Cold Hands, Warm Heart

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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, November 24, 2010


Hello friends and family.

Since Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, (vacation starts in 18 minutes) I've decided to make a list of things I am thankful for:

-Sharp scissors.

-Full bottles of glue.

-Unlimited Long Distance Service.



-Cranberry sauce.

-Packages in the mail.

-Finding my keys where I think I left them.

-Finding my glasses in the morning, not right before I go to bed.

-Television on DVD.


-Getting A's on my classes.

-Project Gutenberg, where I can get my books for free.

-My brand-new staple gun.

-Fuzzy scarves knit by grandmothers.

-People who comment on my blog,

-Other people who post blogs for me to read.

-Having enough food at home.

-Fresh from the dryer sheets.

-King sized bed.

-Books, books, and more books.

-2nd place cheer trophies.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Shocked and Amazed

Today, while I was taking roll, the senior/junior class got to work. Three of them sat down with their laptops facing away from me. This is against class policy, but I thought I'd give them the benefit of the dobt (or I'm too lazy to confront them).

Then, one of them gets up and walks out of class. Huh.

Turns out he was looking up information for his research paper (whoo!), found a valid source (Double Whooo!!) and printed it off to highlight the important parts (TRIPLE WHOOO!!!)

Do I have some great kids or what?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Cheer Camp

Well, It's official. I am a cheer coach. I know that for the first several years of being involved with the cheer program in the BSSD I maintained that I was simply a chaperone, and not to be trusted. And then, for a couple years, Mary and I did it together. And last year, I had girls throwing up the entire week of the competition, and just considered it a wash. But this year. This year things were a little different.

For starters, I had 22 girls show up to practice for the first half. After tryouts, I told the junior cheerleaders that I loved them, but we'd have to lay low on practices for a while. And the big girls and I focused on the routines. And we had a horrible go of it. But over this last week, everything clicked together, and we pulled it out.

That's enough writing. Time for pictures:

 Here is Kevin, "Chaperoning." Must be nice to be a guy. When a coach has no one wrestling, he and his squad can just sort of chill. Case in point: the next photo.
 Conversely, the cheer squad must sit at attention in a row, in full uniform, amongst rows of the other cheerleaders. If they get caught wandering around, they get sent back to their groups. They are not allowed to eat Mr. Freeze in my brand new uniforms. (And you thought this next picture was going to be about the wrestler. Silly reader, you should know me by now.)

 One of my cheerleaders from last year decided that she'd rather nap between matches, and left me to be a wrestler. I don't know where she placed, but I'll tell you this: When she got hit so hard she had to go to the clinic later, she lay on the floor for a minute, sobbing, but then got up, shook herself, and finished the match. THEN she went to the clinic where they tut-tutted at her, and told her to take it easy on her ribs for a while. I had no idea she was that tough.

Some of our boys, kicking butt and taking names:

 This ref and I bonded, as his rest chair was near my music chair. I even got my own sign that said "Reserved for the music lady" and someone colored the notes. The ref (who has a name and everything, I just don't know it) didn't even get a sign.

Look at these two just attack each other. It was an amazing match to watch:

 And in the end, we were victorious. (Okay, those two pictures may not have anything to do with each other, but I think they're the same kid. Looks like the same opponent)

Of course, it wasn't all matches and hanging out. We were in Unalakleet from lunch on Tuesday to 5pm on Friday. And that meant sleeping on the floor in a classroom. In classic middle-school fashion, this is how they looked in the morning:

And how they looked when we were trying to get them into bed at night:

I know what you've all been waiting for, so, with no further ado: CHEER STUFF

Asta, Jecca and I found this mount on Youtube. Good job YouTube. No one else did this one, I don't think. There were a lot of pony mounts, and shoulder sits (to be seen later).

I cropped this next one a bit, but can you see how much height Gussie has on this jump. During the workshop, we were told that all arms should be straight, and not in High-V like Gussie has here. Hmm, something to work on for next year.

The adorable ending for Sarah and Tara's routine. I was so proud of the two tiniest girls getting up to do a partner stunt routine together. Usually it's one experienced girl, and one small one (to be the flyer), but these two were great together. 

And what did that greatness get them? That's right. . . TROPHIES, Baby!! We got second place for partner stunts. (UNK got first)

During our big routine, The girls tossed Sarah into the air, and this is her coming down (See how Jecca is still smiling? Awesome):

And our grand-daddy pyramid that they did for their final stunt:

And what did that grand-daddy stunt help us get, you may be asking? Well, just this:

And for those of you with really good eyesight: You may be wondering what's going on in that picture on the plaque. After all, there are only cheerleaders up there getting the award. So why is the entire school on the plaque? Yeah, I have no idea either. We're gonna swap it out on Monday, for a picture of just the girls. In the mean-time, our 2nd place dance routine trophy has this picture in it:

Monday, November 1, 2010


Okay, none of these pictures are mine. Yup, I suck just that bad. However, one is of me, so that should count for something.

This is Molly. She teachers 4th grade. And yes, her wings are on upside down in this picture. But they were right side up when I saw her in the gym, so someone must have noticed. I was completely shocked and excited when all the certified teachers agreed to dress up together.

This is Heather (Orf?). She was an emergency room nurse for years, and is up in Shishmaref now. Her husband is the pastor. (People have just started referring to her as "pastors wife", and that's sort of minimizing all she's done in her life). She's wearing parts of my costume here, and has Baby Norman with her. Isn't he adorable too?

Bla bla bla. There I am. In my wings. I've decided: from now on, no one shorter than me is allowed to take pictures of me.

Amy in her costume. I picked that dress out for her this summer. Isn't it horrible wonderful? You don't get the full layer view in this picture, but she's in the parade with the pre-school kids, and they were a little overwhelmed by the parade.

That's Kiley on the left (for those of you who wanted pictures of her) and Kate on the right. They are both wearing long-sleeved t-shirts under old bridesmaids dresses. Well, Kate's has had a little work. Also, it's the one she picked out for her sisters. 

Just because I couldn't help myself: Here is Baby Norman, wearing an old costume of one of his sisters. It's too small for him, but he was just sleeping so soundly I couldn't help it.