One blog a year sounds good to me?

3 Mar

I guess i don’t blog… LIE. I facebook my little heart out, daily, and update my status constantly! That is my own form of blog… take for instance my status today::

“Street art doesn’t belong to anyone, you can’t buy it you can’t sell it, it’s not one persons in particular, its ours, nobody has more access to it than anyone else, we are all equal, it is living, changing, growing, you don’t know where its coming from and you don’t know who’s doing it, it’s not going to last for ever but it is for every one, you just have to have the courage to go out there and do it…”

This is not my quote, but rather a collection of the most powerful quotes from a short film I watched today called To Be Seen By Alice Arnold. I am currently working on a project about what was originally graffiti but has turned into street art as a whole. I am hoping to create an entire art unit about this street art phenomenon. I find street art to be absolutely beautiful, and the meaning behind it even more so. The quote about sums up the most beautiful words I listened to expressed about street art today, and have now created my view on what street art is. I don’t know if anyone will actually read this, but I guess if anyone has any ideas for incorporating street art into a lesson I would love to hear them and add them to my list (which is already becoming huge).

Also… Twitter…. It occupies my time some nights for a while. I have made my Twitter into something specific, and that is of music. Rather than updating what I am doing, I am only updating what I am listening to. Not only that, but I am posting the most important lyrics I hear in the song as well as the song itself. It is my music blog. I used to do it on facebook, but then people got annoyed with the constant updates so I switched it to twitter, where it doesn’t matter as much because I don’t have anybody on twitter anyways. It feels weird updating my twitter, knowing not many people are actually reading it, but at the same time it seems just as important to me. If someone were to read it, and read all of the songs (which are never repeated) they would basically know a lot about who I am, in a non creepy way. I don’t care if people read it, just putting it on the internet lets me express myself. Also, I have a very large collection of music, and by posting the lyrics it makes me really listen to each song, and eventually I would love to have all of my music on my twitter!

Continuing on with art, I have found lately that I look at everything from an aesthetic view-point, and the more I continue on with school the more I see the importance of aesthetics in school, and basically life. A huge impact on this has been the Olympics. The Olympics have basically have had the biggest impact on me I think in my entire life. I have never been so proud to be Canadian. I watched every single event, and knew the schedule off the top of my head. The opening ceremonies truly displayed the creativity that comes out of Canada and literally brought me to tears. The medals, I think, are one of the most beautiful creations ever. I watched the youtube video about the medals and it amazes me. The art that went into the medals, just by the curves to match our country side, and the patterns on the back is amazing. I think it is also truly amazing that all of the medals are different pieces of the art work and you need the entire set of medals to create the whole picture. Enough about the olympics, it has been my life for the past two weeks.

Another thing that has truly impacted me has been my living experience this year. I haven’t been able to really tell anyone about it, besides my close friends and family, but I have this strange feeling that it is alright to put it here and no bad will come from it. I am of First Nation decent, my mother is Aboriginal, and my grandfather is aboriginal. I am proud of this fact and I have no problem telling anybody this. I am also not visually Aboriginal, that is, at first glance it would not be the first thought you would have. I know that this is not nearly as difficult, oppression wise, as being a visual minority, but it does have its hard aspects. I find that I am often in a position where I can’t decide if I should or should not clarify that I am First Nations. It is a difficult decision, when around someone who is maybe being racist or making racist comments, and I don’t know if I should say “Hey I’m Native” and have them react in a certain way (usually defensive which doesn’t make things better), or of I should not say anything at all, and feel like I am ashamed of who I am. It is a difficult struggle that has become more and more apparent as I have gotten older, as I really have never been exposed to much racism in my life. In EPS 200 I wrote the most important paper of my life to date. I wrote a paper on Oppression and Anti-Oppressive education. Reading journal articles about this topic, as well as constructing my own definition of what Oppression is, has help shaped who I am. Now, on to the living conditions I am facing. I have a racist roommate. (Saying it on here seems like much less of an accusation, because I feel like there isn’t any way I can deal with this problem I face daily) She knows I am Aboriginal, and yet she continues to make comments. I can’t even begin to describe the extent of her racism, and the ignorance she portrays through her words. After writing the paper, I understand how she reacts, and I even understand why she is racist… the real problem is, that it really takes a toll on me. Living with her has been one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life, and it’s really shaping the person I am becoming. I know that I can’t just get mad at her, I have to be calm and if I do so choose to argue with her I need to choose my words carefully. Remaining calm while being dragged down by her ignorant words is the hardest thing. And still I have to live with her, and see her everyday, and not cause conflict as it would only make it worse for her… It will not get better, being the person that she is, by having someone lecture her, or tell her that she is racist, because she has even said, “well I’m just racist, and nothing is going to change that.”

The most sickening part is she is in the education program.

