We went into Fairbanks on friday and did one of those whizzed shopping and eating out trips. Romay got some eccentric things, a Venus Fly Trap (she has one green thumb!), a penny organizer, and some much needed new clothes. Meanwhile, I bought gatorade at Lowe's, hahaha, only $10 for 15 of them, and a new pair of ball shoes. Jason bought a new pair of gloves and a book that helps you make anything from homemade icecream to refinishing furniture. I'm spent, but here are a few pictures...
These pictures were taken Sunday. All I was trying to do was familiarize myself with the preflight checklist, as well as get an idea of the feel of the plane. All this was done, just sitting in there by myself. Notice, though, that I had my trusty coffee mug. Would I take it, even if it was empty, you betcha! It is really an extension of my hand. Noel and I will be flying on wednesday, slow flight, traffic patterns, and filing a flight plan.
The facility at the GILA campus for flight is quite the facility, especially considering we're a town of what, 750 or so. Flight instruction started for me this past monday. Noel and I did about an hour of ground school and stepped outside to the other class, the Cessna 150. Although I was a little rusty with some minor things, Noel said I did a nice job of maintaining control of the airplane, what does this mean? Well, I did a decent take off and practiced slow flight, basic turns, and did two rounds of landing. There is just a neat high I get from the various aspects and details to pay attention to: procedures during different stages of flight, a bit of sightseeing, developing a good relationship with Noel, taking the controls in a 3 dimensional playground...my brain appreciates the different functions and the fact that it needs to work with other parts of my brain to make this all work. Plus, I have a strange attraction to a whiff of airplane exhaust now and then, hahaha.
Maria, a colleague and GHS school counselor, Romay and I took a leisurely evening hike lastnight to unwind from the busy week. What a great time. Romay was happy to run around in the woods, climb hills, and build her own fire. Kemper equally appreciated getting out as he is the only one home all week while the rest of us are at school. We built a fire on the Yukon river banks and got to smirk at GILA kids swimming in the cold river. Thats right, I had to remind myself, it's September 12th and hey, whatever keeps the kids thinking that they are experiencing unique things here. How could a fire roasted hot dog, marshmellows, washed down with hot chocolate go wrong? We watched the sun set, had a few good laughs (I MISS LAUGHING with friends, it keeps me balanced and happy), and sported a moose in one of the grassy lakes on our way home. Now, Romay and I are enjoying a nice saturday morning breakfast and watching the Discovery Channel. Jason is out on his 2nd moose hunt, we'll see if he brings home more work, I mean, meat, later on today!
Just a quick snapshot of some of our 6th, 7th and 8th graders. The chief of police was in that afternoon to do a little presentation on gun safety. Yes, there are more guns than people in Galena, seeing we have 7 or 8 in our household. The other middle school teacher, Mr. Kopp is in the way back, awesome to work with and always has a fun hunting story to share during little breaks.
Kemper is the only lab, that I know of, that begs for apple cores. Let's see, lets add canned asparagus (unbelievable!), carrots, grapes and now lettuce. Maybe we really make food look that good to him, sometimes I feel like I have to protect my plate of veggies, from a dog!
Todd, a neighbor/friend from work, and I got a chance to get out this weekend in search of moose. It was a great opportunity for me to get to know him better as well as learn the art of Yukon moose hunting from a guy who has been pretty successful over the last ten or so years.
We headed out after work on Friday and down the river. The Yukon is a real maze to me right now and I am still trying to learn it, the channel, names of backwaters and hills, and where the heck I was this weekend. With that in mind... I am going to be a little vague. "Where did you guys shoot the moose this weekend?" "In the neck," will be the only possible reply I will be able to make.
After hunting Friday night, all of Saturday, we woke to the sound of rain on Sunday morning. It seemed like the perfect excuse to stay in our bags. We got up around 9, made and ate breakfast, cleaned up camp and got ready to go at another day of looking for the world's largest deer. A quick trip to the dry lake behind where we were camping... huh, a moose. We got into position, the moose spotted us early on in the game and as the two strange looking two-legged creatures got closer, he figured he would get out of there. Todd yelled, the moose stopped, Todd shot, and the moose disappeared. One good shot to the neck and the moose fell so quickly that Todd lost track of it completely.
The moose now hangs in his garage... we will begin cutting it up tomorrow after work.
This was taken Thursday night, after sighting in his rifle. Jason turns into quite a character when it comes to a few things: hunting, trapping, and talking about ingenuity with the current energy crisis. It's almost like some sort of twilight zone focus he has, puts his mind to it and off he goes. He left with a fellow colleague, Todd Brown to scope out the Yukon for potential freezer filler, moose. Yum. Meanwhile, Romay is socializing it up at her friend, Sarah's, having one of many sleepovers. So, it is a bit quiet in the apartment tonight, hey, a great time to do some obligatory reading in chapter two for ground school. I'm a bit excited, still, at this opportunity to learn to fly here in Galena. Chapter two involves parts of the plane, the powerplant and related systems, and flight instruments. It's guaranteed to be a bit on the heavy side of reading, where there is a will, there is a way. And my way it to finish up the chapter in the morning with my own special cup of an Irish Cream latte. Just imagine, getting ready to fly in beautiful Alaska, with a hot steaming cup of coffee, SIGH. My dreams are simple.
With a pile of PAPERS TO GRADE, yay, I'm convincing myself, or fooling myself, the more I say it. The second week of school has just about concluded, just remember I have hormone filled, shaky emotional, AWESOME 6th-8th graders. Need I say more? I'll have to share some truly golden classroom moments one of these days. If I were playing a round of poker, I'd say I'd been dealt a fair hand of cards. My true passion comes in seeing a challenging goal, over time, being met by students efforts, while I get to share in their learning experience. Of course, one of my greatest teachers, basketball, has many relevant parallels to student learning. Thanks to the individual that invented the power of metaphor, we now can find many connections to everyday classroom situations through the great unofficial sport of Alaska, basketball. Anyways, before I ramble on, a quick update on life.
-Jason is currently sighting in his .306 to successfully bring home the beef of the interior, moose.
-Romay is flourishing in her 5th grade classroom, she sees herself being a great Battle of the Book competitor in the coming
-Kemper keeps us all happy, he's been improving with the heel command.
-I'm taking ground school (soon flight training) with the GILA instructor, my brain enjoys the stretching it needed and
wanted, dream #2 (obtain a private pilot license) is on the horizon.