Which fisherman are you? - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

Which fisherman are you?

Posted on February 21, 2008

by Dr. Edna Hussey on February 21, 2008

Under brilliant blue skies this morning, the children from preschool through fifth grade gathered on the lawn for our February assembly. A representative from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Association presented the preschool & elementary school with a recognition plaque for having raised over $3,000 during our Walk for Diabetes in November. You may recall that we charted a course throughout our 40-acre campus for students to walk or run on (check the photo gallery), and many parents volunteered to assist the students along the course. The plaque will be displayed in the dining room.

At the assembly, a group of sixth graders and multiage 1-2 graders took center stage to share an oli (Hawaiian chant) about the waters of Wailele that run through our campus and the aumakua, the pueo, sacred guardian of Manoa Valley and MPI. The sixth-grade students of Riane Graves, who teaches Hawaiian language and history, had been teaching this oli to their multiage 1-2 friends in Donna Revard’s class because the students had begun an inquiry about Wailele.  Every classroom adopted an `olelo noeau (a Hawaiian proverb or wise saying) when we first moved into our new facilities on this campus (these sayings are posted in each classroom).  The sixth graders worked with 
the multiage 1-2 students and helped them decipher the metaphors and multiple meanings that are characteristic of `olelo noeau.  Together they presented a short skit representing two fishermen — one standing in shallow water close to shore and the other standing in deep ocean.  As the saying goes, the one fishing in shallow water is like one who has little patience (a short fishing line).  This fisherman catches few fish, meaning that little or no patience does not yield many rewards. The long-line fisherman in deep water catches many fish. If one has patience (symbolized by the long fishing line), one stands a better chance of reaping greater rewards or achieving more.  It was heartwarming to hear the blending of voices of the younger and older students, most certainly one of the many rewards of having patiently endured the two-year process of transitioning from Epiphany to Mid-Pacific Institute and the construction of our beautiful gem of a campus.  It certainly was a treat to see several sixth graders who were once in our multiage 1-2 classes.

Since we’re celebrating our 100th year as MPI in Manoa, there seems to be a natural curiosity about the history of MPI, the founders of the school, use of the land prior to MPI, the natural features of our present location, the communities of Manoa, etc.  From preschool through fifth grade, every student is involved in an inquiry process related to our 100th year in Manoa.  Inquiry is all about collaboratively constructing understanding about ideas.  Read your child’s class weblog for updates about these inquiry projects.  We are planning on a day of sharing across grade levels and with parents to learn about these inquiries.

Thank you for remembering to open your pantry shelves to your children, who brought in canned foods for our monthly Project Sharing. We filled several boxes of items for the Palolo Food Pantry.  We will continue to collect foods each month until the end of the school year.

Due to very low response to Spring Camp (fewer than ten students), we will not be offering Spring Camp this year.  Looks like many of you may have travel plans during spring break!

In my letter last week, I asked you to send me an email indicating that you had read my Thursday letter.  I received 64 responses from a school population of approximately 230 families.  If you are reading this week’s letter and already responded, many thanks for your participation in my poll. You’re off the hook!

But if you’re reading today’s letter and did not yet respond, could you please take a minute to send me an email (ednah@midpac.edu) and write in the subject line, “Read it!”  

Finally, the amazing numbers of citizens who voted in the presidential caucus on Tuesday evening were inspiring to me.  I would never have imagined voting lines snaking around buildings or writing a candidate’s name on slips of paper! I can only hope for the same enthusiasm and zeal at the next election. I hope you pointed out this phenomenon to your child!

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey