Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Late February, Early March

I spent Sunday evening at school preparing lessons.  The original plan was to spend the entire day there but because of the flight cancellation, we didn't fly into Arctic Bay until Sunday afternoon.  Thankfully, I got everything done without having to spend the entire night.
School reconvened on Monday, February 23rd.  Upon welcoming me back to town, my students wanted to know how I enjoyed Iqaluit.  I told them that the conference was fun, it gave me the opportunity to learn new things, and to enjoy the "big city."  My students spent the week hunting, playing hockey, visiting relatives, and in some cases, sleeping all day. 
My Grade 10 English students began their novel study, the assigned novel being The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.  The book was written by John Boyne and published in 2006.  A feature film was produced & released in 2008.  The plot is about a nine-year-old German boy named Bruno who lives in Berlin during World War 2.  When his father gets promoted to the rank of Commandant, the family has to move to a camp called "Out-With" (aka Auschwitz).  At first, Bruno is upset about the move but ends up befriending a nine-year-old Jewish boy named Shmuel who lives at the camp.
I chose the novel because my students wanted to know more about the Holocaust.  The novels, audio book, and DVD were all ordered a month in advance.  Listening to a recording of the text being read would be easier than reading out loud.  The story covers 215 pages of text, and if we were to read it ourselves, we would lose our voices at the end of the day, every day.  We would pause at the end of each chapter and answer questions & complete an activity.  By the second week of March, we were on Chapter 11.  (There are 20 chapters in total). 
In Grade 11 Social Studies, my students began their study of the First World War.  We started by looking at the unification of Germany, the European arms race in the early 20th century, the two military alliances that divided Europe, and the appeal of using propaganda to control public opinion.  We also reviewed Europe's imperialist ambitions in Africa, North America, and Asia.  With the background information now understood, we moved on to the events that caused the First World War, starting with the assassination in Sarajevo, followed by the mobilization of soldiers and declarations of war.  By the second week of March, my students were learning about the horrors of trench warfare. 
My guitarists had a less morbid agenda.  They practiced strumming 8th notes using down strokes and upstrokes, playing more basic chords & catchy riffs, and learning how to count & play dotted notes & rests.  The main challenge with playing chords is being able to switch between them without having to look at your fingers and/or slowing down your speed. 
My students were really excited when I announced that I wanted them to submit a list of songs they wanted to learn on guitar because I was putting together a fake book.  A fake book "is a collection of musical lead sheets," containing the melody line, basic chords, and lyrics.  This gives a musician enough information to make an impromptu arrangement.  I estimated it would take me about 3 weeks to get the fake books ready.  I had to find the right arrangements online, format everything in Microsoft Word, and then print & bind the books.  In the meantime, I kept my guitarists occupied with what I mentioned in the previous paragraph. 
I was invited to an evening dinner with several southern teachers to mark the end of February.  On the menu were chicken & beef tournedos, sweet potato fries, corn on the cob, and couscous ("the food so nice, they named it twice!").  The host couple had ordered the tournedos from M&M Meat Shops.  The meal was also a good way to welcome the month of March.

On Tuesday, March 10, Arctic Bay's 3045 Army Cadet Corps held an evening Parents Night Parade at Inuujaq School.  The cadets would be inspected by a guest reviewing officer, do a march past, and receive promotions, awards, and badges.  Their parents would have the opportunity to witness & photograph the proceedings.  The cadets arrived at the school's gym at 5:45pm to set up tables, chairs, and the flags of Canada & cadets.  The cadets quickly reviewed a few drill movements before it was time to start the parade.

The parade began at 6:30pm.  The cadets were wearing their green dress uniforms and black parade boots.  The gym was filled with parents, friends, and elders.  Lt. May, the Commanding Officer of corps, acted as the emcee.  The guest reviewing officer was an RCMP officer who was just assigned to Arctic Bay.  She wore her red serge uniform for the occasion.  After she inspected the cadets on parade, the cadet warrant officer led the platoon in a march past for the audience. 
Top female & male cadets.
Next came the awards section of the program.  There were a handful of promotions, awards, and badges to hand out to a selected number of cadets.  A few of the new recruits were promoted to the rank of Lance-Corporal (formerly known as Private).  Many cadets were called up to the Dias to receive fitness badges and marksmanship badges.  The top male & female cadets from last year were also called up to place their names on the top cadet trophy.  The last item was to recognize the biathlon team for performing well at Whitehorse and the cadets who would be travelling to Europe for the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe. 
The swearing in of OCdt Swoboda
(third from the left).
The final part of the parade was the swearing in of a new officer cadet into the cadet instructor cadre (CIC).  The CIC is a corps of Canadian military officers who specifically work with cadets.  The last person to be sworn into the CIC by 3045 Army was me on November 11, 2013.  This time it would be Arctic Bay's mental health nurse.
Lt. May carried out the attestation, making sure the flag of Canada, a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, and witnesses (the audience) were present.  Once the oath was recited, everyone congratulated Officer Cadet Swoboda with an applause.  She accepted the applause with a smile.
A short reception was held after the parade.  Everyone enjoyed cupcakes, cookies, bannock, tea, and coffee.

No comments:

Post a Comment