Sunday, April 17, 2016

Early April

Dog Teams.
It is April; midterms are long gone, and the final half of the second semester has arrived.  The end (of the academic year) is nearing with every passing day.  Summer will be here in less than two short months.   
The Spring/Easter Break finished on April 3rd but regular classes did not commence until Wednesday, April 6.  The staff of Inuujaq School had two days of in-service on the 4th & 5th.  The focus was balanced literacy.  (In-service is another way of saying professional development).  I still remember the students reacting ecstatically when they received the newsletter explaining they would be getting an extra two days off school.
Two instructors flew in from Iqaluit to administer the two-day workshop.  They brought boxes of new Inuit-themed books written in syllabics and Roman orthography.  The subjects ranged from learning Inuktitut to reading about old Inuit legends.  The resources were made for K-9 students.  The only issue we had was that some of the books were in a different dialect.  Despite this, the teachers liked the new resources and were glad to see more investment in Inuktitut reading materials. 
Cabin on a qamutik.  April 6, 2016.
I drove by a large cabin sitting on a specially built qamutik out in the frozen bay on the morning of April 6.  The qamutik was at least twice as wide as the usual width.  What I found surprising was that there were only two runners.  I was expecting at least one or two more in the centre.  There was no one around to explain to me what the cabin was built for and where it would towed.  My best guess at the time was that it would be towed to a well-known fishing lake.  I snapped three photos from different angles before driving to school.
My students wanted to hear what I did over the long break.  I showed them some pictures of my travels out on the land.  Regrettably, I had to tell them that my land trip to Pond Inlet was postponed until next year.  I held off on telling them about my extreme ironing stunt.  I was still waiting for Nunatsiaq News to respond to my photo request.  My students spent their break hiking the hills around town, going hunting, and catching up on the sleep they missed during school.
My Grade 10 English students would be focusing on poetry for the next month because April is Poetry Month.  (And poetry is a required module for the course).  My Grade 10 Social Studies students would continue their study of Globalization and how it affects the Inuit way of life.  My Grade 11 Social Studies students would turn their attention to International Conflict in the early 20th century, particularly the First World War.  And my guitarists continued their study of guitar chords, basic blues, and power chords.
April 9, 2016
Two makeshift ice rinks were constructed out on the ice next to the hockey arena.  The two large rectangles were made by plowing snow off the surface, revealing the smooth ice underneath.  I took several pictures of kids skating on the ice and playing hockey.  The scene reminded me of the opening of A Charlie Brown Christmas, minus the falling snow, bare trees, and music.
The photo Nunatsiaq News published.
April 11 was a special day; I had gotten my "15 minutes of fame."  I periodically check Nunatsiaq News Online and on this day, they featured one of the three extreme ironing pictures I submitted.  I was ecstatic!  The picture would be moved down to the bottom of the website by afternoon and then replaced the next day.  Thankfully, the newspaper shared the photo on its Facebook page where it received many Likes and Shares.  For the next several days, teachers and students would talk to me about seeing the picture in the newspaper and wanted to know why I did it?  I simply shrugged and replied that I can.  A more in depth answer would be it's a great way to get outside and to do your ironing in a more entertaining fashion.        
I was finally able to correct a great injustice on April 16: I watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  I was supposed to watch it in theatres during the 2015 Christmas break but somehow, I didn't get around to it.  When the DVD finally arrived at the Northern Store, I bought a copy without hesitation.  The $30 price didn't even phase me.  I re-watched all the trailers before watching the feature film.  I liked the movie, despite the plot being very similar to a previous Star Wars film.  It was everything I wanted it to be.  I watched the entire movie for a second time.  I would like to thank everyone who knew, and didn't know, for not spoiling the story.  I look forward to Episode VIII and the spin off film Rogue One.           

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