Monday, November 28, 2005

89. Photos................II

I have trouble getting pictures to stay where I put them on the page, so I will just tell you about the pictures and hope you can figure out which picture is which.

1. PE class

2. Musk ox

3. Karla (L) and Gilford (R) pose for the camera

4. The eastern third of town. I took this from the 2nd floor of the school, which I think is the only 2nd floor in town. The ocean is on the left, the river on the right. My house is a little bit past the red house on the opposite side od the road from everyone else.

5. Rod (the principal) reading to the class (Where the Red Fern Grows)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

88. Reply to Comment

I received a posting from someone who feels that my comments are condescending (comments to posting #86). I apologize for any hurt feelings.
While I am trying to give the facts about the town, they do not bother me. Hey, just all part of the experience. People outside are interested in the town, both the good and the bad. When I talk with non-Deering people I know that follow my blog, they all feel that I seem positive, so my good feelings must be coming through.
As far as teaching goes, I would like to spend another year here. (If nothing else, I will have a year contract on my satellite TV!) Others advise me to wait until I spend a winter here. As far as the future after next year, I will not even speculate. (I heard a saying – “If you want to make G-d laugh, tell Her your plans.”)
My main feeling about the town is that it is a friendly place. People wave hello as they drive by on ATVs. If I get a package at the post office that is too big for me to carry home, I know I can ask someone else there with an ATV to give me a lift (or, if they do not have room for me and my package, they will probably take my package and leave it at my door.) Some people know that I really want to see northern lights, and I have had a few people call me to let me know when they are out. It will be this friendliness that I will remember in my post-Deering days, whenever they may be.
I understand your protective feelings about the town, however. Point taken. I will be more careful in the future.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

87. Snowmobiling

A friend in the village took me out on his snowmobile today. They are a lot of fun! We went down (up?) the frozen river a distance. Today was unusually warm, so it was a good day for it. We saw couple of musk ox, a fox, and a few birds. (What is the plural of musk ox?) The bushes covered with ice are really pretty. Unfortunately, I did not think to bring my camera. Snow machines are pretty easy to drive. Just dress warm!

Friday, November 25, 2005

86. Weather Report III

We had a heat wave today - It was almost 10 F !!! ( -12 C) VERY windy, though.
The day today was 4 hrs, 46 minutes. Tomorrow will be about 7 minutes shorter.

85. Website of the week I

Great website - Subservient Chicken
Give the chicken commands and see what he does!!!

84. My Letter to the Editor IV

.....Israel is objecting to world pressure to allow a road cutting through Israel to join the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Why the objection? After all, Americans use I-5 and the Alaska Highway to drive from Washington to Alaska, and we cut through Canada to do so. Isn't that the same thing?
.....Oh, wait, one little difference: The United States is not sending out suicide bombers in an attempt to destroy Canada.
(published in today's Anchorage Daily News)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

83. The Glass is Half Full

While the town kind of strikes me as a bit of a dump, my sister-in-law is amazed at how hey have built town this nice when everything has to be brought in by plane or boat all this way. I guess it is kind of amazing, when you think about it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

82. The Sea is Frozen

Actually, it froze a while ago, I just forgot to post it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

81. My brother, et. al. are coming :-)

My brother, his wife, and their two kids are coming. Company! Friendly faces!! There are few places on earth you can go where they won't visit. Someone from the school will pick them up at the airport with an ATV with a cart. (No, there is no shuttle, no bus, no taxi.) A few people are bringing extra warm stuff for them in case they neeed it. My brother and his wife are two of my favorite people. I'm glad that when I was a kid and trying to sell him to anyone who would buy him that no one did.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

80. In Local News... I

Some guy tried to drive a truck from Buckland to Kotzebue. He drove over the Chukchi sea. He thought the sea was frozen enough and the ice would support the truck. He was wrong.

79. Wrong Weather

I am not going to remove the weather button from my website, unless it goes for a little while longer without being fixed. In the meantime, the weather retngle is WRONG!!!! If you g to the Deering weather link, it is also WRONG!!! Maybe their weather equipment froze. It is a good bit colder than what it says. To get a better idea of out temperature, go to the weather page link and check out Kotzebue or Buckland. I apologize for any inconvienence this may have caused.

