The piece (artifact) that spoke to me


Today, we walked around the beautiful Alaska State Museum and I found a lot of things that I enjoyed viewing and reading about.  I was able to find a handful of items that were specific to the Southeast cultures, which is what my iBook will be about.  But, I decided to blog about something that had nothing to do with the Southeast.  Unfortunately, this is the best picture I took of the piece.  It was created by Cheryl Bailey and John Ploof in Anchorage and was dated from 1985.  The piece was called I Never Told/I Couldn’t Say #2 and #4.  The piece noted it was oil paint on gelatin silver print but that didn’t mean much to me.  I first came across this set of pictures and had to stop.  To anyone else, this might appear vague and simplistic.  To me, however, it brought a wave of emotions.  As I stood there just staring at the pictures, I felt all the emotions from the hurt and troubled teenager I once was.  I couldn’t stop watching these two pictures, as if they were going to start moving or the figure introduce themselves as Katie (me) to me.  It brought me back to places and emotions that I wish never happened.  And then, as I stood there very still with watery eyes, I realized that I went through those tough times to become who I am and where I am RIGHT NOW.  It also brought a sense of confidence that I plan to spend the rest of my career as a teacher making sure that I can help those student who might’ve felt the way I did as a teenager.  These pictures were also a reminder that I can do something to build confidence, inspire, and also be a helping hand or active listener to the students that come into my classroom/school.  Although my initial reaction to this piece was heartbreak and sadness, it was immediately followed by a sense of pride in who I am now and eagerness to continue my lifelong goal of becoming a teacher.  Because one thing I’ve been told and stand by is: teachers do a lot more than just teach.

courtesy of Alaska State Museum – Juneau

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