Saturday, April 29, 2006

It hurts

The test is over.
It made me have warm fuzzy feelings about that time I was shot in the forehead repeatedly with a nail gun.

There were moments that I was convinced that I was the queen of the Mathematical world.
There were moments that I longed for something easier, like a root canal.

Regrettable, I believe there were more of the latter moments.

However, I am not totally ashamed of my performance. And, there is chance, regardless of how small that I may have passed.
Only time will tell.

4 bloody weeks.

The only thing now is to put it out of my mind and wait until that little envelope arrives in the mail and tells me if all was for nothing.
Ah, the joy of long waits.

Friday, April 28, 2006

what if...

Again i have found inspiration in one of my pre-teen authors.
Here is a gem from N.A.

The prompt was, "What if you woke up and it was the year 3000?"

If I woke up tomorrow and it was the year 3000 it would be like long roads. Bridges to Akula, roads to Nunap, and Atmautluak, roads to Bethel. Roads and bridges every where.
We would have flushing toilets instead of honey buckets. And showers and bathtubs and water in sewer that would be way better than honey buckets and pond waters. I’d have shower every day and have bath every single day.
And I might have got out of school and I’m old enough to get a car or snow machine or boat or four wheeler or plane or dirt bike.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

My Battle Cry

This week has been bad for posting.
Actually, this week has been bad for a lot of things.

I managed to pick up a cold in the beginning of the week. I still maintain that it was the bird flu.
Though that diagnosis seems doubtful at this point.
I haven’t been around too many birds… actually there just haven’t been too many birds around here, yet.

Then, coming up this Saturday is the Praxis II.
Now, for you non-teaching folk, the Praxis II comes in all different shapes and sizes. But all in all, it is a test.
A standardized test, created by monkeys to find out if the many years fun filled student loans actually taught us what is necessary to teach other monkeys of a much shorter stature.

I have already taken, and thankfully, passed the Praxis II in the subject matter I went to school to teach. However, a happy little loop hole in the No Child Left Behind act allows a person who can pass that test, with or without a student loan filled background in the material to become certified.
(This does not mean that one can forego the entire stint in college. It simply makes it possible to add an area of endorsement to your previously aquired certification without the years of extra nap time. I mean, years of extra college classes.)

Which is cool. Because,
I, the mathematical dunce, have a dream!

I have a dream that one day I too could be a math teacher!

For the past few months, or more accurately, the latter part of this week, I have been putting my nose to the grind stone. Studying all of the numerical nonsense I was too cool, rather, too lazy to study back in high school.

I have filled my head with quadraticly linear geometric vertices and the cosines of irrational imaginary multiples.
Or something.

With any luck, my trusty calculator and I will face the demon that has haunted me for most of my educational career.

I will face Math! And I will be victorious!
Or I will be taking the test again in June…

Friday, April 21, 2006

Passing... something

Many, many months ago I chaperoned a speech event to Bethel.
During that time, late one night, I made a crucial mistake.
I farted. In the same room as 10 giggling girls.
This has all been written about in the past. It is not a new story to my faithful readers.

However, time has now passed.
Many months.

Currently, in my classroom are two students that had been too young to attend speech.
They asked me if I would chaperone next year.

“You guys want to join speech next year?” I asked.
“No.” They answer, “we just want to hear you fart!”

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

How to clear a room

There was a group of students playing in my room.
Coloring on my board.
Talking at me.

Being, all and all, a pain in my off-duty butt.

I was snacking.
On Wasabi Peas.

A bright idea filled my head. I could share my tasty and healthy snack the little angles giggling in each corner of my room.
They, of course, jumped at the chance to try something new. Primarily because it came from the depths of my desk drawer and therefore must be cool.

I placed a pea in each outstretched hand.
In a fluid motion the wasabi coating met tiny taste-buds.

For a moment all was ok.
The moment stretched and almost included chewing.
But no.

Suddenly the once giggle filled air was silent. And then came the spitting.
And the yells of “fire.”
Footsteps sounded out as they stampeded toward the sink. Climbing on the counter top, sticking their heads under the faucet.

I just kept laughing.

It took several minuets of fake retching, yells of disbelief and constant water flow for them to turn their sites back on me.
The provider of pain.

My tears of laughter matched their sweat wet faces.

I choked back a laugh and jokingly offered more.
I watched their faces go from that of horror to that of devilish ingenuity.

“Yes!” they all begged. They took their second helpings and went off in search of their younger siblings.

I locked the door behind them.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


After my trips to Anchorage I am often asked the same questions from those friends that have not made it up to the Alaskan territories.
They ask me what Anchorage is like. Here is a picture.
Just a normal place. With roads and stop lights.
And mountains.

while i was gone...

The break in posting was due to my mini-vacation in Anchorage.

I went to the Alaskan Teacher Placement job fair.

I ate some excellent sushi.

I saw “Lucky Number Sleiven” and was only a little tipsy upon arrival.

I shopped until my wallet cried.

I was kept awake by a screaming drunk outside my hotel as she threw a temper tantrum, broke a window, and was arrested by some very annoyed cops for almost two hours in the middle of the bloody night.

I had a very tasty Turkish lunch.

I was stuck for an extra day in Anchorage when they canceled my flight out thanks to a storm raging in Bethel.

I was not too sad about that.

I had a damn good martini (gin, dirty, three olives)

I managed to make a flight back to the village a day late and in time to teach a half a day.

