Rita Walker (Blog Two): By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris
I listen to Peter Gabriel’s “Biko” often. He is a member of a group called the Elders, founded in 2007 by Nelson Mandela.
Cloverdale’s Horizon Ultra Low VOC paint , Bioshield paint, and others are making environmentally friendly paints.
A woman in her mid-forties wearing a blue blouse and blue jeans walks towards Rita with a beaming smile. Her raven hair is tied back and hangs half way down her back. Her wide brown eyes glint with mischief. It’s the tattoo of the wolf on her left arm that makes Rita feel instantly at home at the college. The human species has a variety of races. Some are considered more pure though she isn’t sure that the word pure is the best choice if it’s considered better than. Rita herself is Haida from the British Columbian coast but she also has Celtic roots. What links her to Kaydee, the woman now in front of her, is that they share a separate race all together.
“Sister,” Kaydee cries out with joy hugging Rita to her.
“Sister,” Rita replies.
“I am so glad the college agreed to give you one of the newly built rooms to teach your course on Environmental Technology. We already have you filled up with local and International students. And yes there is a gym on the grounds.”
As Kaydee talks and they walk towards the new room Rita will be teaching in Rita peeks through some of the doors to the other lecture rooms. Between two large, erasable ink boards is a screen that the professor can use a pointer stick with in one hand while clicking a remote with the other. Students sit at desks on a sloping floor. Kaydee takes her down a new corridor painted eggshell white with a red band down the centre.
“The painters used Cloverdale’s Horizon line paints because they’re non-toxic,” Kaydee tells her as they stop at door with a small square window at the top.
She sighs deeply. Many years ago Peter Gabriel sang Biko with an orchestra at the Ed Sullivan theatre on the David Letterman Show. The music plays in Rita’s head as she remembers what Peter Gabriel said as he thrust his hand in the air. But she isn’t here to tell the next generation it’s up to them. She’s here to say, “ It’s up to all of us now.”