Thursday Tidbits

Posted on October 29, 2020 under Thursday Tidbits with one comment

Giving a few pointers


Small victories. Simple pleasures. Part 2.

Teaching up north presents unique challenges, not the least of which is the climate. Winters are long and cold. You need to look for small rays of sunlight and appreciate them when they appear.

I was having a lovely chat with a friend on Tuesday evening. She is in Mexico studying Spanish, soaking up culture along with a few rays. She commented on my most recent post. I told her that this was an easy one to write as I was merely summarizing two presentations I had attended about Inuit culture. I like these kinds of posts because they are educational and I don’t have to think too much, which is a blessing! I then wondered aloud what I would write about today. At that moment I didn’t have the slightest clue.

So, dear readers, my fallback position when I am stumped for a topic, is to talk about the trivial and the mundane but let’s face it, most of daily living falls into these categories.

I will start with the most important one first. A few days ago, a colleague was traveling south for a medical appointment. She signed off an early morning note by wishing me a good day. I responded that it had gotten off to a good start. I was able to put my feet on the floor. I NEVER take this simple pleasure for granted.

In no particular order, here are a few of the things that made me smile in recent days.

Thanks to my daughter, Ellie, I believe I have perfected butter cream icing. The trick is to beat the crap out of the icing for at least five minutes. It actually fluffs up a bit and becomes super creamy and easy to spread. I also learned what a crumb coat was. Very often when I ice a cake, my icing is flecked with crumbs. Ellie told me to put a light coat of icing on the cake and refrigerate it for about 20 minutes and then apply the final coating. Works like a charm. Of course, all you experts out there knew this already.

I made my first caribou roast on Monday. The local man who gave me the roast suggested that I cut a few slits in the top of the roast and insert cloves of garlic into the cavities. After doing this, I chopped up an onion finely and sprinkled this on top of the meat and covered it with tin foil, cooking it at a low heat for a few hours. The roast produced exceptionally tasty gravy. At least that’s what my dinner guests said. Surely they wouldn’t lie to a colleague!

The last two Fridays, I have played a card game at Chad and Emma’s after school. It’s called Phase 10. It appears to be the perfect card game after a mentally exhausting week at school. It doesn’t require superpowers of concentration. Having said this, I still am craving a game of bridge.

We had parent night at the school on Tuesday. I have been doing a lot of one on one reading with my students. English is their second language and they need a lot of remedial work. One father told me that for the first time ever, his daughter presented him with a book and asked him to read to her. He told me that this made his heart feel good. Made mine feel pretty good too.

The highlight of my week? That’s easy. My teaching duties include three classes of English instruction a week for grade 3 students. This is one of their first introductions to the English language. I hauled out an old classic song which I thought they might like. Most of you are old enough to remember the children’s entertainers, Sharon, Lois and Bram. Yup. I played Skinamarrink from a Youtube video. While they couldn’t learn all the words first time around, they caught on to the gestures. It just so happened that 20 minutes later, the principal arrived at my class to drop something off. I grabbed my guitar and asked the children to stand. Not only had they perfected the gestures in record time, they were able to sing many of the words. They were incredibly cute. The principal said it was the highlight of her week. Mine too.

It stands to reason that the longer I’m at the school, the more children get to know me. I can’t go far in the hallways, the playground or the grocery store without hearing, “Hi Len.” I feel like I belong.

Small victories and simple pleasures.

And Skinamarrink!

Have a great weekend.

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Highland Hearing Clinic

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