Summer in South Dakota

Hello again. This month I write to everyone from the gorgeous plains of South Dakota. Instead of taking the month of May off, this year I ventured to the Rosebud Native American reservation. I am about half way done with my trip and I do not want it to end!

Throughout this month I have been teaching and observing a high school chemistry course. So far this has been an amazing experience because my mentor teacher is very engaging and provides an exceptional model for me to follow. My favorite part of being in the school is getting to know the students!  One of my students plays basketball and travels all over the country to play with different teams. Another one of my students researches over the summer at University of South Dakota. There are so many more great stories that I have heard by being on the Native American reservation.

The main purpose of this trip is to learn about the Lakota culture. We have been fortunate enough to listen to Leland Little Dog’s stories about the Lakota people. Last night he told us the creation story. This story differs from the Christian creation story, but he told us something very important about these differences in culture. Leland told us that there may be different ways that everyone explains how we got here, but it does not make any story less legitimate. There are multiple ways to get from point A to B. The presence of multiple paths does not make any one path less legitimate, but instead establishes that there are different perspectives that occurred simultaneously. Just some Native American wisdom for the day…

I hope your summer is going as well as mine is so far. And to end on a lighter note, South Dakota is gorgeous and I have spent so much time hiking and exploring the outdoors! This scenery cannot be described so here are some pictures to show the beauty.

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