Summer is now officially over. I am back in school. As of the first day of school I finally know who, for the moment, is in my class and what grades I am to teach this year. It does make planning rather more difficult than I prefer but there is not much I can do about that. And for the third year running I have forgotten to take a picture of the classroom as I find it at the beginning of the year with the walls completely bare and the furniture, shelves and supplies in a pile in the corner. Officially we have 1 day to put that together, make lesson plans and (if a first year teacher) familiarize with the curriculum. Of course most of us get here a few days, or weeks, early and also work the weekends but it is still more of a rush than I care for.
The first week is always crazy but went as well as one might have hoped. Certain deaths in the village have made the back to school transition a difficult time for many of the students and teachers but as always the school and teachers are working to be a source of stability, support and possibly distraction not only to each other and the students but the rest of the community as well.
A previous draft of this post was titled ‘Summers Off’ and I went on at some length about
working hours during the school year and additional school related tasks on weekends, holidays and breaks before devolving into my opinions of teacher pay, support and general educational political commentary. It suddenly occurred to me that this track took me far from the original topic- “What I did on my Summer Vacation” and so I will save that for another time.
As to my summer, I spent the first two weeks in Shungnak. I did some hiking, fishing and hunting. I got a number of ducks and muskrats and a couple more beavers. I am up to 20 or so muskrats. I am trying to figure out tanning so that I can make something out of them. Depending who you ask, I need anywhere from 20-40 more to make a coat which seems to be the recommendation everyone makes.
And since returning home I; did my usual week as a volunteer councilor at a fifth
grade camp. Then I spent some time house sitting for my cousin. While I was there I made another pair of booties for my um, first cousin once removed I think is how it works… My other cousins kid. They are rabbit fur with red felt lining.
The biggest event was my brothers marriage. As the best man I was charged with the bachelor party, minding the ring, and my best man toast. I thought I did pretty well if I do say so myself. The bachelor party had fine brandy, the ring was not lost and I felt my toast was just the right combination of wit humor and sincerity.
Directly following the wedding I flew off to Portland for a teaching conference. I was surprised to see several people I had known in Hawaii. It was fun catching up with them and there were some good gems in the material presented at the conference.
The rest of my time has been spent visiting, shopping and packing and of course planning the up coming year.
Oh I also got the antlers scored! But that is its own post coming soon. For now you can read about the hunt here.