Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Lee Marmon

Any of you who followed my blog last summer got to deal with my name dropping nature when I wrote about some of the famous people I get to brush shoulders with all summer. Now, I know that academics aren't really famous, I mean, I don't even know these people until I meet them and they tell me exactly who they are and what they have accomplished; but tonight was a different experience. Anyone who knows Southwestern culture has probably heard of Lee Marmon, and if you haven't heard of him, you've seen his work. Lee Marmon, the father of the famous writer Leslie Marmon Silko (author of Storyteller, Ceremony, Yellow Woman) is a photographer. He was a free lance photographer and took many famous shots of Bob Hope, Dean Martin, Ronald Reagan, etc. But what he is most famous for are his portraits of Native peoples from Acoma and Laguna, and Zuni (all located in New Mexico).

So tonight he presented to us here a slide show of his favorite pictures and told stories like a pro. I loved every minute. I bought a poster of one of his most famous prints "American Moccasins" and he signed it. I've posted it below along with one of his other famous pictures "Eagle Dancers." I'm trying to post in smaller chunks so I don't have any long narratives like the last few. Anyway, just met a regular old guy (he's 80 something) and got to here some of the stories of his life. Pretty neat, sweet, man.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sante Fe Rodeo/ San Miguel

I am loving Santa Fe more and more! I know I haven't been here that long, but this is one of the regions of the U.S. I could find myself living in (you know, besides these six weeks). Since Thursday, I've been working hard and hardly working. I don't really remember Friday. I read Bless Me, Ultima (I highly recommend it) but don't remember much else. On Saturday, I got up early and went with my good friend Amy and a few others to volunteer at the San Miguel Cathedral. I don't know if it is a Cathedral per se, but it is a Catholic meeting house downtown Santa Fe. The problem is that these churches are all made of adobe bricks, which is great, until the 50's. In the 50's construction people thought it would be great (easier, I mean) to put cement plaster on the walls over the adobe bricks instead of regular mud/clay plaster. Apparently, the adobe needs to breathe, and the cement doesn't allow that. So, 60 years later, this non-profit foundation is working on repairing the moisture damage before the churches and missions start toppling over because the moisture just collects in the bottom of the walls and weakens the structure. Our team of 5 people got to climb up a four story scaffolding to the bell down of the church to pull off the old plaster and use new mud plaster to cover up the walls. We worked with this guy named Nicholas. He is an architecture student from Chile here for a 3 month internship so he can go back to Chile and repair the churches there. It was cool to ask him all sorts of questions; he even helped us with our Spanish.

Anyway, we worked our way down the front of the church, filling in depressions or working on cracks. It was a great experience. This was old school stucco, and it is neat to find out that no matter our technological advances, that going back to the old, original ways is what works the best for buildings like this. Also, the people who are working on this are pretty awesome. I mentioned Nicholas, but I also got to work closely with this kid named Brian. He's going to be a senior at a school in Santa Fe and is working for the foundation for the summer. We were working the opposite ends of a pulley system. He'd load buckets with mud plaster, and send them up to me. I'd send them back and we got to chat quite a bit. He wants to be an electrical engineer, which is awesome, but come to find out he's in the foster care system working his way through high school so he can go to college. He describes people as "good Christian folk" and leaves it at that. Man does he have a heart. It's people like Brian that restore my faith in the youth of today.

I also got to know Antonio. He is a retired teacher of 30 years and now works exclusively with adobe. He's brilliant, and he's the reason I was able to write the first paragraph of this blog. As a teacher he taught CAD, shop and Spanish (which he had upper level degrees in). He has worked with adobe on the side of teaching for his whole career and now does it full-time in retirement. Anyway, I'm also glad to get to know him. I was impressed with his easy manner and humble brilliance.
We worked until about 2:00 before we headed back to campus to get busy on other work. I'm hoping to go back in a few weekends with Amy. It's good to find service opportunities in a different place and for a different religion. Service is service; it stills leaves me with the warm fuzzies.

