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Behind the Scenes of Camp: A Senior's Perspective

News Type: 
Monday, October 8, 2018

Camp has been a part of PBA’s tradition for many years and it is the seniors’ responsibility to plan the entire three-day event for the school. As a senior for about three months, I’ve just gone through the emotions and struggles that previous seniors have experienced. This is a behind the scenes look at what goes into planning camp.

I have enjoyed camp for the past two years and there is a lot of work in order for it to be successful. Every student will eventually become a senior and, for me, this year is when I received all the duties that come with the title. My class is small compared to previous classes which means that each of us had more work to do, but I learned later that our small size turned out to be beneficial.

We started planning camp towards the end of last school year as juniors -- picking the theme, creating the menu, listing possible activities, and just trying to have a head start. We were placed in three groups: food, logistics, and activities. Since we are such a small class, we ended up helping other groups once our sections were done.

PBA students play sham battle on the second day of camp (photo by Kaci Yamato).

When we first started camp planning, there were not many disagreements and everyone seemed to have an idea of what needed to be done. But when we started the new school year, everything became too much to handle. Camp was quickly approaching and everything needed to be done immediately. Everyone became overwhelmed with stress and we were met with numerous obstacles that we overcame together.

A common obstacle that seniors have to overcome during camp planning is miscommunication. This is why it is important to explain things thoroughly, listen, and ask questions to make sure that everyone is on the same page.

For example, I typed out the instructions on how to make dessert and I thought that we were dying the yogurt with food coloring. It turned out that the whipped cream was supposed to be dyed instead. Since the instructions were printed, I had to notify the teacher in charge of dessert to dismiss the instructions and explain that the whipped cream was being dyed.

Another obstacle is not prioritizing what needs to be done. Camp requires many things and although they all need to be done beforehand, there are various deadlines for each part. This year, we decided to tie-dye shirts, which takes a lot of time and effort. It is easier and less stressful if you plan out what needs to be done each day.

When camp was less than two weeks away, arguments broke out. People were stressed and their emotions got the best of them, but the people in our class forgive easily. We try to understand each other’s perspective, talk it out, and move on from it.

Before we knew it, camp was less than a week away and this was when more physical work was required, such as shopping for groceries, packing the coolers, checking the tents’ conditions, and loading the U-Haul. Figuring out the measurements and amounts needed for each item before going to the store not only saves time but allows others to shop for the items and not have to worry about miscalculations. Packing is essential since food and materials for camp need to be in the U-Haul, so there needs to be at least one person responsible for that section present during packing. Therefore, that person needs to know what we have and where everything is placed.

I think there is only so much you can do to prepare for camp and there is always going to be some minor changes involved. It is clear that camp is a challenge but it is not impossible to accomplish. Previous years have done it, my class has conquered it, and future classes will too.

From my experience, I have a few tips to share which I hope other classes will find useful. An important factor to keep in mind is that everyone has their own ideas so keep an open mind. Not everyone is going to agree on something but compromise and talk it out. When arguments happen, let it go, and move on. Holding a grudge is not worth it and definitely will not help with camp planning. Also, things happen and there are alternatives so just because something unexpectedly causes a change in plans, camp is not ruined. It is your last camp so make it the best one yet.

There is a huge relief and feeling of accomplishment once camp is finished. I feel like we really bonded since we have seen each other when we were beyond stressed, exhausted, happy, and annoyed. Camp could not have been done without everyone’s help. I think that it was absolutely worth all the time and effort and you will realize it too.

PBAs Newest Students: Traveling from Afar

News Type: 
Monday, September 17, 2018

A new year means new students and for PBA it means receiving seven students from places ranging from California to Germany. The new school year is a fresh start for many and although entering a new school can be nerve-wracking, the new students have been fitting in well with the PBA community.

Freshman Jordan Love was initially nervous about coming to PBA since he had been living in Kansas for fourteen years and has only attended public schools.

“I was very nervous about starting high school since it was something new to me and I was in an entirely different state,” he said.

Sophomore Malec Haider has only attended public schools as well and is new to Hawaii from Los Angeles. He immediately noticed the small student population, the range of electives, and how the students’ habits are much better compared to his previous school.

“Classes are a good size and there is a lot more electives than my old school,” he said.

Some of PBA's newest students from outside of Hawaii (from left): Jordan Love,
   Malec Haidar, Sebastian Wind

The school’s education system is different compared to others since PBA goes by cycles and each core class is about two hours long. This may be difficult for some to get used to, but most of the students are adjusting well.

“I like how we only do two core classes instead of the seven periods because that always stressed me out,” Haider said.

Love feels the same way about the school’s curriculum since he used to have a hard time juggling the work from so many classes.

“I think it was a good choice, I feel like I’m learning a lot better,” he said.

Most of the classes at the school rely on technology to do assignments and projects which is different for Sebastian Wind, a junior exchange student from Germany. Wind also noticed how the school does not have a bell system. After attending the school for a few weeks, he realized that it’s the student’s responsibility to get to class on time due to the lack of a bell which is a good habit to practice.

PBA’s staff and students are what welcomes everyone and could make anyone feel as if they have already been a part of this community.

“The familiarity with the teachers and how you can talk to them, it’s like a big family,” Wind said.

Incoming students, especially those from public schools, have noticed how the teachers care for their success and growth. Teachers at the school are guiding students in the right direction and helping them grow into who they strive to be.

“There aren’t a thousand kids walking around and the teachers here care a lot more about each student’s grade, they want everyone to pass,” Haider said.

Wind was nervous at first about attending PBA since he was from an entirely different country but when he attended freshmen orientation, he found out that the school exceeded his expectations. As the first cycle started, he easily made new friends and commented on how everyone is polite and it’s a good community to be in.

One factor that makes PBA different compared to other schools is the various students attending and, for Love, he thinks that it’s an opportunity to make a lot of new friends. Wind believes that PBA is unconventional because of how the entire school is based on Buddhism and the concept is connected to the curriculum. Haider feels that everything that makes up the school is the reason for why it’s distinct.

“This brand new campus, the students, and staff members, all make it seem like a great place to get an education,” Haider said.

One Step at a Time

News Type: 
Tuesday, May 15, 2018

If you were asked to name all the bad things in our world, the list would go on forever. Heartbreaking incidents on the daily news such as school shootings and useless conversations with those who don’t care about making a change are just some of the daily things that we have to put up with. Is this what humanity has come to?

We’re living in the twenty-first century and there’s still an ongoing battle against racism. Young adults are suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, while mass shootings still appear on the news. Do we really have to be this cruel to each other?

There’s so much negativity in our world and it feels like it’s growing with every passing day. Hearing news about the prejudice against immigrants, the war in Iraq, and religious violence in places like Nigeria contributes to this hopeless feeling. It’s just a pit of emptiness and we’re falling. There are those who care about social issues such as poverty, racism, and gun violence. People dedicate their time to improve these issues but there are those who don’t care at all.

Many have lost themselves to the idea of not caring about anything unless it affects them personally. They’re oblivious to what’s going on around them, strolling through life never giving a second glance.

The problem is their mindsets. We usually think that whenever we share our idea it’ll just get lost in the sea we live in so it doesn’t matter if we say anything or not. Others fear of getting shut down and judged for their thoughts but we should be able to have places where people are comfortable enough to talk about how they feel.

                                                                                  Image by Gina Lau.

Any place could be transformed into an accepting environment by showing others how it’s a safe space where no judgement takes place and trust could be formed between group members. We should be able to trust others and show our vulnerability while discussing issues in our world.

If there were more discussions about the issues in our world, then more minds would be working on improving our society.

Change doesn’t happen itself, we have to make change happen. Those who are disconnected with the world will snap out of it one day and realize that they have the power to save lives and put an end to the horrible things happening in the society that we’re living in. They just have to take the first step.

