Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I am home

And wow does it feel wonderful!

Nunavik was really amazing, and I'm very seriously considering going back to do the project again next year - that kind of continuity feels right, especially for this shape of project and for that community. However, I'm HOME now and that feels really amazing. Leaves on trees, warmer temperatures, my own bed...wonderful pleasures.

I got a great job, working with Isabel and other awesome educators at the Bloorview Nursery School - where I had my placement last year - at the summer program they run at their Play and Learn site. I think that I'll be the outdoor coordinator, connecting the curricula and activities of the three classrooms through outdoor creative activities. I want to do a combination of art and gardening activities with the kids, all adapted and inclusive, and try to spend as much time outdoors with them as possible. Really inspired by Spiral Garden, I think. I want to do stuff like this...

It'll also present me with the perfect opportunity to read up and research more outdoor learning, and outdoor play-based learning. Hello, all my bloggy friends experimenting with indoor/outdoor learning (I'm looking at you, you, you and you, friends!), I'll be hanging out and studying what you're doing for theory, ideas and best practices.

But that doesn't start until the end of June, so I get to just hang out, read, eat yummy food and garden. We may go visit my grandmother in Cape Cod, and have a little road trip adventure in Vermont, but these things are still up in the air and I'm not thinking about them too much. For now, relaxing and recharging, reading and gardening.


Photos found on the internet -
Joe Mangrum Sand Painting

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

goodbye Inukjuak - hello down south

Well - if you can believe it, it's done.

I can't, and I was there.

My last days in Inukjuak were a whirlwind. AN AMAZING whirlwind.

The play was a fabulous success. We moved things into the gym, and did our best to have a rehearsal. It wasn't as smooth as we would've liked, but it was useful, and the show itself was fantastic. We had an audience of around 60-70 people - family members, kids from school, teachers and elders - and they laughed and clapped and seemed to have a great time.

Here are some photos -

Everything is set up in the workshop - ready to begin! Costumes, masks, and props.

Here is the Royal Family - the Queen, the Princesses and the Older Princesses dog.

While the Princesses are picking flowers and berries, two thieves steal their crowns. Here is one of them sneaking out into the audience.

Tracy was the youngest participant in our project - she played the cat.

The Queen, under the influence of the witches spell, is very mean to everyone in the castle.

After being banished and imprisoned, the bunny, the Older Princess and her dog make a plan to break the spell on the Queen.

They realize that LOVE will break the spell, and tell everyone in the castle their plan.

Everyone hugs the Queen!

Everyone hugs again, rejoicing that the Queen is back to her normal state.

The End - the Queen is nice again, the Younger Princess is freed, the spell is broken, the cat and dog hug, and the thieves are caught and put in the dungeon. The crowns are returned and there's nothing left to worry about - except maybe the Witch who at the end of the play runs across the stage laughing...The End?

As soon as we'd finished however, Pam scooted backstage to tell us that some parents had come in late, and should we do it again. I asked the audience if they wanted to see it again, and they responded positively, and the kids were game, so we put everything back in place as fast as possible and then DID THE SHOW AGAIN, immediately after the first. I don't think I've done a back-to-back show like that in a while! It was awesome, and everyone got a chance to see it, and be seen.

We all got pretty great feedback from the audience, and after everyone had gone we went to the kitchen to have a mega-feast.

Then there was the clean-up that had to happen. I spent a while Friday night organizing and cleaning, and then a chunk of Saturday packing everything up, labeling and cleaning and putting stuff away. We now have 19 rubbermaid bins and the big trunk full of costumes that belong to our project - chock full of useful tools, supplies and materials.

Sunday I cleaned the house I'd been staying in, went to a wonderful brunch and packed up all my stuff. My plane was only 3 1/2 hours late, which is pretty typical, and
so I went for a long walk - to the waterfall behind the airport and then out along the tundra. It was really beautiful, and I still feel really lucky to have been able to come up to this amazing place, work with these kids, participate in this community for a while. Here's a couple of photos from my last walk in Inukjuak.

I've spent the last few days in Montreal visiting with friends and loved ones, and replacing the clothes I'd blown out by hard wearing up north. Tonight I get on a train and go HOME. Ahhhhhhh, the sweetness of just thinking that! Awesomeness.

Ok folks - that's all for now - the adventure to Nunavik is pretty well done (I just need to write the report). Thanks for staying tuned in with me - I'll be relaxing for most of June, trying to save money and garden and visit with friends, before starting the next adventure, which is my job working with the Bloorview Summer Camp! More on that soon.

Nerd Out, my friends!