Sunday, September 18, 2016

Anishinaabe reading

I read Dirty Copper by Jim Northrup. It is mostly narrative, but an interesting read - about an Ojibwe man, Vietnam vet, who became a police officer first on the reservation, then in an urban area.

Next, I read Ogimawkwe Mitigwaki (Queen of the Woods) by Simon Pokagon (Pokagon band, Potawatomi). He lived from 1830-1899, and this is named as the 1st Anishinaabe novel, an autobiographical novel about colonialism and its effects, set in southwest Michigan. It contains many Anishinaabemowin words and phrases, but apparently Pokagon used a mixture of Potawatomi, Ottawa, and Ojibwa, and the new edition published by Michigan State University Press standardized the Anishinaabemowin. I read the 1899 edition, but even so, recognized words I have seen and heard in other contexts. I enjoyed the descriptions of life and wildlife in the woods but felt the negative effects of white society on Native Americans keenly.

I  also read parts of the nonfiction book Imprints: The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and the City of Chicago, by John N. Low(with bits about Michigan), including a chapter on Leroy Wesaw, born in Michigan but moved to Chicago for work, who created the Chicago Canoe Club. Chapter 1 explains the history of the Pokagon band, why some Potawatomi were able to stay in Michigan, and mentions Julia Wesaw, a well-known basket weaver. Chapters 1-2 also discuss Simon Pokagon's life and novel.

Reading a few poems by Margaret Noodin, Weweni, in both Anishinaabemowin and English. Noodin is also the editor of the new edition of Queen of the Woods.

Came across this title, which looks fascinating. A Two-Spirit Journey: The Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder by Ma-Nee Chacaby. Have requested it.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Informed Learning & art (useful for photo)

Smeaton, Kathleen, Clarence Maybee, Christine Bruce, and Hilary Hughes. 2016. "Crossing Literacy and Informed Learning Boundaries with Manga." Access (Online), 30 (1), 12-26. Retrieved from

"Subsequent review of the workshop indicates opportunities for further development." (23)

"For example, it might have been possible to extend students’ experience of the workshop from an art lesson or a life lesson to an informed learning lesson by encouraging them to examine the types of information they were using as well as how they were using them to complete workshop tasks. The students could also have been asked to reflect on how they might apply these approaches to using information to learn in other situations." (24)

Monday, May 2, 2016

Released: Seventh-day Quaker: A spiritual memoir

Sent: Friday, April 29, 2016 4:28 PM
To: Kim Ranger
Subject: RE: Adding your book to ScholarWorks

Hello Kim,

Thank you for submitting your book "Seventh-day Quaker: A spiritual memoir".
Your file has been uploaded and can be viewed at the following link:

Saturday, April 30, 2016


7/22-29/16, home:
love the backyard birdfeeders. This week: lots of juvenile titmice, chickadees, cardinals, robins. Female Evening Grosbeak. Immature male Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Yellow-shafted Northern Flicker. 6 Blue jays all at once. Male Red-bellied woodpecker. This afternoon Amy saw a puzzled juvenile blue jay that learned how to eat out of the feeder after watching a downy woodpecker.

7/29/16, GVSU arboretum:
Pileated woodpecker

5/20/16, Aman:
Thrushes singing

5/17/16, Blandford:
Indigo bunting

5/5/16, Aman Park:
Black-throated green warbler, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, thrush (probably Swainson's), vireo, pair of Red-breasted Grosbeaks.

4/29/16, at home (morning), GVSU - Allendale (early afternoon), then Blandford Nature Center (early evening):

House Finch,
White-throated Sparrows (a whole flock feeding on the ground at Blandford in the evening), White-crowned Sparrow, House Sparrows, Song Sparrow?
Red-winged Blackbirds,
Tree Swallows,
Canada Geese, Mallard Ducks,
Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Robins,
Nuthatches, Chickadees, Titmouse,
Mourning Doves,
Red-tailed hawk, Turkey Vulture, Crows,
Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker,
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (female?),
4 warblers at the top of a tall tree, mostly yellow, perhaps Pine Warblers?

Usually at home feeders, also lately:
Hairy Woodpeckers,
Bluebird (Amy saw 4/28)

4/27/16, neighborhood:
Great Blue Heron, mute swans

Saturday, April 23, 2016


6/2/16, Blandford Nature Center:
White: Campion, blackberries
Yellow: Goat's beard

5/20/16, Aman Park:
White:  Mayapple,s False Solomon's Seal, False Lily-of-the-Valley, Wild Strawberries
Yellow:  Golden Alexanders
Red: Columbine
Pink/white: Honeysuckle

5/17/16,  Blandford Nature Center:
Pink/purple: Dame's Rocket

5/8/16, Blandford Nature Center:
Blue: phlox
Green: Jack-in-the-Pulpits
Yellow:  Marsh Marigolds, Winter Cress, Buttercups, Downy yellow violets
White:  Trillium, Squirrel corn, Canada white violets, False Rue Anemone
Pink/purple: wild geraniums, spring beauties, violets

brown - Garter snake!

5/5/16, Aman Park:
White: Canada white violets, squirrel corn
Pink/purple: wild geranium

4/29/16, Blandford Nature Center:
Pink/purple: wild geraniums

4/27/16, Blandford Nature Center:
Yellow: winter cress and downy yellow violets

4/22/16, at Aman Park, I saw: myrtle (not a wildflower), redbud trees blooming, and:

White: bloodroot, trillium, Dutchman's breeches, cut-leaved toothwort, false rue anemone
Yellow: dandelion, trout lilies, buttercups, large-flowered bellwort
Pink/purple: spring beauties, spring cress, violets
Green: blue cohosh
Maroon: wild ginger

I was sorry to have missed the hepatica blooming.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Working on my own racism

Today I attended a talk by Dr. Todd E. Robinson, author of A City within a City: The Black Freedom Struggle in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Dr. Louis Moore, about historic racism in GR and how we can do better presently at GVSU and in GR. One of our Financial Aid staff mentioned BL²END, which connects business leaders to
"young professionals of color to learn, network, grow and become engaged in the Grand Rapids community." Today's speakers' advice for caucasians was to go to the neighborhoods and shop at places we might not usually be in, to put ourselves into our discomfort zones, to interact and communicate with people who are different from ourselves. I liked BL²END's fb page.

Earlier in the semester, I worked with a student whose thesis was that the Black Panthers were not a "radical" group in the socially negative sense. I was happy to connect him to the Articles/Databases page of the Library Subject Guide for African American Studies, to find first-hand, participatory and observed accounts from African Americans.

A couple of weeks ago, we watched The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, a documentary which was fascinating and worth watching multiple times. I also just finished reading Rita Williams-Garcia's book One Crazy Summer, which set 3 young girls in Oakland, CA, in 1968, interacting with the Black Panthers. Both the film and book showed me that there were really positive aspects of the Panthers, e.g., African American men cooking and serving free breakfasts, the summer camps for youngsters, and the power of a kitchen printing press-produced poster of 20 copies bringing over 1,000 people to a rally.

Bias in search result algorithms

Matthew Reidsma recently posted about his research into search results from the Summon tool, and his work was referred to and built upon by both Barbara Fister and Dani B. Cook. Imperfections (aka bias) exist not only in information, but in tools which are meant to help us find information. It isn't just a matter of "question everything" or "question authority" but action too - not just looking for the best (that of god) in everyone but creating ways of finding the best in people and information. Creating and sharing meaning and purpose in community. Matthew's ways of allowing all users to participate in scrutinizing and questioning judgments made by corporations in order to improve information access is truly radical information literacy (Drew Whitworth).