Entries Tagged as 'Education'

The Winds Tell the Tales

No, not the trade-winds. The winds I’m referring to here are those winds that carry the fairy tales to the ears of today’s youth and the ears of those who choose to still believe. Recently we were treated to a production of “Wind of a Thousand Tales, Folk Tales from Faraway Places” by John Glore with Music and Lyrics by Diane King

Mid-Pac Sign

The Mid-Pacific Institute School of the Arts pulled together this production and, under the direction of CoCo Wiel, pulled the Winds together to tell three tales in an attempt to show protagonist, Kimberly-Kay, the value of fairy tales.

Kimberly-Kay had already decided that bed-time stories and the like are a waste of time. The “Winds” were on a mission to change her mind!

Banner for Performance

Just that abstract notion alone — that the winds are going to guide Kimberly-Kay into the world of the literary fiction — was enough to pull at my heart strings. I couldn’t wait to see if they would be successful.

The play was performed in a small theater inside the charming little building seen below. The building has obviously been around for a long time but it was equally obvious that there has been some recent repairs done to the building while maintaining it’s historic appearance.
Kawaiaha'o Recital Hall

Meet the Winds

Brisa, Wind Telling the Mexican TaleThis tree, seen here on the right, is Brisa, the first animated “wind” to share a bit a folklore with the audience.

Played by Julie Comstock, this wind leads everyone through an unusual Mexican love story that actually manages to peak Kimberly-Kay’s interest.

There’s nothing like the anticipation of hearing what ‘s going to happen! After following the storyline for a bit, Kimberly-Kay can’t wait to find out what happens next. That was one bedtime story that was not going to put anyone to bed any time soon!

Carlos the Mexican character puppetThe most humorous part of this first tale would have to be the narcissistic Carlos, seen here on the left. He is more concerned with his hair and his collection of combs than he is with the young girl who is very much in love with him.

It is not until Carlos loses his sight that he is able to “see” that the same little friend from his youth has loved him all along.

The puppetry and the character of Carlos were created and played by Matthew Conners.

After the story is told, Kimberly-Kay wants to know, “Is it true?”

Her question is answered with another question: “Is it?”

I was waiting to hear the answer to Kimberly-Kay’s question but what I heard raised my eyebrows and made me start thinking. “Is it?” I think it was.

My own affectionate view of the world of fantasy fiction in general, and the fairy tales we grew up with, in particular, was certainly not jeopardized by this collection of tales. I have always seen fairy tales as one of the great teaching tools of early childhood and, while not really aimed at “early” childhood, these yarns being spun had stories to tell, lessons to teach, and left you with things to think about.

Nushi, Wind Telling the Japanese TaleNushi, played by Todd Aquino-Michaels and seen here on the right, is what I assume to be something of a Samurai wind. Nushi tells a Japanese tale of a girl who secretly dances for a spirit and whose secret is eventually discovered. She is later reunited with the young man to whom she was forced to disclose her secret.

Now, with this one, we were leaning more on the fantasy side of things — my kind of story! The magic of romance and the realities of what a woman is willing to dedicate her life to always makes for a good tale! Ah, the insufferable romantic that I am! Sigh. 🙂

In case you hadn’t noticed, the costumes for each of the stories in this play were a combination of clothing, make-up and puppetry.

Bluster, Wind Telling the European Tale

Bluster, played by Zak Lathrop, was probably my favorite from a theatrical point of view. Quite the blustering, gasconading goofball, this peculiar breeze shared a European tale about a cranky princess who needed a suitor who could make her laugh, or lose his head trying.

This windy character, as you can see here on the right, was very appropriately styled — with the look of a court jester. Kudos to CoCo Wiel, the show’s director, for her creative puppetry!

In addition, there were some very appropriate sounds effects that were used to get a few points across. Bluster had a spring, or a “boing” in his step and the sounds of heads hitting the floor spared us the need for any visual confirmation — thank goodness!

The useful application of these sound effects for this segment was a nice addition and quite an effective touch.

Kimberly-Kay

At least twice I picked up on what I thought was a suggestion to Kimberly-Kay, played by Kellianne Cadavona and seen here on the left, to determine in her own mind if the stories were true.

Aren’t they all true for us at any given time in our lives? Certainly some of the emotions evoked by these stories are things we can all relate to — discovering the people who really do care for us, finding out that there really are people who can bring us happiness, and seeing the useful lessons and charm in the artful gift of storytelling.

The cast seemed to enjoy sharing these tales and as you can see below, they were very happy to do so!

The Cast of Wind of a Thousand Tales

No, these “Winds” were not our beloved trades but I must say that these Winds did carry some wonderful messages as they blew across the stage. The Wind of a Thousand Tales also carried the message that upcoming productions put on by the Mid-Pacific Institute School of the Arts may very well be worth seeing. I’m counting on it!

Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Leaders

Chaminade University of Honolulu is an interesting place. Sitting adjacent to St. Louis High School in Kaimuki, Chaminade has a very traditional-looking campus with a not-so-traditional focus on entrepreneurship.

I was asked by an instructor, Danielle Lum, to visit her communications class and talk about… blogging! Really? Me? Gulp! Okay, I can do that. I think everybody’s blogging pal, Ryan Ozawa, was the one who dropped a note to let people know Danielle was looking for someone. I can only hope that I wasn’t a disappointment.

Let’s put it this way, I wasn’t too pleased with myself. Between tax time and three or four other things pulling on my time (and my mind), I wasn’t prepared like I wanted to be, or like I should have been. The delay between blog posts around here for the past several weeks is indicative of that!

Anyway, I am very glad I was able to visit with these students — it had an unexpected impact on me. I was at least able to tell them some important things that I have learned — to not look to make money blogging, to write consistently with passion, and that when your start your business (not if, but when), a blog should accompany your business’ website.

Chaminade Sign

These are things that have struck me over recent months and I was happy to share them! I was lucky enough to have their instructor there to ask pointed questions and open the way for conversation. It opened things up for some of the students to ask questions too. Those questions actually reminded me of things I wanted to say. I was nervous, I admit that. They were cool!

Communications Class at Chaminade

It was exciting to see these young people on their journey of higher learning! The interpersonal relationship with their instructor was interesting to observe. The rapport that the students had with Ms. Lum created a nice relaxed atmosphere that, I believe, is more conducive to the learning process.

Chaminade University does have the traditional classes for the traditional areas of study but it also takes pride in its pre-professional programs. The atmosphere of higher learning is very obvious and I feel very comfortable in saying that it is an institution that Honolulu should be proud of. I was humbled by the invitation and I remain humbled by the approach taken to the collegiate education being bestowed on these lucky students.

I don’t know who is the luckiest in this whole scenario but I need to send a huge “Mahalo!” out to Danielle Lum for having me, to her students for tolerating me, and to Chaminade for the opportunity to see a segment of our future!

Kamehameha Schools Song Contest, 2008

Blue LeiI know people are looking for this. I talked about it last year but didn’t think to get on it quickly enough this year. Here is the link to the Kamehameha Schools 2008 Song Contest live broadcast where you can pick your software version for viewing. This is their 88th Annual Song Contest and KGMB is going to show it live this evening!

It’s already on — there’s a pre-show information running right now that gives some of the background of the school and the ongoing preservation of the Hawaiian language! It makes me proud to hear them and makes me want to cry. There is a short interview segment with Keali’i Reichel and that put my tears over the edge.  (Don’t ask… I don’t understand it either.)  🙂

Mahalo to Kamehameha Schools for the preservation of this tradition and the continued protection of our island culture. Mahalo to KGMB Channel 9 for bringing it to us live!

The best part is that, even if you miss it, you can order a copy of it this year! I don’t think they made it available last year. If they did, I certainly didn’t know about it!

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Taking from Peter to Pay Paul

Football Logo

In this case, we’re taking from Jones to pay Frazier! Apparently, while the University has agreed to buy out Herman Frazier’s contract for $312,510, the University is also nailing June Jones for $400,000 for leaving before his contract was up. Some even used the word “defected.” That’s a pretty strong word. Whatever, I have no problem with either end of this monetary circus. Just do it and get it over with.

So, the Jones money will go to pay for the Frazier contract. After that is taken care of, the University will still have a few dollars left over from the whole fiasco! They can use that to pay for… um… soap for the athletes? A new roof for the leaking library? Other repairs/restorations that have been put on hold for who knows how long? How many millions of dollars will be coming from the Sugar Bowl?  Whoa da shame dis kine!

I don’t know what the priorities will be, or what the University plans to do first, but whatever it is, just fix it! I’m not trying to be flippant — I’m an alumni and it’s getting embarrassing. How could things have been left in such a state of disrepair for so long?  This is not the school that my parents were so proud of and it’s not the same place I went to school.  It was old, yes, but it wasn’t dilapidated!   As the University celebrates its centennial, as much as I hate to say it, it’s a pretty tarnished celebration.

Let’s see, and the State of Hawaii has done what exactly, to help with these much-needed repairs? Nothing? Oh, that’s right, Lingle’s not an alumnus is she? Tsk, tsk, tsk, oh well. Okay, now I’m being flippant, but justifiably so.

I’m glad this has all come to light because, now that we’re aware of it, we can continue to harp on things until they’re taken care of. The public schools are bad enough, but this is truly embarrassing for a college-level, educational facility! I’m certainly not going to tag this article as “sports” because it’s anything but.