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Lesson Plans

Re: one more totem pole...

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Judith Auslander (judith)
Thu, 16 Oct 1997 13:24:06 -0700

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I enjoy reading your stuff Bunki, and once again, I think and say thank
you for you insights on issues. You make it all so clear. Judith

Bunki Kramer wrote:

> Hi.....I have been reading with interest many thoughts of using
> (ie....totem pole) other cultural beliefs, mores, artwork, etc. and
> putting
> those into our cultural place and time. I think, BTW, we have been
> handling
> this potential firecracker rather well between all of us. I have some
> thoughts for pondering...
> If you are comparing Christianity and the "cross", you might think
> also
> that in our own Christian culture, we have ALSO used the "cross" to
> mean
> many other things other than spiritual. Instead of original wood,
> used wire, jewels,
> paper, toothpicks, TP rolls, pretezels, etc. for materials. Think
> Madonna.
> Think Klu Klux Klan and burning cross.
> I will never know "exactly" what the Northwest Indians might really
> have
> intended when they made their masks, but what I do know, or research,
> I
> intend to share with my students when we make our own. To know that
> there
> are other cultures who also make masks and also other reasons to make
> them
> is beneficial to my kids. It broadens their scope in many ways. So the
> Indians make them out of wood and natural fibers, etc. That's not what
> is
> all-important to me. There's much more than this to discover.
> One last thought....
> We have been enlightened, pushed, forced, asked, required (you supply
> your
> own verb) into including and enlarging our "take" on
> diversity/integration.
> Until this past year it had been left up entirely to me. I personally
> love
> this exploration but only when it enriches what I'm teaching as in
> everything else I use. But....and a big BUT....doesn't "diversity", in
> a
> sense, deepen isolation? We should all relish our heritage...don't get
> me
> wrong. But shouldn't we ALSO be pushing what we have in common?
> Wouldn't
> this commonality make for a better world and a better
> brotherhood/sisterhood of man? We're different, to be sure, but also
> aren't
> we all the same in humanity? Just a thought.....
> Bunki Kramer
> Los Cerros Middle School
> Danville, California 94526


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