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Friday, October 5, 2001

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Confrontation

I went to a lecture last night "Red Indians" in India: Building Understanding and Making Friends. The speaker was Hartman Lomawaima, a Hopi and the associate director of the Arizona State Museum. He talked about a cultural exchange he was involved in in 1986 with India. He and a few other Hopis took artifacts for a museum display to India for five weeks and also did crafts, weaving, pottery, kachina making and basketweaving. He talked about the problems with doing such an exhibition and the interactions they had with 'real indians'. Evidently red indians is what India indians call native americans. It was a very good talk and I was disappointed that more people hadn't shown up.

If there had been a better turnout we could have competed better with the Campus Crusade for Christ rally going on in the auditorium down the hall. They got a bit loud at times but luckily by the time Hartman started talking, with both doors closed, it wasn't too bad.

I'm having real problems with Tabru. I am very in favor of transit, but as with all activist groups, some people are very in your face abrasive and I'm just not like that. If someone, say a council person, doesn't care about transit, that doesn't mean they are scum and trash. If the city council spends money on something instead of on transit, that doesn't mean they are stealing our money. Someone who does not agree with me on transit may agree with me on other things, so I have a hard time listening to people who demonize everyone who isn't 100% behind us.

We are working on some questions to ask candidates and then we hope to get an insert in the paper in the important zip codes. We can't afford it for all the papers. This is great. We will get their answers, and we are trying to come up with questions that will require more than a yes, no or maybe, and we will print them for all to see. Maybe we'll add a little editorializing about Tabru and our goals but we get out how candidates feel about transit and whether we agree or disagree with their answers. This is good. Then we move on to educating people about transit, both the public and the city council. This is what I want to do. It's slower but it doesn't build up resistance and bitterness like abrasive confrontation does.

It's hard for me to confront people about how I feel about confrontation. How about that? When you have a low confrontation level it's hard to confront people. I keep talking to myself about what I could say but I'm not really doing it well yet. This is going to be a real learning experience. I have always had a hard time confronting people and when pushed into a corner tend to sulk and withdraw rather than talking about it. I never feel like I can adequately explain how I feel about an issue or a problem. I have problems writing about how I feel about something but it's much, much easier than talking about it with someone who disagrees with me.

It was cool this morning and wonderful to start walking to work just before the sun came over the hills. We're coming into my favorite time of the year.


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Rachel Aschmann 2001.
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