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PBAs Newest Students: Traveling from Afar

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.