Saturday, June 24, 2017

Toward sabbatical

I read an interesting novel mostly set on Mackinac Island: The Island of Doves by Kelly O'Connor McNees, about a woman who escapes an abusive situation and finds a new, supportive, loving family. It is based on historical people in the early 1800's.

We talked about what moving forward means in the Teaching Life Retreat. I have new ideas; I am embarking on scholarship; I am embarking upon an adventure! I would like to help the workplace create a culture of support, community, and open communication. I want to help colleagues truly practice inclusion, equity, and integrity. I would like to get (back, and forward) to the person who is a good listener, can see the big picture and any gaps, can draw out the feelings and needs of the speaker, can coach toward better teaching and learning by practicing the principles of "nonviolent communication" and (nonreligious) spiritual direction as well as peer coaching. I also want to practice art and music, to move toward realizing a vision in my photos and improving my painting. One person suggested that I look into the symphony's "Musical for Health Initiative" program to see if I could join to play my viola for people, when I come back -- maybe there is an opportunity for amateurs, volunteers.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Art and vessel

What is it that I want to portray with art? Yousef Karsh showed people's souls through stillness in portraits, Henri Cartier-Bresson through the "decisive moment" in candid B&W photos. Eve Arnold used available low light and muted color in her outdoor photos. 

How do my experiences and influencers show up? Outdoor photos with available (often low) light. Trying to show how light falls or bounces. Stillness, except for the motion of water. Romantic. Pointillism.

I'm more serious than funny but have a sense of humor. I carry fear, anger, and resistance to authority. I love learning, nature, connection, reflecting.
Taking the photos gives me a kind of focus outside myself, as does manipulating them. What about my photos would/might move someone forward to new understanding? Patterns - repeated shapes or shadows, details of a flower. 

Being in-between: not one thing nor another but a third concept, upside-down and backwards (a.k.a. contrary) to most people. A solitary mystic who revels in contemplating and exploring the biggest ideas about the universe and how we fit into it. How the parts mirror and reveal the whole, how the whole has to be considered in individual decisions and actions and why it is so very necessary to consider the "other" or "othered": social justice, responsibility, compassion, bridges.

What are some ideas to explore? Chaos. How the physical items I have show who I am? Quaker history of Indian boarding schools; reconciliation--started a conversation about creating something like an “Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners” statement but am leaving it to season with time and to let elders discuss the idea.

I feel so distant from the book and my chapter. Maybe that's what my pictures show right now - that waiting emptiness. The paths without a center of focus - just the open path. Maybe that's all I can be right now - a vessel. An unoccupied bench, a reflection in the water.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Kristin Hogan

The GVSU Library partnered with Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies to bring Kristen Hogan to campus - professor/librarian and author of The Feminist Bookstore Movement : Lesbian Antiracism and Feminist Accountability.

An interview with her about her book:

Chapters and an article:
We Collect, Organize, Preserve, and Provide Access, With Respect: Indigenous Peoples’ Cultural Life in Libraries, in Beyond Article 19 : Libraries and Social and Cultural Rights, with Loriene Roy

Balancing Access to Knowledge and Respect for Cultural Knowledge: Librarian Advocacy with Indigenous Peoples’ Self-Determination in Access to Knowledge, in Libraries Driving Access to Knowledge

Women’s Studies in Feminist Bookstores: “All the Women’s Studies women would come in,”  Signs Journal of Women in Culture and Society.

My thoughts:
Hogan's writings about Indigenous peoples helped me think about access to sacred knowledge in a different way - that sometimes there are good reasons for limiting access to information or artifacts (e.g., to certain seasons of the year) or to certain population segments (e.g., women vs men, indigenous or non-indigenous).
Hogan refers to the Feminist Bookstore News, which we have in the Independent Voices database, so I looked up Kalamazoo Pandora and read the articles about River Ardz's bookstore, which I think was open 1981-1999. While I went there, it was infrequently, and I felt like I missed out on a lot of River's wisdom, until Amy reminded me that I should be gentle with myself about the past and living in Kalamazoo.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Birding 2017

7/26/17 Brisbane / Annerley, QLD, Australia : Daily birds
Rainbow Lorikeets, Scaly-breasted Lorikeets (green), Noisy Miners, Australian Magpies, Pied Butcherbirds, Spotted Doves (aka turtle-doves)

Heard: Grey Butcherbird, Willie Wagtail (typewriter-like sounds), Pied Currawong,  Magpie-Larks (make bluejay-like sounds)

6/20/17 Blandford
Indigo bunting

5/17/17   Home
3 flying Green Herons

5/16/17   St. Joseph

5/14/17   Kalamazoo Nature Center; Blandford Nature Center, Home
  1. Rufous-sided Towhee pair, 
  2. Common Yellow-throated Warbler, 
  3. Catbirds, 
  4. Tree Swallows, 
  5. Pileated Woodpeckers, 
  6. Wood Thrush, 
  7. Black-billed Cuckoo, 
  8. Rose-breasted Grosbeak pair, 
  9. Red-winged Blackbirds, 
  10. Robins, 
  11. Chipping sparrow, 
  12. Goldfinch.
On the way home:
  1. Red-winged Hawk, 
  2. Turkey Vultures, 
  3. Herring Gull, 
  4. 2 Sandhill Cranes.
  1. 3 Baltimore Oriole males, 
  2. Chickadees (including a crestless juvenile), 
  3. Mourning Doves, 
  4. Canada Geese, 
  5. Cardinal, 
  6. Mallard Ducks, 
  7. Downy Woodpecker, 
  8. Crows, 
  9. Red-eyed Vireo
Home: Indigo Bunting!

