Linda ReederWednesday, November 30, 2016
What did you teach? How long did you stay? Why did you leave and where did you go then?
Linda, I taught 7 th and 8th grades. I also had a 2nd grade phys.ed class one year. I spent 5ive years altogether. I wanted a transfer to another place and I didn't get it so I came "out " for a year and was going to apply again. I never applied again. I got a position in Red deer and planned to stay one year. Here I am 49 years later.
Did you ever spoke or met some of your pupils you had teached, when they were grown up? And how did they remember those schooldays? I never met any of these students again. Some of them became prominent leaders and I read about them in the news. some I heard about from my friends.
Was this where you met your wonderful micromanager? Was she teaching there too? I'm sorry if you already answered this. My brain is so foggy.
I did meet the Micro manager in Inuvik. She came in as a nurse. The guys always knew when girls wer coming in and scouted them out as they came in the airport!!!
Yorkshire PuddingThursday, December 01, 2016
Following your last post, I asked about the term "eskimo" but you ignored my question. I guess that makes you a typical teacher - blethering on like an ocean liner ploughing through the waves.
The term eskimo actually comes from the Cree as that's what they called the people to the north. So since explorers met the Cree first, the explorers called them eskimo. Eskimos call themselves Innuit the people. One is an Innuk. Now I like the simile you have for teacher. It fits me just fine as I do get off the topic easily.
I also wanted to ask about insects up in that region in the summertime. Are there many and do they interfere with normal life?
Insects were a nasty problem. Mosquitoes were unbelievable. Most of the time we were well covered with clothing with the exception of hands and face. The mosqitoes certainly interfere with normal life but we just had to get on with things. One time while boating, I had planned to camp overnight at a certain spot. As I approached the bank a bazillion mosquitoes met me. I backed the boat up and continued my trip for the rest of the night. Out in the middle of the river and in a moving boat we were free of mosquitoes. It was light all night so keep on going.
Did you ever spoke or met some of your pupils you had teached, when they were grown up? And how did they remember those schooldays?
I did not meet any former students. I did hear about them as some took important leadership positions and they were in the news. I did hear about some when I met friends and they would tell me about some. I taught the Dad of the Koe curling team from Canada
I wondered about the foods you ate.I recently watched a show about a group on Barrow island. the culture had a draw for the kids who left and tried college, missing the family life they had and returned.
I ate regular food from my ration. Yes when kids went back home some would not eat country food. It caused all kinds of challenges for the people. Country food(meat and fish) was nutritious and good but the kids didn't like it anymore. I hope this answers your question.
How did you change after your northern experiences?
I learned about racism and how terrible it was. I had to look at things from a different point of view. I remember well the first time I was in a minority situation. I knocked on the priest's door and I heard the kids tell the Father ,"It's a white man." It cut through me like a knife. Their belief in spirits as real got me thinking about my own faith and how shallow it was.
How did you cope with the long hours of darkness during the winter?
I loved the darkness and the light.I made sure I got out in the winter. I visited somebody every evening. The 24 hour daylight was energizing. I didn't sleep much. Some people could not cope with these conditions at all.
Were any of your students forcibly removed from their homes back then? I have read about it but didn't know if was widespread. Thanks for asking. :-
Some of them were forcibly removed. Parents would go out on the trapline so their kids wouldn't be found. Sooner or later the kids were picked up. Some kids were staying in the settlement with grandparents. When the parents came back they were angry and confused as to why their children had disappeared. Sometimes missionaries were involved in sending kids away. Some parents wanted their children to get an education. Usually those kids did fairly well with the support of parents. And then some children were apprehended and put in foster care.
What was it like getting used to dramatically less- and more- daylight
Changes in daylight happened slowly so it was easy to get used to. I liked the dark and light periods. I kept busy during the dark and spent time outside. There was twilight from 11:00 AM to 2 PM so we had awesome skies for part of the day. When it was cloudy it was very dark. I found the 24 hour daylight to be very energizing. I often went without sleeping. Some people could not cope with these situations at all.
What did you teach and to what age students? What was the worst time for you...and what was the best? Did you go back home during the time you were up there, what did you do in the time you were not teaching? I believe you said ten months out of the year...was that for the teacher too? What kind of celebrations> How was Christmas? Clothing...boots?? Oh see I was the wrong person to answer your question:)
I taught 7th and 8th grades. I taught all their subjects. The worst? I didn't realize. I did not understand that these kids came from another world..culture. The best is the opposite of the worst. I did learn from the kids if I listened to them.I did go out every summer. Some of the time was spent at home. Weekends in the north? We partied! We also had lots to do. The gym was used every day. I went boating every weekend and snowshoed in the winter. I also did some hunting and lots of fishing. I don't remember Christmas celebrations. The single people did get together and make a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. I had an Inuit lady make me a proper parka. It was long with three layers ...shell, duffle and lining. There was fur around the hood sleeves and hem. I wore shoes with overshoes. I did wear mukluks about half the time and they were awesome to wear...very comfortable.
I'm not sure if you covered this earlier in your blog, but I'll ask now while I have the chance! How long did you teach up north, and why did you decide to leave?
I lived a total of 5 years in the north. I left by accident. I applied for a transfer and didn't get it. I planned to stay in the south for a year and apply again. I never applied again. I still live in the same city I planned to stay in for only one year.
Here's a question: I've been told that "Eskimo" is a derogatory word for Canada's indigenous peoples. Is this true, and is that a word that should be avoided? What would be a more proper term?
Eskimo is a Cree term that means raw meat eaters. At one time it was derogatory but since the term isn't used much any more it;'s not really and issue. The proper term is Inuit which means the people. Inuit is commonly used now.
What were your students like? How were they treated? What did you like best about your job? What did you like least?
The students were like any other students. Kids are kids. We made a mistake and treated them like kids in the south...white kids. They ignored our ignorance. At the time we thought we were cutting edge and doing a great thing for the aboriginal people. Of course, I liked that but it turned out to be wrong. Sometimes there were behaviour problems that I didn't understand. I wasn't able to deal with the situation in a positive way. I was frustrated by the misunderstanding on my part.
This is a variation on how you coped with the long winter. I'd like to know how you coped with the long summer. Was it difficult to sleep when it is light out for half the night?
I loved the long summer days and sometimes skipped a night's sleep. Many times we catnapped and didn't even try to have a night's sleep. Some people could not cope with either the light or the dark. It seemed to me that the 24 hour daylight was energizing.
I enjoyed answering these questions. It made me think of other things. Now if I didn't answer what you wanted , seconds are allowed. If you thought of something else ask it.