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Education is defined as the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment( World English Dictionary) and generally includes preparing oneself or others for an intellectually mature life. The term can also be used to mean the outcome of a particular training, instruction or a study. Traditionally, the ideal setting for imparting knowledge is a classroom. This usually comprises of a teacher, who is responsible for teaching a group of learners a given concept. In the end the teacher is supposed to evaluate how well the learners have grasped the concept taught through an assessment, most commonly an exam.
Alexie’s “Indian Education”.
Sherman Alexie is a Native American who tries to capture what it is like to grow up in the white American culture. He uses each academic year to illustrate his experiences and shows how differently non-white students are treated in an area that is still greatly affected by the effects of colonization. Even though it has been centuries since the western expansion into the Indianterritory, the natives gradually saw their land taken from them and their culture diminish. They were finally relocated to reservations. The natives still have the feeling of oppression and this is portrayed by Sherman when he writes about his experiences as a young boy through school and also after his schooling years.
Colonialism is the movement of one country, usually a more advanced country especially in military capabilities, into another less dominant country and integrating their cultures. This led to the assimilation of the two cultures. Thus, herein lies the problem since there is a conflict of cultures as the colonialists try to dominate the native’s cultures while the natives fight backto try and retain their cultural identity. This conflict is clearly portrayed by the author as he takes us through the journey from a tender age in his schooling years to his post-gradation years.
For most children, elementary school is a time for fun before the later pressures of academics in more advanced stages of life. It is at this stage that children develop socially through interaction by their peers. However, for Alexie, this works in the exact contrast. It proves to be a time of torment for him from hi peer. He is called nick-names like “Junior Falls Down” or “cries-like-a-white-boy” (Alexie 1.3). Such nicknames were deeply engrained in the American culture and were often a creation of a much older person within the society. These were characteristic of oppression. Theses bullying acts were often directed to children who appeared to be weaker in the society.
In third grade, Alexie is taught by a missionary teacher who works with children in the reservations. She shows her dislike for the Indian culture when she proposes that Alexis cut his braids. This action appears to stem from the fact that the dominant culture views their practices as superior. In this case however, the submissive culture fights back and this is portrayed where Alexie’s parents “came in the next day and dragged their braids across Betty Towler’s desk”
Alexie describes hearing girls in their washrooms in eighth grade talking about anorexia and bulimia (Alexie 2.50). The girls are fearful of consuming food in order to keep a check on their body weights. He then compares this to his life in the reserves where his mother had to wait in line for commodities and goes back home with canned beef that he describes as so bad that even the dogs would not touch it. He therefore argues that in relation to how difficult it is for those in the reserves to get a decent meal, he sees no reason .............
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