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Math Was My Worst Subject 

Math was my worst school subject. Say what? But math was still my favorite school subject to not give up on.

During my spring cleaning I found my high school and early college report cards.

I was a C, D, and F high school math student. True story.

I was far from the A math student that I would later become.

I was a late bloomer in my math success.

I had my math "kryptonite." Yes, I may be the Superman of math today, but at one point I in fact had my kryptonite.

I found a letter from a family member snail mailed to me, then 14-year-old Jason Tom. I've kept it in my "capstone" that contains important memories.

This family member acknowledged in her letter that she heard that I did not pass my 8th grade Kawananakoa middle school math class and found out that for me to advance to high school I have to make it up in summer school. She encouraged me to do my best and to not fall behind.

I made up for my 8th grade math class in summer school. I advanced to the 9th grade for high school.

Fast forward, I earned my McKinley High School diploma on time. I did not give up on math. My discipline for math required effort, encouragement, and to overcome odds. I had this "I am not going give up" attitude.


My first semester in college, I earned a D in math and poor grades for my other classes during the September 11th attacks season. My highest grade was a B for my philosophy class. Then I messed up in my elective class the following semester. Academically suspended, I took a college break to re-focus my life and soul search.

I left Honolulu.

I moved to California. I packed my luggage with my clothes, soccer gear, judo uniforms, music CD and music DVD collection.

I earned wages doing clerical work for a furniture warehouse. I focused on competitive judo and judo training.

I earned gold medals at judo tournaments hosted at San Jose State University and the City College of San Francisco.


I moved back to Honolulu to further pursue my competitive judo journey, and I won my final judo trophy before I collided with a SUV in 2004.

I judo broke my fall post impact prior to my unconsciousness.

The female driver prayed for me as she called for an ambulance to bring me to the emergency room.

I Thank God for the miracle that I had no broken bones and serious injury other than brain trauma.

The trauma affected my memory. I've recovered lost memories through meditation in the Word of God, prayer, exercise, rest, reflection, mathematics, hydration, music, and journaling.

Much healing.

I am grateful to the LORD that He has healed and delivered me of complex trauma.

Then, on the next day that family member who wrote me that letter took me to see the Passion of the Christ on the big screen.

The Passion of the Christ is my favorite film.

That same year, I left competitive judo to pursue my professional career as a beatboxer.

I re-enrolled in college to take care of unfinished business. Finishing and persevering over the odd is the character I developed through my high school years of soccer.

How I scored a soccer goal in the final 15 seconds of a game of my high school senior season.

I retook my college math class.

In judo fashion I identified my math kryptonite and I conquered it. I went to math professor Mark Alexander's office and he was helped me tackle my kryptonite. I earned an A in math and my first straight A semester.

My math mentor Mark Alexander referred me for the math supplemental instructor campus job position. I also applied to be a campus math tutor and math note taker. The math supplemental instructor position was the highest paid student position throughout the University of Hawaii system at the time.

All the while I performed beatboxing at competitions, school assemblies, after school programs, classrooms, poetry slams, open mics, events, and private parties.

I treated my academics like it were judo practices, meets, and tournaments with the soccer mentality to finish.

For me to earn a good grade is as though how I would prepare to win a judo medal.

I studied my math notes and I practiced my math daily.

I started and finished all of my math homework on the exact day it is assigned.

I prioritized.

I gave myself no way to procrastinate.

I gave myself no way to get distracted when I studied... no Internet. No television.

I transferred my judo champion work ethic into the classroom setting.

To this family member, you know who you are. I want to Thank You!

I wished you a Happy Mother's Day on Mother's Day, because I want you to know you are a very important person in my life.

I know you are not not my mother, but you are indeed a great mother for you and your husband's family.

If it weren't for your encouragement in my early years to do my best and not fall behind then I might not be where I am today.

It is because you encouraged me then, that helps me to continue to help the families and students I work with to succeed in math.

Thank You for telling me to do my best and to not fall behind.

I am grateful to you for all you've done in my life.

I cannot thank you enough.

Words alone do no justice.

But still, I Thank You from the depths of my heart.

Love and kindness,
Jason Tom

Welcome to My Drawing Board 

Come and dance with me this New Day in this New Year as I share my most recent "Billie Jean" Prisma Dance Showcase at Ala Moana Centerstage.

