Monday, May 17, 2010

Day 2 - Monday, May 17, 2010

Today was our first full day at Diné College. Several of the students got up just as the sun was rising and walked toward the east to greet the arriving day in the traditional Navajo way.

Sawyer Derry got a few great early morning photos:

We started the morning class by having all students introduce themselves in a traditional Navajo style giving their own name then the "clan" names of their parents and grandparents. Then we talked about the plans and goals for the two-week class.

We watched several of the documentary projects from last year's Navajo Oral History program. Prof. Miranda Haskie of Diné College gave us an overview of the history of Diné College.

Several students took photos to help give our readers a view of Diné College and it's campus.

(above photo of the Diné College Library, was taken by Ben Chambers from the 6th Floor of the Ned Hatathli Center.)

(This photo of the Diné College Hogan-shaped dorm buildings is by Robbie Christiano.)

Below are a few shots of the students walking across campus to lunch or back to class.

(above two photos by Ben Chambers)

(above two photos by Michael Ruka)

(above photo by Robbie Christiano)

We had lunch at the Diné College Snack Bar (photo by Sawyer Derry):

After Lunch we enjoyed a tour of the Ned Hatathli Museum at Diné College. Museum Director Alex Mitchell explained the value of the traditional Hogan in the education system. He explained several wall murals depicting Navajo Creation Stories, First Man and First Woman, the Four Worlds, and the Four Sacred Mountains. He showed us several other museum exhibits including wall murals of Navajo history, the pueblos of Dinetah (ancestral Navajo land) and pottery created by Navajos and pueblo people.

(above photo by Ben Chambers)

(above two photos by Sawyer Derry)

(above two photos by Robbie Christiano)

(above photo by Michael Ruka)

We stopped by Dr. Ferlin Clark's office, the President of Diné College. He spent about 45 minutes with our class talking about the importance of education, and how much he valued our Navajo Oral History project. He also gave an inspirational message that told the students how great their responsibility is to get the stories of the elders down accurately and with respect.

(above photo by Robbie Christiano)

To finish the class day, the students listened to short lectures on basic journalism techniques and visual communication basics. The WSU students have heard those lectures before, but it couldn't hurt for them to hear the details again ... and it was mostly new information for the Diné College students.

(above photo by Robbie Christiano)

(above photo by Sawyer Derry)

Ben Chambers and Jenn Westman made the family style dinner this evening: soft shell tacos and refried beans with tomatoes, lettuce and shredded cheese. Delicious.

After dinner, we went to a local event at the Tsaile-Wheatfields-BlackRock Chapter house called "Just Move it." The Navajo Health organization plans community walks across the nation inviting people to go on a three-mile hike. It's free to participate; it's a nice walking and talking social activity; and we got a free t-shirt just for participating. We all did it together, and it was fun ... but my knees are aching now ... and we have a several mile hike tomorrow (Tuesday) down into Canyon de Chelly.

(above two photos by Robbie Christiano)

(above photo by Sawyer Derry)

(above photo by Michael Ruka)

The day ended with a nice sunset, and just as the day started, S
awyer Derry created beautiful images.

As always, unless otherwise noted, the photos are by me. As you can see, I didn't have to shoot very many pictures today, because all the photojournalists around me were doing a great job of recording visually the day's activities.

We hope you are enjoying reading this blog. The "comments" section is open and anyone can leave comments if they wish. We'd all love to hear what you think of the blog, the photos, the project, etc.

Thanks for reading. We're only one day in to the trip and we're learning a lot and already feeling like we're fitting into the culture a little.

-- Tom Grier

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