I finally broke down after about a week of pain and scheduled a dentist’s appointment. I think i’m turning into my grandma, who hates going to any doctor and waits until the last minute. However, I am beginning to think that if the pain is making me so miserable that I can’t even think anymore, I should probably go to the doctor. Stupid teeth.
Today August 20, 2013
Not the show, just the day.
Today kind of sucked.
Started off kind of grumpy, and from then on had to keep reminding myself why I am where I am. Because God wants me here. Lots of work stress happened today, on top of the fact that my jaw hurts because my wisdom teeth are deciding to jump around a bit in my mouth. It’s a pretty fantastic feeling to have the day before I have to to talk to students all day. I came home today wanted to yell and cry and punch things.
But, God always helps me, even when I forget to ask him. I got to laugh a bit, courtesy of Kelly, who somehow can always make me smile, and I miraculously managed to get everything done for tomorrow. I still have no books and no curriculum, by I do have something to teach tomorrow and that is all I can hope for right now.
All that to say that The New York edition, part two won’t happen until tomorrow. Sorry, big sister!
The New York Edition August 19, 2013
To go back in time for a bit and not recount my summer, I shall now tell the tale of when I went to New York City with my big sister over Memorial Day Weekend. This will give you all a break from my Alaska rants. I shall tell it in a slightly experimental form, but I shall endeavor to do the trip justice.
Part One: The airplane
She was not a morning person. She was not an extrovert. Therefore, waking up at four in the morning to sit on an airplane full of people, well, it wasn’t her favorite thing. But early morning flights are cheaper, and if it meant getting to New York to see Once on Broadway for as cheap as possible, then she would just have to suck it up. Of course, when she and her older sister boarded the plane, she WOULD have the middle seat. Ugh. When they sat down, they were quiet for a quite a while. She didn’t remember what started the conversation, but somehow the lady next to her started talking with her. She mentioned something about how she had to pack at the last minute and she almost missed her flight. People like to talk on airplanes. But she wasn’t an extrovert. Luckily for her though, her sister is. I spite of the hour and the lack of personality, they managed to talk with this lady for the whole flight, and it was a good thing she did. You see, she was just about to finish a challenging year of teaching at a school with almost no resources for her Spanish speaking students. And this woman on the airplane just happened to be the principal of on the first elementary schools in Detroit that had a functioning bilingual learning program. A strange coincidence, perhaps? The girl didn’t think so, and it turns out that the entire weekend would be full of these encouraging and enlightening “coincidences”. She learned so much from this woman on the airplane about what it was like to be part of two cultures and how to balance them. She learned about compassion for students and not despairing at the lack of resources, but suing what you have and being creative. She also started to get the feeling that maybe this weekend would be about more than seeing a show on Broadway.
*tune in tomorrow for the next episode: Part Two: A walk in the park
Just some feeeeeeeelings August 18, 2013
I know, ewwwwww, right? But as I discussed with my friend Anni while I was in Alaska, the feelings will come later. And it’s later, folks, so here they come!
I mean, I got a little emotional right before we got to my parents house on our drive home. That was mostly because I really did miss my family and friends and I was excited to see them, but I really was missing Alaska too. Normal stuff.
Here’s a story of what I did today.
I went to church, which was lovely. It was a bit strange being back in a bigger church where I don’t know everyone, and honestly, I didn’t really want to go this morning, but I asked God to help me have the right attitude and it was great. Very small town Ohio, very not Kake, but still really encouraging. After church I chatted with some people and was about to walk out the door when an older lady stopped me. She said she always loved seeing me when I sang on the platform (even though I didn’t sing this week), and that she loved how I dressed up. then she told me a little bit about herself. It was probably a three minute conversation, but I had never talked with this lady before, even though she obviously had noticed me for awhile. It was so nice and encouraging and uplifting. I thanked her, then walked to my car.
When I got to my car, I wanted to cry. That one woman coming up to me and sharing a small bit of her life with me just reminded me of Alaska so much. I can’t really say why, but her kindness was overwhelming and just brought everything up to the surface. For the rest of the afternoon I was just, well, sad. Not depressed though, just missing all my friends and family in Kake.
So I made some fancy pizzas. And then I baked an apple pie. And now I’m writing a sad blog post while texting my friend Kassandra. Those things are helping a little. But the thing is, that I start work again tomorrow, and I know that my mind will be so occupied with crazy work stuff that I might start missing it less. And that kind of makes me sad too. Basically, I still don’t know how to process or express emotions. Hence, the overly emotional blog posts. Writing seems to help a little though, so just bear with me readers. I promise that soon, I will start writing more informative and uplifting stories, but for now, your’e gonna be stuck with the sad apple pie stories.