If it wasn’t for those protesting against racism, fighting to end hunger and poverty, and pushing for a better society overall, we wouldn’t be living as comfortably as we are now. About 40.6 million people are below the poverty line and twelve percent of Americans say that racism is either a small problem or not a problem at all. Poverty and racism are only two examples of what people are enduring in their daily lives. The majority of the people in the world are living a better life compared to others but those suffering deserve a good life as well. This imbalance has been going on for a while and these problems haven’t been solved yet since not enough people are aware of what’s happening and how they could help.

You have a voice, use it. You’re capable of making someone’s day and to make a better society for not only yourself but for future generations. There are many opportunities out there such as local volunteer work and organizations like UNICEF and CARE that want to make a positive change in people’s lives globally. You could even form your own safe space or group that not only discusses social issues but contributes to making a change either big or small. You just have to make the decision of taking action.

Everyone deserves genuine happiness. It could easily be gained and spread around with others. By bringing awareness to an issue, supporting an organization, or forming your own group that takes action towards social issues you can make a difference. It may take a while to create this ideal world but it’s not completely impossible -- it just takes one small step at a time and an open mind.

Odell Beckham Jr.: A First Hand Look

News Type: 
Monday, May 14, 2018

The one handed catch is an art form in football that gives receivers a competitive edge. Where a traditional catch utilizes both hands receivers may opt to use one hand when the other is handling a defender.

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. arguably popularized this form of catching in the NFL with his one-handed catch against the Dallas Cowboys. This wasn’t an oddity whatsoever as he and former LSU teammate Jarvis Landry practiced such extravagant catches frequently.

Along with practice and skill, Beckham’s hand size is a major factor in how he can grip a ball with such ease. At ten inches long, Beckham has hands larger than other star wide receivers despite being shorter in height. A normal NFL regulation size ball has a circumference of twenty-two inches at the center, meaning that one of Beckham’s hands can go around nearly half the ball.

Beckham moments before a catch (photo credit: Daily Snark). 

While Beckham’s catch is his main claim to fame he also is a remarkable player who is able to compete with high caliber cornerbacks, such as Washington Redskins Pro Bowler Josh Norman. Before a game against Beckham, Norman and another assailant threatened him with a bat. Beckham didn’t appreciate the gesture and during the game their feud continued, resulting in numerous fights, one of which Beckham ran fifteen yards out and ran towards Norman, headbutting him in the head 

This display resulted in both players being fined and Beckham receiving a single game suspension. As a Beckham fan I felt that he was at fault as attempting to injure another player is unacceptable. However, threatening one another has no place in the sport whatsoever.

Aside from his on-the-field rivalry with Norman, Beckham has an easily triggered temper as well as extreme emotions. I do not agree with the way he expresses his emotions, whether it be hitting another player, swearing at a referee, yelling at his own teammates, and assaulting football equipment -- it just takes away from his exceptional ball skills. However, I feel that a certain intensity and emotional investment in the game is necessary for a good player to be great.

Being a player of such allure, he has garnered attention throughout the league. In his 2014 rookie season he was the Rookie of the Year, which is an award given to the highest performing player of that year’s draft class. He was also named All-Pro for the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

Such high honors calls for celebrating and with the league’s new rules concerning celebration, Beckham can perform as many touchdown dances his heart desires (given he makes the touchdown). Many of his individual performances have gone viral on the internet, drawing even more eyes to him.

Given Beckham’s rookie contract is nearing its end, I feel the Giants will need to assess his value as a team member and they will also need to take his on the field behavior into account.

It is important to be good at football, but to me it is equally as important to provide kids positive role models in their favorite NFL players. However, I know that the NFL puts business before morals and they don’t necessarily think about questionable characters over good players. I feel that as long as he continues to perform at the same high level he should get an extensive new contract. Nonetheless I do look forward to see where Beckham’s career takes him.

The People's Champion

News Type: 
Monday, May 7, 2018

Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. is one of the greatest sporting figures to have ever lived. He had it all, the athletic ability, courageousness, humility, charisma, charm, and of course, the mouth to match. He is known to the world as “The Greatest” and even to this day, nicknames of the same caliber are unheard of. There was no one like him and there will be never be anyone else like him.

Clay’s extraordinary career all started at the age of 12 when someone stole his beloved red and white Schwinn bicycle. Shortly after realizing his bike was gone, he filed a complaint to a police officer while at the same time vowing to pummel the thief if he ever had the chance. As fate would have it, the officer, Joe Martin, just so happened to also be a boxing trainer. From then on, Martin took Clay under his wing and just a month and a half later, Clay had already won his first fight.

Clay’s boxing career is a legendary one from start to finish. At 18, just two years after he started training under Martin, he had already claimed two Golden Glove titles, two Amatuer Union National titles and a gold medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. Through each and every fight, Clay’s lack of shyness and boastful attitude earned him the nickname “The Louisville Lip,” which was befitting for the loud-mouthed lionheart champion. At the end of his amatuer career, Clay’s record was 100 wins to 8 losses, a remarkable 93 percent win-rate.

On October 29, 1960, Clay’s fought his first professional boxing match. The fight looked like an easy one and it traveled down its usual course with Clay dominating, laying down the heat both verbally and physically and ending in a win. One would assume that the transition from amatuer fights to professional would have some sort of effect but it didn’t seem to phase him.

Four years, 19 fights and 15 knockouts later, Clay got his first shot at a heavyweight title. It would be against Sonny Liston, who was undoubtedly a fearsome opponent. Clay being Clay, however, taunted Liston endlessly saying that he would end the fight in a knockout, which he did. In the seventh round at “10,” while Liston was still glued to the mat, Clay was declared victor and crowned heavyweight champion of the world. Clay was too fast and too powerful. As he put it best, he “floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee.” He was exuberant, confident, and looked invincible.

With all the doubt placed on Clay’s shoulders now lifted, he assured the world that he was really as good as he said he was. Soon after he beat Liston, he pointed at nearby news reporters that had previously doubted him, shouting, “I told you, I told you, I told you exactly what I was going to do and I did it!” In a follow-up interview shortly after he yelled into the microphone for the world to hear, “I don’t have a mark on my face, and I just upset Sonny Liston, and I just turned 22. I must be the greatest! I told the world!” And from that moment on, a new era was born. An era of greatness. The era of Cassius Clay.

“I’ve wrestled with alligators. I’ve tussled with a whale. I done handcuffed
    lightning. And threw thunder in jail” (photo credit: Evening Standard).

For the next five years, Clay would reign supreme in the ring, untouchable. He had triumphed over nine other young bulls that were gunning for his belt and of those nine, seven ended in knockouts. He was in his prime, 29-0, “The People’s Champion” as they called him but everything got flipped upside down when he refused to serve in the Vietnam War. Shortly before being drafted, Clay converted to Islam and his newfound religious beliefs conflicted with the war. Many people at the time stood up and supported his decision but many more disagreed. Clay, as he always had, was speaking up about how he felt and what he believed in but he was still fined and stripped of his heavyweight title and boxing license, leaving him unable to box for the next three years. Clay didn’t mind much, however, as boxing wasn’t his “main fight.”

In the following three years, Clay gave speeches at college campuses and various other places here and there protesting the war and bringing awareness to discrimination. No matter what, he always stood up for what he believed in. He didn’t just shake boxing. He shook up to the world with encouraging, truthful statements, and an honest heart.

During all the adversity and publicity surrounding Clay and his views, he managed to get the attention of Elijah Muhammad, the leader of the Nation of Islam at the time. Elijah had recognized Clay’s strength and loyalty to his religious beliefs and thought it appropriate to bestow upon him a new name: Muhammad Ali. Prior to adopting his new name, Clay never really resonated with his original one, saying “Cassius Clay is a slave name. I didn’t choose it and I don’t want it. I am Muhammad Ali, a free name – it means ‘beloved of God,’ and I insist people use it when people speak to me.”

