Cold Hands, Warm Heart

My photo
Nome, Alaska, United States
After getting burned out teaching high school in a tiny Alaskan town, I have moved on to being a child advocate in a small Alaskan town. The struggles are similar, but now I can buy milk at the store.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I know some of you, devoted fans, are wondering what I do with all my time. I thought I'd give you a run-down of my last 24 hours. Not all of my 24 hour blocks of time are this fun, or full, but it is a good representation of where my hours go:

4-4:30pm Special Ed Meeting
Video Conference about cheerleading, which did not apply to me
4:30-5pm Went home, ate a pear, put away fruit that came in from Whole Circle Farms
5-6:30pm Cheer practice. It usually goes to 7, but I got frustrated by them, and ended it early. And yes, that cheerleader to the left is in fact eating an ice cream sandwich at the same time she's doing her sit-ups. I'm just glad she didn't choke on it. The picture on the left is parts of my squad from last year. I just realized, while putting this together, that I didn't have any so far this year. I'll see if I can fix that soon.
6:30-7pm Cleaned my room, gossiped with my neighbors.
7-8:30pm Open House for the school. Talked to parents. Watched Tobacco prevention movie. Again. Played with babies.
8:30-9pm Made salad with Amy. Ate salad. It was FABULOUS.
9pm Received phone call from 5 year old next door. It was an invitation to a party.
9-10:30pm Birthday party next door. Not a giant affair, just the family and 4 guests. Ate cake, played with babies.
10:30-11:30 Watched Alias with Amy. Play jewel something or other on my DS.
11:30-12:30 Read a book I will not admit to. (hint: there is a normal girl, and a vampire boy)
12:30-7:30a Dead to the world.
7:30 am Accidentally hit "off" instead of "snooze" on my alarm clock.
8:25 Woken by roommate. Have a freak out moment.
8:30 Clock in at school (I'm glad I live so close), take some ribbing from the maintenance men, who could pretty easily guess what happened.  
8:30-8:45 Get classroom read for the day.
8:45-12:30 Educate the minds of tomorrow's leaders.
12:30-1pm Planned the senior meeting with Melinda, played with the baby, (he comes for lunch too) and practice the secret girl handshake with some freshmen, who don't realize I'm not "cool" enough to know it. 
1-2pm Theoretically, this is my prep. But I have some independent seniors in here, and we spent an hour looking through catalogs for carnival prizes. 
2-3:45 Mentor young minds to reach new heights.
3:45 Kick kids out. Wonder where the first six weeks of school went. Check out, read the comics, and take a breather before the cheerleaders show up.

There are nights, of course, where we don't have open houses. Then, cheer practice goes until 7, and I go home and veg, or work on my masters class, or visit Steve and Angie, or host Ladies Craft Night, or any other of 50 things. Like the stained glass project I've got going, below:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Who needs birthdays?

Amy, Angie, Steve, and I have all gone in together for bi-monthly deliveries of organic food from Whole Circle Farms. However, they haven't sent us oranges yet. Mostly because oranges aren't grown in Washington, where the farm is. 

However, today, one of my kids brought me this orange, and I kissed it, and they thought it was so funny that I decided to share it with you, devoted fans. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

March may come in like a lion, but September...

Okay, devoted fans. I know some of you may still have some misconceptions about the "allure and romance of the North." I got past this a while ago. 

With no further ado, here are the pictures I've taken out of my classroom window:

See that white stuff behind the building!?! And on some of the sand!? Yup, first snow of the year.There it is again, building up along the edge of the portable. This is not the beginning of the end, I'm sure it will be gone by tomorrow. 

Also, I cut my hair off.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Sometimes, I let my roommate use my laptop. Hers isn't in yet, and the one she is borrowing from the school is old and slow.  Not mine, mine is new and fast, and pretty, and big. It makes large portions of my life easier. I can also look at both pages of the yearbook while I make it without having to squint.

Sorry, devoted fans, I got sidetracked. This is not an ode to my laptop, though that may also be useful sometime. The point I was striving for was this: Sometimes, when I log into Facebook after having loaned her my computer, I find that my status has been changed. Usually to something along the lines of "Amy is my favorite roommate of all times." This is funny, and not quite as inflammatory as the time my brother put on my post that he was my favorite sibling.

Today, I was going to share some thoughts with you on my masters class. When I turned on my photobooth, to take a staged picture of me reading (as it is very hard to take candid pictures of oneself) I found this: 

Apparently, she enjoys taking pictures of herself on photo-booth as much as I do:

And just so you know, she hadn't seen this picture when she took hers, and I took this one sometime last year. It's just a coincidence that we are both doing close to the same face. Or, we're both just too tired to hold up our own heads.

Also, she just stuck her head in and informed my writing class of this: A good essay should be as long as a skirt. Long enough to cover everything, and short enough to keep things interesting.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Today, in honor of 9/11, and because it was supposed to be an early out day, my writing classes got a break from journal time. We were supposed to be practicing using the four types of introductions. Instead, we chose, colored, cut, and taped up patriotic drawing onto our lockers. 

I received an e-mail yesterday, reminding me to hang a flag outside my house today. Then I remembered that I don't have a flag, unless I steal the one out of my classroom, which just doesn't seem right. So, I decided to make my students help me show patriotism here in the building.

This is Jack Pootoogooluk. (That's one of my dad's favorite last names.) He's coloring the flag that says "Red White Blue" on the bottom. Jesse Dubbs (short for "W," short for "Weyiouanna") is finishing Call of the Wild, so he can be with the rest of the class when we start up again on Monday.

This is the first one I made. I was trying to put mountains, and crops, and trade centers in it, but it turned out pretty crappy. Maybe, if I do it again, I'll just stick to the lines that are already there. Also, I don't have a locker to put pictures on, so mine had to be on my door.

Here is Miizuk Nayokpuk. He's pretending to hang up one of the pictures, for the sake of the photo. For the most part, these kids tried to make these nice. There is one, somewhere, where the Statue of Liberty has a face like the Joker from Batman, but otherwise, they're very nice.

Here are some more that the kids made, and posted.  I tried to explain the purpose of leaving some white space around the edges, to give it a clean look. I guess I never mentioned how much tape to use. 

On another topic: Did you know that if you are set to "Edit Html" it is very hard to write between pictures, because I can't tell where one ends, and the next one begins.  Yeah for "Compose."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My adoring fans

That's right my devoted followers. This post is all about you. And just in case you were wondering who you are, here's a map to help:

Now, some of these people are obvious. See the concentration in North-West Alaska? I know those people. I also know (and am related) to several of the ones in Washington State that are following my adventures. However, there are a whole lot that just shock and amaze me. 

Germany? Japan? Blanco, Texas? How do you even find me? Also, and more importantly: Welcome.

I'm pretty excited that you are reading my blog. I know that when avoiding work, you have many options open to you, and I appreciate that you've chosen my life to follow. 

Keep coming back, tell your friends, and I'll try to keep the funny and educational portions of my life coming.

And for your personal edification: These are actual pictures from Stat counter, a website that will keep track of visitor frequency, visit length, etc.  Mostly I just look at my map in amazement. It will help you figure things out, otherwise, ask Angie. 

Friday, September 4, 2009

A morning surprise

Guess what I found on my doorknob when I went to leave my house this morning. . .


No kids, that's not a balloon.