Sunday, February 26, 2006


This was the weekend of the end of season basketball tournaments.
Our Jr. High ended the season undeafeted!

Our high school boys might not be undeafeted, but they did win the tournament.
Which means the next stop for them is the district tournament in Bethel next weekend.
(The winner there will go on to state in Anchorage)

The score of that final game was impressive...

Power Wheels

Today, as I was wandering the village I noticed the Eskimo variation of something from every one of our childhoods.

But these were not the power-wheels of our fond memories.
The miniature convertibles.
The tiny Jeeps.
The bringers of “my first speeding ticket.”

Here in the Alaskan bush power wheels come in a different form.
Mini snow-go’s.

Zipping across the frozen river roadway are little tikes on tiny snow-go’s

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Students who think they are funny or creative rarely are.

There are those who believe that the greatest joke is to rub with desk with their sweaty little palms so that it makes that o’so hilarious squeaking noise.

Should we mention the excitement that is brought about by the “why” game. (for those of you without a job in the teaching field, children, or younger siblings; the “why” game is simple. Just say “why” after anything that is asked of you.)

Then there is the rip-roaring humor involved in using the word “gay” at every possible interval.

The oldie, but goodie, “say naughty things in a language the teacher does not understand”, is still bringing down the house.

And of course, farting. One can never forget how funny a loud one can be.

These intentional attempts to bring laugher into our hearts does little more than intensify the growing migraine.

And the creativity, o’ the creativity. They have all, at some point, thought themselves novel when the realization strikes that with the simple addition of the letter “T” to my name, they can spell out something funny.
McFarland becomes McFartland.
Hilarity ensues.

However, occasionally the unintended joke emerges and brings a chuckle to an otherwise asprin filled day.
Today I was brought back from the bottle several times.

Today’s lesson; write our vocab words in sentences.

“Mr. Williams is sometimes a FIENDISH man.” (Mr. Williams is, of course, the principal)

“I METAPHOR at school” That almost sounds dirty…

“I saw a TELLTALE on Jody’s lip.” Not sure what that meant…

Today’s lesson: write 26 adjectives describing yourself. One for each letter of the alphabet.
Some of my personal favorites include:

E - evil in Jody’s class
G – gay
H - haten
I – ignoring Jody
O – off task in school
S – skank
U – usviitaqllua (means crazy in Yu’pik)
Z – zipplessnessless

Ah, the joys of teaching…

Saturday, February 11, 2006

snow drifts

We have officially been about the negative for a week now.
The temperature has hovered in the 20’s.

I have even been able to wear my thinner wool coat!

And, with high temperatures comes snow.

Here in the tundra, with its incessant winds, snow does not coat the ground in a uniform manner. Some patches of the ground have little snow. Pieces of the boardwalk peak through in many locations.
There are many areas with little more than a light cover.

Then there are places where the snow is deep. Very, very, deep.

Just a few paces down the boardwalk from my building there is a drift that blocks the walk. It is nearly 6 feet high, 4 feet wide, and at least 12 feet long.

And it’s solid. Totally climbable.

Out in front of the school, what was once the playground, is covered with several feet of snow.
It is very difficult to determine exactly how deep it really is due to the lack of reference points. This large drifted area makes for a treacherous walk. Though the ground seems solid, it is occasionally not so. While walking you might well find yourself knee deep in snowy fun.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Travel conditions

While sitting in the cockpit of the 207, decked out in my snow pants, sub-zero boots, heavy down coat, wool hat, and fuzzy green gloves, I notice that it’s snowing.
Inside the plane.

A gradually growing thicker layer of fine powdered ice is forming on my clothing several hundred feet above the ground.
Inside the plane.

As a surprisingly full-bodied gust of snow passes before me the pilot laughs.
“There might be a little snow comin’ in, but don’t worry. It’s only snow.”

Apparently being concerned about a gaping seam between the plexi-glass window and the metal frame of our several decade old mode of air transportation is something laughable.

The wanna-be blizzard grows in strength as our happy pilot takes off again to pick up the other half of our group. (The junior high basketball team. Too many kids for one plane.)
Snow swirling around us.
Snow swirling around the inside of the plane.

The words of a very wise man wander through my mind.
There are old pilot and bold pilots.
But there are no old bold pilots.

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