Thursday, December 31, 2009

The last post for 2009

Happy New Year's Eve!! I'm spending New Years with Tasha and her husband Adam. I believe we are going out for pizza and maybe some karaoke. It should be fun regardless.
Today Tasha and I went out to Pat's lake. It was a nice little hike, much shorter than yesterdays. It was still very pretty. At least today there was no almost falling off a cliff. I failed to recount that tale about yesterday. When Tasha and I were going back down the trail from Rainbow Falls, we were going down some steps and I slipped. I then proceeded to start to roll towards the edge of a cliff. I caught myself, but it was pretty funny. Ok, well I'm laughing over it. I'm a little sore still from the slip but it's all good.
I'm having a great time visiting Wrangell and will be sad to leave and go back to work. I take the ferry Sunday to go back. I decided to get a cabin for the ride from Wrangell to Ketchikan, that way I can sleep in a bed till I get to Ketchikan. The ferry departs Wrangell at about 3:30AM which means I need to be there around 2:30AM. We get into Ketchikan at about 9:30AM. I should be able to get several hours of good sleep.
I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Rainbow falls

King of the Hill

Rainbow Falls

Ta da

Stupid Stairs

The sign at the Trail head

Today Tasha and I went out to Rainbow falls. It was quite a hike. It was a lot of stairs, but the view was great and we had a good time. I started out with the hoodie on but later was way too warm so I hiked most of the trial without the sweatshirt. We may have had a little too much fun and went a little camera happy.
Yesterday we went out to Petroglyph beach. That's what the prior post of pictures. It's been great being up here visiting Tasha. Good friends and some good food. Woohoo!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009

Day 1 in Wrangell

I arrived in Wrangell yesterday afternoon at about 4pm. It was a pretty uneventful ferry ride. Tasha picked me up from the ferry terminal then we went back to her bowling game. She plays on a league and it was couples league last night. We went to her inlaws house for dinner that night, it was fun. We had a good time hanging out.
This morning, after being woken up by my mother at 6AM which I fell back asleep afterwards, I finally got out of bed about 8:30. It was nice to sleep in. Then Tasha and I were kinda lazy for awhile. We went and had lunch with her husband Adam at a diner in town. Mmmm double bacon cheeseburger. Then Tasha and I went out the road. We were going to go to Pat's Lake but when we tried to go up the road we lost traction. Then Tasha was going to back down it, instead we started to slide backwards. We then started to slide sideways. It was kinda funny. We luckily didn't end up in the ditch and we made it safely back onto dry (not ice coated) road. We drove around some more. We went to 10 Mile pipe, which is literally a rusty looking pipe sticking out on the side of the road that fresh water flows out of. I'll admit that I drank out of it. Apparently everybody does. It was pretty good water. It was kinda funny though drinking out of a pipe on the side of the road. Other than that, it's been a pretty lazy day. I'm glad I'm on break.
We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Another beautiful Alaska Morning

It's a beautiful morning this morning. I'm glad the sun is shining because I'll get some good pictures while I'm on the ferry. It was nice to be here in town last night. I enjoyed hanging out with Bryan, Caitlyn, and Megan. Bryan got on his flight this morning back to Anchorage. As I'm writing this, Megan and Caitlyn are still asleep. I'm good and tired but I can sleep some on the ferry and when I get to Tasha's. Yesterday morning was also a beautiful morning up here. I have some pictures that I should post.
Yesterday was pretty laid back. We only got to see Sherlock Holmes because there was an enormous line for Avatar. It's ok. We had a good time.
I'm excited about the ferry ride and the awesome weather. I think it may be about 40 degrees here this morning. It feels great.
Well off to the ferry I go.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

One of my christmas presents

My Christmas present from Bryan.

Merry Christmas and etc.

Oh it's so nice to be on break. I can't believe how quickly a week of it has already gone, but still it's been great. Good food and good friends is really hard to beat. I've had a great week. My parents sent me an ice cream maker and Harry Potter 6 on bluray. Sadly I had to wrap them myself (well Bryan wrapped the bluray). Cara stopped over and filled my stocking, I also had a stocking at Siri's. Yay friends. Dan and Cara also got me a bop-it, I've never played bop-it but it looks fun. I had gone over to Dan and Cara's before heading over to Siri's on Christmas morning. (Of course after I loaded all the other presents in the car). I handed out presents over at Siri's and received the gift Bryan had gotten me. It was hilarious opening the box. So he had taped down all of the loose parts of wrapping paper and then after ripping all of that off was a boxed wrapped completely in duct tape. I about died laughing while trying to get all the duct tape off. Inside the box surrounded by some packing was a ring box. I jokingly asked if I should be worried. I opened the box to find a very pretty opal ring that I had admired over summer. I was absolutely amazed that he had remembered that I said I like the ring back in July. The stone even matches the necklace that he had bought me over the summer. It was such a sweet gift. Oh and he got my ring size right too. (Major kudos). It was a great Christmas.
It really has been a great week. I've had a great time. It's been fun hanging out with Bryan and all my other friends.
I'm looking forward to going to Wrangell tomorrow. Tonight we're going to go see two movies. Sherlock Holmes and Avatar. Woohoo!!
I'll write again later.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Fun times

Have I mentioned that I love being on break? I really do. It's been so nice to just have a break. Yesterday was a fun day. I had a good time at church and I went to go take care of Siri's dogs when I got a text from Bryan. We texted back and forth a little, come to find he and his family had just docked. Well I ended up picking Bryan, Siri, and Jacob up while they were walking back from the ferry. Then I dragged Megan and Caitlyn off to make more perogis with me at Nicole's. It was once again a fun time. When I dropped Megan and Caitlyn back off at their mom's, I hung out a little while and then Bryan and I went out the road (and drove around town). We just drove around and talked. It was really nice to talk. I'm glad that he and I are friends. While we were out driving around he sent a text to Siri stating that I had left him out the road. No response. Well then I sent a text saying I left him out the road. No response. Finally as he and I were sitting at my house play Super Mario Bros Wii (which was hilarious) his mom called me. 'Did you really leave him out the road?' 'Do you think I would really leave him out the road?' 'No but I was just checking.' Lol. I still find it amusing. After we got done playing Wii, we went back to Siri's and wrapped some presents. We were quickly running out of tape and wrapping paper so we'll pick up some today and finish wrapping.
I think I may go over to Ketchikan a day early to see a movie, especially if Avatar is still playing. Before that however, I should make cookies, do some homework, and do some work around my house. I have a feeling that break is going to fly by, but it's going to be fun.
Side note:
I have learned that the more people that get involved in your life, the more difficult some things can be made into. (Without any effort on your part). Sometimes the parties involved just need to deal with things themselves and not listen to everyone else that seems to have an opinion. I have found that people that love you (friends, family, etc) want to give their opinion to you but sometimes it's just best to ignore it and do what you feel is right. Breakups can be hard, but when there are no hard feelings and it's pretty much a mutual thing, sometimes it's just best to talk it out and not listen to everyone else. (Especially when people want to try to pick sides and there are no sides to take.) Thankfully things in this particular instance have turned out for the best and we are friends but it could've been different. I'm grateful for the voice of reason and for guys that know how to be adults. I'm also glad for a small void in my life that is filled back in.
I am so truly blessed in my life. I have great friends, an amazing family, and a wonderful amount of faith. I miss my family this holiday season but I am there in spirit. I am grateful for the people I get to spend my holidays with. I hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday season and lives everyday to the fullest. Take the gift that you've been given and make the most of it.
Happy Holidays!!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Good friends and good food

