For the first time in 20 years, T spoke today to four classes (K-3) of a public school here in illannoy. The subject was originally set as "The First Thanksgiving", but the children preferred to hear about "Indians" in general. Dressed in his full regalia, it was such fun to see the faces of the children when he entered their classrooms.....they were in awe, and he held their attention without a problem.
He spoke about his name, his people, and the American Indian in general. The subject matter ranged from American Indian contributions in foods, lodgings, craftsmanship, and even brief instructions of how to prep and tan hides. Though quite stifled by the school's requirement of remaining "politically correct", he gave the children many words of knowledge, encouraged them to always practice respect for everyone in their lives, and to gain as much education as was possible for them.
Looking back on our morning, there were only two sensitive inquiries from the children, the first being from a most tiny second grade boy who was nearly in tears, and asked "do you kill people?". The other question came from a first grade boy who was curious about a lock of hair that T wears on his war shirt, and why it was there. Thinking rapidly on his feet, T explained to the teacher and then to the child that it was a "personal and private item", and that he would prefer not to speak of it. Truth of the matter is, the lock of hair is actually a small scalp-lock that T took from a young man in my hometown in 1994, to defend my honor, following the young man's continued disrespect of me (though T had warned him multiple times to stop).
All in all it was a great morning, despite the stress of going directly from one classroom to the next without even a chance to catch one's breath.
I believe that my husband still remains a very good teacher, speaker and diplomat of sorts. Reaching our children through words and wisdom is the best gift one can give, as the children remain our hope and our future.