Monday, September 1, 2008

Shinnyoen at Casady: Six Billion Paths to Peace Introducition

Background: A couple of bunnie slippers brought the Shinnyo-En Foundation to campus. Robert and Sarah were the hosts of Maura Wolf, Audrey Wang, Ruth Krischner, and Ciara Segura. Maura and Ruth facilitated sessions, and Ciara and Audrey were the story tellers. They came on a day my students and I thought would be free of conflicts, but when the administrators revised the schedule, I had to be in unexpected meetings. This was the first test of my understanding of my path to peace.

Maura and the group were so easy to deal with, I did not stress about them, but I stressed about the number of participants that would attend the YAC invitational as we ended up calling it.

We invited new students and a few freshmen who we were told service was their thing in the 8th grade. We had invited all the former YAC members first, then when they did not respond, we invited anyone who had worked with YAC in recent years. When they did not respond, we added students doing service during the summer. The day of the retreat, about 45 people showed up. Next year my goal is to invite the whole freshman class and their teachers and see where we go from there.

I was unable to attend the opening of the Invitational because I was in 9th grade training of the advisors. When I arrived, participants were moving in a circle, I think getting to get to know each other.

Maura, Ciara, and Aubrey shared stories about their paths to peace and how it became their life calling. Ruth and Maura gave is a great worshop on stress and how to be at peace with oneself before we can provide peace to others.

After taking care of lunch, we played a game to get to know each other by sharing some special thing we wanted to teach each other. It was a nice ice breaker.

I decided to stay at the workshop instead of going to the first faculty meeting. It was a hard decision, but the topic of handling stress really attracted me. There was an explanation of what happens to our "test taking, cretive brain" under stress and how our survival instincts take over and we make decisions we regret. The presentation was simple on how to handle stress. Stop, Breath (to silence your reptile brain), label your stress (survival or not: What do I have control over and what I do not have control over...whatever you do is a makes good choices when one uses the thinking brain). Ruth also mentioned that sleep is important for good choices, 1 extra hour of sleep=10 extra points on a test for example.

Ruth asked us to fold a paper in half. On one half we were to place all our I shoulds. On the other, all what makes us happy. Maura helped us focus on one of those I should and do de-stressing Yoga to release one of those I shoulds and allow ourserlves permission to gain greater peace. It worked for me and the teacher's meeting I had decided not to attend. it was a nice way to unite a writing activity with a bodily-kinesthetic activity.

The workshop continued on how we are interconnected and how we find peace in our community. I was taking care of new arrivals and could not do the first exercise, but it was something like "write from the lowest to the highest adjectives that describe how you feel and what situations produce stress in you...My lowest was annoyed by people eating from my plate without asking to enraged by people unwilling to collaborate when I think I am sharing something important and productive for them and for me. Then, Ruth asked us to draw a figure or a symbol that represent ourselves. Around that symbol or figure, she asked us to write our current or potetial support network. Then we were to tell how they were of support. Finally Ruth asked us to make a list at home, school and community of goals we wanted to accomplish and a way to get to them with an unstressed life, a gift of peace within and out. and the session ended...

The kids have expressed how much they loved the Invitational, but I have not had time to reflect them. I will do so next week

Looking Back at the Retreat: August 10

5:30-7:30: I walked and saw yearlings with their mothers, rabbits and beautiful ocean and mountains scenery. I regretted not have gone in the evening walks and getting up earlier the other two days at the Marconi Center. I was also concerned, but not worried about my interview on camera which was to take place after yoga and before breakfast. Yoga was great and at the interview I became very emotional and I do not really know why. I do not remember what I said but whatever I said I felt very strongly.

7:30-8:30 I checked out, eat breakfast and found out that the ladies in the roon next door were from an Episcopal private school like mine. I told them about my experience with Nan Peterson, attending her workshops at the NYLC conference in Minneapolis and wish them a great journey because they were exploring a great partnership. Here is something I found about Nan at the Shinnyoen site " About 8 years ago at a service learning conference, I went to breakout session with Don Hill and Mark Batenburg from Youth Service California. I don’t know why I went to their session; I just knew I was absolutely drawn to them and their talk. It was about the Shinnyo-en Retreat. They talked about
broadening horizons, diversity, relaxation, and sustaining your soul as a person of service. They were talking about the things I was struggling with in my life as a teacher.

