Karen Kane extends ‘big mahalo’ before retirement

Aloha HawCC Ohana,

I am retiring on December 31, 2012.  I would like to take this opportunity to extend a big Mahalo to all the East Hawaii and West Hawaii staff and faculty that have walked with me along my long journey.

I have learned about Lanakila / Achievement -“Once we do something well, we need to figure out a way to do it better. “

I have learned about Hilina’i / Faith -“To believe is to reach into the unknown and grab onto something in the process. “

I have learned about Pahuhopu / Goals -“Be clear in what you want, and give focused attention every day to getting it.”

I have learned that the students are the REASON we are here.  Without them, there would be no need for our positions.  They are not a cold enrollment statistic but a flesh and blood human being with feelings and emotion like our own. They are not someone to be tolerated so that we can do our thing.. they are our Thing.  They are not dependent on us..rather we are dependent on them. They are not an interruption of our work, but the purpose of it.  We are not doing them a favor by serving them.. they are doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to do so. 

College is a song we all sing together. It has a beginning, and end, high and low notes.  It touches hearts; we move to the rhythm.  Sometimes we sing the blues, but usually we’re rockin’ and rollin’.  At the beginning of each term it takes a while to get everyone in tune, but with practice the harmony shines through, lifting our spirits and moving us forward in unison.  Each year the song is different, yet it’s always music!  Our repertoire grows.

In the position of Counselor for Students with Disabilities, daily I have learned Compassion for students who have been less fortunate.  I have learned how our students are challenged by their internal and external struggles, unjustified experiences, and the endless types of physical/psychological/sensory/learning and emotional disabilities they endure.  I have had the opportunity to meet over 1,800 students throughout the past 19 years here at HawCC.  I share with them how we are each on our own path and there are lessons to learn, and we are to take what we learn and show support and Aloha to others.  I have held many students’ hand and told them how much I admire that they are a brave survivor.  Our students enter college now with even more challenges, from war, incarceration, and misfortunate experiences.  We need to watch for them, identify them, understand what supports they need, and try to help them through their journey. In the same way that someone did for each of us.  We each have a story.   

I wish you all success and fulfillment on your journey, and I wish you all a very safe and joyful holiday season.  Keep singing the song together, touch lives, and make a difference in the lives of others, in your own unique contributing way. 

In the spirit of being ‘green’ I would like to make a request.  Rather than considering giving me any gifts or a lei, please make a monetary donation to a scholarship to help a HawCC student who would otherwise not be able to pay for their education.  I would strongly suggest the Cheryl Lundberg-Sprague scholarship, who was a very dedicated employee of HawCC Hilo, Student Services who was not able to enjoy her retirement, which I am so blessed to be able to experience. Also, instead of a card, I welcome your keeping in touch by email:  honukkane@gmail.com 

As my path takes me further along my journey to the next exciting part of my life, I expect miracles along the way!

Mahalo!    Aloha!     A hui hou!   Malama Pono!    I Mua!                       

Karen Kane

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