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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

TRANSITIONS: Part 2--Kindergarten

Transitions have driven my life, and the first rememberable transition was starting elementary school.  These years were mostly okay, although the first few days were trying.

#2     Entering kindergarten:  traumatic.
  • One lesson I immediately learned was that being right is not necessarily optimal.  There was a girl in my class named Pauline, and she insisted that Patrick was her name card.  We reached for that piece of cardboard at the same time, ripped it into two pieces and for the rest of the school year I had to use an ugly scotch taped ID sign.
  • On the final day of second grade, the president of the room, sitting next to me, gave a farewell speech, thanking our teacher, and as she (fellow student) sat, I pulled her seat back and she fell to the floor.  Led by her, we walked to our third grade class.  I had to return to the second grade room and I'm sure was the only student in the history of Pohukaina Elementary School to be kept afterschool for an hour on the last day of class.  Thus, I learned another important lesson:  do not be so stupidly dumb in my mischievousness.  I learned from a lot of mistakes in my life.  But I guess that is one purpose of growing up.
  • Mother Waldron Park, located next to Pohukaina, was just large enough to be a playground, but too small to play baseball or football.  Handball, and some basketball, a few Royal Poinciana trees, but nothing else much.  I walked through and around it on my way to and back from school for six years.  I wonder how many growing up in our neighborhood knew that Mother Waldron was a fourth grade teacher a Pohukaina, helped the poor and in the twenties into the thirties had a reputation for civilizing the youth gangs of Kakaako.  Remarkably, this park was recognized by Lewis Mumford for special attention, exhibiting the catalytic purpose of drawing the community together.
  • Pohukaina became a school for the challenged after I left and is now a K-2 school in Kaimuki.  The original land in Kakaako occupied by this elementary school is now being readied for the tallest building (650 feet) in the State called 690 Pohukaina, possibly to have 800 affordable rental units:

I love tall buildings, so what a spectacular next phase for my elementary school.  However, Save Our Kakaako will no doubt have something to say about this.


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