I went to the retreat, knowing nothing about Buddhism. There were very few people who looked like me. I was late arriving and the Retreat Center looked so big. A nice man was sweeping the sidewalk – he said enter right here. I thought, “Isn’t that nice. This groundskeeper was waiting for me. This is what service is about, it is a way of life. It is about everyday kindness.” At the end of the retreat Haru Inouye was introduced. He was the man who was sweeping the sidewalk.

The retreat struck me – there were very few middle age, middle class Christian women like myself. My small group looked so different than me. At the time, I knew pluralism in my head, not in my heart. Later in the Retreat, when I walked the labyrinth, I was crying because I was so full of joy. It was a metaphor for life – we were going our own ways but we were all on the same journey. All of the sudden I realized I didn’t have to agree with everyone, but I had to respect them. Up until that point, I thought I had to deeply understand everyone in order to agree, now I saw that respect and acceptance can come first. And perhaps respect and acceptance is enough.

I never questioned service. I grew up thinking it is the way people live. I was born into a family that believed that we have a great responsibility to our community and our world. My mother was very concerned with poverty and my dad, an oral surgeon, was focused on health issues. As I was growing up there was a strong family value that said, “it is your obligation to serve others.”

As my father aged he began needing more and more care. While my family is close, my brothers were not in the habit of showing up for the daily and weekly demands. Before my mother died, she asked me to take care of my father; I took that responsibility very seriously because of the love I had for my mother. I became the one who visited my father every other day at the family home and finally found a lovely senior care residence facility for him. I continue to visit him every other day and do all I can to give him comfort. My father and I were not close as I was growing up so helping him while he has been sick and aging has been a tremendous gift to me. He has finally let me in and shared with me who he is.

My brothers sometimes question my now positive relationship with my father. I invite them to make room for him in their lives assuring them they too could have the joy and the honor that was a part of this service.

What started as a sense of responsibility has grown into service with great joy.

I have always thought about service within the context of the metaphor of a candle. With my light, I shine out into the world. The problem is, that I want to do it all and I want to do it all well. So there is a tendency to work so hard that the candle burns out.

I see this tendency also in students. They have so many demands on them; sometimes think they haven’t done their project well enough and end up feeling bad in the end because their work wasn’t big enough or good enough.

What I have realized is that we all have limits. I have to trust that I am where I’m supposed to be and if I can let go trying to control the situation, most likely things will fall into place. Mother Theresa says, “Fill your own lamp first.” If I don’t listen to that wisdom, my service wanes. I used to think – it’s all up to me. Now I see service as a reciprocal exchange – and often, I receive much more than I give.

I’ve learned this lesson, in part, from young people. This year a group of students came to our school from Mexico. Because they came with few material possessions and so many needs, we thought we were going to be of service to them. But they gave us a joy, an alegría. As we got to know them, we saw that they have tremendous love within the family. They have a strong faith, an ability to sing while working, and beautiful art. They also had a beautiful spirit of gratitude. They were of attitudinal service to us.

I see myself now as a lifelong learner and a connector that brings people and ideas together. I am very excited about my professional life as the director of Service Learning at The Blake School in Minnesota. In this role I strive to model and encourage service and compassion in young people. My sincere hope is to encourage young people to build a more harmonious world."

8;30-9;30 Was story telling time, stories that touched our hearts and moved our spirit to action. The title of the presentations was "Paths to service from different spiritual traditions" I realized the value of story telling and diversity in leadership in service.

9:30-11:15 After a short break, we went back to our home groups for one last time. Now we were to look at sharing one moment in life when we felt a powerful closeness with Nature or an especially intense spiritual presence. I shared my moment with my dad in Pisac and how it now leads my professional and personal quest.
Then we were asked to create an intergenerational poster of the home groups' spotlights of meaningful moments in the lives of the members as well as meaningful moments and insights from Home group conversations. We created a suitcase with all our paths

11:15-11:45 We had a poster walk after a representative from the group said one sentence about the poster. I was chosen for my group.

11;45-1:15 We had a retreat evaluation, picture, helped clean-up and had lunch with the group that was coming to Casady. It was interesting to hear myself talking about my environment and my needs. I wonder what their reflective evalautions will say after a couple of hours stay at my school with a small sample of my population. We will see.

