Sunday, May 02, 2021

Watching Thunderheart Again

 Thunderheart as Seen in 2021

 What is Thunderheart?

Val Kilmer in London, England, 2005     

Staring Val Kilmer and Sam Shepard, among other wonderful actors, Thunderheart is a 1992 movie about a murder that occurred on an Sioux Indian reservation and therefore investigated by the FBI. Being part Sioux, Kilmer's character is the junior FBI agent sent to investigate. Sam Shepard plays the senior agent. Graham Greene plays the reservation's head cop and Sheila Tousey plays a reservation school teacher. These American Indians assist Kilmer in finding the guilty party. This movie is currently playing on Amazon Prime for those of you with an account. 

{Image of Kilmer: John Griffiths from London, United Kingdom, CC BY-SA 2.0 }

What I Remembered about Watching It the First Time 

I like watching old movies that I have seen before. I remembered that the Kilmer character learned a lot about his American Indian heritage and left the reservation with a greater respect for the American Indian than he had when he first arrived there. I remember that he caught the killer. I remembered that the movie impressed me the first time I saw it. I decided to watch it again.

Watching an Old Movie Again in 2021

After the first hour, my impression of the movie is a bit different. Wakey, wakey. The prejudice against the American Indian, disrespect for the rights of the reservation's residents, and the violence in the treatment of the Native Americans felt like the stories of police mistreatment of Blacks and other minorities repeatedly being reported in the news over the last year and during 2021. I vaguely remembered being disturbed the first time I saw the movie, but mostly being reassured that Kilmer got the bad guy. 

Today, I feel a sad disgust of the way the FBI, with the assistance of some Native American security agents trampled the rights of those residents of the reservation that did not toe the party line--or were simply in harm's way that day. 

And since when was it OK to fire multiple time at an unarmed man running away? Back  then, such action films used guns a lot. Today, I see this action as totally uncalled for, poor policing, and violations of civil rights. 

I am 70 now. When I first saw this movie, I was the mother of teenagers. I enjoyed action films. I do not think my children developed the same values I was taught growing up since we watched these movies together. What I now see as questionable policing, they surely saw as the norm for awhile. 

Today, their thoughts are more nuanced. Their love for this country is sincere. But do they see the faults of some of our State and Federal policies, of some of our elected officials, as clearly as I do now? Is politics a popularity contest to them or matter of maintaining our democracy? Many of the current young Americans are serious about politics and patriotism. Many have good values. Can they save our democracy as a beacon of freedom for all, not just a good living for the chosen few?

I am old now and will not live to see the full ramifications of the challenges faced by our country. Will democracy survive? Will nationalism and bigotry destroy this country? Will we survive the changing ecosystems engendered by global warming? Will the...the questions go on, but the answers are in the hands of the next generations. I hope that they, too, will see Thunderheart in 2021 with a belief that all men are created equal and that all have rights and that our country can be stronger by making inclusion and patriotism mean an adherence to the values of the US and its constitution as applied to all, not just the elite majority.

Friday, December 04, 2020

A Quick Guide to Supplementing Your Child’s Learning During the Pandemic


Guest Article by Emily Graham of Mighty Moms 

*with some additional formatting and comments by Valerie

Image via Pexels

* We are all schooling at home now

Whether your little one is participating in distance learning due to COVID-19 — or you’re looking for some ways to supplement your child’s education from home — the resources below offer tips on online learning, finding a tutoring service, and helping your kindergartner to learn with fun educational activities and family outings. Read on to discover resources that will help to supplement your child’s education during the pandemic — and well after it ends. 

Online Learning Tips 

To ensure that your child gets the most out of the online learning experience, check out these three resources. 

 ● Review these distance learning tips and ideas. 

● Utilize online learning tools like ABCmouse, Reading Eggs, and Starfall. 

 ● Learn everything there is to know about digital security to keep your little learners safe and protected online

Tutoring Services 

Whether your little one is struggling in an area like math, science, or reading — or you’d like to expand your child’s knowledge from home during the pandemic — these tutoring services can help. 

 ● Overcome the challenges of homeschooling by connecting with a skilled tutor from Coskrey Biz

● Need help with your child’s homework assignments? Use online resources like Chegg Tutors,, and Time4Learning. 

 ● Visit free educational websites like Scholastic, Sesame Street, PBS Kids, CoolMath, and TIME for Kids to expand your child’s knowledge from home. 

Educational Activities for Young Kids 

Make learning fun with these educational activities and attractions for young children. 

 ● Learn astronomy in your own backyard. 

 ● Explore Moab as a family with outdoor entertainment, hiking, biking, climbing, and more. Just don’t forget your face mask! 

● Keep little ones busy at home with these 20 fun learning activities from Good Housekeeping. 

● Teach your children about nature by observing wildlife in your own backyard. 

* Help students stay caught-up

 Many kids have fallen behind on their learning amid COVID-19 — but the resources above can help to supplement your child’s education through fun learning activities, tutoring services, and online learning tools. Instead of playing catch-up once the pandemic ends, help your little one to get one step ahead by supplementing your child’s learning from home! 

 To find out more about how Valerie Coskrey can provide you with homeschooling assistance and tutoring call (979)248-9450 *or visit Coskrey Biz. 

*A note from Valerie: Add your suggestions via the comments. Comments are moderated, but I will take a look at the links you send and decide. I will also add a few comments of my own for other links that I have found. 

Thanks to Emily for her suggestions. She has been homeschooling/coaching her children during the closing of schools and required online sessions. She speaks from personal experience.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Memes of the Quarantine

Hi folks,

You know I have a love of memes and a belief that songs are poems that beautifully represent memes of our culture. Here is a post from my other blog that contains a list of songs for the emotions of the quarantine. I invite you to help me grow the playlist for the songs about the memes we are all living with today.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

A post on Seattle for my readers

 I have several blogs, so I find myself having to ask my readers to take a look at another blog post. This is one of those times. Please, read my post here on Knee Jerk Reactions. It talks about the Native American John T. Williams and the repercussions of his death. 

There are pictures. Here are a few more to whet you appetite. Both are Seattle, WA, at sunset.

Seattle at sunset


Vista de Seattle, Washington, Estados Unidos, 2017-09-02, DD 07-08 HDR.jpg
By Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link


Both images are from WikiCommons and are used with a Creative Commons License