Parker’s Upper and Middle School students recently took part in “Interim,” a two-day period of focused experiential learning activities. Students chose from on- and off-campus experiences: a teaching internship at Parker Lower School; studio music recording; working in the school garden; exploring Kealakekua and Puuhonua o Honaunau; scuba diving; hiking; exploring careers in medicine and forensics; writing on location; martial arts and self defense; marine biology; photography and film; sewing; and theater design and set construction.
Parker School Technology Director Eric Dela Rosa, who holds a black belt in Chinese kempo, led the martial arts and self-defense class. Students learned everything from blocking attacks to defending themselves with Sharpie pens to breaking bricks with their hands and wooden boards with their heads.
Senior Lauren Sweere said she thought “there’s no way on earth I’m going to be able to do it,” before breaking a brick on her first try. “It was so much fun and it really shows how much strength your body can hold. It was an amazing feeling.”
“Sew Awesome” was led by science department chair Patricia Kassis and math department chair Amanda Dewey. Students learned to thread and use a sewing machine and learned how to add “bling” to garments by hand sewing. On the first day, students sewed baby blankets to donate to newborns in North Hawaii Community Hospital’s Family Birthing Unit.
Sixth-grader Sara Mundon said, “This is a wonderful experience knowing that you were sewing a blanket that a child would grow up loving.”
Interim is held every two years, alternating with the art-focused “Art Start” two-day experience. Both programs allow students an opportunity to take a break from the usual schedule and immerse themselves in something they are passionate about or explore something new.
For more information, visit parkerschool.net.