Friday, July 29, 2011

Nothing sweeter than summer time and American honey...

As I type this I am sitting at a pretty little round table with a red flowered table cloth and colorful place mats.   I’m surrounded by a neat quaint little kitchen complete with a grocery list and calendar for future events.  Behind me sits my washer and dryer which have yet to be run…   A little bit further is my turquoise living room where I’ve been sitting doing most of my reading, movie watching, and Skyping.  Down the hall, take a step up, and to your right is my green bathroom, complete with a frog toothbrush holder.  At the end of my hallway is my little bedroom which is just big enough for little old me.  It’s outfitted with pink and black and soon a bit of zebra flair. 
Getting here was an adventure… as you figured out in my last post.  Being here was also a feat in itself.  I moved in to the apartment and began to make it my own on July 26th.  There were several kids here to greet me so I was able to use their extra hands to help with cleaning out the stuff from the teacher before me.   

So far I’ve not had too much time or chance to go through my classroom.  It’s quite nice in size though, which 2 whiteboards and 1 Smartboard.  There’s also a fridge, kidney table, and kids things.  I can’t go through the room and make it my own just yet because most of what is in it right now is actually the 2nd grade teacher that is moving into the room next door.  What I do know is that it has a view directly to my apartment.  I literally walk 20 yards and I’m home.
Since being here I’ve been setting up the apartment, going in and out of the school, reading up on some of the curriculum, and meeting the towns people.  The children around here seem excited to meet the new teacher, and can definitely tell that I’m not from around here.    Every person I’ve met has said hello and then asked what grade I am teaching.  Guess I stick out like a sore thumb.
There are a few things that keep catching me off guard.  The ground itself around here isn’t exactly stable.  The town is actually on wetland, which means if I step in the wrong spot I might be going under.  Instead of roads or sidewalks we have dirt paths and boardwalks.  All of the buildings here sit on stilts because of permafrost.  There are almost no working cars around here, so most people use bikes, 4 wheelers, and snowmobiles.   The thing that strikes me as strange is how much the children spit.  I found out that it’s because they are chewing tobacco that is specially made so that the pH level is changed.   Kids will be spitting regardless of whether they have the tobacco or not… which still catches me by surprise.
So far… I’ve had dinner with the principal and her husband, aka: my next door neighbors.   This will definitely be an interesting year.  I’m looking forward to what has yet to come. 

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