [product].”
Ms. Haina said that she was especially surprised since this was the first full year for the news site, and since the award category was new this year, no one knew what to expect.
“It’s really special that we won the first award ever given in this category in our first year of having an online program,” Ms. Haina said.
Lee was proud to accept the awards on behalf of the newspaper, including certificates, plaques and a $200 check.
Her print article on cheating and Web report on the Kamehameha Maui re-accreditation visit were the pieces that won the state awards for best news writing and best multimedia reporting
“The staff puts their all into everything they do for the paper, whether it is online or print, and these awards show us that we are producing material that meets and exceeds not only our standards, but the standards that the Hawai’i Publishers Association set for journalism in the state,” she said. “It is a great honor to be on the receiving end of these awards, and I am humbled and inspired by this experience.”
News co-editor Hōkū Krueger does not think next year’s staff should be underestimated.
“My advice to future editors is just to work hard and focus on the journalistic principles and everything else like awards and recognition will fall into place,” Krueger said.
Before the ceremony, the group of editors took a quick trip around Honolulu. They visited the streets of Chinatown and toured The Honolulu Star-Advertiser newsroom to get a little insight into real-life journalism.
Well, it’s been about a week of giving effort. Let me tell you, this whole give effort stuff is really hard. I mean, the good thing is that I get stuff done…sometimes. A lot of the time it ends up with me thinking to myself “Man, I really need to do this.” I think that for a couple hours until I’m about to go to bed.
Then, just as I’m about to slip under the covers the guilt weighs down on me, and I get up to do what I needed to do. It’s simply too heavy on my conscience to leave things unfinished. Especially after I promised all of you that I would actually work on my work. I promise, I am. Slowly, but surely.
Mostly though, I kind of just sit around and think about next year. I used to be so excited for it all to end, to leave the island and explore foreign lands and see what else is really out there. I used to be fearless about the prospect of going away for school. Now though, I think about it, and I nearly have a heart attack.
My younger siblings have been telling me that they don’t know what they’re going to do without me, and they’re right. I have no idea how they will survive without their dashing, charming, extremely smart, and good-looking older sister. While all of that is true, the truth is, I don’t know how I’m going to survive without them!
I’ve never really had to be alone. The kind of alone where there’s no one who I couldn’t take with me to drive on an errand, no one to sit next to during awkward parties and lunches, I’ve always had a brother or sister around me to laugh off the nervousness of being somewhere new and someone to lean on when things got tense.
I used to think to myself, I’ve got this, I’m fine, I’m super independent and I can survive on my own.
Oh no, no no no no. I am nervous. Who is going to get my stupid jokes? Who’s going to take my gross vegetables in exchange for yummy fruit? Who’s going to be around, no matter what, forever and ever, to infinity and beyond?
Oh sure, some of you say friends will be there, and that’s what roommates are for, but those are all people who can leave, and they don’t have 15 years of familiarity behind them. My siblings are like my best friends. They never leave through thick and thin, through crazy and sane. They get my stupid jokes, listen to me complain and deal with it, know when I’m kidding about being angry and when I’m actually really angry. They know me inside and out and have always been at every monumental moment in my life. I can’t believe it, but I’m having separation anxiety or something over this because I’m nervous that for the first time they’re going to be thousands of miles away, and I’m really going to miss all of them, more than I thought was possible.
I used to think that leaving and saying goodbye was going to be a breeze, but now that the fact that they are actually going to be far away is hitting me right in the face. I’m a little scared. Hopefully, everything will be okay.
I wanted to take this time to apologize for my lack of effort these past few days. To be completely honest with you, I’ve been twiddling my thumbs and waiting for the end to take me. But, I am slowly but surely finding my effort again. Hopefully, my story will inspire you to kick Senioritis’s butt!
Consider this column to be something like one of those anti-smoking commercials that tell you why smoking is bad. I’m going to tell you my story about why slacking off is bad.
My name is Amanda Lee, and this is the story of how I lost my effort and then found it again.
Once upon a time, there was a girl named Amanda Lee. She was a second semester senior in high school, and she had essentially lost the will to do anything. She had gotten accepted to college, she had done all her scholarships, she’d gotten good grades, and as her time at high school was nearing its end, she began to adopt the “why bother?” attitude.
She didn’t go completely crazy, mind you. She wasn’t willing to throw everything away because what if one of those colleges told her “Hey! You slacker! We’re taking away our acceptance and all our scholarships!” That would essentially crumble her world. But, she did begin to slip.
She stopped caring. The passion she had whenever she approached school was gone. She didn’t do work to her usual par, she wasn’t working on assignments as soon as they were assigned, she was putting things off and procrastinating further than she’d ever gone before, her checklist had items left unchecked, but she didn’t care.
She thought that she was done, she had checked out and would rather sit in her room twiddling her thumbs than write her paper, or study for her quiz. It was easier, and she didn’t think anyone cared. She certainly didn’t.
But then, just as she was beginning to settle down in her no work, be lazy state of life, she found out that someone did care. A teacher actually scolded her, had noticed her cut corners, her lackluster, and called her on it. Suddenly, the excuse that no one really cared evaporated because she was sitting in class getting chewed out for not caring herself.
Well, that wised up our dear Amanda quite quickly. After her lecture had finished, her cheeks still warm with shame, she began hunting for the very thing she had said her farewell’s to. She began hunting for her effort.
This was a lot easier said than done. It’s hard to get back on top of things when you’ve been lying down letting everything pass by. But, there was still that teacher- the teacher who had given her the harsh reality check: school isn’t done yet, and she couldn’t quit now.
No sense slowing down when you’re this close to the finish line. She knew that this was the time to give it her all, to go out with a bang.
And so, she looked deep inside herself, and her backpack, pulled out the homework that was due the next day, closed the Facebook, Tumblr, and Youtube tabs, and got to work. At first it was hard, and to be honest, she slipped up a few times and went back to the wonderful bliss of distractions.
But! She checked herself, reminded herself that there were people out there who were counting on her and went back to hack it out.
It’s hard, it’s painful, and you’re not going to like it, but you can’t give up now! Not when you’re so close to finishing. If you think that no one cares, then read this: I CARE, AND I WANT YOU TO FINISH STRONG. So, stop slacking, get up, close the unnecessary tabs, and get to work. I can’t let you waste away your last quarter at high school.