First things first, I'm glad to be on break. It was a nice week, particularly because the stress of the concerts wasn't there. I'm so glad that I decided to do it the week earlier. It took a lot of pressure off of the last week before break. Once again I'm glad to be on break. Pep band has been going pretty well and we're having a good time. I'm glad I have such great kids (and alumni).
As per the title of this post, I'm so grateful to have wonderful friends (and of course family even though I'm not with them). This afternoon Nicole invited me, Darcie, Cat, Darcie's mom, and Cara over to make perogis. Mmmmmmm. We only made ones filled with mashed potatoes today. Tomorrow we are going to make saurkraut filled one. Mmmmm. I have about 30 perogis from just today, I'll have more tomorrow. I put two large bags in the freezer and one in the fridge. I plan on having perogis for breakfast tomorrow. I'm so excited about it. I had such a great time this afternoon. It makes me happy that I decided to stay here over break. We had great conversation and just an over all good time. We made tons of perogis. If I were to take a guess we probably made about 200 or so. It was so fun. I don't know how many we'll make tomorrow, but it'll be fun.
I think I have an incomplete in my Multicultural Education class, that's a bit of a relief. Now I need to finish my homework.
I've had a bit of a trying week personally. I've felt very low and alone. I called my dad in the middle of the night to talk to him. I've never called my parents in the middle of the night. I've lived alone for 5 years and I've never felt homesick or so alone. It was bizarre. I feel a lot better today. I've dealt with a lot of just emotional baggage, I think everything kinda finally got to me. I've been going so hard for so long, it finally just all caught up. I had a good cry and I've moved on. I've been through a wide range of emotions but I really feel that I need to get it all out. I've always been so strong that it really bothered me to feel the way I did. I think that I've dealt with it and I'm better for it. I definitely have found some of my limits. But I feel at peace now.
I have few concrete plans for break. I'm getting on the ferry on the 27th to go see Tasha. Prior to that I'm going to do some work around my house and just relax. (Maybe play some video games) I also need to do some homework. I don't know what I'm going to do when I go see Tasha besides hang out.
It'll be a great break.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

What a month

Sorry it's been so long since I've written here, a lot has kept me busy. So much has happened in a month. I spent weeks continually getting ready for the concerts. The concerts were last Tuesday and Wednesday, they were awesome. The groups did really well, I was very pleased. The concerts got rave reviews from everyone that attended. It was the biggest turnout we've had for a concert for as I've been here. I've never been hugged by some many people. What a great feeling.
Let's see, what else. I have had college classes kicking my butt. I've had way too much to do on top of everything. I'm going end up having to take one of the classes over again. Two classes with all the homework on top of teaching and everything else has been way too much. My life seems so insane.
I have no idea where I'm going to be six months from now. Honestly I don't really know what's happening in January. I don't know if the threat of termination is still there or not. I'm honestly not worried about it. I'm just going to keep doing my job. There is a small part of me that wants to stay (which is a recent thing). All year I've really felt like I wanted the heck out of here and there is just this tiny part of me that wants to stay. Now I feel a little torn. It feels like the community is finally starting to back me a little too.
I just know everything is going to work out. I know that I'll go wherever I need to be.
Well this is the last week of school before break and I'm staying in Alaska the whole time. I'm spending the first week of break hanging out here with my friends here then I ferry off to Wrangell. I'm going to go see Tasha for a week. Watch out Wrangell here I come. It will be great to see her.
In the last month I've found my self single again, stressed out, and not ready for basketball season (which started this last weekend). Our first games were this past Friday and Saturday. Got to love pep band. I'm definitely not ready. I am ready for a break. I've been thinking about where I want to spend my spring break, I don't have any great ideas. My mom is hoping that I'll come home to visit. We'll see.
I don't know much else. I'm relieved to have the concerts done and I'm ready for break. I've got all the Christmas presents wrapped. I've been enjoying my new tv.
Oh and I had a great Thanksgiving. I hung out with Cara and her family, it was great. Good food and good friends, can't beat it.
Well I think that's about it for now.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Too much travel

What a busy week. I flew to Anchorage on Saturday and had a great time. Rikki and I went to Village Inn, where Bryan works, to celebrate Cara's birthday. We had a good time. Then we wandered around Anchorage some. It was fun. Sunday I went to church while Bryan slept. I made a few contacts, they hope I move to Anchorage. Monday I ran a couple errands and took a nap. When Bryan was up we went to a nice restaurant for dinner and then saw a movie. It was a nice date. Then we wandered around some and then got donuts. The donut place is a 24 hour shop and the donuts are good. On the way back to his apartment we saw a moose strolling down the sidewalk going the opposite direction as us. I didn't notice until Bryan shouted "Moose". Tuesday was pretty laid back as well. It was just nice hanging out with Bryan.
Wednesday morning I left of Chicago. I went out to dinner with my parents and friend Beth. Mmmm Red Robin. Thursday, Friday, and today were spent at the National Orff Conference in Milwaukee. I had a great time. I can't begin to describe how fun it was. I'm currently sitting at the airport waiting to board the plane to go back to Anchorage. I should arrive there about 10:15PM, which is 1:15AM Central time. I've been up since 6AM (CST) so I'm hoping to sleep on the plane. I depart Anchorage tomorrow morning at 8AM, so I will probably be getting up about 6:30AM. I don't get into Ketchikan until about 1PM and the ferry leaves at 4:30PM. By the time I get to Metlakatla, it will be 7PM. That includes one more time change. What an exhausting amount of travel. I might be asleep by 7:30PM tomorrow night. I'm exhausted now. Nothing like going home tired and then having to teach right when I get back. Oh well, that's how it goes.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Watch out here I come

I was overjoyed to get on the ferry yesterday afternoon. I'm currently sitting in Ketchikan, I'll go to the airport in about an hour. I arrived over here yesterday and Megan and I bummed around for a while. This included going out for Thai/Chinese food. Mmmm. We had a good time. Then we just kinda hung out the rest of the night. It was fun. This morning she's going to cheer practice and I'm getting on a plane to go to Anchorage for a few days. The one hour time change meant that I've been up since about 5 this morning. Wednesday I'll be changing time again when I see my family and go to the National Orff Conference. It'll be fun to see them. I love hanging out with my family and my friends. It looks like the only day my friend Beth has off this coming week is the day I fly in, so I'm trying to convince her to ride down with my parents to come pick me up and then we'll all go out to dinner. I think there is Red Robin in my future.
Not only will I be going through some time changes, but some major weather changes. It's been wet and windy in Metlakatla. It's been in the low 30's in Anchorage and in the upper 50's/low 60's in Antioch. The forecast says snow in Anchorage Monday. Weird weather is what I'm used to, I did grow up in northern Illinois. It'll just be nice to be on this trip. I've really been looking forward to it. I'm glad that I get to see Bryan and my family. It's been several months since I've seen them. The only downside is the long hours on a plane. Today I'll spend about 5 1/2 hours on the plane. Wednesday will be about 6 1/2 hours, that's also the same for next Saturday. Then next Sunday is only about 4 1/2 hours. That's only a total of 23 hours on planes. Wow that's a lot.
I don't have much to report about from work. We had parent-teacher conferences Wednesday and Thursday. Those were long days, but they went pretty well. I think I saw a total of 12 parents, which is way more than I saw last year. Nothing really exciting happened I supposed. The high school secretary did put in her letter of resignation though, very sad face. She's a great secretary. I can't believe how she's being treated. It really irks me. Apparently some people missed in their education classes on how secretaries run the world. I was given very good advice in an education class, NEVER get on the bad side of the secretary and the janitor. Definitely words to live by.
On another side note, as I was leaving town I read on the marquee by the school that they are celebrating principal's day on Friday. What the heck is that and why are we celebrating it? The administration isn't that good, well at least at the high school/middle school end of things. I just googled principal's day and it's May 1st, so why are we celebrating it November 13th? I'm glad I won't be there for it. Instead I can be home celebrating my parent's 30th wedding anniversary. Wow they've been married a long time.
Another week down and the coming one should be way more fun. I'm looking forward to it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Happy Time Change?

