Basketball and a little chaos.

Friday, February 28, 2014
This weekend and next, Sand Point will be on parade and Fisherman and I will be "on duty" and working ourselves to the bone. {{sigh}}.

This Weekend:
This will be the final boys basketball games of the season.  They have had a less than stellar record and players that did everything they could to play, are now not even coming to school.  The students here have a somewhat distorted perception - each thinking they are the next NBA superstar.  Don't get me wrong there are players that have potential and with some SEVERE conditioning and "coachin' up" they could be a strong team.  Undoubtedly they provide THE entertainment for the folks around here.  Their record:


81 - 58Loss

62 - 44Loss

84 - 67Loss

68 - 51Loss

80 - 69Win

61 - 53Win

71 - 44Win

65 - 40Win

96 - 61Loss (mercy ruled)

64 - 61Loss

74 - 59Loss

72 - 29Win

60 - 41Win

69 - 36Win

65 - 19Win

60 - 50Win

62 - 47Win

94 - 46Loss (mercy ruled)

Lately, the team has been circulating a petition around the town and it has 300+ signatures.  The petition is asking that despite their record they be allowed to travel to the regional tournament at a cost of $20,000.  The final word comes from our superintendent -  that final word has been "no".  Needless to say, it has been a little "tense" around here.

So this weekend, as they play their final games, there is definetly a "buzz" happening within the school.

Next Weekend:
Sand Point School will play host to the Southwest Region Girls Basketball tournament.  Schools of similar size will fly in next Wednesday and be whittled down to a region champion that will compete in the state tournament.  Since Sand Point is the host of the tournament, our girls team gets an automatic seed into the tournament play.

Hosting a tournament will take literally EVERYONE to pull off.  Our gigantic high school staff will be maxed out.  I look forward to a little change in the routine, but am not looking forward to the exhaustion and the rancor that will need to be managed from all the visitors and the invariable disputed calls.

Armed with my whistle,

Under water.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014
On Monday of this week Fisherman and I were happy to embrace the spring-like weather as we emerged from our classrooms at 3:30.  I skipped about and frolicked, literally frolicked as I moved with glee at the glorious weather.  We cast off our classroom coils and threw caution to the calm and headed to the beach.  It was so marvelous that I actually walked up and down the beach without a coat!

Following our outing we came home grilled some beer-brats and even some potato salad.  It felt like spring and I was giddy - literally, almost delirious.  I was twirling around the house like a teenager with a song in my heart!

The next morning...Tuesday, we woke up to a hurricane.  Sideways rain, with its partner in crime, the freakin' wind.  It has been blowing and raining for 96 hours now...straight.  I have not slept in almost two nights because every time I start to doze off a gust blows the rain against the window and wakes me up.  I woke up almost every hour on the hour.

As we were driving to work this morning I actually thought I was hallucinating.  The ground seemed to be moving.  The 5+ inches of rain we had received during the night was moving in waves on the pavement.  CREEEPY!  When the wind blows the island to a new latitude I end up looking like this...
I'm hoping for an end to this weary weather and a good night's sleep.

Off to count some sheep...hopefully!

Bush orders...

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Here in the great Alaskan Bush - which is what "remote Alaska" is called, it is necessary to highlight the actual expense of our lifestyle up here.  Fisherman and I were elated when we got our teaching contracts this year because it meant that our salaries would finally be close to what a teacher should make.  Teachers as most are aware are underpaid, overworked, dedicated fools who seem to be glutton for punishment.  FINALLY, finally, at a school that pays well and has money to spend on the school (as is evident by the athletic budget of well over 100,000 dollars). 

HOW-EV-ER...with a larger salary comes a larger bill...on just about everything.  Milk, for example, at the AC (our grocery store) runs about $6.00 for a half-gallon.  Plain ol' hamburger meat = $12.00-$14.00/lb., heaven forbid we should want to have a STEAK!  Hence, the reason we eat tons of fish.  When I talk to my brother, Roughneck, he, in his usual joking manner asks "what ya havin' for, with a side of fish, dipped or glazed in fish sauce, with fish puree?" Ha, freakin' ha.