Things we learned while driving to and from Alaska. August 16, 2013
In no particular order, as follows:
1) North Dakota smells bad–skunk, sulfur, marshy-poohgas-pigs.
2)Wisconsin has boring license plates.
3)All of Illinois’s highways are under construction, BUT the have BA travel plazas, so it kind of makes up for it.
4) Apparently, we are the only people who loved driving through South Dakota.
5) The town of Superior, Wisconsin is full of itself. “Superior: living up to our name.”
6) The Northwest Territories (of Canada) have license plates shaped like polar bears! POLAR BEARS!
7) If you have a friend working at Yellowstone (or perhaps even if you don’t), you can tell the people at the fron gate and they’ll let you in for free, but after you’re in, the staff are real stingy with their information about the whereabouts of said friend.
8) Informational/historical videos at tourist site are pretty much always long-winded, boring, kitschy, and somewhat biased/racist. Also they are usually introduced by extremely slow talkers. The park ranger who introduced the video at Mount Rushmore was like the love child of Captain Kirk and and NPR radio announcer.
9) Canadians must think that no one can read because all of their road sign consist of strangely detailed pictures of what you might or might not encounter on the road.
10) In Alberta, Canada, chips means gravel.
11) tom-tom doesn’t like Canada.
12) Canadian fast food is excellent, and Canadians really are super helpful and nice to strangers.
13) Alberta and Saskatchewan look pretty much exactly like Ohio.
14) We still have no idea why people call the Alaska Highway the Alcan. NOWHERE on that road is it called that.
15) Muncho Lake is GORGEOUS.
16) Bison are BIG. And kind of adorable.
17) If you want to know how Canadians drive, but don’t have a passport, jsut go to Michigan. They drive like that.
18) South Dakota has pink highways. No, really! And no one could tell me why.
19) Wall Drug is cool and can keep you entertained for 400 miles.
20) Both Canadian and US customs ask really random questions.
21) Even though Canton, Ohio is barely a city, most people in the country seem to know where it is.
I am from… August 14, 2013
At the end of my trip to Alaska, one of our leaders had us all write a poem called I am from. We wrote it to help us think through who we are not according to the things we do, but according to our relationships and the places and people we come from. Here is mine.
I am from a small house.
I am from the neighborhood of close-parked cars and riding bikes on the sidewalk.
I am from summer nights sitting on the porch singing songs with friends.
I am from the lake.
I am from the green water and muck fights and algae in my hair.
I am from waffle lunch at Grandma’s house on Sunday afternoons.
I am from walking in a line of cousins out to the furthest point of the peninsula.
I am from fishing in the dog’s water bowl and playing pirates in the loft.
I am from stories.
I am from my great grandmother who stood against doctors and rules and trusted her culture.
I am from my great grandfather who ran away and found home.
I am from my grandmother who held her family together with strength and courage and a needle.
I am from my grandfather who fought fire and alcohol and himself and finally conquered them all.
I am from my mother who cares for all–from the greatest to the least.
I am from my father, a warrior for his mind, his heart, and his family.
I am from the green hills and mossy mountain and music that breaks your heart.
I am from trees that spread their arms in welcome and protect with their leafy shade.
I am from the history of words and written life, from years of conflict and beauty boiled down to hopeful art.
I am from questions and yearning curiosity.
I am from stars and atoms and unstoppable force/
I am from the mysteries of thought and consciousness.
I am from the need to discover.
I am from love.
I am form the One who created the infinite, vast spaces and the microscopic worlds.
I am from grace that gives all i need without asking.
I am from the favor of the Most High God, who shelters me under his wings.
I am from the original musician, who sings over me with incomprehensible love.
An apology August 12, 2013
I still exist as a blogger, I promise!!!!! I just got back to Ohio on Friday and to my house yesterday evening. I do apologize for the lack of updates this summer but Internet was scarce for me up there and I lack some diligence in posting when I don’t have access to my own computer. However, I plan to resume my Wednesday and Friday posting and also to post more news on my book! But for at least a few months you will be reading all sorts of Alaska posts because let’s face it, Alaska is the shiz. That’s all for now, but I will try to post some more later when I am on my computer instead of my phone.