After lunch, Henry and Jody took me to my hotel. I was tired and just enjoyed looking at the scenery and hope to be back again next year. It was an amazing experience that gave me peace and confidence in my path to peace.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

A look back to the retreat: August 9th

6:30-7:30: Maura Wolfe volunteered to have a yoga and meditation 101 class. I could not have been introduced to Yoga by a better person. I am going to buy the WII fit because it is the only computer product that will somewhat come close to what I experienced with Maura. I also found out she would be heading the team going to Oklahoma City and my initial feeling of dissapointment because neither Haru nor Liane can come was replaced by a feeling of enthusiasm for Maura and her possibilities. Here is a little bit about Maura " MAURA WOLF (USA) — A consultant to the Shinnyo-en Foundation, Maura has been involved in founding and launching non-profit ventures and assisting individuals and organizations to become more effective through coaching and leadership training for the past fifteen years. She has assisted in the design of training for City Year, Citizen Schools, JumpStart, Youth on Board, The Bonner Foundation, and COOL. She is the founder of Boston Do Something, the YES Ambassador program of the Points of Light Foundation, and Virginia COOL, all campaigns to engage young people in community action and develop their leadership capacities in the process. She is author of two books, Light One Candle: Quotes for Hope and Action and Exploring Realities: Stories of Young Women Making Decisions and Finding Meaning. A Kripalu-trained yoga instructor, and a 360-report writer for Fortune 500 Executives, as a staff member with the Center for Advanced Emotional Intelligence, she has put a lot of attention on integrating her mind, heart and body. Recently she completed her MA in Leadership at Saint Mary’s College. She does individual and group coaching through MindWing, is married and the mother of a one-year-old son."
7:30-8:30: Wonderful breakfast with many choices

8:30-8:45 Mrs. Kaye woke up the body with an interesting sequence of bodily-kinesthetic movement and yoga. I must remember to write her and request her process and sequence because as a result, we were transform from a diverse group to a team willing to face the days challenges and opportunties together. We were given the guidelines for the Labyrinth activity and instructions to sign-up for special interest afternoon activities. I wanted badly to go on a ocean reflective walk, but it was still too cold and decided to go to Team which changed into ice cream with Haru. Although the weather improved, I do not regret my decision because I learned a lot even how to find out a little bit about people by what topping the put on their ice cream. I must write the foundation to get the source of their information because it was cute and I have ice cream socials at the beginning of the school year as part of the service-learning office Open House.

8:45-9:45: Intergenerational Dialog on Concern of Youth People. This presentation reafirmed the strenght of intergenerational work. The activity was organized by Katie Pinard of Seattle University 206-296-2328 In a circle, we were read parts of a Letter to a young activist during troubled times by younger participants.
Do not lose heart,. We are made for these times...Ours is a time of almost daily jaw-dropping astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradatons of what matters most to civilized, visionary people... The letter was written by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. About 8 younger participants read parts of the letter and then they became the leaders of a discussion group with a task..

We were asked to complete the below sentences individually and then do the task together
1. One concern I have about the world is ...For me it was hunger
2. One thing I want the next generation to know about my generation is.. We cared
3. A gift I would like to give the next generation is...children will on learned about hunger in history books

Then we had to complete the following task as a group and choose the wisest person to speak for the group. We chose our young leader to be our representative:
Write a letter that will be placed in a time capsule and opened in 100 years, in 2018. In your leatter share your wishes and hopes for future generations living on Earth. Tell them what gifts you would like to give to them. Tell them anything else you would like them to know. It was an amazing opportunity to see how different the letters were. Some were personalized others were deep, but all shared hope that the human race would have survived and were peaceful. I am going to be presenting at a Volunteers conference in September. After giving a brochure and letting my students have an opportunity to tell their story, I will do this exercise. It was amazingly powerful and speaks to the subject with greater eloquence because it touches our hearts.

9:15-10:00 We had a break

10:00-11:45 We had our third Home Group meeting. Our task was to share a momemt when service was received and specially valued. Then share a moment when service was provided and felt specially important; and finally reflect on the meaning and power of service. The group had heartfelt moments. I found myself talking about my English teacher at Casady School when I was an exchange students and my trip to Peru to build a playground for children; others talked about similar services in their lives. We realized that we had learned by giving and receiving and our lives had been transformed by service.

12:00 -1:00 Lunch I met the writer who will be documenting our retreat experience to honor the 10th anniversary. I was interviewed and eat wonderful food.

