Friday, May 29, 2009

Romania

In Romania, safe and sound and finally with shower and internet, Brett is great, things are swell, hopefully I'll get more time to update later but we are off on another adventure, missing home a bit but doing well.

More to come soon.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Goodbye London, Hello Romania

Well landmark number one complete, London was fine indeed. Here are my overall impressions:

1: Super Expensive...sheesh, American dollar is shit here.
2: Very very diverse, I've never seen so many people from different races and nationalities all in one place. French, Australians, Indians, Germans, Italians and so many more. We met some great people in this city and really enjoyed their company. Liam from England and Alessandra from Italy proved to be great walking buddies for exploring the city.
3: Walk, Walk, Walk, you can walk for miles and all day and never see it all, what a massive city.
4: There are free museums that rival our most expensive ones in America...educating the people and giving them free health care...what a noble idea?
5: Camden still was my favorite part of London, gotta love that hippy influence...now I have to check out the Kooks they sounded great.
6: Hostels creat either a great appreciation for the nationalities of fellow travellers...or great disdane. 30 french teens make you question the french, a idiotic finnish person makes you wonder about them, and so on.
7: Food tastes much better at 4 in the morning.
8: I am very happy I came to London, I don't know that if I had the chance to spend a buttload of money I would pick this country to spend it in.
9: Way better to travel with Obama in office than Bush, people don't hate Americans nearly as much as they used to...but I kind of do, many of the Americans we've met are dooshes.

Well its like the London equivalent of a Memorial Day here so we have to get a cab and simultaneously raped on the price to go to the airport tomorrow so we better get on that.

Peace for now!

...ps I love you baby.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

London mates

In London safe and sound. Everything went off with out a hitch, saw Windsor Castle, Bath, and Stonehenge today, very good, taking it easy, having fun with Hal, missing home too.

Pictures and updates to come sometime hope all is well, I'm happy and doing fine.


Peace from London.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Made IT!

Just wanted to let you know I'm home safe and sound.

So happy right now! Saying goodbye in Mekoryuk was heartbreaking. But seeing my mom and dad made it all worth it.

Can't wait to see my friends and baby girl tomorrow! I wanna go to sleep so that its tomorrow already!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Goodbye Mekoryuk

Come on! Let's go! Lets get outta here! Let's get a move on!

The classroom is clean, the posters are down, the electronics are covered, the shelves covered and organized, the drawers emptied, the students are all but gone, there isn't any reason on earth for me to come to work tomorrow, I should just get on the flight tonight. Union contract be damned!

Oh wait...I haven't cleaned the toilet, or the bathroom sink or the floors, in my apartment. I still have a we bit of packing to do yet, and my ticket isn't till tomorrow . But now that my tv, and cable box are gone, xbox packed, knitting materials given away, I am totally freaking stuck and bored. What will I do?

Hopefully Gary will let me hang out with him one last night. I'm going to miss a lot people here too.

Gary, my awesome principal, neighbor, and best Alaska friend. We watch boxing together, talk about America and the state of the world, and live the bachelor life eating junk food and drinking soda pop (even though he's married and I am in love both our ladies are far away...alas...bachelors.) I'm going to miss Gary and his wife Pam a lot, they became my family.

Annie and Ralph. Annie is a fiery red headed Irish Catholic woman from New York State and married Ralph our ex Navy Maintainence Man. Annie lived next to me last year before moving in with her husband and I lovingly call them "Mom and Dad." Ralph shows me how to fix stuff, start engines, and takes me fishing. Annie worries about me and lets me vent to her. I will miss them too hopefully a little one on the way soon.

Alice the school secretary has become like a close aunt/mother to me. She has had 13 different principals work over her at the Nuniwarmiut School and she is the one who really holds the power. She sends me funny emails, laughs at my jokes, and flips me shit in a good way. She is always on my side and looks out for me. She is an amazing grandmother to on of my students Dawn.

Carol is the mother of my College bound student Hazel and the HS Cup'ig teacher. She has filled a very important role in my life. In a world where everyone I meet is either a student or a coworker I have been forced to go weeks with out the human contact of a simple hug. Carol is my hugging mom. She gives me a hug at least once a day (more now that I'm leaving). She is a very good mom to Hazel and a caring teacher. I will miss her so much!

Edith the lunch lady has been a very interesting lady. She works hard to turn the overprocessed low quality food the government sends us into something delicious and edible. She makes a mean mac'n'cheese and awesome pudding. I try to speak Cup'ig to her and she always complies. She is like an aunt too, not so warm and loving on the surface, but underneath that lunch lady bravado is a very nice warm loving wonderful woman.

Jack the Army Reserve janitor is a good family man trying to raise a big family, serving time in Iraq and coming to work and doing his job religiously and well too. He's a rock of a man and our school is lucky to have him.