Friday, November 18, 2005

78. Trivia

Winston Churchill spelled in Hebrew is, at least according to Wikipedia,

וינסטון צ'רצ'יל

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

77. Can you help me?

I am going to a potluck dinner for Thanksgiving, along with my brother and his family who will be visiting. I want to make noodle kugel, but I did not bring the receipe. Does anyone out there have a copy of the first Lubavitch Women's cookbook? It is blue and hardbound. If so, could you post the ingredients for the noodle kugel with fruit in it? (apples and raisins) You don't need to give me the directions, I know that you just cook the noodles, chop the apples, mix it all together and bake. Thanks!!

76. Quitting my job!!!

Guess what!!!! I can quit my job! Apparently there is some guy from the Sudan who had to leave his country due to political problems and he left behind a fortune. He can not get it (I did not really understand why) but as an American I can. All I have to do is pay a few little fees, and the government will turn over the account worth billions in US dollars and he will give me 20% of the account. I’m set for life. (Boy, am I lucky that out of all the Americans with e-mail he specifically chose me to contact!) Goodby working world! Next post is from a beach in Hawaii. I won’t even care if I get sand in my laptop since I plan to get a new laptop every day.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

75. Here's something I never expected

Here is the website of "Arabs for Israel". No, it is not a joke.

74. Ideas, anyone

I am in charge of the foyer bulletin board for December. Given that:
A. I am not going to do a Christmas theme
B. The dangers of FAS were covered last month
does anyone have any suggestions?

Something mathy would be nice, but that is not a requirement.

73. Please say it isn't so!!

I just saw an article in the newspaper that said that the Fulton Fish Market is moving to the Bronx!?!

Monday, November 14, 2005

72. Deering school

I figure I should probably be a more efficient blogger and give everyone a good idea of what my day is like here, as well as the days of the teenagers I teach.

Rod is the principal. He’s a pretty good guy. (OK, you are probably wondering if, if I thought he wasn’t would I say so in a blog? Well, probably not, but I wouldn’t lie either.) If you watch Dharma and Greg (fun show!) Rod strikes me as a cross between the old Indian guy and Larry.

When you come ion the school building, you are right next to the gym, which also functions as the lunchroom and the auditorium. It is pretty much a big open room (well, like all gyms are). On one wall are some tables and benches that fold out of the wall for people to sit at and eat. We hope that next summer the gym can be expanded to make room for bleachers.

Next to the gym is the office.

Past the gym is the hallway for the younger kids. There are, I think four classrooms. Maybe five?

Above the office and part of the gym are two classrooms for the older students. One of them is my classroom, the other is Scott’s. We both teach the middle school and the high school students. The classrooms have doorways facing each other with sort of a vestibule between them with a printer, a water fountain, a few lockers, and the door to the bathroom.

Scott and I both get here around 8. The students start trickling in then, and either come upstairs to work on the computers or play in the gym. Breakfast is served at 8:30, and mostly consists of cold cereal and milk (from a mix), canned fruit, and often a freshly baked muffin. (It is OK, but would be a lot better if the milk was cold.) They unfold the tables for students to eat. The tables take up a very small part of the gym, so the kids still play.

School starts at 9. About half the MS kids and half the HS kids have a “healthy living” class in my classroom, taught by April (Rod’s wife). The other half of each class has gym with Scott. The students will switch halfway through the year.

At 9:45 I get the MS kids for math, while Scott gets the HS kids for literature. At 10:45 we switch kids; I have the HS kids for geometry, and Scott had the MS kids for lit.

At 11:45, I have kids for an elective. Rod often reads to the students. He finished “Flowers for Algernon” and is now reading “Where the Red Fern Grows”. I like just listening; it is sort of a luxury to be read to. For the rest of the period, I do math related stuff with them. I have the students play nim with each other, and I keep track of who wins. I am currently having students research a number of their choosing (all the students chose positive integers, although that was not a requirement) and will make an 8.5” x 11” poster on the computer that I will print up on the color printer and laminate. I also put up posterboard with sections numbered 0 through 111 for students to write in how to find the numbers using 4 4s. I think I am going to have the students make Soma Cube sets with a bunch of wooden cubes the school was planning to get rid of. Maybe a while after that we can make sets for Towers of Hanoi.

While I do this, Scott has the other students for Journalism. They came out with a pretty good first edition of this years school paper with is not yet online, but I will update the link when I can.

12:30 is lunch.

At 1:00 I have the MS students for general science, while Scott has the HS students for global studies. At 2:00 we switch, I have the HS students for earth science, Scott has the MS students for world history. (Since students spend several years in HS, the sciences rotate. Last year the HS students all had physics.) At 3:00 school ends.

