Thursday, May 27, 2010


I have been looking over the 30 something pages of rules for this summer program, and have decided to share some of the best:

The ones that let you know you're in Hawaii:
5. Running on lanais, walkways, or in the cafeteria is prohibited. (WALK on all concrete surfaces.)

17. Throwing rocks, kukui nuts, hard objects, branches, and dirt is prohibited.

Regarding Recess:
2. Playground Area: Area 2 (cafeteria playground)
-Mauka: equipment area/"hallway"
-Makai: grassy "field area / walkway fronting cafeteria / "hallway"

For non-locals, lanais are like verandas, except without the antebellum south undertones. Kukui nuts are, well,... nuts. They have an amazingly tough shell, and their oil has a pretty impressive energy density. They native Hawaiians used to make torches out of them. They would string them along a stick, and burn each nut successively like a fragmented candle. Very cool. It's also a very strong laxative, for those curious.[1]

Here in the islands, the cardinal directions (north, south, etc) are rarely used (though we obviously learn it in order to communicate with the rest of the world). Instead, the terms "mauka" (meaning towards the mountain, or "uka") and makai (meaning towards the ocean, or "kai") are used, since both are usually visible from any point on the island, and are useful to denote radial directions on the island. Leeward and Windward designations are used for angular directions. Photo courtesy of The Bishop Museum.

Here's ones that I just find ridiculous:
Dictating how children are allowed to play on the equipment:
2. Two traffic patterns exist.
a. Low Platform
i) Children enter from steps only.
ii) From platform, children may godown double slide, across oberhead Spider Climber, or over the Incline Loop Bridge to the high platform.

b. High Platform
i) Children enter from Spider Climber
ii) From platform, children may go down high slide or Double Rail Climber
iii) When climbing up or down, children to use both hands.

The rules also specify that each class may only have 2 balls at recess. Two? How are they supposed to play dodgeball?

Teachers are also supposed to maintain visual contact with the kids as they go to the bathroom (which is around the corner from the classroom). And yet, we are not allowed to leave the classroom. My solution? Either hold it, or give the kid a bucket in the corner.

Finally, the one that kills me, is that children under Gr. 3 are not allowed to blow up balloons. Those students that are allowed to blow up balloons, must do so facing me, so that I can monitor their blowing.

And the one that will cause me most problems:
12. Do not bring or consume items that are high in sugar and MSG such as candy, gum, soda, etc.

I know there's a national obesity epidemic, and I know it's centered highly around children, but how am I supposed to teach science without candy? Sugar alone is a wonderful way to teach about differences in crystalline structure. Additionally, did you know that Karo corn syrup has the same index of refraction as Pyrex? Meaning you can make things disappear!

Also, Diet Coke and Mentos? How can I deny them the coolest science project of the last decade? Nor can I make ice cream with demonstrate phase changes, and super cooling effects from salt and water.

On less scholarly note, children really like candy, and it can motivate them to be quiet. Not that I would ever resort to such cheap tricks, but helps.

[1] Elevitch, C.R., and H.I. Manner. 2006. Aleurites moluccana (kukui), ver. 2.1. In: Elevitch, C.R. (ed.). Species Profiles for Pacific Island Agroforestry. Permanent Agriculture Resources (PAR), Hōlualoa, Hawai‘i. .


  1. I think you should just be a badass and ignore the rules.

  2. Wants candy. Forgot Choco stash at home. :,(

  3. Perhaps you can just stick with sugar-free candy. At least it looks like real candy. Also, I think that you might want to teach this summer according to the spirit and not the letter of the law. Have fun.