The Space Capsule

Friday, October 31, 2008
Last week my washing machine burned out - literally - my house smelled like burning rubber for a couple of hours. Before I left for Iqaluit a new one was installed... I have finally found the time to do laundry .... although, for a while I did think I was actually going to be launching it into orbit.

Thanks Kara and Hunter!

The other day, Kara posted about Hunter's favorite meal and of course, as some one who has more soup than she knows what to do with and doesn't always want a sandwich with it, but wants something "bready", I inquired about getting the recipe for the dumplings - yes, I know mom. I could have just paid more attention to when you made them too ... but I had more important things to concentrate on at the time :-).

Lucky me Deiss decided to share the recipe with the intertubes and I gave it a crack. Well I managed to fark it up right off the bat. I wasn't paying attention to which measuring cup I was using (since I seem to have lost my 1/2 cup one) and managed to add in 1 cup of milk instead of 1/2. No biggie most people would say, just take the extra milk out .. well.. I already had my egg in the bowl. What is a person to do? I made a double batch of dumpling dough.

I wasn't too sure about this whole dumpling process - I figured well, if I do manage to really mess it up.. it's not like I'm losing too much.. just a can of soup. Luckily for me, the cooking gods must have been watching over me as the end product was delicious! I'm going to see how it works with chicken noodle soup over the weekend ....

You would think a Gal from the Maritimes ...

Monday, October 27, 2008
would know how to clean and prepare a fish. Right??

Sadly, no. When I was younger I would run from the sight of a fish (salmon, trout .....) being "prepared". I don't know why exactly, but I have a feeling it probably had to do with the idea that it just wasn't some anonymous fish that was being dissected in my kitchen, but one from my fish tank.

So what does a gal from the Maritimes do when she has no idea on how to prepare a fish that she was given on the way home from voting? Visit the next door neighbours and hope they can help (I figured yes since there is a Newfie living there ... but the Newfie didn't participate in this event) .... the star of the night? Darcy.

I'll let the pictures do the talking. Darcy will have more over on his site if they ever get up loaded.

Darcy volunteered to do the deed on this fish .... or with this fish?

Now I've got my fishie nicely cut up into steaks for cooking for the week - yummy!

Chillaxin' in Iqaluit

Sunday, October 26, 2008
Our PI conference ended earlier this evening. And what a weekend it was. Tons of information to bring back to my community ... and even some new twists that 90% of us were not aware of (like filling out the proper leave forms). I can only imagine the amount of photocopying I am going to have to do when I get back to Arctic Bay to get ready for the passing on of the knowledge.

The weather down here in Iqaluit has been pretty schizophrenic as well. Yesterday, it warmed right up into the plus side of the temperature and all of the snow and ice on the roads was gone - it was beautiful out! Great walking weather - wet, but great. Today ... well... it started out ok ... a little dank, but the forecast didn't seem to bad. Then around 10:15 when we had our nutrition break, the snow started .... and didn't end until much much later on in the night (like 7:00pm). It was pretty nasty with visibility being practically zero. Many flights out were canceled due to the weather. Now, at almost 11:00pm, the sky is clear, the fog has lifted, and with any luck this weather will hold and I will be able to return to Arctic Bay tomorrow.

Now, i am just sitting back relaxing after a wonderful supper of homemade chili prepared by our co-ordinator and staring at the candy apple I got at the Northmart ... yummy - this will be sooo good on Halloween :-) (my little treat to me since I can't eat any of the candy I'm handing out to the kids ... that would just be wrong ... right??)

Made it to Iqaluit!

Saturday, October 25, 2008
Whoo-hooo was yesterday one crazy adventure!

After finally getting to the airport and getting all checked in, a freak windstorm / blizzard decided to sneak over the mountains and engulf us in a crazy cross wind blowing snow in every direction. And you also know it's good in the North when both the co-pilot and the flight attendant come into the terminal 30 minutes before we are scheduled to take off and announce "Ok, we either leave in the next five minutes, or none of us are getting out of here!". I don't think I have ever seen such a quick embarkment and take off of a plane in the North. And how strong were those winds? Well, let's just say I almost went flying down the tarmac.

We did make it into the air just fine, a little bit of turbulence here and there, but nothing too out of the ordinary for flying in a turboprop plane in the North. And then came the news that the weather in Iqaluit was looking pretty dismal too. Well, the worst that could happen if we couldn't land in Iqaluit is that we are routed around to Kuujjuaq and then ... well, who knows. But, we did land in Iqaluit! Unfortunately, some of our other conference attenders weren't so fortunate as their planes just didn't take off at all. With any luck, they should be arriving today.

