Category Archives: Uncategorized

RT @genderfork: You are free to express

RT @genderfork: You are free to express yourself in any way you see fit, and no one should hold you back from that

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Wonderful unschooling blog

To learn a bit more about other unschoolers and the unschooling philosophy itself, check out Idzie at I’m Unschooled. Yes, I Can Write. She writes wonderfully about the philosophy and practice of unschooling. It’s a very informative blog. Recently, I participated in an exciting, ongoing series of interviews Idzie is doing with grown unschoolers.

Right here, is my interview with her. And two others, Hannah Thompson and Anna J. Cook.

Be sure to check them out!

I’m trying to figure out how to add other bloggers sites to my page, but for now I’ll add them to blog posts. I have lots of other great unschooling bloggers I’d love to share with you as well as my own thoughts and experience. I’ll post them soon.

What inspires me

TheOrganicSister always ends her monday posts with, ‘What inspires you?’

What inspires me these days is the realist, landscape painter Robert Bateman.

Inspiration is magical. It comes in many different ways and these days my inspiration is for painting and art.

When I was in grade 3 I went on a school field trip to the Artist For Kids gallery where he had an exhibition. He was one of the art patrons, supporting art programs for kids.

At the time, I wasn’t interested in anything. The trip was boring all I want to do was go home and sleep, but art is better than being at school so I didn’t complain.

For those of you who don’t know Robert Bateman an introduction.

Robert was born in Toronto, Ontario in the early 30’s. Most of his living area was surrounded with forests, creeks and other communities that animals called their home. He’d venture off, bird/animal watch, draw the creatures he seen.

It developed into a deep respect for nature and all it’s inhabitants, including a heavy involvement in environmental and conservation organizations. All of this is represented in the subjects he chooses to paint.  One called Vancouver Island Elegy really represents that for me (click here to see painting.)

Last week, I found two treasures of his on the couch. Two biographies of his left there by my uncle’s girlfriend. I don’t know what instinct made me stride towards them and pick them but I soon found my self opening them up.

Even though the subjects he paints are all around me. They still hit me strongly. His paintings capture something else. Something I fought not to put a name to but I have to. The words float in my head like fairies and I have to capture them to words. Their dust is getting in my eyes.

Robert’s paintings capture a different world. His paintings are intimate as though the subjects of his paintings are his long friends and we’re getting to see them in a moments we never would see.

When I see his paintings, I see respect, every stroke, line, mark is appreciation for the subject of his work. In seeing his appreciation, I being to take on my own appreciation for the life around me, seeing the trees, sky, shrubs as works of art in their own right. Seeing the light that emits from them, their gentle way of being alive in the world. In a way, Robert Bateman’s work has reminded me of what is important to me. The way I feel about the land that I live on, the creatures that I live with.

A few of my favourite paintings of his:

The Challenge – Bull Moose – The Retrospective Tour 2003

Rhino and Oxpecker – Tyson Gallery, London 1975

Vulture and Wildebeest – Tyson Gallery, London 1975

Sheer Drop – Mountain Goats – Smithsonian Institution Washington, DC 1987

I hope you enjoy Robert’s work as much as I do and in closing a quote by the man himself:

“I can’t concieve of anything more varied and rich and handsome than the planet Earth. And its crowning beauty is the natural world. I want to soak it up, to understand it as well as I can, and to absorb it… and then I’d like to put it together and express it in my paintings. This is the way I want to dedicate my life.”

– Robert Bateman

:)


My three tips for writing NaNoWriMo (or at least having a good time)

This month I’m writing the NaNoWriMo, or the National Novel Writing Month. A semi-contest challenging writers and amateur writers to complete a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I tried last year to complete this with not so good results. I learned some tips from last year that may help you with your novel this year.

My three tips for NaNoWriMo (or at least having a good time):

1: Write with friends!
Let your friends know, writer and non alike that you are writing a novel. It helps with support when you’re feeling like you can’t finish the challenge plus it’s fun. Plan a writing get together with just one friend or a few. Even go to the Write Ins at local libraries, universities and local bookstores. You can find the ones in your region at nanowrimo.org. The key thing in completing this lovely project is environment, who you choose to be surrounded by is crucial. Do the folks you surround your self with support and respect the things you do? How do they make you feel about yourself? Great, not so good? Make sure the people in your inner circle make you feel good about yourself.

2. Know yourself
Either way you’re going to learn more about yourself by embarking upon this contest. It takes a lot from you to write 1,600 plus words a day for an entire month. Know how you learn, what time of day you write best at, whether or not you need to have food in your tummy. There is usually that one thing out there that will just flourish your mind. Find it out. It’s not too hard. After a week or so, patterns will start flowing out and bingo, you’re on the roll.

I learned I work best at night, on a full stomach and after a good pep-talk from a friend. The prospect of going to a write-in as well as writing with a friend this year makes me feel like I can actually finish this novel. I didn’t have the support last year making the task a bit lonely. I was also shy about the fact I wanted to write a novel. Even worse I felt, it was a Sci-Fi novel, inspired by the T.V. show Heroes with a mixture of Residential School. Who would accept me know?! My mind screamed. Which brings me to my third tip.

3. Take Risks
Keep the ideas coming, try things out you don’t think would truly work, take the risks anyways. You’ll never know what might make a good novel. Sometimes the simplest things do, sometimes the most eleborate things do. I no longer think my idea of writing a sci-fi novel set around youth with super powers who were being round-up by a non-super powered culture as something to be embarrassed about. It is an idea. It didn’t really work, mostly cause I never elaborated on it. Which reminds me of a fourth tip, bonus tip perhaps.

Bonus 4th – Take your ideas seriously
Breathe your idea, the one you choose to run with and marry it. It is your life now for the next 30 days. Make sure you know it well.

Anyways, I hope this helps you as much as it helped me. Now I want to know what you do to help you write. What methods help you out when writing?

– Cheyenne :)

Sometimes I don’t feel like a unschooler

Sometimes I don’t feel like a unschooler. I worry about what other people think of me. I mostly worry if I’m doing the “right” thing. I don’t understand the concept of “right” though. How do you know what is right for you?

I know it all comes down to trusting yourself and believing in your abilities to learn from you past and know what you need and want right now. But I hear beliefs from other people about their own way of living and become convinced so easily. Never questioning much further than face value.

It appears right for me means to be there person that pleases everybody.

I’m at a crossroads in a way,  of want I want to do and what I need.  I want to be a gardener, a circus performer. I want to travel and learn other languages. I want to learn about the land and teach the people once again about what it’s saying. I want to learn my culture, our language, and connect with my people. I want to abolish the system our people have been locked in.

But my need for affections runs deeper. And I see a route to getting affection as being the person that agrees with you. Cause that’s what I want, someone who agrees with me. Conflict is scary in ways that mean no more affection at least that’s what I learned from childhood experiences. Even though that’s far from the truth. I buy into it. Rather than saying what I’m feeling and being honest, I’ll hold it in. Afraid of the consequences of speaking my mind. It also comes into play that I’m just a really sensitive individual.

This is where being able to self-nurture comes into action, books tell me. The ability to be gentle with yourself, not to criticize too harshly and to love yourself unconditionally.

I didn’t grow up in a household where love was given unconditionally. It was rarely giving out, except in moments that left you questioning your self-worth. We didn’t know how to talk with respect cause we were never shown respect. Whispering or ‘inside voices’ were unheard of. The preferred mode of talking was as loud as you could be and an inch away from your face.

My parents were never around. My mom was working full-time and my dad was only in the picture until I was around 3 years old. I feel like a leper in the unschooling community because of this. I left school without telling anyone but my brother. I live in a house with my mom’s family (4 in total, 5 on the weekends) and her brother’s family (4 in total, 7 on the weekends). On the weekends there’s 12 people living in this four bedroom house.

Leaving school in first nations community is so shameful. I was questioned and lectured from left and right. I didn’t leave my room for the first month or year. Everyone had something to say about the stupid decision I was making. My mom even gave me an ultimatum, go back to work or get a job. And I also had to read Eckhart Tolle. She does strange things when she’s upset.

She’s still a bit iffy about me not being in school. It’s not something she likes to talk about. But in a way she did give me consent to leave in that she didn’t kick me out. Or lock me in my room. We just argued for the first year and a half.

Even though I faced a lot of opposition I never went back to school. I wanted to just never enough to do it. I kind of see that as hope that I can make ‘right’ decisions for myself. If only I could apply this to other areas of my life.