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A day at Waianae High School

Posted by JEAN TOYAMA
Saturday, September 26, 2015 10:54 PM



Christy, Juliet and I went to Wai'anae High School to teach 4 different classes in reading, writing, thinking and creating. The students were respectful, enthusiastic, at times reticent and boisterous. If they were bored, they told us so, after some prompting. We read two paragraphs on kapu, its meaning, origin, and use. We discussed how kapu meant both sacred and forbidden, that it could oppress and protect. We discussed the fairness of such a system, when and why it would be just and when and why it wouldn’t be. We also read some poems and did a few writing exercises to demonstrate that writing can help us to learn about the world, to know ourselves and what we think, to help us understand ourselves.

I have here the poems of students who wanted to share them. For now, they are anonymous. I’ll let the poems speak for themselves.

Poems from the students of Wai‘anae High School

I wanna go to the beach,
any beach,
where the waves take your breath away,
you can’t breathe, but you kick the ground
to reach air,
where the sand is so smooth it crawls
through your toes,
where the breezes touch your face
and make your spine shiver,
where my girlfriend is there in her
hot bikini lying next to me on a
beach towel,
where I feel comfortable
where feel free
I wanna go to the beach.

****

I want to be alone
yet not lonely
I don’t want to be here or there
yet be everywhere for i am infinite
I want to have money
yet make so little
I don’t want expensive gadgets
yet have some
I want to climb the tallest building and call people ants
yet I am those people, an ant
I don’t want to write stories about people
yet have them write stories about me

****

I want rain to drizzle lightly
on my face, with the wind on
my wet t-shirt. I want to
realize there is nothing like it elsewhere
in the world, watching my problems
wash behind me, watching my future
brightly take over. I become successful
in accomplishing my dreams of becoming
successful. Just lie down on the ground,
while it rains on my face looking to the stars
with just nothing on my mind but my self.

****

I want straight A’s
not B’s
not C’s
not D’s or F’s
Straight A’s
I wanna graduate
with a 4.0
and make my parents proud
not happy
not excited, but proud
I wanna go to college
and graduate
with honors
not just any
regular college
but Oregon or Yale
I want to be remembered and be a role model
and let everyone know
they can do it
with my college
and honors
money is my third priority


*******

Struggle in Life

I want not to struggle in life
to struggle in school, to struggle at home
We don’t have a lot of money
but my parents make sure we have what we need
I want a big house so I can have room to breathe
I want my family to be happy and not need to
work so hard. I want all the time in the world to
spend time with the ones I love.

*****

"I Want" Poem

I like one turkey
one white turkey
I want to have no facial hair
for the rest of my life
clean face kind
I like be on Ellen
but I don’t think she likes me
I want 20 cars
just to say I got 20 cars
I like red bull
so I can have wings
I want a kind person to just
give me 7,000 milkshakes
so I can build a milkshake castle
I like use 100% of my brain
not 10% so I can make a
cure for cancer
I want to always be me
and only me and never lose
sight of what I want to be.

*****

I want money
not one dollar but millions
Money to spend on whatever I want
I want face
not just to be seen but to be heard
to be known by the whole world.
I want success
not just to be good but do good
and have a good life
the type of life where I can do whatever I want
whenever I want
I want freedom
to be able to speak
to be able to feel
and to be able to live
how I want.

*****

I want respect for the W
not rumors
not hate
respect

I want to be confident in where I come from
and not be scared of reactions
I want to look them in the eye
and stand tall
and hold my head high
not stepping down
holding my ground
saying, “I’m from Waianae”

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