Summer 2008: A Look Back

Like a hurricane, Fall semester has hit and before I get rushed away in the torrent of work and school I did want to take a pause to look back at what a great summer I had.

Summer 2008, for me, will go down as a summer of tremendous growth and transcendence both personally and professionally. Just a quick recap of some of the blessings I experienced this summer.

May 2008

After the graduation rush (I got to see my good friends Dean and Keala earn their MBA and MPA degrees respectively) summer kicked off with the ever excellent Apple Summer Institute and PCATT Summer Institute hosted by my colleagues at PCATT. For years I’d lamented the lack of support I had with regard to access in updated training. As a tech that had frustrated me for years given how much things change so frequently in the industry that it is near impossible to keep up. Thank God for the PCATT Institute to give us access to the latest and greatest from vendors.

May also saw me complete the Beginning course in Fundamentals of Improv. I blew chunks at that time but I was having fun and that’s all that mattered.

Summer Blockbuster period saw us taking in the awesome “Iron Man.” (Or is that Invincible?)

June 2008

June 2008 saw me settling into my summer projects at work: development of 4 web projects, gearing up for my lab renovation project (which is still in progress as we speak) and commencement of work on video projects for our revamped NSO. A valued colleague at work moved on to better opportunities leaving me to fill in the vacuum in leadership on our Staff Senate (which I’m hoping to divest myself of).

On the fun side of things, June, being summer, also allowed me the opportunity to goof off a lot more than I normally could in the regular academic year. My Netflix cue got a tough workout as I made my way through various marathons including: Tony Jaa movies, Butterfly Effect 1 & 2, The Skulls trilogy, High School Musical 1 & 2, M. Night Shaymalan’s works and the made-for-tv mini-series Category 6 and Category 7.

Summer Blockbuster period saw us checking out “The Incredible Hulk,” M. Night Shaymalan’s “The Happening,” and “Kung Fu Panda.” On the Arts scene I had a chance to take in “Spaced: 1919” put on by my good friends at Loose Screws.

I returned to Siu Lum Pai more regularly and finalized learning the weapons sets (spear set and trident set) thus completing the program.

June also saw my advancement into Intermediate Fundamentals of Improv. At the Intermediate level I was pushed to develop more as a performer and I think I rose to the challenge. I’m no Wayne Brady or Colin Mochrie but I was a lot better than when I started in Beginning level.

Professionally, June wrapped up as I learned I got accepted into the prestigious President’s Emerging Leaders program 🙂

July 2008

July got off to a bittersweet start as my wife’s uncle passed away after a long illness and our extended family gathered together to say goodbye to cherished loved one and a truly great human being.  While no longer with us physically, the love endures and the memories live on.

July also saw me return to the world of Grad school as I enrolled in ETEC 644 (Java programming). I got my butt handed back to me as I’m fairly certain “programmer” is not a viable career option for me but I had a lot of fun learning programming theory and playing Space Invaders 🙂

Work projects saw me trudging along on my web projects and renovation projects. I hired on board new staff to help with both projects and I started the trudging process of redeveloping curriculum materials for my tech training series. I also plunged headlong into the video production process for our NSO project writing treatments, storyboards and scripts. It was a fun process which we’re currently stalled on but ready to pick back up on at any moment.

Netflix Marathons continued with the following: Underworld 1 & 2, Resident Evil trilogy, Final Fantasy, and Ultraviolet.

Summer Blockbuster period saw us take in the following: “The Dark Knight.”

July culminated with our long awaited vacation to Las Vegas and San Diego for the 2K8 Comic-Con. We traveled with my boys of KS and while in Sin City partook in shows (Cirque du Soleil’s LOVE and “The Rat Pack is Back.” We enjoyed awesome buffets, the Las Vegas Grand Prix and ever excellent shopping and touring. (Video is still waiting to be edited and uploaded to YouTube). San Diego was an awesome town! We enjoyed dining at authentic Mexican establishments and food you wouldn’t find here in Hawai’i. Besides the Con, we had a chance to check out San Diego Sea World which is an adventure into of itself.

For myself, the vacation is just what the doctor ordered after a long, hard year.

July also saw us wrapping up Intermediate level of Fundamentals of Improv. While I would not say I’m a “seasoned” performer I definitely developed a lot more confidence on stage and basically no longer sucked which I’m happy with. We delved deep in Long Form Harolds as opposed to the short form games and training exercises of Beginning level.

Finally, July saw me review the complete training program at SLP as I prepared to test for my “Black Belt” (not really a black belt as Kung Fu does not use a belt system) certificate. After 3 years of hard work my journey into kung fu was nearing an end to it’s mere beginning. (True study is a lifetime process).

August 2008

August saw my career transcend to the next level as I had the privilege to attend PELP training and mingle with the Executives and Power Brokers of our system and State. I had an opportunity to meet other upcoming studs within our academic community and the opportunity was just awe inspiring.

I conducted my 2 week Laulima Bootcamp with some help from my friends at CELTT and I think everyone had a good time who had an opportunity to attend. I got to spend some time on the “speech circuit” talking to new students at NSO which is always a fun experience.

In my own studies, I had a chance to attend my own NSO for ETEC as I got to meet my Profs, fellow classmates and the extending ETEC ‘Ohana of which I’ll be a part of for the next few years.

Netflix Marathons continued with: Aeon Flux and my Comic-Con inspired delving into the superhero genre with “Superhero Movie” (HILARIOUS) and “Heroes Seasons 1 and 2” which is probably THE best scripted show on TV today.

Summer Blockbuster period saw us taking in, “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2,” and “Star Wars Clone Wars.”

Art Scene saw me taking in Loose Screw’s monthly Improv Show, “Henry V” and “Merchant of Venice” at the Hawaii Shakespeare Festival and the 2008 Ka Himeni ‘Ana contest.

Other great August moments? I got to dine with a U.S. Congressman and I delivered my final speech as my campus WLC.

With all that behind me I hope I’m rested and prepared for the massive challenges ahead of me professionally and academically but hopefully have found the balance in life to rise to them.

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