29 April 2008


There were a whole lot of positive vibrations swimming around and through me in Anchorage this weekend. I feel so revitalized! (Despite my having a head cold for the 1st time this school year. I was so close to making it the whole school year too!)

To start, Shaun & I made it to Bethel smoothly. My flight to Anchorage went as scheduled too (lucky me, b/c poor Shaun was in BET for 14 hours, but he made it!!). I flew with Era, which is grossly less expensive than AK Air & apparently flying more often too. Our plane only took 18 passengers. There was a row of seats, an isle, and another row of seats. This was a first time for me flying in that kind of jet. I've gotten to ride in 6 (maybe) different kinds of planes since I've lived here. Once in Anc. I had to get my license so I could rent a car, all of which took under an hour. Check out my driver's license photo. Do you see the lighting around my head, following my hair in parts. It was cloudy & dim outside. Yes, I recognize that the flash could have generated some sort of reflection. But, I'm sticking to the fact that it's super rad!

Friday afternoon, I was able to walk into a massage place 30 min. before they had the only opening for the night and Sat. was booked. While I was there I noticed that they do Thai massages too. Come to find out, the person who does the massages is Thai. So, I asked about it at the desk and they said they're usually closed on Sun. but there would be one person there, Somsong. Of course, I went to see her & she is a great healer. I think it helped that I put myself into a mild state of meditation during the treatment too. For those of you nonbelievers who think massage is just a luxary; let me tell you again, it really is therapy! My body is much more balanced than before it. I was also able to eat at my favorite place for garb in Anc., Organic Oasis. And I finally bought Maus, a comic book long ago recommended. Maybe next time I'll listen quicker, Christina. ;-) Maus, originally pub. in 1973, is about the German invasion into Poland; you should definitely check it if you haven't already read it. I need to get the next one stat! I'm glad to hear that they are including it in Battle of the Books next year. This has also made me a fan of graphic novels in general. Oh yes, I almost forgot that Anc. had record snowfall at 22" on Friday alone. This is illustrated by the rental car I just drove into Sally's driveway. I kid you not, I took the pic. no more than 15 min. after I parked.

Ok, back up to Sat. I had a nice talk with someone about before life/after life stuff. Out of the blue she asked me if I believe in psychic stuff. Once we got talking, she told me some way cool stuff about her son & his grandma who passed two days before he was born. Also, she remembers explicit details of things that happened prior to her birth, according to her dad. I'm currently reading "The Children That Time Forgot" (Harrison), which is about just that. Mostly preschool children recall experiences & have a language database way more sophisticated than their current circumstance. Most of the stories are dictated by their parents. This is a good one to check out if you like.

I was fortunate again in being able to walk in & get my hair cut on the spot, when usually they only take apts. I didn't really like it at first, but now I kind of do. Whew! Afterwards, at a coffee shop I had a lovely skimming the surface kind of conversation about gov't conspiracies, social justice, Warcraft, music, & nature. I appreciate getting insights from folks who are clearly passionate in their interests. He's worked on the "inside" & has had tons of experiences. Believe me I tried to get more details about the "inside" but he was tight lipped about certain specifics. I understand. This dude lived in his tent for 3 years, further North than Anchorage. The only gear he brought was the tent, good winter clothing, and his dog. He didn't bring a knife, rope, food supplies, etc. Amazing! (I won't mention your name here b/c I know how paranoid you are. :-) But, I'm bragging on you b/c you rock! We need to chat on Skype or something.

Onward Sat...I was able to see the slightest bit of the state NYO competitions going on at Sullivan Arena. I guess they were moving ahead of schedule, b/c by the time I got there they were at the end of the boys one-foot, which was the second to last event. I watched the beginning of the girl's seal hop, with one of our LKSD AllStars, Charlie. She must have gone over 100 feet. Another, Tanya Slim broke the state record for Alaska High Kick (or A.K.). The LKSD team took 1st in the state in overall competition too, out of 40 or so teams! I had to leave early so that I could meet a crew for a movie, yummy food & Kinwood Zen wine at the Bear's Tooth. We had a good, late night hanging out & catching up, as we live in 4 different places now. I love you all dearly!! {kiss, kiss}

Sun. was a nice day of the here & there's. I had that awesome Thai massage & it was fun talking to Somsong afterwards. She was telling me about what it's like being here for three years & some things about Thailand. Her name means something like uniform, all encompassing, collective. I take it as being able to gather healing energy, which is perfect in a massage practice being able to balance summing up healing energy, while not being a vampire & stealing others'. Sara, Shaun & I ran some errands.

