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Material wealth -- Kuna Indians

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From: Judy Decker (jdecker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Jul 02 2001 - 16:00:49 PDT


The molas are "material wealth" to the Kuna Indians....they spend their time
creating material wealth and then display it for on lookers. Sometimes
brides are even chosen for their material wealth...And we use our material
wealth to purchase it (I guess that is sort of the barter system after
all --anyone who takes it out in trade is not "stealing after all"....you
are just using the barter system of so many world cultures --- You have
given them your material wealth--your time-- for theirs....Isn't that the
same thing?...Hmmm.. I have given my school so much of my time and "material
wealth" voluntarily....what would happen if now if I would want to take it
out in trade? the barter system?)

In many professions time is very valuable....We as teachers are not paid for
our time....Our time is not valued and our job is a very hard one in my
book.

I look around my house and just marvel at all of my material wealth....
I have more material wealth than anyone who doesn't have two molas....If you
have more than two molas then you have more wealth than I do.
I have the love and respect for my ancestors...in my African art collection
I have the love for the land in my African art collection
I have the gold of the black hills in the ring I wear....and control of my
life in the stone. My other rings symbolize my family (that is why I never
take my rings off except to clean them from time to time---heck I'm an art
teacher)
I have the gifts of my family (in Richer antiques and other gifts)
And here is a good laugh....I even have my family in charge of the whole
world in my art work....What do you think about that? (trust me-- it was
purely by accident). I have the love of my brothers and sisters all over
this land too. I have great material wealth... Unfortunately....my material
wealth is not going to get my son through college....So it is high time we
turn the tides and pay teachers for what they deserve....The teachers are in
charge of our future! Let's reward them for their time....He we don't take
our summer's off -- We use our summers to get better at our jobs. It sure is
a good thing my school gave me so much time off so I could get better at my
job....I am thanking everyone now by helping to make education more valued.
We have to pay so much for "higher education".... When the most important
education is what we learn in "kindergarten" and in Art....those are the
skills that take us through the rest of our lives....Boy did I learn the
story of the "little red hen"...she did what she had to do to get the job
done...she didn't give up...she just did it all when no one would help her.

Art is really the most important curriculum....Art helps us find beauty in
the world around us....helps students get their values in order. Art
teachers should get paid more because we help them to see the most important
things in life...Art gives us the love of our brothers and sisters all over
this land. (One of my theme songs lately). Art teaches us how to appreciate
beauty in all things --in all people. Why brushing your teeth really can be
an aesthetic moment (some posted that a while back)....One of the teachers
in my first Lima City Schools Symposium did a little dramatic gig about
brushing her teeth....We had a lot of fun in that one too. Those who sit in
an office and just try to control us have the easier job...hey we know what
we are doing....We have to do our job and yours much of the time. If I had
my wish....I would give all teachers a big hefty raise ("be careful what you
wish for"....smile)...Cause just telling them they have the power to control
our future just isn't enough....I know that is true...Better look out all
who are in education "just for the money"....These children are our
future....and change is good. What if we just started charging per hour per
child what one would get as a baby sitter....Think about it....who would get
the higher salary then? Don't we all sometimes feel that folks think all we
do is baby sit?

I am working for education now for free....just have a big smile. I knew I
would be able to reflect on my words that I have written in the
past...sometimes just the highlights are a "good thing".

Marvelous Monday!

Judy Decker

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