It's been a pretty relaxing time so far here in Iqaluit. Wandered around town during the "blizzard", picked up a book to read, walked around in the NorthMart, met up with some of the other teachers and a couple of other stranded people for supper....

It's off to find some breakfast now, as soon the talks for the day will begin.

You know you have enough toilet paper when...

Thursday, October 23, 2008
You still have 7 rolls (double rolls at that... so like 14 in reality) left from last years sea-lift ..... and 192 that you still haven't unpacked from your current sea-lift.

Yes everyone, I have an abundance of TP in my apartment. It is just sitting there in the two big boxes that it arrived in, waiting to be dived into (I'm still working on the remnants of the last package of TP from last year's sea-lift ... and probably won't even get into the new stuff until maybe the end of November ... if not December).

So, maybe it's just because I haven't posted anything "north" related in a while, or perhaps its all of the cold meds that I am taking right now... or maybe it's just because I am giddy that I am heading to Iqaluit for the weekend (unless I am stranded in Arctic Bay due to weather) .... for a conference - yes, I am working this weekend.

So readers, I put this challenge out to you - what is the most creative use of TP that you can come up with. Now remember, I don't have any trees up here..... so TP'n the forest isn't an option .... nor is TP'n the poop truck :-) ... or perhaps, Jen if you are reading this and are up to it ... we could make this the next Nunavut Nonsense Challenge? The prize? I'll send you a pack of TP out of the box :-)

They're Pinky and the Brain .... Pinky and the Brain

Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures
see Sarah Palin pictures

Oh, American politics ... how you provide me with so much entertainment - and to all of you out there that have all of this time to come up with these, thank-you for making my day.

John McCain totally Looks Like Freaky Cat

John McCain, republican, Freaky Cat
see famous look-a-like faces

Haven't posted in a while

I know, I know, it's been a while. I've been pretty busy with school over the last couple of days and haven't had a chance to post anything as of late.

Last night was our High School graduation where we had 5 graduates. My camera battery was dead so no pictures.... but Darcy did a good job at documenting the event.

Hmm... what else, what else... oh we got snow, snow and more SNOW. And there is a nice layer of ice forming on the bay now. Oh, and it is now still dark out when I walk to school in the morning ... next time I walk to school when it is light won't be until March.

This Friday (weather permitting) I am flying out to Iqaluit for a PI conference and then back to Arctic Bay on Monday. So it should be a fun weekend filled with meetings, training, chatting with fellow colleagues and good food.

I don't think much else has happened up here since my last update... so that's all for now :-)

Alright ... now I can head into space

Thursday, October 16, 2008
Finally! One of space's hardest problems have been solved! ... and this now means I can now consider being an astronaut as an employment alternative :-) A group of ingenious students have solved the space coffee problem. Now astronauts can have real coffee with their reconstituted bacon and eggs for breakfast.

Because i've really got nothing else to post about

Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Well .... nothing much to post about tonight. Federal election was last night, and we gathered ... well myself, Darcy and Monty, together to watch the hilarity unravel on National television. I gave up watching the results around 12:30 AM ... there was still one seat to be decided on .... and guess where that seat was? Darcy on the other hand, apparently stayed up - the social studies trooper that he is - until the bitter end when all 308 seats were finally spoken for. Yeah, I wasn't gonna do that. Harper got his minority ... that was enough politics for me for the night.

And now, that brings me to tonight .... here's some videos ... cause I really have nothing to post about. i've just been sitting here watching 24 Season 2 ... need to get refreshed in all of my 24isms before the season premier in November. Long live Jack!

Oh, btw, Mom, if you are reading this, I didn't leave a copy of The March of the Penguins down south did I?

Hip-Hop in Arctic Bay ... The Dance Battle

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pictures from Saturday's Dance Battle (Hip-Hop workshop wrap-up). More pictures of the event to follow soon.

Hip-Hop in Arctic Bay ... Photos from Day 4

Hip-Hop in Arctic Bay ... Day 4

Saturday, October 11, 2008
Saturday ..... and it's early in the morning for many kids / youth up here in the North. Final practice began this morning at 9:00 am. There were many tired looking bodies in the gym this morning, but they all got energized pretty quickly once warm-up got running.

Myself ... well, I had all of the intentions of being there at 9:00am to do the warm up with the crew ... except I fell asleep drinking my morning cup of coffee while watching the news before I was to start hiking down the hill. I made it there for 10:15 am ... and got many "You're late Kendra"'s from the group. I laughed, and told them "I know, I'm late ... what-ch'a gonna do about it?" .. I had to do a bunch of six-steps as punishment - lol.

Morning practice went smoothly - all of the groups were practicing their routines and getting them down pat for the big night. The pressure was on everyone - but they were all laughing and having a great time. It was amazing seeing how much they have all improved in their movements and routines from the first day until now. Everyone kept practicing and going strong until lunch break and all came back ready to go again.