A good time was had.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Artistic Alliterative Angels

Today in reading we talked about alliterative poems. The assignment was to pick a member of your family and write a short poem about them.
I picked my little sister.

The class “helped” me write it.
This is what they came up with.


Kind, Crazy, Creature
Cutting Crust
Can’t cook
Kills cuddly crocodiles

Sorry Kimmer.
But my family was not the only under fire.
Here is a poem by my favorite pre-teen author, C.T.


My Mom Mary Made Macaroni while Minnie and Mikayla Murmured about Michael Missing his Monkey!

And one more; the literary debut of S.A.


Punky, Puny, Pest
Prancing Prince
Pinching Polar bears
Pooping Putrid Ponies.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Luke, I am your teacher

Sometimes, at the end of a long day, I sit down and think to myself, “do I really get paid for this?” Those are the days when the angels truly are and the lessons go thru as planned.
The days when things were fun and laughter fills the air.
The days that you know someone learned something.

Other times, at the end of a long day, I sit down, head in my hands and think to myself, “do I get paid enough for this?” These are the days that all the little demons in my care run amuck and lesson plans crumble before me.
The days that insults and groans echo around me,
The days when learning takes a backseat to behavior management.

Guess what kind of day today was.

There were giggles in all the wrong places.
There were comments like “so cheap” and “so boring.”
There was even the all so exciting distracting and irritating shuffle of notes from one child to the next. Followed by more giggling.

As the munchkins thwarted the rules and my rulings all around me, I stared longingly at the clock, attempting in vain to bring forth my inner Jedi and move the hands of the clock.
Use the force.

Maybe the force could be used to string them all up by their shoelaces…

Suddenly, through my intense powers of concentration, the misbehaving misfits slowly leave the floor. A hush fills the room as they float farther and farther from the safety and security of the earth.

“Muh hahahaha!” I cackle. “You defy me and you will defy gravity!”

Pleads and pledges of perfect performances fill the air that was once so full of malicious giggling. The guilty, gravity free angels begin moving toward an open window. Cruel winds outside threaten to take them outwards, upwards, into the clouds.

Those not affected by sudden levitation knew how to keep contact with the earth and quickly began to work on the assigned work. Their noses pressed firmly against the grindstone.

My free flying students searched the room for something to save them as I laughed manically.
They slipped out into the torrential winds just as:


An eraser hits me in the forehead.


Friday, April 07, 2006

On Ice.

A walk on the river.

I think the photographer was attempting to be creative, artsy.
It worked.

I believe this picture symbolize the uphill battle she fought to get me to take a walk on the tundra in near zero degree tempatures.

As you can see, she succeeded there too.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Cuff Me Now

Every spring teachers across the country give a collective groan of displeasure.
They see it coming.
They are aware of the pain that spring can bring.

What is it they fear?

State Testing.

Each spring the highly regimented, strictly monitored, and wholly boring State Tests arrive at schools all over the country.
These tests measure the progression of student learning, are the basis of how money is distributed to schools, determine the reputation of a school and it’s staff for the upcoming year, and are totally reliant on the ability of a student to perform will on standardized torture.

The group of angels I was given to proctor was made up of the office dwellers.
(By that I mean that any given day you are bound to find at least one of them heading toward or already in the principal’s office.)

At one point, early on, the short and wiry runabouts decided to use the library (our testing location of the day) phone to prank call other classrooms. I took the phone away.

And turned my back. To assist a student struggling with actual test questions.

Quickly, the phone was back off the cradle. The child in question was making another call.
I unplugged the handle of the phone and stuffed it into my pocket. (Much of the hand set was sticking out making it look like a 1980’s flash back when cell phone were new, shiny, and huge.)

A half an hour goes by.
Stress inducing student stares up at me, he cocks his head: “there is a phone in your pocket.”
Me, staring back: “Yeah there is. Now read.”

To tell the tales of all the twists and turns of today’s events would make for a long and boring post.

I, however, will tell you the end of the story. (which, being totally out of context, will give you a very skewed and far more interesting idea of what occurred.)

I left the school today soon after I filled out a VPO (village police officer) report.

And I am to attend the ASB meeting this evening in case the behavior of that specific student becomes something that needs explaining.

Monday, April 03, 2006

The Trial of Tears

For the past few weeks I have been helping out my principal and assisting with lunch-duty.
This requires me to sit in the cafeteria while the littlest school-goers eat their lunch and then play themselves out with balls, wheeled platforms, and parachutes.

This could be an easy time for harmless fun.
But, no.
We are talking about very short people. The kind that cry.
For no reason.

Added into the fun is the low English language proficiency among the smallest of the shriekers. So as they tearfully stare expectantly at me, I have no idea what they are saying or if they even fully understand my questions.

It is a daily journey into insanity.

But today was the best.

One of my regular criers was in hysterics about a possible injury that may or may not have been sustained with the help of one or more people. It was all very confused, aided by the use of grand hand gestures and a series of moans punctuated by hiccupping sobs.

By the sounds of things, I was looking for gushing blood or broken bones.

Suddenly, out of nowhere a basketball entered the scene. It rolled past my foot and into arms reach of this tear-stained child.

The tears were gone.
The pain vanished from his face.

He had a ball, the morphine of small children everywhere.

I threw my hands up in resignation. I cannot win.

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