IMR: 1998: January: 13 -- Tuesday, 11:29 a.m.
Straub Family Practice, Honolulu, Hawai`i
Back at the doctor's office. It seems like barely a day passes between these weekly visits. Two week's until Jen's due... I'm really starting to get nervous now.

Tonight or tomorrow, we have to pack our labor bag.

And we'll have to work out our notification plan. How Jen will call me and probably page William, who will in turn help notify family and friends while I scramble to Jen's side, time contractions and haul off to the hospital when the time comes.

Those hours are going to be a real test.

I'm going to have to prep our stuff to move in with mom for our month or so of parenting apprenticeship. I'm going to have to figure out what to do about missed classes and work. I'm going to somehow have to handle the fact that my life is going to profoundly change, and yet manage mundane, day-to-day details simply because time won't do me the small courtesy of stopping for a moment.

I know I'm going to be a space cadet when I attend my first Hawaiian class as a father. I'll be able to think nothing else other than whether the baby's safe, fed, warm, hydrated; whether Jen's happy, managing things and keeping calm.

And I'll be frustrated, unable to share even a week with my newborn daughter before I'm back taking quizzes, answering phones and scanning book covers.

I hope I hope I hope I don't crack. I truly can't. A thousand and one benevolent forces had to spring into action to give me the opportunity (and motivation) to stay at UH, to give Jen six-weeks as a full-time mother, to keep us in our own apartment... at least for another few months.

After all that, quitting everything and running home to mother is a stupid, unthinkable proposition, but I know it'll cross my mind when Katie gets an ear infection the morning of a midterm.

In Hawaiian, there were a good ten fewer students there than yesterday. Those that were hoping to add the class gave up, no doubt a few others were scared away by Kekeha's intimidating curriculum of mandatory, daily homework.

We spent today, and will likely spend tomorrow, introducing assigned partners to the rest of the class. One of our first quizzes will be remembering their names and where they're from.

It's hard enough to remember everything with the wide variety of Hawaiian names out there: Keahimakani, La`akea, Ka`iulani. But this class has an unusually high proportion of students who use their given, haole names: Brent, James, Curtis. We even have a woman from Japan named Satoko.

After class, Kekeha asked to talk to me.

Uh oh.

As I followed him out, he asked, "How much would it cost to print a page?"

I was confused, and looked it.

"Do you still due the Avenue?"

I didn't bother trying to correct the pronunciation. "Well, sort of," I said. "We probably won't be putting out a print edition for a long, long time."

For a moment, he seemed disappointed. But then he explained what he was thinking. A seperate section, whether in the 'Venue or Ka Leo, printed entirely in Hawaiian.

"You should just print your own newspaper," I said.

He looked at me like I was nuts.

"Here's the thing," I said. "With us, a full-page would have cost $600. At Ka Leo, that'd be closer to $1,000."

"Whoa," he said.

"But," I said. "For $700, you can print 5,000 copies of your own, entire eight-page newspaper."

The brainstorming and sometimes suspicious queries picked up from there.

He couldn't believe it was so cheap; especially in comparison to buying space inside an established publication. He asked why, with such affordable advertising rates and such low production costs, we didn't make a million bucks.

"I don't know," I said, and I really didn't. I explained that it was probably a combination of the fact that we couldn't hold out long enough as a print venue to catch the eye of advertisers, and that we never had the time to devote substantial energy to soliciting ads.

I told him that a project like a new Hawaiian newspaper, though, would probably have no trouble finding one or two huge benefactors looking to get in on the noble "revive the Hawaiian language" bandwagon. He agreed.

"So, we sell one, two pages of eight, and our paper's paid for with some money to spare?" he asked.


"And Hochi (our printer) will do it from a disk, in one week, even for a little operation like this?"


He cocked his head in puzzlement. Another student who was listening in on the conversation laughed and said, "That's all there is."

"That's all there is?" Kekeha asked.

"Pretty much," I said.

"Are you sure you're not telling me something?"

I reminded him that the only other major investment would be one of time and labor. He said he would probably have no problem getting articles, and I said I'd do what I can on the layout and design side.

"I'm thinking we can do this, then," he said.

I was stoked. I couldn't help but give him the 'Venue manifesto: that my partners and I wanted nothing more than to show the campus that anyone can be heard. That whether or not we made it, we hoped to plant the spark for even more alternative newspapers and student publications.

"I think you did," he said.

Even though I was insane to say I'd help, I would really love to see this Hawaiian language paper happen.

Especially after The New Ka Leo essentially erased over a year of work by my staff and I to establish procedures and policies to encourage the publication of the Hawaiian language in Ka Leo. The only remnants of my work is the fact that they still use `okina in Hawai`i and other Hawaiian words.

But that probably has more to do with Christy still being around than anyone else really giving a damn about the language.


© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 12 January 1998 · Last Modified: 22 January 1998