Day 3 -Walking Carson City, NV

Walking in Carson City during the lunch hour is a fun place to be. Since Carson City is the capital of Nevada, I was surrounded by history and government. Everywhere I looked I saw signage about the Pony Express and the men who rode the trail year after year to connect the east and west via mail. Those letters contained marriage proposals, business documents, deeds, and the hopes and dreams of the early pioneers. Their role made some miserable lives a bit more meaningful. My thanks to them and their endeavors.

On the main drag in Carson City, NV, the majestic administration buildings and dome capital building shined in the afternoon sun. These glorious building were hemmed in by old and tired looking gambling casinos, run down businesses and some new and hoppy pubs and breweries.

SAM_0397 (2)The second half of my walk took place at the Steward Indian School. This amazing compound located on 240 acres in S. Carson City opened 1890 until 1980. It’s mission was to “train and education Indian children with the ultimate goal of assimilation.” This lofty goal of the US Government was part of the mindset back then. To rein in and tame the Indian spirit and teach them the ‘white man’s ways.’ As if the white man’s ways were the one and only way to do things. I hope the Indians benefited in some way from this school and that they were able to make a living in the ever changing white world.

As the number of school children grew, those trained in stone masonry constructed over 60 native stone buildings. I hope it was all part of the learning phase and the Indian masons were compensated for their efforts.SAM_0377 (2)

Although most of those buildings are boarded up, a handful are open and operating by the state of Nevada for training, classes and agency offices. These buildings are amazing – the stonework takes your breath away. They are solid-looking and so attractive. Be sure to look at my photos below. The Steward Indian School is SAM_0398 (2)listed on the National Registrar of Historic Places. My guess is that most people in Carson City have no idea the place is there. It is full of history and beauty and boarded by the Sierra Nevada mountains.

 

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People will never forget how you made them feel

IN May, I hit the ground running and finally in early June I finished with my travels. Home in time to mow, weed and get prepared for summer. Home in time to breathe in the last of the lilac blooms, smell the wild roses and plant tomatoes.

On one of my trips I had the opportunity to sit in a first grade classroom in Carson City, NV during thpeople will never forgete last week of school.

On this very special day, the teacher awarded certificates to his students to highlight their unique qualities.  There was thoughtfulness and caring put into the awards. Some parents were present to watch and enjoy the ceremony. Some awards were over the heads of most of the students but they were told to go home and research the award if they wanted to learn more.

One girl received the Susan B Anthony award. Susan B. Anthony was very famous woman because she help free slaves and she help women get more power , she was told … “and you are like her because you are always helping and reaching out to be friends to others in this class.”

Thomas Edison award was handed out to a young boy who “hears instructions then does things his own way.” Another student received the Neil Degrasse Tyson award because she ‘asked questions that stumped the teacher’ and gave an insight into her thought process and intelligence. She was urged to research the award and learn more on her own.

A young girl, dressed with a huge pink flower in her hair and contemporary glasses was giving the Broadway Star award. “Broadway is a street in NYC where there are famous plays and theater. It seems to me that you like to be the center of attention, isn’t that right?” With a nod and a smile, her answer was a clear yes.

With each award, there was a lesson about famous people, what qualities the first grader had in common with that person and the uniqueness of the student. This teacher took some attributes that others would scorn and applauded them. The Presidential Award was handed to a student because of her leadership qualities. Some might say she was bossy in the classroom and yet, this ceremony focused on her best qualities and praised them. Another student received the Isaac Newton award because he was able to look at things and question instructions which helped everyone around him.

The Maya Angelou award was given to a student because of her writing style and her kindness. The Student of the Year award was handed to a student who joined the classroom later and still was able to join in and catch up. The John Grisham award, the Martin Luther King Jr award and on and on…

One student was told, “you are so smart” and then the teacher addressed the entire group of twenty and said – “You are all very smart students, you know that, don’t you?” then he turned back to the student in front of him and said, “you seem to understand what I am saying right away and can figure it out pretty quickly.” The piece of paper addressed their intelligence, kindness, curiosity, awareness, friendship, leadership, personality, wit and other personal attributes unique to each of them.

For one brief moment in time the spotlight was shining on them individually. It was the most precious thing I’ve ever seen and I am sure most students will hold on to the way they felt at that moment in time for decades to come.

I must tell you, this teacher is my son. I listened and sat in awe during this ceremony. I felt proud and happy for these kids who were each given a precious gift. I commented afterwards that “nobody ever told me I was smart” and this comment as shared like this …”Class, my mom just told me that nobody ever told her she was smart when she was in the first grade. But she’s one of the smartest people I know, just like you.”

It was an amazing experience in so many ways. i was honored to be there. And so very proud.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. – Maya Angelou

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