I mostly work in my room until about 4:30 and then go to the post office before it closes.

Each class has about 14 students. I have a total of 29 different kids.

I do NOT miss an annoying bell that always manages to ring in the middle of a sentence so the students all get up even though you are talking and walk out!!!!!! (I HATE bells!) We have a radical system instead – We have a clock in each classroom, and when the teacher sees that it is time for the class to end, she/he sends the students to the other room.

It works.

71. Just a thought

Do you ever get the feeling that the sitcom writers that are writing your life have been smoking something weird lately?

Sunday, November 13, 2005

70. Gas prices

So, what are the current gas prices up to out there? (Actually, I really am curious.) In Deering, gas is $3.80 a gallon. That is on the low side for the villages here. The high is Shungnak, where gas is $6.09. There is no gas station here. If you want gas, you go to the city office, and they take your money and give you a key to the gas tanks and you fill your ATV tank.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

69. My Letter to the Editor III

So, the president of Iran wants Israel "wiped off the map." Out of curiosity -- is Israel even on maps in Iran?
(above was published in today's Anchorage Daily News)
note - When I lived in NYC in the 80s, I used to pass the office for Royal Jordanian Airlines. They had a large map of the Middle East in their window. Israel was not on the map. Jordan, however, had a lot of coastline along the Mediterranean. (I was so tempted to play stupid and go in and ask about making reservations for some resort along the coast.)


.....OK, my mother and my brother both said I need to watch what I say on this blog or I might offend someone, but I don't care. It is either rant here or go downstairs and murder Craig. And to be honest, I don't guarantee that I won't do both.
…..Last weekend I went to Kotzebue and took got a bunch of really good pictures. Bob, the HAM radio guy drove me all around the town for hours, including the beach and some other out-of-the-way places so I could get pictures of the town and the sunset. He took me to some out-of-town hills so I could get a couple of great pictures of the entire town with the ocean in the background. Some pictures I wanted to keep, one was for Stephen, some I wanted to post here.
…..The school is having an overnight activity and Gilford, a student here, wanted to take some pictures. I showed him how to use my camera and let him take some pictures. There are two adults supervising here, me and Craig. I am watching the students upstairs and Craig was watching the students downstairs. Well, that moron Craig didn’t like some picture Gilford took or something, so he took my camera away from Gilford and tried to delete the picture.
…..According to Craig “Well, I didn’t know the right button to press” so he pressed a bunch of buttons and accidentally deleted all my pictures. How could a human being be that stupid?????? If you don't know what button to press, you don't press any button! DUH!!!! To delete all the pictures, you have to actually scroll down to where it says, "Erase all". What part of "Erase all" is too cryptic for an English-speaking adult to understand? Then it has you verify it!!! (Proof of the saying "If you make items idiot-proof, along will come bigger idiots.") And where the hell does he get the nerve to take my camera and start pressing buttons in the first place?!?!
…...And yes, I realize that someone may come across this post and hold it against me. They would probably be more upset at me, however, if I murdered Craig. I don’t see why, though, it would just be adding a little chlorine to the gene pool.
.....I also feel really bad - I had borrowed the flashcard from another teacher and it still had his photographs from a school trip to San Francisco. I think he had already copied the photographs to his computer, but I am not sure. He trusted me with his flashcard. (I need to buy a flashcard but I can not tell online which ones are compatable with my camera, so I am waiting until December when I go to Portland to replace the card.)

Friday, November 11, 2005

67. Interesting Blog

I found this blog entry from some Egyptian guy kind of interesting.

66. Northern Lights I

A friend, Jim, called at 5:36 am to tell me there were Northern Lights outside. (OK, actually, my telephone rang at 5:36, but I could not find it in the dark, and no one left a message. I assumed it was Jim calling me to tell me there are Northern Lights out. I tried calling him back, but I don't have his number and it turns out that *69 does not work here.)
I went outside. There was a large greenish arc of light across the sky, sort of like the Nike Swoosh, but upside down. While I was watching, the center got thicker, and then thinner again.
My camera did not get it. I'll have to get a hold of a tripod and figure out how to set my camera for longer exposures.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

65. Rock Candy

I would like to make rock candy with my science classes; we are currently studying minerals. I have found some webpages that give instructions. Does anyone have any experience with this and have any suggestions or words of guidance?

