AKAHAI AND REMEMBERING TO BE GRATEFUL

Modest, gentle, unassuming, unpretentious, unobtrusive, docile, decorous, meek, suave; meekness, modesty.

Pukui, Mary Kawena, Elbert, Samuel H. (1965). Hawaiian Dictionary

ALOHA FOCUS FOR THE WEEK: AKAHAI

As I sat on the tarmac, I began to feel anger and frustration fill my thoughts. My flight to Tucson had already been delayed thrice due to heavy traffic at other airports, each time pushing our departure back by an hour. When the plane finally arrived, the staff rushed to empty the plane, give it a cursory cleaning, and get us on-board. As the plane pulled away from the jetway, the pilot announced tailwinds would assist in making up some of the lost time. I felt a sense of relief. Finally we are on our way.

The plane rolled to a stop on the runway, possibly waiting in a queue to take-off. Then the air conditioning shut down and the plane began to feel warmer. After ten minutes, the pilot announced we were experiencing a mechanical issue and ground crews were attempting to fix it. “It should only take a few minutes.” Minutes passed. The flight attendants began passing out water. It’s never a good sign when you’re sitting on the tarmac and they pass out water. Finally, the pilot said we would need to return to the terminal to resolve the issue. Minutes passed before the plane’s engines whirred to life and slowly propelled the plane to it’s starting point.

People became impatient, just audibly mumbling their complaints. Some interrogated the flight attendants who knew little more than we did. I too allowed myself to feel upset and agitated. I had planned to eat dinner at 9, just after our planned arrival time. As the waiting in the plane stretched out the landing time to 10 and then 10:30 and now 11 at the earliest, my stomach growled in protest.

But then, I thought about the accident that occurred recently where a door plug blew off of a plane. What if the mechanical issue were similar? The ground crew and pilot were trying to keep us safe. The flight crew were doing their best to keep us calm and comfortable despite the challenging conditions. As I reflected upon their acts of akahai, my patience reset and gratitude filled my heart.  

Martin Luther King Jr. famously wrote, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” I need to remind myself to recognize the acts of akahai that occur everyday. Even the smallest of acts, when filled with love, drive out the hate. Some might see it as just doing their job – like teachers teaching, counselors counseling, and parents parenting – but the results of their love-filled acts make our children better, even if just a little bit, everyday.

So I am grateful for those who got me and the other passengers to Tucson. We weren’t on-time, but we arrived safe and ultimately that’s what matters the most.


5 PURSUITS of AKAHAI

Inspired by Gholdy Muhammad

In honor of Black History Month, I will be featuring stories written by and featuring people of African descent. 

Please watch The Kindest Red written and read by Ibtihaj Muhammad also co-authored by S. K. Ali and illustrated by Hatem Aly. Then with you child, answer the following:

  • IDENTITY: What are examples of the kindness that is passed along in your family?
  • SKILLS: After reading the book, what do you think the title means?
  • INTELLECT: Research the author Ibtihaj Muhammad who was the first American Muslim woman to wear hijab while competing at the Olympic Games. 
  • CRITICALITY: The main character, Faizah, wants ‘a kind world.’ What does this mean to you? Do you think the world we live in is kind? What makes you think this? How can we make the world kinder?
  • JOY:  Together, draw your idea of a kind word.

SEE SPONGE BOB SQUAREPANTS THE MUSICAL LIVE AT CASTLE

Buy your tickets now to see our wonderful performers across the Castle Complex including, Kaeten Miyashiro Manatad; Kameron Goohue-Souza-Kaululaa; Kobe Bruhn; Sariah Ava; Ariana Tanoye; Grezyn Nagao; and Makalehua Pelletier, in Sponge Bob Squarepants the Musical (Youth Version) There are only three shows, February 23 – 25. so secure your seat today at https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/79651

PIKO CANCELLED FOR FEB 20-21

If you join us for our virtual piko, please know that we will be cancelling Piko for February 20 – 21 due to half the school attending the Sponge Bob Squarepants Jr. show at Castle Theater on either day. Virtual piko will resume on Thursday, February 22.

KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION AND GES

We are accepting applications for kindergarten for children turning 5 by July 31, 2024. If your child requires a Geographic Exception (GE), please submit your application as soon as possible. The deadline for submittal is March 1, 2024. All kindergarten GEs received after the deadline will be placed on a waiting list and will be accepted as space becomes available. If you have any questions about this or any other kindergarten related business, please call me or our registration clerk, Brigette Leavy, at 305-0000.

CONTINUED PRACTICES:

NOʻAHUNA OF ALOHA

See Uncle Pono Shim explain the Noʻahuna, the esoteric meaning, of Aloha as taught to him by Aunty Pilahi, the Keeper of Secrets.

WEAR PINK FOR MAUI WEDNESDAYS

Join us in letting “that light, that divine inspiration that Aunty Pilahi Paki says is given to you at your very beginning, come through and let your ALOHA join with the ALOHA of the collective to bring about healing.” 

DAILY VIRTUAL PIKO

At the Daily Piko, we share thoughts on the Aloha value for the week which helps us become centered and ready to learn. We begin at 8 AM everyday except Wednesdays.


UPCOMING EVENTS

Mon, Feb 18, 2024Presidents Day Holiday – No School
Wed, Feb 28, 2024 5 – 6 PMSchool Community Council Meeting
Join by Zoom
Wed, Mar 13, 2024 4:30 – 5:30Wellness Meeting
Join by Zoom
Fri, Mar 15, 2024KES Fun Run
Mar 18 – 22, 2024Spring Break

AKAHAI & FORGIVENESS

Aka, with care, and hai, to speak. To be tender of heart; meek

Andrews, Hawaiian Dictionary, 1865

ALOHA FOCUS FOR THE WEEK: AKAHAI

During the pandemic, I got hooked on watching Ted Lasso, a sometimes irreverent comedy that was always joyful and inspiring. For those who haven’t watched it, the main character, Ted, is an American football coach hired to lead a British soccer (football) team. Despite his ignorance of the game, Ted persists in winning over his boss, players, and fans with his kind, thoughtful approach. Throughout its three seasons, the team experiences sparks of success and slogs of gut-wrenching failure. All the while Ted consistently leads with aloha. 

For example, Ted reliably offers grace despite being betrayed by Nate, his ego-driven former assistant coach. At a press conference, after being publicly insulted by Nate who is now coaching a hostile, rival team, a reporter asks Ted for his thoughts about the jibe. Instead of firing back, Ted responds by complimenting Nate on his prowess as a coach. 

Near the end of the season, Nate realizes his errors and attempts to right the wrongs he caused. Ted predictably embraces Nate with compassion. However, Coach Beard, Ted’s best friend, adamantly remains furious for the treachery. Yet, without lecturing or chastising, Ted convinces Beard to forgive. He shows Beard security footage of Nate trying to undo a disloyal act towards the team without getting caught. He then reminds Beard that everyone, at some time in our lives, have needed to be shown grace. (WARNING – this clip is uncensored and includes several obscenities)

“I hope that either all of us or none of us are judged by the actions of our weakest moments, but rather the strength we show when and if we’re ever given a second chance.” 

In this season of gratitude, it seems natural to also reflect on forgiveness. After all, both are examples of being akahai in that they both leave others better for the exchange. With gratitude, the receiver feels seen and appreciated while the giver becomes more mindful of the gifts around them. With forgiveness, the receiver can feel as if a burden has been lifted while the giver (for whom it truly benefits) is left happier, freer, and relieved.

Sometimes, with the pressures of the holidays, people might thoughtlessly say or do hurtful things. Arguments spawn around the dinner table. Resentment builds in the prep or clean-up. Spats about nothing start like a dripping faucet and then burst like broken water main in our imagination. During those times, haʻahaʻa take a deep breath and empty yourself of judgement. Think about the other person’s perspective and how much we don’t know about what might be going on in their lives. Then akahai remember when you might have needed forgiveness. 

When a conflict arises between students, we engage them in a similar process called the Peace Path. Students take turns sharing their perspective and how they were wronged. The listener then checks to see if they understand what was said. They then take turns sharing how the friendship can be restored and what steps need to be taken so true forgiveness can occur. Last week, I helped two students through the process. In the end, one student who was slapped by the other said, “You are my friend. I don’t want to see you or anyone else hurt. When you act out of anger, you are only hurting yourself.” I can’t think of a truer statement of akahai coming from a 5th grader.