I coined my "Billie Jean" routine the "Rhythm and Moves" showmanship "Time Machine" that bridges beatboxing, singing, and dance, all, at the same time.

It was not, because people told me I can. People told me I could not.

Many people, DOUBTED me.

Told me to STOP.

DON'T DO IT. QUIT IT NOW.

I said to myself, I will commit to beatboxing no less than five years. Five years turned into sixteen years and still counting. I ain't about to stop now.

For my dance steps, I apply mathematics and geometry.

I often go to the drawing board to clean up and hone a dance part, a vocal part, and a beatbox part.

It requires timing, skill, cardiovascular health, breathe control, diaphragm support, and coordination.

As a child of the 1980s, "Rhythm and Moves" is my "Time Machine" showmanship homage to the greats before me, the 1980s, and "Billie Jean" in the world of music entertainment, hip hop culture, and beatboxing.

I use geometric angles for my boogaloo and popping funk dance movement.

I used mostly the backslide that became popularly known as the moonwalk in the earliest stages of this routine. From 2009 onward, I included the side glide. 2019, I included the circular moonwalk or circle glide, which is the real moonwalk. These dance steps are the ones that Michael Jackson learned from the Electric Boogaloos and Jeffrey Daniels.

Michael "Boogaloo Shrimp" Chambers is also seen performing these dance moves in the movie Breakin'.

JASON TOM RHYTHM AND MOVES
PHOTO CREDITS: JOE MARQUEZ (1, 2, 4), JEANNE MARIE (3)


 

"RHYTHM AND MOVES IS MY TIME MACHINE SHOWMANSHIP HOMAGE TO THE GREATS BEFORE ME..."

JASON TOM

Bobby McFerrin, voice music genius. I love his "Spontaneous Inventions" concert!

 

Michael Jackson, a human beatbox composer. He beatboxed "Who is It" during his 1993 live televised interview with Oprah.

 

Michael Winslow, Man of 10,000 Sound Effects.

 

Doug E. Fresh, brought in the clever rhymes with the click rolls, fills, and flavor.


Buffy of the rap group Fat Boys, brought in the power behind the kick and the snare.

 

Biz Markie, brought in the personality, humor, and witty production. Biz Markie was featured on Biz' Beat of the Day on Nick Jr's "Yo! Gabba, Gabba!"


 

Rahzel, Godfather of Noise, former member of the Roots, introduced singing and beatboxing, at the same time. Featured on MTV Hip Hop Week. My favorites of his? I have so many. To name some... I love his rendition of Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy," Ozzy Osbourne's "Iron Man," Aaliyah's "One in a Million," and "If Your Mother Only Knew" from Aaliyah's "If Your Girl Only Knew." And of course when he does the Wu Tang Medley. Rahzel is a huge influence for me musically and beatbox wise.

 

Scratch, former member of the Roots, vocally emulates turntables and records.

 

Kenny Muhammad the Human Orchestra



Leejay Abucayan won Beatbox Battle TV's Austria Beatbox Championship and was featured on Stir TV.

Beatboxer Elaine Chao rocked the mic on the Showtime at the Apollo.

They've raised the bar. Unique. What was the journey of Rhythm and Moves like? I went to the drawing board, many times.

I first introduced an early rough draft of Rhythm and Moves when I competed at the Fall 2004 Kapiolani Community College Student Talent Show. I attempted to perform a Michael Jackson medley of

"Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough"

"Rock With You"

"Billie Jean"

"Bad"

"The Way You Make Me Feel"


"Smooth Criminal"

"Black or White"

"Who is It."

It was my first ever live stage beatbox performance.

I froze colder than the movie called Frozen.

I experienced tremendous "stage fright."

I felt uncomfortable on stage.

I was way out of my comfort zone.

It was nerve wrecking.

I felt like I went through a train wreck.

I felt I humiliated myself. I felt shame, and vulnerable.

I did not place. Discouraged.

It was scary. But ultimately, I am so glad I did it. I challenged myself to commit to beatboxing for no less than five years to see how it goes. All the while, I juggled college.

I went to the drawing board.

To the drawing board I go. 

To the drawing board I went. 

To the drawing board I go.

