I went to Hawaii!

January 16, 2019

Some colleagues and I presented at the Hawaii International Conference on Arts & Humanities (our topic was multimodal assignments), which means I finally got to go to Hawaii, one of my lifelong dreams.

Our conference presentation went well, though the turnout was light. We think it was a combo of being scheduled to present at 8 a.m. (later sessions had higher turnout) and not using some keywords that may have intrigued more people (e.g., “creative problem solving”). My colleagues are amazing and do really creative and innovative work, so it’s always exciting to hear what they’re doing in their classrooms–not to mention hearing from people at other institutions about the interesting things they’re doing in their classrooms. I got so many great ideas for assignments and not always from other English teachers. A really cool one I got from some drama/costume teachers is to have students create a shoebox that represents the mood of the play. I may play around with that next fall.


The best of all quotes which is a picture I took of someone else’s picture on their phone because the slides went by too fast. Text says, “Critical thinking is thinking about your thinking while you’re thinking, in order to make your thinking better.”

So yes, there was a conference. But did I mention it was in Hawaii?

I didn’t have to go very far to see the beach.


This was at the end of the block my hotel was on.

Also, I chose to walk to the conference just so I could walk along the beach.


The view was all right, I guess.

Because Google Maps didn’t tell me that walking along the beach sometimes meant walking directly on the beach since sometimes the sidewalk went away, I managed to put my feet in the sand and the water.


Not planned, but it didn’t suck.

After the conference was over each day, we, of course, set out to explore Hawaii.

One of the places we visited was the Iolani Palace. We got a guided tour of the palace, which told how Hawaii got stolen from its rightful rulers. Spoiler alert: America helped.


I was obsessed with the crowns on the frames of some of the portraits. Don’t ask me who that is in the actual portrait.



Look at that tiny but also huge crown!

I am not usually one for a lot of jewelry, but I may have texted my family and told them to buy me the miniature royal orders.



My dad’s first response: “Just put them in your suitcase.”

My dad’s second response: “Get Sandra Bullock and her crew. They’ll get it for you.”

He’s very helpful as you can see.

We also went to the Byodo-In Temple.

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So beautiful and peaceful.

I was informed that this is on the rainy side of the mountain, which explains why it kept raining! Also, it’s winter which is the rainy season, so that didn’t help. I think it rained about four times during the hour or so we were there.

The most important part is that I got to ring the Bon-sho (sacred bell).

I also got to watch the sunset (on the beach, of course). Did I mention the beach was just down the block from my hotel?


I learned that watching the sunset is still looking directly at the sun. In other words, my eyes hurt. No, I didn’t have the good sense to wear sunglasses either.

And I attempted to watch the sunrise.


It was cloudy. And I may have been facing the wrong way.

So basically, I finally understood the compass function on my phone, though I didn’t use it.

Another highlight of my trip is that I got to meet up with a friend from middle/high school who is stationed on the island. We had a nice visit, but I failed to get a picture of the two of us together because I am the way that I am.

On the flight there, I got an aisle seat because I get up at least two times per flight, so that means I didn’t get any type of view of the island from the sky flying in. However! On the flight back, I got a window seat (in the exit row!) so I managed to get a couple of pics of the shore and Diamond Head (which I didn’t get a chance to visit–next time!).


Bye, Hawaii!


Until we meet again, Diamond Head!

So, you know, as far as conferences go, it wasn’t too shabby.

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  1. The Widow Badass

    Wonderful! Envious of the location of your work conference. My work conferences take place in exciting spots like Dubuque, Kansas City, and Madison. Lovely cities – don’t get me wrong. But they’re not Hawaii in January!!!

  2. Sharlene

    Awesome that you got to go to Hawaii! Also I loved your dad’s response to the jewelry 😂

  3. Ally Bean

    This is great and I’m not at all envious of you. Nope, not one drop of envy here. In the midwest where it’s cold and wet. With no beaches…

  4. Darin Johnston

    And today, as I read this, the ground is white with around ten inches of snow with gusty winds and below zero temperatures in the forecast. Ugh. However, what a great way to see Hawaii, with an education conference! Yay you! 🙂

  5. Elisabeth Ellington

    Amazing! All conferences should be in Hawaii! (Ok, I’d probably never go because that’s WAY too much travel time for me, but I love the idea of it.) I really enjoyed all your photos here.

  6. Bryan G. Robinson

    No, that doesn’t look like it was too shabby…um, at all. Whoa. Very nice. Glad you were able to fulfill one of your lifelong dreams.


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