I like to think I’m too smart to be manipulated.  I have a Master’s Degree.  I’m an avid reader and writer.  Critical and creative thinking is my business.  Then I attend one of those Hollywood productions (of the better variety, like Life of Pi), and despite my knowledge of all those structural techniques I still find myself being moved, with the simple use of music and cinematography.  What?!  No.  Not me.

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“There’s not much culture in this writing,” I’ve heard students say when critiquing student work or reading the novel of a Native author.  Or they’ll say, “It looks like the main character is having an identity crisis,” and it can sound dismissive, but there’s something we have to understand about most Natives:  We move deep into the center of culture and back to the periphery like an ocean in symbiosis with the moon.

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One of my favorite lines in The Crow is when Eric (Brandon Lee) has T-Bird (David Patrick Kelly) duct taped to the drivers seat of his car, as its filled with explosives and aimed at a pier leading toward a harbor.  T-Bird can’t believe Eric has come back to life as The Crow and as he struggles through whimpers he says, “Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is.”

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I said it before.  The last grade I completed was the sixth grade.  Then later in life I went on to obtain a Master’s Degree.  I think a lot of it had to do with riding waves.  Not in the ocean.  I’ve never been daring enough to take on those types of challenges.  But riding waves of opportunity.  Sometimes I look back and it’s interesting to see how it all lined up and came to fruition, as though in symmetry, like musical notes being plucked from the strings of a guitar.  In time and rhythm it can make a beautiful song.

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