It's that time again where almost everywhere else in the US changes from daylight savings time. Does anyone know what time it is? My computer and cell phone say one thing and my watch and other clocks say something else. It cracks me up. In case you forgot (or didn't know) Metlakatla doesn't change time. It is kinda nice to not have to reset my clocks twice a year but we are the only town in Alaska that doesn't change. It still amuses me.
I have parent-teacher conferences tonight and tomorrow. Joy (not). I'm sure it's going to be loads of fun, sitting in the high school gym at a table waiting for parents to come talk to me.
I'm excited for Friday. I get on a float plane and get out of here for a week. I fly to Anchorage on Saturday. YAY!!! I get to spend a couple days with Bryan. Then I fly to see my parents and go to the National Orff Conference in Milwaukee. I'm not looking forward to dealing with the time change but I am looking forward to all of the above mentioned things. I'm also excited to see Bill's new apartment. I think moving out was harder for him than it was for me. He'll be living about 10 minutes from our parents. Well that's two kids out of the house. Jamey's still living at home, which I guess works for him. I think my mom likes having some one of her kids living at home. She'll have a hard time when we're all some where else. I'm probably going to be the only one that lives far away. If I were to move to Anchorage, it would be cheaper and easier for me to get back to see my family. I'm strongly considering the move to Anchorage, not because I want to be in "the city", but because it might be a good move for me. It will be easier to be involved in church and a lot of other things. Not to mention being able to see Bryan more often. I've made some great friends here, but I don't think I'm supposed to be here after this school year. I know that no matter what things will work out. I'm not too worried about what happens.
Well now that I've been up for an hour and a half, I might as well do something productive.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Another week about over

The 1st quarter of school ended yesterday. Today is an inservice day. :( I'm not really excited. We are doing something with curriculum mapping, I think. I don't know. No one really knows what we're doing. It seems to be the story of my life, well as far as school is concerned. It's been the goofiest month. I have had a week free of run-ins with the principal. That's a nice thing, even if I do hold my breath every time my classroom door opens. Life isn't fun when you have a bully for an administrator. I don't really feel like the superintendent is doing that great a job either. Oh well. 1/4 of the school year is over with. I'm so glad. I've started my job search for next year. I'm looking for a music job in Alaska. It'll be easier for me to move within Alaska than moving back to the lower 48. I'd like to stay in Southeast, but we'll see what happens. My boyfriend has mentioned several times that I could move to Anchorage, which is where he is. I wouldn't really mind that. It would be nice to see him more often, seeing him every three months has it's challenges. I've concluded that no matter what happens next year, I'll be fine. I'm either going to find a music job and work full-time, or sub/drive a bus and go to grad school. Regardless of what I do, I'll make it.
In non work related news, sort of, it's another frying Friday. My parents bought me a deep fryer for my birthday. Last Friday Jodie, the new high school english teacher, and I deep fried halibut and homemade french fries. It was totally awesome. The deep fryer is probably the BEST GIFT EVER!!! (I probably said that about my KitchenAid when I got that). So we are going to deep fry some food again tonight. There is nothing more stress relieving (at the moment) then cranking up the music and deep frying some stuff. Jodie and I had an awesome time last Friday and I'm sure we'll have a good time this today. I love good food and good company.
One last note about work (I feel that work is mostly tri-tones, sorry music nerd alert) my student did make it to Honors Festival. I'm pretty sure she had a good time. From what I hear everything went well, but everyone noticed that I wasn't there.
I'm off to go work on grades and sit in inservice.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Drama, drama, drama

That should explain it all. All there seems to be in my life is drama. Ok, that's not completely true. My personal life is just wonderful. My friends aren't causing me stress, neither is my boyfriend (thankfully when I talk to him it relieves the stress). The drama is all just work related. I feel there is a witch hunt and I'm the witch. It all started when the high school principal decided I didn't need to go to Honors Festival. He felt I'd be missing too much time. Not only do I have a student going but I have responsibilities there too. Obviously that's not really important. That drama is still going on and Honors fest is next week. I was pretty much told that they felt that it was too hard to find a sub for me. What?????
Last Tuesday I had my first formal observation by the high school principal. What a joy. NOT! At least he sent me an email about it the day before. (I really hope that the elementary principal does my second observation). I had my meeting with the principal on Thursday, because I used a sick day on Wednesday (stupid fever and headache). Apparently I'm too nice and friendly, and I give too much praise. Huh????? *I raised an eyebrow at this* (I really don't get it). Then the conversation turned back to Honors fest (let's beat that one to death some more). He went on about how it is done is Oregon (where he's from) and on and on and on. Wait, I thought I lived in Alaska....when did we become Oregon. When did what works there work here? This is Southeast Alaska, nothing is the same here as it is anywhere else outside of Alaska.
Then went on and on and on about something not related to him at all. Sorry last time I checked I had an elementary principal. So the high school principal has nothing to do with the k-6 end of my job, but he seems to think he does. Then he went on about my numbers and how I couldn't blame the schedule. HELLO!!!! I can blame the schedule, there about 10 students that can't be in the music program during the regular school day because of the scheduling. I see most of these kids after school on my own time. I also explained how I have no feeder program at the elementary and how I've been trying to get one for as long as I've been her, but that's been shot down too. Does he not realize the amount of work that I do as one person. Apparently not. Anyway, then he told me how the school board and administration are not happy with me and if my numbers aren't up by the semester they are going to terminate me. What!?!?! I don't even know where to start with that one. That's a big thing to speak for the school board, considering from what I hear the school board likes me. Also, I can't control my numbers. Hello the schedule!!! I have a year long contract, they can't terminate me without buying me out. (unless I'm doing something illegal I suppose which I'm not) Now if they really want to get rid of me then why don't they just buy me out now and let me go somewhere else. Don't worry the union is involved in this. I'm telling you witch hunt. The only reason I go to my job is to work with the wonderful kids that I see everyday. I really like the students. My job can be a lot of fun, it's also a lot of work. I keep looking for the positive in life. One last little negative note, I don't know if the pep band is going to Regionals or if the band and choir are going to Music Fest.
On a positive note, I'm going to the National Orff Conference in Milwaukee in November. I'm taking my personal days to go because more school drama. I'm going to spend 3 1/2 days in Anchorage visiting the wonderful man in my life that I haven't seen since the beginning of August. Then I fly to Chicago to stay with my family (and drive my car) for the duration of the conference. It's going to be a little hectic but the Orff Conference is always fun. I'm looking forward to the time off. Everything else is going pretty well. We've had some great rainbows here. I've got some great teacher friends and great other friends. I wish I got to see everyone more often. I'm planning a road trip for the summer to drive my car from Illinois to Alaska. By then I will have lived two years without it and I think that I will probably need it by then. We'll see what happens.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Why am I so tired?

I haven't figured out why I'm so tired. I've been getting plenty of sleep. I got up early yesterday morning to finish getting things ready for my birthday. I had some friends over for soup and cake. I made a ton of potato soup. Almost literally. I cut up about 10lbs of potatoes, 3 onions, 1lb of bacon, and 7 cans of evaporated milk. We didn't even make it to the second pot of soup last night so I took a pot of soup over to a friend of mine. I also made bread, pound cake, and red devils food cake. It was awesome. I have lots of leftovers. I'm ok with that.
I don't feel any older, usually. It was funny yesterday when the kids kept trying to guess my age. My birthday got put in the school bulletin, so I think everyone knew. It was hilarious. I had two students yesterday who also had birthdays, so we sang to them. It was also the superintendent's birthday so I took the choir to go sing to him.
It was a fun time.
Work seems to be going well this week. I have tons of stuff I need to get done though. We start pep band rehearsals tomorrow, I have songs to finish arranging for the band, I can't find my copy of Finale, and the list goes on. This also includes that fact that I have homework that I need to do before I get really far behind. Oh wait, I already am behind.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Where did September go?

Holy cow the last month has totally gotten away from me and I don't know where this one is going either. Where exactly did September go? All I can figure is work got into full swing, my classes have kept me busy, and I don't know what else has happened. I go to work everyday and I'd love to say it's better than last year, but I don't know if it is. I still have no elementary curriculum, my schedule is insane, and I'm taking two classes. Well I'm technically taking three classes. Two of them are for my Alaska certificate, the other is a graduate level class that was part of inservice week. So I technically have 9 credit hours, and my classes are starting to kick my butt. I don't know if this was a good idea to take all of this. I'm sure that I'm busier this year than I was last year. I thought your second year of teaching was supposed to be a little easier than your first. I don't think that was ever referring to life here. I'm on my 3rd high school/middle school principal and my 2nd elementary one. I'm not sure how I feel about either. (This is my second year at this school). I hate turning in lesson plans every week. I also really dislike when teachers decide to change their schedule and don't tell you about it till the day that they've decided that they are coming to see you. I'm not that hard of a person to find. I'm always in my classroom and all the teachers have email. Angry face.
Until Thursday of this past week, there has been no phone in my classroom. Thus no way to get a hold of me. It's very exciting and I'm sure not legal. Thursday I was brought a school cell phone, that I now need to keep track of and make sure that everyone who needs my number has it. At least it's better than nothing.
I can't believe how busy and tired I am. Holy cow. Well that's life I guess. I don't even feel like I'm keeping my head above water anymore. I also can't find my copy of Finale and I need to arrange the Christmas music for my band. I also have pep band rehearsal starting this Thursday. It seems to always be one more thing.
I hate to start rumors, but I'm pretty sure that I won't be coming back to Met next year. I'd rather be in a place where the administration supports the program. I don't feel like I have any support at all. I don't know where I'll go yet, but I'd like to stay in Alaska. If I don't find a job up here, I'll probably go to grad school full time. That will be a hard adjustment again. I have lots of faith that things will work out how they are supposed to. Who knows maybe things will change significantly here, I doubt it but hope springs eternal.
Oh and there was the best rainbow Friday. That's the picture up at the top.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Back to the swing of things

