Monday, April 4, 2011

A full teaching day after the Northern Lights (at last!)

Last night after I turned off my light to go to sleep I could see a faint green light in the sky above the town. I sat up and looked, and sure enough... the Northern Lights were out! It was almost midnight and no one else was up, but I decided that I had to try and get a photograph of them. I snuck downstairs and opened the kitchen window, where you can take out the screen and get a clear view.

It took me a while to figure out how to prop up my camera since you need to take a really long exposure to catch them and the air coming in from outside wasn't very warm! I finally got a couple of pictures...
They were gorgeous. You can't see it in the photo, but there was tons of action in town... skidoos going all over the place and lots of people (children included) out walking and playing games. I have started to get used to the idea of a town that never sleeps and it doesn't seem so odd to me to hear the roar of the snowmobiles in the middle of the night. I almost didn't notice them and I was really glad to finally have a chance to capture the elusive Northern lights.

Today was a full teaching day for me since Emma was still in Iqaluit with the Table Tennis team (who came in third- go team!). I was, needless to say, a little tired from my midnight photo op, but we had a lot of fun and the kids were pretty good for me considering I am such a newcomer. Frances came in as the substitute for the day and it was great to have her help when some of the kids hadn't finished their writing and we were ready to get back into paper machĂ©. I was able to help everyone finish their rainsticks and get one huge iceberg done while Frances got four reticent writers to finish working on ideas for their books. Team teaching is such a great way to go!

We were duty, which meant that we had to be on the playground morning, recess, noon and night (well after school). Man these kids have a lot of energy! The playground looks a lot like any other playground I've ever seen, but can you imagine swinging from monkey bars in a full snowsuit? There are swings, monkey bars, a slide and lots of climbing structures.

I have noticed that the air seems thinner here. I'm not sure why... we're right by the ocean, so we're not at a high altitude, but that's how it feels when you're outside. Lisa (the technology teacher) and I were talking about it today and wondering if it's the lack of moisture... The relative humidity in the school stays at about 8%, where Sean and I have a hard time trying to keep our house down around 50%. Whatever it is, it makes you feel like you're living on mount Everest...

After a midnight romp with my camera, a busy day of teaching and all the fresh air of being duty, I can honestly say that I breathed a sigh of relief when the kids headed home (whatever way they could!).

It is still so much fun for me to see all the kids arriving and heading home. They have one awesome school bus (the school "limousine" as they like to call it) but most kids either walk or come in by skidoo or ATV.

Lots of kids opt out of the journey home and stay around for a quite a while playing on the equipment if it's a particularly glorious day, though!


  1. Wow, Jif, what amazing shots of the Northern Lights! *boggle*

    ... and is that kid hanging off the monkey bars with _bare hands_?

  2. Hey Kate,

    Yup. Bare hands alrighty... I guess they learn real early not to lick the posts ;*)!