Classroom Oddities: Beachy’s Tiki

Javier C. Silva, Staffer

In this monthly, Creative Writing and Newspaper teacher, Nathan Beachy explains the origins of how he came in possession of a Tiki statue he has had in his classroom since 2003.

Beachy explained it all started at Eastern Oregon University, where he was going to school for the sole purpose of playing baseball. Beachy also mentioned how there was a considerable number of Micronesian population at the university. For a fundraiser, the group put on the school-sanctioned luau.

“A lot of people showed up, and it was one big gathering. The Tiki was one of the things that was getting raffled off [during the celebration].” He went on to say that his roommate, Spencer, was the one that ended up getting it. Before they knew it, it was in their apartment for an entire year.

“When Spencer graduated, he was leaving. And so, we were legit trying to destroy the Tiki for no reason imparticular other than none of us wanted it.” He went on and explained how he and Spencer were throwing the Tiki into walls, and doing practically anything to try and break it apart, “You know, just college idiocracy.” He mentions. Eventually, they both came into the realization that it wasn’t going to break, and that’s when Beachy decided to take it with him to his new apartment.

Beachy later became the teacher we all know. One day, his wife said that they needed to clean the house, and they needed to get that ‘thing’ out of there. “There really wasn’t a spot for it, so I decided, ‘You know what? It’s time to come into a classroom.'” Ever since then, he’s had it with him in his class throughout his 12 years of teaching.

The Tiki statue had more meaning than he thought it did. Apparently, the Tiki statue is called a “Ku Tiki,” and it is the God of Strength. It’s one of the four major gods in Hawaii, and it’s known as the “Warrior God.” “It’s kind of funny how we tried to break it, and it’s the God of Strength. It makes sense.” He said while laughing.

It was only 3 years ago that beachy read the desicription in which now he says, “everything seemed to make sense.” He keeps it in his classroom so it will, hopefully, say something to his students. He also keeps it in there to add cultural diversity to his classroom.

“It’s a cool symbolic thing that I didn’t even know spoke volume until about a few years ago. Now, it represents this class and its students.”