Lydia is the Postlady. She has consistently helped me with my conversational Cup'ig speaking as well as put up with me relentlessly asking for two years if I have any packages. I gave her a hug yesterday when I turned in PO box key...single tear.

Chance is the cashier at his father's convenience store across the street. I buy candy bars, pop, and illegal movie rentals from him (probably over 1000 dollars in business over the years). He is really quiet, works long hours, and plays a lot of flight simulator. He found a picture of Forest Gump during his running stage with a beard and long hair and showed it to everyone saying it was me, that was a good one.

Sarah is the anime loving graduated older sister of one of my graduates this year. She works at the store, wears lots of black gothic clothes and has interesting hair do's and loves anime cartoons. She is incredibly smart and hard working. She always reminds me how hard it is to be alternative out here.

The Barnett's have only been here this year but they have been good friends to me, let me rent a cable box, had me over for pizza and real latte's, and Kevin and I picked berries and fished a lot. They let me watch their dog foster and he kept me company despite his shenanigans.

Nathan is the pastor of the church and former teacher at our school. He and his awesome Cup'ig wife Sandra (LEP teacher at school) run the Covenant church and are great Christians and people. They don't judge, they treat everyone with generosity and kindness, and they have me over for dinner a lot to eat strange and unique traditional food and their two children are growing up fast, they have showed me a lot of love and hospitality and I appreciate all they have done for me. Nathan loves the underdog in boxing and Oklahoma State Football both of which I will root for the rest of my life.

There are so many other characters I am going to miss from my two years here. Local's around town, students, drop outs, graduates, parents, I'm going to miss this little slice of history in many ways. But the time has come to go, and go I must, goodbye Mekoryuk, goodbye Alaska,
HELLO WASHINGTON!

Puirci Quayana

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hey Fog You Yoga Man...or...I'd Rather Have a Foggy Mind Than Foggy Beliefs

Oh don't you just love how the weather is amazing except for the days right before you leave? The last two days we've been fogged in, pea soup surrounds the island. I'm super freaked out and paranoid that I will get stuck. Think good thoughts think good thoughts think good thoughts.

I have so much riding on getting back on time. Not only do I need to get my new house key, say hello to a couple prospective employers, gather up some travel supplies, see my family and love my baby girl, I need to simply be home...um...now please.

School has come to a slow crawl, many student absences, many student mental absences, lots of last finishing up chores.

Last night I got a good chunk of the cleaning done in my apartment, the kitchen, stove, sink, cupboards, refrigerator and countertops are all done. Now all thats left is the bathroom sink, toilet, shower once more, and all the linoleum floor needs to get mopped, and the carpet vacuumed.

Additionally I need to return a cable box and transfer ownership of a tv I sold. I also have a lot of berries and trout to give away as well.

And then there is the final pack up. To get my whole life home I had to mail three $45 dollar boxes home and I'll be taking a green army duffel, a backpacker pack, and a blue storage tub for checked bags as well as a backpack with my instruments for a carry on.

Jeez....La...weeze.

In other news I've been working on really getting my Reverbnation Page up and running. It doesn't hold as many songs as my IAC (Independent Artist Company Website) Page but it seems to have a better layout for promoting, scheduling, and sharing your work and music. If you would like to become an official Kale Iverson fan and receive fan news you can put your email in above. If I know your email I might even put it in myself (you know you love me).

What else? Hmmm...Oh yeah, even though we haven't done yoga in over a month and a half I've heard that "Yoga" is under the Christian magnifying glass of some Mekoryuk believers. Other Enjoyable activities that have been deemed unfit/sinful for a good Christian to participate in are the cultural practice of Native Dancing, and Fiddle Dances (to a Live Band).

So, no dancing, no live music, no yoga...NO SOUL! It kind of reminds me of John Lithgow's rules as pastor of the town in "Footloose" with Kevin Bacon. I wonder if their are any rambunctious teens dancing in secret, playing instruments in hide outs, and doing yoga DVD's in abandoned warehouses. What kind of world would it be without dancing, music, and healthy exercise?

But you know what you can do as a good Christian in Mekoryuk that no one seems to bat and eyelash over? You can own and illegal gambling haven that rents DVD's illegally (You know that FBI warning at the beginning of movies?). And you can gamble at the Game Room illegally (but only if you're 18) Thats right. You have to legally be 18 to illegally gamble at the game room (right in front of Children). The town of Mekoryuk still hasn't seemed to be able to crack down on the raging marijuana dealing out openly in the streets, or the several creeps and sexual abusers roaming around, but Yoga, there is a dangerous thing right there, so sinful and hideous the way they get together in fellowship to breath and stretch and keep their bodies healthy, how dare they, Jesus certainly wouldn't approve thats for god damn sure.

