Current North Spirit Lake time

The current North Spirit Lake First Nations time is

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“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Tuesday and Wednesday were pretty normal days at school. Nothing out of the ordinary happened and it looked like it was going to be a regular week.

There was a death and when the body returns to the community family and friends go to the airport. So Thursday was a half day so that that could happen. In the morning I only had 5 kids show up. I think I had the most students come. But 5 out of 14 aren’t enough to do much work, so instead I let them watch a movie and then play on the ipads. It was a very boring morning, but it gave me the opportunity to clean up my desk area and rearrange things. 

Not many students came to school on Friday either, except for mine. The other classes only had a couple kids come, but I had majority of mine. So we did work in the morning and then the afternoon was free activities.

In the evening Monika and I went to the church. Our Native Language teacher told us her and some of the other elders were going to be singing while preparations were made for the funeral. We felt that it would be good for us to go and pay our respects.

Saturday we all went to the funeral. The Education board wanted us to go because he was a former student at the school. He was also quite young so most of the community was attending.

Sunday was a very boring day. I did nothing at all. The internet was down all weekend so I wasn’t even able to work on my course! In the afternoon a quilt was dropped off for me. Quilts were made for every household on the rez for the 10th memorial of someone who passed away. It’s a very nice quilt and it’s nice that they also made one for each of the teachers even though we didn’t know the person. The reason they made blankets is because the person died from hypothermia so the blanket is symbolic of keeping others warm.  

Monday the 28th was a pretty good day at school. There was no water again in the morning, but the students were good so it was a smooth morning. It was Monika’s birthday Monday so after school I was in charge of distracting her so that a cake and dinner could be made.

I, Monika, Adrian, Brandon, and Destiny all got together and had a nice dinner for her birthday. After that we got ourselves ready to go duck hunting. I was already around 8pmso by the time we got ready and down to the river we didn’t have much day light left. We found spots along the shore and settled in to wait. We were out there for about an hour and we didn’t see anything, so we didn’t do much hunting. Instead it was a nice relaxing evening sitting by the shore. After that we went back to have some cake!

Tuesday was a long day at school. I went to bed late because of the duck hunting and cake so I was really tired all day. Wednesday and Thursday were also pretty regular days and I was still tired. Thursday it was a little nicer outside and as the beginning of May my class and Monika’s class went outside for a nature scavenger hunt. Our classes are Book Buddies so we also do other activities together. Surprisingly the scavenger hunt didn’t go over that well! We thought that the kids would be more into it than they were.

Friday seemed like a long day. It was only our second 5 day work week since December so I’m not used to working a full week! Friday night Monika and I painted our nails. We tend to paint them quite frequently because there isn’t much else to do. I do her nails and she does mine. It’s nice having some else do my nails for a change rather than me always doing them.

Saturday I spent most of the day working on my course. I was going to wash my floors, but that never happened because there wasn’t any water for most of the day. Around 11pmthe power went out so I decided to go to bed. They kept trying to turn it on over and over again and every time they did my furnace would make horrible noises. So I turned off all my breakers and figured I’d just turn everything on in the morning.

Sunday morning I woke up and turned my breakers on but the power still wasn’t back on. We were asked to turn all the breakers off in the houses so that they could get the power going. The main generator broke and the small one wasn’t able to hold all the power being used.

Monika and I went over the Susan’s to get warm and use her stove so that we could make lunch. It’s not -40 degree weather anymore, but it is still cold at night so the temperature in the house can get chilly.

Monika and I decided to be adventurous and we made bannock burgers. We made bannock – which consists of flour, baking powder, lard, and water – and then wrapped it around hamburgers before deep frying it. They turned out a little too flaky, but weren’t bad. They were very filling though so we could barely eat even one each!

The power came back on in the afternoon, but everyone has to conserve power so that it stays on. The school is all turned off right now because it draws so much power and it’s going to be closed tomorrow so that they can hopefully try to get the generators fixed.

Well that’s about all of an update for now.

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“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” – Marthe Troly-Curtin

So it’s time for another blog post. Once again I’m a week late, but I was sick all of last week so writing an update wasn’t on the top of my list! So let me start where I left off last time. Friday, April 11th was PINK day at the school. PINK day is when you wear pink and do activities to bring awareness to bullying. Since there wasn’t any school on the Thursday because of the power, we didn’t have many kids show up on the Friday. In the afternoon we had an assembly where we talked a bit about bullying, showed a video and then broke into groups for activities. Monika and I took the grades 1-4 to do an activity involving hands and writing nice things about each other. Adriantook the grade 5-8 to talk about cyber bullying.

