Where I am from: Yaakwdaat Kwáan

Where I am From – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires;

I am from Yaakwdaat Kwáan, where the canoes rest, I am Galyáx Kaagwaantaan, L’uknaxh.adí Yadí, child of the coho

I am from glacial carved water ways, ocean surf lullabies, sleeping in the sand floor of canvas tents, fish camp summers
I am from hunters, fishers and berry pickers
I am from dry fish and strawberry fields
I am born of resilience, persistence and cultural resurgence

Reflection: What have I learned from this activity and how might I use the learning strategies and / or technology in my teaching placement?

I learned not everyone one has to be a poet to do this assignment. It was both fun and challenging to illustrate “where I am from” into 6 slides. I enjoyed learning how to use HaikuDeck and can see using it in my teaching placement as a visual representation or distillation of larger conversations.

However, if the intent of the assignment was to share something as intimate to me as where I am from, using stock photos did not work. My home, my culture and who I am can not be found in stock photos. I ended up using mostly photos of my own. Which worked, but made it a longer process than I think intended.


Thirty Decades from Alaska – by Ryan Hickel

Thirty Decades from Alaska by Ryan Hickel – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

What I learned from this activity is that Haiku Deck is very easy to use. Embedding the slideshow into WordPress was only accomplished with Andy’s help however. I wasn’t sure how to log into WordPress and after that I did not know if I was supposed to share or export the slideshow into WordPress. After I saw the WordPress icon under Haiku Deck’s share button I tried to copy the HTML into WordPress but it did not actually work until Andy embedded it as Text as not as Visual.

I think Haiku Deck has a lot of potential as a creative writing tool, or even as a simple bare-bones slideshow type presentation tool using non-copyrighted public images.

Where I’m From: Wrangell, Alaska

Ḵaachx̱aana.áakʼw – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires;

This “poem” about where I’m from has made me think about my hometown in such a different way. I went into the task thinking that I would write about what way that the town has shaped me as a person. What traits from the communal “people” I took to application in my own life. Once I started, I realized that it was primarily a “poem” about the land itself. But I think the best way that I could approach this piece was a combination of both of these ways of thinking. If there was no personal information then the piece would simply be “Wrangell, Alaska” and not where I’M from.

Where I’m from: Kwigillingok, Kenai

Where I’m From: Kwigillingok, AK – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires;

Although it seems like an easy assignment, this was probably the most complicating one for me. I struggle trying to define myself and it’s tough because I feel like I’m repeating the same things I’ve already stated. I was born in Bethel hospital, and was raised in the village of Kwigillingok. Out of all the regions in Alaska, I feel the Yup’ik region has been fortunate to not have the natural substances that attracted the Americans. Others weren’t so lucky. Nome had the gold. Barrow region had the oil. Bristol Bay had the salmon. Other coastal regions had fur, whale, and other resources that attracted the Russians and the Americans and eventually took over the region. The only group of people that came were the Russian Orthodox and Moravian missionaries to build schools and churches into my region. My hometown Kwig was isolated, and there weren’t that many things to do. Hunting, fishing, and picking berries were necessary in order to put food on the table. If Eskimo ice cream wasn’t made, some families used fried bread as a substitution for dessert. When there weren’t much subsistence activities going on, many youth played basketball at the ball court during the summer. The main transportation to Bethel or other villages was a small 7-seater plane, although many caravans have been introduced in the last few years. There are no roads to use automobiles there, but there are roads made of wood for bicycles and ATVs.

After spending much of my life in Kwigillingok, I decided to move to Kenai/Soldotna to attend college. About halfway through college, I got married to a girl from above the Arctic Circle who went to college there as well. We have lived there basically for the past 11 years. We now have two kids and we love taking them out to the beach. I have worked as a longshoreman for the past two years, and I typically tried to take time off during the dip-netting season. Our plan now is to move back to the village and teach.

Where I’m From: Good Ole Rocky Top

Where I’m From: Tennessee – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires;

I’m from rolling hills and misty mountains where bluegrass floats upon the breeze in the lands of Davy Crocket where I climbed barefoot in pine trees

I’m from hunts for fireflies and frogs on warm, summer nights where the smell of sour mash cooking could take you to new heights

I’m from porch sittin’ with PaDan where “He who steals my purse steals trash…”

I’m from Good Ole Rocky top reaching for the Summitt, spending countless hours in the gym swishing shots

I’m from fried chicken and turnip greens where the BBQ is so good yull wanna slap yo mammy

I’m from “bless your heart” and “glory, glory hallelujah” to “shit fire and save matches” and “I’ll be John Brown”

I’m from my Sunday school dresses Mimi stitched on a quilt for me

I’m from what would the Bible say and what will people think to memorizing verses every other week

I’m from campfires with friends slappin’ mosquitos and sippin’ whisky

Though the distance divides me from my life in Tennessee, I’ll never be too far from home with all these fond memories

Since I’ve lived in the same place my entire life, I have experienced a fair amount of difficulty realizing my own cultural identity. I’ve never evaluated why I do things the way I do or what makes me unique from others who didn’t grow up in the same region. This activity helped me significantly. I like the fact that it enabled me to write and to utilize a new form of technology. I feel like HaikuDeck could be used in a variety of ways in an English class. Doing an activity similar to this one where we use a writing sample from class as a prompt to elicit a creative response and to make the content personal could not only be a powerful self reflection for the students, but it could also create a connection and some personal significance with the writing sample.

Where I’m from- Tyler Thomas

Sitka Spruce tree climbing – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires;

I grew up in the Mendenhall Valley of Juneau, Alaska.  With my first experiment with Haiku Deck, I attempted to give a whimsical series of memories tied together as a story that gives an impression of what it was like to grow up with a rain forest and glacier as a backyard.

Over the years, I have dabbled with poetry typically with a notepad and times a napkin generally chicken scratching some play of words.  Though Haiku Deck challenged me, I found the form changed how I approached the poem and how it interacted with images I could find or couldn’t find.  I only used one image from my own collection of pictures.  With images generated from stock pictures, the story can go beyond my backyard and resonate with imagery of my community and beyond.

It was a nice change of pace to play around with poetry in a new media that is a bit more accessible than my old, notebooks piling dust. With Haiku Deck, I could see how it would make writing poetry more tangible to today’s youth.  It is also a great jumping off point for story boarding and movie making.  This could be a handy, fun tool in the classroom.

I am From – Reuben Seidl

I am From… – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires;

Through this process of writing about where I am from and how influential “Place” may be, one key component sticks out. Place is fluid. There were several different origins and foundations that popped into my mind when I was trying to determine what I was going to focus on. I thought of the growth and knowledge and love from my family in Alaska. I felt the absence of understanding of my family in Indiana/Ohio. I envisioned fun times in Colorado and Spokane. The wide range of places that I thought of made me realize that I am not a product of one place, but rather many distinct Places.

The use of technology is becoming more and more prevalent in today’s world. One of our roles as educators is to prepare and expose our students to the materials and tools available so that they may have the greatest opportunity to succeed in this ever-changing world. I especially like technology that is multi-dimensional and easily manipulated.  Haiku Deck is a great example of the type of technology that I love. I fully intend to use this program to create presentations for new and difficult concepts that are often “sticking points” for students. I can only imagine how much straightforward the Citric Acid Cycle of DNA synthesis would have been with this program instead of having all the steps laid out on one or two pages.