Thursday, March 27, 2008


Dudes and Dudettes, I had such a good day at the old post office today. Remember the other day when I was complaining about cadbury cream eggs? Well ask the blog audience and you shall receive, a random reader and internet correspondence friend sent Heidi sent me a buttload of cadbury cream eggs in a box with a note! How cool, thanks Heidi (pre emptive Big Ups). Then I got a care package from mom (3 dvd's, TheraFlu, Sports page, more cadbury cream eggs, drawing pads, and burnable cd's). Then as if a miracle, my NetFlix showed up to! I got 5 new movies, a bucket of cream eggs and some TheraFlu, YeeeeeeeeeeHAW!

So now I'm sitting here on my couch, staring at a very late pink sunset, clear skies, I'm listening to some FreeThought Radio, burning some sandal wood incense, waiting for the wash to finish with my travel clothes so can pack them up and take a shower, my belly full of chocolate and cream egg sauce.

To tell you the truth it was exactly what I needed to get over the fact that my students have basically fallen into an apathetic, lovesick, abyss. Today an entire game of kickball was ruined over romantic sulkings. And what's worse? Their blogs are being affected too.

Tomorrow I'll be heading into Bethel for Camai festival. Two days of Eskimo dancing, arts, crafts and cultural enjoyment with a nice crew of bad ass first year teachers (Whaddup homies see you tomorrow!). I would really be interested in going of my own volition, after all I've hunted (unsuccessfully) wild boar with Fijian Tribesman, Hiked the Inca Trail with Quechua Native Porters, and have always been heartfeltly interested in people and their culture regardless of where I travel, but there is just something sour about being "told" to go and take notes because of our cultural class. I haven't hated something as much as this cultural class in a long time. This is frustrating and confusing to me, so I've spent a considerable amount of time assessing my role and action in the class. Why am I so negative toward the class, the concept, and even the teacher? I don't know. In the tradition of Radiate Warmth I should maybe try to do something nice for the instructor, change my attitude or at least pretend like it resembles an educational experience.

But I'm sorry, I just can't. I can't stand it. I think I've figured it out. I refuse to change my opinion of this class until the teacher recognizes that the way people (kassak or native) learn is through inquiring about things they are interested in while participating in a social environment. I could care less if she is native or white, the class is just bad teaching practice. Now I'm going to go into Bethel with a real chance of getting to inquire into aspects of Eskimo culture that I am interested in, in a social setting, and instead I'm going to have this nagging, stinking, rotting smell of "I have to" or "obligation" or even worse "cultural assignment" in the back of my head. Nothing makes you feel more outside of a culture than doing an assignment for a course or class. If the teacher really wanted to help us learn about our local culture she would just let us go. Furthermore, we will undoubtedly listen to hours of her interpretation of said native culture when all we really want to do is share stories of our emerging understanding of the village cultures we live in. This desire will wait....all damn day...until we get together (as first years) on our own, on our own time, and basically try to make of up the collaborative and culture sharing deficit we racked up over the course of the class that day by subconsciously steering all of our conversations towards our own experiences from our villages. This is specifically why I am soooo mad, the teachers inability to recognize our real needs/skills (the sign of an effective constructivist teacher) is cutting into my relaxing and fun time and conversations with people I just want to hang with. AAAAAAAARG! That is the last straw (and also why I don't give a lot of homework in my own classes, who am I to invade people's life outside of school?).

ANYWAYS, rants aside, thank goodness for the other first years, I feel so much closer to them than anyone out here, like a fraternity of brothers and sisters, like fellow soldiers, like comrades, friends, weary travelers, and stand up comics, luckily there is enough backdoor jokes and commentary from this bunch of salty and goofy cats to make any experience bearable. So for that, I am thankful, I'll see all you home skillets tomorrow evening!

I don't know how much posting I'll do till Sunday but till then, tomorrow I'll be rocking the overalls all the way across the delta to Bethel and I hope everyone has a kick butt weekend!


Anonymous said...

Hey Veggie Tales (Sorry, we're trying to break you in for the weekend), Alisha wanted to let you know that she bought a butt load of cadbury eggs for you, too, so don't fill up too much. I think it is you and your contempt for Nita that makes this class completely bearable. We look so forward to each cultural class blog, and we feel you should send Nita your web address. We feel the same way about being forced to go to this event. Infact, Nita should come with us, and wear a shirt with an arrow that says, "I'm with Kassaq".
So are you gonna turn your stuff in?
Well, as much as we dislike the class, we are looking forward to the camaii after party. It will be a great chance to catch up with our surviving comrades.
See ya tomorrow!

Reese-E said...

You don't give a lot of homework. You let your students blog. You wear overalls on Fridays. And you have a beard.

You've seriously got to be the coolest teacher ever. Do those kids know how lucky they are? :)

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