Friday, March 14, 2014

Da Freakshow Reflection

Hello fellow bloggers!

I hope everyone had a good week. This week here at HPU has been quite eventful. Like I stated in my last blog, the ‘Iolani Palace tour was very moving for me and glad that I got to learn about Hawaiian history while essentially walking through a preserved palace where royalty once resided. I am very thankful for Dr. Askman for his dedication to sharing Hawaii’s rich heritage and taking the time to showcase the palace to HPU students. Another major event that took place here at HPU was “Da Freakshow,” HPU’s talent show. This post will focus on my experience as a performer and reflect on how it’s such an important showcase to continue for the HPU community.

Like I’ve stated in my previous blogs, I auditioned for Da Freakshow about a month ago. After auditioning I was notified via email by the wonderful crew at Student Life that they wanted to have me perform at the live show. We had a meeting last week to go over the official logistics and guidance for performers. Then, this past Wednesday, on the day of the show, all of the performers met at Hawaii Theatre (which is right across the downtown campus) at noon. We had a dress rehearsal and shortly after put on the whole show!

As a performer, I am very blessed to have been able to showcase my passion for hip- hop music in such a historic venue. To be along the likes of Jack Johnson and other great performers in the past who have also performed at that venue make me very proud of my artistry. The crew at Student Life and the production crew of the theatre were all very welcoming and accommodating. Being that it would be our first major performance for a lot of the performers, they understood how to help us through our nerves and helped us build our confidence. The overall show was amazing. Each performer was shown love by the audience and that truly exhibited the “aloha” spirit that is contagious here in Hawaii.

The highlight of my night was performing my remix to Macklemore’s “Same Love.” As a member of the LGBT community, I wrote my lyrics during the protests regarding the Senate Bill 1- which would grant Marriage Equality for all married couples here in Hawaii. I know this is a controversial topic and not everyone shares the same beliefs on it; but I am glad that I could share my heart out there on stage. I know that people could feel the truth in my lyrics and I had a number of people tell me “good job” after the show. That goes to show that HPU’s atmosphere is very safe for people of all beliefs and lifestyles.

Aside from performing, it was awesome getting to hang out with the rest of the performers back stage. During down time, I got to jam and freestyle a little bit with guitar players, singers, and other rappers. Even if there were only three winners, everyone showed good showmanship and congratulated each other regardless of the prizes. Performing in front of my peers and supporters was a reward all in itself.

Da Freakshow made me very proud to be part of a great university. We may not be as big as some other colleges or have one major campus, but it is through bonding experiences like Da Freakshow that show how open the students and faculty are to new experiences and different talents. I definitely look forward to possibly performing in the show again or even on the volunteer production side. I’m very grateful for the opportunity and look forward for more opportunities to come in the near future.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Blog #11: I'olani Palace Recap

Hello Everyone! Welcome once again to my student blog. In this blog, I will be doing a recap of the tour of I’olani Palace that I attended yesterday. One of the major perks of my internship is that I get to tag along on awesome events and tours like these. Back in November, I went on an overnight tour of the USS Missouri at Pearl Harbor. All of these events are available for HPU students and it’s great that HPU has such a strong relationship with historic places and the overall culture of Hawaii.

Yesterday I afternoon I attended a tour of the I’olani Palace. The tour was lead by Dr. Askman, a history professor here at HPU. It’s amazing to see how close HPU is to the only royal palace in the United States and a strong monument of Hawaii’s rich past. Prior to becoming a U.S. territory and soon after a state, Hawaii was an independent nation lead by a monarchy. The palace was ruled by Hawaii nation’s last monarch, Queen Liliuokalani, before the overthrow of the monarchy by the U.S. As a local, I was really taken back by learning about the deeper aspects of Hawaii’s royal history and to be honest it was quite emotional for me. As an educated young adult from Hawaii, although not Hawaiian, I still feel a connection to Hawaii’s past and compelled to do my part in showing reverence to its past royalty and remember what happened to the queen.