Intolerance and Hypocrisy, not too Christian if you ask me. Another thing that I heard on Real Time with Bill Maher. Do you believe in evolution? "NO NO NO I DON'T" Fundamentalists would say. Well do you believe the swine flu exists? "Yes, yes I do." Okay, if you believe in the swine flu then you recognize that a virus was able to genetically change from mutations and jump across the species barrier of swine to human thus a product of evolution itself, in real time that we ourselves can witness, so then, if you don't accept Evolution then you should also not accept all the medicine they'll give you when you get the swine flu. Luckily you have prayers to clear that chest congestion though.

You can't have your cake and eat it too.

Fortunately for the residents of Mekoryuk, the big evil, devil worshiping Kale Iverson with his horrible, despicable, nasty, dirty, sinful, heretic practice of (in deep voice) EVIL DEATH SATAN YOGA will be leaving on Friday. They better pray the weather clears otherwise I'm gonna do yoga down mainstreet as everyone is going to friday night church...just kidding.

Oh well, I'd like to think that besides the very damaging and mind warping experience of practicing YOGA a couple of times, I did a lot of good for these kids and this community. In time they will remember that hopefully.

Either way 2 days and BA BA BA BOOOOOOOOO YAAAAAAAAKASHAAAAAA~! I'm out.

Monday, May 11, 2009

New Song "Wrong"

After a month plus long lay off from song writing and recording I had a flash of creativity and energy and I wrote and recorded my new song "Wrong" over two days this weekend.

The Song is Available in many ways.

First of all, the 6th song on the Reverbnation player to the right will play it for you right now.

You can also go and download it for free at http://www.reverbnation.com/kaleiverson

You can stream it from my IAC artist page at http://iacmusic.com/artist.aspx?id=100852

You can also go directly to the song page at http://iacmusic.com/songs.aspx?SongID=74014&ArtistID=100852

And here is the lyrics Below:

Wrong
by Kale Iverson

The kids play outside,
In the center of the road,
And you and I
Watch from our windows.
People on their way to work,
Shining Lights and coffee holders,
How can it hurt so bad
To watch yourself get a little bit older?

And There's something going on
In this crystal shell we are not alone
And the land that we're livin on
And the lives we buy and sell
Its all Wrong
Wrong, Wrong, Wrong

Snakes with their poison
Trees with their dying leaves
Paths we have travelled on
And dreams that've gone to seed
Babies crying after midnight
With their father's fast asleep
Lighting strikes on the skyline
And the darkness we'll never see

And There's something going on
In this crystal shell we are not alone
And the land that we're livin on
And the lives we buy and sell
Its all Wrong
Wrong, Wrong, Wrong

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Weekend Update: Mother's Day Edition

My Brother already wrote a beautiful post about my Mom. And my Mom already wrote an amazing post about my grandmas and great grandmas.

What can I do? I can do a whole weekend update for the mom's out there (specifically you mom).

Mom's Musical Artist's of the Week: I consider myself deeply rooted musically in the music of my childhood. The Doors, Jimmy Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, War, Janis Joplin, CCR, Moody Blues etc. But I never ever admit to a softer side of my musical experience of life.

SO THIS Weeks musical artists are ones that my mom showed me.

First and foremost is
Elton John, I dramatically complain about having to listen to him every time she plays him now but I secretly don't want to, and in all reality, now that I've gone back to things like Supertramp, I have been checking out a lot of Elton John on itunes, I am ready and willing to learn about his early stuff. Like the Beatles I just get annoyed with the overplayed sound, but recently I have been really interested in Elton John's beginning.

Secondly, I will stick up for, nay proclaim awesomeness for
Carol King. I used to belt these songs out in the car as a kid and I didn't care what it was, I still get really excited when her album "Tapestry" finds its way onto the Subaru speakers on one of our ill fated Iverson Family Adventures.

Thirdly,
The Carpenters, I remember these little heartfelt brother/sister ditties from time to time. I can't say that I hated it though, I just don't remember it a lot until I actually hear the songs and then bam a bunch of memories come rushing back. So serene, so peaceful, so blissfully the 70's.

Fourthly,
Simon and Garfunkel. Definitely still think that this is a great album, I think that Paul Simon was the genus, but we listened to this one a lot growing up and and I still think about it whenever the fall comes around and its time to listen to a rustling leaves sort of album.

Lastly, an album I still love and enjoy today is
Loretta Lynn's "Coal Miner's Daughter." I still know all the songs, I still love this kind of music, and little did I know that this would be my first exposure to country/bluegrass sound. (Plus check out her new-ish album with Jack White from the White Stripes its the bomb).

Now I never give credit to these influences on my musical choices and preferences (out of embarassment). But, listening to this softer, poppier side of music has made me who I am today. Take my special bond with Xavier Rudd the Australian Didjeridoo guitar master, heavily influenced by Paul Simon. Take Grace Potter and the Nocturnal's a new favorite of mine, totally ripping off Carol King Tapestry, and take Band's like Bon Iver, Kings of Convenience, and Fleet Foxes and other softy McSoftersteins that wouldn't have a chance if Paul Simon and Garfunkel whatever his name-is hadn't paved the way.

