Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Mixed Thanksgiving Post

It's winter now, cold and getting colder. The sun lingers just below the horizon during the day. It's a time when those of us who are growing older start thinking we maybe are not cut out for all this cold stuff, after all. Maybe, we think, we will go someplace warm, like...Arizona!

But then we remember how the State of Arizona effectively shut down the Mexican American Studies program in Tucson by threatening to withhold a large amount of money from the school district there.

Teaching them about their own history and culture was leading Mexican-American kids to be too much Mexican and not enough American, detractors said. Dangerous stuff. It was also making them smarter, studies showed. That's dangerous, too.

And here we are, in northern Alaska, trying to meld culture into everything we do educationally. We want our kids to be smarter. Watch out world.

Oh never mind. I really just wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving and, for my writer friends, I wanted to share a poem by Louise Erdrich which seems apropos to all the unnecessary stress we put on ourselves in this and other seasons.

And to think of thanksgiving, not associated with any bogus holiday because, really, why do we celebrate, with thanksgiving, an event that either marks the time when the Native American tribes on the east coast tried a temporary truce or a time when they were first subjected to genocide, depending on who's telling the story.

I don't suppose, though, that this is a real reason to quit eating turkey.

I  am thankful for this, from a student at Barrow High School:

Its a poster for My Name is Not Easy. I especially like what she chose as "Significant Quotation":

I was a leader, testing the safety of the frozen world with my own skin.

I am thankful for books and book people and those who test the safety of the world with the skin of their own bright words, left behind, leading the way for those who follow in this frozen and thawing world.


  1. Beautiful poster, beautiful girl, beautiful smile. That is indeed a beautiful quote, and I have no doubt it's embodied in this girl.