Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not--Dr. Seuss
Change is upon us. Peter and I are deciding to make a decision we think is best for us. After two amazing years in Napakiak we will be leaving and not returning next school year. I have had some amazing times with my students and I will truly miss every single one. They each have something special and unique to offer. Some of my kiddos I had the pleasure of teaching for two years-- it's amazing seeing the growth that they have made. They have been able to do things and learn things that amaze me. Leaving them will be one of the hardest things I have had to do. I am deciding to persue a job in special education and Peter will be teaching only one grade. It was a difficult decision but one that will have great benefits both socially and professionally. We will be moving back to....QUINHAGAK! We just got the news this week that we will be moving! I am going to work really hard on updating this blog more as I return. It's been 2 years since I left there but I can't wait to be re-united with the kids and the place in Alaska I first called home. I've been reading my blog lately and it is amazing how much I have grown since I left Quinhagak. I have been able to do things I never thought possible. I just know this truly is the right decision to be made.
So it's that time of year where freezing your butt off everyday is getting old and you are looking forward to the summer months--it was -20 today when I woke up which makes it pretty darn tough to get outta bed. March is just tough all around because you can't really go outside and do anything I must rely on the internet and life time to keep me occupied. Yesterday I decided to be a dog groomer and give Ranger a cut---good thing poor guy doesn't have a mirror--it looks like a mess and has a bald spot.
State testing is next week so this week is going to be an intense week of getting ready for next week.We have been doing some fun things like this picture. This was an activity from Pinterest on adjectives. I've been using pinterest for everything and it's made teaching a bit more fun.
So most of you know that taught in Quinhagak for a year--that is where this whole blog started from---well this weekend was Camai which is a dance festival that shows some of the great dances and art going in across our district. This weekend Quinhagak had a dance team and I decided to go and check them out. You see they have not had a dance team for 100 years. It was something that hadn't been allowed until this year when they were planning for the festival. In just two weeks the children learned a variety of dances and songs. As soon as they got on stage I started crying like a big mess. Words can't describe how powerful it was to see old students and kids I taught and knew doing something they were so proud of. It was quite the touching experience and made me happy about what I am doing out here and just the whole culture in general. I am going to try and look for some pictures of it all.
So after over a year almost 2-- I decided that it is time to start blogging again. My blog was a great de-stresser and ways to connect with old friends which I miss. I really enjoyed doing it in Quinhagak and it just sort of stopped. Although there are only 2 more months of school left--9 weeks exactly--I am sure interesting things will be happening and I will blog about them.
I'm sitting here listening to my motivation (Miss B Spears) trying to think of something philosophical to write about but I've got nothing right now. Stay tuned...big things are in store.
Since this past weekend was a long one, Peter and I decided to head into Anchorage. Now getting somewhere like Anchorage is quite the process. Typically I have to take a small plane into Bethel and then take a ride into Anchorage. This time though, I decided to take a boat ride to Bethel. So I took my suitcase put it in the boat and we were off.
The boat ride to Bethel is about 30 minutes down the Kusko. It is quite a beautiful ride. I am truly looking forward to winter when it is colder and I can snow machine into Bethel for groceries, dinner, or a quick visit.
Friday night I hung out in Bethel and Saturday morning were were up and ready for Anchorage. The flight to Anchorage is only about an hour away. Saturday was spent catching up on some shopping needs. It is funny to look around and see all the village people. They are the people carrying totes of food around. Anchorage prcies are so much cheaper then here so we had to stock up on some food. It is not uncommon to buy as much food as you can to bring back to the village. We are allowed three totes at fifty pounds each, so that is ALOT of food.
Sunday morning we took a trip down to Alyeska which is a ski resort. They have a tram there, so we decided to take a ride. It was beautiful. Here are a few pictures from the trip.
It was beautiful to walk around the see all the mountains. After Alyeska, we headed to the STATE FAIR. I've never eaten so much food at a time: we had corn on the cob, cream puffs, corn dogs, cotton candy, blooming onion and so much more. At the state fair, we saw ONE REPUBLIC...it was awesome.
Getting away is nice--it keeps you motivated and refreshed.
That's it for now! Headed to Bethel today for some training.
Well friends I am back in action! After much contemplation on starting up a blog again I decided that I will infact start again. I'm not sure how many posts I will get as I start three grad classes next week, but I am going to try. For those of you that are not aware I am in a different village this year. It is called Napakiak and we are the Napakiak huskies. This year I am teaching third and fourth grade and have my own classroom. I will add pictures as soon as possible!! Getting my classroom ready was like nothing I have ever experienced. I got to add my own touches to my classroom and make it unique to me, my students, and my teaching style. I am adjusting to this lifestyle which is different then my community and family like living last year, but I am sure I will find my place here soon.
Let's start back to the beginning---August 5th I left Ohio to set out for Alaska. I had many mixed feelings about a new village and about starting a new school year. I met Peter up in Anchorage and we set off to Bethel. The past month has been tough for me and I am constantly learning the importance of having friends and people in your life to turn to for support. A SIDENOTE: The past month I have relied on friends from home, Quinhagak, Anchorage, and Bethel....I challenge you to thank those people in your life who are there to support you whenever you need them. This experience has taught me so much about community and being there for others. I am excited and blessed to see how much more I will learn about this in the next year.
My first week in Alaska was a blur between trainings, meeting up with old friends, and trying to get my house set up. Finally after three weeks of being here my house is a place I feel comfortable and like to be. It is quite a difference having a flush toliet! We can also run our water without it coming out of a tank. OH the luxuries! This year I am living with a room mate named Sara. She is also a second year teacher and we knew each other before this year. Here are a few pictures of my bed room:
This village is smaller then Quinhagak, and there are about 300-350 people here. The village is only 15 miles away from Bethel and is about a five minute plane ride. It is so funny that I think the plane is coming and once it comes I am into Bethel within ten minutes. Many people just boat back and forth since it is only about a 30 minute boat ride. I am looking forward to winter when the river freezes and we can use the snow mobile.
Our school has about 100 students and houses grades K-12. My classroom has 18 students and I also have an aide who helps me throughout the day. The village is beautiful! The airport breaks the village into two parts. The airport is closer then last year and I am able to walk to it from my house when headed out on a plane. In our village we have two stores. There is a corp store and then Jung's. Both stores have many different things and even have clothes and shoes. There are lots of berries around here, and I am looking forward to picking some in the next few weeks.
This year is different already and my feelings and goals are different then once before. It's weird to think of how I have grown in only the three weeks that I have been here. I am learning to balance new curriculum, classroom management, as well as make time for myself. I have been spending many many hours in my classroom, but I am hoping that this will decrease as the school year goes on.
Alright this is all my brain can handle to write at this moment, but there is more to come!! This weekend Peter and I are headed to Anchorage so I will def post some pictures!!