Update Overload!

Well, it’s no secret that I have been M.I.A. for the past couple of months. I apologize to those of you who have been following along and wanting more! Yes, I am alive and kicking and still leading the busy life of a kindergarten teacher in rural Alaska. I have some exciting new updates that I will be sharing in my next post. Sorry for the suspense! I promise my next post will come sooner this time.
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The first months of 2014 have been filled with all kinds of exciting events at Newhalen School. At the beginning of this month, our village hosted its annual Carnvial. Carnival is a jam-packed long weekend event that brings everyone in the community together for fun and games. Family members from outlying southwestern Alaskan villages also join for the festivities.
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One of the first events that I attended was the “Minute to Win It” games on the first evening of Carnival. The Carnival Committee put together roughly a dozen games that were to be completed in one minute. The game pictured involved two bowls, Tic Tacs, and a pair of tweezers. Players had to move as many Tic Tacs across the table into an empty bowl as possible in one minute. These games were an absolute blast to watch!
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Later that evening, a live band played music for a dance in the evening. This dance was the third I’ve been to in Newhalen and I enjoyed it just as much as the first. Tyler and I are usually sabotaged by little children who sit on our laps, jump on us, and drag us out on the dance floor.
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Glow sticks are routinely passed out at the dances. They give the kids a constant source of amusement.
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During Carnival weekend, games are facilitated throughout the dances. When it was time for the Macarena dance contest, guess who was out on the floor in an instant? Yep. My husband. You should have heard the uproarious laughter from the crowd on the bleachers as they watched Tyler flamboyantly make his Macarena moves. Needless to say, Tyler was the winner of the dance contest and won a floor lamp that is now gracing our apartment.
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Basketball games also dominate the Carnival. Since basketball is consecrated and sanctified in our village, the ball games were the most widely attended Carnival events. Tyler enjoyed playing in the men’s game on the second day of carnival. Can you spot him in the picture below? Just look for the Larry Bird shorts!
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Moving on! After Carnival weekend concluded, we were greeted by another busy week filled with pink and red and love and hearts. Valentine’s Day is on par with Halloween and Easter in the village. The kids will take advantage of any day that involves mass amounts of candy! We had a Valentine’s Day party last Friday with games, art, and treats. In the picture below, one of my students is trying to get across our classroom using two cut-out hearts without stepping on the carpet.
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Another game we played involved M&Ms, a straw, and a cup. Students had to move as many M&Ms into their cup as they could in one minute. Even though they were a little light-headed at the end, they loved the game and were excited to eat their M&Ms once we were done!
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Yeah, I have the cutest kindergarteners in the world. I know.
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The last piece of news I have to share with you today is that I got a student teacher, Miss Whittney! When I found out I was getting a student teacher, my jaw dropped to the floor since this is my first year teaching in rural Alaska and only my third year teaching altogether. Thus is the way of education in the bush! She’s been an incredible help to me and is doing a fantastic job working with the kids. Below is a picture of Miss Whittney leading a Valentine’s Day game with my class and the upper elementary class.
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I can’t believe that we only have about three more months left of school. The year has really flown by. Like I mentioned at the beginning of this entry, I have some exciting news to announce in my next post that will explain my long absence and divulge my future plans. Stay tuned!

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