We have found that if one of us "goes to town" or escapes the island of misfit toys, we always bring a tupperware tote full of groceries back.  Our little airline, PenAir, (or whenair as the students call it) used to allow two bags plus a carry-on - which meant EVERYONE, literally EVERYONE brought groceries back with them.  Not anymore, hmpf!

Many people here do Costco orders or have family buy their groceries and send them on coastal transport (still probably cheaper than our grocery store). 

Finally, BUSH ORDERS.  This is an avenue that Fisherman and I use as often as we can.  There are two ways to do a bush order.  I was baptized by fire to this method of shopping on my very first day in Alaska...sans Fisherman.  I landed, caught the shuttle to my hotel, collapsed in bed until the next day where Fisherman woke me up and described the process.

He calmly laid out the plan.  "Babes, go out the front door of the hotel, walk across the parking lot to the Walmart."  "Once you're inside pick out what you would like...keep in mind no perishables, no glass, no alcohol, no laundry detergent.  When you have everything you think we need (as if I had a CLUE...) take the cart(s) to the back of the store and fill out the bush order form.  That's it...easy-peasey, lemon squeezie!"

I did as he instructed.  I filled our basket with tea, cereal, chips, and at least a ton and half of jalapenos, canned tomatoes, soup, etc.  Then in about 4 weeks magically our bush order appeared - neatly packaged by the bush order counter at the Walmart - packing Ninjas if ever I saw one!

Like I said, I might as well be livin' on the moon...strange these here customs in the BUSH!

Here is an ad for Bush Shopper, AK:

Our company offers shopping from anywhere you need us to go, Sam's Costco's, Wal-mart and more, we also do Holiday's, Birthday's, Anniversary and any other special occasion. Whatever your need is, we are here to help. This gives you access to the large Anchorage market no matter where you live in ALASKA.

We have no minimum order and no minimum service fee, and best of all you pay what we pay.

We do have items we carry here at our warehouse. We have catalogs we can send upon request, or you can download it here. If you have any further questions about our business please feel free to call and ask.
We are looking forward to serving you in the future, Thank you again in advance for you're upcoming business.

The Alaska Bush Shoppers Staff

Buying groceries like we expect another Great Depression,

Techno love!

Monday, February 24, 2014
Rock anthems like "We're not gonna take it" or Gloria Gaynor's "I will survive" have been running through my mind all day.  I woke up this morning with an "I got a new attitude...ooh, ooh...ooh, ooh,..ooh"!  I apologize for the rant yesterday, but I'm better today.

I had a little awakening that I am actually doing my job this afternoon.  The Littles have been studying myth and legends for the past 4 weeks.  Tomorrow they have an exam.  I made an "exam review" and (heaven forbid) printed it out and had them fill it in - you know, on actual would have thought I asked them to chisel it on stone.  Cries of "do we have to do it", and "how much points is this" (yes I know-grammatically incorrect) and finally "isn't there a way we can do this on our iPads?"  I very much had to pretend I was annoyed at the question; when in fact, I was BEAMING!  They have become so accustomed to doing their work on their iPads and on, that they were bamboozled by a paper and pencil task! {{be still my techno-heart}}

One of the reasons that I love second semester in any grade is because by this time the students know the routine - vocabulary, reading, writing, etc., that it gives way to more creative projects - videos, glogs, yes glogs, and literature really coming to life for the digital native.

Again, The Littles read the story of "Daedalus and Icarus" and their final assessment was to create a video telling the story in their own words.  The sky was the limit AND, bonus, since we live by the sea I was hoping to see some actual footage of the ocean.  If you click the link below you will see a PRIZE PUPIL and his amazing work on The Daedalus Project - over 1,000 still shots into a rockstar depiction of "Daedalus and Icarus".

Sending techno love,


Sunday, February 23, 2014
It seems that in every school, in every district, across the country there is one or two weeks where all the teachers have what I have come to call "getting whacked week".  This happens to be the week where everything that CAN go wrong DOES.  Lists include - technology weirdness, excessive absences, running out of paper, copy machine coming to life and expressing anger, angry parents, issues best left to a social worker, schedule insanity, student meltdowns, topped off with 45 reports that must be written, presentations that must be done, and finally it happens, the moment when the utter exhaustion takes over.

