Cross Cultural Storytelling: The Lighter Side of the East West Center is a project that hopes to be a repository of notable East West Center impressions. When different cultures meet, poignant, humorous, and uplifting experiences create treasured memory recalls that last, and are quite simply, unforgettable. A new story will be published each week.
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SUBMITTED BY: PMartha (Marty) Craine Ed. D, EWC Grantee
FIELD/AREA OF STUDY: History
CURRENT COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE: USA
My first First Wednesday of the month at the EWC, September 1969, at exactly 10:00 AM all the sirens on the island of Oahu went off causing a calliope of sound. I came to a complete stop walking across campus to class and gazed around me trying to figure out what was going on. I saw others frantically scanning the skies, some running for dips in the landscape and throwing themselves to the ground. Remember this was the height of the Vietnam War and Cold War. The new Vietnamese grantees and those old enough to remember WWII reacted as if we were under attack. Is it a second Pearl Harbor? I began to get frightened myself. After all, I too had grown up with classroom air raid drills and videos on preparing for the nuclear holocaust. I am a Floridian and the Cuban Missile Crisis was carried out in my backyard.
Fortunately I was walking with another grantee who had been in Hawaii a few more months that I had. “It is just the tsunami practice”, she told me. “Tsunami? What is that?” And so I learned that Hawaii got periodic tidal waves and there was a monthly test of the siren system.
Slowly, other more experienced grantees approached the new ones, helping them off the ground, calming their panic. Experiencing various forms of embarrassment they brushed themselves off and continued on to class. This was an experience I observed every time we got a new group of grantees.
Martha (Marty) Craine Ed.D.,EWC Grantee History 1969 to 1971, currently teaches AP World History at Cooper City High School, Cooper City Fl and is an adjunct professor for the Fischler School of Education at Nova Southeastern University. She teaches educational research and instructional technology classes for the university on-line and in the Caribbean. She has one daughter Amanda Wiltshire-Craine who currently works as a Vice President in the Fees Services Department of American Express in New York City.