Well I'm enjoying a three day weekend (and it's the only one I get till my break for thanksgiving) and exhausted from the first week of school. My schedule is insane, but that's par for the course. I am teaching a total of 13 different classes. I have 9 elementary, high school choir, guitar, middle school band, and high school band. We have two new principals. It started off as a rough week but it is getting better. I had a week of inservice before last week. It's been crazy.
Summer flew by very quickly. As a recap I left Metlakatla on Memorial day and flew into Chicago on the 26th if May. The following Monday I went to Carbondale for a week. Then I was back in Antioch for a week, then off to the east coast for 2 weeks. I was then back in Antioch for about 5 days. I flew to Anchorage on the 3rd of July for a week and a half. I was then back in Antioch for 4 days before heading off to Missouri. After returning back from Missouri there were two weeks left of my vacation. The first weekend in August I drove down to Belleville to see a friend. I left Illinois on the 10th of August and flew back to Anchorage. I was in Anchorage till the 20th when I came back to Metlakatla. I did a lot of traveling. It was a great summer.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Pickles, Pickles, and more Pickles

Oops, it's been a while since I've done an update. I'd blame the fact there is no internet at my relatives homes in Missouri, but I've been back for a week since then. So that doesn't really work. After a few days of being home from Anchorage and seeing Harry Potter, mom and I left for Springfield Missouri. Talk about driving to the middle of nowhere. I've been to some pretty middle of nowhere places but driving down there really seems like driving to the middle of nowhere. We got together with the family and I proceeded to scan about 400 pages of genealogy. (If I never have to scan anything ever again it will be too soon). Scanning was all I did for a day and a little bit. I lost track of how many hours I was scanning. After leaving there we drove to Southern Illinois with a stop at Lambert's. It's the home of the throwed rolls, if you've never been there go, cause it's fun. We got 2 1/2 bushels of peaches to can while in southern Illinois, 2 bushels of Redhavens and 1/2 a bushel of white peaches. Mmmm peaches. After getting that canned, mom decided we really needed to do pickles and other things.
Last night I did 36 pints of dill pickles while mom was working on some kind of sweet pickle that she likes. Apparently no one else likes them that well because there are still a whole bunch of leftovers, or they don't know what to eat them with. Either one. We currently have three batches of pickles going. I need to work on more dill pickles because are the most popular out of the three we are making. I of course don't have my other awesome pickle recipes with me because I hadn't planned on doing pickles this year. I have quite a collection of recipes.
Among all of this, I somehow pulled something in my lower back which makes everything I do slightly painful. Oh well, I will survive. I'm off to make more pickles.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Back to sitting and waiting

I'm back to sitting in an airport. This time I'm in the Anchorage airport waiting to fly back to Chicago. I have a layover in Dallas, TX. It's over a 5 hour layover. I'm going to try to fly standby on an earlier flight, there is a flight leaving at 7:20AM and 7:40 AM. My plane lands in Dallas at 6:23 AM. I'm hoping to make it flying standby. It would be great if I could. It just means that I would have to drive back down to O'Hare to pick up my luggage. The last place I want to be right now is in the airport. I almost didn't go. I'd rather stay in Alaska. It has been an amazing trip. I've been to some glacier, Denali, Flattop Mountain, and an assortment of other places up here. I can't believe how fast the time has gone by. I got here about a week and a half ago and I can't believe it's time to go.
The glaciers were beautiful, Denali was amazing, and I love Alaska. The amount of daylight was a change for me. Where I live, which is about 700 miles south of Anchorage, the sun goes down and it gets dark for more than 3 hours (or less). Being up here and it still being rather light out at midnight was a change.
We'll be boarding the plane in about 15 minutes so I guess it's time for me to wrap this up. Back to the Midwest for a few more weeks then back to Met.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Sitting and waiting

I'm currently sitting in O'Hare airport waiting for my flight to Anchorage. I of course got to the airport 2 hours early because that is what is recommended and got through security in 10 minutes. So now I have (currently) 1 1/2 hours till my flight leaves. I have a layover in Salt Lake, ok I have a run to the next plane because it's only 30 minutes. Then on to Anchorage. It works out to about 9 hours of flying. Nothing like having a hobby.
As a look back. The road trip went well. I enjoyed seeing my friends in Atlanta, cousin in Louisville, and friends in Carbondale. On our trip from Louisville to Carbondale, a truck tire blew and came flying at us. All you heard was a POP and saw tire flying through the air. I got us to the other lane so as to not be hit by the tire, or what was left of it. It is never a dull moment.
Other than that, it's been a pretty relaxed week. I've slept part of the week out in the tent until Bill took the tent to go camping. The last two nights I slept in his room. I think it was a fair trade.
I've concluded the hardest part of being at my parents' house is the lack of my own space. When I used to come home I had my old room to hide out in. Now I have the tent, sort of, or my car, occasionally. It's really hard living out of a suitcase in the living room and not having any where to really run away to. The closest thing I have is the tent. Oh well. It's only three more weeks after I get back from Anchorage. I will survive.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Good morning from Virginia. This morning is it for us here in this state. We will be driving to Kitty Hawk later in the morning. It's currently 6AM and I don't plan on leaving here till probably 10AM. After Kitty Hawk we will drive to Rocky Mount to go see Beth's Aunt Mickie.
Virginia has been fun. We went to Colonial Williamsburg and historic downtown Yorktown on Friday. Saturday was a very lax day. Beth and I went and played out in the York river as the big excitement of the day. The only other really exciting thing was having brownie sundaes last night. Oh and I did buy a new computer yesterday as well. It's the new 13" MacBook Pro. It's awesome.
So far the trip has been going well, it's been going more smoothly than I figured it would. You never know what will happen when you put three women in a car for long periods of time especially when my mother and I are in there.
It's been rather warm here as well. Friday it was 89 with way too much humidity and yesterday it was 95 with some humidity. I forgot what hot and humid was like. Thank goodness for air conditioning.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Good Morning Delaware

Monday (at 3 AM) my mom, friend Beth, and I started on our two week excursion to the East Coast. We stopped in Kirtland, Ohio as our first official stop on the trip. We spent some time there. There is some church history there, thus the reason for the stop. It was kinda cool. I like history, no matter what kind. We continued on through a small section of Pennsylvania, just about the entire state of New York, and stopped for the night in Vermont. New York was beautiful. I've been through most of New York state, but mom and Beth had never been there. I did a majority of the driving that first day.
Day Two - We woke up in the beautiful state of Vermont and hit the road for Ben & Jerry's. The directions weren't as clear as they could have been and we ended up on a scenic highway. There was a sign pointing to Waterbury, the town where Ben & Jerry's is, so we took that way. If you are ever in Vermont, drive Rt 100. It was gorgeous. We saw a couple waterfalls, took some pictures, and enjoyed the drive through the mountains. I'm glad we got off the beaten path and went. I love back roads and this one was amazing. We made it to Ben & Jerry's and took the tour. Nothing like free ice cream. Of course being there you can buy a pint of anything they make. There were flavors I hadn't heard of. Mmmm Ben & Jerry's. After spending too much time in the gift shop and eating a pint of ice cream, for lunch, we started on our way to Maine. It was a beautiful drive through the rest of Vermont and New Hampshire. We drove up to Wiscasset, Maine to a little roadside stand for the best lobster roll in Maine. It was awesome. For those of you that know me, know that I am not a seafood fan. I grew up in Illinois and seafood was anything but fresh. After moving to Alaska, I realized my problem wasn't the seafood, it was the lack of good seafood. The lobster roll and crab cakes we had there were amazing. We then drove out to the ocean, and I played around in it, and then settled for the night.
Day 3 - We explored a little more of Maine, including going to LL Bean. That was fun. The store was huge. We had too much fun there and probably spent a bit too much. We had crab roll from a street vendor that tasted good. Then went to go find a yarn store that mom wanted to see. We made it there but sadly, for mom, they were closed. So we got back on the highway and started our drive down the coast. We drove through Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Conneticut, New York City (well the Bronx), New Jersey, and finally settled for the night in Delaware.
Today we will drive down to Virginia to go see one of my uncles. We'll spend a couple of days there before we head out on the road again. It should be a fun little drive.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Nothing like a hot shower

After replacing the hot water heater, it still wasn't working. Well last night we went to the Spot, it's a drive up burger place with homemade rootbeer and orange soda on tap. It's great. We got home and debated what to do about the hot water problem. I also tried to figure out where everyone was sleeping because we have a too many people, not enough beds problem. Just then mom called out from the bathroom, WE HAVE HOT WATER. What a wonderful statement. Yay hot water. Well I went and slept out in the tent last night. Someone has to try it out before the road trip. It was great. It was also really nice to take a hot shower this morning. Now I just need to figure out what else I'm going to do with the day. I need to finish getting all the directions to the various places we're going on this road trip put together. Well it's something to do.

Friday, June 12, 2009

What spews water all over the cellar.....

If you guessed the hot water heater, then you would be correct. Yesterday I took a shower that was anything but warm, but with 5 people in the house and everything being old, I didn't think too much of it. Well I did wonder why the water wasn't getting warm, but considering I've taken really cold showers before, I just did my thing and got out. It turns out that the water heater had died and was spewing water in the cellar. This is one of those times that having a cellar, which has a sand floor, is a great thing. My parents went and bought a hot water heater last night to remedy the problem. Well after spending hours working on it last night and a little while working on it this morning my dad ran out of time to get it working, so we still have no hot water. I didn't really get the whole story about what isn't working right now, but I believe it has to do with the electrical wiring. Hopefully this problem gets remedied soon, if not, I have friends and relatives who will let me borrow their showers. It's never a dull moment here.
In other news, the road trip is officially (mostly) planned. We depart (my mom, friend beth, and myself) on Monday for Maine. We will be gone for about two weeks. Our stops include Ben and Jerry's, L.L. Bean, Atlanta, a few relatives' homes, and a variety of other places. We will be to 8 states I haven't been to before. I will have been to all of the east coast states by the end of this. Woohoo. It will be a lot of driving and I'll take a lot of pictures, but it should be awesome.
After a few days to recoup and do laundry before I leave for Anchorage for a week and a half. Ok, to help with the confused look on your face....I'm going to go visit friends in Anchorage for 12 days then fly back to Illinois and finish off the rest of my summer break. So yes, I'm flying to Alaska to fly back to Illinois to fly back to Alaska. Just for the record, Anchorage is about 700 miles away from Metlakatla. I leave for that trip on the 3rd of July. I leave to go back to Alaska for the school year on the 10th of August. Are you confused? Don't worry, I still am not sure what time zone I'm in. I've been here for three weeks and I'm still not running on local time, but I'm not really running on Alaska time either. I can't seem to pick a time zone right now. I'll go to bed at about my normal time on Alaska time, which is about 10PM there or 1AM here. Then I'll get up at about 6AM here, which is 3AM in Alaska. Five hours of sleep isn't quite cutting it. I think I may need to take a nap. Oh well.
I will do what I can about posting pictures and news while on the trip. It'll be an adventure.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I haven't died but I feel like a chicken with no head

I promise I'm still here and I haven't completely neglected my blog. I came back to Illinois on Tuesday the 26th of May and the time change is going to kill me. It's only three hours but in the two weeks I've been in Illinois, I've only had one night of normal sleep. I spent almost a week at my parents house where there are less beds then there are people. My parents have been adventurous and slept outside in a tent for several days while I was there. Monday I left for Carbondale for about a week. It's been nonstop since I got here. Well it's been nonstop since I got into the Midwest. I've been to the movies 5 times. I think I was going through withdrawal. I've been out to some restaurants. Yay. I've also been out walking because I don't want to ruin my great weight loss. I also, while being in Carbondale, have gotten a pedicure, cut my hair, and gotten my nails done. Wow I sound like a girl.
It looks like I have a busy summer planned, but I will try to keep everyone up to date.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day, seaweed, and packing

Happy Memorial Day!!!

Today is the last day I'm in Metlakatla for about 2 1/2 months. I get on the ferry this afternoon to go to Ketchikan and then I fly out tomorrow morning. It'll be fun. Right now, I'm avoiding doing some packing and cleaning. I have the last load of laundry in the dryer right now. I can't believe all the things I still need to get done. I have a few dishes to do, a little bit left to pick up in my living room, the trash to take out, and finish up packing. It's not too bad. I'm also going picking seaweed with a friend of mine this morning. We won't be gone too long. I should still have several hours when I get back from that to finish up things.
The last week was pretty great. The last day with students was Wednesday and Thursday for the teachers. I had most of my work done before Thursday so I helped other teachers pack up most of the day. I still can't believe how fast the school year flew by. One year down....a lot more to go, until retirement that it. But I'm not going to think about that. I'm going to have a great time on my travels.
This summer will be spent road tripping, attending weddings, and other wild and crazy things. (like sleep and cooking). It should be a fun summer. This is the first summer since high school that I haven't been working. What a crazy thought.
I better get back to my to do list. I hope to see many of you soon.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

One week left

Here is one view from the top of Yellow Hill.

Just a few more days left of school. The kids are in school till Wednesday and then there is a day of inservice. This past week went by very quickly. It was sea week, so there were a couple of my elementary classes that I didn't see. The 7th grade, and most of the 8th grade, went on a survival trip Thursday and Friday. So my afternoon was pretty easy those two days, I had two students. All week I worked on filing music. All of the band pieces are now in score order and in a spreadsheet. I also figured out what parts I'm missing too. I've also inventoried all the band instruments. I've been trying to put all my purchase requests together too. There is so much to do before school is over. I have a few more organizational things to do at school plus some cleaning at my house. This school year has really flown by, even though at times it felt to have dragged.
Wednesday I hiked up Yellow hill with some friends. It was such a nice day. We took their dogs with us. They ran around. My camera battery died not too long after we got to the top but I still got some great pictures.
Just a week until I get on a plane to go back to Illinois. I'll be back there May 26th till August 10th. I have two weddings to be at and a friend having a baby. It will be a fun summer.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

It's all down hill from here

A week and a half is left in the 2008-2009 school year. It's hard to believe that the school year is almost over. Time flies. Thursday night was the spring concert. The 8th grade band played a couple numbers, it wasn't the best they've ever played but it wasn't bad. The high school choir sang 4 pieces and it's probably the best they've sounded even though rehearsing right before the concert was felt like I'd given them all new music. It was a little rough. Then when it was time for the high school band to perform, the trumpet player couldn't find her music. She was sure she'd left it on the stand but I remember seeing her leave with it. Then she checked her locker but it wasn't there. So there were phone calls made to get her music from home. I had about 15-20 minutes to fill while we attempted to locate music. It felt like the longest time in my life. I told about music fest and handed out awards. We, as a group, stood up and sang An Austrian went Yodeling and Baby Shark for the audience. It got the band relaxed and the audience loved it. It was fantastic. When we finally got the missing music problem settled and the band played, it was probably the best they've ever sounded on the pieces. Sadly my video camera ran out of battery right before the band played. We are going to record Monday so that we have an archive of how well they sounded. It's a great group.
Last week I had gone out the road and explored some. I went to a dock that I'd never been to before and wandered around there. I have some great pictures of jelly fish and star fish that I'll have to post, but it will probably have to wait until I have faster internet.
Thursday I went out the road again to that same dock, the tide was going out so I got to pick up a starfish. Megan, one of the people with me who also happens to be in the 8th grade band, put a starfish on her hand to see if it would stick to her. Instead the starfish tried to bite her. It was really funny. Then we (Kathy, Megan, and I) went to Sand dollar beach. It's a hike to get down there and it's all boardwalks. You don't really realize that you are going down hill until you have to walk back uphill. The beach was awesome. I took my shoes off and walked around in the sand, watching for jellyfish because that can't be a pleasant thing to step on. We looked at all the different sea life. I didn't know that sand dollars were kinda purple when they were alive. I also didn't know there were so many different colored sea anemones. I also have a lot of pictures. There were larger starfish, sea stars, several kinds of crab, among everything else. We explored the beach, it was definitely the highlight. I also never realized all the different colored starfish there were. This is probably because I've only ever seen a live starfish at an aquarium. The beach was worth the hike. When I come back at the end of the summer, it'll be one of the places I'll have to go again.
I'm going to go enjoy my Saturday. I have to get ready to go to someones house. I'm watching 3 of her kids this weekend. It should be fun.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

