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.


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

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

I am from Seward, Alaska but my Haikudeck project goes a little bit more into my past. Starting first with my dad’s family growing up in Catholic Dairyland Wisconsin and my mother’s railroad working family in Chicago. My parents, meeting at work while forest firefighting eventually moved to Alaska, where I was born. Growing up in Coastal Alaska, I fell in love with the ocean and boats and fish and all things water. That included swimming which helped me earn my college degree in biology and my passion for science really awakened.

Where I’m From

This class activity “Where I’m from” requires a little prep. First read student responses to a pre-course questionnaire “I’m a Product.” Think about how your classmates responded to  the prompt: “Tell us something about you that you think is a product of where you’re from and/or your cultural heritage”

Students should then read poem below and consider their response prior to our June 14 class where we will use class time for design work.

This lesson features a poem as a prompt for a creative reflection. It also integrates two tools for presentation of the reflection.

  1. After reading Where I’m From, students will use HaikuDeck to design a brief presentation that uses words and images to depict “where they are from.” The presentation should include a a title slide plus 6 slides which explore the place you’re from. Follow this link for ideas on Where to Go with “Where I’m From”
  2. After completing the HaikuDeck presentation, students will create a blog post that includes an embedded version of the presentation and a written response to the question:

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

Guide to using WordPress here.

Where I’m From” by George Ella Lyon

I am from clothespins,
from Clorox and carbon-tetrachloride.
I am from the dirt under the back porch.
(Black, glistening,
it tasted like beets.)
I am from the forsythia bush
the Dutch elm
whose long-gone limbs I remember
as if they were my own.

I’m from fudge and eyeglasses,
from Imogene and Alafair.
I’m from the know-it-alls
and the pass-it-ons,
from Perk up! and Pipe down!
I’m from He restoreth my soul
with a cottonball lamb
and ten verses I can say myself.

I’m from Artemus and Billie’s Branch,
fried corn and strong coffee.
From the finger my grandfather lost
to the auger,
the eye my father shut to keep his sight.

Under my bed was a dress box
spilling old pictures,
a sift of lost faces
to drift beneath my dreams.
I am from those moments–
snapped before I budded —
leaf-fall from the family tree.