I was a brat. A horrible private school brat. I didn’t have the luxury of living in the Hawaiian culture, which doesn’t tolerate brats very well. People who live here on Maui will know what I’m talking about. If you are moving here and moving here with a brat, you will happily witness the transformation of your brat into a Buddha. That’s the arc of the Maui experience.
Exhibit A: Yours truly Serving Up Some Brat Realness, Montreal Circa 1980
Brat behavior can be understood by digging into the inner world of a brat. How do I know? Cause I did some self digging and found that I had two unsavory internal conditions.
Firstly, I was drunk on privilege. When you drink copious amounts of alcohol, you tend to act inappropriately. Similarly, if you are young and drunk on privilege, you are more than likely destined to bratdom. You have not seen enough of the real world to develop any humility or gratitude.
Brats are also concealing fear. They are afraid that no one will like them. They may feel deeply inadequate, and may leverage intellect, entitlement, money, or whatever veiled tools in their counterfeit arsenal to assert some kind of power over the external world.
Maui Medicine to the Rescue
Luckily when you spend any amount of time on Maui, you will come face to face with aspects of the Hawaiian culture, which readily dissolve the conditions that lead to bratdom. They are subsets of Aloha that are psyche game changers: inclusion, respect, and a noticeably absent context for valuing material things.
In other words, all that entitlement attitude you’re slinging around? Sell it somewhere else. The currency of your imagined success is worthless here. People do not care what you drive, where you came from, how much money you have etc. Bratty behavior will be met with “tough aloha” – and that usually does wonders.
Private School Buddhas
After being cast in Seabury Hall’s production of “And a Nightingale Sang” as the only adult, I got to hang out with some real Maui private school teenagers – my first batch of Buddhas. These young humans blew my mind with their obvious kind intelligence. I sensed in them a compassionate core – surprising considering the competitive nature of performance and theatre, let alone the natural ego frailty and inherent confidence deficit one experiences as one hurtles oneself through the high school years – acne, str-essays, and all of that.
They welcomed me – the lone adult actor in the troupe – as one of their own, and before long, the age difference disappeared, and I began to understand as opening night approached, that I was really the apprentice and these Maui grown kids were the masters. My hat goes off to the staff at Seabury Hall, most notably Sally Sefton for creating a learning experience for the kids and myself that was rich in discipline, hard work, and ultimately delivered delight in droves. Publicity still below:
Buddha Proof: Exhibit B
One of the Buddhas pictured above is Lily Diamond. Lily attended Haleakala Waldorf School in Kula, then Seabury Hall, Makawao, and then Yale. (Yes, that’s right – getting muddy in the Waldorf vegetable garden led to admission at Yale.) Lily is a fine example of output from the Maui private school system. Did I just refer to someone as output?
Lily has parlayed her unique Maui upbringing into the thriving food blog Kale & Caramel that is garnering ePraise near and far, and has landed her a cookbook publishing deal. If you could picture Rumi or Keats writing for a food blog, Edward Weston shooting the photography, and Julia Child’s health-nut daughter creating the recipes, you would have a tepid approximation of Kale & Caramel. Each of Lily’s recipe postings is food not only for your tongue and your innards, but for your retinas, your intellect, and your soul.
Lily writes of her warm dates and yogurt with pomegranate molasses, smoked salt and chili: – “A dish you speak of in hushed tones and burn sacred woods before making.” Yeah this is not your mother’s cookbook.
So there you have one man’s impression of the private school scene here on Maui. If you are moving here with either brats or buddhas, please let me know if I can help you find the perfect house, condo, airstream trailer, Yurt etc.
Liam S. Ball, Realtor Broker
Private Schools on Maui
- Haleakala Waldorf School, Kula and also a new High School Offering in Makawao
- Montessori School of Maui, Upcountry
- Montessori Hale o Keiki, Kihei
- Horizons Academy, Kihei
- Saint Anthony’s Grade School, Downcountry
- Carden Academy Elementary School, Pukalani
- Saint Anthony’s Junior-Senior High School, Downcountry
- Seabury Hall, Makawao
- Maui Preparatory Academy, Napili, West Side
If I’ve omitted a school, please write me and I’ll add your school to this list.