Jennifer Wyatt is a professional musician who, after (and during!) a wonderful career as a singer/songwriter Celtic harp player, and after raising two lovely daughters (Rachael and Rhiannon) with her husband Sean, decided to go back to school and get her education degree from Mount Saint Vincent University. She was fortunate enough to do one month of her practicum in Nunavut and this is her story...
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
The Frozen North
This is a picture of the walk home from school tonight... yes- it's that cold. There was a 54 degree difference between the temperature here today and the temperature back home (Halifax was reporting +14 and Cape Dorset was at -40 with the wind chill). Now I know this may be hard to believe, but I really do still think it is very beautiful. As I walked back from the school my eyelids froze together and the wind took my breath away, but I just had to take a picture of the sunset. Not to mention the fact that this was taken at nine thirty at night... the days are getting longer!
Tonight we missed sewing because there was a penny sale at the school to raise money for a member of the community who is trying to get home from Pangnirtung for a funeral on Saturday. The whole community was out and hopefully they raised enough- The cost of travelling anywhere is astronomical when you live in the North. Once again, I was reminded that the isolation up here could be really hard to take.
It was awesome to see so many people out supporting the cause. I guess I thought the cold would keep everyone home, but I keep forgetting that they're much more used to it than I am. There were tons of kids and babies... Etugaluk brought her granddaughter in her amauti and I got a picture of Mary's granddaughter trying to win a cake in the cakewalk. With all the kids running around and neighbours visiting it seemed like the place to be on such a cold and windy night. And it was a great ending to a bit of a rough day...
I don't know why, but today was an interesting day at school. For some reason everybody was wired for sound and we had a hard time getting the kids to settle in and work on anything. I am reminded on a regular basis of the cultural gap that exists here... I'll start to tell a story in class and realize that I have to explain everything! These kids have a very different background from mine and when I told them a story about a raccoon trying to get into the attic of my house, I had to spend the first five minutes explaining what a raccoon is. Fair enough- I need to have lots of stuff about the snow and ice explained to me!
We worked for a little while at the end of the day on "A Promise is a Promise", but I am expecting an awful lot from them to make the leap to presenting a play in front of an audience. I am incredibly proud of the props we have made and the work the class has done already on this theme. I'd like for them to get a chance to show off what they've done to the rest of the school, but they are very shy about presenting and I really don't want to force the issue- they have already learned so much about imaginative play and interpreting texts visually. Emma and I talked about it and we think it would be better to videotape it. Emma may show it to the class and get them to work on it some more after I leave if they really want to do it for a live audience. As it is now it would be a very quiet play!
I only have two more teaching days before I head home. I think my professors would be proud because I'm probably going to be "reflecting" on this experience for the rest of my career.