I felt determined to flip the script.

In mathematical terms, I wanted to do the additive inverse, and the multiplicative inverse of my adversities.

To make and cause...

.. what was out of my comfort zone, my comfort.

.. what was uncomfortable, comfortable.

.. what was difficult, effortless.

From 2004 on I performed to test out my material at open mics on Oʻahu in Chinatown, Manoa, Diamond Head, and Haleiwa.

2005, I enrolled in voice 1 from professor Lina Doo at the University of Hawaiʻi at Kapiʻolani.

To the drawing board I go. 

To the drawing board I went. 

To the drawing board I go.

I felt determined to flip the script.

2008, I reintroduced and simplified my Rhythm and Moves routine to win first place at the semifinals of the Word of Life Emerge Talent Show.

To the drawing board I go. 

To the drawing board I went. 

To the drawing board I go.

I felt determined to flip the script.

2009, I took private voice lessons from vocal coach Cat Wong of Cat Wong Studios.

To the drawing board I go. 

To the drawing board I went. 

To the drawing board I go.

I felt determined to flip the script.

2009, I performed my Rhythm and Moves routine for a perfect score to win first place at the semifinals of Pipeline Hawaii's Got Talent.

To the drawing board I go. 

To the drawing board I went. 

To the drawing board I go.

2010, I presented my Rhythm and Moves routine at the 6th International Human Beatbox Convention, and 1st American Beatbox Championships among 100s of beatboxers all over the globe. They loved it. I then performed my Michael Jackson medley in Waikiki. They loved it.

To the drawing board I go. 

To the drawing board I went. 

To the drawing board I go.

I felt determined to flip the script.


I WAS MADE FUN NO MORE WHEN I SANG..

"She was more like a beauty queen
from a movie scene.
I said,
don't mind,
what do you mean?
I am the one.
Who will dance,
on the floor,
in the round."

To the drawing board I go. 

To the drawing board I went. 

To the drawing board I go.

I felt determined to flip the script.

I worked on it.

And then.

To the drawing board I go. 

To the drawing board I went. 

To the drawing board I go.

I felt determined to flip the script.

To the drawing board I go.

To the drawing board I went.

To the drawing board I go,

Jason Tom Birthday Keynote 

I want to thank you and those of who that wished me a Happy Birthday before, during, and after Thursday, November 21st, 2019. On my birthday, I gave my "Flip the Script" keynote message at Aliʻiolani Elementary's Parent Night on the importance on having "grit" to not give up even through our life's greatest adversities and challenges. What would the script of your life look like today if it were to go on the big screen? Let's ask ourselves that each day. Are we living the script in our lives the way we ought to and want to today?

I have a special gift for you! Scroll down to watch my birthday keynote presentation!

Principal Joseph Passatino, Nate, Cary Miyashiro, Debbie Kim Morikawa, Jason Tom, Violet Shimoko, Lori, Gale, vice principal Tim.

Jason Tom Birthday Flip the Script Keynote

Video Credit: BloomingGale's

As an unashamed product of Hawaiʻi's Deparment of Education's public school education, I shared my greatest accomplishment in life was being able to fail early in life, because that taught me early on what I needed to do to dig deep to overcome adversities and challenges in life. How when I failed first grade at Liholiho Elementary was pivotal to me beginning my journey as an amateur beatboxer.

I was six-years-old. I knew not how to read nor did I know my ABCs then.

I transferred to Kauluwela Elementary where I began to learn my ABCs, liking toward mathematics, art, and how to read.

15 years later, I ventured into my journey as a professional beatboxer after my collision with a SUV when I judo sprawled that vehicle before being knocked unconscious.

It was then I also decided to take care of my unfinished business academically. I judo flipped my transcript from 1.0 to 4.0 grade point average. I was then rejected then accepted into the Freeman Foundation Scholarship program at Beijing Foreign Studies University. In 2006-2007, I landed on the University of Hawaiʻi at Kapiʻolani's Dean's Honorees List!

I also shared on one of my student's accounts on how she was at the brink of giving up. When I worked with her... she became an A math student and she completed her degree at University of Hawaiʻi West Oʻahu!

I also shared when I advocated to present my keynote at TEDx Honolulu "It's About Time" Conference with "Vocal Groove" when they originally turned me down and then selected me to present.

