Monday, October 13, 2008

Back to the grind...

I returned last Monday from my break away in Fairbanks. The class that I'm taking is amazing and I can't wait to start working with my kids with all the new things I learned. The class is all about teaching civics and it has some really great ideas for projects the kids can do. I ended up spending $75 at Barnes and Nobles and almost having a panic attack from the amount of people in Wal-Mart. There were more people standing in check out lines than I normally see in an entire day. Scary!

The Center for Civic Education is sponsoring this class and it's an awesome opportunity. Not only do I go to class to learn how to incorporate new ideas into my classroom, but they also provide class sets of all the materials, pay for travel and lodging, award 3 credits at the completion of the class, and also a $1,000 stipend, all for a $90 entrance fee. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me.

We have an insane amount of snow here right now. Since last week, we've received about six inches. Every morning I look outside to more snow. It's crazy! Most people are raking leaves this time of year and I'm out shoveling off the steps.

Friday marked the first dance/student council sponsored event of the school year. I ran myself ragged trying to get everything pulled together for it and it went over well with the students. It became more of an activity night than anything else, but the students all seemed to enjoy it. Kaktovik school was also here this weekend, so we had a few more kids to spice things up a bit. We ended up making $90 to help benefit the students going to AFN, a convention for the Alaskan Federation of Natives, where we send students to participate in every year.

This week is the end of the first quarter and the kids could care less. I've been trying to motivate them to step up a little and take some pride in their work. It's almost pointless. The culture here seems to encourage students not to rise above their current position in life. Drop out and make babies. That's the way it's done out here. I'm not the least bit concerned about angry parents since every phone call home seems to fall on deaf ears. At least that's a bit of a relief to not worry about being attacked during conferences.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

My Escape

This weekend I made a break for it. I got the opportunity to go to Fairbanks for a class, which was super worth right there, but the best part is that I was able to go shopping, eat in a restaurant, and hit the bars. It was a wonderfully eventful time thanks to Buddy, my roommate's boyfriend. He took me around the city and loaded me up with stuff to take back to Jen. I really had a good time seeing people and almost went into shock when I walked into the local Wal-Mart. There were more people checking out then I see in a typical day.

As for life in the tundra, we got our first substantial snowfall. On Thursday, we got got dumped on. In the morning, on my walk to school, there was a light dusting everywhere. My walk home was a little more difficult and by that evening the kids had their snow machines running. It was October 2nd.

Technology in the bush is a touchy thing right now. After being without computers for a week, we got them back. Our newest dilemma is the lack of internet all together. All of last week we could not get onto the internet. It was all over the village as well. When called to ask about the situation, GCI told us we were not high on their priority list and there's no telling how long we'll be without it. Wonderful.