For another 2 1/2 weeks, that is.
Whew, I am wiping my brow, and trying to keep my eyes open as I finish this final day of school at Red Cloud. Ironically, as tired as I am, I have been getting plenty of sleep and exercising well, yet I think the drain of continual weeks on end is certainly catching up with me, and I dearly welcome a break...from everything (wow, not intended to sound like a suicide note or something, I just reread this sentence, yikes! It's not that bad, trust me!).
This past week the students have been extremely hyper... and a bit crazy as well, which makes me crazy in turn. I must say that 7th hour weight lifting is both my best time of the day and my worst...sometimes simultaneously. Those 15 boys certainly know a thing or two about entertaining/aggrevating/driving insane their teacher. In fact yesterday I specifically told them that their actions are making me not want to teach weight lifting next semester, and they all turned sweet on me, pleading that I remain their teacher. It was a bit of an ego boost, but at the same time, I said, "Well, then SHOW me that you can handle yourselves, b/c I cannot handle you!" Ha, I think it got through to them a bit, but with their energy level, they basically laughed it off and explained why they are being so hyper...as if I didn't know....
LNI has begun today- with the boys playing this morning and the girls this afternoon. The tournament is one of the largest entertainment draws all year for Rapid City, and yours truly is lucky enough to drive bus in all the mayhem which will be Rapid City this weekend. I am not driving until Friday morning, when the wrestlers take off to participate in their tournament. Oh you can imagine I will have quite the time escorting the wrestlers all around town... whew!
Some personal achievements this past week: I successfully cooked my first large turkey on Sunday- and it actually turned out really well!!! Also, I baked a not-as-successful birthday cake yesterday for my housemate Katie, but low and behold, a little frosting and creativity transformed the would-have-been-flop cake into a "Black Hills w/ Snow" masterpiece. Katie has a picture of it for proof. What can I say, my kitchen skills are improving by the day! :)
Hmm, I have been reflecting more lately on my blatant and ongoing admiration for these kids here at Red Cloud. Each day I find new treasures hidden within simple- or profound- conversations with the students. Last Friday I had a long conversation with a senior who is well advanced for his age, and I was learning so much about the Lakota history, the varying political perspectives on the Rez, and the interesting mixture of cultures which he has experienced- rather than speaking as a student, he nearly always speaks as a commentator on the life of a student, seeing his life through the perspective of one much further along the way of life, and this is incredible to me and well as gives me a wonderful conversation opportunity, since my passions lie in the adolescent development area.
My time here at Pine Ridge is nearly 1/2 finished for my initial commitment period, and I find it extremely difficult to fathom how quickly this time has passed. I plan to come back after break and continue my learning experience during the 2nd semester, although a few definite changes will occur in my schedule only a few weeks upon my return. More on that later.
For now, I shall leave with no promise of when I shall write next, as my time from here on out shall primarily be spent at home with friends and family- but perhaps I'll post another update on my experience at LNI- who knows what gems of a story might be lurking in the Mid 2 school bus during LNI!!!
Until next time, may I continue to express my gratitude at your continued and faithful reading of my adventure here in Pine Ridge, a place of evident beauty and intrigue.
All my pleasant wishes, Emily
6 months ago