Aside from all my mixed emotions, I really learned a lot on the tour and it was great to see a nice group of HPU students who were also interested in learning about Hawaiian history. Dr. Askman also promoted his Hawaiian history class to all of us, which I will definitely look in to taking next semester. It is through connections like these that make HPU unique. Although Hawaii is a young state, it has played a big part in U.S. and world history and it is still important to remember its past royalty. Students from around the world come to HPU to witness the Aloha of Hawaii’s people and its beautiful scenery, but it is still important to remember its sad overthrow and show reverence to its past monarchs. Being that HPU’s downtown campus is so close in proximity to I’olani Palace, and because downtown Honolulu also has a rich history, the spirit of mana (Hawaiian word for spiritual power) surrounds HPU.

Well that’s about it for today. Tomorrow I will be performing in Da Freakshow, HPU’s 9th annual talent show! I’m extremely excited to share my musical message and look forward to showcasing it to my HPU O’hana. Alright, have a good day everyone!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Talent Show Preparation and Internship Reflection

Hello Everyone,

   Thank you for checking in on my student blog once again. This semester seems like one of the busiest I have had so far, which is good though. I just had my first round of midterms and various class projects are beginning to pick up in pace. I can say that despite the little fatigue and exhaustion from school and work, I am glad I am getting a lot done and that a lot of cool things are happening around on campus. On top that, Spring Break is just around the corner! Haha (: In this post, I will be focusing on updates with some school events and things I’m learning in my Federal Work Study internship.

   Most notably, like I mentioned in my last post, I will be performing in “Da Freakshow,” HPU’s 9th annual student talent show. I will be performing my remix to Macklemore’s song entitled “Same Love,” which talks about marriage equality and LGBT rights. I just recited the slam poem version of it last night at an open mic at Fresh CafĂ© here in Honolulu. I did it to kind of prepare myself for my big performance at Hawaii Theatre next week for the talent show. I’m both nervous and anxious but more so excited! I’m very blessed for the opportunity to perform on the stage of highly respected artists like Jack Johnson. It’s really cool that HPU has such a strong connection and presence to downtown Honolulu.

   Speaking of which, I will also be attending a tour of I’olani Palace next Monday. It is a free special tour for HPU students lead by Dr. Askman, one of our history professors. Being a local student, I’ve sadly often taken for granted the wonderful islands I grew up in. However, I am well aware of Hawaii’s such incredible past and grateful for the opportunity that HPU has provided me to revisit the history Hawaii’s monarchy and the only royal palace in the United States. I think it’s important collectively as a society to show respect to the places we live, visit, and/or choose to go to school at. HPU’s downtown campus is truly in the heart of Hawaii’s rich historic business district, being only 5 minutes away from the I’olani Palace, Mission Houses, and other historic buildings.

   Furthermore, my internship is going very well. My supervisor is very knowledgeable in the field and makes what I’m learning in class relatable to our real- world projects. Although I’m a Marketing major and intern in the Marketing department here at HPU, the office I work in is Media Relations. My supervisor and I work very closely with recruitment and retention projects within the various departments. I am learning a little bit of everything. I feel like all of my skills are being refined and also gaining new skills. Most of my job requires me to interview students, professors, alumni, and anyone in the HPU O’hana who are making a significant impact in their community- whether it be through their research, jobs, etc. After that, I write articles about them and after my supervisor edits them, they get published on the school’s website. It’s pretty neat! Aside from that, I am also learning how to work with various different digital cameras, editing software, and the basics of media technology. Because of my interest in poetry and hip- hop music, the skills I’m learning in school and as an intern are fulfilling my interests all around. My job requires me to be on my feet a lot- from meeting people, covering sports and various events, and wherever they need some extra coverage. It’s very fast paced but I like it that way.

   With that said, thank you once again for reading my blog. I will definitely keep you all posted on how the tour goes, the talent show, and whatever else pops up in the next week. Aloha!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Student Life- February

Hello Everyone!

     As we approach the half- way mark of the semester, things are definitely starting to pile up. I just had my first round of exams and papers due, which were not too bad considering my study habits have improved from last semester. However, aside from work and academia, there are many exciting events taking place within the university. In this blog entry, I will be talking about student life at HPU and the various activities happening around the campus.

