About

I am a grade 4/5/6 English teacher in the small fly-in Arctic village of Tasiujaq – which is on the Ungava Bay coast of Nunavik. This is my third year here.

I grew up in Moncton New Brunswick. I completed a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Philosophy at Mount Allison University in Sackville New Brunswick and a Bachelor of Elementary Education degree at Acadia University in Wolfville Nova Scotia. I’ve lived in Halifax Nova Scotia, the Yukon Territory and I’ve taught in Shanghai China.

I call myself many things – a writer, an artist, a traveler and an athlete. I like yoga, running, hiking, reading, sewing, cooking and music. I am Christian.

I try to seek opportunities, seeking adventure and new experiences whenever possible. I’ll try almost anything once.ย I strive for health, happiness and enlightenment.

Welcome to my quest for awesome.

21 responses to “About

    • Hi Jodie, nice to meet you, my name’s Massimo Verdinelli, I was looking for information about Canada and Quebec, I saw pictures about Kujjuaqq, I didn’t know Nunavik and found your blog, it’s very interesting.

      Greetings from Italy

    • Thank you for your comment! I’m glad you’re enjoying my blog. I started it almost a year and a half ago, when I discovered that coming home and forcing myself to think about the awesome really had a positive effect on how I perceived things. It was a 365 day project that I decided to continue…and even though I’m almost through my new project (100 Days of Awesome), I think I’ll continue it even further :).

      I look forward to reading yours!

  1. I love this idea. Having just finished the book Learned Optimism, and briefly flipped through the book We Love Each Other, But… it’s amazing how much we let negativity control our experiences. We can easily learn how to let positivity influence our experiences, I think you have captured that essence completely in your posts.

  2. Thank you,

    Since I started writing in this blog, I have noticed a considerable difference in my frame of mind. Though I can’t take credit for the idea. I decided to start writing this blog in the middle of a very frustrating day, when Neil Pasricha’s Books of Awesome came to mind. I have, however, experimented with the idea in a couple of ways to make this blog my own.

  3. Thank you Jodie for this wonderful blog. I will soon be starting my own professional adventure up North (Kuujjuaq). Finding your blog at this moment is quite a blessing! I read your posts like I eat candy. It helps me cope with the fear of the unknown. Thank you so much!

    • Hi!

      Thank you for your comment!

      It’s funny, I actually live in Kuujjuaq now. What will you be doing in Kuujjuaq? If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

  4. Hey! I just came across your blog. I’m teaching in Shanghai with Acadia right now and have just accepted a teaching position to work in Kuujjuaq in August! Do you have any adise or tips on teaching up north or what I should bring?

    • Wow! What do you think of Shanghai? I actually taught in Shanghai with Acadia just before I moved up here to teach in Tasiujaq. Now I am teaching in Kuujjuaq! What grade will you be teaching? I’ll be teaching grade 6 ๐Ÿ™‚

      As for what to bring, you don’t have to worry too much for Kuujjuaq because you can get a lot of stuff here. I went crazy and bought a lot of stuff to ship up when I went to Tasiujaq, but it was literally 10x smaller than here. The houses are furnished, but dishes and small appliances, and home decor things you’d have to bring. I’d also suggest bringing layers and warmer clothes, but wait until you get here to buy a parka because there are women who sew beautiful ones (I bought a Canada Goose my first year but have since bought one from here – check out Siasi Ningiuk on the Iqaluit Auction Bids group on Facebook). Kuujjuaq is also great for outdoor recreation, so hiking boots, snowshoes and cross country skis are a really good idea if you like that kind of thing.

      Otherwise, you can order stuff from Amazon (with free shipping) and the school board gives you cargo allowance for groceries…so you can actually get away with bringing very little.

      If you have any questions, you can email me at jodihawkes@hotmail.com anytime!

      This is awesome!

      • Hi Jodie,
        Thanks for your reply. I just heard back from my principle and my partner and I are actually moving in to your old apartment. Funny coincidence! I enjoyed China, but am excited to be moving to some where less populated! I will be teaching grade four.
        Thank you for all your advise and I look forward to meeting you!

      • Wow, that is a crazy coincidence. Haha.

        Enjoy the apartment! It was good there, but an opportunity came up for me to move into a more spacious house, close to the school, so I took it. Haha. You and your partner are welcome to come over for dinner sometime!

        The other girls (Jenny, Rebecca and Diana) who live in the building are cool. Jenny and Rebecca teach secondary, and Diana is Special Ed.

        Grade 4 is a good grade. I really enjoyed teaching that level.

        When do you arrive?

  5. Hi Jodi,

    I came across your blog while researching things to do while I’m here in Kuujjuaq! It’s beautiful and sunny and warm, what should I do?

    Thanks

    Kat

    • Hi Kat,

      Are you here now? It is beautiful, isn’t it?

      Do you have a car? Berry picking is a personal favourite activity this time of year. If you can get pretty much anywhere along the Road to Nowhere, there are blueberries galore.

      If you don’t have a car, and the weather’s nice…I might be going tomorrow afternoon if you’d like to join ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Hi Jodie,
    My wife, 3-year old daughter, and I are headed to Nunavik this summer and will spend a couple of days in Kuujjuaq. Your blog has been a wonderful source of ideas and inspirations, and made us even more excited to personally experience a tiny bit of the north. Weโ€™re now researching about things we can do in Kuujjuaq โ€” anything that would allow us to learn about the nature and the culture โ€” and weโ€™d really appreciate any advice you could give us. Also, weโ€™re wondering if there is a place in Kuujjuaq where camping would be possible. Hope to hear from you. Thanks so much for all that youโ€™re writing, it brings this distant land closer to a lot of us.
    Danko

    • Hi Danko,

      That’s so exciting that you will get to experience some of Nunavik! Will you be visiting any other villages, as well?

      There are lots of places to set up a tent and camp. There are a few roads that go a bit out of town – the Range Road, and the Road To Nowhere. The Range Road goes south and has more trees and might be a bit less windy, but there will be lots of bugs. The Road to Nowhere goes north, and is cool because it’s where you really see the tundra. But it will probably be colder. There are bears both ways.

      When will you be coming? There are some events that you might be able to catch. In August we have a music festival called Aqpik Jam. I think it’s from the 8th to the 13th this year.

      Depending on timing, you might be able to do lots of berry picking, too.

      I think it is also possible to rent/borrow bikes, and maybe kayaks or canoes (but I’m not sure about that) from the NV, and there’s a lot of opportunity for hiking. Also if you have a fishing license, there are a few lakes where you can go fishing.

      Also, if you’re looking for a bit of nightlife, Kuujjuaq has a lounge and a bar. Personally I don’t go to the bar, but the lounge is a nice place to go listen to people perform. Usually someone’s singing on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and sometimes other nights.

      If you have any more questions, feel free to ask! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Jodie, thanks for such a quick and encouraging reply. We’ll be in Kuujjuaq from July 23 until July 26. I hope that’s a good time for picking berries ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s great to know that there might be an option to rent/borrow bicycles and even kayaks, that would be amazing. Is there a possibility of a car rental for 3 days and especially, might there be someone to rent us a space to crash on a couch or floor (kind of like airbnb or couchsurfing)? I just called two hotels there and they are incredibly expensive, and we do need a place because now I’m thinking that camping is not realistic with the bears and without a car. Thanks so much for your insights and advice!

  7. Hmm, there might be berries, but usually they are best in August.

    I usually travel during July, so I don’t actually know if the berries are ready yet. Haha

    Yes, I know the hotels are very expensive. If you have Facebook, there is a group called Kuujjuamiut. It might be good to post something there asking if anyone is looking for a housesitter or is willing to host.

    Same with car rentals ๐Ÿ™‚

    I think also Tivi Galleries rents cars, but I’m not sure how much it is. It would be worth giving them a call.

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