Scout’s Miwok Research

MIwok millstone

1. Google: Miwok kidfriendly

2. Miwok, First People of California: A Set on Flickr

3. Google: Miwok shelter

4. Miwok Material Culture: Indian Life of the Yosemite Region (1933): Shelter

5. Miwok Material Culture: Indian Life of the Yosemite Region (1933): Sweat-House

6. Brandon Smith's Indian Tribe Report

7. Miwok Park Fact Sheet

8. Google: Miwok houses, clothing and food

9. California Indian Food and Culture (PDF)

Chicago Teacher Man

Chicago Teacher Man

Usually when I teach, my door is unlocked. Kids know that if they are running late, they should just walk in quietly, get to work, and I'll deal with it later.

Once in a while, I accidentally leave the door locked, and a late kid will just stand there. Eventually, someone will tell me, "There's someone at the door." When too busy to run over there, I say, "Give 'em the finger."

Invariably, three or four kids flip the bird, and I'm left shouting, "No! Wrong finger! The one-minute finger. Give 'em the one-minute finger!"

It's usually funny. The kids laugh. I pretend I was misunderstood. And life goes on. Unless . . . if it's an adult at the door. Like today . . . a very serious special-education teacher came knocking to check up on a student. Let's just say she was not amused about having the middle finger flashed at her by several of my kids. Of course I thought it was hilarious. But then it got me wondering:

  • Why are some adults so damn serious around teenagers? Is it even possible?
  • Why do special-ed teachers think they can barge in during the middle of class and expect me to answer their specific questions about one student when I have a whole class to deal with?
  • Will I ever get tired of telling my kids to "give 'em the finger"? Will I ever grow up?

Knowledge Is Power

Edward Said on how building a more subtle knowledge of the United States and its aims would benefit the Middle East. "The Other America" (Al-Ahram Weekly, March 20-26, 2003):

[A]part from a few courses and seminars on American literature and politics scattered throughout the universities of the Arab world, there has never been anything like an academic centre for the systematic and scientific analysis of America, its people, society, and history, at all. Not even in American institutions like the American Universities of Cairo and Beirut. This lack may also be true throughout the Third World, and maybe even in some European countries. The point I am making is that to live in a world that is held in the grip of an extraordinarily unbound great power there is a vital need for knowing as much about its swirling dynamics as is humanly possible. . . . the danger of thinking about America too simply or reductively and statically is so obvious. . . .

My interest is simply to suggest ways of understanding, intervening in, and if the word isn't too inappropriate, resisting a country that is far from the monolith it is usually taken to be, specially in the Arab and Muslim worlds.