What a difference having your health will make! My goodness, I feel so much better now that I am nearly over whatever dreadful virus took hold of my system this past month! And good thing, since I have much to tell....
Last week was a combination of trying to get well and enduring the anticipation which accompanies having good days, only to be reminded the next day of your continued illness. However, I am feeling my best yet, which is a wonderful way to enter this new semester.
Last week the students had the final week of 1st semester classes, including the highly anticipated semester finals!!! My week at school began pretty slowly, with my weight lifting classes maxing out for a final grade and after-school program consisting primarily of study hall...(which I happened to moderate two consecutive days, for lack of ambition in recruiting another faculty member). Tuesday came, and along with it- the possible idea of taking a fan bus to the Hanson Classic in Mitchell, SD (appx. 5 hours in a bus). Hmm, my initial reaction? Nope. Sorry guys. Yet after a conversation with the principal, and receiving his 'blessing' of sorts, I quickly worked out the necessary details and soon had a fan bus permission slip filtering through the mass of students. Needless to say, that- along with after-school program, sophomore student council re-elections, containing crazy boys the last week of weight lifting, new student council plans, and basketball games, I had a wonderfully productive and full week!!!
So I come to the point of sharing what is perhaps one of the most adventurous stories of my time here yet!!! Here goes.... All the necessary details were in place for our trip to Mitchell to cheer on our guys who happened to be playing a local rival, St. Thomas More of Rapid City, in the final 'capstone' game of the Hanson Classic. After securing what seemed like many unknowns concerning a possible sellout at the Corn Palace and number of students attending, etc., I felt good about our trip. Saturday morning I am warming the bus up in my warmest attire (yep, pretty darn cold here, at present), and have much excitement about this long day.... after all, it will totally be worth the trip- allowing a number of students to participate in the game, whereas otherwise they would not have the transportation to make it happen personally. Plus, I had spoken with my parents, and they managed to come out for the game as well- so bonus, right? I even snuck away from the crowd for dinner and conversation with my parents!
Turns out the bus ride there was great- a few stops later, we arrive on time in Mitchell to buy admittance for everyone, hurray! After waiting through a few games prior to ours (and enduring the chaos of limited seating), we finally find room in the student cheering section to watch the action up close (turns out all my scheming of how to sound authoritative when procuring seats for my fans in a sell-out crowd wasn't so necessary after all)... Anyway, the game was close, and the last four minutes were so nerve racking (for me, that is)...that I simply could NOT sit down. Our team won by a few points, our cheering section rocked, and all was well as we headed home....
You may be asking at this point...what, exactly is so adventurous about this story? Well, if this is you, then the excitement begins... My other driver Joe and I decide to split the trip home, so he agreed to drive the first portion of the trip, and I the second. We make our way on the interstate just fine, until about 1 1/2 hours outside Mitchell.... the bus begins to have issues. At first some minor things, like going more slowly up hills (and I'm well aware now that this simply happens in a school bus sometimes)...but I soon recall driving this way TO Mitchell, and not having any problems with hills. Okay, so we go a little further and the speed begins plummeting....as in, we are now going 25 mph. So, I make the executive decision to pull over the bus and I get out to inspect under the hood (I know, you may be slightly skeptical, but I was seemingly the most knowledgable adult present...remember me passing the 80 pt. bus inspection? Yep, that's right). Okay, although we found out what amounted to very little, we did attract several vehicles' attention, including the Red Cloud team bus, a very fortunate happening.
Knowing little about the fate of our bus, we get going once again as I make several phone calls to secure the relocation of our students....So the team bus graciously waited for us in Murdo, SD... and after we chugged along (our speed slightly increased after stopping...what a great idea, Emily!)... we finally made it to Murdo and sent the students on their way home. The excitement continued for me and the rest of the chaperones, as we tried putting additive to the fuel in order to 'de-wax' the fuel filter... but after waiting for awhile at the truck stop and cruising along the highway at a max speed of 35 mph, we decide to go back into Murdo and leave the bus there (on instruction from our bus garage manager, Linn). Most thankfully, Russ our dean of students happened to present in the mix and was able to give us exhausted and relieved chaperones a ride back to Red Cloud. As a capstone to the night, I shall say that we also got the car stuck in a snowbank AFTER arriving back to Red Cloud...and the driver's name shall remain anonymous! (it wasn't me!) :) All in all, it amounted to a pretty fantastic adventure, even after falling down laughing in a snowbank at 4 am.
Whew, little space to say much else- but I do have a few things to comment on, as you know- it's always a good time here in Pine Ridge! I shall be starting a Lakota Language class at the Pine Ridge OLC college center, and today's my first class!!! I am super pumped, as another co-worker Leah will be taking the class with me! And speaking of Leah (who teaches art)- I shall perhaps be participating in her sculpture class as well, 2nd period, what fun! AND one week from today, our student council will be traveling to the Treaty Council for the Reservation, which includes a visit from both senators and our SD representative... a good experience for the student council, and a great time off school for me! :):)
I believe that is about it- still managing to get details in place for the Custer HS exchange visit, and I am also adjusting these next several weeks to the idea of not having weight lifting class! Turns out my student activities roles actually do take up much of my time here- which is a wonderful thing...the days I am productive are the days I leave with a smile on my face.
I wish you all well- to whomever might be reading this- and for those who expected something yesterday, my apologies, thus far I haven't received any hate mail from a certain friend in Cali., so I think I'm alright. :)
Much love to you all- and if you ever have questions about Pine Ridge, do let me know, b/c sometimes I get so immersed in my daily routine, I forget that major happenings occur all around me here on the Rez. Okay, peace out!
7 months ago