This Issue

Fall 2010

The Legacy Lives On - Eddie Hamada Scholarship Recipients Derrick Low ’04, Issac Ickes ’04, Leinani Keanini ’08
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Fall 2010 - Department | Editor’s Note

Editor’s Note

The joys and pangs of parenthood sure make life interesting.

I remember 13 years ago taking my five-year-old twin daughters to kindergarten on their first day of school. Privately, I was relieved the time had come for them to finally go to real school. No more juggling the baby sitter and the pre-school schedule. Anyone knows that young kids are a handful so I was thankful they were growing up.

Yet taking them off to kindergarten was heartbreaking. Not for me, but for them. They clung to my legs like chimpanzees on trees: scared on the first day; worried about meeting so many other kids; wondering whether they would be safe and secure.

Just last month, I took my now 18-year-old daughters to college. This time, tears did not come from their eyes. It was mine who were moist.

My daughters hardly glanced back as they marched off into the horizon which glowed with the aura of dorm life, college classes, independence and freedom.

This time, they were excited on the first day, raring and ready to meet other kids and reassured they would be safe and secure because they have learned to be themselves. The family, friends and school they left behind in Hawai‘i will always be there for them.

At one point in their very young lives, I was the center of the world. They needed mommy for most everything. Now, suddenly, my role has been reduced to that of an ATM.

Text message: “Hi Mom. How’s everything? Did you transfer the money into the account?”  


My friends who already have children in college have passed along lots of good advice, and I have clung to every word like Wendy Darling hanging from the plank: Cut the cord. Let them go. What they need from you now is to know that you’re always there for them and that you won’t rent out their bedroom at home (even though the income would be nice).

It was interesting, though, that on the day before my daughters left for the mainland for college, they came back to ‘Iolani. Their first stop was to see their former teachers. They also wanted to visit their friends, many who are now members of the senior class. They even stopped by the Lower School classrooms to check on their little brothers, the same boys who annoy them to no end and who are the source of many a family feud.

Just as the role of parents changes when their young ones traipse off to college, so does the role of ‘Iolani in the lives of former students.  Graduates spread out into the world, forging new paths, meeting different and diverse people, discovering new experiences as adults.

“Here friendships weave their mystic strands forever. A fellowship that time shall not defy.”
- from ‘Iolani School Alma Mater
Yet ‘Iolani will always be there for them as a community and as a network, also as a source of school pride and connection. Teachers follow former students’ careers and many stay in touch long after graduation. Classmates realize that the friendships born at ‘Iolani last for the rest of their lives. They may not see each other during period 5 beneath the library on a daily basis any longer, but they remain in touch, nevertheless.

“Here friendships weave their mystic strands forever. A fellowship that time shall not defy.”

Like thousands of ‘Iolani graduates around the world, my daughters are pursuing their passions beyond this comfy campus, armed with lifelong lessons and inspiration imparted by their ‘Iolani teachers and mentors. For alumni, the heart of their educational experience and the foundation of their early friendships remain strong back home on sunny Kamoku Street.

‘Iolani launches alumni forward, while serving as a touchstone and watching from afar, like a proud parent.

Hey, does anyone want to rent a room?

- Cathy Lee Chong