This was my week.  Apparently it was for a friend of mine in Phoenix too, we'll call her, Buckeye.  It is comforting to know that even though I am so far removed from my former life, my world has not really changed...well, that much anyway.  I am still in love with Fisherman, I am still a teacher, I still strive to create meaningful interactions with students, I still strive to instill a love for learning, and I still have moments where I want to bash my head against a wall and shout "lawd hammercy" a former student would say.

This blog has been very cathartic in helping me cope with the alternate reality that is Sand Point.  It seems that most would agree that it truly is a 180 degree change - case in point, a very world-traveled friend remarked:
I promised myself that this would not turn into a blog that just rants or becomes a self-induced soap box, but this week, I let myself off the hook.  I miss that Montana, Phoenix, Anchorage or New Mexico.  I miss my family. I miss professionalism in my colleagues.  I miss colleagues/friends that I would trust and have trusted with my very life.  I miss rigor and innovation.  I miss happy hour.  I miss mani/pedi/sushi afternoons.  I miss fountain sodas.  I miss my niece and nephew so badly that I think my heart will literally burst for want of a hug and kiss from them.  I miss my brother and sister-in-law and his infectious laugh that makes me laugh until I almost pee.  I miss wandering around Target and finding something that I really don't need but just makes me happy.  I miss my Mom and my Dad coming to visit and sharing in my adult home and life.  I just miss.

With all that stated, I am here.  I know Fisherman has been worried thinking "she is one meltdown away from insanity".  However, this may have been my week to get "whacked", but believe...I am NEVER down for long.  Today, I dust myself off...put on my heiney-bustin' boots, light the firecracker spirit of my Grandma inside me, find my brother's humor, and channel Fisherman's love for me and show this island who is boss! RAWR!

Watch out!

Station manager.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Living on this island is so completely different from my lifestyle in almost every conceivable way.  Fisherman has been here almost 2 years now, and he is still not fully acclimated to the way of life here - which makes me feel a wee tiny bit better about my meltdowns that I have had.

Living in the lower 48 I have never had to wonder where the water came from, or wonder how long it would take to fix a common household item.  I have always had access to FedEx, UPS, regular mail, a mailbox, etc.  I have always had the cable companies throwing money and men at me to get my business in attempts to steal it away from a rival company.  I have never had to worry about bandwidth issues when it comes to my own personal computing nor having to wait for several hours for a movie to download from iTunes.  To put it mildly, I consider myself a little bit "spoiled rotten".

When I arrived in Anchorage, Fisherman had done much of the leg work to ease the transition to island life by switching cell phone carriers, and purchasing a cable box, etc.  When I got to the island my new cell phone was waiting for me complete with a new number, new carrier, etc.  As I have stated my good and kindly Fisherman got us an iPhone so not EVERY aspect of my world would be such a BIG change...yeah, right.  Though I have an iPhone there is no 3G on the island.  This makes using the iPhone limited to being connected to a network.  If I am on the road, walking, at the store, etc., I cannot just google something or look it up.  I have to wait to get home or to the school where it has access to an internet network.  We literally use NO DATA while on this island whatsoever.  I have learned  Finally the cost of the internet here it is almost (no exaggeration) $200 per month and we are limited in download and upload data - so, no video streaming at all, it would push us over our limit and further increase the internet bill.  ALL downloads and any major webinar etc., MUST be done at the school.

Television, also an epic tale.  When I arrived we watched DVD's or downloaded (at the school) episodes of our favorite TV shows.  We patiently waited for the cable box to arrive, then the actual satellite to arrive, then waited for a person with a satellite finder to help us hook it up, all to have it knocked loose and out of signal with the wind.  The brief 2 months we had cable television we watched news from San Francisco (extremely odd) which was considered our local station.  Fisherman and I have totally thrown up our hands at this point because we have approximately 11 weeks remaining here until the end of school. It is not even worth it to pay the monthly fee when the winds will inevitably pick up again, shake down the house, and fry our satellite connection, yet again.

Long story short, we have not seen one minute of Olympic coverage.  We have however kept up with "The Big Bang Theory", "Blue Bloods" and of course "Downton Abbey".