I survived

Music Fest was very awesome. We spent about 29 hours, or so, on the ferry getting up to Sitka. Some of the scenery was amazing. I just continue to enjoy the area I live in. We arrived in on Wednesday evening. We went straight from the ferry to a meeting in the auditorium, which was followed by a directors meeting. I sent my kids, with my chaperone, to the hotel while I went to my meeting. It's a good thing too, we didn't finish our meeting till almost 11PM. It was a long meeting. I checked into the hotel and went to bed, I woke up at about 5:30AM. There are times, I hate being a morning person. We left the hotel a little late, so we didn't get to the event right at 8AM, not that that was a big deal. I went to go do a few director things, like turning in scores for our adjudication that night, and left my students to watch solo and ensembles with the chaperone. One student snuck out and proceeded to talk on her cell phone for 20 minutes in the bathroom, only to get caught by another director. Needless to say, her phone got taken away for the rest of the trip. Let me tell you how popular I was. Thursday afternoon we had our dress rehearsal on the stage in the auditorium. It was pretty awful. It sounded more like I had handed my students brand new music than music that we had been working on. After getting through that, we had a rehearsal, at the students' request. That went a lot better. That evening was our performance on the stage, it went very well. There were still plenty of times where parts weren't really together, but I'm still very happy with their performance. All I have to say was, that stage was a bit intimidating. Friday was another long day of solos and ensembles, clinics, and performances. We left a little early because my students were falling asleep in the auditorium. On our way out we ran into Tasha, who was upset so we talked and my students and I sang An Austrian went Yodeling and Baby Shark for her. It was hilarious. We got her to smile. Saturday was similar to the days before except my chaperone left to go visit with some of his family and I was left with one sick child sitting in the van (and throwing up near it) and the rest of my students in the auditorium. I spent the entire time running back and forth checking on them. I also left at one point to go get my sick student Pepto and sprite. After the last performance, there was another director's meeting, I left a little early because I had to get everyone down to the ferry. In that time my chaperone reappeared. We drove down to the ferry and loaded. Then everyone got ready for bed. I think we were all pretty exhausted. That was a 24 hour ferry ride. We overnighted in Ketchikan at a pretty nice hotel, which there was a miscommunication and they didn't move all of our room reservations to the correct day, they had only moved mine. So then we kinda scrambled to find rooms for everyone, but it all worked out. I went out and got breakfast in the morning only to come back to the hotel, miss a step, and hurt my ankle. This is not the ankle I sprained back in February, it's the other one. I'm happy to say that my ankle isn't broken, but it sure hurts. I went to the clinic, they said it wasn't broken, but didn't give me much more information than that.
I figured it out, we spent a total of 56 hours, or so, on the ferry, had two 14 hour days, one 13 hour day (which was followed by getting on the ferry), and slept on floors for two nights. It was a long, exhausting trip, but it was great. The rest of the year is pretty much all down hill from here. We have about 3 week left and a week after that I fly home. It should be fun.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Another week has come and gone

It's been another week and I don't know where it's gone. Time flies. I'd say when you're having fun, but some of that is debatable. I've spent a lot of time out walking. It's been great. Last Tuesday I even went walking twice, so I probably walked about 7 or 8 miles. I usually walk between 3 and 4 miles when I go walking. I've enjoyed my time outside. Wednesday I made Buttermilk Spice Cake with cream cheese frosting. It was pretty good. It was my first adventure making a spice cake. It was a big hit at school. Friday I took the day off and in the afternoon went to town. I was singing Saturday at a church thing, which was fun. It was also nice to attend a full church service on Sunday. While I was in town, I stopped by the music store to pick up some kazoos for my high school band. It's my solution to practicing on the ferry. They were pretty excited when I handed them kazoos yesterday in band. They have come such a long way on this music. We had an extra rehearsal last night in preparation to leaving today. The high school band is meeting in my classroom this morning to load the van and get on a ferry. We go to from here to Ketchikan, then have a couple of hours before we get on the ferry that is taking us to Sitka. We'll be on that ferry for 29 hours. I'm pretty sure we'll be picking up most of the other schools on the way. It'll be crazy on the ferry. We'll get into Sitka tomorrow evening. It should be fun.
For any one wondering, 38 days till I'm back in Illinois. I promise I'm not counting down.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Pancakes, Easter, and Mondays

I survived standardized testing with only minor scarring. Friday was an early release day. Woohoo!!! I fell asleep on my couch after school. I can't say that I did anything too exciting, but the weather was great so I went walking again. I've been walking most days. I even wore shorts this week. I think I wore shorts on Thursday. I don't totally remember. Friday night I went out walking with some friends dogs. I got pulled around town for the first 20 minutes, after that, they settle down. It was awesome. Saturday I worked on cleaning out my mud room. I have everything out of there that doesn't need to be there. Of course that I haven't finished putting it all away, so it's sitting in my living room. Saturday night I made 14 batches of pancake mix, just the dry ingredients. Then I went to church where we were having a get together that involved eating breakfast for dinner. Hence the pancake mix. I made pancakes and waffles. I still have some mix left over. It was pretty fun.
Easter was a beautiful sunny day. I went out walking in the early evening. I didn't do anything really special that day. I did however make banana bread. It turned out really well, but most things I bake turn out well. Later that evening Nicole dropped off some leftovers at my house from Easter dinner. I gave her a loaf of banana bread. I think that's a fair trade.
I took banana bread into work today. I got the missing ingredients to make buttermilk spice cake. It sounds pretty good. I'll probably make that tomorrow among doing other things. I went walking twice today, both times for about an hour. Not too much else exciting is going on. The music for Music Fest is coming along well. I got a few more things put away this afternoon and some laundry done. Now I just need to do one more load of laundry and a batch of dishes and I should be good to go before Music Fest. I should probably also find a home for some of this stuff taking over my living room. Oh well. I always did need projects to do.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Standardized Testing...Ugh

That alone should be self explanatory. I'm sitting here on day 3 of standardized testing, bored out of my mind. I've been proctoring testing in the special education area. So I've sat and watched 3 students take tests for 3 days. Today, thankfully, is the last day that I have to proctor. It doesn't make sense to me that a teacher who teaches k-12 should proctor test and have a sub for 3 days. It's three days of rehearsal time that is lost. It is also 3 days where they have to pay me and a sub for me. I could be doing productive things in my classroom versus sitting here. There is admittedly time when many of my elementary classes are testing, since grades 3-10 are testing, but I could be working in my classroom. Heaven knows there are plenty of things for me to do there. I can't exactly haul my stuff up to the testing site in order to work on it. Then I have a sub for the whole day because the students are given all day to finish the testing if they need it. Well the first day one student needed about 15 minutes past lunch, yesterday they were all done an hour before lunch but had to stay with me, and today I think they'll all be done before lunch too. That means all afternoon I have nothing I'm supposed to be doing. Tuesday I went home early because there was nothing for me to do. Yesterday I wrote the itinerary for Music Fest and then wandered around with nothing to do. I don't know what I'm going to do today. I might just go home again. The weather is nice and I don't have any work to do that doesn't involve being in my classroom. It would be very awkward for me to show up to my classroom with the sub there. It's not exactly like I could just go in my office and work either. I shouldn't complain but it just seems kinda backwards, but welcome to the education system. I don't know if anything ever really makes sense.
Yesterday the weather was awesome so I went walking and went to the beach. Today the weather is fantastic again. It's sunny and warmish. I guess you could consider 45 degrees warm. This is Alaska after all and it's only April. Sadly though the weather prediction for about the next week is rain, rain, and more rain. At least we've gotten two really nice days.
Just about a week left until I leave for music fest with my band. (All 9 of them). They are coming along well on the music. Next week will be a big push to run through the pieces and fine tune some things. We have one piece that we haven't run completely through yet and I'm a little nervous, but I'm sure it'll be fine. I have a good group of musicians. We're performing Dona Nobis Pacem, Thundercrest, and Symphonic Overture for Music Fest. I don't know that I've ever performed the first two, but Symphonic Overture I played at my community college. It's completely possible for us to do it. I'm taking it a little under tempo because 152 beats per minute is a little fast, we're taking it at about 130-140 bpm at the opening. It works. It sounds pretty good. We'll see how it goes. We'll go out there and do our best. That's all I can expect.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I can't believe it's April

Where has the year gone? I really can't believe it's April already. April Fools day started with a great prank by Mother Nature. I woke up to snow. So much for spring. The weather after that hasn't been too bad. We had a couple of days of sunshine. I went walking.
Nothing really exciting has happened this week. The pieces that the high school band are working on are coming along well. We have two weeks till we leave for music fest, we've still got a lot of work to do. I lose three days of rehearsal this week because of testing. I also have to proctor testing. I'm not thrilled. They are hiring a sub for me for three days so I can proctor testing. It makes little sense since there are teachers whose students will be testing and the school wouldn't have to find an all day sub for, but they aren't proctoring testing. This doesn't make sense. Oh well. There isn't much I can do about it now.
I don't think there is much else going on. Today I'm going to have a baking day. I'm probably going to make cinnamon rolls, pineapple banana upside down cake, and brownies. I have a couple of places to go today that I'm taking food to, thus the baking. I guess I'd better start.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Another week down.