After not being able to get together with Amy, yet again (we have to fix this pattern, girlfriend! :-) I decided to go to Girdwood. For those of you who don't know Girdwood... The drive is 36 miles South of Anc. on a road that splits Turnagain Arm with mountains. Incidentally, they are still covered with snow 1/2 way down! At the right time of year you'll see lots of wildlife. The tide must have been coming in during my drive down. I remembered that it was beautiful, but I was re-exposed to some of the lovely features of that short drive. The mountains, trees, runoff waterfalls, ghost wood forests, & curvy roads make me thankful. Girdwood itself is a transient town that is quite small w/ quaint restaurants, bars, & shops w/ that underground vibe. I'm mostly familiar w/ the summer crowds, but there's a ski resort there for good times in winter. I went to visit Christian, who's been out here in the Bethel area for 6 years now. Oddly, this is only the 2nd time we've hung out. He's there now because of an injury that has required two plates and somewhere around 8 screws in the fibia, tibia area. He showed me some gruesome photos of during the surgery. I'm loving gruesome health science stuff more & more. It was a nice chill time talking about a variety of this & that. He just bought a military bus & might road trip this summer. His friend also told me some stories about the Aleskia Ski Resort there, of suicides & murders. I still need to make my way in there! I bet it has gorgeous architecture inside too. I also wonder if there are any ghosts roaming around. I just eat this kind of thing up!

Mon. I went to a seminar on Differentiated Instruction by Jim Grant. There were about 15-20 familiar faces from LKSD there. Jim is such a dynamic person. I can only imagine how great he must be in a classroom full of kids. He was great with us! Unfortunately for my pocket book I walked by the resource table. I bought some really good resources though, that I think are practical for usage & easy to incorporate into lessons. I left on the evening jet & stayed with a friend in Bethel.

Upon my arrival in the classroom today I was greeted with a huge group hug. These kids are So sweet! Adults around who knew I was gone seem to be happy that I'm back too. It makes it nice to be back home again. Sidenote: We've been going outside to pick up trash & get fresh air & movement. There are already some red berries to pick, which are still mostly frozen, but yummy & tart. The kids always know these things.

Well, you've survived one of my loooong entries. Big hugs to you all! { _ }

They're just beaming w/ love!

Teacher of the Year

Step back! Yours truely has been nominated for teacher of the year. My site administrator and some others at the school all wrote very nice recommendation letters for me! As Ralph would say, "I'm special." :-9 Today Charlotte let me read them before faxing the letters off to the district. I still feel like there are way better deserving teachers out there. But, it's still so nice to be nominated.
:-D (Do you see my teeth?!)

23 April 2008

Mysterious Poem

As I came into the classroom today I noticed a green sticky note on a table. Here's what it says:
"Looking out my window, I peer at the soft glowing orb in the sky. It is floating in veils of gray, black, and purple clouds. The moon is constantly playing hide and seek with me. It is quiet at night. The silence lulls me to sleep. Good night."

This is a lovely little write up, don't you think? Who do you think left it?

A) The ghost(s) that I have often heard in the school.
B) One of the three student teachers who are visiting & have been in & out of our classroom this week.
C) Another teacher
D) The janitor
E) Other

16 April 2008

No wonder Einstein was a genius!

"In the early part of the 20th century Einstein said:
The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."

"Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a Spirit is manifest in the Laws of the Universe."

10 April 2008

Music over Recess

Today I had a request from the 7 students I had in attendance that we forgo recess and go to my house again to jam. How could I say no? There was singing, piano playing, drum wrapping, xylaphone tapping, bell ringing, wood rippling, and some dancing.

Of course, there were the side conversations about how afraid of my cat (really Maria's) they were. So, when two were in the bathroom (they had to go in pairs b/c they were afraid)
I scratched the door a little bit. Then, again until they weren't afraid anymore b/c they knew it was me & ridiculous. The rest of the class got a kick out of it too. :-9

09 April 2008

You've Gotta love kids!

I only have 8 students today, because many are staying home or visiting with Chris' family. So, after lunch we went to my house for an impromptu music jam session for 45 minutes. They're so so fun! Before we left, I had them taste the organic herbs from my hydroponics garden. They tasted sweet basil, thai basil, sage, whispy lettuce-I don't know the name (it tastes like celery),
lemon balm & mint. These are the days....