Chiseling on stone here in the Aleutians,

Heat tape and my Hero.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Upon returning from Anchorage this week we had found that WINTER had finally hit the island.  We have been experiencing above average temperatures (for Alaska) accompanied with ridiculous rain and WILD WIND.  While we were gone, winter came in to take our place.  The wind shifted and started coming from the north which means the weather is and was coming DIRECTLY from the Arctic.  The temperatures plummeted to single digits (in and of itself, not a big deal) but while living on the island and all of the wisdom that includes, the pipes for our house are ABOVE ground - as if this is Arizona, peshaw!  We came home to, ta da, frozen drains.

I was exhausted and more than ready to soak in a shower washing the airplane funk down the drain when I turned the shower on, lo and behold, the water began to fill the basin of the times.  I thought "great, now I'm gonna have to go to the school and shower" but, bathtub to the rescue, there the water drained just fine...whew!  With my small contortion act I was was able to soak AND wash my hair. Hallelujah!

The industrial arts teacher (shop) (good friend to the Seilers) and building/plant manager at the school gave Fisherman heat tape and extension cords.  He, being a good and kindly husband, got all dolled up in his winter gear and went under the house - a place I would not be caught dead in - and wrapped the naughty non-draining pipe!

The heat tape did its job beautifully. The ice melted and there was goodness in the valley.  I however, still did not shower in the shower.  I am a big "fraidy cat" when it comes to electricity and water.   Not only that, I like most, can stare down most of my demons and emerge victorious, but the thought of the toilet overflowing or the drains backing up strikes absolute TERROR in my heart.

I emerged from my nightly bathing and with a big proud grin on his face, Fisherman asked how the drain worked, and if I felt better after having had a shower.  I sheepishly had to let him in on the secret that I didn't shower but took care of business again in the bathtub.  I felt awful!  He had crawled...literally crawled on hands and knees under the nasty of our house and I was the frilly woman who was afraid to shower.  Hopefully tonight I will be able to conquer my fear and step into the, the shower, STAY TUNED.

...lingering near the drain,

Sunday routine.

Sunday, February 16, 2014
Typically a Sunday at the Seiler Shack involves a woman who doesn't like to get out of her PJ's until about 12:00 noon.  The best thing about Sunday is that I sleep late which puts me in such a fantastic mood.

Those who know me well, KNOW that I am not a morning all, period, end of story.  I have tried my hardest but despite my best effort the sound of human speech in the morning makes me want to peel my own skin off with a dull knife.  To top matters off if even one thing is out of whack in my morning routine (read - can't find matching socks, or Fisherman steps in my path while I'm making my oatmeal) it throws me into a full on TIZZY.

As much of a non-morning person as I am, someone upstairs has seen fit to surround me with the peculiar species - early riser.  My mother, my brother, my nephew, my grandfather (was), colleagues, and now even my husband flit around, twirl, and sing "The Hills are Alive..." each and every morning as little songbirds float around their heads.  {{I would like to rip their heads clean off their bodies.}}

My most excellent friend Knitterly, would enter with soft, tiny, kitty's feet into my classroom in the morning in Phoenix and want to show me her crafty goodness wherein she would state in a very calm voice..."I know it is morning, but I really wanted to show you X, Y, Z."
Socks that Knitterly made me.
I think she should be sainted because she was aware of the "morning situation" and respected that it was not going to change.  In fact, I believe it was a month or so after Fisherman and I were married that I posted a Facebook status about his twirly, happiness in the morning, and she politely offered to educate him on how to approach my morning wildebeast within - she had been my "work wife" for far longer than he had been my husband and had extensive knowledge of my unique morning cheer.

Meanwhile, back on the island, our Sunday routine progresses.  When I finally manage to drag my bones out of bed I make my way into the kitchen and brew me some pomegranate green tea.  Fisherman has been up for hours by this time and I finally capitulate to make some breakfast (who are we kidding, by this time, it is brunch).  Fisherman does the dishes and starts the laundry while I "get around".