Jason Tom Flip the Script Keynote Presentation

Video Credit: Nate Izumi

Math Speaks 

Ever had a conversation with someone who asks you the same question even after you've already responded to him or her your answer? I will use mathematics to as an analogy to share this scenario.

Person asks: What is the answer to (p + 3)³ (translation: what is the cubed evaluation of the binomial p plus three)? 

You: You want to know the answer to (p + 3)³? Well here it is...... 
(p + 3)³ 
= (p + 3)(p + 3)(p + 3) 
= (p + 3)(p² + 6p + 9) 
= p(p² + 6p + 9) + 3(p² + 6p + 9) 
= p³ + 6p² + 9p + 3p² + 18p + 27 
= p³ + 6p² + 3p² + 9p + 18p + 27 
= p³ + 9p² + 27p + 27 (final answer) 
That is the answer to (p + 3)³. 

Person (months later): Wait, you typed all of that beautifully, but I don't get it, what is the answer to (p + 3)³? You did not answer me. 

You: I answered your question what the answer to (p + 3)³ is. Our conversation was done months ago. 

Person: What is the answer to (p + 3)³? 

You: Here it is, the answer to (p + 3)³...... 
(p + 3)³ 
= (p + 3)(p + 3)(p + 3) 
= (p + 3)(p² + 6p + 9) 
= p(p² + 6p + 9) + 3(p² + 6p + 9) 
= p³ + 6p² + 9p + 3p² + 18p + 27 
= p³ + 6p² + 3p² + 9p + 18p + 27 
= p³ + 9p² + 27p + 27 (final answer) 
That is the answer to (p + 3)³. 

Person: What is the answer to (p + 3)³? You did not include the answer. 

You: I answered your question. Our conversation is done. Mahalo!

Bonus Math Problem: here is of another math problem that could also be used in this scenario.

 Math and Beatbox Music Speaks


Mathematics Career 

I'm honored to have been invited to present at the 3rd Annual Hawaiʻi Explorations Expo, 9am to 3pm at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo, Hawaiʻi on Sunday, October 27th hosted by the Hawaiʻi Science and Technology Museum!

Topics at this expo will include agriculture, robotics, astronomy, mathematics, science, engineering, art education, health care, automotive technology, energy production, marine biology, and more!

Come and join us!

WHAT:
Hawaiʻi Explorations Expo

HOSTED BY:
Hawaii Science and Technology Museum

DATE:
Sunday, October 27, 2019

TIME:
9:00AM to 3:00PM

LOCATION:
Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium

ADDRESS:
799 Piilani Street, Hilo, HI, United States, 96720

WHY:
Science, robotics, mathematics, engineering, technology, audio engineering, beatboxing, art education, and more!

WHO:
Henk Rogers
Kālepa Baybayan
Jason Tom
Keaʻau High School Cougar Techs Robotics Team
Waiākea Intermediate School Titans Ukulele Band

As a product of Hawaiʻi's STEM/STEAM education, mathematician musician, and education advocate, I am stoked!

My mathematics and music career merged as one like when the Constructicons of Transformers merges into Devastator at the right place, right time.

And I nearly did not make it to see it. My life near devastated before it was my Dad's time.

My first math mentor, my Dad, saw the math music merge before he left to be with the Big Boss Upstairs on a Father's Day.

To my Dad it was an achievement and accomplishment up to that point as a human beatbox mathematician.

Want to know about the bouts I battled through to get to be thriving today?

Scroll down to read the rest of my story....

In 2004, on a green light I collided with a SUV at the crosswalk near Pizza Hut and Liliha Bakery. That took place after I completed my training at Shobukan Judo Club. I applied judo prior to the impact and I broke my fall on wet asphalt. I then went into unconsciousness.

Split seconds prior, I heard the calm voice of the Big Boss Upstairs who told me, "stay down Jason, don't get up, and you will be okay." The driver rendered help.

I vaguely recall hearing someone, perhaps the driver, prayed for me while I was knocked out. To date, I had not met the driver.

First responders, ambulance came and took me into Queens Medical Center's Emergency Room. No broken bones. Not fatal.

