22 October 2008

Picture It

This is Nunap. back in August. If I were to take a photo now, you'd see snow & ice & houses camouflaged by both.

This year I tried my hand at coaching cross country (X-C) running again. It went better than last year with about the same # of kids committed. Practices start off with 15+ kids & then dwindle down to 3-ish. This is fine. I'll hold a practice for 1 committed athlete & our SA allowed us to travel more w/ low #s. X-C has a short season, at around a month, but we made the most of it. Photos: #1-Christopher, Stephanie, & Byron in Tooksok Bay (OOK). #2- The boys sneaking up on some of the 100+ birds we saw on our morning hike. #3- This is my little friend, Eric, who followed me when I was out on the Akula course to cheer them onward. #4- Bethel, our "hub," usually puts on a big meet with 15-20 schools. They're at a central location so it costs less to fly there & the course is difficult being a literal sand pit.

Why is there a tiller at a tundra village? I didn't see any garden near by.

These are some cold air funnel clouds, part of what was three. They came about on 11 Sept. Everyone was yelling, "tornado" & excitedly watching outside. This isn't a regular occurrence. Shaun, who is a storm chaser, was quite excited for this too. Thanks for the photo Shibby. :-)

I have acquired two cats w/in the last month. One of Zane's owners was allergic to him. Jade's owner's were going to put her on the tundra to die, even though they willingly bought her. Both are Vern cats with white coats, patches on their head & tails & a spot on their left side. They came from two different places. Maria theorizes that they came from the same litter, which is possible if they both came from Bethel. Zane has the black top & Jade has the tabby markings. The only photo I have of both of them is this one where they are feuding. Yes, Jade has decided to make the litter box her fortress.

15 October 2008

Bits of Bliss

Just before I was about to start adding layers to my attire yesterday, one of Maria's speech friends came in to hand me a box I've long awaited. It was the order with 4 graphic novels & "Brain Compatible Activities" by Eric Jensen. I made a hard, but easy decision. How do you like that oxymoron? I decided that I would forgo b-ball for a night of reading. It was wonderful.

I went home at 6:00; this is my recent goal time to leave school. I poured myself some tea left over from the day, still steaming, and settled into the recliner by the window to embark upon Marjane Strappi's "Embroideries." Right after that, I began "Blankets" by Craig Thompson.

When I stood up from my readerly world I noticed how beautiful it was outside. The river is now a path of ice with flat swirls & jagged upward ice skewers. The ground has a nice layer of clean white snow and the golden grass was blowing in the Westwardly wind. The sky was illuminated in the pink glow of the sunset beneath a layer of puffy gray clouds with the slightest bit of light atop those gray clouds. I could see the lights flicker at the neighboring villages 2.5-3 miles away and sent out an imaginary "hello" to my friends. :-)

Around 8:00 I decided that I should do some domestic duties & make dinner. After settling into my delightful place again, I just kept reading "Blankets" until the end. By midnight, I was nestled in for the deep sleep ahead.

Photo #1: This was from a pretty sunrise a while back (Aug. maybe), taken on my walk to school. Photo #2: Nelson Island tends to collect 'stone people' atop their lovely hills; These are in Tooksok Bay (Aug. too).

07 October 2008

Day 1 as SA (site administrator aka principal)

As some of you know today was my first of four days as acting SA. All & all it went well. I knew I'd be all over the school. But I literally went into every single classroom, some more than once, except for the kindergarten class (which is in another building). I'm just going to make a running list of the tasks accomplished today, in no particular order. Some of these tasks were divided throughout the day.

* Backtrack to yesterday... We had a scheduling, warm body, mini-crisis. 7 staff members were out today & we were scrambling to find enough folks to fill the bill; 5 subs were found. The librarian being out just meant that teachers or aides would take over the role, easy.

* The last unfilled spot was for an aide. I managed to make it to 2 of the teachers/3 different times in her schedule, 1 additional teacher denied help. The other 2 teachers said they wouldn't need her.

* I cut apples & served for K-8 classes during their PE periods & some at the end of the day. Our cook said he was too "busy." This is one of those tasks spread out throughout the day. As part of a grant our school receives fresh fruit & vegetables pro bono. mmmmm...

* I stood in for a teacher while they went to get coffee.

* I was going to fill in for a 2nd aide that was out & we didn't have a sub show yet, but she came in just as we were dividing groups. Her boat motor had a hard time starting, hence the late arrival.

* Almost every hour, with the exception of an after lunch siesta break, I needed to tend to some sort of incident, mainly of disruption to the classroom environment. There were 7 incidents, involving students 3rd through 6th "grade".

* Those incidents were duly logged either after the occurrence or at the end of the day.

* Some aides looked bored & I just so happened to have some file folder games that need to be put together. They gleefully cut things out until it was time to go to another class.

* I e-mailed one of the polycom class teachers for a sub who needed plans. After he replied, I played delivery girl & brought the lesson plans to her.

* Lots of hall walking accrued.

* While Elaine & Matthew were gone to lunch, I answered the phone & distributed lunch tickets.

* I e-mailed & called our dean to try to get a list & an answer about wrestling eligibility. We're hosting a tournament this weekend. I set up our boat drivers for airport transport (this involves a river crossing & it's just not nice to make them swim).

* At one point, I had to tell some subs to suck it up & just deal. I was much nicer than this in person. But really, do I need to tell adults to first tell the kids running around to "stop" or that yes, they have to finish the day even if they're tired. I did let another sub go early, after clearing that with the person she was supposed to be with in the afternoon.

* Some of the wonderfully social 6th grade students needed some watchful eyes as they were having a hard time making it to the restroom without pawing someone of the opposite sex. I also realize that it's hard to resist running or wrestling the 10 feet that it takes to walk to the restroom, alas resist they must.

* For 30 min. I covered Sara's ELD class (2/3 of my class :-) while she took her wee babe to the clinic.

* One class in particular needed to be checked on several times. Let's just say that the subs forte is not discipline. I helped the same class with the VCR in the library. It's the small things we do that make a difference, really. Everyone was quite happy.

* I made & passed out eligibility forms to 2 students who are leaving on a trip Tomorrow. Why wasn't this done earlier? All the while, the teacher taking them had no clue who the forms are supposed to go to. Re. the same trip: signed master eligibility form, e-mailed asking where these forms go, stared at teacher sarcastically bewildered as to why she sent me a condescending e-mail yesterday saying that she knew what she was doing & she'd been talking to 3 ppl for 2 months, so why was I asking her questions, yet she didn't have her $#^t together the day before they leave ... & set up airport ride for tomorrow. This same teacher I saw out of the classroom no less than a 1/2 dozen times. Once, she was looking for flipping markers for a poster. Yes, for this trip she's been dutifully planning for 2 months. Rraarrr!

* Last, & not least, I managed to eventually clean out Garry's desk. He's given me full reign to clear out & organize his office. These are some of the things that were confined in his desk, for who knows how long: a magnifying glass, darts, nails/screws/alan wrenches, a measuring spoon, Nag Champa incense, knives, year old prescription bottles, projector slides, a tiny metal hand, batteries, a car adapter for a walkie talkie (very useful in a boardwalk village), shower rings, plus the usual office stuffs though in no order whatsoever & more than he will ever use. Now the drawers are mostly barren & all sparkle-ly inside.

* I lied. That wasn't last. I let the ladies in for open gym & collected the cash at the end. This was the easiest task, given I was going to be here anyway to kick tail on the court.

* That was another tiny fib. I managed to smile all day, except for when I was talking to those who had issues in class. ~_~