When I die
Give what’s left of me away
And old men that wait to die.
And if you need to cry,
Cry for your brother
Walking the street beside you.
And when you need me,
Put your arms
And give them
What you need to give to me.
I want to leave you something,
Look for me
In the people I’ve known
And if you cannot give me away,
At least let me live on your eyes
And not on your mind.
You can love me most
Hands touch hands,
Bodies touch bodies,
And by letting go
That need to be free.
Love doesn’t die,
So, when all that’s left of me
Give me away.
- Merritt Malloy
Me answering the phone at work yesterday: “Ensemble, bonjour?”
Person on the other line: Hey Mikhala!
Me, assuming I’m speaking to Joannie, my co-worker: Oh hello kitten!
The person on the other line continues to talk and I realize with a degree of embarrassment that it’s actually Anne, the director general.
Me: Oh Anne, I’m sorry! I thought you were Joannie. That’s why I called you “kitten”.
Anne, unfazed: I don’t mind if you call me kitten. That’s the nickname I use with my daughters.
And this is one of the reasons why I’m ardently in love with my job. I call my boss “kitten” and she doesn’t even blink. Well I’m assuming she didn’t blink. It was a phone conversation after all.
The participants from Manawan’s Project Imprint committee organized an exchange with students from Joliette and Rosemere because they wanted to share their culture and build bridges between their two communities. Each participant from Manawan was in charge of the following activities during the weekend:
- leading a beading workshop
- demonstrating how to build animal traps and fishing rods
- preparing bannock (traditional bread) and atikamekw donuts
- cooking freshly caught fish on the grill
The students from Joliette and Rosemere got a privileged view into Atikamekw culture.
Video about a typical meeting with our student-led committee from Manawan.
The participants are preparing for a cultural exchange with students from Joliette, the neighboring city. In the video, they use tree bark to create invitations for their guests and prepare a press release for the local media to announce the event. After the meeting, we prepare a peanut stir-fry, which won at least one student over.
Blues Squares against racism: Joliette’s Project Imprint Committee
An initiative created by Joliette’s student committee, the blue squares symbolize disapproval of the racism present in their school. During their week of action against racism, the team distributed several hundred blue squares. One month later, many students were still wearing them.
Alex speaking: “Black, white … you are a human being. You have the right to be respected. Everyone has the right to be respected”
A short clip on a student exchange that took place last April. During the exchange, one of the committees held kiosks to deconstruct common stereotypes present in their school.
Titles in English:
- Intercultural exchange, Rosemere High School and Dorval-Jean-XXIII
- The two committees meet again. It was the first time since the weekend-long camp.
- Kiosks on stereotypes. During the exchange, the committee from Dorval organized informational kiosks.
- Rosemere helps with the kiosks. Here, Noor from Dorval and Meg from Rosemere.
- The students arrive!
- Sean and Christa. Subject of their kiosk: homosexuality is a “choice”
- Stephen and Jacky. Subject: the stereotype “all Jews are rich”
- Taina and Aris. Subject: the stereotype “Black people are dangerous”
- The guests from Rosemere. A kiosk entitled “White people are racist”
- Sabrina and Si Bin. Subject: the stereotype “Arabs are terrorists”
- “Those that wanted to listen really learned a lot” -Noor
- Project Imprint: deconstructing stereotypes
To build up some hype for this year’s project on intercultural dialogue, I’m making short video clips to put on our facebook page.
Titles in English:
- Noor, a Palestinian from Montreal
- Tiffaney, Annie Louiselle and Annie-Claude, three Atikamekw girls from Manawan
- Noor does henna. She writes Tiffaney’s name in Arab.
- Project Imprint, sharing your culture
And so begins year 2 of Project Imprint, an initiative that involves students in the creation of solutions to intolerance in their milieus.
Last year there were two of us handling the four participating schools. Due to its success, the project has expanded to THIRTEEN schools. The four initial high schools are now under my charge.
To wrap my head around all of the logistics and plans, I got creative. I’m a visual learner and so putting everything up on colorful paper really helped me feel in control of all that needs to be done, which is A LOT … Just don’t tell my boss how long this foray into arts and crafts took me!
Journals that I filled up, age 10 - 20.