Saturday, 31 March 2012

Weeks 28-30 - It's been an interesting month

It is the end of March.  Finally.  All those crazy things I was writing about are finally done, and there were even extra events that I didn't mention since they were a last minute sort of deal. My SMARTboard training and first aid training were pretty straight forward, but as usual it was quite a bit of information to take in.  As one of my colleagues said, "now I know how the kids feel every day!"  The best part of my training days is the fact that I got a free 4GB USB drive.  It might not sound exciting to you, but my last two 16 GB drives died and all I had was a 256MB one, and let me tell you, that doesn't get you very far.

On March 18 I began my stint of sleepovers.  I volunteered to take several people over the next few weeks so that they would have somewhere to stay.  It was kind of weird having people in the house with me again, but the pay is quite good (it's more than my actual salary).  So on March 18th I had the arrival of Tatiana Garakani and Emilie Peter, two researchers from ENAP.  They were wonderful guests and we had some very good conversations.  For one, in a long time, I actually spent my dinner in engaging conversation rather than in front of the television.  These two ladies were researchers that were working with staff and students at the school in an attempt to create ideal pedagogical practices for Northern communities.  I rather enjoyed our research session and I look forward to being a part of the research (at least for the next 3 months).  Tatiana and Emilie sadly left on March 21.  On March 22, I had two pilots stay here that were spending the night since they were flying a charter out the next day.  Finally, on March 26, Danny Fafard from the NYHDP for the Bantam hockey tournament that is going on as I write this. He is a nice fellow and will be staying until April 2.

One of the events that occurred that wasn't on my original calendar was the Nunavik International Adventure Challenge.  There was a student race that was 10Km on March 25, and an International race that was 60Km and started on March 26 and went until March 28.  The race was on foot with the challengers skiing or snowshoeing.  There were contestants from Quebec, USA, Italy, Germany, Australia and others.  It was interesting to see so many people from different places come all the way out here.  One of the funny things that happened was that the team that is from George River actually took a wrong turn that set them back.  We're not sure how they managed that since they LIVE here.

One of the exciting things that happened this past week was that someone was out Ptarmigan hunting and actually managed to shoot a polar bear instead.  They brought it back to the school for everyone to see before they butchered it down at the beach.  It is too bad that it was dead, but it was interesting to actually get a chance to have a very close look at a polar bear.  He was very skinny and they saw him eating garbage at the dump.  I think they decided to shoot him since it is a safety concern having him there since the dump is only a few kilometers outside of town.  I took a lot of photos of it, but I'm only going to show the mild ones on here.

Next week is our Math Teamathalon.  Joetta and Heather have been spending an immense amount of time developing and organizing this event.  I have helped whenever I can, but between my normal prep, working on stuff for my Bantam tournament fund raiser and finishing my AQ work, it hasn't been a substantial amount.  Although, we have actually taken on the job of the snack committee  teachers who thought it was 'too much work' to do it and just wanted to throw money (that we do not have) at it as a solution.  So Joetta, Kirsten, Vicky and some of the students worked away this weekend to bake 250+ cookies and rice krispie squares. In addition to that, I made 50+ ham sandwiches and Joetta and I made 176 cookies last weekend for the tournament.  It has been a good fund raiser, so far I have made $537 and I still have today to sell the rest of my stuff.

Last, but not least, I have less than a week to go before I can come home and see Ashley!!! I only have to get through another 5 days and then I will be leaving early on Friday morning for a very full day of travel!  can't wait!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Week 27 - Ivakkak Race

I haven't have a chance to post lately since these last couple of weeks have been extremely busy for me.  Our end of term was March 2 so I had to finish up all my marking so I would have grades for all my classes.  In addition to this I had to create some extra lessons since some of my students were taking off on March 1 to go to the Arctic Winter Games until March 11.  Finally, The AQ I'm working on only had a 2 week period for the module instead of 3 weeks (because of March Break) which made all of that work due on March 9.  Lets just say I've definitely been working my 60 hour week lately.

That is all in the past now! Next week should be much more simple for me and the rest of the teachers.  On Monday we have the 2012 Ivakkak Dog Race departing from here on their way up the coast to Kangirsuk.  Tuesday all Secondary teachers have Smartboard training, Thursday we all have First Aid training and Friday is a holiday.  I'm thankful for the break since it will let me plan some advanced lessons.  Since I'm getting very close to the end of my material for one of my math classes I am really looking forward to teaching whatever I want! I find it very interesting as I sit back and reflect on all the knowledge I have on different subjects.  Given the chance I could probably design several math and science courses based on topics that I find interesting and useful.  Too bad that's not the way things work.

Anywho, this weekend I decided to go for a nice walk out onto the bay to check out the doggies that will be participating in the race.  I think it's interesting that there is such a variety of different looking dogs on all of the teams.  It's a good thing I wore my snowboarding gloves since it let me take pictures with my hands covered.  Let's just say that even though winter is gone, it is still extremely cold.  Here's a picture I took of myself.  It was cold enough that the moisture from my breath was frosting up on the fur ruff of my parka.

I find that the best way to make your way out onto the ice is to just follow the snowmobile trails.  In this case, you definitely want to follow the well beaten path.  Stepping off that path can be hazardous as you can easily step into a soft snow covering and end up hip deep in snow.

I made my way to the dogs and got some interesting shots.  I feel bad for them though being tied up on the snow on such a cold day.  Windchill was -32 yesterday.

As I made my way back I saw these interesting areas that looked like they had actually melted.  Considering the fact that it was still -20C outside I knew that was impossible so I decided to check it out.  As I got closer I noticed that there were these fragile looking formations on the ice.  They sort of looked like very large snowflakes but I'm fairly certain they were made of ice, so I shall call them ice flakes!

The North is a wondrous place! some people may think of it as just cold and desolate, but if you take the time to explore on a cold sunny day you can see that there is beauty everywhere.