IMR: Entries: 2004: March: 19 — Friday, March 19, 2004


I showed up at the airport well before my flight, like a good little commuter.

There was no line at the check-in counter. (Or rather, the check in terminals.) There was no line at the security checkpoint. There are only four other people at the gate right now. As travel nightmares go, this isnít turning out too badly.

Oh, thatís right. Iím going to LAX.

It wasnít too long ago that I didnít think I was going on this trip. (It being Spring Break and with ticket prices nearly three times what they were last month.) And I hadnít even known about the opportunity for all that long in the first place. But despite the fact that Iím catching a red-eye , arriving in Los Angeles three hours before the meeting Iím being sent to attend, Iím glad Iím being sent.

My dad has linked me with a national AJA veterans group, which in turn is collaborating with other AJA groups on a project for the Japanese American National Museum.

Considering how much Iíve benefited from the legacy of my family (and here Iím referring to the sometimes unheralded Japanese side of my family), I figured Iím long overdue in trying to give something back.

I donít know how much I can contribute. But it feels good to at least try.

Weird. Thereís a wireless network somewhere near here: SHAKANET. The signalís not strong enough to connect to, though. I bet I have to go over to Starbucks.

Iím geeking out, to be sure. Iím posting pictures of this cozy airport gate from my camera phone. Iím listening to my ď2002 Travel MP3sĒ CD. And Iím literally scribbling this entry out on my Tablet PC (a secondhand TC 1000 I picked up last year), giving the handwriting recognition a run for its money. (And of course, itís a beta build of the Tablet PC engine in Windows XP SP2, due out later this year.)

Pardon my glee. Itís been a long time since my last real geek out session.

Itís been a long time since Iíve been able to sit down and write.

And now my wrist is starting to hurt.

So. There are a few things to report. Big stuff first.

For those who missed my wifeís somewhat panicked web update in January (and my slightly less panicked weblog post soon after), weíre having another baby. Yes, a third, due in late August. Yes, we are insane.

It was a surprise. A big, big surprise. Neither the news of Zacís pending arrival, nor that of Katie one crazy summer six (six!) years ago, shook us even half as much.

In the end, we figured, the odds were 100:1. If this baby wanted to be that badly, who were we to argue?

We cleaned out Katieís room. We bought a bunk bed. We pulled out a crate of baby clothes. Weíre as ready as weíll ever be.

There are still worries ahead, to be sure. The improbable conception raised some flags, and after Zacís ordeal thereís a lot more testing and scrutiny this time. But so far, so good. And Tuesday brings the ultrasound that should tell us if Katie gets the little sister she so badly wants, or if Zac gets another little partner in crime.

Hopefully, the biggest battle left ahead is choosing a name. A boyís name. If itís a girl, sheíll be Elizabeth, no question. The ďboyĒ candidates so far? Alexander. Christopher. Nicholas. And, I suppose, since Zac got Zac, lain.

Uh oh. Flight oversold. Theyíre seeking volunteers to give up their seat for $300. Unfortunately, I donít think I can cut it any closer.

After much handwringing and second guessing, we pulled Katie out of Lincoln Elementary up in Papakolea, and enrolled her in the Voyager charter school down in Kakaíako. Sheís been there for a few months now, and weíre very happy with how things are going.

They have a very progressive philosophy, a very close knit and involved staff, mixed-age classes and varied teaching methods, and a rotating curriculum that focuses on varied topics (including a few sessions on Mandarin language). Katie loves her uniform (a blue T-shirt). Prove importantly, sheís learning. Sheís engaged and challenged and encouraged to think for herself. It was like night and day.

Before, weíd ask what she learned in school that day, and sheíd grunt, ďJ.Ē As in the letter J. (she reads at a 2nd grade level.) Now when we ask the question, the answer goes on and on and on.

It feels like a private school, but itís technically just a privately managed public school.

Interestingly, we owe this change to a random Voyager parent, who happened to stumble onto my web journal and read about our concerns about Lincoln. Behold the power of the Internet.

The only downside is the precarious nature of Voyagerís funding. For better or worse. Theyíre trying to sustain a private-school level program on a less-than-public school budget. Thereís a lot of fundraising. A lot of volunteering. And d lot of pleading letters.

Oop. Time to board.


Congratulations, I can't believe you are having another baby. Exciting news. Hope you will be updating more often.
Carol (March 24, 2004 2:17 AM)

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