    Particularly, last night I attended “Shark Night” at the Blaisdell Arena! It showcased both our Womens’ and Mens’ Basketball Teams as they went head to head against Fresno Pacific University and also celebrated senior night for the senior players.  We had a great crowd of HPU supporters and different organizations had special giveaways for the event. Most notably, Kam’s Helmets donated dozens of free bicycle and skateboard helmets to students from any school. Kam’s Helmets is a program established by HPU in rememberance of former HPU basketball player Kameron Steinhoff, who passed away from head injuries sustained in a skateboard accident. The program seeks to provide adequate safety helmets to low- income children and community members. Furthermore, the Campus Activities Board (CAB) hosted a student tailgate before the games and provided a free hotdog and drink to all HPU students.

    Last night was HPU’s February Science Pub, showcasing one of HPU’s management and marketing professors- Thomas Kohler. Professor Kohler is the founder of travel2change, a nonprofit organization that combines concepts of social entrepreneurship, business strategy, social activities, travel, and community service. He is actually my Marketing 3000 professor, which is very cool because our class project is focused around travel2change. I enjoy the concepts we are learning in his class and how our project can possibly become a part of travel2change.

    February has generally been a very social month around the campus. The Enactus Club sold various valentine’s gifts and flowers out on Fort Street during the Valentine’s Day Week. They even did classroom deliveries, which is always cute and humorous to see. The Resident Life team also held auditions for “Da Freakshow,” HPU’s talent show. As I’ve stated in my introductory entry, I like to write slam poetry and hip- hop/rap music in my spare time. I auditioned to perform one my songs and was selected for Da Freakshow! I am excitingly looking forward to the event on March 12, which will be held at Hawaii Theatre.

I hope you all are having a great week! Talk to you soon. Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Scholarships and Awards

Hello Everyone!

I hope all of you had a good Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day Weekend! The 3- day weekend was definitely needed.  Well, now we’re at about a month and a half in to the semester and it’s nearly almost half- way through! Spring always seems to go by very quickly. School- work has been getting a little bit more challenging as we approach the first round of papers, exams, and projects. However, I’m actually having some fun getting to know my classmates as we work through projects and study together. I have also been getting all my paper work together and contacting professors to write recommendation letters for me for various scholarships; which brings me to this blog’s topic- Scholarships and Awards.
Let’s face it, most of us don’t have excessive college funds and our parents and grandparents are still working to survive. I grew up witnessing my mother struggle through all the hardships of single- parenthood, working two jobs, and she still was able to obtain her college degree (from HPU to be exact, LOL). How ironic right? Anyways, what I’m trying to say is that there is no excuse as to why you cannot pay for school. As I’ve stated, I’m in the military and receive education benefits through Veteran’s Affairs, which help out a lot. But, the military is no easy task and it isn’t for everyone. So, most students rely on government assistance like FAFSA or scholarships and grants.
HPU in particular awards many students based on the information provided in their applications. GPA and academic standing are definitely looked highly upon; but, extra- curricular activities and leadership experience add a lot more to your college application. Personally speaking, I was awarded the O’hana Scholarship due to my academic excellence and well roundedness in high school. I have recently been contacting and visiting the scholarship office frequently to get a head start on applying for scholarships for next school year. I advise all students to start researching scholarships you might be eligible for as soon as you can. That way, you have time to write your personal statement, put together a nice resume, and most importantly, give your professors/mentors time to write letters of recommendation. As you get older, you realize that the people you meet are all part of your social network. Aside from Face Book and online social networks, your professors, coaches, and mentors who have helped you throughout different stages in your life can say a lot about your character and ultimately push your chances at getting scholarships and awards. Schools and businesses will give scholarship money to the students that they feel best fits their candidacy.

Right now, I just sent in applications for two different scholarships and await their decisions. I am nervous but glad that I got those out of the way so I can apply for more. On top of that, I didn’t do as well as I wanted to last semester so this semester I am focusing a lot harder. Hopefully, this will help my chances for scholarships in the future. Don’t ever let money be a barrier to chasing your dreams. If you want something, go out and do whatever is necessary to earn it. Thanks for reading.