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ERIC Number: EJ841985
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0095-182X
From Student to Teacher in Thirty-Four Years
Plass, Richie
American Indian Quarterly, v27 n1-2 p373-375 Win-Spr 2003
Back in the early 1990s the author applied for a spot with the Teacher Corps Program on his reservation. The program stated that he could go to school in the morning and be in the classroom in the afternoon. It was an accelerated program, and he would be a teacher in less than four years. As he was being interviewed for the spot, the man leading the interview panel said, "OK Rich, let's do a "what-if" question... let's say you are standing in the hallway outside your classroom and I'm standing outside mine, which is right across the hall from yours. The bell rings for recess and all the kids start running as kids do and I say, "Hey, children... slow down... you're all running like a bunch of wild Indians!" What would your response or reaction be to my comment?" Well, because the author has always used humor in his life, he said, "Well, sir, I"d probably say, "Hey you kids, slow down... you're running around like a bunch of wild Polacks!" Unfortunately, the interviewer who asked the question was Polish, and, offended by this response, this author was not chosen for the program. The author could easily relate similar situations and experiences he has been involved in throughout his life, but he feels at this time it is more important to share some positive news. He has recently been hired to teach Native American studies in the Pan-African Department at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. He now goes to schools, colleges, community groups, and businesses and speaks about why using Native American names and likenesses is wrong. What is more amazing is the blatant racism still evident in explanations to him about why "his" views are wrong. As an educator he is amazed that schools and communities still allow this to continue. At some of his speeches he has actually been told that he is a racist himself because of his views, that he still uses the term "white man," and that he has no consideration for the "heritage, honor, and history" of the communities and graduates of these schools.
University of Nebraska Press. 1111 Lincoln Mall, Lincoln, NE 68588-0630. Tel: 800-755-1105; Fax: 800-526-2617; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio