Day 4- Day 2 of The Conference

The fourth day began with a bang. The conference started with a presentation by Dr. Houston Barber, principal of Fern Creek High School. He spoke about the happenings at the school, and his philosophy on teaching. Following that presentation, was Bruce Ucan. He presented a touching story about his migration from the Yucatan peninsula, the beginnings of his restaurant- The Mayan Café- and most of all, his love for food. The third and final presentation of the morning and of the conference, was by John Schnyder and Irvin Shaifa. They presented their findings on school lunch. Their discussion/ presentation centered around the question “Is school lunch saving our generation?”. Many questions were raised and conclusions were made that day, some positive, and some negative. We finished with lunch: a potluck of mutton stew, homemade tortillas, blue corn mush, sumac puree, and fruit. The conference concluded with a closing statement and prayer by Rex Lee Jim. Although the conference was over, the students were far from exhausted. Many of the male students and even a few female students went to the gym on campus and played basketball with some of the Diné College students. At the end of the day, students were exhausted, but ecstatic over the success of the conference and of the trip. Many were ready for sleep and dreading the long trip back to Kentucky.
Questions for the Navajo Students:
1. Again, what were your takeaways from that days presentations?(Specifically differences in the school lunch, thoughts about Bruce’s story etc.)
2. What were some overall thoughts of the conference? What were thoughts about your return trip?
Questions for Kentucky Students:
1. What were the takeaways from the days presentations? (Again, be specific)
2. Describe the whole conference in 1-2 sentences. (Be concise and creative)

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Day 3- 1st Day of the Conference

The third day was kicked off with a delicious breakfast at Diné College. To begin the conference, Vice President Rex Lee Jim performed a traditional Navajo Ceremony; it was a great experience for all of the visiting Kentuckians. The first presentation of the conference was done by Brent Peters and Joe Franzen, the teachers of Food Lit. They led everybody in the workshop through making a food map consisting of favorite dishes, meals that have left an imprint on life, and experiences themselves. After a break for lunch, the conference was in full throttle again with a presentation by Sydney Ames, Spencer Brown, and Devin Brown on the question, “Is food sacred?”. They asked 5 simple, but thought provoking questions: “What is the definition of sacred?”, “What is a  food that is sacred to you?”, “How do you treat a food that is sacred to you?”,  “At what point does a sacred food lose its status as sacred?”, and “What happens when you differ in action from what you believe about sacred foods?”. After much discussion and collaboration, the first day of the conference ended. Spirits were high in anticipation for what the next day would bring.

Questions for the Navajo Students:

1. What were the major takeaways from the first presentations? Thoughts after presentations?

2. What were your first impressions from the Kentucky students? (Be honest, but not brutal)

Questions for the Kentucky Students:

1. For presenting students: How do you think your presentation went? Any comments?

2. For participating students: How do you think their presentations went? Any comments?

3. For all students: What were your expectations for the next day?

4. What was your first impression of the Navajo Students? (Again, honest, not brutal)

5. What are the expectations for Day 2 of the conference?