It has been almost a month since my last update. To tell you the truth, not so much has happened since my last post, but Barrow has been wonderful and the school year has gotten off to a fantastic start. Today, Saturday, September 12, is a gloomy day. I am sitting here in my living room watching Fresno St. and Wisconsin and the snowflakes falling outside. Yes, you read that correctly. It is snowing/raining here on top of the world. As I look outside, the snow does not seem to be sticking to the ground, but nonetheless, there are definitely flakes falling.
I have not seen the beach in awhile. Maybe I will take a walk down to it today. My days have been busy with school. When I get home after the day, I eat, do some work and go to bed. The weather has been gloomy for awhile, so I have not been going outside lately. Some fellow teachers and I have been going to the high school weight room the past few days, so I am able to stay active.
In regards to school, I am enjoying it immensely. The kids are great and they seem to like Geography. There are no discipline issues, only attendance issues. However, apparently there are cases of Swine flu going around so many kids have been gone. Of course, students will be out for subsistence leave. Many kids are out camping, hunting, fishing, etc. Here in Barrow, in this native community, it is an excused absence for subsistence leave. Interesting.
Sports are still rolling. The middle school football is over and the basketball is underway. Cross country is also still kicking. It is great to see all the students so involved. I am glad football is over. I am able to concentrate a little more on school. Soon, I will get a choir started. The students seem very excited about it. Hopefully, there will be a good turnout.
Yesterday, I called John Tidwell. He is a photographer who goes out and takes pictures of polar bears and other Arctic life. I heard that he charges people to tag along with him, so I went ahead and asked if that could be okay. He said that would be great, but it would not happen for another three or four weeks. The polar bears are way out away from land because they know that the scientists are collecting data. They bring helicopters out and sedate the polar bears to collect scientific information. So, the polar bears have not been out by the point lately. The snowy owls are out, though. I have yet to see them but they are out on the tundra. A few friends said they saw about three or four of them last weekend as they were out hunting. Apparently, the birds are huge. They feast on lemmings. But, people with small dogs tend to keep them inside because the owls will eat them.
Fall whaling will start soon. Maybe the bears will come around then. I understand that I need to be safe, but I really want to see some of this wildlife that the Arctic has to offer.
I hope you find this blog comforting. I am having a great time up here. It was great to be back home for the beautiful wedding of my brother and sister-in-law, Ray and Amy Bissen. God Bless you two. Congratulations. It was great to see all of you, my wonderful friends and family.
I will upload some pictures tomorrow. I left my camera in my classroom.
I love you all. Take care.