1:00 -5:00 I chose to do a t-shirt. The activity was facilitated by Jody Kennedy. My t-shirt was not great buy the younger participants made a "We are made for these times" t-shirts that were amazing. I signed up for this workshop because it was cold and it allowed me to be inside and attend tea/ice cream time with Haru. I learned about special paints and a system to spray decorations on t-shirts using stencils. My students love to have personalized t-shirts and this will give us an opportunity to do something different at low cost for our projects such as the hunger walk. Ice-Cream with Haru was interesting. I learned about the difference between the foundation and the Shinnyoen order. I learned that people who like cherries as a topping of ice cream are detailed oriented and people who put nuts on their ice cream are the life of the party. I am not sure how scientific this is, I will find out the sources, but it was a nice way to begin the meeting. It was a nice ice breaker. Then we proceeded to true or false statements about Haru. A nice way to get to know him without him saying much. I was glad I went. After the meeting I had a few seconds with Haru and he told me that he would help me get where I wanted to go no matter how long it took. I told him that my hope was a world free of hunger for food and for justice. He said some things we might not get to see in our life time, but we need to work for them anyway.

3:30-7:30 Refreshments and anniversary dinner. At 5:30 I attended an introduction to meditation. It was interesting, but not as impacting at Yoga had been in the morning. My path crossed Maura's path again and I was reassured that the time in OKC was going to be great. We made an appointment to meet the whole team at lunch the next day to finalize details and for them to ask questions about my reality.

7:45-9:00 Labyrinth Activity: The amazing labyrinth rug awaited for participants. Our instructions were that this was not a maze, we would end at the beginning and we did not need to worry about where we were going, just to focus on something personal. I saw people praying, crying, deep in reflection. I felt out of place because the walk was not doing much for me, when all of the sudden I started to pray in Spanish and I took this as a permission to explore my religion again. I was very excited but I am still to do it. Part of our directions were to stay and observed others. I focused on observing two women whose service programs I admire, Nan and Kathryn Berger Kaye. I saw them across from me moving at the same pace in reflection. I could only think about how far they were from were I was, but that the foundation was our connecting path. I felt that someday I could be in syncronicity with them too.

9:15-11:00 Open Mike- I was to tired. I went to bed exhausted before the labyrinth activity ended.

August 31, 2008: A look back at the retreat

August 8: As we arrived to the Marconi Center, I was amazed by its beauty and peace. It was a cold day and I realized I had not brought appropiate clothing. The expected cameras and kind welcome greeted us. My roon was great and I wish my husband were here to share what I knew it was going to be an unforgetable experience. It was a special retreat, their 10th anniversary and the title had expanded from Exploring the Spiritual, Religious, and Cultural Roots of Service Retreat" to Building Community Through Intergenerational Experiences: Sharing Moments of Meaning. It was a long title, but the activities did it justice.

Environment: Buck Hall: Circular seating with resources at the entrance and book lists, schedules and home groups in foundation folders awaited the group of 72 participants who were going to be together for 3 days between. Our pictures were taken and we were given time to explore the grounds. I was asked to do a camera interview and I avoided it until the last day of the retreat. I do not why, I just do not like that. Somewhat I thought could avoid it, but I should have known better.

1-3 Registration: I was assigned to group 5: adult and youth facilitators: Leif Erickson and Arturo Garcia. Members of the Troup: Erica Wickham, Aaron Nakai, Elliot Hondo, Torie Pinto, Kathleen Rice. We shared moments of meaning!!!
3:00-3:45: Official Opening: We were given and overview of the retreat's vision and structure and a slide presentation to honor their 10th year anniversary. There were problems with the slide show, but they did not panic. They allowed us to enjoy their experiences as the technology people made programs work. After affirming commitment to respect, caring and cooperation retreat values and behavior norms, we had a break before we started to form our retreat community meeting with our "Home Group"
4:00 - 5:15: Probably one of the best ways to get to know each other I have experienced. We were asked to bring an object that had special meaning to us to share with our group. People in my group brought pictures, a piece of weath, and I brought my "perfect stone" found as I helped build the children's playground in Ollantaytambo. At first I thought, it will be a regular show and tell; well, it was not!!! The process was interesting because it built interpersonal relationships
1. We introduce each other.
2. The object was pass around and people touched it and if they were willing to say something about that object, they did so; if not they just left of few second of them in the object.
3. As the object returned to the owner; in my personal experience, I could feel the energy given by the members of my group and how they related to my stone and what they said it reminded them or they wondered about. It was easy to share the story and find even deeper meanings than I expected as I spoke. It truely was a moment of meaning.