Later that night I went to the rodeo with a group of friends. I became the Western expert and answered as many questions as possible. But let me tell you, watching steer wrestling with a group of vegetarian/academics is a whole new game from watching a good home town rodeo with friends. I think in all everyone had a good time. I even rode a couple rides with my friend Robert. He convinced me that carnival rides can be fun and not scary, even though they were unloaded from a truck and put together a few days earlier. I had a blast and my friends here are great.

I left my camera in Utah when I went back for yearbook camp, so no pictures yet. I'll try to get a few from those who had cameras there. Hopefully my dear, sweet friend Kassie will send my camera pronto quick. Until later. I don't think the fun-vi will take off until Friday this week. I have two papers and two books due this week, so into the closet I go. Adios and Yee-haw!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Yearbook Camp

Whew! What a quick few days! Last Saturday I flew home to Utah to attend Yearbook Camp with two of my awesome yearbook staffers, including the editor. Camp started Monday, so I spent Saturday evening with my mom (after two horrible flights--I've never felt sick while flying until then). Sunday I went to church with my mom and had dinner with my dad and brother Cody's family. It was a nice Father's day evening.
The real work started Monday morning. My friend Kassie drove my two students up to SLC in a district car (because, well, I was carless). She is great and I hope to repay such a huge favor in the future. I had to ride the bus to trax and meet them at the station, which was fun. I was running late so I did my make up on the bus with wet hair. I've never been one of those people before and it wasn't bad (nothing against those people however . . .) Anyway, we spent three days at Snowbird with fellow yearbook nerds (the only better kinds of nerds are English nerds and that's who I spend the rest of the summer with), and right from the get-go my girls were working hard, designing layouts, creating theme ideas, taking copious notes in meetings, and completing every task. I am really proud of them and the work they did. All that hard work paid off too. They won the grand prize for the concept we created (in competition with schools our size, which was a lot). Now we get free, full color endsheets, which is awesome and expensive. Woohoo!
I took pictures but can't find my camera in the vicinity. I'll look harder and post some later.
I'm back in Santa Fe as of Wednesday late night. I conveniently was able to volunteer to get bumped from my earlier flight to take a later one. I got a $200 voucher, which ain't bad, but I barely made my connection in Denver. That is one large airport. But, I'm "home" and right back in the game. I had two classes today and thankfully was ahead enough that I was right with my classes. However, taking a 5 day "vacation" means I'll be spending every free second reading a few books and writing two papers this weekend and early next week. Maybe I'll go on one excursion this weekend. If I do, I'll post pictures. Otherwise I'll go for a walk or something and take pictures to post next time, since I'm sure you won't want me to write about my close reading of one of Thomas Hardy's poems or the significance of silence as a rhetorical theory. Yeah, that would be boring . . . Well you might think so, but I am fascinated. Well, until next post I'll be your nerdy friend/relative Arti 8)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Do you know the way to Santa Fe?

I'm here and Santa Fe is beautiful. I got here on Tuesday (a little later in the day than planned). The road was slower than I thought, but the country through Durango and Southern Colorado was great to see. I thoroughly enjoyed the drive and my book on audio.

First impressions:
The city is beautiful. My gps took me through the central plaza of town and this glorious cathedral greeted my entry to Santa Fe. Bread Loaf Santa Fe coordinates with St. John's College to use their dorms and classrooms and cafeteria as a conference type thing. The school is small but beautiful. I haven't left the campus much, but all I have to do is walk out the door of my dorm and there is this great court yard with trees and tables and benches. Who needs a library when I can I sit in the shade or sun and listen to the wind in the trees and watch birds flutter while I read? Not me.

The weather is crazy cool . . . Many of my friends and family commented that I would die of heat while here, but the opposite is actually true. It's been about 80 degrees everyday with cooler mornings and lovely evenings and great cool breezes almost all day long. I sleep with my window open and find no need for the AC (which I don't have anyway). I guess I can thank the 7,000 feet of elevation for the cool weather.

