The Evening of
January 8, 2013
As we dive deeper into this experience, I continue to learn about life. On the surface, we look calm and collected, but secretly we are all digging deeper into a reflective understanding of who we are and who we want to be. My initial shock of this adventure came when I realized the reality of being in middle school again and the demanding nature of structure in my life. Yet, this is something that I think we all forget about, as our lives get busier. Is structure important? Is structure something worth maintaining or even establishing in life? I had the opportunity to dive into these questions today and really create an understanding for myself of what they mean. As I was journeying through the day, I found myself heading to Native American Studies with the students in seventh grade. What I beheld as the class unfolded was a powerful presentation of family and structure. Mrs. Rides At The Door, the Native American Studies teacher, asked each student to give a synopsis of a presentation they had preparing on the topic of people important in the Blackfeet Oral Tradition. Each student, a bit shy and highly rested from break, gave a little information before thankfully surrendering the conversation to Mrs. Rides At The Door, who seemed to present a vivid history for each student. As more and more connections were made, the seventh graders themselves began to realize to what extent they were connected in their family history. I was fascinated not only by the stories but also by the ability each of these individuals to understand where they had come from, and then, from there to be able to discern where they want to direct their energies for life.
I recently read a book discussing loneliness in our society. One of the topics it addressed was rootlessness (the separation of the individual from their family and past). The apparent connection of the book with school came when I realized that I could barely tell the story of those who came before me to make my life in its current form possible. Often times we are tired of our story, but really it is an advantage to understanding ourselves through the opportunities we have been given. The story of each of our families is no doubt empowering, funny, chaotic, sad, rough, and no doubt intriguing. Our story is unique and is a force that we can use effectively if only we are willing to take time to listen, whether it be in the silence of a past loved one or the superfluous, passionate story of a grandpa. Let us not forget who we are!!!