Sunday, November 16, 2008

Indians

This is a wonderful photograph of a Native American on horseback taken in the early 1900's. I love these old Edward Curtis photographs of Native Americans.


Most of you know that I recently left the rat race, and moved to a very remote and rural area of West Texas, and have started teaching school. I will have to tell you that I have done a lot of interesting things, but nothing has been as rewarding as teaching school. I teach Algebra II, Business, Computers, and Multimedia.

I have been teaching now for a couple of months. I can remember my first day of class, I had one class made up of a particularly tough group of students. These students did not have a history of academic success, and struggled in a number of areas, and with a number of issues. On the first day, I threw out the text book, and told the students I was going to teach them to do something useful, and that they would accomplish something that they could be proud of, and that they would be recognized for. I then spent two weeks teaching them about copyrights, privacy rights, publicity rights, trademarks, patents, and property rights. The next four weeks I taught them to really master photoshop for restoration of old photographs. The next four weeks I taught them html and WEB site design. Just last week the class finished their first WEB site. I was so impressed with their work. The site was 100% their effort . . . I did not write anything on the site, and all the images were done by them, based on public domain material found at the Library of Congress. It is amazing to me the job they did in bringing these old photographs back to life. Also, all the text is their own writing.

I would appreciate it if you would maybe take a moment and look at their work. You can see their site at Picture Indian. If you like what you see, you might consider dropping them an email. Their email address is at the bottom of their site. A kind word from a stranger might make all the difference in these student's life.

13 comments:

  1. Paul:

    What you are doing with your students is amazing and invaluable. I checked out their website, and it's fabulous. I do intend to drop them a line.

    My warmest congtratulations to you and your class on a significant accomplishment, and I hope you continue in your fine efforts. I'm sure you will make a difference in many students' lives during your career as a teacher.

    Also, thank you for your wonderful website and for sharing your fascinating historical photographs with us. I look forward to them every day as well as to the spirited discussion they sometimes provoke.

    Any reasonably intelligent person should understand that we can't know who we are or where we're going until we understand where we've already been.

    Please continue with your fine contributions. And to those bloggers who don't like your comments (whether positive or negative), they are free to go elsewhere!!!

    Thanks Again!!


    Thanks!!!

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  2. Paul:

    I am Kent Wood, a professional photographer and artist for the last 35 years. What you did for your students and what your students did for restoring not only valuable photographs, but our nation's history is truly commendable. My congratulations to you and your students hard work. These images are invaluable.
    My web address is KentWoodPhoto.com if your students want to see some contemporary "western photography". I can be reached at Kentpwood@cs.com

    Thanks again, I will visit the site repeatedly!

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  3. You should be proud of the wonderful contribution you are making to the lives of your students and to all of us who read your blog daily.

    I am uplifted to know that men that care still exist.

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  4. My! All of Edward Curtis' photos are brilliant!

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  5. Master Paul,
    Booker T. Washington once said something to the effect that "A Man becomes a success when he overcomes all the obstacles he confronts while trying to be a success", or something to that note.
    The point I am Trying to make is I do believe You have ARRIVED. You Have counted a very big Coup. I believe you have slayed your worst enemy, ones self. You are New and Vibrant today. thank you and Keep your Heart and Tracks Happy
    nanny

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  6. Love it and said so.
    http://cellar.org/showthread.php?p=504915#post504915

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  7. I had a teacher; not in high school but in 5th & 6th grade mate who changed my attitude toward school. He help was invaluable and I still think of her to this day. That was 40 years ago.

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  8. Great job both here and with your students. I went to their website and it was excellent. The photos and words tell a story and it is important that the stories are shared.

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  9. Isn´t it great when someone who is as mature as you can become a teacher? I pity the poor children who happen to have an opinion of their own which doesn´t match yours.


    Even better that you taught them about copyrights Mr. NoSourceGiving

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  10. I love the web site, almost as much as I love THIS site!! As a girl of 13-15 my family lived on the Apache Indian reservation for a time. (no I am NOT native American, my father worked for and still works for the tribe). I love the Apache people. I love thier traditions and the outlook on life. I loved the quiet of the reservation. I am not THAT old, (45) yet there were still homes that had dirt floors and no electricity. Very simply led lives. I had the honor of being blessed by a medicine man during my first pregnancy. It was awesome!
    Great picture, GREAT web site I will visit often!!

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  11. I was a teacher for 32 years and I can tell you there is no greater service you can perform. That being said, watch out for adminstrators. They are the single greatest obstacle to great teaching.

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  12. Thank you for your hard work in teaching your students. However I had feelings of uneasiness about the theme of spirits, legends, and basic assumption that American Indians have vanished. I am aware that the Curtis photographs are of a time passed but it would be educational for your students to be aware of contemporary American Indian life. I hope you take this into consideration. If I have been misinformed and missed the point completely I apologize. Thank you.

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  13. They are going to remember you as the best teacher ever.

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