I woke up at the hospital with my family members who visited me. Due to my judo training, I was strong enough to walk on my own strength, but I was too dazed to collect my thoughts of what happened.

One day later one of my family members took me to see, "The Passion of the Christ," on the big screen. That's the Big Boss Upstairs who protected me. I did not know him then, but I knew of him.

My doctor confirmed I had a concussion and head trauma from that SUV collision. It affected my memory and in later years it caught up to me bad.

I changed my career path in 2004. It was after I collided with a SUV and my recall of Elaine Chao's beatbox performance at the Showtime at the Apollo that compelled me to leave the pursuit of judo, to pursue my actual life's purpose in an ever fulfilling career as a professional beatboxer. 

To figure out a human beatbox and hip hop soloist blueprint, I studied Bobby McFerrin, Doug E. Fresh, Michael Jackson, Rahzel, Michael Winslow, and MC Jin like a hawk.

During that, I returned to community college. After one term back, my math professor Mark Alexander considered me to be one of his top performing math students, and I simultaneously began my mathematics career.

If I am not mistaken, the mathematics position I held as an undergraduate student was more than what University of Hawai'i at Mānoa graduate students earned at the time.

I began my mathematics career as an algebra 1 supplemental instructor in my early undergraduate years while I pursued my music career as a professional beatboxer.

My mathematics supervisor was LaVache Scanlan

I was assigned to work with math professor Dennis Perusse's algebra 1 class, and I took notes. My office hours I prepped math sessions. Though not in my job description, I'd go in on exam days to take the exams, and I scored 100% on all of them.

I asked Dennis to grade my exam with no leniency and he agreed.

I used no calculator.

I did that to challenge my math ability and skills, keep them sharp and fine tuned so that I can ensure I am more than equipped to prepare math students. 

Then I got into math tutoring and math note taking. 

My math coaching is in alignment with how I am as a math student, I do not use a calculator when I do mathematics. My academic approach is similar in fashion to how I excelled in judo to win gold medals and I applied that onto the classroom setting. It works!

Then I noticed that my health started to decline over time, but I understood not how come. I got planted at a home church to build a solid relationship with the Big Boss Upstairs to seek answers. My health got better.

Then it got bad. It was then that the Biblical verse like John 10:10 awakened me to what was going on.

I eventually got tormented by night terrors as well as nightmares that I could not shake.

It was through prayer that it was revealed to me that "trauma" continued to afflict me.

After years I warred with the affliction it was through prayer that Big Boss Upstairs uprooted trauma and restored my health completely whole today.


Galatians chapter 5 on the "fruit of the spirit" helped me as well as instructions from all of Proverbs, and the book of Job. Ecclesiastes helped me too.

When I applied those Biblical verses and chapters into my daily life, I witnessed a transformation upon my life and health.

Big Boss Upstairs then instructed me to pull from my mathematics foundation to reverse the brain degenerative process from the traumatic brain injury completely. While I continue my music career.

Then Big Boss Upstairs opened the door for my mathematics to kick up. To the point both careers merged as one.

Today, I am completely healthy and restored! No longer tormented!

I am grateful and thankful for how Big Boss Upstairs took care of me during what I considered to be the most trying period of my life.

Today, I continue to perform as a professional beatboxer.

I am grateful to have a thriving mathematics music merged monster of a career as a professional beatboxer!

My business model?

Inspired through my time going through road trips throughout the USA, the hustle bustle of South Shore O'ahu, Beijing, and the Big Apple.

All that? Sums up the making of my career today.

Today, I also math coach and math tutor many students throughout the state of Hawai'i, on O'ahu.

When I study math, I process it, dissect it, digest it, master my retention for math, to be able to teach it to students on "how to" master it.

With my math students, we don't use a calculator in plain sight.

I've observed as a math tutor in my earlier years, how a calculator exponentially stunts the growth of a student's math progress and learning.

I focus on the math knowledge, process and foundation.

I pull a lot from my math mentors, my father, and I also pull from my sports background in soccer and judo. I reflect upon how I learned from the sports, to eventually excel at them to then be able to break it down to basics to train others, and then I applied that to the world of academics and mathematics.

It works!

