“Education is what you make of it.”
And that’s exactly what my dad made me do: make the best out of my education.
My dad is a teacher. He’s been educating Hawaii’s youth for over 30 years. Throughout his career, he’s probably touched hundreds, if not thousands, of lives. But let it be known that he also touched his youngest daughter’s life.
There was no way to escape being involved in music when I was growing up. My dad was my first music teacher. Even though I had private instructors for piano and clarinet, he was always there to answer my questions and help me along as I practiced at home. Of course, getting me to practice was a challenge in itself and that’s another thing he got me to do.
I can’t begin to count how many things my dad “made” me do and I how much I hated him for it. I can say that because he knows it. In fact, he was the very one who told me, “You may hate me for this now, but you’ll thank me for it later.” And sure enough, I’m thankful for those times now more than ever.
He’s one of the main reasons why I’m still pursuing higher education. Music taught me what it means to work hard, to be dedicated, how to persevere during some of the most trying times and what it takes to succeed. Band also allowed me to be a part of something greater than myself. “One band, one sound.” Remember that phrase from the movie “Drumline”? It may sound cheesy, but it’s true that band teaches the essence of teamwork. Most importantly, the lessons, the trials, the triumphs, the people, the skills and experiences — those are going to be with me for the rest of my life and I’m grateful for that. That’s why I’m a true believer and supporter of music education.
Here are some wise words that my dad told me some time ago: “Whether you worry or not, it won’t change the outcome” and “Anything can be fun, but you have to make it fun.” As simple as they sound, those words continue to carry a lot of meaning for me and I remind myself of those things regularly. I consider my dad an excellent motivator. He always seems to say the right things to open my eyes and teach me a valuable lesson. Maybe that’s the father in him, perhaps it’s the educator side or maybe that’s just who he is.
My dad and I at Iao Needle on Maui.
With that said, this entry is written with deep appreciation and lots of love for the most inspiring, hard-working and trouble-making person in my life. Happy Father’s Day, Dad!