Saturday, February 26, 2011

Canada Games and beyond

Well the Canada Games are finally drawing to a close and I can breathe a little easier... I was heavily involved in the archery competition this week since my husband Sean has been coaching two members of the Nova Scotia team, and I went along for moral support. The two boys Sean was coaching did an amazing job, setting personal bests against the top archers in the country. Both of them have only been shooting for a short while, but they performed like seasoned pros under incredible pressure. We are all extremely proud of them and can't wait to see how they will do in the future!

Now that the pressure of the Games is off, I am starting to realize how little time is left before I head up North, and with lessons to plan for my school here in Nova Scotia right up until the day before I leave, it's going to be hard to get everything done.

I was really happy to receive a welcoming call from my host family a couple of days ago... but when she asked me if I had any questions, I hardly knew where to begin! I know so little that I don't even have questions yet. I'm sure I'll think of some as the day grows closer.

I have also been e-mailing back and forth with my host classroom teacher, Emma Anso, who sounds like an amazing person. When I went on line to find out more about Sam Pudlat School I found an article about her class from last year, who managed to create a book for a time capsule project (If you're interested, the whole article can be found here). I also discovered that another teacher from the school has just begun a choir (again, the whole article can be found here). All in all, it sounds like it's going to be a really creative group... I'm looking forward to meeting them.

I have done a lot of workshops over the years with my trusty harp, and assuming that I don't encounter any huge barriers about bringing her along (more about my trials and tribulations with trying to get information from Air Canada Cargo to come in further blogs I'm sure), I am looking forward to showing her off to the kids and hopefully getting a chance to record some of my trip in new songs.

Every day, as I nail down more and more of the details, this trip is becoming more and more real for me.

Friday, February 11, 2011


One of the things that excites me most about teaching (and particularly about teaching in Cape Dorset) is making connections... The world of Nunavut seems so far away from the world I know, and yet we are part of the same country!

While I am in Cape Dorset I hope to connect my class with a class in Nova Scotia, whether electronically (through e-mails or skype conversations) or through snail mail letters back and forth, or through whatever means I can devise. I mentioned this to a friend of mine, Jane Baskwill, who is a specialist in children's literature at Mount Saint Vincent University, and she told me about a project she is involved in called Publish It.

Essentially, this is a project whereby students, parents and community members can create and publish simple picture books. After a short conversation, we decided that this would be a wonderful concept for me to take to Cape Dorset.

We still don't know how everything will sort out, but I now have the software for creating the books on a removable hard drive and I have some samples to take with me. I'm really exited about the idea of bringing Inuit culture back with me and I'm looking forward to the possibility of creating some books about life in Cape Dorset (maybe even in Inuktitut if the students can help me out!).

If you would like more information about Jane Baskwill's Publish It project, you can find it Here.

And I am still looking for a "sister class" here in Nova Scotia who might want to connect with me and my students while I am in the North, so if you're interested, please send me an e-mail!