So thank you mom, for your corny, popular music, despite how much I complain I appreciate it.
(Even the Jefferson Starship...but lets keep that a secret).

Old Mom Phrase of the Week: To talk like my mom you have to always be really positive. Especially during the holidays or when looking forward to something family related, "It will all work out." or "Just do your best." or "You worry too much everything will be just fine" "Don't you just love decorating the christmas tree." "I just love Christmas don't you?" You also need to have a lot of happy sighs and back patting and hugs. The effect of talking like this mom, whether you know it or not, is that without it we would live dismal, cynical, depressing lives full of fear and sadness. So thank you for being the positive rock we break ourselves upon!

Weather In Washington: Right now spring is sprunging which will soon find my mom placed in her favorite after work spot sipping a tasty beverage on the lounge chairs at the bottom of the yard in Gig Harbor, Washington where she can lay out and catch the last fleeting rays of sun. In my life I have never met someone who loves to lay out in the sun more than you mom. Luckily you have that native skin that doesn't freckle up and burn like me and dad, you just look like a Blackfoot Indian (Hal too, but he's blonde). So I got the beard, but Hal got the tan, fair trade !

Mom's Art Update: Despite making an art out of Christmas decorations and tree design. She used to love to sing in her church choir, and also with her guitar. I'm hoping she will pick this back up soon because I can't imagine my life with out an instrument and I think it is an amazing outlet for any person to reconnect with themself.


My Mom's Blog My mom has an awesome blog, "Queen of the Beach." Not only is it written really well, it has a lot of important history of my life and childhood that I really am thankful for. Just when I forget who I am, she reminds me of exactly what world I came from. I am so happy that through all this adventuring my brother and I have done to Alaska and Europe that the three of us have been able to stay intimately involved in each other's lives through this blogging form of communication. Its easy to get disconnected from the ones you love, but blogging allows you to read about what they are going through even if you can't seem to find the time to call them on the phone. (Now we just got to get dad on board!)

Lastly But Not Leastly: After reading my brother's mother day post, and my mom's mother's day post it made me think about the one thing that I've always thought of that separates my mom from other moms. My mom loves life. Not just christmas, not just Elton John, not just her son's, but life. She is enthusiastic, positive and pure.

But above all else, my mom loves baseball. Don't believe me? Well my mom was my t-ball team coach (she had a huge screaming match with a male coach over a rule dispute and won because she was right), and the team after that too (go blue jays!), and on top of that she stepped up and became the assistant coach of my little league team (thank goodness ol' bill was an alcoholic), and then after that she was the Head Coach of my little brother's little league team, and she was the first female coach in the league (with a bunch of male bastard yuppie asswads), and she was so good at kicking some man coach ass on that little field that they voted her as the Head Coach of the entire league's All-Star team, another first, and better yet, she did it with a huge smile and a lot of love. She didn't become the all-star coach as a novelty, it wasn't just because she was a woman, it was because she is a great coach, an amazing baseball thinker and strategist, and a great nurturer of fundamentals and the love of the game.

Someday I will be a baseball coach too, (hopefully she'll keep my books because I still can't, I was too busy playing to learn)...

I will be so many things because of you mom. When the forces of negative and positive battled it out inside my heart and mind growing up, you were always there to remind me of the good side. And you won mom, you won, I am a positive person, with a big heart and lots of extra love to give because you filled me up so good.

Happy mother's day...I'll call you later tonight!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Emotional Graduation

Last night was the Graduation Ceremony of the Nuniwarmiut School Class of 2009. After 3 days of hard work and preparation the ceremony went off without any major hitches and was very very humbling.

Each of the three graduating seniors gave their own speech. I was to go on after our pastor and school board member gave his. I was nervous to be the commencement speaker and each of the students had a personal heartfelt thank you specifically for me.

Hazel the valedictorian, spoke eloquently about how it takes an entire community to raise a child, and shared a few personal stories that touched everyone. She thanked me for keeping her organized and motivated and said that I helped with her college application and filling out her first scholarship application (that she got).

Poor Juanita got a horrible chest flu and lost her voice hours earlier that day, but she pressed on anyway and gave a very humbling speech thanking each staff member of the school including janitors, cooks, and maintenance workers, then she thanked me for sticking with her through her tough times and helping her finish school.

And Harvey ended by telling a real tear jerker about how he had many great teachers and how much his father sacrificed to raise his family, and then he got me good by turning from the podium, looking me in the eye, and saying I was the best teacher he ever had.

By this point I was overwhelmed with emotions. I had already welled up tears a couple of times and hadn't even given my speech yet.