5 PURSUITS of AKAHAI

Inspired by Gholdy Muhammad

Please watch this: Be a Good Ancestor written by Leona Prince and Gabrielle Prince; illustrated by Carla Joseph. Then with you child, answer the following:

  • IDENTITY: Talk with your kupuna about what it might mean to be a good ancestor in your culture. What are the values you might find similar to those expressed in this book? What might be different?
  • SKILLS: Using the same writing pattern of the authors use in this book, write about one of the values you discussed with your kupuna about being a good ancestor. You can use a Flow Map to help plan out your writing.
  • INTELLECT: The authors say, “Nations become allies.” What is an “ally”?
  • CRITICALITY: The authors suggest “Be a good ancestor with your thoughts. Thoughts become ideas. Ideas become actions. Actions become movements. Movements become change.” Given this, how might we be a good ancestor with our thoughts so that we can lessen the hate in the world and increase the kindness?
  • JOY: Together, be a good ancestor by doing something that shows AKAHAI for the ʻāina. Examples include picking up ʻōpala (rubbish), planting a tree, tending to a garden, make a plan to conserve wai (water), recycle cans/bottles/glass/paper, participate in a service project, etc.

Extend the conversation by viewing one of the authors, Leona Prince, talking about the book and it’s important concepts.


GRATITUDE

Our student council put up a gratitude wall outside the library to give a shout-out to anyone students are thankful for. Here’s a few of the dozens of messages on the wall:

DANGER: WALKING WHILE LOOKING AT YOUR DEVICE

Our amazing volunteers at Mokulele have noticed that some students are looking at their devices as they cross the street, not paying attention to the on-coming traffic or hazards that might lie in their path. Please help us keep our keiki safe by joining us in teaching them to avoid looking at their devices while walking and to beware of the consequences.

COMPELLING READ: The Pandemic Disrupted Adolescent Brain Development

Emerging research shows the pandemic may be attributed to changes in the brains of adolescents nine – 17. These changes, consistent with high levels of stress affect neuroplasticity, the ability to learn new things, as well as deterring the development of language, cognition and social and emotional well-being.

Regardless the cause, we have seen an uptick in students struggling with their mental health. As educators and parents, we must consider how we can help students access resources if they are in need. For example, our school partners with Hazel Health, a licensed provider of free teletherapy services. We also have an amazing counseling staff that now includes a school social worker. If your have concerns about your child’s social and emotional well-being, please let us know.

CONTINUED PRACTICES:

NOʻAHUNA OF ALOHA

See Uncle Pono Shim explain the Noʻahuna, the esoteric meaning, of Aloha as taught to him by Aunty Pilahi, the Keeper of Secrets.

WEAR PINK FOR MAUI WEDNESDAYS

Join us in letting “that light, that divine inspiration that Aunty Pilahi Paki says is given to you at your very beginning, come through and let your ALOHA join with the ALOHA of the collective to bring about healing.” 

DAILY VIRTUAL PIKO

At the Daily Piko, we share thoughts on the Aloha value for the week which helps us become centered and ready to learn. We begin at 8 AM everyday except Wednesdays.


UPCOMING EVENTS

Wed, Nov 29, 2023, 5 PMSchool Community Council Meeting
Join by Zoom
Thu, Nov 30, 2023, 6:30 PMKES Ohana Meeting
Join by Zoom
Wed, Dec 13, 2023, 4:30 PMWellness Committee Meeting 
Join by Zoom
Wed, Dec 20, 2023Winter Classroom Paina
end school at 2:05 PM (switch with 12/21)
Thur, Dec 21, 2023Winter Songfest
end school at 1:15 PM (switch with 12/20)
End of Quarter 2
Dec 22, 2023 – Jan 5, 2024Winter Break Intersession – no school
Wed, Dec 27, 2023, 5 PMSchool Community Council Meeting
Join by Zoom
Mon, Jan 8, 2024Waiver Day #3 – No Students