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Winter 2011 - Department | ‘Ohana News

‘Ohana News

Are the decorations and lights packed away? Has the tree been recycled? You must be reminiscing about the ono food at that New Year’s party! Made any resolutions towards good health or more community service? Well, keep some of that enthusiasm and holiday cheer in your heart all year round, as we boldly enter the year 2011! To help simplify life and maintain a semblance of sanity, I have found that sticking to the basics is the best!

What is more basic than breathing? Yet, we often sell ourselves short on oxygen intake. Have you ever been driving in traffic, concentrating at work, or watching your child in a game or competition, and noticed that you are scarcely breathing or perhaps holding your breath? My sister, a naturopathic physician, first brought this to my attention and I have since found myself in this state – sometimes even while doing seemingly less stressful tasks like washing the dishes! Oxygen saturation has been a common concern as evidenced by the invention of hyperbaric oxygen chambers and oxygen bars, with claims of improving immunity, concentration, energy levels, as well as curing cancer. Once aware of a momentary oxygen deficit, however, I am only proposing oxygenation the old-fashioned and economical way … take deep cleansing breaths!

Once you are breathing well you will be better equipped to face life’s challenges! Here’s another simple tip. Make time for some fun and humor in your schedule! I am sure you’ve heard this before – laughter is infectious and reduces tension! Our ‘Ohana gatherings, including the family and parent-only get-togethers for each grade level are great opportunities for sharing laughs with old and new friends in social settings. Volunteering for the ‘Iolani Fair will surely add to your fun, especially with this year’s “Pa‘ina in Paradise” theme! In addition, our ‘Ohana Parent Interest Groups Committee continues to plan amusing sessions such as the creative balloon-twisting class last fall (watch for a possible second session) or an interesting class on Nia exercise combining dance and martial arts! Please contact us to suggest other fun activities.

Something else to strive for in life is balance. The ancient Chinese Yin-Yang symbol illustrates how seemingly opposite energies may co-exist in balance. The black and white design appears to suggest a flowing movement between two energies within a circle – the universe.  It reflects the balance between dark/light, passive/active, hot/cold, weak/strong, and more. Each part is neither all black nor white, just as in life things are not always completely “black” or “white”. One part cannot exist without the other – just as for example, there would be no dark without the existence of light. There is a flowing movement between two energies, just as temperature changes from hot to cold or the dark is followed by the light and back again.

Finding balance in life could mean finding time for work as well as relaxation, seriousness as well as playfulness. When feeling aggravated, search for peace. Keep healthy with an appropriately balanced diet. Plan to attend our January 26 ‘Ohana Speaker Series presentation “Food for Thought - Part 2” to learn more about healthful eating. Then, on February 10th, learn how to balance your child’s aspirations and your own expectations by listening to the Inoues, a mother and son team. Keep your physical and emotional needs in balance so that you may give of yourself to others by volunteering or spreading good thoughts, deeds, and friendship in everyday life.

Perhaps all of this may seem oversimplified, yet following these basic principles has been most helpful. As you “hele” on through your daily life, keep your disposition light and your sense of humor active. Seek balance in your life to keep steady and enable yourself to reach out to others. By sticking to the basics, you will be ready to make the most of anything that comes your way. And, of course… remember to breathe!

Aloha and A Hui Hou!
Cheryl L. Wong
‘Iolani ‘Ohana President 2010 – 2011

You may also contact the ‘Iolani ‘Ohana at 943-2322 or


The ‘Ohana Speaker Series provides opportunities for parents to learn about the latest developments in education and parenting through a variety of forums. On November 18 in Seto Hall, Headmaster Dr. Val Iwashita spoke on “Making It Real.” He addressed the need for real world experiences in education and how plans to build a Center for Applied Studies on campus will address those needs.

Dr. Val Iwashita, center, spoke at the recent ‘Ohana Speaker Series lecture. Members of the speaker series committee include, left to right, Ken Loui ’84, Michelle Yamaguchi, Joan Park, Catherine Camp, Robin Shwetzer and chair Maria Villano.
Talia Lemen
“The Power of ANYone”
March 17, 2011
Seto Hall at 6:30 p.m.

Talia Lemen, 15, is a social entrepreneur and CEO/founder of RandomKid, a non-profit organization that has raised nearly $11 million for philanthropic causes around the world and helped 12 million global kids help others. Parents are welcome to join the ‘Ohana speaker series sessions. For more information, e-mail .