Typically we plan out our meals for the week (each and EVERY ONE of them made by our own hands) and make a shopping list.  We proceed to the store purchase the necessary items for the week and head back home.  I then,  make our salsa for the week - yup I said, salsa for the week, complete with Hatch green chili.  We go through a "batch" of homemade salsa almost every week - *I am still a New Mexican at heart.

I then begin working on my lesson plans for the week (Fisherman has already done his), blog, etc.  This is the point where Fisherman's path gets a little rocky.  He likes to take a nap (remember: he has been up for 20 or so hours already).  There is something about a napping husband that brings out my inner devil...I poke, prod, tickle, wet willy, wedgie, whack with a pillow, jump on, give CPR to, everything but let him nap.  I realize the irony, he lets me sleep in, and I don't do the same.  I can't help it, hence the inner devil not inner angel.

Finally we end up fixing dinner and I retreat to the bedroom to watch an episode or two of "Downton Abbey" and fold the 900 pounds of laundry Fisherman has washed, wait for my hair to dry, and collapse back into bed, usually by 9:00pm - ready {{sort of}} to start the week.

Sending Sunday cheer,

Out on the TOWN, Valentine.

Saturday, February 15, 2014
Fisherman and I left our island paradise this past week and headed for the budding metropolis of Anchorage, AK.  There was no weirdness with the plane, it came and left on time with us on the plane - WAHOO!  We Landed in Anchorage on Tuesday afternoon and spent 4 nights and 5 glorious days living it up.

A short inventory of our adventures include:
  • 3 movies in a movie theater
  • 3 trips to Target to "just look around"
  • 1 trip to Sephora
  • 1 trip to Bare Escentuals
  • dinner at Qdoba, coffee at Starbucks, lunch at Burger King
  • 1 haircut
  • 1 eye doctor appointment
  • 1 manicure
  • 1 chinese buffet
  • 1 genuine italian bistro meal
  • 1 tank of gasoline in our rented car
  • 3 trips to the Apple store and 1 computer repaired.
  • 1 friend visited
  • regular "fast" internet used as much as possible - all updates downloaded!
  • 1 amazing meal on Valentine's day
Going "to town" can be such a relief after being so isolated for so long here in Sand Point.  It almost feels as if it is necessary to pack in as much as we can while we are there that upon our return I need a vacation from our "vacation".  Though it sounds like I'm grumbling, believe me that could not be further from the truth.

I love that Fisherman can see on my face when "I'm totally LOSIN' IT" and need a dose of civilization.  I love that he will find something to do or wait patiently in the car while I go and get a manicure and a haircut.  I love that he understands that this life change has been an extremely difficult one and doesn't lose patience, even when I do.  So while by society's standards Fisherman and I had a very tame first Valentine's day as husband and wife, my valentine literally gave me the whole world and a bag of chocolate - how many can say that? Game, set, match, I win!

Love, love, and more love this Valentine season,

Layers of cold.

Monday, February 10, 2014
I have had a request to include more pictures of people.  So this particular post will showcase the most recent vitamin D Fisherman and I were able to absorb.  Sunday the sun made an appearance for several glorious hours and I tossed up my hands, left the laundry, lesson plans, cleaning, etc., behind and we headed for the great OUTDOORS!
Playin' with the kelp.
Being right on the water is C-O-L-D!
Isn't Fisherman cute?!
Fisherman and I...
Post outing warm-up...note the frozen features and windburn!
I'm not smiling, my mouth is frozen!
Layer count
  1. Underwear
  2. Camisole
  3. Cuddl Dudds - long john shirt/pants
  4. T-shirt/pants
  5. Shirt
  6. Polar Fleece Jacket
  7. Winter Coat
  8. Scarf
  9. Hood
  10. Socks
  11. Gloves
By the end of our little jaunt I was cold to core, had to go home, kick the heat on, brew me some tea, and wait for my limbs and (not gonna lie) butt cheeks to get some blood back to them!  Fisherman said he was "ok" (he has a real knack for understatement) - but I know he was cold too!

From the Frozen North,


Saturday, February 8, 2014
Instagram photo
On top of Purgatory
As has no doubt been mentioned on several occasions...I am a desert dweller.  Perhaps more correctly high desert.  I believe there is nothing more majestic than the Rocky Mountains and and crisp beautiful day with very little oxygen flowing through my body at the altitude at home.  I did also find majesty in the fields of poppies that grow wild in El Paso, and the saguaro cacti that peppered the landscape in Phoenix.  But the mountains and the beauty of mountain life will forever be where my heart lives.

