100 Days of Awesome – Day 78

1. Awesome was spending some time at the Moncton Farmer’s Market yesterday afternoon. It was insanely crowded, and thus probably the most annoying place to lug my suitcase around (I’d literally just gotten off the plane from Montréal), but thankfully I was able to drop it off at my mother’s table and do a bit of market browsing without it. My suitcase later served as a sort of VIP seating (when no other seats were available), from where I enjoyed a fresh market kabob and salad.

2. Awesome and exciting was grocery shopping yesterday afternoon – in a real, well-stocked, full of fresh produce grocery store.

3. Awesome was the spontaneous urge to go for a run yesterday evening, especially after an early morning wake-up, a flight, and running errands.

4. Awesome was running through all the neighbourhoods of my original route – the route I used to run when I’d first really started running outside almost 3 years ago. It was very nostalgic, and the better part of it took me through the neighbourhood full of “teacher houses” (houses in which I dreamed of living when I was a child with beginning aspirations to be a teacher).


100 Days of Awesome – Day 77

1. Awesome was having plenty of time for a pre-flight workout yesterday morning.

2. Awesome was the fact that my flight was not only on time, but early (usually, it’s late).

3. Awesome was arriving in Montréal to significantly less snow than I’d arrived to last week. Spring is here!

100 Days of Awesome – Day 76

1. Awesome was a smooth last day of school, full of special activities, before our 10-day Easter vacation.

2. Awesome was finally bringing myself around to buying a new printer/scanner/photocopier – something I can see will be infinitely useful, but that I never even thought to buy. It should be here when I return from my vacation.

3. Awesome was helping someone make sense of something a little confusing. It feels good to be a source of useful information for people.

4. Awesome was discovering another resource that is available to me – a professional development fund that will cover up to 2000$ of tuition for courses relevant to my field. I am interested in taking courses pertaining to teaching Inuit and other native students, special education, and teaching English as a Second Language. If anybody can recommend anything (preferably online), I would greatly appreciate it!

100 Days of Awesome – Day 76

1. Awesome was teaching my very first music class yesterday morning.

Several months ago, I wrote a proposal asking for funding to supply a music class for my students. Never, in my time teaching here, have my students been able to have a music class (due to lack of instruments, materials and a teacher who could teach them). Now, I don’t know a thing about music, but I was able to find a very basic teacher’s guide and supplementary materials, so I thought I would brave the endeavour.

Yesterday, we started with establishing some Music class rules. Then we learned some important basic vocabulary. Afterward, my students each received their own recorders, and they were given 1 minute to play them as loud and as hard as they wanted under the condition that they would never do it again (if I didn’t let them, I’d imagine they would fight with me all term to do it anyway). Last, I taught them how to hold their recorders properly and gave them the last few minutes of class to play freely.

They loved it.

2. Awesome was a beautiful early evening run. The sun was shining; the wind was calm; the road was almost entirely clear of ice. I think it was the most enjoyable run I’ve had in months.

3. Awesome was discovering that the photographer, who flies to all of the villages of Nunavik to take school and family photos, is from Nova Scotia. It’s always a nice taste of home to meet people from the Maritimes.

4. Awesome was watching the hockey game (Bruins versus Canadiens) with friends. I had to fight to stay awake come third period, and left early, but it was a nice social opportunity.


100 Days of Awesome – Day 75

1. Awesome was walking into my classroom yesterday morning to find my floor waxed and my walls washed. Our janitor took the opportunity while I was away to do some heavy-duty spring cleaning. Nakurmiik Mary!

2. Awesome was a productive morning with my students – during which all but 2 finished the term’s big writing project (The Inukshuk Project). This was a 10-page writing project that took my students through the writing process, and allowed them to practice using capital letters, “a” versus “an”, commas and periods (something which many of them are experiencing for the first time this year). This is the final page of one of the projects:

George 10
I am a student, a hockey player, a brother, a hunter, an Inuk, a friend, a fisher, a boy and a Christian. I am me.

3. Awesome was spending the afternoon at the arena, playing 4 Pics 1 Word with a few students while the others played hockey.


100 Days of Awesome – Day 74

1. Awesome was the inspiration radiating from the amazing feat that was the Journey of Nishiyuu, which made it yesterday to Parliament Hill. Stephen Harper may not have been there to listen to the voices of the native people who walked from Whapmagoostui (a Cree village on the Hudson Coast of Nunavik) all the way to Ottawa, but they sent an extremely powerful message – a message that I think resonates all the louder with many Canadians given Harper’s absence.

2. Awesome was an afternoon spent in Kuujjuaq drinking tea and catching up with a good friend I haven’t seen in months.

3. Awesome was a a nice (albeit brief) visit with my pedagogical counsellors at the Kuujjuaq Education Services office, as well as seeing some people I get to see even less frequently because I don’t work directly with them.

4. Awesome was the growing feeling, at various points throughout the day (the past few days, actually), of belonging.

5. Awesome was sleeping in my own bed after a long day of travel (which began at 3:45 am when I had to wake up, get ready and get to the airport in time for my 7 am flight).

Nishiyuu walkers 

Nishiyuu 2

Nishiyuu 3
Protestors on Parliament Hill

100 Days of Awesome – Day 73

1. Awesome was my motivation to get up and enjoy a fourth early morning workout, despite the fact that rowdy hotel neighbours kept me up much later than I’d have liked the night before. I came to Montréal mentally prepared to have to forego my usual workout routine for the week (something I’d never had to do since exercise became a regular part of my life 4.5 years ago), and it turned out that there was no disruption at all.

2. Awesome was not only having a voice, but also being thanked by not one, but three complete strangers afterward, for expressing it.

3. Awesome was being told that I have a very friendly smile and that I stood out in a crowd, by a kind of stranger.

3. Awesome was a new culinary adventure – Indian food (which I’d only had once before, at a restaurant with comparatively limited selection – with new friends. We went to Buffet Maharaja on René Lévesque Ouest.