Thursday, March 31, 2011

Research Plan

Alaska Native Folklore/Story Telling
1.      My research topic is animals in the Alaska Native story telling/folklore.

a.      What is the symbolism behind using animals in the story telling?
b.      Are there more stories about any particular animal compared to others?
c.       Do different tribes use the same animal in their story telling vs. another tribe?
d.      What are some of the folklore/stories with animals by tribe?
e.       Who are some of the Alaska Native story tellers? Have they been recorded?

2.      These questions are important to me as a researcher to understand the symbolisms behind the animals in story telling from one tribe to another. In addition I am curious about the stories themselves and some of the story tellers.

I would like to think that this research on the Alaska Native Folklore would be viewed by primary school teachers to help educate school children and get them excited about the tradition of oral folklore amongst our native community.

3.      In our group I have opted to take the task of learning as much as I can about the topic of animals in Alaska Native Folklore. I will be responsible to write about this particular topic for our Wiki page and keep track of all my resources for the cite page later on. I have created an account on Wiki and will be going over the tutorials on how to contribute to this site.

I do not know enough about Wikipedia in order to make suggestions about changing it, making it better etc. It does carry this stigma about not being a credible source. If anything, just to make sure that our page is clear, well researched and cited well in order not to contribute to this stigma.

4.      March 31st: To have some information about my topic of animals to discuss at group meeting (class). E-mail group to find out if we need to meet or chat on-line about Prospectus that is due on April 5th, 10:45 group conference? Make changed to my schedule as group proceeds with project.

April2nd: Research topic and recordings on the internet. Check in with Jake to see if he has heard back from Lance. Might make a trip to UAF library and research Tilly Paul, from that movie “The Land is Ours.”

April 4th: Narrow down some of my research and do an outline of my topic. Check in with group and see if they have run across anymore research on my topic.

April 5th: Group meets at Wood Center 10:00 am to go over Prospectus.
Group meets with Christie (instructor) 10:45 about our project and find out if        she has any suggestions/ideas. Possible that group might meet outside of class? Start working on Wiki page? Get this piece of it nailed down?
April 11th: Rough Draft Annotated Bib
April 12th: Finish Annotated Bib
April 26th: Group Research Projects Due

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Where Do You Get Your Ideas From?

Ursula K. Le Guin’s short essay on the truths and myths of where writers get their ideas from was insightful and entertaining. Le Guin was able to touch base on the basics of developing ideas for a story, with subtle humor throughout the piece.
I enjoyed the fact that she was extremely honest about writers being egoists and that artists in general were too. I’m ashamed to say that I agree with this statement and that I just never admitted this to myself. I do create for an audience and for them to give me the sense of satisfaction and fulfillment that I crave. This lets me know as an artist that I have arrived.
I’m not a writer, but I do create pieces of artwork in many different media’s. I too, do most of my work in solitude, listening to music that suits my mood at the time like; classical rock or a cello piece, that has a mysterious feel to it. During the inception of a piece, I do start out with an image in my head, much the same as Le Guin spoke about imaginary. I start creating this piece of artwork and it begins to take on a life of its own. The piece of art seems to change and take shape as I manipulate and twist it. I try to connect the colors in order to achieve the depth and the emotion of the piece. Much like Le Guin talks about when writing poetry, that the words have a relationship with the sounds, and they evoke emotions. I like my pieces of artwork to evoke emotion and better yet to have an effect on my audience.
Le Guin does make a statement in the essay about woman writers. She seems to think that female writers choose to write from a male viewpoint. I do not believe she has proven this point to me. How does a female suppose to write and who is the judge of that one? I do not think that readers would not like a piece written from a feminine experience. Yet again, who’s to say what is feminine writing or male? Exasperating….
Le Guin has closed her essay with some very moving statements that I have interrupted to mean, that the work itself must be allowed to take on a life of its own and the creator must let go of the control. Also, that the creator must make room for new developments and changes that might take place with the piece. Being patient and working hard is key, in order to deserve the rewards.
After reading this piece about ideas, imagery, and emotions it has made me think more about my writing. I think I will be more vigil about how I put my words together and how I should think it through to the end. Just using wonderfully descriptive words strung together, does not complete the story, nor does this concept complete my painting.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The documentary “The Cove,” is meant to spread like an infectious disease. Once this infection takes hold, the viewer cannot shake it off. The virus does not respond to any type of antibiotics or any concoctions that a person might try in order to get rid of the pictures that are forever embedded in their memory. Their only hope is group therapy, in order to express their thoughts and feelings to others about this film. The reviewer at the New York Times used the term “Trojan Horse,” maybe this is what they meant by it.
            When watching this documentary I made mental notes of how “The Cove,” was made and the possible costs that were involved. The plane fares to Japan for all the people that participated, all of the specialized equipment that the crew used in order to film under-water and the sound equipment must have costs in the millions of dollars. The film appeared to have been edited by professionals in the movie industry. The creativity that was used with some of the images that the crew captured were placed just right in order to achieve full impact for the audience, along with the music they used to bring the anxiety level of the viewer to a crescendo. The documentary was well put together and their message to the people about stopping the whaling at the cove came through loud and clear.
            This documentary about dolphin slaughter was horrifying to watch and see. But this film generated some bigger questions for me such as, where is the demand for dolphin meat? The demand cannot be solely do to the need of dolphins for entertainment for the public, as they portray it in the film. The dolphin meat has high levels of mercury. Why? Where is the dumping of these toxins? Yes, Japan seems to be taking advantage of the more impoverish countries by promising them funds in order to obtain their vote at the International Whaling Conference. Is the motivation here greed, since Japan is the largest trade market for fish? Do the Japanese people really not know about what is going on with the dolphins or are they feeling threatened by their government so much that they cannot speak out because of retribution to themselves and their families.
            There does not seem to be an easy answer for any of it. There are so many facets that this documentary has opened up. But one thing is for sure that if nothing is done about the over fishing of our oceans, it will collapse the ocean ecosystems. Possible World Wide Regulations needs to be agreed and acted upon.