Instagram Photo
Teaching in the desert brought with it some unique stories as well as some entertaining moments that fill my memory banks.  For example, I distinctly remember one afternoon at "the LJ" as we called it (La Joya), where the students were at lunch (in and of itself chaotic and highly entertaining on any given day).

On one  particular day there was nothing unusual, students got their lunch some ate inside some were eating outside under the ramada - chatting with friends, listening to music, texting, etc.  All of a sudden, as sometimes happens in the desert, the sky opened up and down came a flash burst of rain.  The kind of rain that has big old F-A-T raindrops and soaks the entire place.  I remember how chaotic the scene became fueled by the claps of thunder and bolts of lightening splitting the sky.
Instagram Photo
Kids were running for shelter, most of them were soaked clean-through, I even heard a random "oh no, my weave, my weave!".  The remainder of the day had me cast in the role of "kid-wrangler" and "manager-of-the-twirly-beasts".  Cloudy and rainy had a euphoric effect which induced a mania - needless to say I was never more happy for the bell to ring that afternoon!

Here, on the island of misfit toys, the exact opposite is effect.  The population here gets rain, wind, sideways rain, upside down rain, followed by more wind, and then 282,000 more days of RAIN.  It is truly a rarity that the sun makes an appearance.  Apparently, this "winter" has been exceptionally weird (as is told by those who have lived here forever) that there has been more wind and rain than in a typical winter.  This week we had two weekend days and two school days where the sun was out and it was...sublime!

One never knows when leaving the house what the weather is going to be for the day.  One, the forecast for this island is rarely correct and two, the sun is not up until almost 9:30.  So, when daylight approached on Thursday and the sun bashfully peeked up we were trepidatious about believing that the sun would REMAIN out.  However, as the day progressed a sort of buzz was felt throughout the school and kids were twirly and each of them described what they would do the split-second the bell rang.  Cries of "I can't wait to get out on the four-wheeler" or "I'm gonna go down by the beach" and (my personal favorite) "Let's go see if we can get a buffalo"...were heard echoing down the hallway and in my classroom.  The sun, it seems, had the same effect the rain did on the students in Phoenix.  Euphoria!  

Believe me, the students took FULL advantage - the outcome: not an assignment one, was ready to go for Friday and vocabulary tests were BOMBED across the land!

In search of the elusive Vitamin D,

The Spelling BEE!

Thursday, February 6, 2014
Today is the Sand Point School's annual spelling bee.  Our school will whittle down the candidates from 3-8th grades.  From there the winner will go to the district bee, and should they find themselves victorious proceed to the STATE competition in Anchorage.

I, the one and only language arts teacher will be moderating the spelling bee this afternoon.  I am a little apprehensive.  I will have to come up with sentences and definitions of words to help the contestants with their battle.  I do have a very expansive vocabulary however words like "genetrix" and "rubicundity" are outside of my lexicon.  I do however feel supremely confident in breaking down words to their roots should this be necessary...ha!

Again, I have run assemblies for 1800+ kids, packed the gym with teenagers, and consider myself a ROCKSTAR at "working a crowd".  I have NEVER had a fear of public speaking.  This is different.  The chairs are set up, the sound system - ready to go, and I, must be able to define and sentence-ize "haleutic".  Wish me fortune, fate, destiny, lot, the stars, karma, kismet or LUCK!

Off to town...

Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Today marks the sendoff of the Sand Point boys and girls basketball teams, their coaches, and chaperones.  They are heading for the annual road trip - Februay 5-18, give or take days due to weather/travel. 

The basketball teams make up about 75% of the high school which means for the next two weeks we will have exactly 12 students in grades 9-12.  More on my "lesson planning" later.

This morning they are all **twirly** with anticipation of leaving.  Even though they are leaving on the "regular airplane" (yes, the one that cancelled on us at Christmas kicking off the monumental chain of events on our epic journey), they must still pack their survival gear.  They will land in Anchorage and then travel by vans tomorrow to "Small Town Alaska" via the road system (more on this later) and must be prepared for extreme conditions.

