Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Understanding Each Other...

"You're too wild,
"You don't drink
raw whickey,
but when moon hangs
you drink from
the tilted golden cup,
when salmon season
you stand among
river willow shadow
all the time believing
fish understand
why you are there."

So he left me
to marry one
whose dreams
are laced in perfume
and dishwasher suds.

-By Linda Noel,
Concow Maidu

Sunday, August 19, 2007

What I've been addicted to durin my 3-week summer break...

Episode 2 Part 1

Episode 2 Part 2

Episode 2 Part 3

Thanks youtubbers for the boondocks.. I don't have cable... or a T.V.... yet.... (maybe)

Monday, August 13, 2007


Done with my last assignment for the summer semester. Now I can blog and do other things I like in my life without guilt!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Challenging our Notions of Social Change

A huge part of working for social change is the ability to grow through challenging our concepts of what social change really means. BrownFemiPower posts Naabeeho Nakaii: Why Can’t We Be Friends, a speech written by Reid Gómez, an urban raised Navajo writer and photographer with a Ph.D. in Comparative Ethnic Studies. Gómez challenges us to think about how our identities inform the way we think about social change.

Below is my comment reply to the post above, but you really should read the speech first:

“Many laugh at the insanity and impracticability of my dreams and I reply, who’s filter are we putting our dreams through? What origins and philosophies are we embracing and what are the consequences of those embraces?”

“The problem with accepting or embracing a position as immigrant is that it rests first, on the validity and longevity of the United States’ occupation and secondly, on the subjection of the People. Which begs the question, who are you giving the power of recognition to.”

“In order to survive we must know what beliefs and actions take us away from the inextricable relationship of the People and the Land.”

“If you relate based on looks you are driven by racializations. If you relate based on colonial languages (English, French, or Spanish) you may think you have alliances with those you do not, and vice versa. Those who speak or do not speak English, French, or Spanish are not necessarily friends, family or foe.”

Its so funny that you posted this. I’m glad you did. Lately since I’ve been in Rochester and outside of the Bay Area Radical Bubble, I’ve been reflecting on the need to challenge and reconceptualize how I think about social change. I’ve grown frustrated with “solutions” that sound more like reforms, or new ways to protect the power relationships that exist. I think it was Andrea Smith who stated that the core root of the Native struggle for freedom is the fact that, unlike (most) other “movements”, they question the legitimacy of the state. The more my thoughts around solutions to teaching in the U.S. stem from this idea of challenging the state (both as an institution and as the authoritative framework in identity development), the more people really “don’t get me”.

I believe we continue to walk blindly if we aren’t aware of how these watered down and destructive solutions are connected to our own personal identities and our limited ability to reflect and achieve a deeper level of decolonization. So lately, I’ve been sitting in this space asking myself, “ok what do I need to change about how I view myself and my thinking, in order to gain a clearer perspective, so that I may teach from that perspective- the one that is always working from the root of the problem: challenging colonization and Native land occupation.” At this point in my development process, I have to be honest, I cannot fathom what it will be like to teach in a truly radical way and to help incite a true struggle against the state. I’m at the point where it is easy to deconstruct and help others deconstruct, but what about the more challenging process of building up? A huge part of teaching is enabling students to feel like agents, so how do I empower students to move past deconstructing the issues and into acting upon those issues in ways that challenge the existence of the state? How is it possible for us to build if we have not connected to what freedom is? For many generations we have not known freedom, but Reid Gómez says “We have choices. Aligning ourselves with existing community members, neighboring community members, family histories, recipes and when and where whose archives fail we have the land itself.”

This quote was given in the context of struggle and to keep it in its context I ask myself what “existing community members, neighboring community members, family histories, recipes” within my own heritage actually threaten my own freedom and the freedom of others? And I ask this because I am aware that my own history, even as a woman of color with a history of U.S. antagonism against my people (as well as collaboration with the mis-leaders of my people), is tainted with false notions of identity and freedom. So I have to reflect and think about how I’m affected by this and how this reality may have limited my scope in imagining and constructing in my mind real oppositional approaches to colonization.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Free Lesson Plan: Teaching Social Justice, Exceeding Standards: Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God

So some teachers are possessive about their lesson plans and their syllabi. Why? Isn't the point of teaching to spread knowledge and awareness? Are these teachers really serving this purpose if they're thinking about their individual recognition before the development of students' minds? I don't buy the argument, "I worked hard to create this, why should someone have it without having put effort into it"?

Well social change and anti-racist teaching (and work in general) DOES involve busting your ass for the benefit of our communities and society as a whole. And much of the time that will mean sweating blood and tears for someone to have access to a new way of understanding this complex fucked up world.

So I'm sharing this lesson plan I created for one of my grad school courses that I actually want to utilize in a real classroom. When? It depends if I hook up with a radical enough teacher mentor this coming year who will let me carry it out, or if I have to wait until I have my own classroom. If you're a teacher and you use it, you HAVE TO (well you don't have to, but it would be nice) tell me what worked for you and what didn't. And if folks have some constructive feedback, that would be great too! Enjoy!

Oh, can I also say that I LOVE google documents?

I feel guilty but...

I've been eying the Nikon D80 for years and the price has gone down from $1,300 to $900.

I just applied for a credit card (with my bad credit) to see if I can afford to buy it and pay it off piece by piece. As much as I LOVE LOVE LOVE film, I feel that this year film will be too time consuming while in the midst of student teaching and full time coursework. I don't want to fall off the craft as I've been getting my creative juices flowin lately, and I've seen too many things wishin I had my camera on me but don't carry it around b/c I know I won't have the time/moolah to develop and print. Since my 3-week summer break is comming soon, and my landlord who's affiliated with a darkroom space offered me some of her time, I'll gladly be doing film, but hoping that I'll be able to "wile out" with the hope of a dream digi camera...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Almost Done!

Its Friday and I'm gitty. I'm excited about my upcomming three week vacation to get to know more of Rochester and see my mom flower as we spend more time together and out of our house. My goal is to finally get a driver's license, as I've been getting some practice here and there (with no permit) and I think I'm ready to take the test (again). We'll go to Niagra falls, Toronto, the great Lakes, and whatever kind of greenery the area has to offer... Just gotta get the last of the papers and meaningless busywork that's left....

I'm also happy that my "bloggiditiness" (yes I just made up a word) is sprouting back up!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

One More Reflective Teacher in da Hood

So for this grad class I'm taking, "Teaching Curriculum and Change," we were asked to think creatively about presenting a few elements about our teaching. This had to include a section on who we are and how this affects our teaching, and a section that addresses one of the topics covered in class and our views on this topic in relation to our teaching- I chose popular culture and decided to create a comic book which I'm sharing with yall below. I might even post the sound bite for the class presentation if it sounds cohesive enough..
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket