A day after my experience with Kidz Rock, I spent a day at my old high school - Tauranga Boys' College.
The chief reason for my visit was to act as the guest speaker at the annual Old Boys Dinner in which Bryan Gould was named Old Boy of the Year. I basically told the story of how I came to be me and played a couple of songs with my acoustic guitar. The night was a success and it was awesome to see a lot of familiar faces as well as meet some inspiring new ones - Gould being one in particular.
The school has undergone quite a culture-change since I was there - in a very encouraging way. During my education path, my exposure to Te Reo and Maori culture in general basically ceased as soon as I entered high school. At the time I didn't really mind and didn't think much of it, but as I grew older, saw more of the world and met more people I developed some distinct jealous-pangs towards those who had.
These days the education system does a much better job of integrating Te Reo into the curriculum but then it's up to the schools themselves to involve Maori culture in general within school life. And this is where Tauranga Boys seems to have improved greatly.
During the day I attended and played a song at a full school assembly. It all seemed pretty straight forward until the head boy demanded the boys all stand and deliver to their guests the school haka.
Over 1700 boys then proceeded to raise all the hairs on the back of my neck in providing me a truly special experience, a true honour, something I will always remember.