Monday, April 21, 2008

Native Reflections

Another past post from my personal journal.
October 6, 2006

Wow, is it a full moon out or what???!!

I have been really irritated the past couple of days...the kids at work are seriously driving me loco! And I am not referring to my darling groups of GT kids. I am talking about the 3rd grade regular-ed prep class of 30 students that I am teaching at each school. I love the topics I am teaching....social studies at one school and enrichment/creativity at the other. Its just that the groups are so big and there are a handful of naughty kids in both classes.

I don't usually talk too much about what I do at work, but on Fridays I offer really cool special topic classes and open them to interested students who might get to see me Mon-Thurs. The classes and the students who take them change each month. This month my Friday class is poetry!! I have been teaching poetry for about 5-6 years now, and I always have my students submit their original poems to the Anthology of Poetry competition and every year now I have had students who get published in this national publication. Its pretty cool. I love to see how excited they are about poetry....this week I taught them how to write a limerick and another rhyming-patterned poem. I can't wait to see some of the final drafts!

My class for next month is Ojibwe culture. I have always had a fascination with native americans and think it is important to teach my students about the way of life and also the injustices. Not that I am an expert or anything, but I used to live and teach on the Tohono O'Odham reservation in AZ and have always loved studying about the culture. My first real hands-on experience was in 4th grade when my elementary class stayed on an Ojibwe reservation. We learned to weave, visited the wild rice patties, went to the sugar maple orchards to see the process from taping the trees to boiling the sap into syrup and then into sugar. I have attended pow-wows and smoked the peace pipe. All sorts of fun stuff. Did tons of cool stuff while I lived in AZ that I will explain another time. Anyway.......

Last week that I was reading a historical fiction book about the Ojibwe, set a few hundred years ago? A few nights ago I dreamt that I was staying in an old-time Ojibwe camp, living the native way of life. It was so natural and realistic, I could've sworn I was really there!!! Is that weird? My boyfriend thinks I am crazy, but I happen to have an ojibwe student in one of my classes and he made a comment about all the Ojibwe books I have displayed in my classroom about them being "his people". I recounted my little dream to him and he says in all honesty that it wasn't a dream, it was a vision. Whatever it was, it was pretty realistic.

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