08 April 2008


The first kid that talked to me this morning said, "Somebody was ppough, ppough last night. I know." He did this as he grabbed his head & smiled.

Yesterday was just kind of a weird day with a bad ending. I woke up at 4:00am b/c I was due at school to use the Internet for a 5am live chat with my classmates. That never happened. So, I just stayed at school surfing the net & having a nice slow morning. In the classroom, it was stressful, but a really good day b/c overall we accomplished a lot of stuff. Two of my most studious students were even absent. That evening, we interviewed, & I think hired, for the open SA (principal) position.

Following that meeting we were informed that one of our junior high students Chris, maybe 16 years old, committed suicide. He used a gun, to the head, in his dad's shop right outside their house. There are probably 10 people who live there; lots of kids, one which is a student of mine, in foster care. At about 5pm my face felt all flushed, hot & red, & I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. I wonder if that's when they found him. The kid who greeted me this morning is his cousin. Obviously, he isn't torn up about it. I'm really concerned about how our student body, mostly those kids close to him in his age & the multiple cousins he has here. My students are usually pretty mater of fact about death. I also play basketball & I'm pretty good friends with two of his sisters. I'm going to go see the family & the body in his house today. Chris always had a great smile!Photo by Christina ('06?)

03 April 2008

The Treeline

So, it might be a while before I get around to writing a little synopsis of my two trips to the treeline this year. It's 54 miles each way, that's about 2.5 hours on the snow machine each way. And... there are trees! ... & knee to waist deep snow!

Shibby did a nice write up & I pirated some photos from his site. Maria also had a nice blog post on MySpace. (Thanks, Shib)

Shibby's Sunday, March 23, 2008 "Following the North Trail to the Yukon"



Well, I've signed my contract for next year here in Nunapitchuk. It will be my 6th year here in LKSD, Alaska. If you get a chance to explore on the Internet, our website is www.lksd.org. A class is updating our school webpage. At this point, I figure I can try to commit myself for the 8 years that will help my retirement. Although, if I’m unhappy I refuse to stay, for retirement.

My tutoring kids from other classes after school & the odd volunteer jobs around the school are fizzling out. Also, coaching Jr. high/HS cross-country & NYO (Native Youth Olympics), including traveling to other villages with them is coming to a close within the month. So far, I've visited 13 LKSD villages, some several times. I hope to make it to all of them by the time I leave here. Though, I still see it as “possible” that I could stay here. It just depends on how things roll.

Tonight I'm getting paperwork & organization squared away for our NYO meet here tomorrow. We're expecting around 7 schools to come out to compete. I hope that weather allows them all to make it here! I also just finished sending off the Writing phase descriptions to my commander in chief. I've been working on this writing curriculum review committee & although it was hours of fun, I'm glad it's coming to a close. Some suckers, I mean folks, are going to be working on it in the summer to refine things. But, I won't be staying around lovely Alaska for the summer.

I may be able to stay for an arts workshop in Bethel for 3 days. Then, I'll promptly hope on a # of jets to go to Australia with my roommate & a friend of hers! I might be able to visit my distance ed. college in Portland prior also. We’ll be visiting another college buddy of hers in Sydney. In my spare time, I’m also looking at houses on the market in Colorado. I’ve been thinking about it for over a year now & so I’m trying to learn more about real estate in general. I’m not sure yet if I’ll visit there this summer to actually view some houses as well as some hiking & camping. But, that's a possibility. I’m sure my pops would love to tag along. Other than that I'll be livin' it up with friends in NC & making the annual (19th this year) trip to Pawley's Island beach, SC with Pops' side of the family. My cousin also mentioned that I could fly over to Nashville, TN to visit their place before driving down to the beach with them. Oh yeah, & I'm thinking of hiking Crow's Pass (Girdwood to Eagle River) in the fall.

I Always try to spend more time in NC & inevitably other places to visit keep popping up. There are only a few things that are certain for my summer: Australia, NC (who knows how long) & Pawley's.

"First you turn the music way up loud,
Then you nod your head up and down
And wag your loco tail, back and forth,
To the chimichanga rumba
and the cha-cha-cha." ~ Skippyjon Jones (Schachner) :-9

01 April 2008

Under Construction

I'm in the process of updating this blog. It seems like this might be a nice alternative to MySpace when I'm shackled away from it, due to school firewalls.

I always feel like the same old thing is happening. But, really my life is more interesting than that. I just don't always make the effort to put it in writing & get it out there so you guys can read about it.

New post coming soon....