After three years went by, Ali had his boxing license reinstated and in October of the same year he returned to the ring, winning two fights in his usual fashion. Five months later he got the chance to reclaim his heavyweight title in “The Fight of The Century” against Joe Frazier, but sadly, his flawless 31-0 record was shattered.

Fourteen wins and another loss later, including a non-title win against Joe Frazier, Ali fought another championship title match against George Foreman, which went down in history as “The Rumble In the Jungle.” Ali won this fight and finally reclaimed his heavyweight title after seven years. He then defended his title 11 more times, looking like “The Greatest” once again, most notably in the “Thrilla in Manilla” fight against Joe Frazier.

In his 58th professional fight, Ali lost to Leon Spinks, losing both his title and belt once again. Seven months later he got his revenge by becoming the first man to ever win the heavyweight title three times. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and after losing his last two fights in 1981, Muhammad Ali retired at the age of 39 with a record of 56 wins and 5 losses, with 37 of those wins ending in knockouts.

Three years later, Muhammad Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, but that never stopped him from embracing his generous, charitable, kind, and compassionate personality. Ali showed lots of support to foundations such as Make A Wish and Special Olympics. He delivered millions of dollars worth of medical aid to Cuba, delivered food and supplies to those in need in Mexico and various other African countries. He traveled to Iraq to negotiate the release of 15 hostages of his own accord and founded the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center, which has single handedly brought Parkinson awareness into the light of the world.

Muhammad Ali was “The Greatest” and everyone from past opponents to kids around the globe knew it. That's why in 1990 Muhammad Ali was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. It's why in 1996, he was given the honor to light the cauldron during the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics. In 1999, he was voted the sporting personality of the century by BBC and in that same year he was voted sportsman of the century by Sports Illustrated. Ali was named Ring Magazine’s fighter of the year five times and in 2005 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Muhammad Ali was strong mentally and physically and defines the phrase “Never give up.” He sacrificed his blood for bravery, sweat for grit, and tears for character. He was intelligent and kind and always stood up for what he believed in. He was indeed one of the best boxers to ever step into the ring due to his speed, mental strength and unique style but he was also an outstanding individual outside of the ring due to his leadership, perseverance and bravery. He influenced countless lives in a positive way teaching the world to pursue their imagination and to stand up for what they believed in, what is right. He motivated the world saying things like "He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life" and "If my mind can conceive it, if my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it." Muhammad Ali was one of a kind. He had the commitment, the excellence, the results, the passion, the toughness, the discipline and the truth. He had everything it took, everything you needed, and in the end, above all else, he had greatness.

B(so)PP II -- Delta: Events (Hard, 2 Hints + 5 Hints)

News Type: 
Monday, May 7, 2018

You look behind you. It looks like she walked away. After staring at the sheet music for a while, you look around in the piano room. In the corner, you see a wooden chest. Inside the chest is an old piece of paper.

It looks like it’s a stack of pages from a diary. You begin to read… however, you soon discover that you can’t turn the first page. It feels heavy and sticky. The pages seem to be stuck together, maybe being sealed by some magical lock. The magical lock waits for a magical word to be said. You know the word is very short… but you don’t know the word. Maybe something on the first page is telling you what it is, so you look carefully…

When you’re ready, turn the page and say the word… (make sure you type the word in all lowercase letters)

The 2 “A” hints are for the “first page”. The 5 “B” hints are for the “second page”.

Hint A1:

Tokyo, Honolulu, Beijing.

Hint A2:

There must be a different type of way to write something…

Hint B1:

Again, look carefully.

Hint B2:

Answer everything, and take note of the numbers.

Hint B3:
Link what you find to the things on the bottom.

