Sunday, November 23, 2008

Show me the snow!

Brrrrrrrr! It is getting pretty cold here in late November. The sun rises about 9 am and sets around 5:30pm around the time of year. When the sun is up, it doesn't get more than about five finger widths above the horizon. Non the less, Katja and I still manage to get out and explore the frozen wilderness. Yesterday, I hitched Katja up to my Mtn. bike and we rode up the hill, around the thumb, and down and around the back side of the hill. There is almost too much snow to ride a bike, especially without a powerhouse dog pulling you, however there still isn't enough snow to break the skis out. So, we have to keep using the bike and power through the deep crusty drifts of snow, looking for patches of exposed ground so that I can actually get traction and ride the bike. In these pictures of course, you can see that actual riding isn't very realistic. From this point in our ride, we head down this hill to the bottom of the valley, then follow the bottom of the hill around to the left and back to the village. We have to cross a couple of frozen streams along the way, which makes me appreciate my studded mtn. bike tires that I've been using for the past month or so now.
Katja has been amazing with the whole bikejoring experience. She loves to pull and when she gets on a trail, just wants to go go go. I was amazed at some of the deep drifts she was able to pull me through. You can see that the bay in the background of this picture is starting to freeze up as well. By the time I get back from Christmas break, it will be time for ice fishing again and there will be plenty of snow for skijoring
Classes have been very energetic lately. The students are very jittery and I think we are all in need of a little break. Thanksgiving is right around the corner and Christmas is soon to follow. My how time flies.
Thanks for reading,

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Happy Halloween!

So Halloween in the small native village of Toksook Bay is just like most other towns across America. It’s all about the candy! There are a few adults that do actually dress up, but mostly it’s kids….4th grade and down. I was going to go for something subtle, like wear my glasses that I have never worn in public yet, but I decided go with something a little more creative.

Side note…

We have been trying to attack our behavioral problems in more a positive manner. That is, instead of telling students “don’t do this” and “don’t do that”, we are focusing on the students that are doing what they are expected and giving them kudos or props. Telling them they are doing a great job. We do that through four mantras; be respectful, be responsible, be helpful, and be safe. When students are doing what they are expected to we give them a “Gotcha Card.” It’s amazing how this effects student’s behavior.

Back to original thought…

I decided to dress up as a human “Gotcha Card.” It went pretty well. Even some of the kids got it. Halloween doesn't always have to be "Who are you." It could be "What are you." Some of you might be saying, "what a dork", but who knows, maybe my quick sketch of a generic piece of paper on a white cotton shirt will be mass produced and sold all over the village. My legacy will have manifested itself.

Thanks for reading.
Happy Halloween!