Tuesday, July 28, 2009

hawaii re-visits

After seeing Deb's post, and remembering several conversations with Satoshi about our elementary schools, I went back to check mine out on one of my morning walks.

There was more fencing around the school than I remembered...lots more grass and trees too.

The jungle gyms and monkey bars were gone and replaced by these huge plastic castle looking things.

I remember in kindergarten climbing on the jungle gym at recess only to be pushed off by an older boy...a 6th grade boy came to my rescue.

The steps weren't as high as I remembered...the cafeteria was all lit up, brought back memories of the delicious school lunches we used to eat for only a quarter (is that dating myself? maybe)...shoyu chicken, meatloaf, cole slaw and those addicting shortbread cookies.

I remember once an obnoxious guy put his hand on the shortbread cookie on my tray and said, "you gonna eat that?" figuring that I would hand the cookie over to him because he was already touching it, but I told him, "yeah, I am!" (though I think I threw it out after because...he touched it...)

With the cost of things these days, they are talking about raising the price of the school lunch from $1-something to $2-something...way more than what I remember paying in school, but still pretty reasonable....I wonder if the quality of the lunch is still as good too? hope so.

Seeing the field brought back memories of running barefoot for track practice...playing kick ball....May Day performances. Growing up having grass under my feet during recess, I was really shocked when I saw the kids in Japan running on hardened sand...not one blade of grass.

Down the hill from my elementary school was the recreation center, run by the City Parks and Recreation. It was here that my dad taught after school classes...stitchery, ukulele, archery, tumbling, seed craft. I think most of these classes were free of charge. My mom used to sign me up for these classes (cheap baby sitting, yeah? maybe). It was a good way for me to spend time with my dad and not have to go home to an empty house.

When my brother started school, my dad was moved to another park, so we used to walk home together with some of the other neighborhood kids and were "latch-key" kids then.

After finishing our homework, we were allowed to go outside to play. My brother usually dilly-dallied with his homework, so it was rare if he got outside (which is why he got really good grades). Me, I rushed to do my homework so I could get out of the house (I got so-so grades).

To this day, I still remember my first day of kindergarten, maybe because it was so traumatizing. I remember somehow spilling my milk into my pork and beans and the lunch mother (a volunteer mother who came to watch us while the teachers ate) Mrs. Fermin, told me to "fish out" the wieners and eat them for lunch...it was traumatizing then but now a good memory.

I don't remember what was taught in the classes, and have forgotten some of the other student's names (sorry!) but what I do remember about elementary was that it was mostly stressless times...good times.


KirkK said...

Hi Kat - I really enjoyed this post. On my all too infrequent trips back home, I always stop by my Elementary School....and walk behind the cafeteria and breath in the fragrance of the cypress.....the one thing I rememebr about my first day at school.

K and S said...

Thanks KirkK, that is such a great memory of your first day at school!

Take care.

Rowena said...

Sweet nostalgia...gets you everytime.

Deb in Hawaii said...

Oh to be young again and playing on the jungle gym... What a fun post. I haven't been back to my grade schools but I remember going back to my junior high to watch my niece in something and thinking how small everything was when it all seemed to be so big then.

belle said...

hi! well this is the first post i've made to your blog, but like you i too grew up in hawaii. born and raised on o'ahu ^_^ the first time i've come across your blog i was searching for a rafute recipe. oh my gosh, that dish came out oh so ono!

in response to your latest post i reminisced about my times in my elementary cafeteria too. i remember that the best lunches were the ones that had fresh baked cookie as a treat. well, what i used to do was crush up my cookie and throw it in my milk carton. weird, huh?

i remember during recess once i went down the slide face first and i got busted. the supervisor caught me and i had to serve my time-out sentence by sitting alone. we all actually had a lot of time-outs during elementary. i didn't mind. they used to let the grass grow high on our playground, the ones with the long stem and lightly grainy tops. i would pull up those grainy greens and chew on it while i laid back into the grass and stared up at the sky. ahh, memories.

K and S said...

Thanks Rowena, it does yeah?

Thanks Debinhawaii, I think if I got to sit at the desks, they would seem smaller too...

What great memories, Anna :)

Take care everyone!

Deb said...

oh, that was so nice. funny how, no matter what school you went in hawaii, the memories somehow feel the same.

oh my yes, the 25cent lunch! so we must be about the same age, LOL! mmm, the shoyu chicken and meatloaf...and did you have the spaghetti with the sometimes crunchy chedder cheese on top? one of my faves.

thank you for yet another trip down memory lane...

K and S said...

No thank you Deb, for the inspiration...I don't remember the cruchy cheddar on top but loved the baked spaghetti we had at lunch...I think we may be the same age too :)

Take care.

michelle said...

Great post! When I was doing my master's, we (as a class) were sharing our experiences of school lunches & I was the only one who had great memories, how sad is that? I used to love school lunches (but loved my mom's bentos for field trips) - especially the shoyu chicken! Yes, $0.25 lunch. I remember in high school it went up to $0.45! I used to love the stewed prunes, noone else did. Did u guys get brown rice with the chicken? That's the only place I ate it. We used to also have this weird hot sushi-type rice served w battered fish. First I hated it, then I learned to love it!

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, I feel so nostalgic after reading this post. I still remember my first May Day performance in 1st grade. I dug out the old photos of some of those and they brought back so many memories. Boy, was I a ham!

During the last trip back (almost 2 years ago) and a drive by my elementary school, it was a bit sad since the school was really looking its age. And I remember those 25 cents lunches too. :-)

It was nice going down memory lane. Thanks for the short journey!

K and S said...

That is sad Michelle, and yes, it did go up to $.45 in high school too :) ooh and yeah we had those prunes too, though I don't remember if I liked them or not. and yup brown rice with the shoyu chicken. We never had sushi-type rice though.

You are welcome Cabcooks :)

Take care you two.

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