Hint B4:

If Hint B1 helped you see something, just remember that order matters.

Hint B5:

(Total amount; which one, etc.) Make sure you ignore spaces.

B(so)PP II -- Gamma: Missed Melody (Moderately Hard, 5 Hints)

News Type: 
Wednesday, May 2, 2018

“Follow me,” she says.

You follow her out of the room and down a long stairway.

She leads you to a dark room, only illuminated by the light from a few windows. All that’s inside it is a dusty piano. On the rack of the piano is a piece of sheet music. It’s quite unusual. The “piece” is only a few measures long.

You begin to play the piece. Just as you expected, it sounds weird, like it was unfinished. You can’t help but notice that something isn’t right…

She walks up to you.

“Two words,” she says.

You look up at the sheet music once again.

Hint 1

Do you know how this works?

Hint 2

The last one doesn’t exist.

Hint 3

Sometimes two with the same sound can mean completely different things.

Hint 4

Think about the time signature… why was it chosen?

Hint 5

Something doesn’t mean what you think it means...

The Struggles of an Unmotivated Journalist

News Type: 
Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Hi, my name is Shala McKee and I’m going to explain why I, Karma Chronicle’s most experienced journalist, have only written two stories during the entire semester.

Before I start let me make one thing clear, this is not a list of excuses because “enough of the excuses (Mr. Udell, 2018)”. This story merely serves as insight as to why someone so passionate about writing cannot bring herself to do what’s asked of her.

1. Passion

If there’s only one thing this class has taught me, it’s that I am not a person that can dedicate time and effort to something she’s not passionate about. I cannot tell you how many ideas and stories are sitting in my google drive, incomplete, because I lost interest halfway through or there was never any in the first place.

2. Stepping out of my comfort zone

I, by nature, am slow. Karma Chronicle, like all other sources of journalism, requires deadlines. It’s like oil and water, though stepping out of my comfort zone has probably produced more stories than it has restricted. Stepping out of my comfort zone is what led me to write a story condemning the PBA holiday party of 2016. Stepping out of my comfort zone is what’s allowing me to not only submit, but let Mr.Udell, the teacher suffering most at the hands of my lack of motivation, edit this story.

3. Time management

Time management is something that I struggle with all day every day and it’s not exclusive to journalism. This is a cumulation of me having so many activities and responsibilities that I prioritize and conquer. Unfortunately, journalism has never made it to the top of the list. It often falls to the bottom of the priority list though it’s high on the passion list. While some of this can be attributed to my scheduling, some of it also falls on my personal lack of time management. I’ve always been a procrastinator and I don’t see that changing any time soon.   

Though I struggled to complete stories in a timely manner for this class, I wouldn’t trade it for any other elective. This class made me ask a lot of questions about myself and others and for that I will forever be grateful. Even if I wasn’t working (as per usual) there were great conversations to be had with Mr. Udell and my fellow journalists. Valuing this class means being honest in everything I produce for it, so in true Shala fashion, I am turning in this story a week before I graduate, in hopes that it’ll make up for lost time.

B(so)PP II -- Beta: Association (Moderately Hard, 4 Hints)

News Type: 
Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The mysterious man stops at a giant door.

“One moment,” he tells you.

He pushes a button on an intercom outside the door.

“They’re here.”

A mysterious voice comes out from the speaker.

“Good. Send them in.”

The giant door slides open, revealing another long pathway. You walk towards the other side. At the end of the pathway, there’s a woman sitting at a desk.

“Hello,” she says.

“What is this?” you ask.

“We’ve been expecting you.”

“For what?”

“We’ve seen your skills, and we were surprised by your knowledge.”


“Okay… I’ll just say it… we want you in our team.”

She wants you in a team. What does that mean? What was this team of people?

“A team? What team?”

“Remember those first puzzles we gave you? They were merely a test for the real challenges ahead.”

You remember now, but just barely. You nod your head anyway.