Thirty Meter Telescope 

I was originally neutral regarding the Thirty Meter Telescope and Mauna Kea Mountain situation prior to this year's protests. It escalated when stars Jason Momoa, Dwayne The Rock Johnson, and Jack Johnson went to Mauna Kea. Governor David Ige went to Mauna Kea. Tulsi Gabbard, Senator Lorraine Inouye, and Attorney General Claire Connors addressed the matter. Hawaiʻi Island has a special place in my heart! I've performed for live concerts and events out there!

Then, I saw posts by a passionate Mauna Kea protector that appeared controversial. I looked at the facts and arguments from both sides, and there was social media sensationalism and online noise pollution to look through.

TMT astronomers and advocates did their due legal process. Mauna Kea protectors voiced their thoughts in that same legal process. The result is that the TMT is permitted to be built on Mauna Kea. Mauna Kea protectors are now contesting it on Mauna Kea by blocking the TMT from being built on Mauna Kea! 

This situation struck a cord in me as a University of Hawaiʻi alumni at Kapiʻolani, law-abiding fourth-generation American, Hawaiʻi native, Freeman Foundation Scholarship recipient from Beijing Foreign Studies University, human beatbox, musician, mathematician, STEM advocate, and lover of mathematics. I personally know how good the world of mathematics is currently doing for me in my life and the lives of others. More good than not good!

This topic is complex as it is affecting the communities of Hawaiʻi nei, Mauna Kea, the United States of America, and TMT.

I will not go without saying that I am grateful for my mathematics education, audio engineering education, and study abroad scholarship in China! Yes, STEM and higher learning institutions do offer great solutions! With that said, it's difficult to see the Mauna Kea protectors' and TMT astronomers' points of view clash.

Regardless of which side we're on, TMT supporters and Mauna Kea protectors, we are not above the law of the state of Hawaiʻi and the United States of America that govern us all as a people. Neither should the Government be above its people. As Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying, "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

I can see that TMT can coexist on Mauna Kea. TMT on Mauna Kea is a great frontier for our descendants now, tomorrow and years to come! But TMT supporters, can we be kind to our TMT opposition?

I urge Mauna Kea protectors, please note when your protesters come and go, they have to abide by state laws that governs each and every American and Hawaiʻi citizen. TMT supporters and Mauna Kea protectors are not exempt of our governing laws.

I respect and "ai kea" about our people of Hawaiʻi Nei, Mauna Kea, TMT, the laws of the United States of America, and state of Hawaiʻi. Let's be civil, be kind to one another, and please take ownership of being law-abiding people! Mauna Kea protectors, please kokua yourselves and one another!! Our health is our utmost wealth that not even TMT can ever afford nor replace! -Jason Tom


Jason Tom's Prisma Dance May Showcase at Ala Moana Centerstage 


I want to thank Prisma Dance for having me be a part of their May Showcase at Ala Moana Centerstage! I was the third, eighth, and eleventh act. In Hebrew numerals, the words that stand out to me for numbers 3, 8, and 11 are "resurrection," "new beginning" and "chaos." I always look forward to working with Prisma Dance! To think, rewind somewhere between 2005 and 2007, I met Joanna Lam of Prisma Dance at Kapiʻolani Community College's Holomua Center where I math tutored at. She took Calculus and was on point with it. Then I met Nicole Lam of Prisma Dance.

We all reunited in 2015 at church. Nicole and I met up when she shared with me her vision about the bi-annual Creation Production. She asked if I wanted to be on board as the specialty beatbox artist. I said, "yes!" 2016 came and I missed meetings with the Creation Production choreographers. At that time, I dealt with "complex trauma." Nicole was genuinely concerned and she interceded in prayer on my behalf. Prior to that, behind the scenes, I worked diligently to prepare for the Creation Production premiere eight shows. The daily chronic stressors that triggered the "complex trauma," not related to the Creation Production preparation, near cost my life when I got triggered to relive my 2004 car accident and other traumatic life events.

I am a living testimony that the Lord resurrected, redeemed, restored me to complete full health, and the Lord gave me the strength to out wrestle the chaos, torment and destructive seed of "complex trauma" to the end. Then the Lord declared to me that I am now completely set free from the chaos. Since then, I've completed an altogether total of sixteen shows for the Creation Production in 2016 and 2018. I love my savior and redeemer Jesus! My life now that I live is a new beginning! I work on my health daily by meditating on bible verses, prayer, cardiovascular exercise like walking, devotionals, rest, journaling offline, beatboxing, music, and mathematics. I want to thank all my pastors, mentors, families, and friends who continue to pray for and with me. I love you all dearly!

