On Wednesday, April 17, 2019, Humanities Collaborative at EPCC-UTEP Undergraduate Research Fellow Katelynn Hernandez and I made our first visit to Barrón Elementary School in Northeast El Paso, Texas, and had a wonderful time working with two of Ms. Rosalinda Walker’s fifth-grade classes. After our months of planning, researching, and developing ideas with scholars at the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere, U.K., it was a great pleasure finally to be underway with our first groups of students, about 50 in all.
First, a walk down memory lane: I have the vivid memory of the summer before I started as a community college student. My family and I sat at the dinner table, and because I was still a growing boy, I ate like starved German shepherd while my father, step-mother, and older sister offered their opinions about what I ought to study. I was naïve. I associated dollar signs with “business major,” and my older sister offered, “You should minor in sociology to demonstrate you have an understanding of how to work with groups of people.”
The humanities can be defined broadly as history, culture, art, music, philosophy, literature, religion, and myriad forms of expression and commentary on “the human condition.” Humanities scholarship helps us understand who we were, are, and who we may become through methodologies that are both quantitative and qualitative, that include precision and speculation, that are visual, discursive, or auditory.
When researching a subject as vast and diverse as Native American history and culture, it's inevitable that you are going to have to look around and see where points of connection are made. Throughout most of February, a great deal of the research conducted for our project, Indigenous El Paso, has been looking at not only the Native Peoples of El Paso, Texas, but at the Native populations in other cities as well.
"Fill the paper with the breathing of your heart." – William Wordsworth
In our very first blog post written by Dr. Tom Schmid, our team had developed questions with undetermined answers. Two of these questions ranked most important to the research we have been conducting since our return from Grasmere, England, in December: