Friday, April 29, 2011
I am one week out until my much anticipated SUMMER! May 6th I will find myself with 4 months off before I return to my current job working at Mount Edgecumbe High School as a Recreation Staff.
Mount Edgecumbe is a public boarding school made up of 95% Alaska natives. Students come here from villages all over the state. Here I meet students who are ESL and grew up speaking Yupik at home and many of which speak in very different English dialects. They love saying phrases like "I jokes" and "not eeeeeeven" and come from villages like Eeek, Chefernak, Tuntutulak and from places as far away as Diomede Island, closer to Russia than the US. These students grew up hunting walrus and eating seal oil and whale and the closest they've been to a mall is seeing them on TV. They spend there summers at camp, fish camp, where they go upriver to catch and dry fish with their extended families, gathering gallons and gallons of low bush berries and telling stories. They tell stories of little people and of big people laughing until tears come.
In terms of my job itself, it is perfect for me and my ESFJ personality type. I am one of 4 staff that are paid to hang out with kids, the most sweet respectful kids I've ever met. Together we plan activities for the students who live in the dorms. This year I've had the pleasure of running the rockwall, being the Athabaskan Dance group adviser, organized a school wide Biathlon (run-bike-run), created themes for monthly art competitions, baked lots of new tasty treats, planned triple mountain challenges, taken many kids out kayaking and gone on tons of camping trips. Kayaking and camping are two of the students favorite activities because it reminds them of home. Basically, I do whatever creative thing I can muster up.
But with the ups of the job comes the downs, my schedule is CRAZY. I work swing shift during the week 2-10pm and weekends. Thank goodness this community is filled with others with schedules even more crazy than my own (including my husbands) so its worked just fine. Plus during the dark winter months, I have the daylight hours off work to climb up a hill or go on a kayak of my own.