My Own Meanderings

Fall beckons, school starts still in a pandemic, and I will try again.

September 5, 2021

It has been a very long since I last wrote here on the Meandering Mohawk space for my creativity and an outlet of some sort for my thinking. In reality, 1BigWebDesign has done another overhaul on this site, dealing with a rather particular and moody chap—me. But, as usually, Zak at 1 Big Web Design came through with flying colors and made the site look great and everything I hoped for truly. There will still be some tweaks still coming to the site, the lateness is all on me—my procrastination, and of course, a pandemic.

dog laying on the floor, sleepingLike so many, this has been a tough year to year and half for all of us. We are still not out of the woods yet with the pandemic and all its variants. Nor have we sadly stopped losing people to Covid-19. But, somewhere amid all this, at least in North America, it became a political football of sorts—and that my readers has definitely lengthened the problems and unfortunate deaths due to Covid-19. It was so very rough for educators, myself included. I struggled with being alone, having no dog, and then struggled to find a dog when I knew I needed one desperately to find some balance again.  But, I am not here to write about what we may all know or may disagree on in these still perilous times.

I am here to return to writing. I have found my voice. I have begun to see what others have seen within me all along. But I was always a bit hard on myself and accepting my role in life. And most importantly, I discovered I have something to say that is not best served by being silent any longer.

My last entry was about my beloved beagle Chloe—who went to sleep as the Covid lockdowns began to happen in early April 2020. It would be just shy of a year, even with constant searching, before I found a sweet, super-smart, and adorable eight-week-old Shepard-Lab mix puppy that became part of my life. She was so adorable in February 2021 and from my home community of Akwesasne (Thanks again Tasha & Family). Bixie came with me to Toronto in early February 2021.

dog sitting on edge of water pond in a city with a "Toronto" sign behind himBixie is now essentially in her teenage years (about 9 months old now)—and rascally as all get out. But, still sweet, super-smart, and a delight to be around most of the time. She was enthusiastically received by my students in winter 2021 term as we all struggled to end a long and hard year in courses. They began demanding Bixie screen time—and it helped them, even if Bixie had no clue what was going on at that moment. Now, she pops up in Zoom meeting with research projects in community and campus meetings alike.

So, where is this site going now? That is a great question. I have more time to write, I feel a need to write more, and of course I am happily in a great environment with which to accomplish my professional and personal writings—such as this blog. I am still bound to make mistakes that you may catch as a reader, but as this is my outlet, I write warts and all here with no apologies. Please do not lose what I am asking you or myself to think about for the sake of the mechanics of writing—meaning my mistakes with the written word. I am pursuing a lot of work and this blog serves as a quick outlet to unclutter my head sometimes. I have written more during this ongoing pandemic than I have in many, many years. So, please bear with me, be patient and kind, and do not lose the forest for the sake of the tree.

Some new categories will display as I begin to write and fill them accordingly in my endeavors to write more here at Meandering Mohawk. I have restructured the categories or themes of writing to encompass the following:

Storytelling Entanglements: where I hope to explore my work and thinking on aspects of orality, textuality, and how we tell stories to one another as humans. For Indigenous Communities there are vast archives often that house our collective knowledge—but that is sadly treated as mere mythology and folktales. This is where I unpack some of my thinking in this area.

Haudenosaunee Ruminations: I have spent most of my professional career studying the Haudenosaunee Cosmological (really fancy word for Creation) Narratives. In my time at the University of Toronto, I have embraced I view the world of Indigenous Studies through the lens of a Haudenosaunee (sometimes called Iroquois) and Kanienkehaka (Mohawk) scholar—so, this is where I reflect on some of the conversations, research, and work I continue to do currently.

Teaching Reflections: I have long loved teaching students to think deeper, ask better questions, and more completely engage with materials over the course of twenty plus years now. This is where I tackle some of the successes and failures of what worked and why—because I have long embraced technology. Even when I am more of Wiley Coyote with every new technology than not—by the way, he is my favorite Looney Tunes character-because despite all his stumbles—most at his own doing, he never stops trying to capture the Road Runner. Sometimes, my teaching is a bit like that—a lot of stumbles, but I never give up trying to do better for my students.

News and Political Observations: This is where I may ask my most difficult questions. While I have long been an avid news follower, some might say even a news junkie, I have grown weary of all the negativity that passes for non-bias in our news outlets—be they online, on cable, or even in print. I miss the days of Walter Conkrite or Dan Rathers—that is who I grew up watching before the endless news cycle we endure today—or the inherent bias of some outlets that quite often provide inaccurate or false information. My goal here is not to get into shouting wars via this site with others—but to express my thinking on a topic occasionally.


My Own Meanderings-_____________: such as this entry, My Own Meanderings-What I am Felling These Days.

dog sitting up looking into the camera

Bixie (Currently)

This is my category for the catch-all of my thinking, usually with a sub-header/category where I talk a bit more about my life.  Some sometimes it will be where I talk about my journey with cooking, with something I am reading, or even my health. I have realized there are so many things we do not talk about these days—so, this will be where I explore some of my thinking and my lived experiences with this category and sub-heading.

As this site is still a work in progress, I will be updating the About page, inserting the categories, and likely keeping my entries much briefer. In some respects, I likely see sticking to a word limit—and creating subsequent parts to fully flesh out things over a few entries. I do this not to create click-bait, or to have you returning every day or so, but because of time limits and word-counts. My old days of a minimum thousand-word entries is a thing of the past. Covid teaching has taught me the importance of being kind by trying to be pithy and conscious of other people’s time too. Plus, occasionally, Bixie will bug me to go for a walk too—which I am only too happy to do.


Until next time.


Kevin J. White
Toronto, CA