Why is it that the first week back from a break seems to be the hardest? Perhaps it's because we all want another week of break. Maybe it's the fact that the kids just had a week of break and don't want to be at school either. Whatever it is, this past week was like that. Luckily the week flew by. There were also parent-teacher conferences. I was only at one day of those because I did one day of elementary. I didn't see many people. Monday however, the stereo in my classroom bit the dust. I'm waiting for a third "appliance" to die on me. I already had the fridge and now the stereo. What's next? It makes it rather difficult to have music in a music classroom when there is no way to play the music.
I found out this past week that when all of the other classrooms are getting moved around for the remodel, I won't be. That's a good thing to hear, because it would take a lot of effort to move me. My classroom has soooooooo much stuff. Besides, who wants to deal with the amount of noise that I cause. We did the hokey pokey this week in most of my elementary classes, it was awesome. I've done some more "games" recently. My older classes also played a game called what's my instrument. They have the name of an instrument taped to their back and they can only ask yes or no questions to figure out what it is. They seemed to have a good time. Now if only I were getting them ready for the concert. I have so much to do in a short amount of time.
Three weeks till music fest. Once again there is a lot of work to be done. I think I may need to take a day off to work on things.
Saturday I went to town, as in Ketchikan. I borrowed a friends car so I could run some errands. I needed to go buy a new stereo for my classroom, don't worry I'm getting reimbursed for it. I also really needed to do a good grocery shop. I bought tons of groceries. I still don't have everything put away. I think I'll have enough food for the rest of the year. Ok not really, but close.
Sunday, after getting home from church, I made sauerkraut. I remember making it with my parent several times, but doing it by myself, was far more labor intensive. I know it'll be great when it's done, I just have to be patient and let it do it's thing. Last night I also went to a Singspirational. I got invited by a few of the people I know. It's held about 4 times a year and it's rotated between the 4 bigger churches. It was interesting to say the least. There were a couple times where I started to laugh. I've never been to any kind of "revival" but wow this was really different from what I'm used to seeing at church. It might as well have been a revival. All there was was singing and it was all religious. It was far bizarrer than anything I've ever experienced. I'm having a hard time thinking of words to describe it. They are having another one in May, I think I may stay home from that one. Or I'll be back in Illinois, either way I think it'll be better if I miss it. What a strange experience.
It's never a dull moment here.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I have a fridge. I have a fridge. I have a fridge. (Dances around singing). I have a fridge. I have a fridge.

Woohoo after two long weeks I have a functioning fridge. YAY!!!!!!

Did I mention I have a fridge?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Regionals, Spring break, and snow

Oops, it's been a while since I wrote on my blog. It's due temporary insanity, better known as life here in southeast Alaska.
I made it through Regionals with only minor scarring. I took 4 band students and we had a great time. I haven't played that much in a long time. I rocked out on the tuba, the trumpet and the COW BELL. My students think I'm weird. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a video up on youtube of me singing Hey Baby when the Sitka band played. I don't care. I'm weird and I know it. I had a pretty good time. I'm looking forward to taking my band, all 11 of them, to music fest in about a month. It'll be a blast.
Upon arriving home from regionals, I discovered that I'd run out of heating oil. Oops. I borrowed a space heater from a family from church and made sure I ordered more heating oil Monday. I also discovered that my freezer had stopped working. Isn't that exciting? Monday I called the gas station to order heating oil and my landlord to tell them about the freezer. Meanwhile, the fridge section decided it didn't want to work either. Tuesday, I locked myself out of my house and had to walk up to my landlords to get a spare key, walk home, unlock the door, and walk the spare key back to my landlord. I turned the fridge on the coldest setting, it's almost keeping things cold. My week kinda went on like that. Finally Friday we had our first day of spring break. I went to Ketchikan to look through the music library at the high school. I had a great time hanging out. I spent the night over at the band director's house. She and her husband have a 3 year old who is adorable. It was fun. I was supposed to head up to Wrangell on Sunday but Tasha called me and she had influenza. So we decided it was best if I didn't go up to visit her. Instead Saturday afternoon I went back to the island.
Everyday this week it has snowed. It's currently snowing. I know I live in Alaska but really, it's the first day of spring. And you can ask anyone here, this isn't typical. Yesterday it was nice enough to go do somethings outside. I've spent the week kinda cleaning my house. Kinda. My kitchen is clean, my living room is almost done, and the rest of the house isn't too bad. Yesterday afternoon a couple of friends showed up at my house and said they were there to see if I wanted to go to a party. It was awesome. We had good food, good company, and we played some fun games. We played dominoes, pit, and catch phrase. It was hilarious. I didn't take my phone with me because it's not that important. I missed 6 text messages and about 5 phone calls. Oh well. I also came home to a note from my landlord. I called them because they had checked the fridge and could find anything wrong with it. I explained that everything in my freezer was now freezer burned and my fridge was on the coldest setting and wasn't keeping things cold. Hopefully that's enough to get a new fridge. But with the weather being the way it is right now, I don't see it happening today. I appreciate the layed back attitude of the island but somethings need to have more of a sense of urgency. Oh well. I've lived two weeks now with a fridge on the fritz, what's a couple more days.
I know, I have a weird outlook on things. It's not the end of the world.
So this entire break, I've gone to bed at about my usual time and I've slept in to about 7 o'clock. This is of course after waking up at 5:30AM and rolling over and going back to sleep. My body doesn't know what vacation is anymore. That's sad.
In other news, I have my plane tickets to come home for the summer. Two months of me terrorizing the lower 48. It'll be fun!!!!
Oh and I finally (after 8 months) got my two bookcases together and painted.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Brownies, fry bread, and.....

My bruises and ankle are healing well. My black eye is almost gone. It's only been two weeks. And what a busy two weeks it's been. To recap.... they handed out contracts, and yes I got one, we had a hazing incident which resulted in 5 suspended kids, two suspended coaches, lots of rumors, clearer traveling policies, and new responsibilities for me and the pep club advisor. What else has happened, oh the town has been in a bit of an uproar too because of it all (not my contract). Now Bristol and I are the teachers in charge of the cheerleaders. More Bristol than me because I'm pretty busy with pep band. And I've heard about it from Bristol ever since.
In other news, I've just about finished filing all the music in my music library. Go me. I need another filing cabinet, that's my current hold up. The second round of tie dye turned out great too. This coming week is Regionals, which is in Ketchikan and I will be gone from Tuesday till Sunday for it.
Other than the above mentioned things, life has been pretty calm. I made homemade brownies yesterday. Very awesome. Today I visited some friends and we had fry bread. Yum.
I guess the biggest news of all is in regards to my contract. Well as I said above, they offered me a contract for next year and....(I know the suspense is killing you).....I signed it. I will be here next year. My band kids are elated.
I plan on being back in the state of Insanity, I mean Illinois for a good chunk of the summer. I should be home all of June and July. This means road trip!!! and the county fair, and a the zoo with my adorable cousins, and I could go on forever. It'll be a fun trip and I even plan on doing some canning.
Well it will be exciting.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

a few pics.

Tie Dye shirts. Aren't they awesome.
My ankle. It's more black and blue now.
I love my black eye, it also looks worse now too.

Never a dull moment...

Oh where to begin...

