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If anyone still uses this site anymore, hi!

The last time I wrote in this blog was when I was still in the Social Work program xD jesus. I've graduated (last year) in English and Indigenous Studies, wasted half a year doing Honours English, quit, and am now doing nothing in particular but job hunting and slowly cleaning my dump of a room. It's one of those "you won't believe it till you see it" things.

Updates...Travis and me having our 6-year anniversary today. He's still in California, I'm still here. Nothing too new! I still have to figure out a way to get there to live and work.

Yesterday I was volunteering with my friend Mylinh's temple just for kicks, sorting out toiletries donations for a homeless shelter in Toronto. I felt fairly useful for the first time in a while. I would do volunteering more often if it didn't require money to transport my unemployed ass there! We went down to Toronto to the actual shelter to drop everything off, and were planned to help out serving dinner to the homeless people there, but there were TOO MANY volunteers.

So we went home.

Someone called shotgun for me because I was "the oldest", 22 years old. Everyone else was like 18. Earlier, someone guessed my age to be 25. Seems like I'm getting on in years :P Oh boy.

Missing Class: a short paper about things I learned from Lee Maracle
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This short paper was written for my Social Welfare Policy class. A little bit of a background on this class, it's actually a great class which is an exception to the rule of most classes I've been taking in the Faculty of Social Work. Despite this class being cool - or maybe adds to its coolness cause it forces us to care/attend class, sometimes - we have to write a small paper of about 1-2 pages everytime we miss a class. Needless to say I have only missed one class and this was on Monday and I had a real good reason. I'm posting the paper I wrote for shits and giggles.

This little paper doesn’t really start on March 21, 2011, it goes back to the beginning of my reading life which I don’t remember at all, but I know it was when I was young. Reading has been always one of the most important things in my life even while I am not the biggest fan of the educational system. Fast forward to Fall 2011, when I was in the Indigenous Studies Creative Arts and Drama course, with Monique Mojica, who is a well-known artist in indigenous arts circles and was in the movie Smoke Signals (highly recommended by the way). She in turn knows many extremely talented indigenous artists. One of these is writer (or more accurately, maybe I would call her a storyteller) Lee Maracle, who came last Monday as a guest speaker for another class which Monique is teaching this term, but I didn’t get to take it because of Social Welfare Policy class which is held at the same time (not a complaint, don’t worry – but this is a factor in why the Monday class was missed). She has written several novels and collections of short stories/poems which I really enjoyed because they are written beautifully and give a very different, uncensored view of colonialism as well as West Coast indigenous people’s way of seeing and moving through the world.

I had the honour of meeting Lee Maracle a few weeks ago at a book launch for a book called Feminism for Real, and had a little chat with her but nothing major; last week, I got to actually meet her along with two friends and another student. We were dubbed her “Welcoming Committee” by Monique who couldn’t be present, and we had coffee and an inspiring talk with her – Lee is a really wise, funny woman who isn’t afraid to say what she really feels/thinks. In some ways I think reading her books and books like them, has encouraged me thus far to speak out when I feel it’s necessary. I HAD to skip to hear her. There was almost no choice for me, because I so admire Lee and her writing.

When we got to the class, Lee stated first that she would be discussing “Sto:loh Art” (Sto:loh is the nation she is a registered member of), and all that she talked about was not directly about Sto:loh art, but more about the beliefs behind art and creativity. She began by telling us about how when a baby is being born, the room is dark, so that the baby can have the next three days to connect with their mother and establish an imagination of her. What I found compelling was the importance that Lee places on imagination: at the risk of butchering her way of saying it, what I picked up was that our relationships with other people and with the world is based on our imagination. Without engaging the imagination, we can’t really see anything. For example, if we are walking by somebody, if we don’t establish a connection and imagine that other person, within a context and as a human being, then we will bypass each other and will not engage. What I added to that in my brain was that after that moment, that person does not exist to us anymore if we don’t further imagine them.

