After we got back from Wishtoyo, we had a lecture about music scoring for movies and video games. It was really cool because I didn’t know that there has to be specific music at certain scenes. Today I enjoyed learning new songs from Josie Montes at the Talking Circle. I have never felt comfortable singing around people, but the songs made everything feel natural. The songs that we learned today made me feel closer to to my sisters and I’m really glad to have this opportunity to be here at Native Youth to College.
This is my first time at Wishtoyo and I already have a feeling that I’m going to like it here. When we arrived, everyone was so nice and welcoming. Later we learned about sacred geometry. It was really cool because it was math, which is my favorite subject. It also had art and science and I thought that was interesting. It was so interesting that I really wanted to learn more. After that, all of us went to the beach and that was fun. At night, just looking at the stars made me feel like i was back at home. That made me feel homesick, but my friends were there to make me feel better.
The next day, i woke up to a nice scenery of the ocean on a cool morning. Then we learned how to make traditional jewelry and I had fun making my bracelet. On the last day, I didn’t want to leave. I felt so sad, but there is always next year and I’m defiantly coming back to Wishtoyo.
Today was a great day for me. As the days go by and being here at this program, I feel like I’m accepted into another family. This morning was fun at the Indigenous Games because I liked how everyone was working together and working as a unit. Then when we were learning Aztec Math, it felt easier today than yesterday. I feel like I’m starting to get the hang of it, but at the same time, I confuse myself all over again. It’s a process and I’m really eager to learn because math is my favorite subject. Aztec math is a very different method for me, but its a good different. My favorite part of the day was the basket weaving. I’ve never made a basket before, but trying this activity made everything fun.
I’m glad that I’m learning something new everyday because that is my main goal as I grow. I want to get as much exposure as I can because when I leave for college, there will hardly be any Native Americans at the school I want to go to. Exposure is important to me because my family stresses the idea of me traveling as much as I can on my spare time. Exposure will also help me get over my fear of homesickness and feeling alone. Most Native students are able to go to college and once they leave their home reservation, they notice things are a lot different outside of home. Native kids will feel lonely and they decide to come back home and not go to school anymore.
I met my best friend when I was in 3rd grade. It was the middle of October and a new student walked into the room. Her name was Aleisha. She had really shiny, curly hair tied in two buns. Just imagine Moana as a baby and she looked just liked her. She was shy so she was hiding behind her mom the whole time her and the teacher were talking. I noticed she didn’t know where to sit so I asked her if she wanted to sit next to me. She took the offer. As the day went by, we started talking about our favorite things. We talked about what our favorite movies were, favorite Bratz dolls, and what we liked on pizza. I told her I liked pickles on my pizza, she said, “cool, I like pineapples on mine.” I thought she was the weirdest person I’ve ever met, but I liked how different she was.
Fast forward to 7th grade, we were in middle school. I decided to try out for the softball team. I felt like I wasn’t going to make it on the team and I wanted to give up. I remember what Aleisha said to me. She said, “Des, I know you can do this. You can do anything that you put your mind to. When you do make the team, I will be in those bleachers cheering you on. In the future, I can just see your name in bright lights when Oklahoma State announces your name. Also remember when you play, do it all for the glory of God. Now go to that field and kick some butt!” She didn’t say “butt” exactly, but let’s just say she did. Just like she said, I made the team, she came to every game embarrassing me yelling in the stands, “that’s my girl!!” over and over. Softball became my favorite sport.
It’s 8th grade year and Aleisha tried out for spring track and field. She made the team easily. Track was her favorite sport. Aleisha was the fastest sprinter on the whole team and our whole region. Now its freshman year! Yay! I try out for volleyball, basketball, and softball and I made those teams. Of course she tried out for ttrack and she made the varsity team. She was so amazing, she runs with her heart, that is what I loved the most about her. She was awarded the 4th fastest runner in the whole state of Arizona and I’m proud of her for making that accomplishment.
Ever since I shared my story at the blanket exercise, I felt relief and peace. I felt free. So im thankful for the opportunity to share my story about Aleisha.
The movie “Spirit Game: Pride of a nation” takes place on the Iroquois Nation in New York. It tells a story about the origin of lacrosse and the history of the Onondaga people. As the story continues, the Iroquois nation gets a chance to play in nationals against other nations. The Iroquois nation at first didn’t have the right to play with the other teams, so they were fighting to get their rightful spot back into nationals. After watching this amazing documentary, I feel inspired because these people fought for their rights to play the game that was their own in the first place. I also feel touched emotionally because not a lot of American history teaches students enough about Native Americans and our culture. Most people who are not indigenous think Native Americans are extinct and that is my greatest fear. The fear of my language dying is very terrifying and this movie has taught me that not to forget who you are and where you come from. This movie has taught me to have pride of who I am.
This is my first year at Pitzer college. At first I was really shy, I didn’t know anybody until my awesome roommate made me feel more comfortable. Later on today I still felt like an introvert and I was quiet until we got into the theatre. The games that we did, I felt kinda dumb and then I was starting to have fun. My mentor is also really cool, we share a few things in common and I’m glad she’s my mentor. So today if were to rate it on a scale from 1 to 10, I would give this day a 9 because today was fun.