Friday night I went out and watched the Northern Lights. It was the first time I have ever seen them so it was pretty cool. They were really bright green at one point right above my house. Unfortunately my camera isn’t expensive enough to capture of picture of them!

For the most part the weekend was pretty uneventful. Sunday night we went to Susan’s for dinner. It was her niece’s 16th birthday so Monika and I made a cake and we had a nice dinner.

I started feeling sick Sunday and ended up being sick for most of the week and into this past weekend. So the week felt extremely long even though it was only 4 days. I didn’t do much throughout the week because I was tired. Wednesday evening some kids from the school came by and asked if I wanted to go snowmobiling with them. It’s funny how young they learn how to drive a snowmobile! I had to turn them down though because I was still sick.

Thursday was a fun day at school. We are learning about coins in Math so we did a coin Easter egg hunt. I put different amounts of money in Easter eggs and hid them around the classroom. The kids have to look for eggs, add up the amount of money inside, and record it. They seemed to enjoy it and it was a great way to have a quiet classroom for 45 minutes!

Thursday evening was Parent/Teacher interviews and handing out report cards. I have 14 kids in my class yet I only gave out 8 report cards – and only talked to 6 of those parents. Not great numbers, but oh well. After that we had BINGO at the school to raise money for the grade 7/8 class trip. We had a pretty good turn out which was nice to see!

Friday was a pretty lazy day. The internet wasn’t working so that made things a little more boring. I was still a little sick so I spent most of the day just lying around.

Saturday Susan had Easter dinner at her house. We had turkey, veggies, stuffing, mashed potatoes. It was nice to have a typical Easter dinner since I was away from home. After dinner we all played radio BINGO. I ended up winning one of the games - $100!

Sunday morning I dragged Monika to the church with me. There wasn’t a formal service, but it was nice. It was mostly elders running their own prayers and songs. After that I just worked on the course I’m taking and Skyped with my parents.

Today is another lazy day. I’m lying around and working on my course. I only have two more months left until the summer. I’m surprised by how fast the year is going, but I am looking forward to coming home for a couple months. Well that’s all for now! 

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“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.” – May Sarton

So this post is a little late. I would like to blame the lack of internet (which it actually wasn’t working), however the real reason for no post a couple weeks ago was because I forgot and then I was too busy during school hours to post! So this week’s post will be a recap of the last three weeks.

Two weeks ago (March 24th – 28th) was once again a short week. This time we knew about the closures ahead of time – on the weekend. Monday was a normal day at school, but Tuesday it was closed. It was election week so on Tuesday they had a nominations meeting. I think it was kind of funny that they closed the school for this. The meeting was for those who are eligible to vote – First Nation and 18 years or older – to nominate people for chief and council. Which means that the teachers didn’t need to attend and neither did any of the students. However school was closed anyways!

I woke up to no power Tuesday morning and since my house was pretty cold it had gone off sometime in the night. I went over to Monika and Adrian’s house and we cooked breakfast over a fire. The power did come back on shortly after and the rest of the day was pretty uneventful.

We were back to school for Wednesday and Thursday. They were fairly normal days without anything out of the ordinary. There was a funny moment when I was grading math pages. Spelling isn’t our strong suit! One student's sheet said: seven - one = ___sex___

Friday there wasn’t school because it was Election Day. Once again I think it was kind of silly to close the school for this since the teachers and students couldn’t vote. But it made for another long weekend – getting really used to those! I spent the afternoon painting nails with Monika.

The weekend was pretty uneventful – so much so that I don’t remember if I did anything. I’m going to go with no. I probably just sat in my house all day watching TV. The internet wasn’t working and the water barely worked so TV was the only option.

Monday (March 31st) was back to school. And I’m pleased to say that it was a full 5 day work week! The first 5 day work week since December! It sure was tiring working a whole week!

The native language teacher gave me a recipe for bannock so I decided to make some with dinner. It wasn’t too challenging – it’s basically just flour, baking powder, and a bit of water fried.

That night Monika and I finally started exercising. We’ve been trying to get motivated to start exercising since September! Since there aren’t very many opportunities for physical activities we were turning into bumps on a log!

Tuesday morning I couldn’t believe that it was only Tuesday! I was not very motivated that day and it turns out that much of the school was either. A bunch of the kids were in bad moods and some were trouble markers!