5/12/17   Home, Blandford, corner of Leonard & 8th.
Phoebe; Catbirds, Red-eyed Vireo, pair of male Mallards; 3 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks(1 female, 2 males)

5/9/17   GVSU.
Chipping sparrow

5/7/17   Aman Park.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak

5/5/17   Bear Creek Park, Houston.
Prothonotary warbler, Summer tanager, Wood duck family, Blue-headed vireo (female? no yellow),
Tufted titmice, Carolina chickadees, Cardinals, Blue jays, Downy woodpeckers, Pileated woodpeckers, Mockingbirds, Grackles (great- or boat-tailed), White-winged doves.
Red-eared slider turtle.

4/27/17   Houston.
Carolina chickadees, Cedar waxwings. 

4/24/17   Houston.
White-winged doves, mockingbirds, female Great-tailed Grackles. Heard: Carolina wrens, Swainson's thrush.

4/17   Aman Park.
Pileated woodpeckers 

4/10   GVSU.
Phoebe, Kinglet (couldn't see the crown color)

Eastern Kingbirds, phoebes

3 Sandhill cranes! 

A high 3-note call I couldn't identify - a small bird, high in the trees, maybe Brown Creepers?

2 Sandhill cranes!

Red-breasted nuthatches! White-breasted nuthatches, red-bellied woodpecker, chickadees, titmice, goldfinches, blue jays, cardinal

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Wildflowers 2017

6/20/17 in Blandford and on drive to work
Vetch, peas, yarrow, yellow cinquefoil, black medic, chicory

6/6/17 in Blandford
White: Bladderwort campion, blackberries, ox-eye daisies, daisy fleabane, clover
Yellow:  Goat's beard
Pink/purple: Dame's rocket

5/14/17 in Kalamazoo Nature Center
White: Mayflowers, Baneberry, Squirrel corn, Trillium, Canada white violets
Yellow: Golden Ragwort, Buttercups, Golden Alexanders, Winter cress, Yellow violets
Pink/purple: Redbud, Wild Geranium, Violets (common)
Red: Columbine
Blue: Phlox
Green: Jack-in-the-Pulpit

5/12/17 and 5/14 in Blandford
Yellow: Winter cress (non-native), Indian strawberry, buttercups
White: honeysuckle, wild strawberry
Purple: ground ivy (Creeping Charlie)

5/7/17 in Aman Park
White: Squirrel corn, False rue anemone, Trillium, Canada white violets
Yellow: Large-flowered Bellwort, Yellow violets
Pink/purple: Phlox, Redbud, Wild Geranium, Spring beauties, Violets (common)
Blue: VA bluebells
Green: Blue cohosh, Jack-in-the-Pulpit
Maroon: Wild ginger

4/22/17 - 5/5/17 in Houston
Cloudless giant sulphur butterfly

4/17 in Aman Park
White: bloodroot, Dutchman's britches, spring cress, false rue anemone, cut-leaved toothwort, hepatica, trillium, Canada white violets
Yellow: trout lilies, dandelions
Pink/purple: spring beauties, violets (common)
Blue: VA bluebells are budded
Green: ramps, blue cohosh budded
Maroon: wild ginger budded

4/10: hepatica, spring cress, spring beauties, anemone, ramps in the North Ravines, GVSU
4/5:   both purple and white violets in Blandford.
3/24: 1st hepaticas blooming in Aman Park.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Libraries are for everyone

Thanks to Rebecca McCorkindale, Hafuboti, we have access to posters at I’m making a word doc to accompany my poster, and the document lists many translations of "Libraries are for everyone." I have been wishing for an

Anishinaabemowin (Odawa, Ojibwe, and Potawatomi languages) translation and reached out to colleague Simone Jonaitis, who recommended Kenny Neganigwane Pheasant, Anishinaabemowin Language Coordinator, Little River Band (Odawa),

I found this word somewhere for libraries: agindaasoowigamigoon. "Everyone" might be conveyed by "bemaadiziwaad"? And "are for" might be conveyed by the idea of "belong to"? dibendaagwaad? 

Kenny said, "I have to think what does a library do, I need to know who, what, where, when and why." So I wrote, "Libraries provide collective (group) access to knowledge recorded in some way. At GVSU, we serve the students, employees, and surrounding communities. As librarians, we are trying to change the idea that only individual people have the right to create information and learn, to the idea that groups have the right to create and use knowledge. The idea of libraries is communal cultural responsibility for teaching and learning. How do we convey the idea that “libraries are for everyone”?

I was able to articulate this after reading some of Roy and Hogan's 2010 chapter calling for "librarians to shift away from an individualist ideology" (123) and to instead, "support indigenous peoples' access to the cultural rights of Article 27 [ of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights] by stressing the plurality of "collective rights to participation in the cultural life for multiple communities" (125). And by moving away from the concept of culture as a consumable object to culture as the activities of communities.

Roy, Loriene, and Kristen Hogan. "We collect, organize, preserve, and provide access, with respect: Indigenous peoples' cultural life in libraries." Beyond Article 19: Libraries and social and cultural rights. Duluth: Litwin Books, 2010.