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Busy B!

October 2nd, 2011

The Red Sox finished their season this week, which was a big bummer in B's book. However, I think if they had continued playing for the next month, Brendan would have had to take time off to catch any games! Everything happens for a reason--maybe we'll get a TV next year and then the Red Sox can make the playoffs!

When we first started talking about moving to Alaska so that I could teach, the question that always came up was, "What will Brendan be doing?" We had our answer memorized after the first few people asked, "Oh, he'll be coaching and working the school store and hopefully subbing!" I think our answer was more hopeful than was actual fact. We'd been assured he'd have something to do, but were uncertain about how many hours he'd be putting in and whether or not his income would be stable.

Well, we had nothing to worry about. He started out the year coaching Cross Country. He got to know mostly upper elementary and middle school kids and was able to attend a meet in Unalakleet, AK. He had kids place in the top 3 at the meet, (WOO!) and had a lot of fun doing it. He got some great experience as a first time head coach and survived his first trip traveling alone and being responsible for a team. Needless to say, he was well prepared for the school year to start!

He's been working the school store (the CoOp,) since school started. The community hosts Open Gym at night for the village, as long as the students keep their attendance as a whole student body above 83%. This happens Monday-Saturday, and occasionally on Sundays. Brendan is the CoOp manager, so he opens it up for Open Gym every night, in addition to after school. He's in charge of ordering and stocking food, soda, candy, snacks and apparel, and also of scheduling students to work and raise money for their class. It's insane the amount of candy and soda (pop) that they've gone through! I think the CoOp could be a full-time job in itself, but B manages to pull off three other jobs anyway!

For any of you that know B, you know he's extremely talented at computer graphics and web design. He's got great ideas and such a creative gift of design, that this job is perfect for him! The principal contracted him out to design the new school website, which he has been working hard on. If you go to right now, it will say "Under Construction," but stay tuned for Brendan's awesome creation that will be live on the web shortly! It'd be awesome if the other schools liked his design and had him do the rest of the district...which he could do in all of his free time..HA. (This is the perfect example of me volunteering him for things...I think/hope he's getting used to it!)

He hasn't had to substitute yet, but I'm not sure he'd be able to anyway, because he has his own title at school now. He's an Educational Aide and this is a pretty all encompassing job title. He mans the lunch room (a job I could NEVER do) and keeps track of the kids that have to serve lunch detention. He keeps them in line during their free gym time that they get when they finish their lunch. I'm not really sure how one person does all of these things at one time! In the afternoons, (and sometimes in the morning) he is in charge of the kids that have been given In School Suspension. I keep him in mind when I'm sending students to the office, and even though he has to deal with the kids that I can't handle, he hasn't gotten mad at me for writing them up...yet! :o) Soon he'll be overseeing the computer lab, which is currently still being set up. He's helped get teachers' classroom computers set up for students, and organized the laptop carts last weekend. His technology background is coming in handy!

Volleyball started this past week, and he's assistant coaching the co-ed team. You all know as well as I do that he looks forward to volleyball practice more than anything else in his day! He coaches along with another former college volleyball player, and so far they are a great coaching team. What are the odds that two highly qualified volleyball coaches end up in Savoonga, Alaska? Beats me, but I think they are going to have a great season, as volleyball is a favorite here in SVA! Up next, he'll be assistant coaching Cross Country Skiing, which we are both really excited about!

Last weekend, when all of the teachers had to travel to Stebbins, two of the teachers approached B and asked him to pet-sit. We both miss Sampson more than anything, so it was nice for him to be able to feed and walk our neighbor's husky. The other pet was one he's not as familiar with, a Quaker Parrot. He had a quick training session before we left, but unfortunately the parrot wasn't a huge fan of B, and pecked/bit his finger when he tried to feed it! Everyone survived and the owners are now home. I'm not a bird fan anyway, so it didn't break my heart to learn that we'll probably never have one as a pet!

In addition to never having a moment to himself at school, (I at least get 20 minutes of silence on my lunch break) Brendan makes me breakfast, packs my lunch, and makes an extra trip home before CoOp so that we can have dinner together every night. He's pretty amazing and an absolute natural with the kids at school. He's applying to a distance Masters program through the University of Southeast Alaska, and I think it will be perfect for him! As long as he has time to do the work, that is! It's great that he's able to stay so busy and learn so much about working in the educational environment. It's also a perk for me, that I get to see him throughout the day...he keeps me going!

Unfortunately, on the home front we got some sad news this week. B's sister-in-law's mother passed away after a long battle with cancer. She was a wonderful person that I know Brendan has considered family for a long time. We are really wishing we could be at home this weekend with family, but unfortunately it's just not feasible. Meg and Mar, we love you so much and are thinking of you and sending lots of love your way. We're counting down the days until Christmas when we can be at home with our loved ones! While we're embracing our adventure and our new surroundings, times like these make us realize how far away we are, and how much our family means to us! Please keep Brendan's family in your thoughts and prayers as they're now missing an amazing person in their lives. My mom will be walking for Judy at the annual Making Strides walk in Salem tomorrow, another family event we wish we weren't missing!

Another full week ahead, with the juniors and seniors taking the High School Graduation Qualifying Exam. As of tonight, the house is clean, laundry is done, the bread is rising and my lesson plans are almost done. We'll be at school all day tomorrow, but will definitely enjoy some pancakes with our Vermont maple syrup and Green Mountain Pumpkin coffee before we get to work! We might be missing the foliage, but we're making our own fall season. :o)

Lots of love to everyone!!

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