5:05-5:50: Time to complete check in. The rooms were as peaceful as the rest of the Marconi Center. No TV's, great views

6:00-7:15: Dinner: The food was GREAT, healthy, beautifully served, and tasty.
7:30-8:30: Age Group Cohort meetings. We were divided in Groups by ages (15-18, 19-22, 23-26, 27-35,36-45,56-80. We went to our rooms and discussed moments of meaning from our personal histories instead of Moments of meaning from our common History. Our backgrounds were diverse and someone asked to focus on areas of special interest to connect with the resources of the group. The stories shared were powerful, if fact one person shared something so personal and painful, I could not believe we just had met him.
8:45-9:30: We went back to our home groups and shared our reflections of what was discussed in the Age Cohort groups. I was surprised by the common treads in all the groups and the spirit of change and hope coming from the younger groups.
9:30-11:00 Optional activities: Night Hike, Capture the Flag. I regret not to have taken the night hike, but I was too tired and cold. My first afternoon with the Shinnyo-En foundation had given me so many resources to use with my students upon my return and this was just the beginning.

Books to Rememberfor the Pinwheels for Peace project: Native American Mandalas, People who change the world, A little Peace, Paths to Peace,My mother the Cheerleader for Respect Diversity Projects. A busy family guide to volunteering

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Friday, August 8, 2008

As I boarded the plane to San Franciso on August 7th, I had a newspaper article about 8.8.08 as the good luck symbol for the Chinese culture.

8.8.08 was going to be the day of the Opening of the Olympics and the day my direct contact with the Shinnyo-En foundation was going to start. I expected to have a big TV set to watch the Opening somewhere at the Marconi Center. There was one available, but I was so involved in what I did that I forgot about the Olympics Opening. I heard it was fantastic, but I still have not had time to see it.

The flight was on time and when I arrived to the Ramada Inn, Henry Lozano had left a message that he was going to be picking me up together with Jody Kennedy. When I talked to Liane she told me that Henrie knew me which at the end we found out could have been possible, but not at a previous retreat as he thought because this was my first.
Here is a little about Henry: "Henry C. Lozano was named Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of USA Freedom Corps on September 11, 2007. As Director of USA Freedom Corps, Mr. Lozano is charged with implementing President Bush's vision for volunteerism and service in America. Echoing the President's Call to Service, which launched the initiative in his 2002 State of the Union, Mr. Lozano is working to promote and expand opportunities for Americans looking to service causes greater than themselves." Henry started his work with the foundation that weekend. I do not remember his exact title, but he will do PR for the foundation for sure.

Henry Lozano picked Jody Kennedy and I from our hotels and drove us to the Marconi Center in the Foundation's car. As we drove to the Marconi Center he mentioned he always thanked his parents in his speeches and I realized he had been an award receipient at the NYLC Conference and that is where I had first heard of him. Once I knew my transportation was in place, I went walking around town. I found South San Francisco almost familiar. There were many Spanish connections. I even found a Peruvian restaurant. My only expectation of the retreat was that it was going to bring me peace, and I was not dissapointed.

Henry is a gentelman from the past. On the way, he fed us lunch and we met Nan from Blake School. Was this meant to be? It was amazing that by chance I was meeting people whose work I admired and people who I hope will consider mentoring the Casady program and me to improve both.

As I talked to Jody, I realized she had been in my life since Liane's presentation the first time I met the Shinnyo-En foundation at the NAIS Conference in Boston. One of the areas I need great help in in teleconferencing and she is an expert in this area. Was this a lucky day or what?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Shinnyoen Foundation Retreat

I will be attending the Six Billion Paths to Peace Retreat at the Marconi Center in Marshall, California. I do not know what to expect, but I know it will be good. Listen to a song about the paths to peace at

Friday, July 25, 2008

Lesson Plan after the Institute

Brainstorming the lesson plan:
Getting to know each other-creating a learning community (native connections) Here we can use the multicultural mask, the cultural scavenger hunt, the heroe's journey interview, the perspective taken: Harvard activity with fried bread and apple pie.

