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.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Today is the first day of parent-teacher conferences for the 3rd quarter of the year.

Let's keep track of the project as time goes on today:

2:20: School lets the kids out.

2:30: Parent Teacher conferences official start.

2:40: MY DOOR OPENS! Oh, it's just a kid, bringing back a broom. No parents yet. I wonder what's on Youtube?

2:43: PARENTS! The parents of one of my favorite kids (Oh, wait, are we not allowed to have favorites? Whoops.) came in and we talked about their son, and waving at strangers, because you never know who they'll be. We talked about how the husband waves at planes, in case they're looking, and how the wife is afraid of moose on the path. We talked about my new ice cleats, and the mittens Diana made me back in '04. All in all, it was a fantastic conversation.

3:00: More parents! Not quite as fun, but really, what do you expect?

3:10-3:50: Proofread a persuasive essay for the parent of two of my kids. Seriously. For 40 minutes. It was a good paper, it just needed proofreading, which is what we're working on in class too. Her husband seemed a bit grumpy about it, but I showed her how to track changes, and how to insert page breaks. She was impressed.

3:55: The mother of one of my students talks to me about her son's missing assignments. I discuss his ongoing stomach problems. Both issues are assigned to the suicide of his brother from November. We are both fine with this.

4:00: Watching Youtube videos.

4:15: Parents!

4:19: Youtube.

4:45: I've talked to two other teachers, and I've watched Youtube videos since my last check-in.

5:15:  I think we're done here.

And we have them again tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Spring is coming. I think. No, no, it's coming. I'm pretty sure. And here is the proof:

I haven't seen those fuzzy nubs on the trees before, so that must mean it's spring, right? Either that, or it's warm enough to walk around with my hood off, so I can see them for the first time.

 While getting ready to take the previous picture, I stumbled across some rabbit tracks. There they are, hopping through the snow.
 The top crust is strong enough that I could lean on it to take the picture, but not to step on, or I'd fall through.

And these are my footsteps, forwards and backwards. There's a pretty thick crust, followed by a lot of fluff. 
 Standing on the school porch, this is a view of the cemetery. It's up there on the hill. You can just make out the white crosses on the ridge.
And for those of you (Matthew) who think that the amount of snow I'm working with her is the same as the amount of snow you have down there, this is the snowdrift that the maintenance men had to dig through to clear our path. In real life, the path is a wooden sidewalk, and the pile of snow is actually a hill sloping DOWNHILL towards those basketball hoops.

So yes, this is spring, kind of, sort of. The main noticeable difference is the amount of sunlight we are getting now. There are days when I walk to school in the semi-light, and walking home in the light. It is awesome!