Monday, September 29, 2008

Still Alive . . .

It is almost the end of September. The "honeymoon period" of school is over. We are in for a shock. There was no "honeymoon". It has been a struggle since day one. So many changes. So much miscomunication. So much truancy and lateness. I have to keep on reminding myself that we are doing a good job. That we have made positive change. I have to keep the waves of bitterness away from the shores of my soul.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


This year, we are trying to get a library for this school up and running. All of the books are in the old NLC trailer. On Friday evenings, the four of us go and sort the books. We went last Friday and this past Friday. It is slow going but we hope that by having the books accessible to students, they will read more often. Often we wonder if it in exercise in futility.

After spending 4 plus hours in the library last Friday, we ran into a depressing road block. I was working at the the school Sunday evening when I started to hear dogs barking, kids running and general commotion. A student knocked on the school door, where I was talking to some teachers. "Some kids are in the library." One teacher took off to chase the culprit down. The rest of us went to go check out the damage. Inside the library we saw carefully stacked books toppled over. In a clearing by the library, we saw charred remains of books. Later we heard that some of the students thought it would be cool to pee in the corner.

We found out later that one of the doors to the library doesn't lock properly. So the kids did not break and enter. Yet they did not use their common sense and used their discovery for chaos, vandalism and evil. It was very frustrating for the 4 that had worked on the library. We had to spend the rest of out evening transferring a lock to the culprit door and phoning parents.

However, we refuse to let that keep us down and this Friday we were back in the library sorting books once again. I got the picture book section all sorted alphabetically. Now we just have the novels and non-fiction to deal with. And the fact that we don't have enough shelving space. I never realized that opening a library is such hard work. On Saturday morning, I woke up in pain. My thighs were so sore. I realized that Friday evening, I had to put books on the top shelf and then the bottom shelf. I don't know how many squats I did but I sure felt it the next day.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


There is a science experiment growing in the science cupboard. It is an inadvertant experiment - definitely not part of the curriculum. But the Science cupboard ceiling is the part of the school that always leaks. It has been "fixed" many times but every time it rains, or the snow melts, a slow drip starts forming from the ceiling to the floor. It would be cool if the slow drip formed stalicites and staglamites. It looks like stalicites but unfortunately it isn't mineral in nature - more biological. It started as a gross brown stain on the ceiling and now black protrusions are growing from the ceiling and releasing spores into the air. It is not my job to fix it. I have told the powers that be - a few times now. I have taken to wearing a dust mask whenever I need science supplies.

There are other science experiments growing in my class. Again inadvertant and biological. I am expecting to hear of the safe arrival of a baby - a former student is the mother and the father is a current student. Another student (both mother and father attend school) is also expecting. Little beautiful biological miracles. I am reminding myself that all babies are miracles and I am praying that these young children will be able to become good parents. My question is: Why are the parents so surprised at pregnancy when their kids are having sleepovers? What do they think are happening at these sleepovers? Not movies and popcorn.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

And we're back

Last week, I had a former student come and visit me. We were chatting. I was telling her that I was impressed at her influence in Trout Lake. Her friends do other things beside drink. Then I mentioned that on a whole I see way less drinking in Trout Lake. It makes a good story that these words were no sooner out of my mouth when we heard a thud. Probably the sequence wasn't that close but . . . it is funnier.

So no sooner were those words out of my mouth when we heard a thud. For minutes afterwords we heard a truck with a real loud engine sitting outside of my house. Then we noticed the lights shinging through my window and the infiltration of other voices. We checked out the window and sure enough a truck was really close to my house. In fact it had hit my house and they were trying to back up, with my car right in line to get hit. Of course I was more worried about the car then the house.

After sneaking peaks out of the window for awhile and ensuring that one of the teachers was also out there, I decided to go check things out and move my car out of harms way. Sure enough, the truck was full of intoxicated males. (One of the males knew me and thought that a hug was in order. I was like, I haven't been hugged by a guy in a LONG time and then I get hugged by a drunk guy who drove into my house!!!). Besides being drunk and driving, the boys were in trouble. They had blown the transmission of their truck and could not put it into reverse or neutral. Plus they had not only hit my house; they hit the pipe that brings propane into my house. So every time they started the truck to see if it would go into reverse this time, they pushed my propane pipe a little bit more.

Eventually the male teacher with a truck decided that he had had enough and hitched their truck up to his truck and sent them on their way. It sucks when the only out you have with drunk drivers to allow them to continue to drive. YIKES but with the cops an hour away and the danger of an immenent propane leak, what were we supposed to do?

Monday, September 01, 2008

I'm back

I am back in Trout, back blogging and back teaching. The New Year should start in September because this is when I make all of my resolutions - most of which I have broken already. However, today I remedied that by finally cleaning my house. I don't know what it is about a clean house that makes me have a healthier mind but it is linked somehow. It increases my motivation.

I am glad to be back for another year. I am teaching the same assignment as before. No more principalship for me and I think that that is good for me, the school and my sanity. So far the new principal seems like a good leader - listens and then makes a decisive decision. Students are all well - one of them is pregnant at the age of 14 and another threw an eraser at my head already. He swears it was an accident (the eraser one although I am sure the pregnant one would swear the same thing). But how can you accidently bean an eraser off the teachers head.

But enough of all that . . . Lately I have been noticing how technology is changing some of our idioms. For example . . .
. . . "A watched pot never boils" has now turned to "A watched website never loads."
. . . "A picture is worth a thousand words." has changed to "A jpg. is worth a thousand txt."
Personally though, speaking from experience, here I am changing . . .
. . . "She is like an open book." to "She is like a public blog, facebook page and one-line profile rolled into one."

So much of my life is on-line and it can get scary but I am not really sure if I want to change. So to all of my friends who read this and then in the middle of a good Trout story interupt me and say, "Yeah I read about that on your blog.", send me a comment once in awhile and then I won't bore you with the same stories. You can start by thinking of other phrases that need to be updated for our modern times.