Sunday, September 1, 2013


This weekend was our 10 year anniversary. That means Monica has been hearing me say for the past 10 years, “Well, deal with it, we’re married.” And I have been hearing a boatload of things from her. Mostly instructions. “Don’t eat that.” “Pick up your underwear and socks. The ones in the kitchen.” “Take a shower. With water” “Throw that away, that’s not a suppository!”

With a directive purpose, I have become a better person under her supervision. I have been a much happier person because of Monica. I know the next 40 years of my life will continue to be a happy adventure with my best friend. 

Recess. I'm the one in the tan jacket.
In other news, school started last week. With the first day of school, there were new students in my class. I am teaching a younger demographic this year: 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades. The 2nd and 3rd graders are new to my classroom, so there is still some anxiety with them. They are not sure how to deal with me yet. Their last teacher was a quiet, elderly lady who is much kinder than I am. I’m big, hairy and loud. Not what the kids wanted to see and hear from their new teacher. It was more like a bear encounter for them. It didn’t help that I hid behind the coat rack and jumped out at them and roared when they came into the room for the first time. They’ll get used to it eventually.

Our school has lost several students from last year, so my class has only 10 students as of now. The number will probably change during the year, as families and kids tend to move around a lot. So I expect to add a few more students as the year progresses, but right now I have about half as many as I had last year. That doesn’t always make it easier, but I promise not to complain. I realize there are teachers at other schools who are dealing with 30+ kids in their classroom. A real bear would come in handy for them.

Our school and our new housing.
Learning to manage younger kids will take time. It’s been only four days of school, but I am proud of myself that I haven’t made a student cry yet. Some have looked like they might when I was ‘redirecting their behavior’, but they held strong. Monica says they are still terrified. I think they are just being polite. I am excited about our Big Ten and what we’ll learn this year.

If there is an afterlife, I feel confident I will be allowed into the good part of town, the one they call Heaven. I imagine the scenario would go something like this: 
St. Peter:  Wow. (Shaking his head.) This does not look good.
Me: What do you mean? (Drinking a beer.)
St. Peter: (Pointing to a list of several violations against humanity) These!
Me: Oh, those. But what about this? (Pointing to a picture of Monica)
St. Peter: Well, if she put up with you for 50 years, I guess we could put up with you for eternity. Now, throw that away, that’s not a suppository. 


  1. Right? The hoops I have to jump through just to be 'presentable'. A dry sponge just isn't enough anymore I guess.

  2. I just found your blog and my hubby and I are thoroughly enjoying it. We are both in school finishing up our teaching degrees and hopefully, you can answer some questions for us. I am working on my master's degree in SPED K-12 and he is an art education major. We wanted to know if there is a demand for SPED teachers in Alaska? What about art teachers? Is there a need for certified teachers to work as substitute teachers in Alaskan bush schools if there spouse is hired as a teacher? Are families allowed to come with the new hires? Is there space available at the school for teacher's children? I am sorry to ask so many questions but we are very interested in teaching in Alaska. Thanks so much!

  3. Tonya,
    Yes there is a need for SPED teachers out here. As for an art teacher I'd say not so much. But, opportunities for subbing should be plentiful. Either as an aide or gen ed classes. Families are encouraged to teach out here and plenty of room for your own children.
    You should read the Alaska Teacher Placement website
    for more information on other districts as well. There is a really good forum that other people have asked most questions you already have. Thanks for reading the blog and good luck.