It's the last week of school before the Christmas holidays and the "pressure is on". I feel like Atlas holding up the entire world on my shoulders. I have final exams to administer & correct, input final marks, write report card comments, oversee the Christmas Concert Committee (CCC), and to top it all off, go out for recess duty. I'm not complaining; just telling it like it is. I spent the weekend of December 12 & 13th correcting class work and writing some report card comments to ease the workload for the last week. I am thankful I have the other members of the CCC to assist me in making the 2015 Christmas Concert a success.
December 14 & 15 were the last days of final exams. The students came to school, wrote their exams, and then went home. They were glad to be done until the new year.
Wednesday, December 16th was a very busy day. Grades 9-12 students were tasked with decorating the community hall for the upcoming concert. Decorations prepared by elementary & middle school classes were collected in large boxes and brought over to the hall after morning recess. My drummers helped me load all the instruments and musical hardware onto a pickup truck I borrowed from Frank. It took two trips to transport everything to the community hall. We placed all the instruments in a safe corner.
The students immediately began decorating the entire hall while festive music played over loudspeakers. The entire place would be covered by lunchtime. More teachers arrived to help out with the decorating. The stage and walls were decorated with posters, crafts, wrapped presents, and streamers. I walked around and took pictures with my camera.
The highlight of the morning was when the Grade 9 class set up a large blue yoga ball on stage, suspended from a large white rope. The ball was part of their concert performance. The rope was connected to a construction harness that held the ball. Sarah, the Grade 9 teacher, borrowed the harness from the workers working on the new health centre. (The exact reason for the use of the yoga ball will be revealed in a future post).
|Small Christmas tree.|
Everyone went home for lunch. In the afternoon, all classes gathered inside the community hall for the dress rehearsal. Each class would perform their act once so that the students & teachers would get comfortable on stage. I coached the two high school emcees on public speaking, conquering stage fright, and how to ad-lib commentary in between performances. I also made sure the rehearsal progressed at a steady pace. It wasn't until halfway through the rehearsal that it finally dawned on me: I really am the stage director this year.
The Grade 9 class received a very good reception for their practice performance involving the large yoga ball. No one was expecting to see that. (Once again, all will be revealed in a future post.) My drummers also received a warm reception from the audience when we played through our drum routine.
Despite my best efforts, the dress rehearsal took a little longer than planned. The good news was that it was only the teachers who had to stay a little longer to practice their performance. Everyone left the community hall feeling confident. The concert would take place the following evening.
3045 Army Cadet Corps held a parents night on the evening of December 16th. On the program were promotions, awards, and announcements. The event was held in the school's gym. Cadets set up the gym with foldout chairs, an awards table, and the flags of Canada & the cadet movement. The cadets and officers wore their green dress uniforms. The parade began at 6:30pm.
The officers were able to recruit three guest reviewing officers from the local Hamlet Office. Two were regular employees and the third was the mayor, Phillip Kalluk. Cadet corporal Qaqqasiq-Taqtu led the corps in a March Past after the reviewing officers returned to their seats.
|Cadet Tilley C. being promoted|
to the rank of Master-Corporal.
Mayor Phillip Kalluk presents
The evening moved on to promotions and awards. The Biathlon Team was called out to be recognized for their recent trip to the biathlon competition in Whitehorse. Some of the cadets scored really well on their targets. There were three promotions: two to the rank of Master-Corporal and one to the rank of Sergeant. The two new Master-Corporals were Qaqqasiq-Taqtu & Tilley, C. In addition to cadet Natanine's promotion to Sergeant, she received a white belt and a red sash. The white belt signifies that she is now a senior cadet and the red sash represents our affiliation with the Royal Canadian Regiment in Toronto. Lt. May handed her a pace stick before granting her permission to assume command of the corps on parade.
|CI Reid awards cadet Tilley, D. with a Certificate of Participation on the Skills Team.|
|CI Reid awards cadet Pauloosie, S.|
with a Certificate of Participation
on the Skills Team.
Civilian Instructor (CI) Reid called out the eight members of the Skills Team to hand them their certificates of participation. A skills competition was held in Iqaluit in early December and CI Reid was the team coach for Arctic Bay. The last time a northern skills competition was held was in 2014 in Rankin Inlet. (You can read about it here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). I wanted to be the coach this year but was unable to get the necessary time off work. The Skills Team flew down to Iqaluit to defend their winning title from 2014, but, despite their best efforts, did not win the competition. Regardless, the team did win a few of the challenges and had a good time in the territorial capital.
The Skills Team demonstrated their team work and discipline by performing the drill routine they had prepared for the competition. Cadet Qaqqasiq-Taqtu acted as the platoon commander. The audience was impressed and applauded the demonstration.
|OCdt Dzioba, (me), addressing|
the audience. Photo taken by
I had the honour of making the closing remarks to the audience, thanking them for attending the event, and thanking all of our sponsors & volunteers. Sergeant Natanine led the corps in the Advance in Review Order and General Salute. When Lt. May and the reviewing officers left the parade square, the cadets were dismissed. A short reception was held after the parade. The cadets cleaned the gym before leaving for the night.
|Cadet Sgt. Natanine salutes during the General Salute.|