Each day is really hard for me, but I know it is making me a stronger person… and I think it is happening for a reason. Over the course of this year I have heard things about ECS and how there is much more education about First Nations, and everyone has to take INDG, and I think that is where I want to aim to with my life. I can see the problems that these classes could be facing, and I would like to be the one who is tackling them, head on, ready to make the program as strong as it could be… I have decided the teacher I want to be is the teacher who is good enough to teach an education class at the University. It is a high goal, but I know that I will be involved with First Nations education and content in some way.

I guess that is all I really have to say,
See you next year,
Samantha Douglas

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8 Responses to “One blog a year sounds good to me?”

  1. Dean Shareski March 3, 2010 at 4:24 pm #

    Samantha,

    I’m a life time subscriber of all my students blogs so as long as you write, I’ll read it.

    I appreciate you sharing your story of racism. I’ve been fortunate to have had some responsibility in First Nations and Metis Education in our school division so my level of awareness and increased greatly over the past few years. Your story, as you probably know isn’t unique. I’d encourage you to proudly own your heritage and gently lead those around you to greater understanding. You may never be able to change those who are steeped in racism but it’s really the many who are swayed by media and friends that you can influence.

    I love how you describe how you use social media in your everyday life. I would encourage to continue blogging as well as you’re able to discuss more complex issues in greater detail here, than in other spaces.

    All the best to you.

  2. Amy Bowllan March 3, 2010 at 4:34 pm #

    Hi Samantha,

    I echo Dean’s thoughts, and I also have a blog, Writers Against Racism. Would it be okay to share your story with my readers and link to your blog?

    Keep sharing your story!

    Amy

  3. driol20c March 3, 2010 at 4:50 pm #

    Hi Samantha,

    I came across your blog post via Dean’s Twitter update. I just wanted to let you know that I was touched by your post. The honesty with which you were able to convey the external and internal struggles you face regarding your identity is powerful. I can only image the dilemma you face is trying to decide whether to speak up or remain silent when you experience racist comments. I face this same dilemma, and I don’t even have to concern myself with being judged as a person who is Aboriginal.

    I hope that with time you will find courage to be proud of your identity and your heritage. I think that our students, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, need this in order for our society to overcome these racial stereotypes that seem to perpetuate.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  4. Carey Pohanka March 3, 2010 at 4:57 pm #

    Samantha,

    If you write more than one post a year, I certainly will read your blog! I was touched by your story of racism. I cannot even imagine how difficult that must be for you. When I was in college, I had a roommate who was Jewish and one who was Catholic and it was sad to see the tension between them sometimes because of their different views of religion. I think part of the experience of college is getting to meet people who are different and to learn to appreciate people for who they are, not for labels we put on them. Sadly, that is not the case.

    I, too, am always surprised and saddened at how racist people can be. I was confronted with racism toward a hispanic woman last night. It was horrible. I had to step in and defend her. The part that made my stomach turn, we that the white man who was making racist slurs assumed that because I am white, that he can be racist in front of me and it is fine. It is like he thought we were in some kind of a club. I’m not in that club.

    I am glad that you felt like you could share your thoughts with us on your blog. It is funny how sharing thoughts with complete strangers can be so wonderful!

  5. samanthadouglas March 3, 2010 at 5:06 pm #

    thank you so much dean, that really helps, as do all of the comments!
    I have no problem with anyone sharing my story and linking to my blog!

    The hardest part I am finding is that I could actually like this person, but I just can’t get past the racism. It is funny how she is really a welcoming person, and was the first in my dorm at the beginning of the year to make me feel comfortable but at the same time can put me in the most uncomfortable situations imaginable.

    I find lately that I daily have to say “I am First Nations”, and the awkward silence that follows is becoming less and less uncomforatble.

    Sharing with strangers really does help… because at least someone is hearing it, and I can say it without straight out making accusations and causing even more harm.

    Thank you all.

  6. Dollie March 4, 2010 at 3:44 am #

    Nice post! I really like your posting.
    i will come back to read more of your posts.
    specially about One blog a year sounds good to me?

    Cheers

  7. Lisa Parisi March 7, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    Samantha, I am so impressed with your bravery here. Please keep blogging. You said you know you must be in this situation for a reason. I truly believe that. It seems that your roommate needs a lesson but so do you. You need to always feel proud of your heritage, regardless of whether or not people can tell at first glance. I deal with the same situation as a light skinned, fair haired Jewish woman. And I have had many people, who assume I am not Jewish, make rude comments about Jews. I no longer care about the awkward silence that follows when I inform them, not that I am Jewish, but that I am offended by the comment. I do the same when I hear comments about any particular race or religion. I am offended and will let people know. It might not change how they behave in private but maybe it will change how they behave in public. Your roommate needs to learn that. Your response to her should be, “You might choose to remain racist your whole life, but I choose not to hear anymore racist comments. Please refrain from making them around me.” Maybe she’ll get the message. And be brave and proud and know that, while she may be affected the lives of children, so will you. More power to you!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. I Have Been Asked to Reflect On My Multicultural Experiences… « Samantha's Blog - February 15, 2012

    […] different and much more detrimental to the core of who I am. (I wrote a post on it during the time here) I lived with someone who was out right racist; every comment she made was in regards to Natives. […]

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