Sunday, January 18, 2009

Jeremy in Fairbanks, Isiik Sun'ami

Jeremy left for Fairbanks on Thursday, after getting stuck here in Wednesday. I have not been posting much because I am still adjusting to the idea that every two weeks my life will be like this. Emmy keeps asking about him and pretends to talk to him on her pretend cell phone. She's getting better at speaking to him on the real phone too - it's almost starting to sound like a real conversation. At least this first trip is broken up by Emmy and I flying up to Fairbanks next week.

Emmy used the potty for the first time yesterday. We got her an Elmo's Potty Time video for Christmas (more of a gift for ourselves to be honest) And she has been watching it lately. I don't understand what kind of draw Elmo as, but she's just obsessed, even though we don't have TV for her to watch any other Elmo besides the DVD we have. I had just gotten off the phne with Wanda (Jeremy's mom) telling her we weren't going to try thepotty training right now because of all the moving we just did and the traveling coming up. Then She started talking about "potty" so ...well we don't need to go into details. She'll be embarrassed enough in 10 years to know these moments were published on the web.

Life has been pretty stressful lately. We are trying to hire for two positions in the Alutiiq language program, I am moving into new offices (which is great, but will be lonely until we get the new staff). I am preparing to take my oral exams so I can advance to candidacy. I was late in filing my request for an outside examiner to the graduate school, so now I don't even know if my exam will happen when I fly up to Fairbanks. I also have one more paper to write for the comprehensive exam, which has to be of publishable quality. I am going to write about the representation of Alutiiq people by anthropologists and social scientists, and how Alutiiq communities and scholars need to have more control over our own representations in the scholarly literature due to the history (long ago and recent) of inaccurate portrayals and analysis of our culture. I am sure this issue is true for many Indigenous communities, but I see this problem becoming more discussed now that Native people are entering the academy in higher numbers. Did you know that UAF, where I am seeking my doctorate, has only graduated 4 Native Ph.D's in its whole history? BUt there are now more than a handful of current doctoral students, and they are starting up an Indigenous Ph.D. program.

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