5/24 Book Reflection
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Last year I started re-reading the Harry Potter series. I grew up reading these books and this one has always been my favorite. There is something about believing all your troubles are history and that you’ll finally have a place in the world to only have your hope dashed to bits. It’s so real. Harry experiences that every school year to some degree when he has to leave to his family’s for summer breaks, but he doesn’t ever experience it as much as he does in book 3. He is so happy to finally have a piece of his parents, to have an adult that is his guardian who loves him, really loves him and it is all taken away because of the cowardice of one man, one rat. It’s truly heartbreaking. Also heartbreaking, are the actions of the author of this series. She is a TERF (Trans-Exclusionary-Radical-Feminist) and her writings indicate a gross misunderstanding of Native cultures as she writes about them as they are all one. These are troubling and disappointing attributes. I hope to see these attitudes change, but I am not holding my breath. I am going to continue to re-read the series, but now I will read it through a more critical lens.
Some Lit Thoughts
Bad people can write good books, they can make media that helps millions of people. This doesn’t mean that we should excuse their behavior. This doesn’t mean that the courage or belief that their products gave you is invalid either. It does mean that we need to call out their behavior. We need to discuss it and we need to help creators that aren’t like them to be able to create new works so that future children can have both media AND creators that they can hold in high regard without the disappointment of learning that the creator is pretty awful.
Sherman Alexie is another troubling account. His writings have helped many Native peoples to find their way, including myself. Learning of the sexual harassment allegations enraged me. How could he do this to me? He has so much influence as a Native creator. His books brought Native experiences to the mainstream and he broke my trust and so many others. He hurt women by using his influence over them. He hurt children by discouraging them to become writers. He also paved the way for other Natives to become creators, because now they could be taken seriously. How am I supposed to feel about this? His awards have been stripped from him and a scholarship named for him has had its name changed. He is no longer recommended by the AILA or Debbie Reese (AICL). This link (An Open Letter About Sherman Alexie) is Debbie Reese’s statement about the events and includes a timeline for them. This link (American Indian Library Association Rescinds its 2008 Young Adult Literature Award from Sherman Alexie) takes you to the post made on the AICL (American Indians in Children’s Literature) site about the AILA (American Indian Library Association) rescinding their award to Alexie. This link (Native American Literary Symposium’s 2018 “Welcome” Includes Statement about Sherman Alexie; Public Backlash to American Indian Library Association’s Decision to Rescind Alexie’s Award) takes you to the Native American Literary Symposium’s statement. This link (Intersections | AILA Youth Literature Award & Sherman Alexie) is the AILA’s statement on rescinding the 2008 award.
Things are going really well here. It’s still weird for me to be able to afford to go to the doctor and medicine. What is this strange and magical land? I was able to finish my second semester of grad school with a 4.0!! I am super happy about that. It was really tough, but by following my study schedule I was able to get everything done in time and not overextend myself. I need to write some more letters, maybe give out my address to some friends so I can get some letters and photos sent to me. My job is still great, I really only have trouble with one class, but the teacher I work with in that class is so wonderful that it’s honestly hard to complain. We are a team and we try our best together, so I know that even on rough days we are both putting out best foot forward, working hard to help the students learn. That’s not to say that all of my other classes are perfect. I just have really good support from all the staff that I work with, and because of that I am always happy to be there. I am grateful to have been placed at my schools. I got to see the Pokemon Center in Hiroshima when I was there for a training day and IT WAS THE BEST! I didn’t buy as much as I wanted, I talked myself out of a lot, which is good. I got to wander around a big shopping district too. It was an awesome day and I finally had ramen in Japan with other people from the training. To be honest, the only things that I am bummed about right now is that I miss hugs, like from people in general and Monster. I guess you could say that I miss Wilfred too even though he is a butthole. I think it would be easier for me if I had a pet. I have made friends, but I tend to spend most of my personal time alone, which kind of stinks. Maybe if I get better internet and a PS4 I can start to play FFXIV again. I need to think of some alternatives, since having a pet is supes out of the question.
My Library: https://rikikikitaco.libib.com
Currently Reading: Rice Mother by Rani Manicka; We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby; Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
Currently Playing: Kirby Star Allies/Switch; Stardew Valley/Switch; Stella Glow/3DS; Detective Pikachu/3DS
Reading List: Fire and Fury, Artemis, Tokyo Ghoul, Armada, A Wrinkle in Time, Words on Bathroom Walls
Playing List: Wonderboy, Bayonetta, Bayonetta, Skyrim, LoZ A Link Between Worlds, Culdcept Revolt