So my oldest Son and I headed to Tuskahoma on Thursday. It was a special trip to photograph the council house and spend some time with my young Chahta boy. I didn't feel like it. I was in a rotten mood, while he was in the mood to work on my Choctaw vocabulary.
You see, my oldest son has Aspergers which is a form of Autism marked by a high IQ and social skills deficits. We home school him and he has turned his obsession to learning the Choctaw language. Knowing of my upset he had focused his energy in continuing to teach me Choctaw, this summer. While I was writing my thesis he would bring his dictionary and translate anything I needed. For his birthday we visited the Chickasaw museum in Sulphur (I wish the Choctaws would build a museum comparable to the Chickasaws) and he wanted to find someone to speak Choctaw/Chickasaw with. I found that he knew more language than most museum employees that we've met.
I didn't want to be there that day, not after the news I had earlier that week, I pulled that post because I hope to find some answers soon. But, I was and my son expected me to learn two vocabulary words that day. He said them constantly until he learned them and I had no choice. This is why my Choctaw vocabulary is fairly large now. Yakoke Rowan, Yakoke.
We build our memories out of positive and negative experiences, and I'm glad we had to come here on this day. I spent two years of learning about decolonialism and a system of persecution of people because of their heritage and beliefs. I have spent two years studying why its okay not to understand my Choctaw heritage and why it was taken away from me. I spent two years studying in a Western setting why the western setting of knowledge an education is flawed, deeply especially in dealing with people and the humanities. Yet, why do I have such a problem with a letter grade and not fitting in with the system, economics is my main issue right now.
I think there is an element of guilt to being a tribal member who is totally assimilated. We don't have the heritage like Natives who were raised with the stories, the experiences and the background, yet we know we have that heritage. We know it was lost and like victims we feel that it is our fault that we hold a card saying we are a tribal member who do not have a tradition of ceremony. But, we find our way to our Choctaw Home for the Labor Day Festival which invites all tribal members and provides activities to suit the assimilated and deeply cultural alike.
I can't give up on working on my Master's Degree just as much as I can't give up on educating other people who are assimilated that it is not their fault that they do not have their heritage but they can learn about their heritage they can gain some of the words and language of their ancestors.
I don't want to have to rehash a grade, really. I don't want to have to think about it and continue school. I am educated, I overall DID have a good experience at OU, my last semester was incredibly stressful though and writing a thesis was not anything that allowed me time to think about anything else. My thesis was overridingly Choctaw, which altered my perceptions about studying Native culture. I am Choctaw. I want to study Choctaw. I can bring more to my tribe than to others. I appreciate my Kiowa friend who took the time to talk to me the other evening. I appreciate the professors who have emailed me and taken time that they didn't have to with my situation. Yakoke.
The Choctaw Warrior statue. I didn't intend on posting anything today but my late night burst of energy hit and it wasn't house cleaning energy. My daughter has turned into something of an insomniac lately and since we have five roosters (we are giving them away - by the way if you'd like a rooster, hit me up). I decided it would be hilarious to put a rooster in her room to wake her up. So we went to the coop and cornered a rooster and I grabbed it and carried it in (calmed it down) then put it in her room. I was hoping it would make it's insanely annoying "Cock-A-Doodle-Doo" to give her a real wake up call, but no. The rooster was scared, in fact it began clucking like a worried mother hen. Then my daughter emerges yelling about her horrible parents and that we needed to remove the chicken from her room.
We also unsuccessfully attempted a cat bearding photo opportunity. That failed too.
I am afraid that one morning I will wake up with the favor returned...