Now Here’s To You, Mrs. ______________

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I get invited to a lot of graduation parties, and to avoid the appearance of playing favorites, I usually don’t go to any, since there’s just no way I could go to them all. However, one of my students is the son of a very (and I mean very) prominent local family and when I was one of the handful of teachers invited to attend Sunday’s dinner at the Halekulani (!), I had to accept. It is not every day a schmoe like me even gets to hang out in a hotel like this, and it is NEVER that a schmoe like me gets to hang out in a hotel like this as a guest of a family whose name every Hawaii resident recognizes immediately.

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(parents of graduate intentionally blurred)

Dinner was heavenly, especially the salads. There was this crab salad that had me almost in tears, and I don’t even like crab. The hosts were gracious and welcoming. The service was attentive but unobtrusive. Guests at the parents’ table included State House Speaker Calvin Say and the general manager of the Halekulani. At other tables nearby were well-known lawyers, businessmen, physicians, and even an entertainer or two. The line for desserts was long, with an ice-cream sundae bar, plus amaretto cheesecake and poha-berry bread-pudding.

It was a nice party. I try not to be bitter about the fact that I make in a year what some of these people make in a month or even a week. I mean, if it’s so important that this person graduated from high school, why do the teachers who make it possible get paid the pittance they do? Unfair.

But this isn’t about that. For one night, I got to hang out with these people in this setting, and that was pretty cool.

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