#2: Topic Interviews

When I interviewed my two adults, I found that they had very different ideas. I had not yet chosen the topic I will be focusing on, so I asked them what issues they would try to solve, given the chance. My first interviewee, my dad, thought of the issue posed by many not recognizing the Abenaki. He thought this was “important, since native peoples are a big part of the American story, a part that many people ignore”. One thing he said that could be done to help this issue be solved is by simply educating more people about the Abenaki  peoples. He thought that it was an interesting issue since some of the other native peoples in other parts of the country are creating casinos and becoming wealthy, but the Abenaki are just fighting to become acknowledged and to have a place of their own. Another issue he talked about was that since Burlington is a diverse community, there are many differences between the people. According to him, it could be solved by “creating an education system that can respond to people’s differences”, including race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. He thought this was an important issue to solve since everyone should have a good education.

The other interviewee, my mom, when asked about pressing issues that she would act upon responded “I don’t see them as issues, I see them as opportunities for change.” One of the opportunities she mentioned was the fact that Vermont both has an active environmental community, and some history of helping people find ways to meet their needs. She bridged these topics by saying that if we find a way to get more girls educated, they will have more power, more ability to make choices for herself, which may lead to fewer children, and her being able to make decisions to help her children be educated. She said “This could help lessen population increase, lessen the amount of people in poverty, and lessen the impact that humans have on the globe by decreasing the population and having there be less easy actions done that are bad for the earth.

Theo Ellis Novotny

3 Responses to “#2: Topic Interviews

  • It sounds like your parents gave you a wealth of issues to choose from. After reading your post, I find myself wondering what you think of the topics they suggested. Do you find them all interesting, or do only some interest you? Can you envision working on any of them for the remainder of the year in this course? Do you feel that you could make a difference by addressing any of them? Having talked with your parents, do you feel closer to picking a topic to focus on or did they give you even more ideas? I guess I’m curious about what you are thinking at this moment.


    • It’s really interesting I had a similar experience when I asked my parents about what social justice issue they’d be interesting in researching if they had the chance. Both of them had completely different equally important ideas. It’s so hard to chose because in one respect you can’t exactly chose “wrong” and in another respect all of them are so important that if you chose one you lose the chance to dig into another. I wish you luck in the upcoming process of discernment, I’m in there with you!

  • Elsa Lindenmeyr
    6 years ago

    When I read what your dad said, I immediately became intrigued. I’ve never thought about Native Americans in Vermont. How do they change their cultures to accommodate for modern technologies and cultures? How many practice the traditions? That topic would be very interesting to research. But I wonder, what do you think? What are you interested in out of these ideas your parents have given you?


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