Lee talked about many, many things in the two hours that we were given to learn from her. She talked about reclaiming of colours and of the dark, and of the Dream world, which is the way that we interpret our lives in our subconscious but also a world in itself that we reclaim through artistic means and again, the imagination. The artist’s role, Lee says, is to find the connecting thread: Ojibways and Crees for example, see the world like a big wheel with threads that are points of view, as spokes of that wheel. The artist’s role is to see what connects those threads. She also mentioned that we are all connected by stories. Our body is there to take care of what is inside, our brain and soul (I’ve heard before of the classifications of “mind, body and spirit” many times in talking with traditional people, and of how they are inexplicably interconnected to make a person). Every single aspect of us contains a story: we are made up of stories, and we are all connected by story.

"How does this long spiel relate to social work and social welfare policy?" you might ask. I have found so far that usually, the social work program neglects any focus on this part (besides AOP class maybe) of people’s lives and it’s important to understand this to even start to really understand the clients in relation to “the rest of society”, to their stories, and to social workers. The great emphasis on stories is something that is sometimes missed in Western academic discourse and for me, I think it’s important to come back to that to reclaim not only colours and the imagination but my place as a human being in relation with other humans. Lots of things, I find are “relationship to”, which I think would be more productive as “relationship with” since a relationship is something that involves two entities.

But for now I think I’ve covered a few key points. Thanks for reading :)

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DUDE WTF. I was trying to type an exciting blog but it got erased. Not that it was extensive or anything but still...

What I wanted to say was that I am seriously contemplating starting a blog concerning my experience in the social work program at my university because so much ironic, hilarious, ridiculous, etc, stuff ensues in that supposedly anti-oppressive (ha, dream on) environment . Of course, I would keep confidentiality - hopefully I would be able to account some amusing or interesting stories.

My problem is finding a name for said blog. Any clever name-creator have ideas?

Should I just use this blog? 

*the Beach Boys remind me of a lovely snowless day...

2012 "Apocalypse" - Maya perspective
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I had the honour and privilege to meet Fernando Hernández, a Maya man from Chiapas, Mexico, and the opportunity to absorb knowledge from him. He was invited to my school for an Indigenous Knowledge Lecture session, a discussion of his role in the movie "Apocalypto" and a discussion of the racial issues in that movie. I also learned a lot of other knowledge from him, and advice on my own contemplation of racial and cultural identity.

But that's for another time if I decide to write a journal about it later. The issue at hand is 2012. What people mistakenly call the "Mayan prophecies".

In short, it is complete garbage. The notion of such an apocalypse is a Western deduction of what they have "found" about the Mayas.
The Maya never made this prophecy.

But from the words of an actual Maya person:
There are three main Maya books (codex) and they are about astronomy, prophecy, and the calendar. In the book of prophecies, there is no mention of such an apocalypse at the end of the 12th katun, which happens to be 2012 in the Western calendar. The Maya calendar ends in 2012, but time does not end just because the calendar does. To say that the world will end is to say that time as we know it will end. Time is a neverending cycle regardless of calendar recordings, and to suggest that the Maya made such a prophecy is to suggest that the Maya are stupid and don't know anything about time.

The end of the calendar marks only the end of the 12th katun. The end of the 12th katun to the beginning of the 13th is an interesting and special time because the number 13 is sacred to the Maya. The idea Fernando brought up was that the entrance into the 13th sacred katun should realize a shift in the world population's way of thinking, an expansion into openness and discovery...and maybe even less destruction of peoples and resources. Not "saving the world" and "becoming green"; the earth is powerful and it's pretty presumptuous of human beings in general to assume that we have the power to destroy the world - at least in Western thinking. The ability to shift the global view is possible though. Maybe. We'll see how that goes.

That's all for now. Thanks for reading.

Personality Test
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My Personality
Openness to Experience
High levels of stress can lead to you feeling panic or confusion, but usually you cope with day to day pressures, however you are sensitive about what others think of you. Your concern about rejection and ridicule cause you to feel shy and uncomfortable around others. You are easily embarrassed and often feel ashamed. Your fears that others will criticize or make fun of you are exaggerated and unrealistic, but your awkwardness and discomfort may make these fears a self-fulfilling prophecy. People generally perceive you as distant and reserved, and you do not usually reach out to others. You tend not to express your emotions openly and are sometimes not even aware of your own feelings. You are willing to take credit for good things that you do but you don't often talk yourself up much, however you generally see others as selfish, devious, and sometimes potentially dangerous. Your sense of duty and obligation is average and although you are mostly responsible you can sometimes be unreliable.

Free Poll


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[I like neon green although it doesn't match with other colours]


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