Some feel those at the school are trying to kill their culture by teaching Western ways, and theres simply an assumption that whites are racist against the natives. Get More InformationIts a place of little employment opportunities and extreme poverty–nobody is rich–with the citizens hunting for their food, she said. In summer, its fish, birds are hunted in spring, seals are on the docket in fall, and moose are in the crosshairs in winter–whales are also a catch during migration season, and beavers are trapped when possible. (For those interested, moose is fantastic, really lean, while seal is oily and not very good, Sparks said. Boiled whale blubber is like eating a bouncy ball, but whale steaks are really good.) Because its a hunting culture, there was a natural inclination to protect a single white female like Sparks, she said. This led to generosity–people were always bringing me food, like moose legs–but it also could be tiresome, because theyre always trying to fix you up. Page 2 of 4 – Sparks said she really enjoyed the native dances, however. Like the pow-wows she grew up attending, its fun to watch, and the kids get really into it, explaining the stories to you. Contrary to popular belief, Alaska–at least the central western location Sparks was in–doesnt receive much snow. We had maybe a foot of snow last year, although it does rain frequently. Its also not much colder than Minnesota, although theres no humidity, and the thermometer rarely breaks 60, even in the summer, she said. Of course, Sparks spent her summers home in Oregon with family, or, traveling, like backpacking through Europe. Because going anywhere outside the village required flying–and expensive flying, at that–Sparks flew in at the start of the school year, flew home for Christmas, flew back after, and then didnt leave again until summer, she said.
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<img src="http://i.imgur.com/jhbp6ol.jpg" width='250px' alt='Austin, Texas, police officer Monika McCoy (R) talks with Jeannie Speed Shone, who was 21 years old when her husband was killed during a mass shooting on the University of Texas campus 50 years ago. (G. check this site outFlakus/VOA)’ align=’left’ /> “Looking at his old pictures, it was very impressive; it made an impression on me,” she said. “From an early age, I wanted to be a police officer.” But she had a career as an accountant and raised a family before entering the Austin Police Training Academy, from which she graduated in 2013 at the age of 42. Unfortunately, her father died a year earlier. Sharing the story, easing the pain As the 40th anniversary of the tower shooting approached in 2006, Monika McCoy, still a civilian, helped organize a reunion of the officers who played a role in ending the killing. She said most of them had never discussed what happened that day, even when working together for many years. “In that generation, of course, they never spoke of anything like that,” she said. “They never spoke of their emotions or shared their feelings.” Monika McCoy is a police officer in Austin, Texas. McCoys father, Houston, helped stop gunman Charles Whitman during a mass shooting on the University of Texas campus 50 years ago. (G. Flakus/VOA) At the reunion 10 years ago, however, she said they opened up and talked about what they remembered, providing fascinating details about how they improvised their actions on the spot, having no instructions provided by superiors to guide them.
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