Archive for June, 2008

A Teaching Experience

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

On June 23, 2008, I became part of a class to learn how to interpret indigenous peoples attitudes toward their real history in my teaching at McNary NWR Environmental Education Center, Burbank, Washington. We were introduced to the content of the workshop with several hours of DVDs depicting abuses of Indians in schools when children were taken from their homes and families and put into government schools which were built expressly to “civilize” the heathens.

Religious entities, protestant, catholic, and jesuit, started schools to educate the natives into extinction. Children were not allowed to speak their own tribal language, harshly abused if they did, even sexually abused at the disgression of the teachers.

A map of the route taken by Lewis & Clark was shown accompanied by narrative of natives of the tribal areas in which they passed. From my own research I was aware that those captains had little respect for the indians with which they traded, or delivered speeches about the great white father under which they now must recognize as the leader. With two such diverse cultures it is a wonder that the unprepared crew of the expedition survived. Without the good will and curiosity of the people who lived in the “wilderness” the expedition would never had made it through the first winter of 1804 nor anywhere beyond.

Today we learned about teaching people about using the internet and particularly pbwiki, peanut butter wiki, to give students specific opportunities to learn to make decisions, choices and do research. Almost sll the participants are teachers in public schools and are finding the exercise useful to the point of creating websites from a template offered by a graduate student of WSU.

My ulcer is acting up, probably from the can of classic coke I indulged in yesterday while assisting others in making animal tracks in newly poured cement around the new education center at McNary. Spent last night at wildhorse hotel, looking through the conglomeration of colorful devices to lure folks to part with their change, pennies, nickels, and hugh bills beyond. I am really past the desire to throw money away. Hope that holds true when I go into the bookstore of this cultural center, Tamastaslik, at Pendleton Oregon.

Where Has the Little Blog Gone?

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

Just look – no blog for many weeks, no excuse either. Plenty of thoughts go through my mind – too many to put into words, let alone action. Right brain. Left brain. Frontal lobe. All human thoughts go back and forth and perhaps over and under, who knows? The riddle is being solved – at least better understood.

A great deal of research is being done and many papers being written. Brain imaging and other technologies show what part of the brain is activated with different types of stimulation. I am aware of as many real researchers who faithfully document brain activity as those who research with the intent to prove a point they assume beforehand. No real science there, but it takes a hard nosed skeptic to look into what is written.

Like an article I found recently about human nature – concerned that social science is segregated from biology. As if biology is not complete without the social element. What I gleaned from the author’s logic is that gender differences occur from conception and that gender preferences are apparent in Vervet monkeys as regards to toys chosen by males and females – males chose weapons and females chose dolls. There was no indication of how many monkey young were involved or how young they were or what kind of toys or how they were offered.

There was such convoluted information about how animals conduct their lives according to the political structure under which they live that social science must be integrated with biology to get the true picture of individuals. (Not to say that organisms do survive only if they can reproduce in any given habitat.)

You see, articles such as this foolishness concern me. I expect a biologist to study cell structure and genetics to find answers to what happens when a nut falls into a gear shift, not that a female is different from a male because society makes it so.

And this is just a blog, one of hundreds placed in hyper space to inform or confound the unsuspecting surfer.