Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday this week was our district in-service. Our in-service is held in Dillingham. Dillingham is not part of our district, but our district office is located there. It was really fun to see everyone from the district again and meet all the new people. Tim and I are excited about all the new staff in Togiak. We especially were relieved when we met our principal. He seems like a really good guy that will do the best for the students and staff.
In-service ended just after noon on Wednesday, so after lunch everyone started making the trek back to their villages. We had about 6 flights over to Togiak. Tim and I were scheduled on the 3:00 pm flight that left at 4:30 pm. We enjoyed the wait though. We looked through the district media center and loaded two totes full of books, DVDs, and manipulatives.
Thursday and Friday were work days at school. Tim and I were at school all day Thursday, Friday, and Saturday getting things prepared for next week. It has been a little hard to prepare because the bell schedule and class schedule are still changing and we are trying to adjust for one less teacher for an unknown amount of time (she broke her hip a few weeks ago). I feel for our counselor and principal. Both are new to the district and there are so many changes and decisions they have to make with little or no information. Regardless of how ready we are though, school starts tomorrow. We’ll survive. I’m a bit nervous, but excited to get going again.
I made sure to get away from my classroom a little bit the past few days. Friday evening, I went down to the beach with a bunch of other teachers to set up the fish net. After we got the net set out most of us continued exploring along the beach. We drove down to 2nd creek and then decided to return over the hill instead of along the beach. The weather was great and the view was beautiful. I love how green it is here this time of year.
I keep trying to like fish, but I just can’t. I told Dale (the teacher that was instigating the netting) that I wanted to come help but I didn’t want any fish. He still gave me fish and told me I could just give it away; so I did, all but 1 filet. I thought, “I’ve got fresh salmon here, I should just give it another try.” I got a new recipe from an experienced salmon consumer, cooked it up, and then . . . felt like I rather puke than eat salmon. I knocked on my neighbor’s door and told them, “I cooked more fish than I can eat, would you like some?” What I didn’t tell them is that I gave them ALL the fish. I hope it tasted okay. I’m not exactly a pro at cooking salmon.
After setting the net on Friday evening, some of the teachers and I decided to take the “short cut” home across the tundra. For those of you who are unfamiliar with tundra it tends to be very spongy. There are a lot of mosses, berries, and small plants and bushes that grow close to the ground, but much of the tundra is very saturated. You will sink a bit where you step and you’ll get a bit wet if you don't have on your waterproof boots. Needless to say, I was a bit skeptical of this short cut, but was assured by another teacher that he’d taken it before and you could make it. We drove for a while on a fairly firm dirt trail, but soon were following a less established and less firm trail. We had to keep up our speed to avoid getting stuck and repeatedly get stuck here and there as the 4-wheelers sunk into the ground. At one point in time one teacher was walking across the tundra to help another teacher get unstuck and sunk to the top of his rubber boats. As he tried to get out he sunk to his thighs. None of us could help him because we would sink too. When he finally worked his way out, his boats were still in the muck. After he got stuck two more times and our 4-wheelers got stuck a little more seriously, we decided we’d turn back. I guess that short cut can wait until it freezes.