Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Digging for Gold? Perspectives on Prospecting...

"You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose..." ~Common Knowledge in Kindergarten
While sneezing across the u-shaped table that I teach at all day long and in mid- swipe with the 80th Clorox clean up wipe in a useless attempt to ward off unwanted germs, bacteria and viruses, I had an epiphany. I realized that nose picking doesn't even phase me anymore! It felt like I had earned a badge of courage in the realm of elementary teaching. Remember I have been a middle school teacher for the last 8 years until now and getting used to these little primary kiddos has definitely been a stretch for me. From my hormonally challenged pubescent middle schoolers who waver between swearing at you one moment and wanting to be your best friend the next to these miniature creatures that cry and pick their noses. Now if you are an elementary teacher you can appreciate what I'm talking about here. Little kids like to stick their fingers in their noses and they don't care who sees. I guess, I've come to kind of look up to them, they are liberated. Seriously, I think they do it to desensitize us. At least that's the effect it has taken on me, as I scraped the crusted on boogers off my table while coughing up a lung- I have no questions as to why I'm sick again. We're all sneezing around here with our runny noses spreading our H1N1 visuses to each other so much that I'm going to recommend us for an award in sharing. I am on round 3 of this crazy flu/cold/virus/whatever it is. And I'm starting to get used to it as much as the nose digging. Don't get me wrong, like every other elementary teacher out there I'm trying to get the point across that tissue is the appropriate hygienic mechanism with which to navigate one's nostrils. I use the GermX, disinfectant wipes, wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands... etc. to no avail. It seems eventually as history shows, kids apparently catch on and tone down the public prospecting but right now we are at the base of a very large learning curve. So think of me next time you grab a kleenex and have a good laugh at my expense.
On a more exciting note we received our brand new school suburban on the last barge in! Since the 82 white lightening (featured below) kicked the bucket a month and a half ago (RIP). Principal Eric put out an APB looking for licensed Alaskan drivers willing to help 'break it in' according to the new owners manual. We have to put quite a few miles on it before we can go faster than 45 mph. You may wonder, if the longest stretch of road is no more than 3 miles how do we ever go faster than 45 mph and well, your guess is as good as mine. But the whole scenario takes me back to the Skime farm and plops me in the drivers seat of our vintage 1950 Army Jeep, stick shift, no power steering or doors or top, spray painted camouflage (yeah, some of you out there know exactly what I'm talking about here). It had a cassette player that if you cranked to the max and strained to hear you could almost make out the songs over the roaring engine. To us the army jeep was nothing less than a corvette.... So the edict was proclaimed, if we could show Dad that we could shift it, we would be allowed to drive it along the fence line of the pastures (approximately a mile perimeter). I'd be willing to bet that by the time we all turned 16 the mileage covered in the army jeep on that well- beaten path could give Alaskan Highway a run for its money. At the time of the edict I was actually the tallest, this gave me a distinct advantage over my younger/shorter brothers. Within moments of the challenge I had Dad watching me: trying to prove to him my worthiness in all of my 12 year old body which barely touched the pedals and saw over the steering wheel simultaneously. There in the front yard just past the barn, jeep and I lurched and leaped along, guessing, and jolting and trying to shift and clutch and break and all the while praying to God that I looked like I knew what I was doing. I'm sure Dad was peeing his pants laughing-cheap entertainment for him and come to think of it the whole idea of the challenge itself was probably something he didn't truly think would happen within the next year. But me, myself and I are somewhat determined. We would be cruising those fields if it killed us! Pretty sure it could have with the lack of safety features this world war II jeep did not possess. I think if you live on a farm you automatically receive a few get out of early death free passes. Anyway I was granted the privilege of driving the fields and screaming along to Wilson Phillips. The few and the proud friends of mine out there reading this from the big IF will probably fondly or fearfully remember riding shot gun. Dad would later issue another challenge to the 3 of us, in which he confidently stated that whichever one of us could pull back his bow could have it. Well he didn't specify how we had to pull it back. So with the help of my feet and body, though nearly impaling myself in the process I pulled that bow back, I got yelled at and told never to do that again, but I earned that bow (least that was my opinion). Dad you never gave it to me. He quit throwing out these seemingly unachievable dares shortly thereafter). So that is a very roundabout way of saying I'm excited to get behind the wheel of the new suburban and cruise the scenic highways and byways of Quinhagak;)

Shout Out To My Gram! Thanks for the colorful leaves, now it's fall in my living room:)

"Point your kids in the right direction— when they're old they won't be lost."
(Or picking their noses...Rach version)
Proverbs 22:6


  1. Reminds me of our 3 now grown kids driving around the farm - actually our son who is now 28 drove tractors and the truck from the time he was 4. Yikes. The girls were driving early too - maybe not quite that young. Our youngest daughter, now 30, took a friend on a wild ride once around the farm. Those were the days!

  2. That story with the old Jeep cracks me up, Rachel! Similar story for us when I was 12: my dad had us out on Rainy Lake learning to drive Grandpa's 25 year old Johnson outboard motor. He was going to make us independent Rainy Lake women! We didn't need boat rides somewhere... We were going to drive ourselves!

  3. Bobbi! Lol apparently it worked;) If I recall you were the one who drove us to 1/2 mile...memories. lol Thanks for the blast from the past. So good to hear from ya. Congrats on our new auntiehood again too!

    Kris! Farm living is the life for me!!!....etc. ;)

  4. Hayward made the news last night - a bear invaded a grocery store and sat on a shelf or stack of something for an hour before finally leaving. Must have been avoiding the hunters!!! Do you have Internet at home - I might have missed your answer to this earlier.

  5. I went back and found the Internet answer. I need to check your replies area more often. How wonderful that you do have cell phone coverage - who do you have it through- and Internet access at home and school. I am amazed that as I look outside that many trees are still sort of green. We are past peak colors in the Maples, but the Oak trees still have leaves. I noticed yards full of leaves in town yesterday. A school bus just drove by for Flambeau so must be a sport event somewhere today - it's not yet 7 am and still dark out.