Learning personal and social responsibility responsiblity with native connections
Here we can go over doing their part in research and quality of work. Maybe connected to native oral history in the area of hunger and global warming (usage of the buffalo, usage of land for survival, but not more). Social responsibility in the pinwheels, the cover all the possible perspectives, not just our own

Creating a plan of action (working with the elderly, teens, children, the environment, and animals)To enhance their sensitivity and empower them to realize their role and contribution in the impact of their actions, I will use native works (the granmother story, the quilt story,

Preliminary Details: Write a Disney grant to get supplies for the Pinwheels for Peace Project. Make sure the pinwheels have native symbols along with symbols from the cultures of the kids, taken from the surveys, scavenger hunt, and/or multicultural masks. Work closely with the artist in residence regarding supplies and lesson plan structure.

Last Day of the Institute

The Heroe Journey-Reading Medicine Lake Story, Discussion of the movie Smoke Signals and PP with Wizard of Oz, Metrics, Star Wars, references to Harry Potter.

We were asked to brainstorm and answer the following question with whatever we would implement in our schools: From crosscultural explorations what do you hope to employ and how? If the story themes (our stories now) are the same, and how they are interpretered by the culture helps us realize what makes the culture unique and special. It transcends age. The older you get the more sense it makes, but the stories could be read and understood by adult and children, how can we incorporate the different perspectives to enhance our students understanding and respect for different perspectives? The heroe's journey gives us some universal areas of focus

A possible activity resulting of the elements of a heroes journey:
1. If you were going in a big adventure, what would you pack in your suitcase?
2. Where will you be going?
3. What greater good will you be seeking?

After going over the heroe's journey, participants shared the first ideas of what they were intended to implement in their classrooms. As a group, we hope to keep in touch and share lesson plans.

Some of the general wishes going through my head now are: I have special interest in connecting some of my students with Santa Fe and Anadarko High schools. Our realities are different, but we could learn from focusing on each other's perspectives as we share reactions to the movie Smoke Signals.

I also want to get lesson plans of the Native Games unit and the Scavenger Hunt withe the added element of culture. The teacher intends to survey students about their cultural heritage, make questions in the scavenger hunt appropriate to each culture, and then PP of one chosen culture for he kids in her computer class.

I will also be watching with great interest the development of the units at the elementary level because we think all these integration has to start in the early grades.

We will see what becomes a reality.

Teacher Training Institute-Day Three

Wednesday, July 23, 2008: Oklahoma History Center Field Trip
Presentation of Tara Damron, Assistant Curator

Guided Tour with Tara

Research Center Orientation to Native American Resources by Bill Welge, Director of the Research Center

Movie: Smoke Signals other recommended movie: Four sheets

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Teacher Trainig Institute-Day Two

Tuesday, July 22, 9:15 a.m.-11:30 p.m.
Kiowa Clemente Course Demonstration: Kiowa Elder Alecia Keahbone Gonzales and Dr. Megan Benson
Prayer (Not forcing religion, this is a Kiowa way to present to themselves. She explain relationship between God and the Kiowa word creator as...before Kiowa knew him as God, we knew him as the creator of everything... Mrs. Gonzales then read the prayer for learning in English and Kiowa. Then she said the Kiowas need physical food. In the Kiowa Clemente Course, food is very important because it not only meets a physical need, but allows students to learn Kiowa vocabulary like the names and history of the meals and ingredients.

Kiowa's educational system begins at birth. Bringing up a child in a Kiowa way-Mrs. Gonzales explained the way to wrap a baby (protection and safety) The Kiowa way-droppings of the buffalo-diaper-no diaper rash, but they also had red sand rock for other rashes. The way demonstrated to wrap the baby was said to have kept crib death away from the Kiowas. Wood and rawhide around the ears of the baby was used to protect the head in case of falling.
The Kiowa Way: Developmental Level
First Song: Child's transition from mother's wound to being in the world-The Heart Beat Song. Mrs Gonzales also explain that part of bringing up a child in a Kiowa way is knowing that everyone is consider a brother and a sister
Second song: muscle strenghtening stage.
Third Song: The Little Red Buffalo Song, book given to participants courtesy of the Humanities Council. This song is about caution
Last Song: A child is grown up and needs to thin of others: Soft buffalo pieces for grandmother.

Related items: Games: Balance-track the drawn snake with hill and toe; bag of rocks. Throw bag over head and estimate where rocks might land.

Mrs. Gonzalez ended her presentation explaining the system she deviced to create Kiowa sounds to teach Kiowa children their language. She also told us the legend behind the peyote for medicinal purposes or to be prayed in the peyote way. She showed her books and she left.