Most of the students are wild with delight about going, a couple are nonplussed, and one decided not to go at all.  An interesting mix of reactions, but entertaining nonetheless...teenage drama, and all.

Fisherman tried and tried to tell me about the chaos of the next two weeks, but I was utterly ignorant of the madness.  I naively went about my wee, little, lesson planning like usual and even made the road trippers their separate assignment sheet.  But, lo and behold, SEVERAL other activities are cropping up at the speed of light - Battle of the Books for The Littles, the spelling bee again, for The Littles, and there is an artist visiting who will help the students construct a mural (Justine Pechuzal).

What we have decided to do with the remaining students is treat them all like one class.  Each of us will have the newly thinned herd from the high school for one hour a day, where we will truly be like a one-room-schoolhouse and give instruction to grades 9-12.  The jury is still out on how this will go...stay tuned.  Meanwhile and P.S. - I have been called for jury duty in Phoenix. {hmpf}!

Live from the looney bin,

Fruit and Fluoride.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014
More unique-ities from the island of misfit toys.  As previously mentioned I teach "the Littles" or 7/8 grade students - they are my biggest class (a whopping 12).  I am unaware if this legislation is new or if it has existed for sometime and it was just outside of my sphere but the Littles get fruit or veggies every morning; students from K-8 get supplemental fruit every morning for a snack.   Our cafeteria manager brings into the class small samples of grapes, apples, bananas, etc.  She has even brought my personal favorite pomegranate {{wahoo!!}}.

I personally think it is great!  Fruit is difficult here on the island because of the duration it takes to get here and the expense of ordering it as an individual.  Let me break this down.  I can go to the store and purchase tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. at the outrageous prices and still they are slightly less than fresh, we can order from Costco which is fresh (2-3 days on the barge) and triple our price (individuals, we have to pay the shipping by cold-storage space it takes up on the barge), or we can team up with other families/groups on the island splitting the shipping costs.  So when the school orders (every couple of days) we often team up with a school purchase which makes the cost of good fresh fruit somewhat reasonable.

I like knowing that I (as the teacher of the Littles) am going to get good fresh fruit EVERYDAY! It also helps with the "hangries" = when students are hungry they get angry, hence, the hangries.

The latter part of the unique trends here on Sand Point is that all the students here get flouride every Tuesday.  I vaguely remember getting this in grade school *read 3-4th grades.  I also remember wanting to vomit each and every time we had to "rinse and spit".  Again due the underlying fact that I have taught only grades 9-12 for the past 15 years I was unaware that this was still in practice.  The interesting thing about it here, is that EVERYONE gets fluoride K-12.  They bring it in every Tuesday morning, the kiddies open their little cuppies of fluoride, rinse/swish it around until the timer on the nurse's iPad shouts "BUZZZZ"!

Today and EVERY Tuesday the fruit and flouride worlds collide.  If the fruit comes before the flouride, all is well and the peasants rejoice.  However, today, the fluoride came first - chaos!  You would literally believe that I have pulled out their fingernails or am removing their skin by making them wait to eat their fruit after their fluoride.  They are told (most severely) that they MUST wait the 30 minutes for their teeth to absorb the treatment.  I have to remind myself repeatedly - "they are only 12/13, they are only 12/13, (then the voice SHOUTS in my head) "THEY ARE ONLY 12/13", then magically their 30-minute wait time is done and the zombie fruit monsters devour their catch - munch, munch, munch.

Sports and SUNSHINE!

Sunday, February 2, 2014
I posted on my Facebook a while a go some of the interesting things that truly have no comparison for me, especially when it comes to sports and the teams here on the island. 
Forgive me but I am gonna rehash the list -

Weirdness from the island... 

a. For students to participate in athletic competition they must FLY (that's right) fly to any other community.

b. Flying consists of a charter plane that can only carry 5 people per load - they do multiple runs back and forth - taking boys bringing girls back the process is done in variations depending on which gender team is playing at home.

c. In order for students to "travel with the team" and get on the plane they must be dressed in complete winter gear (snow pants, boots, glove, hat, coat, and survival suit) in case of plane crash - yep, plane crash....eek, right?

d. When basketball season is here, there is no need to lesson plan, ALL the students are gone most Thursdays and Fridays or in the process of going.

e. Though games and travel are planned for Friday afternoon, they often must bring their travel gear and travel days before due to weather.

f. The students stay at the schools they are playing at and sleep in the classrooms meaning my class will probably have girls in it this evening.

g. Student athletics = CHAOS in bush Alaska!