Jason Tom's Prisma Dance May Showcase at Ala Moana Centerstage - Third Act (1 of 3)

"High fives" at my Prisma Dance May Showcase at Ala Moana Centerstage!

 

Jason Tom's Prisma Dance May Showcase at Ala Moana Centerstage - Eighth Act (2 of 3)

It's a robot!! It's a didgeridoo!! Wait a minute, it's me at my Prisma Dance May Showcase at Ala Moana Centerstage!!

 

Jason Tom's Prisma Dance May Showcase at Ala Moana Centerstage - Eleventh Act (3 of 3)

Love Hawai'i, the 1980s and Ala Moana Center? Ala Moana Center celebrates 60 years! I remember the time when Ala Moana Center was mainly two stories high and Ala Moana Centerstage faced the other side in the 1980s. Beatboxing, popping and the moonwalk grew popular in the 1980s. Here I take us and Ala Moana Center shoppers through a "Time Machine" in my Prisma Dance May Showcase at Ala Moana Centerstage! How that mathematically possible?

I Turned My Academic Journey Around 


Jason Tom opened for the 10th Kamehameha Schools Education Technology Conference: Disrupt!

I am an entertainer who advocates for education, because I've experienced first hand "invaluable" tools we can develop through education. In 2017, a struggling university math student contacted me online. I offered to math tutor and coach that female student on the "how to" turn her academic journey around.

She then flipped the script, and finished strong with multiple 4.0 grade point average (gpa) semesters.

In 2018, that student earned her bachelor of arts degree in Early Childhood Education.

My own reflection process on the life tools I've engineered to "dig deep," "persevere," "turn the tables," and "endure" through what I've accomplished in my academic adventure aided to the success in life, my academic coaching, and beatboxing.

When we go through a crossroad... it's important we keep a memory bank on our roots in the "how" we overcame adversity in order to move forward in life.

President William McKinley High School alumnus Jason Tom beatboxing on the Music With A Message Tour.

I am most grateful that I failed early and multiple times later in life! Yes! The failures taught me how to bounce back  discouragement and that developed my character.

I flunked the first grade at Kaimukī's Liholiho Elementary. My fondest memory at Liholiho Elementary was when our teacher played the classic video cassette of 1989's Moonwalker.

At that time, I was six-years-young, and I began my luxurious amateur beatboxing days by recording my "beatboxing" on audio cassettes. I performed my "inward k snare" with my tongue, and I scat sung the synthesizer of "Badder." "Badder" is the kid version of the Michael Jackson song "Bad" featured in Moonwalker's VHS. I still have all of the recordings of me "beatboxing" from 1989 through the 1990s.

Jason Tom beatboxing on the Music With A Message "Not On Tobacco" Tour at McKinley High School.


My second attempt at first grade took place at Liliha's Kauluwela Elementary. I then attended Nuʻuanu's Kawananakoa Middle School and Downtown Honolulu's President William McKinley High School. I was one of the 1.0 to 2.0 gpa students. I worked diligently to graduate from high school on time. I barely made it. I did not let up.

I attended summer school in Kailua's Kaleheo High School to make up missed high school credits.

A US mainland teacher snail mailed me my "correspondence" assignments for other missed credits, and I'd snail mailed those assignments back for it to be graded.

I lettered in varsity soccer and judo to encourage myself to maintain a 2.0 plus gpa. I peaked at two point something.

May 2001, I graduated from McKinley High School.

McKinley High School alumnus Jason Tom lettered in varsity soccer and judo.

Jason Tom is the McKinley High School boys soccer "Mr. Hustle" Award recipient in 2001.

As a first generation college student in my family household, I failed yet again in my academic journey my fall 2001 semester at the University of Hawaiʻi at Kapiʻolani Community College (KCC) when I got placed on academic probation. I earned a B, D, D, and F. Wow!

Spring 2002, I was placed on academic suspension when I earned my D for a 1 credit elective course.

My first two semesters of college, I earned not a single "A."