Dr. Benson focused on Western lullabies comparing and contrasting:
1. Death is mentioned as well as living heart beat-not usual in Western. Heart Beat (Rock-a-by-baby)
2. Element of shock/fear seems to be present on both Great Big Dog song
3 With Hush Little Baby a greater element of possession and material possesions seems to be stressed in the Western tradition.

Chickasaw Clemente Course Demonstration: Elder Chickasaw Luther John and Rachel Jackson. The cours is more than tribal focus. Aims to preserve the language. Learn the language in a total immersion environment to remedy not able to speak the language becaus they were punished in the past and now there is no one to talk to. He is teaching so he will not loose his nation. He does geneology to help people find their ancestors. Indian languages do not have a word for good bye. Break stereotypes and misconceptions and build self-esteem in the youth.

Clemente Course Demonstration: Rachel Jackson Tribal Nations list, comparative analysis: John Berger's Ways of Seeing: The way we see things is affected by what we know and what we believe. We only see what we look at. To look is an act of choice. We never look at just one thing; we are always looking at the relation between things and ourselves...."if I seek to understand, they are seeking to understand me"

Yet when an image is presented as a work of art, the way people look at it is affected by a series of learned assumptions: Beauty, thruth, Genius, Civilization, form, status, taste, etc. You can see it with technical eyes only or with the power of different perspectives. (Wild Turkey Dance, Landran insensitivity to native children...Kiowa circular construction of cities and tipi and Spanish squares...polite and political have the same root...

Scott Momaday: The Man made of Words (theme preserving oral traditions) The Arrowmaker, the Native Voice in American Literature, Centennial Poem Oklahoma

Movie: Not just bows and srrows, by Scott Momaday

Application to my educational environment: The lectures and the suggestions for the participants as well as their personal goals for the institute made me conclude that:
1. I need to continue investigating the Peace native American symbols, but everyone was struggling with this theme. I recieved as suggestions:
a. The peace pipe and the laurel
b. Black Elk Speaks
d. The Peace Game Stick BAll one of the participants is researching for her Native Olympics
e. Use the resources at the Oklahoma History Center. Take a field trip with the kids for them to decide what they find a symbols of peace there and in other museums

Regarding my orientation of the freshmen:
a. Make them do cultural heritage masks- to get to know each other, better than just profile
b. See the Turkey Dance and the perspective Harvard Project Zero activity of perspective using fried break to add the native element to the activity and ask them to read passages of way of seeing to sensitize them to the cultures and contributions of everyone around them. Also use the Lullabies and how we can view things in similar and differing ways, but we are just wanting to provide a nurturing environment for the children.
c. Regarding the project with the elderly, use the Kiowa song to grandmother, the story about a quilt and granmother mentioned by one of the participants, and I will love you forever to empower students to meaningful interaction with the elderly

Oklahoma Humanities Council-2008 Teacher Training Institute

The required reading by Riches to the Poor by Earl Shorris. "You've been cheated," Earl Shorris tells a classroom of poor people in New York City.
"Rich people learn the humanities; you didn't. . . . It is generally accepted in America that the liberal arts and humanities in particular belong to the elite. I think you're the elite." In this groundbreaking work, Shorris examines the nature of poverty in America today. Why are people poor, and why do they stay poor? Shorris argues that they lack politics, or the ability to participate fully in the public world; knowing only the immediacy and oppression of force, the poor remain trapped and isolated. To test his theory, Shorris creates an experimental school teaching the humanities to poor people, giving them the means to reflect and negotiate rather than react. The results are nothing short of astonishing. Originally published in hardcover under the title New American Blues.

Monday July 21: 3:30-9:30After welcoming remarks from Dr. Sanders Huguenin, Vice-President of the university,meeting the elders, and our hosts, members of the facilitating team and the humanities council; we were introduced to the Clemente course by Dr. Megan Benson, which I have summarized as using comparative humanities to empower high level thinking and communication enhancing self-esteem and positive change. "Riches to the Poor, because the only ones who can solve the problem of poverty, are the poor." I add to the definition of poor, the people with power and money, but who lack the ability to see the world from different perspectives, a different kind of poor, which this method will also help empower.

The aim of the original Clemente course was to expose the urban poor to the humanities with the purpose of empowering them to enter public life.

