Friday, March 10, 2017

Chilly March

Regular classes resumed on February 20 after PI Week.  My students asked me what I did during PI Week and I told them.  They found my acting story quite amusing, especially the part where people thought I was injured.  (I wasn’t).  I asked my students if they went out on the land during the break, now that the sun had returned, but most of them said no.  They argued the weather was too cold.  Most of them stayed indoors and/or visited several friends.
I saw a few local Inuit going out during PI Week but I didn’t know who they were.  I guess they weren’t my students.  I agreed the weather was getting pretty cold even though the sun was back.  In fact, Arctic Bay was Canada’s cold spot on Sunday, February 12, (2017).  The temperature that day was a low of -39C, -51C with wind chill.  The human body is quite adaptable but there are temperatures that even the Inuit consider too cold.
In Grade 10 English, we began the paragraph/essay writing unit. I explained that paragraph/essay writing would be on their Grade 12 Departmental Exam so it was best to start learning & practicing now.  We looked at several types of paragraphs, brainstorming & organizing ideas, forming topic & concluding sentences, adding details, essay structure, and coherence.  My Grade 11 Social Studies students continued their study of European Imperialism and its effects on the entire world.  They were surprised to discover that many ethnicities in Africa & Asia went through similar negative experiences as the Inuit did in Canada.  My Grade 10 Social Studies students finished the Globalization unit and began studying Canada’s residential school system.  And finally, my Grade 10 guitar students continued learning simple songs, basic chords, and music notation theory.
Speaking of music, one of my former guitar students recently won first prize in the Qikiqtani Inuit Association’s Inuktitut song/poem contest.  Leetia Kalluk submitted a love song she wrote in February and was announced as the winner on March 1.  She also received $400.  She graduated from Inuujaq School last year and is currently attending the Nunavut Sivuniksavut college program in Ottawa.
The first eight days of March were cold.  Really cold.  Temperatures plummeted to -50C and even lower.  The rules in place stipulate that if temperatures plummet that far, then classes should be cancelled.  The temperatures fluctuated throughout the day, so there were times when classes were cancelled only in the mornings and other times, only in the afternoons. 
I took advantage of an afternoon cancellation on Friday, March 3, and did a quick experiment.  I boiled six coffee cups of water in my electric kettle, went outside, walked into the middle of the deserted, frozen street, and threw the water into the air.  I wanted to see what would happen.  There was a lot of steam and some water did hit the ground.  I filmed the stunt with a GoPro camera.  I won’t boil the water next time.  I’ll throw room temperature water and see if it’ll turn into ice before it hits the ground.
The wind picked up on the evening of March 4th.  Several locals were commenting on Facebook that the blizzard conditions were fierce.  I decided to investigate.  I put on several layers of warm clothing and went outside for a walk around the Uptown neighbourhood.  Indeed, the weather was cold and there was wind, but the blizzard wasn’t as bad as I expected.  I walked around for about 15 minutes before returning home.  I reviewed the raw footage I took with my GoPro camera and managed to get some good shots of the blizzard.  Unfortunately, the camera I was using isn’t that good at recording night footage unless there are bright street lights.  (Unfortunately, the video is too large for me to upload to this blog).  Turns out the blizzard was stronger down around the school and in the east side of town.  No buildings collapsed.

Cadet Corporal Tilley, Dylan returned from the National Biathlon Competition, held in Valcartier, Quebec, on March 6.  He brought back a bronze medal he won in the patrol race.  Not only is he the first cadet from 3045 Army to attend the competition, but now he is the first cadet to win a medal at the national level.  On Wednesday, March 8, Tilley was given the opportunity to share his experience to the rest of the cadet corps.  Tilley spoke in Inuktitut and I walked around, snapping photographs.  The cadets were intrigued and interested by his stories and laughed when he said something amusing.  A group photo was taken when he was finished speaking. 


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