1902 and 2009 -- important years to remember - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

1902 and 2009 -- important years to remember

Posted on January 24, 2009

by Dr. Edna Hussey on January 24, 2009

The Year 1902 -- the fossils of a Tyrannosaurus rex are discovered in Montana; the first movie theater in the US opens in Los Angeles; a record car speed of 74 mph is reached in France; Theodore Roosevelt becomes the first American President to ride in an automobile.  Langston Hughes (poet), Charles Lindbergh (aviator), Ansel Adams (photo journalist), John Steinbeck (writer) , David Sleznick (film producer), Richard Rodgers (composer), and Samuel Haga, Mid-Pacific Institute's oldest living alumnus, Class of 1924, are born! Mr. Haga joined us at last week's monthly assembly so that the children could celebrate his 107th birthday at his alma mater (his actual birthdate is January 19). Although unable to speak, his eyes widened when the children sang, and he nodded his head ever so slightly when his daughter, Betty Koike ('54), whispered in his ear that the children had prepared hand-drawn birthday cards for him. Mr. Haga, a former teacher and writer, provided a pencil for every child as a reminder to hone their writing skills and encourage a love for writing.  President Rice also attended the assembly to convey birthday wishes from the entire MPI community. We hope to see Mr. Haga again next year to celebrate his 108th birthday!

Congratulations to three special fifth graders who earned honors as winners in an essay contest sponsored the Honolulu Elks Lodge. They wrote essays in response to the topic, "What Freedom Means to Me," and the writing was judged on originality, theme development, and writing clarity. Our three students made a clean sweep of the awards: Colby Sakumoto, first place, $500 US savings bond; Sophia Collis, second place, $300 savings bond; and Nicolas Politsch, third place, $200 savings bond. Their essays will be submitted in the state competition and a chance to win an additional $500, $300, or $200 US savings bond in the California/Hawaii State competition. First place essays in the state competitions will go on to the national competition for a chance at a $1000, $500, or $200 US savings bond.

Here are excerpts from their winning essays:
Colby:  Freedom means to me that I will have the right to vote when I am older. That means that I will have the right to participate in a democratic society and help to choose the leaders of our country, state, and city.  I can vote for people whoa re the most responsible, smart, and fair.

Sophia:  I enjoy talking about anything that I want and talking to whomever I want. Since I have the freedom of speech, I feel safe and secure when I'm talking out loud because I know that nobody will put me in jail just because I say something that not everyone thinks is true.

Nicolas:  The third amendment is that people should be treated fair and equal, no matter what their race, color, or gender. I believe all people are equal and important. No one is a lesser human being. This right is related to me because I am part Filipino. I don't want to be mistreated different because of my race. I can also speak out against others who mistreat people.

Students in Ms. Field's multiage first and second grade class shared an excerpt from their inquiry on the timeline of life, presented as a puppet show and narrated by the children. All multiage first and second graders have been researching the earth's timeline and have presented their findings to parents in their classrooms.  The children are quite confident as they pronounce the long, scientific terms identifying the earliest forms of life millions of years ago.

The varsity boys' basketball team joined our students for lunch on Friday and played ball on the court with several of our own eager hope-to-be athletes. We are encouraging students and families to attend the game on Tuesday, January 27, versus Punahou at 7:00pm in the MPI gym. We sent forms home two weeks ago to determine the number of students who will be staying for the game so that we can provide an adequate number of afterschool supervisors. If you would like your child to attend the game, please contact the school office by this Monday, January 26. The athletic department will provide a free pizza dinner for all MPI students at the elementary/preschool level.

We will celebrate Chinese New Year, the Year of the Ox, on our campus this Monday, January 26. Thanks to Drs. Tzulan Kuo and David Chen (parents of a second grader), they have arranged for the traditional Chinese lion dance to be performed on our campus. You may have your child bring some coins or currency no more than $1 to place in the li see, a paper envelope we will provide on Monday morning. Children will offer their li see to a lion, a symbolic gesture of good luck. You are welcome to visit us at 11:00am for this noisy (yes, there will be the clashing of cymbals and beating of drums!), festive cultural experience.  

At the next `Ohana meeting on February 11, school librarians Marcia Kemble and Gail Weiss will explain online resources available to all MPI families and especially suitable for use by our elementary students. Please check the intranet for information and a copy of the sign-up form.

Many of our students followed the presidential campaign and discussed the candidates' platforms. They will continue to read and discuss the work of President Obama, his new cabinet, and the three branches of government through the daily newspaper and Scholastic News, a magazine for elementary students. Whatever your political stance, we can all agree that this year's election will be remembered, documented, and analyzed for decades to come. President Obama reminds us that each of us has a responsibility to think, speak, and act as citizens in changing our nation and the world. Imagine now what our children have learned about democracy, equality, and dreams made real. All 5th graders who participated in the essay contest previously mentioned now have a deeper understanding about what freedom means and how having these rights to freedom, upheld in the US constitution, can change a nation and its people.

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey