Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Whale watching

Aloha everyone! This is Misako Fukuchi, MLI's new student assistant. I will be filling you in on the latest MLI news.

On Friday, February 19th 2011, the MLI students went to Maalaea for whale watching. It was a beautiful day. The sky was clear and cloudless. The ocean was crystal blue.

Look at the perfectly clear blue ocean! Isn't it amazing??

This is one of videos that I took from boat. We could actually watch whales breeching around us everywhere from the beginning to the end.

This is also an amazing video. A whale swam directly under our boat, like a torpedo, and it left a jet stream of aqua marine bubbles behind. It was very rare to see. We were so lucky!

I'm looking forward to sharing many more adventures with you.
Aloha Misako

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Beginnings, New People, and a New Year

Happy very late NEW YEAR! It has been crazy here at MLI with so much to do with little time to do it in. Fall 2 session and another year has come to a close as we open with a new year, new students, and a new beginning. We had our last MLI gathering for the year on December 09, 2010 as we ate, laughed, and said our last good-byes to each other. Congratulations to all graduating students!

This year we are thrilled to have an increase number of students from all over the world. We have gained new students from France, Switzerland, Thailand, and even Brazil. MLI staff is very excited and pleased to have a growing diversity of students filling up our classrooms. Our instructors are having a blast with our growing student body as we kick off our third week of Spring 1 session.

Well it is about that time where I say, "Aloha 'Oe (uh-low-ha, O-eh)" until we meet again! I will keep all of you update the best that I can.

Friday, October 29, 2010

End of the Session Field Trip

It’s that time again where friends hang out one last time before saying goodbye to each other as another session ends. On Friday, October 1, 2010 the MLI students went on an excursion to Kanaha Beach Park to learn how to paddle canoe. We were greeted by a few paddlers from a Lae `Ula o Kai canoe club and they escorted us to their canoe hale (canoe house), where we were able to put our “things” while we were out canoeing.

Before we were able to get into the water, Sharon, who was our leader and a strong competitive canoe racer, and a few of her canoe buddies taught us how to properly hold and use the canoe paddle and when to change from one side to another while paddling. The timing of the switch is as follows: “hut, hut, hoo” and switch and another “hut, hut, hoo” and so on until your canoe reaches your destination. After a short lesson on paddling, we made sure that we had a good stretching of our arms, back, and shoulders so we won’t pull a muscle while we’re out on the water.

Finally, we were given our paddles as we headed down towards the beach. We were all excited and couldn’t wait to put what we learned into practice. We all helped and carried three canoes into the water, while the paddlers from Lae ‘Ula o Kai held onto the front and back end of the canoe to keep it from drifting. Each canoe had 6 people and each of them were a assigned a seat, seat 1 was stroker, the one who sets the pace of the stroke, seat 2, the one who assists seat 1 with timing of stroke and help turn the canoe when necessary, seat 3, the one who keeps the canoe moving forward as well as the one who calls out “hut, hut, hoo,” seat 4, known as the “power house.” Seat 4 is responsible for also bailing the canoe if there’s water in the canoe, seat 5 is also known as the “power house,” and finally seat 6, the one who steers the canoe. We hopped in the canoe and sat on our assigned seat and before we knew it, we were paddling canoe. We were out on the water for about an hour, having fun while we were concentrating on our changes and stroking. The timing of our strokes are very important because if one crew member is not in sync with the rest the canoe jerks, the pace slows, and paddlers become more prone to seasickness. So it is very important to be in sync with your crewmembers.

After paddling for about an hour, it was time for lunch. We help carry the canoes back to shore and rushed over to rinse off. We sat, ate lunch, and enjoyed each other’s company. We even played a game of dodge ball. To end a fun day, we congratulated two MLI students for graduating from our program and presented them their certificates. Time surely passes by when you’re having so much fun. We said our goodbyes to Sharon and her crewmates as well as we said our goodbyes to each other. What a fun and exciting day to end our Fall 1 session.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What's new?...

And we are back! Hello everyone. It’s been almost 2 months since our last update. There have been some changes as well as two new students who will be arriving here at MLI soon. One of the changes is that MLI has hired a new student assistant name Janelle. She is a distant learning college student at UH West Oahu majoring in social science and will be graduating with her bachelor’s degree in May 2011. When Janelle isn’t at home studying she has her hands full here at MLI in assisting the administrative staff as well as the instructors (when she’s needed). When you see her around, don’t be afraid to introduce yourself and maybe even give her a “high-five.” Just kidding (hahaha). But leaving comments would be just as nice. =)

We are excited to announce that we will be having two new students coming to MLI. One student is from the Cannery Islands and the other student is from Japan and they both will arrive next week Monday, September 13, 2010. They will be arriving just in time for our Fall 2 session in which it will start on October 18, 2010. Hurray! It gives them a good amount of time to settle in, get acquainted with the island, maybe head to the beach and enjoy our warm waters, or maybe just hang out and make new friends. It’s amazing how students are able to enjoy what Maui has to offer and be able to focus on their studies and learning. In fact, these students will enjoy our next field trip at the end of this month. We are going paddling.

Well everyone, it is time for me to go. But I will surely come back to update all of you on the new and exciting things MLI will be doing. And we remember, don’t worry about anything, just hang loose (relax).

Friday, July 9, 2010

It's that time of year again- the students of MLI's Summer session gather together to mourn (and maybe celebrate a little) the end of their session at Maui Language Institute. The Potluck was held on Thursday July 1st At Kamaole Beach Park III in South Kihei. The students enjoyed beautiful 80-degree weather and took turns swimming in the crisp ocean water, playing games, and eating great food.Everyone participated in bringing traditional Potluck food- including chips and salsa, rice, and fried chicken. Oliver brought delicious Spanish omelets, made with potatoes and eggs. Kumi brought "takoyaki," or octopus dumplings, with her that everyone seemed to enjoy as well!

After enjoying a great lunch in the sun, the students all played traditional Hawaiian games. The first game, called 'Ulu Maika, or breadfruit stone, is a game played outside on a lawn or flat area of ground. In ancient Hawaii, only men were allowed to play this game and they used a shaped lava rock as their rolling stone. To play, put two large stakes 6 inches apart from one another and then have everyone take turns rolling their stone in between the two stakes. The second game called ihe paha'e, or spear throwing, was played, however instead of using a spear the students used a cue stick (close enough :)) The winners of these games were each given a 5 dollar gift card to Yogurtland! Everybody also enjoyed kicking the soccer ball around together, playing volleyball, swimming, and just having a great time!
While everybody was enjoying their time in the water, the civil alarm suddenly went off. Panic struck in the water as everyone scrambled for their lives, fearing the worst- SHARK! But the laid-back lifeguards, safe in their beach-hut reassured all that nothing too serious was going on. It was simply the first of the month test of the alarm!
As much fun as everybody was having, it wasn't all fun and games for everybody... After a long week and wanting nothing more than to enjoy the sun, Steve decided to lay out and work on his tan. Just when life couldn't get any better for him (face down, defenseless and eyes closed), he felt an ice cold splash all the way down his neck and back! Thus began the great MLI Potluck Ice War of 2010. Alas, no one was victorious as all participants ended up wet and cold, but the smiles on their faces showed how much fun the whole day was.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Maui Festival

Hi all! Aloha and welcome back to our MLI blog. We were treated to a special event that took place right here at the University of Hawaii Maui Campus. The event was called "Celebrate Reading - The Maui 2010 Festival." We were honored to have six published authors come to share their experiences as writers with us and to talk about their latest works. Here is a little background information about each guest author so that you can get to know them a little better. Also, be sure to check out our Facebook fan page for more photos of this event!

Eric Paul Shaffer is an accomplished author who has published five books of poetry and just released his first novel, Burn & Learn in November 2009. A few months ago, Eric was kind enough to allow us to interview him about his new novel. He also talked about his inspirations, the writing process he goes through, and also gave some great advice for aspiring writers. I highly recommend that you check out that blog. You can also learn more about Eric and his works by going to http://www.leapingdogpress.com/isbn.php?isbn=9781587750281

George Kahumoku, Jr. has led an interesting and amazing life, which he talks about in his new book, A Hawaiian Life. Not only is George a great teacher, a farmer, an artist, a sculptor, and a humanitarian who gives back to his community, but he is also a Grammy Award winner for his slack key guitar music. You can find out more information about George, his book, and slack key guitar music by visiting his website at http://www.kahumoku.com/index.htm

Wayne Moniz is the recipient of the 1995 and the 2004 Elliot Cades Award for Literature. He has produced a variety of short stories, plays, and works of poetry. His book, Under Maui Skies, has received rave reviews. You can find out more about his book and about Wayne at http://www.undermauiskies.com/

Neal Shusterman is not only a successful novelist, but is also a screenwriter and television writer as well. He has received many awards from the International Reading Association and the American Library Association, and even won the CINE Golden Eagle Award for two short films that he directed. For more information about Neal, you can go to his website at http://www.storyman.com/bio/

Terry Trueman is a talented author who has published several novels which have garnered many wonderful reviews. He received the Printz Honor for his book, Stuck in Neutral. If you would like to know more about Terry and his works, please check out his website at http://terrytrueman.com

Kathryn Wilder began writing from an early age. She has edited the Walking the Twilight: Women Writers of the Southwest anthologies, co-authored Forbidden Talent with Redwing T. Nez, and has had many of her essays appear in Spirit of Aloha, Hawai'i magazine, Hana Hou!, Maui No Ka 'Oi, Holoholo, and Southern Indiana Review.

Our students had the opportunity to sit in and listen to these guest authors and learn more about becoming better writers. Don't just take my word for it! Here's what our students had to say about their experiences at the Celebrate Reading Festival.

My favorite author was Eric. The most memorable words from him was that even a successful author like him still has bad first drafts. He is still struggling with writing and has for a long time. It was very helpful for me. (Kentaro, Japan)

This was the first time I joined the CRF. I was glad to see many authors. They shared their books and their experiences. It was a good opportunity for me to listen to different people. However, the time was too short - about 30 minutes for each author. I liked that author in wellness building because of his book on sleep, and the way he described his upcoming book. (Nhu Vo, Vietnam)

I think this was a very good experience for me. I have never met an author directly before, even in Korea. Actually, I'm usually not very interested in the authors or their books but this was another new experience on Maui. (Eun Yeong, S. Korea)

I think the Reading Festival was pretty good. It made me think that everybody has their first step on their writing journey. And I used to think I am a little bit old to start something, but I'm not! Some of the authors were over 40 when they started to write. They make students know we all have possibilities of becoming writers. (Gabae, S. Korea)

That was good experience to listen to the authors. (Chikako, Japan)

I learned about many people's fiction. Some people knew how to make jokes in American style. Actually, I couldn't understand the entire stories, but I tried to understand them. It was interesting, especially the second author when he was teaching about Hawaiian history. (Ji Hun "Bryan," S. Korea)

I think celebrating reading is good. I feel a little bit...like when the books are advertised too much, we don't have time to hear why and where their ideas came from. I liked the first person we heard and was excited about him. And Eric Paul Shaffer showed us how to write and get an idea. He encouraged us to write novel! (Thuy Vu, Vietnam)

Eric Paul Shaffer's class was the most logical class. He gave us a list of his poems and he explained how to create a new poem. I was astonished by his logical way of making poems, and realized the way to create [my own] new poems. (Hidenori "Denny," Japan)

Okay folks! My time is up for this blog, but I'll be back with more fun MLI updates! Make sure you check out all of our pictures on our Facebook fan page! See you all soon, aloha!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spring I Potluck Fun

It is absolutely amazing to me how fast time is flying by! Our spring I session has already ended and we had another fantastic potluck! Just like always, there was a lot of great food and entertainment. We even played a few games of charades to see how important non-verbal gestures are in effective communication. Playing these games made us work up quite an appetite, so we loaded our plates with mountains of delicious food. Each bite was so good that many of us went back for seconds and even thirds! While you can see a few of our pictures from the potluck on this blog, you can see a lot more on our Facebook fan page. If you have account, you can just search for the "Maui Language Institute" and check out all of our photos by becoming a fan.

Today's Pidgin English word comes from the English language, but the meaning and pronunciation are slightly different when used in Hawaii. The word is "slippah," which is the Pidgin English equivalent to "slipper." This way of pronouncing words is common in Hawaii Pidgin English. A lot of words that end in "er" (maker, baker, later, etc.) will be pronounced with an "ah" sound, as in "a-ha." So instead of saying "see you later," you would say "see you latah."

The meaning is a little different as well. "Slippahs" are thin pieces of footwear made of rubber, commonly called thongs or flip-flops in other parts of the world. In Hawaii, the word "slippahs" can be used to describe any type of footwear that is fastened to your foot by a thong. However, when we say "rubbah slippahs (rubber slippers)" it usually refers to a specific type of footwear that is a must if you live in Hawaii. These slippahs are so convenient for going to the beach or just going for a short walk around the neighborhood. If you ever come to Hawaii, you'll probably see a lot of people wearing slippahs everywhere you go. There are many different types of slippahs that you can buy in Hawaii. Some of these slippahs have thick soles and can cost $60.00 or more, while thinner models can cost just a few dollars. So if you're in Hawaii, grab a pair and give your shoes a rest!