64. Dry Bones Cartoon II

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


I came back from work to find that MY HEATER BROKE!!!! The thermometer on the heater said it was 29 F in here. My poor shnauzer had to break through the ice on the top of his water dish to drink. Some guy is coming by to take a look. If he can't fix it, I am taking my air mattress and the dog bed and Max and I are going to sleep in the school.
(later) My heater seems to be fixed, and is very slowly warming the place. It is up to 50 in here. Max is sleeping curled up under a blanket. The guy brought another little heater to heat the place up faster, but that blew the circuit breaker.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

62. Miscellany on Miscellaneous (or should that be the other way around?)

……On Deering
…The school here does not close on Columbus Day. I didn’t think anything of it, I just figured that they try to keep days off to a minimum so that thy school year can end earlier. OK, I’m slow sometimes. When that occurred to me, I asked the principal. He pointed out that the theme of Columbus “discovering” America is not that popular among the Native population. There were already people there.
...The general consensus around Alaska is that Deering is the nicest native village in the area. It is not the most aesthetically pleasing, but it is known for having the friendliest people.
…I just noticed that my house (and a lot of houses) do not have front porch lights. This does not seem like a good idea in a town where it is often dark during the day and front steps are likely to be ice covered.
…I don’t have satellite TV yet, so I just get one channel. It seems to pick the shows it televises at random. Last night, I got Medium, from NBC. Tonight we get House, which I think is FOX.
…….On Math & Science
…I just read that Pluto has 3 known moons. Since when? (Yes, I know, since May, that is what the article said.) No one tells me anything. (Let me guess, you are thinking some sarcastic remark about how in the future the Hubble telescope will be sure to telegraph me personally.)
…”The Penguin Dictionary of Curious and Interesting Numbers” does not list 6.022x10^23. I will write to the author. He does add to the book from one version to the next. Still a fascinating book.
…I don’t think it is possible to checker a Rubix cube with an even number of blocks in each direction.
…….On Israel and Jews
…I started a good rant about Israel’s exclusion from the International Red Cross, but I haven’t finished it, so it will get it s own section.
…Since the TV is so crummy here, I’ve been spending more time on the internet. Found some great Jewish Joke websites. At some point I’ll make a collection of my favorite jokes.
…..On Women and Feminism
….I actually sided with the husband in a sitcom argument. On “Everybody Loves Raymond”, Raymond was complaining that he does not get to make any decisions. Finally he takes initiative and goes shopping and his wife gets upset because be bought the wrong tissues in the box that does match the bathroom. Come on, women, if your husband actually does something around the house, encourage him, and who gives a damn about matching bathroom accessories!!
…..On Max
…When I got Max he had this stupid popular-among-schnauzer-breeder mullet hairstyle. It is growing out. He looks so much cuter!!! He looks like a teddy bear.
…Out of the 12 paragraphs in this blog, I began 6 of them with the word “I”. What does that say?

61. NWABSD pictures III

The banner for the website for the Northwest Arctic Borough School District has a picture on top, chosen, I assume at random, but maybe in a pattern. Here are the pictures. (Since I seem to be able to put on only a few pictures per post, this is divided among three posts.)

60. NWABSD pictures II

The banner for the website for the Northwest Arctic Borough School District has a picture on top, chosen, I assume at random, but maybe in a pattern. Here are the pictures. (Since I seem to be able to put on only a few pictures per post, this is divided among three posts.)

59. NWABSD pictures I

The banner for the website for the Northwest Arctic Borough School District has a picture on top, chosen, I assume at random, but maybe in a pattern. Here are the pictures. (Since I seem to be able to put on only a few pictures per post, this is divided among three posts.)

Monday, November 07, 2005

58. Snot

At what temperature does mucous freeze?

Friday, November 04, 2005

57. Dry Bones I

(I hope I am not violating some copyright law here. If I am, there is no point in suing me, since I have nothing you could get, unless you want my schnauzer. To make them happier, here is the website I took it from Besides, Yaakov Kirschen looks like a really nice guy and I bought a bunch of his books.)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

56. United Nations comes up with their own Yom Hashoa

NYT headline: "UN Establishes Annual Holocaust Day". Would that be FOR or AGAINST?

55. Trivia Question from Tomorrow's Science Test

I am giving a science test tomorrow. Here is a question from it: What is the name of the largest known volcano? (Post your answers to the comment section. The first correct answer wins a copy of Northern Lights News)

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