Admittedly, I had some difficulty at first with the number of historical and geographical the Vitebsky uses. His consistent mentioning of location after location and culture after culture in the Arctic region were a bit difficult at times to follow because I have almost no familiarity with these areas. I’m sure Dr. Nelson has each of these ingrained in her DNA, but for me it was a slight challenge at least at first.
Reindeers are surprising animals. For one, I had no idea reindeer and caribou were the same species. For some reason I had assumed caribou were more similar to antelope, but I probably was working off memories from The Wild Thornberries or something.
I think many of us will be interested in picking Dr. Nelson’s brain this week on the history of Soviet Russia as it relates to reindeer. I’m a little weary of making statements about the implications of what was going on during the time where native Russian cultures were being forced conform to the ways of the developed world. I will admit that, though the overt content of this week’s reading is very interesting, for the most part I didn’t feel a magnetic pull Vitebsky’s writing as I did with Goat Song and Part Wild. In this sense I’m having a bit of difficultly coming up with some original thought this week, but I’ll be excited to contribute to discussion and in class. I do have a few thoughts regarding the chapter relating to dreams, but I’d rather keep on topic with reindeer than get into an abstract conversation about the nature of dreams.