Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Hopi Indians & The Inca

Interesting to me that while the Incas in Peru were doing this:
Machu Picchu, Peru

The Hopi in the Southwestern United States were doing this:

Mesa Verde, Colorado, USA
Apparently Mesa Verde and Macchu Picchu were contemporary structures and the Hopi/Ancestral Puebolans and Inca were contemporary native tribes! Fascinatingly enough - the oral tradition of the Hopi is that their people migrated up from Peru, through central America, up to Colorado area, led by the spirit of God. They stopped in Colorado because they felt that it was a sacred place. Interesting to see how the cultures connect.

Hopi, or Ancestral Puebloan dwellings at Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde
And interesting to see how the different tribes adapted to their climates. In Peru they were in the mountain tops, and at the same time the Puebloans were building their structures underneath cliffs.

Long House, Mesa Verde

Machu Picchu, Peru

So, would you rather be Incan, or Hopi?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Annular Solar Eclipse 2012, Utah

I thought solar ecplises were overrated until I saw one, Sunday. It was fascinating! We drove all the way down to Kannarraville, Utah to be within the "red-lines" where you could see the complete eclipse, or ring of fire. We made a picnic out of it - which meant driving all the way down, 3 + hours, and then watching for 3+ hours, and then driving back for 3 + hours home.

picnic time!

People parked in the middle of no-where to watch the eclipse!

So this is just after the "ring of fire" taken with a camera through my little viewing glasses.

This photo makes me laugh because it made me imagine we were in the 1960's out watching a space shuttle land or something!
It was worth it. It was just a fun community type experience with the hundreds, literally, of people parked on the sides of the road out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere-Utah on picnic blankets and with telescopes and cameras, and holding up little solar glasses and x-ray papers to see the eclipse which you could not see with the naked eye. We chatted with people around us and ate potato salad and chips and bbq sandwhiches, and because we are funny single people we listened to Total Eclipse of the Heart and Ring of Fire while the eclipse was happening. A little girl stuck her head out of her SUV window and said, "You guys' singing really sucks." Nice.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Literature for a Different Generation of Readers

As a high school teacher I'm seeing a trend in what students will and won't read. They pretty much won't read ANYTHING. But this. My students, male and female, Caucasian and Hispanic, loved this book.

Burned Alive by Souad.

Teachers were talking about it. The librarian was talking about it. Everyone was talking about it. Kids were discussing this book around the school and in other classrooms, other teachers were having to tell the students to put down that book they were reading for my class and pay attention to biology, psychology, math.

My co-worker found this book browsing amazon.com and we both read it and loved it. Our librarian, writing lab-lady, and another older lady in my department thought it was scandalous and so we worried about teaching it.  I sent parent permission slips home to moms before we began the book, and gave a few other non-fiction selection options, but the kids READ.

They read! They discussed! They reacted! They shared it with friends and family members! THEY READ A BOOK. I could let them sit and read for an hour straight and they did! All I had to say is discuss - and they would discuss! Classroom magic.

One of the things they loved about this book is that it is real. I'm finding that this younger generation of readers is pulling toward non-fiction + a little edgy. They want to know what is happening in the real world. What happens to people their  own age around the world.

I only wish they were as excited to be reading To Kill a Mockingbird, which they are NOT reading. It's like pulling teeth to get them to read that book.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Brushfire Volume 64

The photo on the right of the Reno sign is mine, taken in Reno last July.
So The University of Nevada, Reno published these two photos of mine in Brushfire, Spring 2012, Vol. 64, the literary arts joural of UNR.

The photo on the left is mine, taken at the Forbidden City in Beijing last April.

I haven't picked up a paper copy of the journal yet, but the .pdfs are online at:  http://www.unrbrushfire.com/http://www.unrbrushfire.com/

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Disappointed but not Discouraged

I have been reading Daughters in My Kingdom, and have rejoiced over and over again these last few weeks this quote from sister Julie B. Beck, fifteenth Relief Society General President of  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life....It requires a conscious effort to diminish distractions, but having the spirit of revelation makes it possible to prevail over opposition and persist in faith through difficult days and essential routine tasks....When we have done our very best, we may still experience disappointments, but we will not be disappointed in ourselves. We can feel certain that the Lord is pleased when we feel the Spirit working through us. -Julie B. Beck
 I love this quote - it expresses exactly how I have been feeling lately. I have experienced a lot of disappointment in my life, particularly the sting of unfulfilled righteous desires and dreams. I have trudged through the daily routines of life, but have felt very blessed to feel the peace and joy and daily happiness of understanding that setbacks are not reasons I need to feel disappointed in myself. I rejoice in the assurance that the Lord is looking out for, watching over, and daily blessing me. I have felt guided in my life's path; knowing that what I am doing is the Lord's current plan for me. Knowing this reminds me to look up and look forward, and to be grateful for all that I have received.