Photo on 5-17-15 at 9.29 AM  I illustrate the scene when Alcxie stand in front of the mirror imagining himself as a doctor. I copy the idea of “who is the prettiest woman on earth” from Snow white. As you can see, it around the frame of the mirror. I purposely used pencil and depicted a blurry background, to show Alxie’s struggle. Alexie is also illustrate as a “tree” and his roots are connected to his backgrounds. The name of roots are: indian; un-respectable; smoking…….

My group decided that we would represent the Alexie text “Indian Education” using different collages. I chose to do a simple drawing for the fourth grade section in Alexie’s piece.

Poems-Visual Poems Collaboration; Found Art of Alexie’s piece

My group, Islam and I (Wadgma) decided to take on Alexie’s piece, “Indian Education” and alter into two forms: poems and “visual poems” (which are basically drawings). We decided to take on the span of Alexie’s elementary education from first grade to sixth grade; I took on writing the poems and Islam took on the visual poems. Our aim was to keep Alexie’s humorous tone and reflect this tone in our found art. The visual poems required Islam to imitate the drawing style of a child, but later these drawings evolve as Alexie evolves (grows up). The poems (poems with words) required me to extract some of the main points from each grade level from first to sixth grade and display it poetically. Here are the drawings Islam produced:


You can basically see how these drawings evolved from simple to more complex, just as if Alexie is growing up.

Here are the poems I have written:

First Grade

There once was a boy named Sherman.

He was an Indian boy but without the turban.

If there was one thing you wouldn’t be so certain,

the many names he had that the white boys burdened-

“Sherman” and some days he was “Junior falls down”

or mister “steal his lunch”, “cries like a whiteboy”.

His name was Sherman.

Second Grade

There once was a boy named Sherman

Who had an evil teacher named Betty

Each day in class, there would be a different sermon

meant for Sherman

and even if his palms got sweaty

with loads of books

in his arms, spaghetti

God would never forgive him.

“tell me your sorry” Sherman

“Sorry for what?”

“Everything” you “Indian, Indian Indian”

His name was Sherman, Betty.

Oh, Betty, you are so petty.

(this second  poem was inspired by an Eminem song “lose yourself”, mainly with the sweaty palms and arms spaghetti)

Third Grade

There once was a boy named Sherman

Who in the third grade began a career

in Native American Art

However, the system can be so cruel

since the same system that preaches

freedom of expression

saw his art as a form of transgression

and censored the boy named Sherman

and his “Stick Indian Taking A Piss In My Backyard”

because of a fear.

His name was Sherman.

And he stood alone in his heart.

Fourth Grade

There once was a boy named Sherman

Who looked guilty.

His name was Sherman.

Fifth Grade

There once was a boy named Sherman

Who saw beauty in math

and witnessed the chemistry and biology

of nature’s wrath.

“Oh do you remember those sweet, almost innocent

choices that the Indian boys were forced to make?”

He was his own invention.

His name was Sherman.

Sixth Grade

There once was a boy named Sherman

Who’s soon to be first friend Randy

taught him the most valuable lesson

That will come in handy

when living in the white world

“Always throw the first punch”

Even with the slightest hunch.

His name was Sherman.

Overall, I felt that the repetition of some phrases such as “there once was a boy name Sherman” and “his name was Sherman” was necessary so that Sherman Alexie’s character is amplified to the reader and also to bring awareness to the union and built of each grade level Alexie ascends to.

Alexie Word Collage

First Grade


My group decided that we would represent the Alexie text “Indian Education” using different collages. I chose to do a collage for the first grade section in Alexie’s piece. The meaning of this collage is to show how Alexie achieved strength. Bullying became a norm to Alexie. This shows through the way the word bullying is written. It is surrounding him and consuming him. He became so used to being put down because he stood out. It is as if the bullying became a part of his routine. As his story continues, Alexie changes. He is able to apply humor to his life. He is the color in his own life. This is why I chose to display the word “strength” in color. It represents Alexie and how he became a warrior , rather than let his experience weaken him. He keeps mentioning the word warrior in this section. I wanted his strength to be the main focus of my piece. He fought back. He stood up for himself. This is represented in the image of the word bullying being erased. It represents the final moment in the section when he was finished with being tormented. He took a stand in his life. He was making a change. My goal was to display this breakthrough for him. The reason I chose to use words instead of images was because it emphasizes the importance of language. It shows how language can be used to define a situation. The phrase “It’s a good day to die, it’s a good day to die” is said by Alexie. The word choice shows how Alexie was transforming into a warrior. He may have been in trouble, but he was a developing a stronger sense of self.

The collaborative process was interesting because we were all able to have our own unique ideas. We all wanted to make collages, but in our own way. It was interesting to hear about how my classmates would develop their ideas. We all worked together well and this benefited the project as a whole. We were able to see everyone’s creative side. We were all connecting to the text and bringing it to life.

Research Paper Revision Extension: Weds., May 27

Hi folks,

I’m getting your research paper grades out to you today, and I wanted to remind you that I promised in class to give you extra time if you earn below a B+ and want to revise. I know I said you could have an extra week, but that won’t give me enough time to get your grades in, so I’ll give you slightly less than a week. Research paper revisions, then, are due on Wednesday the 27th – or sooner, if you can swing that.

Take care,

Prof. A.

Bechdel/Alexie Collaborative Projects

Please post them here in the comments. Add any notes you’d like about your collaborative process, your expectations, your results, and any plans for future work (the latter is not at all necessary but would be exciting!).

I’m excited to see them!

Prof. A.

Things to Think About: Rose, Eliza Doolittle, Last Day, Student-Centered Pedagogy

Hi folks,

Just a quick recap from yesterday on some of the things coming up that you’ll want to be thinking about.

First, what are your questions for Mike Rose? I’ll send my email to him as soon as I have heard from a few more folks – Ilona’s question about what happened to Harold is a wonderful one, and one that I share!

Second, we talked about having half of the class read Pygmalion first and half watch My Fair Lady first. I’d be really happy if that happened, but I’d also understand if some folks wanted to choose one or the other. Let me know in the comments what you’d like to do. If you choose both, it’s okay if you don’t finish.

Third, you probably noticed that the last day of our class (next Thursday!) has no plan. This is because you get to come up with it. You might choose to present your Alexie/Bechdel projects to the class, but you might also choose something else! We can revisit activities we’ve already done, or go back to texts from earlier in the semester. You might also have a completely different idea!

Fourth, I’d like to thank you for your quiet patience as I finish responding to your research papers. I will have them back to you soon!

Fifth (and last, I think!), you’ll notice that these questions have a student-centered pedagogy flavor to them that you might recognize in aspects of my teaching style and in the way our class is run, and in a lot of what the Futures Initiative is up to. My colleague’s survey tomorrow will get a little more specific about this, but what I’d love to know from you is what kind of student-centered activities and approaches you have experienced in other classes. We will talk about this more tomorrow.

Take care,

Prof. A.

No blog post – but songs to listen to!

Hi all,

You don’t have to write a blog post for this week, but you do have some listening to do along with reading the Smith chapter. For Tuesday, please listen to and think about “Paperback Writer” (Beatles), “Chelsea Hotel #2” (Cohen), “Love Letter” (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds),  and “We Don’t Care” (Kanye West). We will also discuss Nell.

Take care,

Prof. A