Saturday, November 1, 2008
Well, it has been a very busy month. School has completed the first quarter, we all survived Halloween, and only a few more weeks until we get a break. I have found myself buried under piles of paperwork, trying to get a hold on things before I get too far behind. Last Tuesday, we held parent teacher conferences. Our conferences here run much the same as those in the lower 48, but fewer parents seem to come. Of my six students, I talked to four of their parents. Ouch! I just wish I could see more support for the students coming from the parents side. Jenny, my roommate, had asked a parent what their belief on discipline is, and received the reply, "We let them learn from their own mistakes." In other words, there is no discipline or any sort of repercussion for acting out in school and getting bad grades. Bummer.
Yesterday, we had a big Halloween carnival in school. Janey and I were in charge of the Spooky House, and I had a wonderful time scaring the pants of kids. It seemed to go very well. After the carnival, students went around the village to trick or treat. At 6:00, the community put on a celebration called "Puuqtaluk." This activity is where community members dress up to hide their identity. They stuff their clothes, wear two different shoes, walk funny, and basically do anything they can so they can't not be recognized. Not everyone participates in this, but most of the people show up to watch. Each age has a different category, so only the little kids compete against each other and adults compete against each other. Once the age category is called and all the contestants have a number, they must do a dance. Once as a whole group and then again individually. Winners are determined by a panel of judges and they win huge cash prizes. First place was $250 and each place after that got less money, all the way up to 4th place. This activity was so much fun! Jenny and I sat through the whole thing and tried to guess who was who. We really had a great time.