It has only been 8 years since I graduated high school. I can’t even remember it really, which is weird because its supposed to be one of the most important days of your life. I just remember what it felt like

I was really excited to leave home and FINALLY be on my own. I was sick of my hometown. Just like most of the teenagers here, my friends and I used to say:

“This place is so boring, there is nothing to do, I can’t wait till I get outta here man.” (LOTS OF LAUGHING)

But then one day I did leave home. A couple friends came with me, but most of them stayed behind.

And As soon as my parents dropped me off in that dorm room in college on the other side of the state I knew things had changed for good.

I moved away to college, I went to Australia and Fiji, graduated college, moved close to home, got a normal job at the power company, quit, went Chile and Peru, went back to school to become a teacher, and got a job on a tiny Eskimo village in Alaska where I have lived and taught here for two years (LOTS AND LOTS OF CLAPPING), and now in one week I’ll be going home again.

I have gone all over the world in search of something I don’t know if I’d ever find. All the while it was right at home.

I say this to you now because is whether you are going to college in Anchorage, going to Bethel to work, or whether you are staying right here in Mekoryuk you have to know that your home will always be here on this island, and this island is special. You can go off and do great things all over the world but part of your heart will be right here.

Whether you’re graduating, or you will soon, or whether you never did, or whether you already have, I want to share somethings I’ve learned from my adventures with you.

As my last effort as your teacher, friend, fellow human being and honored graduation guest, here is Mr. Kale Iverson’s top 10 tips for kicking butt at life and being an all around awesome person (MASSIVE CHEERING) Are you ready?

Number 1: Most important of all! Stay positive. My grandfather had a famous saying that I try to live by, “When you wake up in the morning each day you have only one decision to make: “Will I have a good day or will I have a bad day.” If you make that right decision the rest will fall in line. So have a good day ok?

Number 2: Listen to your heart and do what’s right. Inside every one of you is a feeling you get when you know what you’re doing is wrong or right. When you get that feeling listen to it because everything balances out in life and know that how you treat others will come back around some day, good or bad.

Number 3: Learn from the past, plan for the future, but be here now living in the moment. Don’t dwell on the past because you can’t change it, move on, fix mistakes with your actions in the now. And don’t trip on the future and worry because it won’t ever be exactly how you planned. But the moment that we’re in right now, you can do that perfectly.

Number 4: Every person you meet has a special message for you or you have a special message for them. No matter who they are, nice, mean, old, young, helpful, evil, caring, boring, male, female, gay, straight, deformed, ugly, beautiful, old, young, black, white, green, purple or red, you can learn something from everyone around you and maybe they can learn from you. So listen to what people have to say and try to see things from their point of view.

Number 5: Always Work Hard and Do It Right. An old baseball coach I once had told me that “if you aren’t playing in today’s game its because you’re not good enough.” As mean as that sounds its also true. If you work hard enough, practice enough, and try hard enough you can get anything you want in life, but don’t do things halfway or Bitchadoon and then complain about not getting what you want. Do things the RIGHT WAY the FIRST TIME.

Number 6: Be yourself. Guess what? You are a DORK! Get over it. To be yourself you have to get to know yourself which will take your whole life. Trying to be someone else or what someone else wants you to be will only leave you feeling empty and confused. Be proud of who you are and all your weirdness, and dorkyness, and coolness. People will be attracted to your individuality and be more comfortable around you.

Number 7: Be the Change You want to see in the world. (Ghandi) If you don’t like the way things are in your life or the world around you, start by making the change in yourself and setting the example. Bossing people around and complaining about things won’t change anything and neither will violence, anger, or hatred. Only a positive example of a better solution will ever make people change.

Number 8: Life is short, have fun…but don’t hurt yourself or others. Its important to have a good time in life, and almost anything you will ever have to do can be fun if your try. Just remember you have to do some things in life you don’t want to so that you can earn the freedom to do whatever you want. And that freedom is what we live for. Its ok to have fun, just make sure its not hurting yourself and others.


Number 9: Your Best is All You Can Do. If you do your best job on everything, then you can rest easy knowing that you did your part in any part of this world and that you did all you could do. But if you don’t then you will have regrets in life. Don’t be afraid to succeed and do your best, at least then you can look back on your life and be proud.

Number 10: Be Creative in life. Paint. Draw. Play and instrument. Make clothing, make art, make music, make poetry, make songs, make people laugh, make movies, take pictures, make gifts for people, creating beautiful and wonderful and thought provoking and useful things in life is one way you can leave your mark on the world. Be the creator of beauty in your life, a giver of happiness, a producer of joy.


So all together here they are: Stay Positive, Listen to your heart and do what’s right, live in the moment, Remember that everyone has a message, work hard and do things right, always be yourself, be the change you want to see in the world, its ok to have fun but don’t’hurt anybody, do you best always, and be creative in life.

