(this is how I address several students. Although it may be difficult to envision me saying this naturally- it's quite the phenomenon- that I invite you to experience sometime!).
The good news of the week? Well, our boys basketball team, who have all been working tremendously hard- not only this season, but throughout the year- preparing for this moment, successfully attained what they set out for... a chance at the State A 2008 BB title. A little background information: basketball is the culmination of life and energy on the Rez (I believe I've mentioned this in previous blogs)... and last night, our boys team beat the #2 team in the state, St. Thomas More (2006 & 2007 state champions, at that)....The score was 55 to 54, or something close- with the outcome determined largely on accurate shooting from the free throw line. "Well done, Saders!" I say in my scratchy 'I yelled all day yesterday' voice.
I feel as if I'm leaving out the wonderful details which make stories worthwhile...so here are a few anecdotes (a term my housemate Mike enjoys using)... So Tuesday had been looming in my mind as a pretty event-filled day, and I was entirely accurate, only slightly underestimating the stress which would come w/ the day.... Ha, bet you're curious....
Yesterday (this being THE Tuesday)... I was busy planning good-luck packages for the boys' team (regional game) and the girls' team (leaving for state in Watertown) Oh yes, and I was also in charge of planning the pep rally for state)... this all in addition to a million and one random requests from students, generally related to the fan bus for the boys regional game. (One might never consider the necessary details and sometimes unnecessary requests created by students desiring to ride the fan bus- until one actually organizes the aforementioned fan bus). (AND- One might never realize how often a 'student activities' directors gets asked the question: "So, what do you DO all day?"). I smile and reassure myself that my position is entirely worthwhile, and students know seemingly little about organizational responsibility.
Sorry, that sounded wordy and academic... and quite frankly, this isn't a wordy and academic job. Here: TOO MANY STUDENTS, SOME COMPLAINING, MUCH CREATIVITY, LOTS OF EXCITEMENT...all fell into my lap Tuesday. So, I manage to pull off leading the pep rally minus a microphone (which came as I was finishing my final directions)... and yelling an entire roster of players above the perpetual claps of a 250 person crowd hurts the throat a bit, I must say.
One learning experience: don't trust the roster you hastily print off the website, because this roster may happen to omit a very wonderful girl (whom I also teach in weight-lifting). And so, after excitedly listing off and calling down (supposedly all) the players, I begin mentioning the coaches, at which time the head coach whispers this girl's name- and I immediately feel awful, announce her name of course (a few guys help out by chanting her name), and she initially refuses to come down, with tears filling her eyes. Way to go, Emily, perhaps one of the worst moments for this dear girl. I think she's only partially scarred by the experience, as I later explained the stupid (on my part) mishap...and she smiles graciously... but still! I did feel horrible.
Okay... on to the fan bus. We are all set at 8am Tuesday to take 45 students. 12pm, it becomes 50 students. 3pm, 55 students, 4:30pm- a fluctuation between 55 and 60 students (no stress involved here, of course) "Hey Emily! Can me and someone else ride the fan bus?" (1/2 hr. later) same person: "Emily, we want our money back. We have a ride." Yeah! I'm not busy at all, let me just take care of that for you! :):) Okay, honestly, it wasn't that bad, but managing the plans of (at least) 15 unsure students is not easy.
So, 5pm... we gather the last of the (54) students and head off to Rapid...oh, I haven't mentioned the horrible weather conditions. Yep, sure enough- Me, having relatively little concern for weather forecasts suddenly becomes aware that roads are NOT favorable. Yet we set off anyway.... Getting to the Civic Center is no problem, I haggle w/ a few rude fans who won't give up their seats for our Red Cloud students (by the way- these fans didn't even cheer. Just sat on their stubborn butts throughout the entire game... as I tried hard to keep my negative comments purely personal... while standing in the aisle of the bleachers, cheering my heart out).
AND WE WON. Overall a wonderful game. If you're entirely interested, I'm sure articles have been written elsewhere. I cheered and yelled a lot, as one might imagine, and I was blissfully clueless concerning the large amount of snow and ice that was forming on the roads outside. After the game I become aware of this potentially dangerous situation, speak with our concerned Superintendent (who happens to be great, by the way), and dedicate myself to careful and attentive driving (don't worry, I do in more favorable weather conditions as well). :) We make it to McDonalds to eat quickly before the long ride back, but not before enjoying the extraordinary debut of Emily's bus fishtailing. Ha, I did receive a few cheers from the students, who apparently noticed my mad maneuvering skills. :)
And the roads were slick. I was tired (but not extremely).... and along with one other fishtailing episode, we made it back safely to Red Cloud by the early time of 1:30am. EARLY in the MORNING that is! So, a two-hour late start was entirely welcome... YEY!
I just now spent a lot of time typing one story- precisely one day's worth. Gosh, I apologize if you're bored. I guess that's the story for the day- as I visualize all of you beginning to scan this blog like a text book, looking for anything interesting and letting the rest slide. Don't feel guilty, it's totally fine. I understand.
Highlights from the rest of the week. I still (somehow) am managing an A+ in Lakota Language... just aced another quiz today (on kinship terms... crazy stuff, I tell you!). I am packing up tonight to head to Watertown with Katie, John, and Peter (who all, by the way, happened to assist in chaperoning the fan bus last night!) for the girls' State A tournament. I am thoroughly excited, and my wonderful mom is preparing good food and clean sheets to sleep on! What more could I ask for?
I love the students. Oh yes, one great story I thought I'd share: So this sophomore, (we'll call her Sharon)... is quite the cool girl, helping me with Lakota, sharing her boy fears and dreams with me, and always commenting on my hair and clothing choices. Anyway- I introduced her to Natasha Bedingfield's song: "Single" about how great it is to be comfortable and confident being single. This was quite awhile ago, and we enjoyed it together for awhile- and her interest seemed to dissipate. However, in the last few weeks, I have enjoyed the (more than) daily moments in which Sharon will walk past me singing this song and dancing with enthusiasm, to which I respond with my own crazy dance move- and she erupts in giggles and heads off to class. I love these moments. (by the way, her 'boy drama' has calmed considerably, and I think she is ACTUALLY becoming okay with being 'single'!). See how my stories reveal the deep source of my joy with these students? Yep- that's right. Little things become meaningful with consistency and sincerity of relationships.
Yep, that's enough for now. I think this is a rather long blog, but I am a little late, I realize, so to you regular subscribers, I thank you and wish you God's blessings for remaining interested in my event-filled life here on the Pine Ridge.
Much love, like munching on Golden Oreos,
6 months ago