  • Terri Mays, Jeff Seiler, Gloria Atanmo and 23 others like this.
  • Suzie Shay Wow! Life on an island huh? Won't be taking things for granted quite so much around here.
  • Amélie Marie If it makes you feel any better I'll be sleeping in there with them.........
  • Amélie Marie Although the kids have stayed in my room for all the previous games so we may be in here again.
  • Ronni Hamilton-Ernenputsch That's crazy talk! What a new adventure u are in?! Good thing you don't mind if your "routine" gets jumbled up a bit. lol. It sounds quite exciting.
  • Trina Foster Bingham That is crazy!! But so cool too. It would be fun sometimes, right?
  • Stacey Esham That sounds totally normal. You're crazy, girl!
  • Mike Seiler You forgot depending on the weather the team might be stuck at the other school for a week or more.
  • Jamie N Sanchez Wow.
  • Suzanne Husby Bizarro!
  • Cheryl Ingram Crazy business! Can't imagine the "fun" you are having.
  • Melynda McBride Wow-- what is state testing like there?
  • Melissa Barber Please tell me you're writing a blog! I'm living vicariously here.
  • Amberly Lebeck Brown · Friends with Mike Seiler: That honestly seems like more trouble than its worth. And more than a little crazy!
  • Jeannie Sandoval Life's adventure
  • Kristi Garrison Yes!! More stories like this. I'm fascinated to learn how normal life is other places but don't want to move anywhere. I'd totally read your blog!
  • Emily Tonn Absolutely fascinated by this! Holy crap.
  • Jane Leick Again, such great stories! Highly encourage a seiler saga blog!!
  • Tramane Marshall I agree, you totally need a blog...or a reality show!
  • Sarah Seiler London Love it! You should start coaching.
  • Mike Seiler Also the athletic budget here is 250,000 for 200 students
  • Dawn Marie Bellingham Wow! I'm glad they get the opportunity!
This weekend was unique in that BOTH girls and boys teams were away.  The girls went to Dutch Harbor to play the Unalaska teams and the boys went to King Cove - another island in the chain but still in our school district.  We who were left behind were left with more than half the school gone, the team literally gone for about 17 hours, and left with a glorious sunshiney weekend.

Since there were no basketball games on the island this weekend Mike and I weren't "on duty" (crowd control, kid control, student store, being seen by parents/community, offering praise to students' parents, etc.).  We took FULL, I mean FULL advantage of this.  We rented "Captain Phillips" for our date night on Friday, slept in Saturday morning, had homemade breakfast burritos (delightfully made by this New Mexican girl). **side note: Fisherman is always shocked that my burritos taste amazing, I however am always amazed that he is amazed - I'm a New Mexican, right? 

Well, I, digress.  After our delightful breakfast and overwhelming shock at the beautiful weather, we packed up the camera and headed down to the beach! 

 One of the crab boats had just docked and was unloading their crab pots and the eagles - a.k.a. the world's fiercest and scariest garbage disposals - were out in force.  Fisherman and I called it Eaglefest 2014.  There must have been at least fifty or so eagles out in force.
 In addition to the hundred skillion eagles a herd, flock, gaggle (?) of jellies were jellying back and forth in the water's tide pools.

Don't touch...Fisherman!
Look hard, there are two jellies in this pic!
See the cute boots...just imagine how sad these jellies would look if Fisherman had his way in buying the "ugly stomping things" and had them now next to cute sirree!
Jellies and cute boots!
After two glorious days of time in the sun my island survival prognosis looking better.  Here's hoping an end of my transparent skin and funky attitude is on its way.

With sunshine in my soul,
Powered by Blogger.

Blog Archive

Back to Top