Come Quickly, May!

life in a village

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January – February – March – April – May

This time of year speeds by so quickly that it blurs my vision. In-service in Fairbanks for a week…then a week of school…now March Madness and another week away from school as chaperone to our team…another week of school…a week of those infallible standardized tests overlapping the week of our carnival…a second week of carnival in Venetie…a third week of carnival in Arctic Village…geese arrive…ducks arrive…school’s out.

Of course, the architects of our marvelous one-size-fits-all system of education think they know better than we, so they have mandated that we give their remarkable test during our week of carnival. Okay, here is a mathematical problem for you:

standardized tests > a week of fun and games

True or False?

The village isn’t about to change the carnival date because that is a traditional thing, and besides, carnival can’t be delayed because the river will become unsafe for the spring games. The kids aren’t about to go to bed early because the nights must be fiddled and danced into the wee hours of the morning. Oh, and the kids won’t be taking their time on the tests because carnival begins at 2 pm everyday. Put down those pencils and get down to the river!

Life is very different here. Arctic Village, Venetie and Fort Yukon families are interconnected, so many of my students will disappear for two weeks after our carnival to spend time with their relations. And hunting is essential to the subsistence way of life, so when the geese come the kids will leave again.

Oh, did I mention that my students must study simple machines, electricity, magnetism and other forms of energy? And complete the yearbook? and create science fair projects? all before school is over?

The baby spruce are pushing their way through the snow now. They know winter’s end is near. We do, too.

Come quickly, May, come quickly!


14 thoughts on “Come Quickly, May!

  1. Nothing could be expressed and pictures us more beautiful than this, dear Dave. I can see all the picture in here 🙂 Of course, because of being your follower for years, I know about Arctic village now.. Why did I say this?

    …..geese arrive…ducks arrive…school’s out.

    when I read this sentence, I smiled… when you take only these words, how standing strange… but

    ….in Arctic Village…geese arrive…ducks arrive…school’s out.

    I know what it means… In the past, one your students wrote something like that in his letter to me, “I can walk on the river.” It was my early times to learn 🙂 and made me to think something like science fiction stories… 🙂 But yes, the river, this amazing river, like a snake, Yukon river was being frozen whole winter days… and it was easy to walk on the river… I remembered.

    Thank you dear Dave, it was so nice reading you and watching your photograph. I hope the days run as quickly as you wish and Happy Spring time. Love and greetings, nia

    1. Nia, what a touching thing to write. Thank you for your kind words, and nostalgia. You have been one of my most faithful followers for so many years now, and I am very glad you brought us together.

    1. Thank you, Mom. You know, I feel kind of guilty, going of galavanting on a basketball trip for 8 days while Lindsay is back in the Fort, teaching as usual. Well, not too guilty…

    1. Thank you, auntie (as they say here). I’d rather have a compliment from you on my writing than a medal. Things must be warming up there now.

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