We still don't have our regular ferry back. It's been two weeks. Oh well. Today was our last home basketball game. Woohoo!!!!!!!!!! School is going well. Two weekends off till Regionals.
Well Thursday the 5th we tie dyed shirts in band class. Yay pep band shirts. It was fun. I think all the students had fun and the shirts turned out well. We're going to do it again soon. I can't say it's the most educationally sound thing I've ever done, but it's a nice change of pace. They've been the talk of the town. It seems like everyone wants one. I'm not going to complain. Saturday the 7th we did a 50/50 raffle and raised over $600, which half of that we got to keep. We're going to order some music, I think. Oh we also had another inservice day that day too so I was at school from 7:30AM till 10ish PM. Long day
This week was pretty uneventful until Friday. I took a "sick" day on Tuesday. It was nice to have a break. I had ideas of things I was going to get done. I didn't do any of them. Oh well. Friday was exciting though. I was walking back to my classroom from the high school and I hit a patch of loose gravel. I proceeded to sprain my ankle and go plummeting head first to the ground. I landed ever so not gracefully. Luckily no one saw me. I skinned a knee and elbow, scrapped up a hand, and hit my cheek on the ground. I now have a black eye from the impact on my face. I proceeded to get back up and go to my classroom. I didn't fill out the accident report until the end of the day. They made me go to the clinic. All that accomplished was getting me poked and telling me I didn't break anything. No xrays. No real checking to make sure I didn't do anything worse. I didn't have a black eye when I went in there but I certainly do now. It happens. I might have to go back because my principals are worried that it looks so bad. All I have to say is I'm talented.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Absolutely Hilarious...sort of

From the high school doors. Thanks Nicole
Up closer. Thanks again Nicole

Well it's been another fun week here in the middle of nowhere, or at least an interesting one. Now school hasn't been really exciting expect that Monday I found out that I was getting observed the next day. This wouldn't be too bad except it's my worst class. Luckily they were well behaved. I got a good evaluation. I have another one this coming week, but it'll be the high school band.
Pep band has been pretty good. We're sounding decent and are having a good number of students show up. I even ordered the pep band shirts. I've also applied for some grants. I can hope we get some money.
Friday was an exciting day as shown by the pictures above. Thursday night / early Friday we had high winds with gust over 80 mph. About 1AM while the police were making their rounds, they noticed that the ferry wasn't there. The line had snapped and it was going out to sea. It grounded on a small rocky island in the bay. You could see it from the school. By the time school started, the entire district was buzzing about the ferry. Finally just before high tide they got the ferry off the rocks, with the help of some tug boats. Needless to say we are without the regular ferry for awhile. They towed it into Ketchikan so that it can be repaired. Now we are down to one ferry run a day by the inter island ferry. So if you want to leave you have to spend the night in Ketchikan and take the ferry back the next day. Hopefully they get the ferry fixed soon. It's not like I have any plans for leaving the island anytime too soon. I still have two more weekends of basketball games. It's always an adventure here.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What a weird week...

When I wrote last, I stated that I had no heat. It was funny because after I had finished that entry I was looking up the weather and it said it was 54 degrees outside. I was a bit skeptical so I went outside, in my pajamas. It was 54 degrees outside. Holy cow. The sun wasn't even up yet. It turned out to be about 57 degrees out for the day. Of course that evening it dropped down into the 30's. It was so odd to have a day that warm just randomly. So that none of you are too jealous, it has stayed in the thirties, maybe low forties, since then. The sun has been coming up earlier too. I think it was up by 9 AM, weather channel says it was up at 8:49 AM.
Going back, I finally got heat on Tuesday. It was the earliest I could get heater oil delivered. The first time I bought heater oil it was $4.78 a gallon, this time it was $3.65 a gallon. I can't believe how expensive it still is. Needless to say, I only got 55 gallons. I, of course, can't predict the weather so I don't know how long that will last. 100 gallons lasted me 3 months and we had some really cold days. Not nearly as cold as other parts of Alaska or the rest of the country, but cold for here.
Work has been about the same. I'm down to 11 students in high school band and 6 in high school choir. I think I'm getting a new student in choir. Elementary is still going relatively well. I need to take a day off to work on writing curriculum. I don't really like writing curriculum. I feel like I'm reinventing the wheel. For some reason my administration doesn't see how it's a problem to not have curriculum. Of course they didn't give me a lot of guidelines for what they want to see out of the program either. My elementary principal called me into his office to tell me he really hopes I come back next year. He feels that I'm a good teacher and that I'm doing a good job. I told I'm sitting on the fence. I also stated that if things didn't change here, there was no way I'd stay. I explained that the district needs to commit to having a music program. That consists of funding it and supporting it. I don't have a budget, a repair budget, curriculum, a lot of working instruments. I did apply for a grant yesterday though. If we get it, it will be for up to $10,000 for instruments. That would get me between 3 and 12 instruments, depending on what instruments we purchased. Speaking of instruments, I started 6th grade band during their general music class. It's a lot to take on but they really want to play. I also have offered to let 5th and 6th graders come in afterschool for band instruments. I've had a good showing. I'm really impressed. It's been a week and we're really comfortable on three notes.
7th and 8th grade band are going about the same. I got two more 8th graders. I now have 9 in my 8th grade band. That group is doing well. 7th grade is still about the same, but I no longer have all the 7th graders on Fridays. I only have half of them, and its the better group.
In other news, I didn't have enough people show up for a pep band this weekend. Oh well. I'm also finally getting paid for pep band. Woohoo. I also have sent out music to a couple of band directors for pep band for regionals. I'm excited because there will be at least two other schools combining with us, there is a possibility of three schools. I think it's fantastic. We're going to be one rocking pep band. I'm really excited.
One last thing, I was sitting at home last night, minding my own business when there was a knock on the door. Now who in the world would be knocking on my door at 9PM. I opened the door to about 8 students. Obviously there isn't a lot to do in this town, I wasn't the first teacher they stopped to bug. When I finally got the door shut, they went around and knocked on my windows, I just ignored them. The eventually went away. Nothing like living in a small town on an island.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I don't wanna go to school.

Happy Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. It's another holiday that all the government buildings are closed here but we don't have the day off of school. I don't actually have a day off until March 13th. I don't have a saturday off for 4 weeks. Woo hoo, 4 more weeks of home basketball games, then two weekends off, and it's regionals. Nothing like being the pep band director.
Speaking of pep band, it's been going better. The first weekend was a little rough but this last weekend went really well. I've neglected to hand out the Star Spangled Banner (really I just forgot and it's on my list of things to do this week) so I've sang it the last two weekends. My best performance was probably last Friday. I got so antsy waiting for the veterans to march down the court, that when I started it, it was kinda high. Not too high that I couldn't sing it, but it was higher than I had intended to sing it. It left a lot of people in awe. Several people came up and talked to me after the game about it. I didn't know that being able to sing the National Anthem here would almost make you a celebrity. It has also begun to bring all the single guys out of the woodwork. I wish they'd go back. Just between Friday and Saturday, I've been hit on and asked out more than twice. I've been stopped on the street for people to talk to me. Maybe I'll just stay in my house and hide there forever.
Wait....hiding in my house won't work. Not just because I have to work, but also because half of my house isn't currently heated. I got home Saturday from the basketball game to find that I was running out of heating oil, which meant the heater in my living room wasn't happy. At least the heat in my bedroom works, because that's electric. Calling the gas station is on my list of things to do today. Hopefully I can get a ride out there to pay for it so that they'll come today and put heater oil in the tank. All things considered, a hundred gallons has lasted me since the middle of October and we did have quite a cold spell.
This weekend, the weather has been great. It's been sunny and about 45 degrees. So yesterday I went for a walk, finally three hours later I got home. It was a great walk. Then I was home about an hour and I walked for another 45 minutes or so. All and all, I probably walked about 4 hours yesterday. Not too bad.
Well I think I'm going to get ready to go to work because sitting in a chilly house really doesn't appeal to me. I think it's 50 degrees in my house.

Saturday, January 3, 2009



Well I had a pretty bad dent in the school tuba so I took it home over Christmas to have it repaired. Dad and I took it up to Badger State Repair in Elkhorn, WI. They looked at it and said, we can have it for you tomorrow. What!! Wow that's fast. They really good though. That was Monday. Tuesday morning they called and told me that I could pick up the tuba anytime. Holy smokes.