Saturday, December 8, 2012

My Saturday without water

I know this is part of the whole culture shock experience but sometimes I just wish things would be NORMAL.  Does anyone have days/weeks like that?

I got awoken at 2am this morning by a loud buzzing sound.  It sounded like it was coming from the heating system but an hour later, when I flushed the toilet it stopped.  So it must be my septic system that was causing the problem.  I sat here for an hour, unable to decide what to do with no one to call, having no idea who was the emergency contact for a possible heating problem and I was worried I might succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning so it was a crappy morning. 
I think one of the hardest things about moving somewhere new is not knowing what to do if something serious happens.  Who do you call?  The 'helpful' advice I got on Facebook was to call a plumbing guy.  "Of course, I never even considered that. Duh."  *rolls eyes*  There ARE no heating and plumbing guys here or I would have called them. Sheesh. 
 It makes me worry for the next place I go.  If it's a different country and I have to add a language barrier to the mix, what might happen then?  What if one of us gets really sick or something serious happens and I can't get help?  Scary stuff.  I know I'm resourceful but last night showed me also how vulnerable I could be too.

So the latest news on the front has been this: 
I have been talking to a Vancouver recruiting agency about a possible job in Brunei for the next school year.  I passed the initial interview and was asked to submit more paperwork. Currently I am waiting to hear from the interviewer in Brunei itself. 
I also received a call from a company that manages schools in China and getting a job there is also a possibility. The recruiter from that company only hires BC certified teachers and he called me 2 years ago to set up an interview but I had already accepted a job elsewhere for that year.  He said they will definitely have positions next year and I am on the list to be interviewed for them.
It has also been mentioned that if I am interested in becoming an administrator in Nunavut, it wouldn't be a very long road to achieving that goal and I could have an opportunity at the end of this school year to take the administrator's course. That would be an upward movement in my career and it's worth looking in to.
So there are a lot of possibilities on the horizon and I don't quite know which way to go.  Another possible option, should there be a spot, is to go back to the school that I liked so much from last year.  I would certainly love to teach science there again.

I know I have no control over what happens next but I would very much like to know how this is going to play out!  It would be amazing to spend two years in tropical Brunei and I think that is my first choice.  I'm stuck a little on the second choice because although I want to teach in another country, I also would like to teach at the school I left last year as well.  The principal there was amazing and when I left I felt that I could have learned a lot more from watching her for a longer period of time.  I also miss things about that place like being able to run and eat fresh veggies and eggs right from the farm. water has just been fixed by the housing guy and now I can have a shower and wash my dishes!  :)  I have waited all day so this is exciting news!  Such little things can make you so happy here because the little things are all we have.

Here's some  photos for you:
My son sliding down a hill

Fields of white

Lake Harbour

Sunrise in my backyard


The Arctic sky

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Project based life

I was looking over my blog today and realized, much to my embarrassment, that I haven't posted anything in over a month!  Terrible blogger that I am, I have many times thought "I just have nothing to say" while excusing myself from writing.

Here is my blog about my projects and how to stave off the boredom of living in a northern place:

First of all, there often isn't much to do.  I absolutely do not miss the rat race of having so many things to accomplish in a day that you are never finished but there are days here that are boring.  Now I know I live in this amazing place where the land goes on forever but going out on the land by oneself is somewhat dangerous and it is bloody COLD out there.  Often my weekends consist of a one shopping trip to our small grocery store and then trying to find things to do at home.  To help me pass the time I come up with projects and read ideas about how to become a better person/mom/teacher. 

Project 1:  I  have a guitar which I am trying to learn how to play and my father gifted me a violin before he died that I plan to learn how to play once I get the bow re-haired in my Christmas trip "down south". 

Project 2:  I have been reading about the evils of wheat from Dr. Davis' "Wheat Belly" book and have decided to change my diet to eliminate wheat just to see if he's right.  This takes a bit more planning than if I lived south of here because our food choices are severly limited up here in the north.  So I've ordered some of the ingrediants I need to replace the wheat and grains in my diet and will have to wait until my Christmas trip to get the rest of the stuff I need to replace wheat.

Project 3:  Exercise.  I miss running so much and yet all my efforts to get a treadmill up here have met with failure.  However, I did manage to get an elliptical machine and I have purchased some Xbox Zumba games that I have yet to try out.  The elliptical is very helpful and I am glad it got up here.  I am very unhappy with the 15 pounds that I have gained back since I moved here and haven't been able to run.  I am in the process of coming up with a realistic plan for exercise that will help me feel better.

Project 4: This blog (and we know how well THAT'S going).

Project 5: Come January I will be taking two university courses online for my professional development.  I recently found out that the teacher's union here will pay up to $2500/year for courses for the teachers in their organization.  Why isn't everyone doing this??  We talk about how lucky the kids are to receive free education but some of us aren't appreciating when we get it.  So I am taking the courses to become a better teacher and less of a hypocrite. (I have decided on "ESL" and "Tech in Education - part 2)

Project 6: This is my most exciting one yet.  I have been applying to interesting jobs overseas and have met with some success so far.  I received an email recently asking me if I was interested in apply to a job in Brunei.  I applied and did an interview with the recruiting firm in Vancouver and got accepted to their firm!  Now I have to wait to see if the Brunei office is interested as well.  I should hear by the middle of December, I'm told.  So I may be living in a completely different place next year!

I should also mention that I recently was told that if I applied to a teaching leadership program up here to become an administrator in Nunavut, my application would be supported and in a few years I could move from teacher to administrator (Principal or vice-Principal).  I have mixed feelings about this:  First, it would be a great career move to move upwards into admin and I could change a lot of things I see wrong with the system if I was higher up the food chain.  However, my goal was to work here to be able to go overseas so I could experience more of the world and gain a wider perspective on everything.  So it's a tough choice.  If I chose the admin route I would be 'stuck' up here for a few years, minimum.  If I choose the overseas path I would be travelling and teaching but may never really change anything in the profound way I wanted to when I started this teaching career.  I'm completely torn.

A word about the title of my blog:  There is a lot of talk about project based learning in education and it's seen as the way of the future especially amongst technology-in-education types.  However, I wonder at living a project-based life as a way of feeling like you are accomplishing something worthwhile and being happy.  Just an idea I'm playing with.

Only 2 and 1/2 weeks to our Xmas trip down south!  I cannot wait for a break!