I’m positive that if you do those ten things no matter where you live, no matter what you do, no matter who you are, you will be happy and successful.

Thank you for letting me get to know each and everyone of you. You have each given me a message that I will never regret. I came here Kale Iverson and Leave here Massuucikili. (WILD CHEERING).

Now I have one last message for each graduate.

Hazel please promise me that you will use all your powers for something amazing in life, you can do anything you want, all you have to do is try and keep working hard like you do and you will come out on top…I promise! Don’t settle for anything or anyone. (STARTING TO WELL UP BAD).

Harvey please promise me that you will take a breath and think before you act sometimes. Always continue to be that amazing caring and loving big brother I know you are. (CHOKING UP AND A TEAR FALLS ON MY SPEECH PAGE) You are strong and tough on the outside but inside you have a big caring heart, don’t forget that and let it guide your way. (WIPING TEARS AWAY FROM MY FACE AT THIS POINT).

And Juanita please promise me that you will always remember to smile. (SNIFFLING AND WIPING TEARS) It is a very simple request. Inside of you lives a happy girl and when you smile and relax you are so amazing. Remember you can always stop at any moment and start your day all over with a deep breath and a smile. (FLAT OUT CRYING).

Qauyana to everyone in Mekoryuk for your love, and hospitality, and support over the last two years. I am sad in my heart to leave this place for now. Hopefully we will all meet again soon.

Congratulations to Juanita, Harvey and Hazel on a great achievement and congratulations to the parents, school staff, and community on your new 2009 Nuniwarmiut School High School Graduates.

Thank you, and make Mekoryuk Proud Class of 2009.

Peace.


After the speeches and the processional off the stage, the three seniors gathered for pictures, handshakes and hugs.

I must say that this year has been hard on me. This year I have stepped up, taken more responsibility at school, done seemingly much more than I though I was responsible for, and for the most part felt under-appreciated most of the time by almost everyone, but hearing those speeches and seeing the gigantic proud and heartfelt smiles on the faces of the students, parents and family, I felt like my whole life, and and my whole experience here was validated.

Last night I knew for the first time that being a teacher is exactly what I am supposed to do. Three kids graduated last night. I didn't know if they were going to make it when I first met them. I felt so sentimental last night, I was so proud, I felt like they were my own kids, and after all they were my first graduates. I don't think its something I'll ever forget.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

one week

Now that expectations have been eliminated from school learning, its actually pretty fun. We had a lot of good laughs today, worked as a whole school to get ready for the graduation ceremony tomorrow.

Tomorrow marks a week till I'm home, a moment I never thought would come, but finally its here! Its so hard to keep my exploding emotions under my hat. I just don't know how to say what I'm feeling without being super gushy and emotional and extry gooey so I'll spare you all.

This weekend will be filled with final apartment cleaning, final packing, and final everything.

On that note I've decided to blow of the Alaska Ed Department on applying for my professional certification, they want me to get all my forms from all over creation that I've already sent them and turn them in AGAIN, besides I already sent all this stuff when I first came up here, and I have to pay them more money/fees, and do a whole bunch of other stupid crap to stay certified in a state I won't even be working in. I figure if I ever come back I'll just re apply since I have all the necessary requirements. No use in battling this notoriously bad department office frantically in the next week and adding more heaping spoonfuls of stress in my life.

I'm getting awful sentimental about my village friends and students. There are a lot more hugs, more reminiscing conversations, and more "I'm gonna miss you's." Its getting beautiful outside and speak of the devil I gotta give a friend a ride to the airport in the old Dodge.

Congratulations Class of 2009.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Top Five Albums That Matter

Dammit, I finally gave in, I bought the Bon Iver album "For Emma, Forever Ago." I've been listening a lot to NPR's All Songs Considered from last years podcasts and they finally convinced me to get it, I'm glad I did, its really good, and like cell phones and iPods, I'm very late to get on this bus too, better late than never I guess. This album makes me want to crawl into my bed with a blanket and never get up, or walk around on a cold morning sunrise. What a dork I am...

Although the morons on All Songs Considered gave shitty reviews to the My Morning Jacket "Evil Urges" album which I think is in my sacred top 5 albums that matter list and makes me question their taste in music I got it anyway. This leads me to think about what really are my other 4 top 5 albums that matter as of today (a constantly evolving list). And what I mean is as a complete package these albums are the most complete and amazing efforts I've ever heard.

My Top Five Serious Albums that Matter are:

1.) Radiohead "Kid A"

2.) Modest Mouse "The Moon and Antarctica"

3.) The Flaming Lips "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots"

4.) My Morning Jacket "Evil Urges"

5.) Is A threeway tie: Arcade Fire "Funeral" vs. Wilco "Sky Blue Sky" vs. Dr. Dog "Fate"


There are a lot of albums that got chopped from this list, but if I had to take 5 albums to the county fair to be judged for a blue ribbon, these would be them.