Discouraged, I took a college school break and I vowed not to return until I know I will be "serious" about college.

From 2002 to 2004, I trained and competed in local judo tournaments in Northern California and Hawaiʻi.

I left judo gradually after I used my judo to save my life when I was hit by a car while I walked the crosswalk on a green light near Shobukan Judo Club and Liliha Bakery in 2004. I would learn much later I would be unknowingly triggered multiple times from the "trauma" of that 2004 car impact.

Jason Tom 2000, 2001, 2002 judo medals, and ribbon; (2004 judo trophy not pictured)

Fall 2004, I came back to KCC, and I earned my first 4.0 gpa. My game plan was to not settle, and to put in the responsibility to earn A's.

I honed time management, punctuality, perfect attendance, reading ahead, note taking.

I avoided distractions like TV, procrastination, and I often started on my college assignments early, not late.

I also decided in 2004 to go into that transition from being an amateur beatboxer to turning into the pro beatboxer people have grown up watching live and on videos today.

My two D's, and one F in 2001? I retook the classes, and through due diligence, I redeemed them all with A's.

Summer 2006, I completed the Freeman Foundation Study Abroad Scholarship Intensive Mandarin Chinese program at Beijing Foreign Studies University.

In fall 2007, I earned my associates of arts degree in Liberal Arts at KCC.

Beijing Foreign Studies University


Jason Tom's associates of arts degree in Liberal Arts at KCC


Kauluwela Elementary gifts for Jason Tom performing at their Back to School Assembly!

 

Jason Tom beatboxing at Kapiʻolani Community College's Fall 2007 Talent Show with Tiny Tadani and George Higa.

 

Jason Tom - Kapiʻolani Community College Class of 2007 Alumni Profile!

 

Jason Tom Kapiʻolani Community College class of 2007 alumnus congratulated by KCC chancellor Leon Richards!


Freeman Foundation Scholarship - Jason Tom - Beijing Foreign Studies University!

Jason Tom's academic journey at Kapiʻolani Community College and beyond... 
Fall 2001: 3.0 gpa / 12 credits
*amateur beatboxer

Spring 2002: 1.0 gpa / 1 credit 
*amateur beatboxer; took a two-year college school break, moved in East Bay, Northern California while I got hired for clerical office work at a furniture warehouse, and I competed in judo tournaments before returning to Honolulu.

Fall 2004 - 4.0 gpa / 6 credits 
*professional beatboxer 

Spring 2005: 4.0 gpa / 11 credits 
*KCC Math Supplemental Instruction (SI) Leader (Peer Mentor), Holomua Center math tutor, pro beatboxer 

Fall 2005: 3.75 gpa / 12 credits 
*Freeman Foundation Scholarship, Math SI Leader & math tutor, pro beatboxer 

Spring 2006: 4.0 gpa / 12 credits 
*Freeman Foundation Scholar, pro beatboxer, dormed at Tokai University 

Summer 2006: 4.0 gpa / 12 credits 
*Freeman Foundation Scholar, pro beatboxer, studied abroad at Beijing Foreign Studies University 

Fall 2006: 1.75 gpa/ 12 credits 
*Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Math SI Leader & math tutor, pro beatboxer 

Spring 2007: 2.0 gpa/ 6 credits 
*Math SI Leader & math tutor, TRIO Math notetaker, pro beatboxer 

Fall 2007: 4.0 gpa / 10 credits 
*Math SI Leader & math tutor, notetaker, pro beatboxer, enrolled in 3 credits at Belmont University's Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business (CEMB), & Honolulu Community College (HCC). . 

Spring 2008: 2.0 gpa/ 3 credits 
*KCC commencement, pro beatboxer, enrolled in 9 credits at CEMB, & HCC 

Fall 2008: not enrolled at KCC; enrolled in 3 credits at CEMB, & HCC, pro beatboxer 

Spring 2009 - 2.0 gpa/ 6 credits 
*pro beatboxer, enrolled in 3 credits at CEMB, and HCC


Jason Tom pictured on the Kapiʻolani Community College Fall 2007 Talent Show poster!


Kapiʻolani Community College Spring 2008 Commencement Ceremony!


Kapiʻolani Community College chancellor Leon Richards with KCC class of 2007 alumnus Jason Tom!