Hello! My name is Dallas Tatman. As of August 2022 I’m really pleased and honored to be working with Gazelle International as a Virtual Liaison to support educators [like YOU!] all around the world.
So, what’s up with the cryptic title?
Well, a lot of my research is conducted in Wolof, a language spoken in West Africa, primarily in the Senegambia region. In Wolof, Na nga def? simply means “How are you?” and is a standard greeting. The typical response is Maa ngi fii rekk. Colloquially, that means “I’m doing well,” but the literal translation brings out a deeper dimension: “I am ONLY here.” Isn’t that a beautiful sentiment? To be specifically HERE, with a particular person, present in the moment is something that often gets lost in our busy lives. The whole exchange of Wolof greetings signifies that you are interested and invested. The person in front of you is important. So, to that end, in my role as Virtual Liaison, I will try to be mindful and present, to “be here ONLY, in our educational space when you have questions or concerns. If you need anything CLICK-related or just need to chat about the challenges and opportunities in your classroom, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at DallasT@gazelle-international.org or if you prefer Twitter, hit me up @TheRealDTatman
A little about me…
Currently I’m a PhD candidate at the University of Virginia, studying the History of African Religions. My primary research is on the ways “lived religion” plays out in sport, particularly how Islam and African Indigenous Religions are expressed in traditional wrestling in West Africa. In addition to my teaching experience at UVA, I have just finished a year as a full-time adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee where I taught classes in African religions, anthropology, and sociology.
In my previous life, before continuing my graduate studies full-time, I taught middle- and high-school students. For 17 years, I taught world history, U.S. history, geography, as well as Honors and Advanced Placement courses. Collaborating with other teachers and making connections with students were definitely the best parts of the job! These experiences shaped my personal educational philosophy: “Just Make It Accessible.” That is probably why I am so excited to work with the Gazelle International team⎯-their mission combines all the best parts of teaming up with fellow teachers to inspire students in creative educational spaces. I am looking forward to happy and productive relationships with all of you.
Outside of working, I enjoy fitness, hiking, fishing, and reading pulpy action novels. A lot of my time is taken up with my two dogs, Sava and Daisey Mae. Sava is a sweet border-collie/pit bull mix and Daisey Mae is a petite [?] 115 lb Great Pyrenees/Newfoundland mix. I also have two adorable cats, Hope and Cardigan who are the grandes dames of the home.