Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I know it's the arctic, but boy is it cold out!

I know we are in the Arctic and it should go without saying that it is cold here, but that is very academic. It's not until it hits -2 Celsius (28 F for my American friends) and blowing up to 65 km hr (The Cape Dorset weather forecast) in September that I can truly appreciate where I am. Brrrrrrr. We don't have our down coats yet as the company we placed our order through (www.gear-up.com) three months ago has pushed back the delivery date until the END OF NOVEMBER! They are saying it is a stock issue, but we were only told after my repeated emails to the store. I would say avoid them if possible, we sure are now. I am in the process of trying to find what we want from someone else who has them in stock now. Margot is not going to get the colour she wants but that is a concession she is willing to make at this point.

So, I am so frustrated at being injured and not having transportation as I have to rely on the Taxi here which is okay most of the time but not so good today. As we have mentioned here earlier all the local news is broadcast on the local radio. This includes if the Taxi is not running. It's a grand idea, unless you don't speak Inuktitut and/or don't have the radio on at the exact moment they happen to announce whatever may be affecting you that day. So, it is quite a production getting us all scheduled to be ready and out the door on time and it is especially challenging on bad weather days. Today, Margot had to leave early because she was on supervision at her school so Lily and I waited inside a bit longer. I had my guitar and bag packed for school and Margot was all ready to pick Lily up after school so I could go to guitar club. Well, I'm sure you can see where this is going. I call the Taxi for 20 minutes, no answer. I call my school and tell them I may be late and then start getting Lily ready for the jogging stroller. I ditch my guitar, re-pack my bag so it's lighter. What a pain as my ankle is still very weak but I need to get to work. So we finally get sorted and on the move and while we are walking through Margot's playground she comes over to say hi and all Lily wants to do is play with the kids. Meanwhile it's blowing 60 - 70 km hr and below freezing. Then, the taxi drives up! Margot runs up, flags him down before he leaves and we find out he overslept. That's why no one answered. So Margot takes the stroller while Lily and I hop in the Taxi. What mayhem! Anyhow, we all got to school in the nick of time. This is the third time this has happened. Ohhhh, I miss my truck.

We have a new program for the junior high students at our school. They are spending two periods, two mornings a week with elders learning traditional skills. The girls all go and learn how to prepare and sew seal skins and so far no one has shown up to do anything with the boys. They have just spent those periods with me, until today. I accompanied them to visit their elder who turned out to be one of the boy's grandfathers. He spoke for about 40 minutes in Inuktitut and I tried to understand as much as I could from the few words I understand and gestures. What I was able to understand was he was telling stories about sailing and traveling on the water. After talking he then showed us all 4 common knots they use. It was really interesting to learn the knots and then he showed us how they traditionally carried goods by building a sling that sits on one's back and is carried around the shoulders and the head. He was very patient with the boys, although they were easily frustrated and discouraged. The students then had recess when I went over and introduced myself to the female elders who were teaching the girls and they showed me the skins and tools which was pretty neat. I look forward to seeing what the kids end up creating. It's a bit sad I can't see both the boys and the girls work, but being a man, I can't join the girls.

I am not sure how many of you realize this, but teachers have to pay to apply to jobs in Canada. Many school boards are using websites and services that require applicants to pay to apply for jobs. As I recall it was upwards of $10 per school district. This is not much for one person to apply to one board, but that is rarely how it works. It was going to cost Margot and I hundreds of dollars to apply to all of the boards we wanted to, so sadly we had to bypass them. Anyways, I have posted a message that is creating a national petition to stop charging educators to pay to apply to jobs when there is no need for it and we are the only country in the world doing so.

Education Canada Network has been approached by a group of concerned citizens, No Cost to Educators, to assist them in their efforts to market their cause. Education Canada Network strongly supports the principles presented by this group and have agreed to send this message to our registered users.  We would like to encourage you to checkout the message this group is bringing attention to and support their efforts.

No Cost to Educators is seeking the support of education professionals from around the country via their online petition (Petition: Say NO to Charging Education Job Seekers to apply for Public School jobs).  From their petition:

Job seekers across Canada are being asked to pay a fee to apply online to jobs to work at the school districts in British Columbia, Ontario and other Provinces. There is no other Country in the OECD that charges their teachers to apply to public school jobs. People who have to pay for this technology are both employed and unemployed. Other sites, with the very same job postings, do not charge a fee to search or apply online to the exact jobs. In other words, the job seekers have to pay to apply online to jobs that are not exclusive to one site.

Paying to apply does not provide the job seeker additional benefits and does not maximize ones exposure. It also doesn’t differentiate “active” vs. “passive” job seekers, but merely who can afford/not afford to job hunt via their system.

To support the No Cost to Educators group, become a friend on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/profile.php?id=100001282147864&ref=ts and sign their petition at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/say-no-to-charging-education-job-seekers.html

Mike Sproule
Chief Operating Officer
Education Canada Network
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Thanks for visiting and stay warm!


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