Saturday, November 14, 2009

What's the Big Idea?

Well I have a minute (or two) and thought that I would hurry and let all of you know about the crazy and exciting week last week. It's kind of a loooooong story, so settle in and get comfy if you're going to read it all.
Seriously - I'm not joking.

Don't worry, I'll wait...

OK. Now, where to begin. I guess it all started when BYU-Hawaii announced this:

They asked every students to come up with a Big Idea - something that they could do to "go forth to serve" using their education at BYUH. Now I don't know about the rest of the university, but the School of Ed students were none too thrilled about this. Honestly, it was just one more thing to add to our already overflowing plate. (Now if there was actual food on this plate.....oh, sorry, back to the story.) Anyway everyone was up in a tiff about the whole thing, mostly because we were being required to attend this conference and it was a 2 day affair. Even the faculty at the School of Ed weren't too thrilled about that. But we decided that being a part of the University, the School of Ed was going to support the conference as best we could and show that we really were the best of the best on campus. I know that not everyone ended up with that attitude, but I thought it was a good one. So in that light, we were all to come up with this Big Idea to be handed in to the School of Ed. I thought long and hard about this and came up with an idea that I REALLY liked - it had real potential. I totally got hooked on my idea. I was supposed to hand in a paragraph describing my idea - I ended up with 3 pages! Well, I didn't hand that much in, I condensed it down the best I could, it was still a page long. So then the next step was that all those ideas (about 150 from the School of Ed, out of 600 campus wide) were whittled down to 30. Those 30 were asked to make a poster to be displayed at the conference, for our peers in the School of Ed to look at, hear about, and judge. Now mind you, those of us that were in that 30 did not know until Tuesday and we had to be ready for the conference on Thursday - not a whole lot of time. But I love the way my poster came out - which reminds me, I need to go rescue it from Dr. Mitchell's office before he throws them in the dumpster.

So, I guess there's no point not telling you my idea now. It was to open a charter elementary school here on the North Shore of Oahu. Like a said before, I really got into the idea. I still am - it's really the only way that we can stay here in Hawaii after I graduate (which is in June). If I want a job in Hawaii, I need to create a job in Hawaii.

So back to the posters. The students in the School of Ed went around and listened to 22 two minute presentations and looked at our posters. As they did this they were to rank the ideas - this idea I don't think many students actually got, but it was still nice to tell them about my idea and get a little feedback about it.

There were other aspects of the conference on Thursday, but this pretty much dominated my day. And then that night I got a call saying that my idea was chosen from the School of Ed to be presented at the conference on Friday! So exciting, and so ..... I don't know what. But I was definitely excited. However, I had to present my idea to the WHOLE UNIVERSITY! Including members of the President's Leadership Council (read VERY rich and generous donors). Just a little nerve racking - and I only had 2 minutes to present. All in all there were 13 students chosen to present in this part of the conference - 3 from each College (well, 4 from the Business College). From the College of Human Development there was one of us from each of the 3 schools in the college (the other two schools are social work and TESOL - teaching English to speakers of other languages).
Here I am presenting - the pic is a little blurry, sorry, Cameron was a little excited, too I think:

So that's most of the story. My presentation went really well, I was complemented by many very important people. One of which approached me and said that he would like to help me out (with the school). I replied that that would be great, but that I didn't exactly know what I would need yet. To which he replied, "That's fine. Whatever you need, we'll take care of it. Do you know how to get a hold of me?" SERIOUSLY?!? I just about passed out on the spot! We conversed for another quick minute - we were being smoothed by the entire school exiting the building and I think he wanted to catch up to someone else, too. And I had a small line of friends trying to wait patiently to congratulate me.

All in all - an excellent couple of days if I do say so myself! It's really hard not to let it completely take over my life since it's just about ALL I can think about. I have to keep reminding myself that I have to graduate so that I can work at my school when I'm done!

Oh, and I got written up in the school paper - just a couple of lines about my ideas, but you can read the article here if you want to.

Sooo, some of you may wonder if I'm really going to do this. Well I am! At least we're going to try. It's kind of a long and complicated process in Hawaii, but we REALLY need something in the education system to change here. It's out of control, in a bad, bad way. I won't start ranting here, but if you ever want to discuss it, please feel free to write me. I'm always up for a good educational discussion.

Oh, and I formed a group on Facebook if you'd like to join and find out more. There's not really anything there are the moment, but I hope to be adding to it soon. Any questions, comments, advise, or anything else you want to share, please do! You can do it on facebook, or here in the comments, or send me an email at

OK, I'm sure that I've taken up more than enough of your day if you've made it this far. Like I said, things are crazy, but fun.


Naihe Family said...

WOW!!!! Lisa!!! Holy cow! Congratulations!!! I really hope it works so you can stay here in hawaii! It is sooo expensive,and the school system does suck! So good for you. You will be great for the charter school! GO LISA!!


Teri said...

That's so awesome!!! Charter schools rock! Our kids just started at one this year and it has been wonderful. In fact, I just posted on our blog about how their school has helped us find out some important info about Andraia. It has been a pretty amazing few months. Wish I were in Hawaii to help you. But if there's anything I can do to help from here, let me know! It is a long, complicated process, but it will be SOOOO worth it!

Ami said...

Wow! That is so cool. Congrats, that is a really big accomplishment. Keep us updated on what happens :)

Tonia said...

You Go GIRL!!!! You always have said you knew you were supposed to be there. Maybe, just maybe this has something to do with it. I am so incredibly proud of you!!!!

Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

This is an amazing story, Lisa. Congratulations on all your hard work and the hard work to come. A rags to riches story for the Hawaiian Education, maybe? Good luck.

Karen Lambarth said...

Totally amazing! More info proving what we have always known!
I hate to be the mom, but finish up the degree!
Great poster and adequate pic!