What did I leave out? I didn't put any older albums on because those are all "givens." Also there weren't any real jam bands on there because they are usually way better live than their albums show. Don't get all up in my grill because I left your fave off, if you present a good case I will consider changing my list. I'm open to debate here, except for Radiohead Kid A, you are gonna have to be pretty damn convincing to get me to remove that one.

9 days!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Slow ing t o a gr i n d in g h a l t

Today was slightly better. My kids are not evil, they are just tired, probably of me.

Sorry if yesterday offended you or changed your opinion of me.

I am just stretched a little thin these days.

Even though my students drive me nuts, I'm still going to miss the heck out of these little knuckle heads. They have been the closest things to friends that I've had up here and I think there will be a big hole in my heart when I go.

Graduation is Friday (three this year woo hoo!) and along with our regular absences (about two a day) and two students going to bethel for testing all next week we might be down to about 7 students next week in the High School which is probably contributing to the overall attitudes of apathy and melancholy.

Once again, I'm sorry if I offended you, please forgive me.

I got my plane ticket, now I'm battling the Alaska Certification office and trying to wrap up other important things before I go.

Needless to say I am just generally stressed out. My dreams have always mirrored my level of stress. Last night I had violent dreams of post apocalyptic revolution (some of it in German which I somehow understood) and had to literally slice people in half with a samurai sword and defend a princess. I woke this morning by punching my pillow and sweating.

I am trying to keep myself sane by listening to lots of Polyphonic Spree and drinking good coffee.

Its not working.

Monday, May 4, 2009

WORST DAY EVER

What do you get when you mix a major personal life screw up with 14 of the most apathetic and whiney baby students in the world? THE WORST DAY EVER.

So it all began 1st period when my normally perky and pleasant 7th and 8th grade Girls Science class was totally tired and cranky, it took me a whole period to cheer them up, get them laughing and learning and off they went. The rest of the day however was a complete waste of time. The students can smell the overwhelming stench of bloody summer in the water and are circling in for the kill (which oddly enough is a metaphor for smoking more pot, staying up later, and doing even less work than they usually don't do, not exactly a perfect match of a metaphor I know).

But then just when my day was hurdling towards the city limits of Shittytown, USA. I had this creepy uneasy feeling come over me. It was that I hadn't gotten a flight reminder email from Alaska Airlines. Thats when I realized over about 15 frantic minutes of internet and phone searching that I, in fact, hadn't bought my plane ticket home to Washington. What a fucking idiot I am. Not only is this very uncharacteristic of me to pull boners like this one, but it is also very costly. On top of that the flight that I usually take home is sold out. So now I have to take the red eye putting me back in seattle at 5:47 am on Saturday morning. All this for the low low price of $567 dollars after tax. What a moron. Now I'm going to be totally spent and beat up for my half day with my parents before I go and see my girlfriend for the first time in 5 months and on top of that I get one day after that pretty much to get ready for Europe. All of this still completely rests on the fact that A.) I'll be able to get to the airport past the flooding, and B.) The weather is good enough for a plane to land and C.) That the lazy bastards at the bush plane services get here on time to pick me up and get me to Bethel before last check in at Alaska Airlines where D.) those assholes purposefully over book every flight out of Bethel just to screw with people.

I could just leave on Thursday night right? Friday is only a half day anyway no big woop...WRONG...big woop indeed. The union contract says you can't take vacation or sick days on the last days of schools or breaks (even if you're not coming back...EVER! What if I had Swine Flu?) So I can't leave or I'll be in a breach of contract.

So basically. I am gonna do my best to get off the island on the midday flight Friday, try to go standby for the 2:16pm out of bethel (75 dollar seat change fee) and try to go stand by for an earlier flight in anchorage (another 75 dollar flight change fee) so that I don't have to spend the night in the airport. EITHER WAY THIS WHOLE THING FRIGGING SUCKS.

It would be a whole lot different if the kids were better, but they're not, they are awful right now, this year is different than last year. Last year the kids were stressed because of all the work they needed to finish, this year our kids have literally given a giant middle finger to the phases, their teachers, and their classes and there isn't anything I or anyone else can do about it.

Quite frankly I think we should just have half days the rest of the year and let the kids who need/want to finish work stay after lunch if they want to. Because forcing me to try and teach these sloth-esque creatures is completely insane and idiotic and I, quite quite quite faaaaaaaaraaaaaaaankly am done here.

I was going to work on my graduation speech tonight, but now I don't think I'm in the right mood. Unless I want it to sound like this...

"Congratulations You graduated High School, hopefully your life won't suck. Peace I'm OUT."

Hopefully your day didn't suck major horses ass like mine did. Good day.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Weekend Update

Twelve Days from now I will be in Washington.

