Saturday, December 17, 2011

in the wake of the Koyem:shi

I'm headed off to aul PodjaQ in a few, but it should be noted: I did it.
I completed my FIRST semester EVER of teaching.

And PhotoBooth / Checkers / our couch saw me through it.
Picture highlights from the week:

Driving back from Pojoaque last Monday - which took an inordinately long, if beautiful time because of the ice-tastic, snowy conditions - I found a completely dark Zuni. It was when I passed the Giant gas station and it too was completely unlit, that I realized. WOW! Desh:kwi is here! Desh:kwi is the time when Zunis fast and reflect on the new year, and it is characterized with no outdoor lighting. It was really very beautiful to see the Village truly looking like a village.
Stranger, however, was when I came home (6ish) to find our house completely dark - but Emily's car was in the driveway. She opened the door for me and let me into our pitch-black house. The dialogue went as follows:
Me: I thought Desh:kwi only meant outdoor lights had to be out --?
Emily: We are strict Sha'lak'o house here.
Me: (laughing) Okay.
Emily: Yeah, the power went out about half an hour ago. 
Me:  Wait, what??
(Desh:kwi starts on the 20th)

This has prompted me to create a list: You Know You're in Zuni When:
  • You assume a power outage is, in fact, the advent of a religious holiday.
  • You get a stomach ache and suspect that a couple of your students may be cursing you.
  • Your petsitter is late because she was making fetishes.
  • Your car hood is marked with a weird design and you blame hatikwes (witches)
  • Your students give you roasted corn, oven bread, piki bread, hot cheetos, and kool aid seeds as snacks.
  • Your students' parents coordinate the coming of the gods.
  • You hear scratching under the house and secretly fear the A:doshle (boogeyman)
  • Your scabbed lip is from eating outside and subsequently having a witch suck on it
to be continued. . .

This was us midweek. I think this was Tuesday, when I realized that I needed to make up my unit tests, finish putting in late work, create a detailed unit plan for UNM, finish reading journals, and I would get 86 portfolios the next day. As you can see, a soporific Checkers was most sympathetic.

Me with one such portfolio. It's a little hard to believe that as of 8.30am this morning, I had: successfully printed and distributed the December edition of the T-Bird Times, graded ALL the portfolios (including some real dogs and REAL gems), given unit tests (a bluebook and a persuasive essay on whether Zuni should get a casino [please no]), had my sophomores make vegetable fried rice, did a day of humor and a day of Edwin Arlington Robinson & Edgar Lee Masters (when in doubt, have students read a "Luke Havergal" one act you've written in college), and. . . well. Isn't that enough?

Now off and away - Pojoaque today, Indiana tomorrow, and Iowa for Christmas!

Over and out!