Editor’s Note: Emma Haas is a Waialua High and Intermediate School 7th grader whose father will be transferring to Fort Hood, Texas in December of this year. She aspires to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and major in Engineering. In this article, she reflects on her time spent in Hawaii and especially attending Waialua High and Intermediate School.
by Emma Haas
The experience that I was able to have at Waialua High and Intermediate was so much different from the other schools that I have been to. I had never lived anywhere other than on the mainland. That all changed three years ago when my dad got orders to be stationed in Hawaii. My father is in the military, so I am used to moving every two to three years. This time though, was different. I had grown up in Texas, where all of my family lives. Even though we have been stationed outside of Texas, we were still close enough to visit often. Now, I was moving all the way across the Pacific Ocean!
I loved my time in Hawaii – especially Waialua. Living in Hawaii was unlike anything I had ever experienced before. When I was living on the continent, we always had to drive for several hours to get to the beach. Now, I live across the street from the beach. Where I lived on the mainland, the summer it could get over 100 degrees, and in winter, it would sometimes snow! Hawaii never gets super cold or super hot. During the winter on the mainland, if you try to go outside in a tank top and shorts, you’ll definitely freeze to death!
Going to school at Waialua High and Intermediate has been a really fun and wonderful experience because I am involved in activities such as band and robotics. Band is really exciting! Mr. Cablay, the band director, is amazing! He makes class fun and I always look forward to band. Mr. Cablay also teaches us important life lessons. He always says to enjoy life, because tomorrow’s not promised. He is definitely one of my favorite teachers – and I’ve had a lot. He also helped me discover my love for playing the clarinet, and I am so happy I got the chance to be one of his students.
Also, I have really enjoyed being a part of the robotics program. I have made amazing friendships with my teammates, and they feel like family. I love having the chance to work hard and solve problems building our robot. My position is STEM researcher and builder. I really enjoy doing the STEM research project, and I have worked so hard on it. We recently won the Excellence Award at the State Championship, and we are on our way to the World Championships later in April!
I have enjoyed all of my classes and my teachers. Ms.Van Matre always has really fun experiments planned for us, and in Ms. Cazimero’s honors math class she always makes sure we understand the algebra before we move on. I am in Mr. Mergenthaler’s 6th period, which I am positive is his worst class, because of a few of my classmates. Even though he has trouble with a handful of kids, I enjoy his class for the most part. I have always loved history, and learning Hawaiian History has been really interesting. I have College Prep, and I enjoy having Mrs.Chow. She is super nice, and I have never had any trouble in her class. I am in Mrs. Kusumoto’s English class and I think she’s a wonderful teacher, even if she does give us a lot of work. At one point this school year, I was going through a tough time, so she took me out of class and talked with me. Later, she wanted to check up on me to make sure I was okay. I have never really been a fan of English, which might be surprising, but I have warmed up to it.
When I have to move back to Texas, I will miss all of my friends that I have made over the three years I have lived here. I have developed some really close friendships, and it’s always hard to leave your them behind. Unfortunately, I lost contact with some of my friends the last time I moved, and I don’t want that to happen again. Thankfully, now I have a phone, and I will be able to talk, text, or facetime my friends whenever I want. I have made some incredible friendships at Waialua that I don’t want to lose.
On my robotics team, there is only one other girl, Rhea. We have become really close, because we usually are the only people who come in after school to work on our robot. I also have another close friend, ‘Ailani, who is incredibly similar to me (she really could be my twin), and we have most of our classes together as well as Naia,who has the exact same schedule as me. When I had moved here in fifth grade, I made some friends that I still hang with today. One of those friends, Mehgan, was the first person I met when I moved here. I always hate leaving my friends, and this time is no exception.
I have enjoyed my time here in Hawaii – especially Waialua. It is so much different from the mainland, where I grew up. I have learned and experienced so many new things. I’ve enjoyed going to Waialua High and Intermediate, as well as all of my classes. I absolutely love being in the band and robotics programs, because both programs offer so many unique opportunities for students. I will especially miss all of my friends that I have made in Waialua over my three years here and my experiences with them will live in my mind and heart forever…