Musical Artist of the Week: I always kind of overlooked this band. I used to hear their songs on JamOn on Sirius satellite radio and never was really impressed all that much. But I just got an itch to check em out and so I bought their late night set from Bonaroo last year. THE DISCO BISCUITS are a crazy marriage of seemingly plain rock and roll music that quickly disintegrates into an all out space synth jam disco dance party extravaganza spectaculare. Its hard to describe how quickly they transition from a traditional sounding song into a 19 minute long disco prog synth jam that (if we're lucky) will bleed into an off the wall cover like "Safety Dance." They are kind of like a mixture between Umphrey's McGee and The New Deal.

Old Person Phrase of the Week:
I told someone that I was going to use this a while ago and then didn't. The weeks phrase is "Negative Nancy." I wonder who the original Nancy was that was so negative that she got coined this moniker .

Weather on Nunivak:
The sunsets around 11pm have been beautiful, the weather is warm, the puddles are bountiful and slush, the giant mounds of snow just keep melting, the exposed tundra has almost eclipsed the snow on top. And the road to the airport is finally open. Thank goodness...except now the road is flooding. Hopefully I won't have to enlist a boat to get the airport to get home.

Art Update: Not much goin on in my art, I got some new cover songs to work on but thats about it.

Blog Changes: As you can see, this blog has already started molting its alaskan exoskeleton, expect more changes to come, but definitely more hippie references, more pictures, more sunshine, more music, more fun, and more goofiness hopefully.

Lastly But Not Leastly: I'm still feeling very sad for the poor Ricky Hatton who got his brain mushified by Manny Pacquio last night on HBO payperview fights. I really thought he had a chance to beat the Pac Man if he could survive the initial onslaught of speed and fury. Unfortunately he was destroyed. Hopefully he makes a comeback, because he is a great guy.

The dance was C+. The little kids made it hard for the big kids to take it seriously. There weren't enough teen agers to really do the slowdance thing, and I eventually was forced to play songs from their list of horrible, awful, extremely terrible music so that they would get up and dance. Over all it was fun though and we did a good job of transforming the gym into something a little bit cooler than previous efforts with the projection of a sound visualizer on the wall/ceiling. No drama to speak of and generally it was well received.

I'm still stumped as what to say at the graduation speech. Hopefully something will come to me.

The apartment is almost packed up, I sent one final box home yesterday with my parka and a comforter.

My awesome friends in Bethel: Sadie, Angie, and Erin sent me possibly the most pleasing gift I've gotten in a while. They sent a package returning a shirt I left at there house but they also included a union suit. If you don't know what that is, its a full body long underwear suit that has a button up buttflap, and buttons down the front to the crotch. It is bright red and it is hilarious, I've been wearing it non stop with shorts and t-shirt. Thanks ladies!

I'm trying to figure out some ways to take pictures out on the tundra in my union suit...

Thats about it. Just counting down the days. Days are slow to go by but time is going fast.

Have a good week




Link

Friday, May 1, 2009

Wicka Wicka DJ Iverson in da House

That's right, I've received an honor (I'm more proud of this than speaking at graduation for some reason) to DJ the high school dance tonight. Students can expect lots of Daft Punk, lots of random funky boogies from James Brown and Jamiroquai, Michael Franti, Outcast, and lots and lots of secret favorites from my extensive hippie arsenal.

They will probably hate it because they wanna listen to the dam fangled rap music all about getting your booty low and grinding all up on your junk in the trunk and keepin it real, gettin it poppin, icing that blang, crackulating, off the chains and hooks, and doin that thang, and sippin on some scissors, and whats up in the low down, or down low, no doubt, gettin krunk and keepin it twizzled and fizzled triple double nizzled while the bacon sizzled and the weather drizzled. Y' knaw whad-I mean, ya huuuuuurd me? Tru Dat. Flaaaaaavor Flaaaaave.

Oh yeah, I speak their language, I'm cizzool. I'm two legit to quit.

The problem is that I really am just so much cooler than they are. There musical taste has improved so much over the last two years though, they have been good pupils. When I first met them they were listening to Avenge Sevenfold and Creed and Young Jeezy and Linkin Park and all sorts of heinous auditory garbage. After two years of intense music remediation and intervention they now enjoy a wide range of genre's music and artists. Jack Johnson, Bob Marley, Matt Costa, Tegan and Sara, Bassnectar, Daft Punk, Yonder Mountain String, Umphrey's McGee, Sigur Ros, Air, Ray LaMontagne, Les Claypool, John Butler Trio, Xavier Rudd, ALO, the list goes on. It is further evidence that almost anyone can make the transition from mindless top 40 idiot to something more.

If I sound like an asshole right now its because I am, on this topic, an elitist asshole, I listen to good music, if you don't agree, then you don't know anything.

I have a feeling that people won't come and also won't dance, hopefully not, and hopefully no ghetto drama goes down, and hopefully people don't spike the punch.

Happy Friday!
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