Hip-Hop in Arctic Bay ... Day 3

Friday, October 10, 2008
Today was another busy fun filled afternoon, evening and night. This afternoon the two crews broke into smaller teams to create and work on their routines for the battle Saturday night. The group is becoming really good with their dance moves - I have seen great improvement in their confidence in their steps since the beginning of the program. I've also seen a great shift in some attitudes of the students and youth that are participating in the program. Students who would normally be spitting at each other or putting each other down or in the middle of some sort of "war" (either family, who they know, or some other social struggle between two or more people) are now working together, encouraging each other and offering support when needed. It's really been touching watching these young people working together.

This afternoon we had some of the Elders in town come in to see what hip-hop is all about. The students and CFM demonstrated their moves to the Elders and some even took part in learning a couple of dance moves too. CFM and the youth also demonstrated traditional throat singing mixed in with some beat-boxing - - blending the traditional music with "modern" music. Last but not least, Ben-Jammin gave a demonstration on scratching (a skill that the participants will be learning tomorrow) to the Elders - and one brave Elder even came up and tried out scratching. I think the Elders have a great new appreciation for the hip-hop movement and are proud of their youth as each time one of them went into the half-cypher to show their moves or create some beats their eyes lit up and huge smiles were on all faces.

After supper break everyone gathered back in the gym to continue working in their small groups on their routines (as they need to know them down pat by Saturday night). For a while tonight, I had a little bit of baby sitting duties as one of my students didn't have a babysitter (but only needed someone for 30 minutes), so I volunteered to watch the lil'guy for the time being until he was to head back home quickly to drop the baby back off at home with his mom. Now, I have no idea really what to do with a baby. Yes, I've baby sat.... but they have always been 2 years + ... not 7 months. Luckily for me, lil Ty just slept in my arms and only woke up about 5 minutes before daddy came back out. I am pretty sure at some point, in this lil guy's mind the phrase, or question "who are you, and where is my daddy" had to have run through his mind. But, no fussing was had ... only once we had to put him back in the amouti did the fussing begin.

Tonight's talk with the participants was all about nutrition, healthy living, drugs and alcohol. A good talk was given by Buddah and the CFM's to the youth. It wasn't a preaching talk about how they shouldn't drink pop, smoke, do drugs or drink - but more about making better decisions that would help them lead a better life. It was shocking at times to see the students react to the questions that Buddah posed to them - it has definitely shed some light for me into some of the home lives and personal lives of some of my students.

Also tonight, the graffiti mural that a couple of artists have been working on this week was revealed to everyone - it is pretty spiffy and it will be hung in the school later on.

Tomorrow is an early start for everyone (gotta be at the gym for 9:00 am!!!) luckily, us volunteers / supervisors / A/V people decided together that 10:30 was a great time for all of us to arrive :-) as we have a whole lot of Kraft Dinner to prepare for tomorrow ... unless a plane arrives early tomorrow morning ... then it will be hot-dogs ..... we will see :-)

Pictures of Day 3 to follow at some point later on ... when I get the chance to upload them.


down south said...

the graffiti mural is really very interesting! Kids seem to be having a blast!ioiuo

Jennith said...

This looks so cool... Good job of catching the essence of such a neat program. :D I think we are trying to bring them here too. It definately looks worth it.

Kennie said...

Jennith, it is so worth it. Just the way that I observed a lot of our youth interacting and helping eachother (rather than trying to fight eachother) was just amazing. And at the same time, all of the group talks about major social issues in the North coming from people who are not from the North (as it seems like our students will listen to an outsider about some issues more than to us who live here) was a great added feature of the program. I am hoping that many of our students take the messages to heart.

I'll have more details about the last day and my final thoughts about the program probably tomorrow - the feat of Turkey is affecting my train of thought tonight .... not the fact that it's 1:00am :-)