Thursday, January 27, 2011

Today was my group's scheduled seminar to facilitate and provide activities & entertainment in what is called "First Words." I think it went over rather well, it was especially easy since it was about Nanook Of The North by Robert Flaherty, which claims to be the "first documentary" but is actually just a big phony staged lie (but it's a beautiful film!). It was also about the mis-representations of Eskimos and Inuit people as well as the tragedy surrounding the American Museum of Natural History and the Polar Eskimos of Greenland. In particular, the young Minik. Going Native by Huhndorf is a really interesting book and it's hardly repetitive, which is a nice change of pace from the last couple of assigned readings.

If you've ever been the the A. M. of N. H. in NYC, I recommend researching this part of the museums history, because it might give you a different sense of the darker sides of Anthropology... and museums.

In seminar today, I had the idea to experiment with an activity called "The Snowball Effect," something I had never seen in seminar but read about on the world wide web. You ask everyone to anonymously write a question, statement, or quote (& I asked everyone to push boundaries (this is Evergreen, after all)) and then everyone crumples up their paper into a ball and at the sound of "GO" throws their snowball at someone across the room. I figured it was way too dumb of an activity to pull in a college setting, especially with the strictest prof. of all times, but it seemed to go really well and filled the complete 2 hour time allotment, and F. V. Rains really liked it! Not everyone got to read their paper because discussion was so lively, and we had to go around just reading out the papers, allowing everyone to get a chance to speak... it's amazing how many people never say anything.

I hit my head really hard on the bathroom mirror a couple of hours ago and I'm feeling really loopy, and doing everything I can not to fall asleep because I heard when people want to sleep they never wake up! Not that I like waking up or anything... but I'd like to continue to wake up for as long as possible.

On a completely different note, for some reason I got to thinking about all those Louis Malle documentaries that I watched about 4 years ago that the Eclipse series put out in that box set. Most of them are about India or France, but GOD'S COUNTRY was filmed in Glenco, Minnesota throughout the mid-1980's and is soooo good. I like Malle's films, but his documentaries are so much better in my opinion. They're so beautiful and the way he represents his subjects are (seemingly) completely honest. This one is especially interesting because Malle's accent sounds so funny in the upper mid-West. Anyways, the entire film is on youtube... but I recommend renting it from the library.


sarahcass said...

i really liked reading this, joel. i'm so glad you blog, and i'm really glad that you're my friend.


J. A. Brazzel said...

I'm really glad you enjoy my web log Sarah, & I'm even happier to have you as a friend.

Also, Zach Pennington was in the office looking for you today.

Hope you have a great time at the Ashley/Eli wedding on Whidbey!