Thursday, January 24, 2008

Snow Knee High and A Pink Moonrise

I love the fact that I get to wear goggles everyday now. Its no longer a ski thing. I am standing...foolishly I might one of the smaller snowdrifts nearby.

I can honestly say I've never seen a pink moonrise before. This looks more orange in the photo. What's really crazy is that the moon rises twice a day I think. (Tipping of the earth I guess). We are picking up daylight super fast now and we are over 7 hours of daylight a day already! can you believe by the end of February we will be at 10 hours of sunlight.

Unless some last minute voting takes place, I'll be writing about cheese for my exciting Friday night activity tomorrow. I already wore my overalls today, tomorrow we have off because of "Chief's Day" I guess that is payback for working on MLK.

I've been modge podging for about 3 hours now. When the cigar box is done (its awesome already) I'll post photos.

I'm sleeping way in tomorrow, walking to the ocean, and doing my EDU610 homework. I have to make a native mask, make up a native dance, and wear a quspak. I can't stand this class. I pretty much want to scream at the teacher. Unfortunately I'm trying to be a cool on this and just let it go. I just think that when "teachers" teach other "teachers" they should use good teaching practice. Knowing your students (me and other first years) , knowing what motivates them (not making up a farking dance), and including their strengths and interests in your instruction. It also doesn't help that the class is over the Polycom video confrencing system which makes the already traditional, ineffective delivery and disconnected lecture seem even more distant and clueless. I might be harsh, but I feel like someone needs to say it. If they want teachers to 'learn' about the local culture then let us 'learn' on our own, don't force us to do a bunch of crap that may or may not ever apply to our situations. Instead of taking all these classes on a tv they should save the money and send each teacher to another village, or bring us in to Bethel for crying out loud. Don't make me read old ass articles that stereotype white people either.
If you want teachers to come back to bush Alaska stop bludgeoning them to death with a giant hickory wood club of half schemed assignments. I don't have the willpower or time to make a mask, a dance and to wear a qaspuk (which no men wear in my village...EVER). (I'm too busy modge podging!) Then I have to sit through Yu'Pik instruction all day and my village isn't even Yu'Pik.

There is a saying that I like to tell my students. Don't let school get in the way of your learning, make sure that the real learning begins after you leave the classroom.

Remember folks, don't let the man get you down, just smile and know that you know better.



C.P. said...

I have to comment, just because everything about this class is soooo ineffective. Its done so half assed. If we are supposed to learn about the culture assign us to go out in the community or have us get together and show us about the masks or the dances. All I'm going to be doing is making something up with probably very little to do with the actual culture itself. Infact, most of my dance will consist of moves my brother taught me. Moves he made up after a night of drinking.
And to add to my rant, I too am sick of reading out of date literature that rags on the white man. Alisha's article was so contradictory it was ridiculous. I'm not saying everything about white culture is respectable. I definitely agreee something has to change, but I came here to learn and try to make a change. Bashing and blaming my culture puts me on the defense. There are ways of teaching a new perspective without putting down the old one.
You won't be the only one rolling your eyes through 8 hours of polycom!

alisha said...

Well, let me just jump right on in to this mudhole with you! I am currently reading one of the books on her list. It is one by some guy named Kawayley. The book is about Yupiaq culture(i'm not sure what the difference between that and Yupik culture is) and he has some really great things to say. His writing is quite good and he explains the culture in a way that makes it interesting, but then....THEN he has to go and say something ridiculously insulting about white culture. So, just as I'm sitting there thinking, "hey, this isnt so bad. I'm actually learning something." As soon as i start thinking that, he goes and screws it all up by bashing the white man. Once he does that, everything is lost. Why cant they see that teaching white people about native culture would be much more effective if they just talked about native culture. I moved here to get away from American live in another culture. One that i thought was caring and respectful, but this class is making me wonder if that's the case.

Then she's always talking about how we should get our assignments in so she can get started on grading them, but then at the last minute, she drops three extra assignments on us. If she wants us to be punctual, shouldnt she also be that way? I am way frustrated with this class, just like you two. I mean...I get why they make us take it, but the how part still boggles my mind.

BTW, Kale, you are quoting Mark Twain. He said, "Dont let schooling interfere with your education." Your pink moon rise is awesome. It totally looks like the sun rising. I have also noticed that the moon does crazy things here. I agree that it must be because of the earth's tilt. This summer I was complaining about how I never saw the moon. for the first two or three months that I lived here, i only saw the moon a couple of times. Now it's always up there.

Chandra, I'm surprised you made it out of town with all the snow coming down. We got at least 16 inches! Looks like you'll be getting whatever is left over there in anchorage.

Jessie said...

Preach it brother!!!

Anonymous said...

We should have banded together and gotten everyone to boycott it. If every single teacher refused to make a dance then their is nothing she could do about it. Plus it would send a clear message that we aren't going to take sub par education any longer. I think I've been teaching apathetic students so long it starting to rub off on me, funny thing, I haven't read anything in my book about apathy being part of Native Culture.

Anonymous said...

Boy, you sure seem to have hit a sore spot on this one. You have always been able to make the best of things and I'm sure you will do so with this class as well. Mom

Dirk Martin said...

Hey Kale,
Boy do I remember the pain and agony of that class. There were some high lights for me. One of which was making the mask. I actually enjoyed it. My mask is still hanging on my wall over my desk. Cardboard, bamboo skewers, and some markers and I went to town. I don't know about the dancing though. We were asked to dance when we went into Bethel for class, but that was it.
Anyway, some of my Grad school classes were kind of a pain too, and I had to pay for those. At least you don't have to pay for this one. Finishing this class is one step closer to tenure as well. Don't hesitate on the eval at the end though. Give them some thoughtful feedback and maybe they will fiddle with the curriculum to make the class more impactful.
Cheers from across the Etolin Strait,

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