Sunday, December 16, 2007

Quyana Thank You

Quyana to have met very one in my ED 429 class this semester. I have learned alot from this class. I have also learned about other blogs on other sites that are pretty interesting also. I did finish my imovie at the very last days of the due date. It was a fun class and quyana Skip for teaching the technology. I sure plan to use the education in the future. As for everyone else hope your wishes come true and may you have a very joyous Christmas and a very good new year.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Uivik, December 2007 Heading for Christmas

My! December sure showed up fast. The students in the schools are now getting ready for Christmas and the Christmas songs are now being practiced. Do any of the other schools still have Christmas skits? I heard stories from some elders of the first Christmas skit we had here in Chefornak. One of the teachers had a recording of the chipmunks songs and had three boys mimic the songs on stage. The poor elders in the village were so impressed with the boys because they thought they were really singing. The one I remember best was of myself and my classmates playing Raggdy Ann (because I was Raggdy Ann and had to use a mop head for hair) and act like a wabbly rag doll. Some skits use to be really funny. They were held in the old BIA school where everyone from the village crowded together in one room with a stage in the front and when the skits were over a live Santa would burst in hollering HO!HO! HO! and past out candy and small presents. I use to believe in that Santa at that young age. Now itseems Christmas is to materalized and stressful for alot of people. I think they should concentrate on the reason for the season. What do you think?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Where's the original winter wonder land?

Folks are finally using snow machines to travel around but still have to travel carefully because the frozen ponds and river are not thick enough yet. Where's the original winter wonder land we use to have by this time of the year? This month in yupik is called "cauyarvik" which means month of the drums. It used to be used for having the traditional eskimo dance festivals. One was called kevigyaraq, Messenger feast where one village would send kevaq's, messengers to another village inviting them for a dance festival. I liken it today to a thanksgiving feast, where the villagers get together and hold a dance festival where they pass out their excess resources they had harvested or where they present a young person who had caught their first catch, berries or some animal to the visiting guests. They would then include subsistence catches before the influence of the western cultures. To me it sort of represented thanksgiving where they share with other villages their thankful catches of the season.Now when we have it we include all sorts of modern things that could be of use to families. This village usually hosts to Toksook Bay, Tununak, Nightmute, Newtok and other area villagers that could make it here. We hold our dance festival for three days on a weekend and then on sunday the visiting guests gather at the gym where the elders are seated first on down to the youngest guest, men and women on either side of the gym. The guests then get to pick out from a pile of goods whatever they want one at a time. When that is done, that evening after the evening meal the visiting guests then usually dance for the village in thanksgiving. Then the hosting village does the last dances and everyones gets to go home happy with giving and recieving of gifts. With this late winter the cauyarvik festivals are starting to be held later in the year such as in february or even march when the tundra traveling is better. I hope we get enough snow and cold to freeze up the traveling areas so our villages can hold the eskimo dance festivals. Everyone usually looks forward to the festivals.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Halloween ghosts

Happy late Halloween. Our school had its annual halloween contest where most students dressed up as spooky, funny, most original, members of ghosts. The highschool students had the king and queen halloween skit and the two grades from elementary made up halloween songs that were sung very loudly. It was a fun afternoon. Our local corporation cable company aired it on the village tv channel so most everyone who was not able to come to the school got to watch it also. Speaking of that. every friday afternoon our local student news team has a 15 minute show on that channel also and they usually have news of the school activities. Our NYO team of at least 16 students are competing at Akula. We had a parent teacher conference this past week and we had a good turn out. Our local traditional council tries to suspend local activities so that parents can go to the parent teacher conferences. I believe that shows the village supports students education. Its been a fun week.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Hi everyone,
Here I am in the intensive math and english intensive with guess who?? Betty Swan, she says a big hello to everyone, boy was it good to see her. She's really working hard on her english classes. I am working hard on my math classes and I have caught up on most of my lessons. Its not as intensive as ED 330 and Ed 429 but if your not a math whiz its still intensive.
I wanted to answer a few question from my last blog about students transferring to different schools sometimes. They might have many different reasons, problems at their old school, new boyfriends, girlfriends, family situations. I have not been aware of what would happen if a principal accepted a student the village council did not want but its been my experience that the principal would usually listens to the council or let them at least know the reasons the student is excepted into the school. Each year we here in Chefornak get at least one to two new students, sometimes some years past without a student from another place. Some students have stayed the whole year and some have gone home. The schools usually communicate between each other to see where the student is in academics and usually trys to place the student in the right classes. Well I have to go and pay attention to Sandra Wilfeuer. Bye for now

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Teaching in rural Alaska

This week our village traditional council had a village meeting. One thing they discussed was interesting because I wanted to see how other communities in rural Alaska would handle the situation. They were discussing transfer students from surrounding villages that may have decided to attend from another village besides the village where they were born and raised. The traditional council of this village wanted any students coming into the village to register as becoming members of this community. They were not sure how long the student would have had to stay before registering. They had different times as to how long the student was to have stayed before registering. But one thing they were clear on was that the principal of the school had to notify the traditional council before excepting the student. Since a lot of communities have a lot of turnovers of principals, whenever the new principal would change they would come in not knowing the wishes of the traditional council towards transferring students. An elder at the meeting thought it was not a good idea for excepting students from other communities for several reasons. One reason was that the student may bring in bad influences, or the student may pick up bad influences from the community they chose to move into. Another reason she stated was that the parents of any student should be the first teachers of such a student and made a point that parents should be involved in the students education. If a student chose to attend in another village, that village was sort of like a host, becoming responsible for the students welfare as well as the students education. She stated that if the student went home and became a bad influence, the host village would naturally be the blame. I guess different communities would have different views on the situation but I was curious to what the majority thoughts would be. I, myself have been to boarding school, two of my children have been to boarding school, three of my children have stayed home and attended school here and when I think about it, I would rather be involved in my children's education. What would you have said if your son or daughter wanted to attend a school in another rural village?