Ever had one of those weeks? Let me tell you, this has been one of those weeks. For those of you not acquainted with the joys of standardized testing, try to imagine using one of those disgusting nose thingies on a room full of stuffy-nosed babies who are hungry and cranky and haven’t had a nap…in days. Still not ringing any bells? Okay, how about giving a bath to a twenty pound, fully-clawed cat that’s never had one…and isn’t in favor of it in the least? Surely the picture is becoming clearer now…right?
To be honest, it wasn’t like that the whole week…only during the testing part. Please, little Johnny, pick up your pencil. Please, little Johnny, pick up the pace. Please, little Johnny, pick up your head! Hey, don’t get me wrong. Assessing educational progress is a good thing. So I guess, in a way, standardized testing is simply too much of a good thing! In any case, this leg of it is over now and we’ve survived and tomorrow there will be a special lunch to celebrate the accomplishment.
I think meatloaf is the intended entrée. For some reason that just strikes me as really funny. I guess, in my mind, meatloaf just doesn’t qualify as celebration fare. You know? I can see telling a school full of kids that they’ve done a great job and will be rewarded with a barbeque cookout or spaghetti blowout or pizza pigout or some other kid-friendly menu. Somehow, saying, “Hey, kids! Here’s a slab of meatloaf just for you!” just doesn’t elicit the same enthusiasm. But it does make me laugh and shake my head.
And maybe that’s a perfect ending for a week like this anyhow.
This is what greeted me when I opened the door at my house and I thought, “I know exactly how you feel, buddy.” The good news is…I will recover from this week. The little guy in the photo won’t be so fortunate.
In fact, as I was clicking away with the camera, caught up in the luxury of this welcome distraction, somebody decided she’d shared her toy long enough.
Yep, he’ll be in a body bag (garbage bag) by bedtime.
Welcome to the Arctic! This space is dedicated to observations and experiences related to daily life in the Inupiat Eskimo village of Atqasuk. Questions and comments are invited. Thanks for visiting! Quyanaqpaq!
nuna:tundra, the land atikluk:snow shirt, parka cover
Interested in Inuit culture? Check out these films...
The Fast Runner is an excellent representation of ancient Inuit culture. The R-rating is for nudity, violence, and some language. Subtitles are utilized throughout. I do not recommend this film for children, but it's an extremely accurate portrayal of the culture. It was introduced to me by an Inupiat woman who raved about it. And I agree!
For a preview, click here.
The Snow Walker is another excellent representation of Inuit culture circa 1940's. This film is rated PG, I'm guessing for language. No subtitles that I remember. It starts a little slow, but gets much better. It will leave you with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the survival skills of this culture.
For a preview, click here.
Great For Kids!
Whale Snow by Debby Dahl Edwardson is a warm and culturally sensitive story centered on the Inupiat subsistence tradition of whaling. It is available in both English and Inupiaq translation. The illustrations, by Annie Patterson are exquisite and add to the quiet softness that the story inspires.
To order this title on Amazon.com, click here.
The Alaska Geographic series is an excellent informational resource. The edition entitled North Slope Now deals exclusively with this area and even features relatives of my students. Although it was published in 1989, it is still current enough to provide a general understanding of culture, lifestyle, and issues faced by this northern-most region.
To order this title from Alaska Geographic, click here.
More about Kaktovik Disaster of 2005 (from Dec post, "The Edge")