Saturday, May 16, 2009

Full Blown Springitus

Forget the swine flu. I have no hard data to support this, but I'm certain that Spring Fever has taken many more casualties this season. It's a northern hemisphere pandemic!! Disinfect everything you see!!! And if you should come into contact with me, you had better drink a gallon of OJ, get lots of sleep, and do whatever else it is that you do, because I am a carrier and I am contagious.

My students have it too, but I don't think we caught it from each other. The students lately have been coming to class exhausted. That's because the sun sets at about 11:30, it stays light/twilight til 12:30, and the kids stay up til 2 or 3 in the morning. But it is what it is. It's frustrating, but not daunting. I just stay upbeat, try to make it fun for the kids, and if all else fails, torture them with hands-on, minds-on assignments. Oh, the horror.

My symptoms:

Baseball. It's no secret that I love the Milwaukee Brewers. I love the fact that I can listen to them online, broadcast by WTMJ, courtesy of 4,000 miles from Miller Park I can hear the action clear as a bell. I have subjected several Yup'ik Eskimo students to hearing Bob Uecker do play-by-play. I also love the fact that the team is playing great. Today we listened to the Crew beat the Cardinals 1-0, much to my delight. I love pitcher's duels. I wish all games were 1-0 Brewer wins. "Hope springs eternal" was a phrase made for baseball. By the way, if the color scheme on this page makes you think about the Brewers, then I'm glad.

While I did get to catch a few pike and a few tomcod over the winter using a manaaq, that was a far cry from scratching the itch. Normally I would have organized all my tackle in mid-April, one of my annual rituals. Instead, I can only daydream about bringing fish into the '76 Starcraft I have collecting dust in Racine. Can't wait to get out fishing and camping.

I haven't had one since the end of February. I'll go visit Barber Bill once I get to town, and try to get presentable.

Food. When I think of summertime food like brats on the charcoal grill my mouth floods with drool.

Family and Friends. I
can't wait to see everybody. You're all loved and missed.

And the cure: If all goes according to plan, I'll be landing in Madison on Sunday the 24th.

Oh yeah.

I've got it bad.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Eek! A Village!

I'm squeezing in one last village for the year before the highly anticipated summer break. I landed here in Eek (home of the Cougars) on Monday and so far, so good. Two of my three classes are taught during the normal school day. No big shocker as to which of the three has attendance issues. What teenager wouldn't want to stay after school for an extra class in May? Especially when there are geese, swans, and cranes to hunt.

This past Saturday was prom night. I wonder what attendance will be like now that the staff here can't use that old "if you skip or misbehave you can't come to prom" threat. If you're wondering about the prom, I didn't go. I had the opportunity to chaperone prom back in my first year at Maple. I'm really not into dances. But, here's a picture of the parking lot at Eek school at 10:30 on prom night.

The accommodations here are top-notch. That's because I have a friend, Traci, who teaches here and has an extra room at her house. It's nice to finish out the year at a place with a comfortable bed, good food (including fresh fruit and vegetables), and good company. She has a couple of kittens that are actually quite friendly. In fact, overly friendly at times. They do make things interesting, it's just that if I sit down they climb all over me, they follow me around the house, and generally are pretty friendly. I'd still take a dog any old day of the week, but these felines are ok.

I got out for a couple of walks around the village. The Eek river is broken and flowing strong.

Here's the runway at the airport.

Just kidding. This is the old runway. They have a new, nice one now. This one looks like it would have been a tad spooky.

Other than that....2 weeks from now I should be in my truck bringing my boat to town for lots of summertime use. Students aren't the only ones who get excited for the summer.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Birds Are Flying

Yesterday I flew out of Kwethluk and back to Bethel, a flight of about 10 minutes. It was and is absolutely beautiful. T-shirt weather. Remember when I was stuck sitting at the runway back in Kong for a long time? I was actually kind of hoping it would happen yesterday, it was that nice out. Sadly, the plane was right on time.

Once we got up in the air we saw lots of geese flying. One group was relatively close to us and the pilot quick cut and released a hard right, flashing the wings at the group. We had a laugh over that one. It was so pretty to see the melting riverways and animals on the move, I would have loved to just fly around for a while for the fun of it.

Monday I'm flying out to Eek which is further away so hopefully it's a nice day. I'm looking forward to Eek, but I am worried about these birds. Bird hunting takes over peoples lives this time of the year, I am told. It was beginning to become that way at Kwethluk. Students fail classes because there are geese. People lose their jobs because there are geese. I'm worried about geese thwarting my attempts to teach.

I shot video of our takeoff from Kwethluk yesterday, just for the fun of it, to show the friends and family back home the difference between my commute to work and theirs.

Speaking of friends and family back home, I love and miss you all. I'm really excited to see everybody in just 3 short weeks!!