“Why don’t you take a look at this? One of my assistants scrawled this down.”

She hands you a piece of paper with some writing on it. You take a look at the mysterious writing.

Hint 1

First impressions matter. Don’t I, V, X, and L look familiar?

Hint 2

Why does I = O and V = F? Also, why does H = O? Can somebody call Dr. James?

Hint 3

The letter on the left represents something, or rather, the start of it. The other letters on the right also represent the start of something. However, the letters on the right are all part of the same category.

Hint 4

Well, you might need some element naming and some ancient counting. Oh yeah, you’ll need a little more chemistry, along with some foreign language knowledge. You might need to shift to find the answers, as well as know some order. One last thing: you should also have a knowledge of “power”. Good luck! 

My Springbreak Trip

News Type: 
Monday, April 23, 2018

My spring break started with an extensive trip to my bedroom. I am a homebody and don’t like to do activities that most teens my age would find fun so my first week was more than happily spent sleeping the day away. The next week, however, was a different story entirely.

Months ago I’d agreed to attending the Final Four. For those of you who don’t know, the Final Four is a culmination of March Madness, which is a 67-game tournament to be able to qualify for the Final Four. I’d completely forgotten about it during my everyday routine and come that week my mom told me to pack, which blindsided me as I thought I’d have another week to rest and relax in Casa de Brandon. The next thing I know I’m traveling 3,608 miles away to San Antonio.

We made a stop over in California before heading to San Antonio and a famous face was right behind me on that flight! Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley sat a row behind me! He was on his way to the Final Four as well because he is a commentator for CBS assigned to the games. I took a photo with him after the flight (see above).

The first thing I noticed in San Antonio was that everything was geared towards the Final Four, presumably because not much else goes on there that brings such a high concentration of tourists. The town wasn’t much to see but the main attraction was the next day.

My family and I went too early to the game in anticipation of the lines and had to wait for two hours in the stadium. The stadium was gigantic. Around 60-70 thousand people showed up to the game. The first matchup being between Loyola University Chicago and the University of Michigan. The game was close all the way. Personally I wanted Loyola to win but Moritz Wagner and the Wolverines came back from a 22-27 score at the half. The next game was spectacular -- not the competition because the game wasn’t close by any means, but being able to see Villanova shoot 3-pointers at such a high percentage. They shot 55.4 percent as a team!

I thought that the next day was decided, however, my father thought otherwise. The final day rolled around and, sure enough, Villanova outclassed Michigan to win the finals in a very one-sided game. Michigan, however, held their own defensively, but it was clear who the true winners were. The end score was 79-62.

My trip was far from over, however, as the next day I had to travel from San Antonio to Boston to meet with my sister and see where she has been living for the past year and a half. She is in Boston working for a program called City Year, a company that is very similar to Teach for America. In her job she works with underprivileged students in the ninth grade. During the trip she told me about her students and explained that they’d often tell her about their personal and home lives. Training for this job sounded extensive as they are told what to say in those kinds of situations. I was very surprised that my sister was doing such an important job being a mentor and a leader to these kids with a tough upbringing.

During this time she also showed us around her city. It was cold. I obviously am not accustomed to the cold being from Hawaii so this was a huge change for me. I had to dress in long pants and a heavy jacket. Oddly for this time of year, it was also snowing. This was actually the first time I’d seen snow aside from a trip when I was a year old, which I don’t count for obvious reasons. It was cool -- no pun intended -- for the first five minutes, but it became an annoyance after that.

Also, as if we hadn’t seen enough basketball, my family and I went to see the Boston Celtics play the Chicago . Unfortunately for us and the Celtics, star point guard Kyrie Irving, the only player I knew on either team, was hurt. Still, it was a fun game to see.

At the end of the trip we left my sister and headed off back to Hawaii. Twelve hours spent on a plane in total. As hard as it is for me to admit, I did enjoy my trip, however, being back in my own bed in my own room was the best feeling ever.