A personal reflection of the word ‘belonging’
My name is Matthew Taeza. I am a junior at Waimea High School. At Waimea High School we have a graduation requirement called our “Personal Transition Plan,” or PTP for short. The PTP is similar to a student portfolio, and it stores documents that we need to graduate.
In that PTP students are required to write reflections for each acronym of the letters in the word “breath.” The “B” in “breath” stands for “belonging,” and is one of the virtues that our teachers at Waimea High School ask us to reflect on. I wanted to share my own personal reflection of what belonging means to me.
Belonging, to me, is that you feel comfortable in the environment you are in. I believe that people should feel that they belong in this world. For example, students should come to school and feel that they belong in their classes.
Students shouldn’t have to be scared or uncomfortable at school. Another example is in their community. People should feel a sense of belonging in their community. It doesn’t matter what race, religion or gender you are, because at the end of the day we are all part of the same community. I feel like I belong in my school community.
When I come to school every morning, I feel like I can be accepted here at Waimea High School. Not only do I feel that only I belong at this school, but I hope other people can also feel the same sense of belonging at Waimea High School.
I know that my actions can affect how other people feel like they belong, and I try to be as nice to my peers because you never know what someone else is going through. Be nice for the sake of being nice, not because you think you will benefit from it. Be nice because it is the right thing to do. You shouldn’t have to need something from someone else just to be nice to them.
This worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all, and could have a negative impact on a person. To my fellow students who feel like this virus has made your life miserable and that you can’t be happy anymore, I’m here to tell you that there will come a time when this will all be over and you will be at your best.
You will come out of this pandemic an even-stronger person than you were at the start of this. This pandemic is here to test you, to challenge you that you will not succeed. That is why we must all rise to the challenge and gain strength through unity. I know school is difficult and you can’t enjoy sports or whatever hobbies you have that have been affected by the virus, but trust me. We can do this together.
You all belong in this world, and you all have a purpose. I hope that everyone reading this can accomplish their goals and get through this situation safely.
Matthew Taeza, Waimea
Brun case raises questions for council
The councilmembers got sworn in on Dec. 1, and now they’ll be leading the pathways to our future. Great.
My question to them is simple and, perhaps, requires and warrants an answer. Were you all drug-tested? Was it before or after being sworn in? If not, why? Are you, or will you all be drug-tested soon, and will you all be randomly tested often before you leave office?
Am I too forward, or am I stepping over my boundaries? I feel that I have the right to know about you council people being drug-tested. Don’t you think so?
I don’t feel that we need to have a repeat of what happened earlier this year when a councilman was accused of being involved in a drug ring of about 20 people. And to think that no one knew he ran a drug ring. Didn’t or couldn’t any other council person detect any changes in his behavior, his actions, and the way he acted?
Weren’t there any kind of signs? Didn’t he act stupid? Weren’t his eyes glassy when you looked him in his eyes? Someone must have known that Arthur Brun was a druggy. Maybe not taking drugs, but probably making money on the side. And what happened to his case? Is it still ongoing, or is it done? Haven’t heard anything about him since he got caught.
I called the council office to asked them if the council people were drug-tested, but was referred to the Human Resources office, which was supposed to return my call, but didn’t. It appeared that they knew nothing about the drug-testing. I foretold them that I was going to write a letter to TGI, whether they told me or not, but I guess it didn’t make a difference, because I’ve never heard from them.
As a retired state airport firefighter stationed at the Lihu‘e Airport, I recalled being drug-tested before being hired, and many more times thereafter. As a tour driver/narrator for a reputable tour company, I still am being drug-tested. So, the councilmen, who are part-timers and who will be making a lot of important decisions for mine and our future, I personally would want them to make those decisions with clear — not cloudy — minds.
So, have you been drug-tested? Before or after being sworn in? If not, why, and how soon will you people be drug tested? I’m just curious.
Ray Domingo, Lihu‘e
The mayor gets it
I want to commend Mayor Kawakami and thank him profusely for his fortitude and bravery in once again implementing the two-week quarantine of incoming travelers to Kaua‘i. I use the work “bravery,” as I can only imagine the backlash he is receiving from the “money” on this island.
All I’ve heard for years is “kupuna, kupuna, kupuna. Save the kupuna, revere the kupuna, take care of the kupuna.” And now? “You know what” the kupuna. “We want our MONEY, our businesses, our monetarily-focused lives.”
I’ve lived here 50 years and raised four sons here, and believe me, have seen leaner days than this here.
And you know what you do? You figure it out. You figure out how to feed your family and pay your bills.
Grow some, you demonstrators. Figure it out.
Our local-boy mayor gets it. He is implementing these programs to protect not only the kupuna, but all of us.
Thank you, Mayor Kawakami.
Regina Mears, Ha‘ena
State leaders deserve protest
So one can fly here with a positive test and protest against the mayor? How is it that someone with a positive test can board a plane? To me, this is ridiculous and dumb. Is this because of a lack of common sense?
If so, then I suggest a new and smarter era of un-common sense. Protests are back, and for the most part they are against the mayor. I think that is the wrong direction, and the protests should be pointed towards the governor and lieutenant governor.
It was their leadership that said no to the mayor’s plan to have a second test with a shortened quarantine. That shortened quarantine probably would not have had businesses closing back down.
Mark Perry, Lihu‘e