After lunch there was some large group practices of the basic movements that they all learned and some additional finalization of routines. The crews also all got together for crew photo's and we had a large cypher to check out many of the routines that were going to be presented / performed this evening.

Today's "talk" revolved around abuse, it's consequences, and suicide (prevention and healing after the fact). It was a fairly deep talk this afternoon and not much was said by the listeners, but I think the messages did get across to them all. During this time, a couple of us volunteers went out to get the gift bags ready for Buddah and his crew leaving them (Buddah, CFM's and the participants) some space for the "talk".

More details from tonight's battle and pictures of the day to follow.

Hip-Hop in Arctic Bay ... Photos from Day 3

More pictures of Day 3 to follow soon

Hip-Hop in Arctic Bay ... Day 3

Friday, October 10, 2008
Today was another busy fun filled afternoon, evening and night. This afternoon the two crews broke into smaller teams to create and work on their routines for the battle Saturday night. The group is becoming really good with their dance moves - I have seen great improvement in their confidence in their steps since the beginning of the program. I've also seen a great shift in some attitudes of the students and youth that are participating in the program. Students who would normally be spitting at each other or putting each other down or in the middle of some sort of "war" (either family, who they know, or some other social struggle between two or more people) are now working together, encouraging each other and offering support when needed. It's really been touching watching these young people working together.

This afternoon we had some of the Elders in town come in to see what hip-hop is all about. The students and CFM demonstrated their moves to the Elders and some even took part in learning a couple of dance moves too. CFM and the youth also demonstrated traditional throat singing mixed in with some beat-boxing - - blending the traditional music with "modern" music. Last but not least, Ben-Jammin gave a demonstration on scratching (a skill that the participants will be learning tomorrow) to the Elders - and one brave Elder even came up and tried out scratching. I think the Elders have a great new appreciation for the hip-hop movement and are proud of their youth as each time one of them went into the half-cypher to show their moves or create some beats their eyes lit up and huge smiles were on all faces.

After supper break everyone gathered back in the gym to continue working in their small groups on their routines (as they need to know them down pat by Saturday night). For a while tonight, I had a little bit of baby sitting duties as one of my students didn't have a babysitter (but only needed someone for 30 minutes), so I volunteered to watch the lil'guy for the time being until he was to head back home quickly to drop the baby back off at home with his mom. Now, I have no idea really what to do with a baby. Yes, I've baby sat.... but they have always been 2 years + ... not 7 months. Luckily for me, lil Ty just slept in my arms and only woke up about 5 minutes before daddy came back out. I am pretty sure at some point, in this lil guy's mind the phrase, or question "who are you, and where is my daddy" had to have run through his mind. But, no fussing was had ... only once we had to put him back in the amouti did the fussing begin.

Tonight's talk with the participants was all about nutrition, healthy living, drugs and alcohol. A good talk was given by Buddah and the CFM's to the youth. It wasn't a preaching talk about how they shouldn't drink pop, smoke, do drugs or drink - but more about making better decisions that would help them lead a better life. It was shocking at times to see the students react to the questions that Buddah posed to them - it has definitely shed some light for me into some of the home lives and personal lives of some of my students.

Also tonight, the graffiti mural that a couple of artists have been working on this week was revealed to everyone - it is pretty spiffy and it will be hung in the school later on.

Tomorrow is an early start for everyone (gotta be at the gym for 9:00 am!!!) luckily, us volunteers / supervisors / A/V people decided together that 10:30 was a great time for all of us to arrive :-) as we have a whole lot of Kraft Dinner to prepare for tomorrow ... unless a plane arrives early tomorrow morning ... then it will be hot-dogs ..... we will see :-)

Pictures of Day 3 to follow at some point later on ... when I get the chance to upload them.

Hip-Hop in Arctic Bay ... Photos from Day 2

More pictures of Day 2 here.

Hip-Hop in Arctic Bay ... Day 2

Thursday, October 9, 2008
Phew! Another crazy long day is over ... and am I ever tired (or maybe fried :-) ). Today our students learned some new cool moves like how to spin on their backs and some body rotations / flips / twirls and some transition moves that they can use in between. The kids and community youth seemed to be having a great time down in the gym today with the crew.

Tonight teams, or "crews" were formed as on Saturday night we are going to be holding a dance off (or battle) with the two crews (of 42 people each!) dancing the night away, showing each other and the community their moves. Starting tomorrow and continuing Saturday morning and afternoon, the two crews will be learning and practicing their routines in preparation for the big night.