The Kiowa Clemente course is a cross cultural humanities seminar, it is a collaboration between faculty of the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma and Kiowa Elders. It is an outgrowth of the original Clemente course. It aims to preserve and promote traditional cultres and provide the tools to succeed in the dominant society. By studying the Kiowa way and the Western tradition, students nurture a better appreciation of their own culture, a Kiowa Renaissance. It is an awakening of the power of culture. It draws similarities and differences between the two traditons and uses each as a foil to illuminate the other. Western world uses books, Kiowa cultures use oral tradition. The course hightens respect for both traditions. Students leave with broader horizons, an appreciation for the Kiowa tradition, and openeness to the Western classics and a greater ability to think criticallyy about both. When the Western classics are used to enhanced the understanding of their own tradition, rather than supplant it, the Western classics can help to acquaint the American Indian students with the power and importance of culture and thus empower them to take control of the future of their own culture...from Sanders Huguenin

The purpose of the teaching institute, funded and offered to K-12 Oklahoma teachers free of charge by the Oklahoma Humanities Council, is to empower the teachers to bring the Native cultural perspective into Oklahoma classrooms. The program director is Rachel

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Plannig 2008-2009

Conferences for next year: PeaceJAM: Los Angeles: September, NYLC Nashville: March, 2nd International Conference: Ireland, June, Challenge 20/20 Leaders Conference, Summer of Service in Peru

Days of Service: Casady Cans Do-Teens Against Hunger. MLK Service Day,Earth Day, National Volunteer Week, Global Youth Day of Service, Walk the World OKC 2009,

YAC monthly Activities

1. We will continue with PeaceJAM, but next year as part of YAC instead of an independent project.
2. Challenge 20/20 will also become a YAC project under the leadership of Rebecca Roach and Josh Ou. We will not meet at a different time, instead it will be a YAC activity.
3. We will be trained by the Shinnyoen Foundation in the spiritial, cultural and religious roots of service, which in my book translates as service rooted in values. This is a slight different direction because our focus has been service based on personal interest, talents and academic preparation. Service as an agent of change. The Shinnoyen Foundation helped me look at service as a path to peace which I think is a stronger and more unifying value.

So what I will propose to the students for next year as a consequence of my experience this year running 4 days of Activities: Meetings will be at the wing, groups will be
People: Elderly, children, teens, adults
Eldely: Working at nursing homes, independent and assisted living faciliteis Children: Working with Boys and Girls Club, Special Care, YMCA, YWCA
Teens: Working with SKILLS Class and Youth Services of Oklahoma County
Adults: Literacy and ESL (Libraries, LCDA)
Animals: ARF, Oklahoma Humane Society, Oklahoma Animal Shelter
Environment: Recyclathon, Oklahoma Sustainability
1. A month has three to four C days:
a. First C days will be YAC training: on Service, values, leadership, group management, reflect YAC
b. second C days: Skills for Action facilitator's training: Be on the same page for training, check progress, make reflection sheets for site visits, read reflection sheets from site visits, check website, check forms, plan service days, celebrate service.
c. Third C Days: Skills for Action training of freshmen and transfer students
d. Fourth C Days: Challenge 20/20, PeaceJAM, Summer Service-Learning Trip,

Minneapolis Conference Review: May Reflection

It was great to attend the conference with Mrs. Jeanie Johnson, our head librarian. Students were cooperative and attended workshops of their interest. We learned about each other and we shared other's passions for their causes. What is the expectation of change? We will brainstorm at the May 24 meeting at Sarah Cox's house from 11:00-12:30. We will have a gathering where students can swim, eat, and plan next year.

Overall, the 25th anniversary conference was not what I expected. The food was not optimal, the cost was high, the weather did not help, and the Peace Jam project was disjointed and unorganized.

Desmond Tutu was inspiring and as in any conference some of the workshops were more valuable than the others.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Message from Shinno-yen Foundation at World Forum
Think of service as peace building
Age 18 to 34= Generation Peace

Peace Jam Presentation: The presenter did not show up and the kid who did the presentation was painfully unprepared. The Director of Youth Serve America introduced the Global Day of Service and gave validity to Challenge 20/20.

The In My Village Book: Mrs. Kay did a great presentation and I will follow-up.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Minneapolis 2008

After a bumpy ride, the Casady group arrived safely to the Hyatt after midnight. The group is getting along well.

Today, the main activity is to get to know a little bit of Minneapolis. Malls of America is the first stop after breakfast.

Faculty members have to be back at 5:00 for a World Forum Reception.

The day is about to begin...