The Valuable Lessons I Learned as a Pearl City High School Charger!
Since I was asked to write for my Pearl City High School’s 50th Anniversary Book (1971-2021) by my former teacher, Mrs. Arlene Aranita who I reconnected at a funeral for a close family friend, Mr. Eric Kanemoto who was my soccer coach, Cub Scout Master, and Pearl City Highlands Intermediate School teacher, and my dad’s really close friend, I thought I could hit two goals in one strike by writing about for the Positive Masters’ blog. For those of you unfamiliar with Hawaii, Pearl City High School is located in Pearl City on the island of Oahu, State of Hawaii. The draft of my article is as follows:
The education and life skills taught by our teachers in our public grade schools are extremely valuable. High School is the last phase for us before we enter the “real world.” In the Fall of 1989, at thirteen years old, I entered Pearl City High School, home of the mighty Chargers. I was excited to be a part of an institution that has helped to develop productive citizens in the professional sectors, trades, and non-profit arena. Our school has also produced politicians, entrepreneurs, movie stars, musicians, and influencers in other creative fields.
Many of my childhood friends from soccer, scouting, and other community organizations that I was involved with attended Pearl City High School, a number of whom I still keep in touch today. While a Charger, I played for the varsity soccer team for four years, played the trumpet in the marching band for four years, volunteered as a member of the Interact Club, served as a member of the Computer Club, participated in an after-school math group led by a math teacher, and was a participant of the Homecoming Court in 1989 and Senior Prom Court in 1992. I expanded my network with students of different backgrounds and interests. Public school gave me an opportunity to learn from personalities who faced different challenges in their lives, which helped me tremendously years later when I became a lawyer in 2001 and a politician and businessperson in 2002.
Besides building relationships with people, I learned about many subjects such as social studies, history, English, math, science, computers, music, and Japanese language. My best grades were in social studies, followed by English. I was average in math and science. My worse grades were some Ds and Fs from band and my last year in Japanese language, which caused me some worries in regards to my chances of getting accepted into the University of Hawaii at Manoa, the only university I applied for. Fortunately, I got accepted, where I received my bachelor’s degree in political science, and then continued on with my education at Gonzaga University School of Law where I attained my law degree. I sincerely wanted to learn the language of my ancestors but remembering the strokes to write kanji was challenging for me. As for band and marching band, well, I kind of joined them because that’s where most of the student body hung out, not to mention the cute girls.
Some of my teachers in high school were extremely influential in my life. During the first semester of my Freshman year, my social studies teacher, Mr. Wagner had us read portions of U.S. Senator and World War II veteran Daniel K. Inouye’s biography, which sparked my interest in equal rights and politics. All of my English teachers such as Mrs. Aranita, Mrs. Chun, and Mrs. Abe were strict in a good way and very inspiring. They truly wanted the best in us. English teacher, Mrs. Abe recommended that I audition for the Honolulu Theatre for Youth, which I did and was chosen to perform in plays with my fellow cast members before Intermediate schools around Oahu, Hawaii. I ended up acting in theatre at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a few local television commercials and pr