I am going to learn an incredible amount. I had both my classes on Thursday and both my professors blew me out of the water. I am taking two classes. One on the Rhetoric of Silence (basically how silence plays as significant a role in communication as spoken language and how that silence is used in literature), and the other is on Thomas Hardy. I was not very excited about the Thomas Hardy course initially, but after the first day I am stoked to get to pick my prof's brain about Hardy and his life and purpose as a writer. There are only four people in that class so it will just be an awesome small class discussion all the time. YAY!

I will see a lot. Every morning a man from Santa Fe who teaches and was once a Bread Loaf student, I think, hosts a thing called Dawn Patrol. Anyone who wants gets up at 6:00 and goes on an hour long hike some where in the mountains near by. Our campus is actually on/near the trail heads of several hikes. I went Friday morning and walked up a wash (arroyo here). Alfredo (our guide) explained plants and interesting things along the way. Super fun!
Also today was the first of our school excursions. It seems like every weekend day (Friday there are no classes, so Friday Saturday and Sunday) Alfredo rents a van through the school and we go on trips around the area. Today we went to Bandelier National Monument. It is the site of Anasazi pueblo dwellings that have been uncovered and sort of preserved or restored. The hike wasn't bad-two or so miles round trip. We hiked into the dwellings and up ladders. There was one Alcove house that I had to climb up 140 ft. mostly by wood ladders to get to. It was quite the experience. I am not afraid of heights, but several people were terrified. It is interesting to witness people confronting their fears. Neat experience all around. I'll post pictures in the slide show above of the trip. The girl I am with mostly is Maia. She's a super cool girl I've met here and have bonded with.. We were restless and didn't get into the testosterone filled fight about maps and trails, so we left most of the group behind and did our own thing. I mean really guys; it's a national park. The trail is probably paved. . . and it was . . . just sayin' :)

Is this overkill? Maybe I'll blog more often to keep the length down. Friday night was a pretty chill night. A bunch of us got together and went to a brewery downtown. The water tasted great and was free :) but I really like hanging out with friends from last summer and some new fast friends I've made here. I love Bread Loaf and will keep you posted. I'm going back to SLC Saturday for yearbook camp (I know how nerdy that sounds) until Wednesday. I'll miss a class which sucks, but whatever. I'll be back in time to go on a walking mural tour and hike to a lake :) Not bad right? Oh, I guess I'll do some homework too . . . hehehe . . .

Hasta Luego!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Adios Amigos

Hola! . . . That's all I can think of in my Spanish vocabulary that applies for an introduction, so I'll carry on in English. I wish I had pictures to post, but I haven't really taken any, but I do have a bit to update.

First, I went through the temple on June 5th and received my endowment. It was an amazing experience to go with my family and some close friends. We took family pictures afterward, and I'll post them when we get them. But yeah, I don't know what else to say about that except it was awesome and I'm glad I did it. I know I'm not a missionary or getting married, but I could no longer think of any reasons not to go to the temple, so I went. And, I'm glad.

Second, I am leaving for Santa Fe tomorrow! School starts Wednesday and registration is Tuesday. My aunt and uncle are being really nice and letting me stay over in Blanding tomorrow night. According to google maps it only takes 9 hours to get to Santa Fe from Gunnison, but I thought I'd break it up so I can get to registration at the right time. I am really excited to go. I am NOT ready. I have 13 books to read for my two classes combined. I have four and a half done, which is fewer than I would like. But, I figure I'm a good student and can get the rest done relatively quickly. I've been shopping the last few days and only came home moderately successful. I had shopping for capris. However, I did spend the majority of my money on shoes at Journeys. I love that store.

I can't remember what three was, but I'll update that when I think of it. Things are great. I'm excited for my next big adventure. Anyway, more than you wanted to know I'm sure and a little boring too. You can blame that on Thomas Hardy. He has sucked out all my energy to be creative. I've loved the books, but energy to keep going is low . . . three left . . . I can do it . . .

I'll keep you updated on the adventures. I hope to have lots. Adios Muchachos!