However in the afternoon Monika’s class decided to play an April Fool’s day prank on my class. They took out the filling in Oreo cookies and filled them with toothpaste. I don’t think my class knew it was April Fool’s day and they seemed really confused about why their Book Buddies were feeding them yucky cookies! At first they didn’t want to admit that they didn’t like the cookies, but when I told them to be honest they hesitantly told the truth. When told it was toothpaste their reaction was very dramatic!

Wednesday and Thursday were pretty normal days. We’ve been in ‘get it done’ mode since March break because there is still so much left to cover before the end of the school year.

Friday felt like a very lazy day. For some reason most of the school didn’t show up. All the other classes are pretty small to begin with, but Friday they only had 2 or 3 kids show up. I had 5 away but that meant that more than half were there. So while the other classes weren’t doing much and watching movies, we were learning – in the morning at least. Friday afternoons are always free activities, so the kids played while I got some work done. 

Saturday I spent the morning cleaning the house – sweeping, mopping, etc. Then it was some TV. The internet is down again. It seems to work during the week, but not on the weekends – very annoying.

The water has also been very annoying the last two weeks. It’s never on in the mornings or before bed, so it makes getting ready for school in the morning a little difficult. Hopefully they get the problem fixed soon so that I can wash my face properly!

Sunday I baked some peanut butter cookies for a dinner later on. Then in the later afternoon I got a phone call asking if I wanted to go ice fishing. It was the annual Elders Winter Retreat and they wanted us to come out. So Adrian, Monika, and I hopped in the truck and drove out to Duckling Lake. It’s pretty close to the end of the Winter Road season so it was a pretty bumpy and slippery ride! I’ve posted a video in the video section.

Monika was the only one of the three of us to catch a fish. Adrian got a couple nibbles and I got absolutely nothing! So much for beginners luck!

Monday (April 7th) we had about 17 kids come to school. There was a memorial for someone who had passed last year, so we weren’t expecting too many kids to come. We decided to take those 17 ice fishing. It had been on the table for a few days and with the approach of warm weather our days to go were numbered.

So we piled the kids on the bus and headed out on the Winter Road to Duckling Lake. Now to put your mind at ease – the Winter Road is mostly through bush. It only goes over one lake.

However, when it starts to get warm the snow becomes very soft and difficult to drive through. Even in a pickup truck with 4-wheel drive you can slide a lot. So the task of getting the bus out to the lake was a little challenging. There were quite a few times when we thought that it was going to get stuck.

We did make it to Duckling Lake alright and the kids seemed to have a good time fishing. Within the first 10 minutes of being there they started catching fish like crazy. One of my students caught 5 fish!

I caught my first fish shortly after putting my line in the water. Now this was my fish time fishing so when I caught the fish I got too excited and wasn’t sure what to do. I didn’t pull the fish away from the hole in time and I ended of losing it. I was pretty disappointed!

Then about 10 minutes later I got another bite. Once again I lost it again! This time it fell off the hook before I got it out. However one of the men with us reached in and grabbed the fish just in time. It was a pretty big Jackfish. After that I had a couple nibbles but didn’t get any others.

After fishing we roasted some hot dogs for lunch before heading back to the school. We got back around 4pm and found out that some people had thought we had got stuck because we were back later than anticipated.

We bagged up the kids’ fish and dropped them off. Everyone got to take home what they caught. I ended up giving my fish away because I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I have no idea how to fillet a fish and I also don’t eat a whole lot of fish.

You can see pictures from the two days of Ice Fishing in the photo album titled Ice Fishing.

The rest of the week was fairly normal except that I’m taking an Addition Qualifications course in Special Education and it started on Monday. So after school hours have been spent working on that.

Wednesday was the 100th day of school so we did a bunch of activities around it. Fortunately we are learning about money in Math so we had to make 100 cents using various coins. The kids thought it was just a 100th day activity and didn’t realize they were learning!

Today (Thursday) we didn’t have school because we had the first power outage we have had in weeks. It went off Wednesday evening around 8pm and didn’t come on until around noon today. We actually thought it would be off longer because it’s pretty broken. But they managed to get someone to fly in and do a temporary fix until they can come back.

The weather is getting warmer. Yesterday it rained most of the day. I did wake up to almost a blizzard this morning, but it died out and it’s warmer out there now. Hopefully we will see some signs of Spring soon! That’s all for now. Hopefully next time I won’t take so long to post an update! 

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