We also had one of our Elders and member of staff at school come down and demonstrate traditional drum dancing to everyone and were treated to a couple of performances by him with traditional songs sung by some of the participants and other community members who were in for the demonstration. A couple of the CFM members took turns trying out drum dancing and many of our youth involved in the program showed their skills as well.

Todays big "talk" session was all about bullying, which as in many communities in the North and around the world is a huge issue not only in school but out of school too. Buddah and some of the CFM's shared their own experiences with bullying - both as the giver and receiver. The group hung to every word that they spoke - you could have heard a pin drop in the gym tonight. I am hoping that our students will take this message to heart and really give a long well needed thought before they consider bullying someone again.

As usual ... pictures to follow of day 2 later on.

Hip-Hop in Arctic Bay ... Photos from Day 1

More pictures from Day 1 Here.

Hip-Hop in Arctic Bay

Wednesday, October 8, 2008
After a couple of delays ... well, actually about three hours to tell you the truth, Hip-Hop in Arctic Bay has taken off. This week (Tues-Saturday and then a Bonfire on Sunday night) youth here in our community will be taking part in and learning some new hip-hop moves courtesy of The Canadian Floor Masters (CFM) and BluePrint for Life. This team, traveled thousands of miles and almost got snowed out of Arctic Bay (they were on the last plane that landed here ... we haven't had a plane since Saturday).

While they are here in Arctic Bay they will be teaching our youth hip-hop moves, scratching, beat creation and graffiti art. As well as discussing with them the imagery associated with the hip-hop culture and how it is not all about thugs and bling-bling. There will also be a lot of healing going on while students are in the workshops, and many discussions about life and sometimes the hardships that come with it.

I spent pretty much all day downstairs in the gym with the crew (other than the 40 minutes I had to race upstairs to teach my grade 2 group). Watching our students trying these moves, helping each other out, listening to Buddah and the other CFMs and concentrating on what they were doing was just amazing. I have never seen a group of students so intense before. It was mind boggling. While students were learning these new moves, I was running around nabbing pictures and talking with Buddah learning more about the program and hip-hop itself. I will admit here and now, I have never been a fan of rap or hip-hop mostly due to its content (as much of it is not really ... well.. how do I put this ... very nice). My views on hip-hop and it's whole culture have been given a little shake up. It's not all bad - you just need to find the good amongst the bad. And when I wasn't running around taking pictures, trying to hunt down A/V equipment or sucking back a cup of coffee my students were trying to teach me some moves... it's not as easy as it looks (I am sore!)

The highlight of the night was watching everyone participate in the Cypher (the Breakdance Circle - sadly my camera battery decided to give out before this, so I will have to get photos of it tomorrow night) and seeing huge smiles on faces of some that I have never seen smile. Seeing everyone cheer for each other and offering a friendly slap on the back. Hearing the encouraging yeahs and the cheers of awesomeness when someone did a headspin or a backflip (or something that would undoubtedly put me in traction if I tried it). And the best part of it all - no one was putting any one else down, there was no booing, or walking away from performers. Everyone was someone tonight. Students who are normally shy in the classroom, were out there in the cypher front and center showing off their moves. This was their night to shine.

Tomorrow is going to be another day filled with new moves, more music and a chance for a couple of other students to shine. By the end of the workshops we are going to have some jammin' b-boyz and b-girlz here in Arctic Bay!

*** pictures to follow ... need to charge the battery first so I can get them off of the card ***

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Sunday, October 5, 2008
Winter has arrived here in Arctic Bay ... bringing with it a foot of snow :-)

On my way to work this morning

Friday, October 3, 2008
Sunrise is now happening around 8:00 am making the sky wonderful shades of pink, purple and blue. I took these pictures on the walk down to school this morning.

We are starting to get a thin layer of ice building up on the bay now ... looks like winter has arrived :-)

Inuit Myths and Legends

Wednesday, October 1, 2008
As a teacher in the North, I often get emails from teacher friends down south asking about Inuit Mythology and if I know where they can find some resources to share with their colleagues and students. Here's several that I've found pretty useful in planning for courses next term.

Inuit Myths A site developed through QIA (Qikiqtani Inuit Association) and a variety of Government and Non Government organizations, to provide a resource for Nunavummiut and people from around the world who want to learn more about the Inuit storytelling tradition. There are downloadable copies of Taiksumani (a publication of Inuit Myths that are distributed to schools and libraries) and information of Mythological beings.

Tales and Traditions of the Eskimo a digitalized version of Henry Rinks 1875 collection of Myths and Legends.

Eskimo Folk-Tales a digitized version of Eskimo Tales collected by Kund Rasmussen (1921).

First People an online collection of American Indians, First Nations and Inuit Mythology.

If anyone has any other ones that they would like to add to this list, send them my way.