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Teacher, Writer, and Artist

TRIAL OF FEARS I’m explaining

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I’m explaining that the easiest way to understand why and how something bad happened a long time ago is to look at it in context.

Look at it from the perspective of the people of the time before and during the event. Maybe just a little afterwards, too. That can you imagine not having a feeling of owning the land where you live. You just live there and take only from the land what you need to survive. Can you imagine not having a feeling of ownership of anything, really, like the trees where you live and the streams and lakes. And even when you don’t have a concept of ownership you can still be sad and mad that someone else moves you from where you live or kills you for your spot by the lake.

It was said softly, reverently, by someone … Some Indians fought back.

Yes they did, I said. I begin to preach harder. I know I’m preaching when I feel like I can’t stop or don’t want to stop and I physically begin to heat up. Teaching is when you stop, easily, from time to time, and open it up for questions … discussion items … an in-class break. My own thoughts and interpretations aren’t in the book. I know to start asking them to read from the textbook when it’s time for me to stop and calm down.

I’ve got them wanting to ask questions but they don’t. I’ve put worried expressions on their face. They cannot conceive of this history. It’s something bad that happened so long ago. More than last week.

A trail of tears? How can a trail be made of tears, someone says.

Then I get asked another question ... Todd, where were you when the Indians got moved out?

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