Friday, October 31, 2008
It has been a few weeks once again since I've blogged, and I must say- a 'full' two weeks for sure! Last week Monday and Tuesday I headed to the Junior Retreat at Storm Mountain. (I've decided that being at a job which 'requires' 7 or 8 retreats a year is a pretty sweet deal!). If you reference my last year junior retreat experience, you would find that it was a bit of an exhausting time, so I am overjoyed to report that we had a fabulous time this year, and I even came back energized!!! Good thing, too, since I've definitely needed that extra energy. One sad note, however, is that I took several great pictures, NONE of which ended up being saved onto my computer correctly, and I lost them....all...I know, tear.
My days have been full of planning for the Oglala Sioux Tribal Presidential Debate, which our student council hosted this past Wednesday (more to say later), keeping up with the average 35 kids that come to our after-school program (up in numbers since last year), planning for this Halloween week with a carnival and costume party (by the way, as I type this I am sitting at my desk as a 'dancing witch'. It's a pretty sweet costume, really). :) and VOLLEYBALL, which has consumed a considerable amount of my evenings and weekends this fall. Also we had school pictures last week (which I forgot about, so no promises on the outcome of those pics), two home football games recently (our playoff ended in a loss, finishing our season 6-3, so pretty good!), and a T.W.O. (all-reservation schools) Powwow! Needless to say, too much happening, not enough time to write about it all!
I have been feeling really centered lately, and it has helped me stay focused on being available to help out in a variety of ways here at school, even with the busyness of my own schedule! One other thing I haven't mentioned is that we have a faculty spirituality group which meets weekly to share with one another a meal and our spiritual reflections from the week. I absolutely love this time (I'm cooking for next week's meal- any suggestions?) :) because it gives me an opportunity to unwind and really feel as if I am connected with the wonderful (albeit a bit random) faculty that comprise R. C. staff!
So this week we had two VB games- and I must say, it has been really teaching me the art of perseverance, because our teams haven't really been winning since the middle of the season- so when our varsity pulled off a close 3-2 win over Hill City on Monday, Robin (head coach) and I were overjoyed. The JV Hill City game was also my debut as the sole JV coach (my co-coach was sick).... so I had my first taste of solo coaching, and it was actually a little nerve racking, but SO GOOD. I ended up trying a few new things with the girls, and we continued with that plan last night at our final home game, and low and behold- it finally came together, and the JV played AWESOME!!! I was SO SO SO proud of them (and you know me- I let them know!)... because they finally played up to potential, something I've been waiting to see all season!!! Woohoo! I really do feel as if I may have a future in coaching, even though towards the middle of this season I was definitely having my doubts! The varsity didn't fare so well last night, but we have our first round districts game at Custer on Tuesday- so I'll let you know how it goes!
On Wednesday I mentioned we had the debate for the contendors for Tribal Presidency...and it went really well!!! The Student Council members involved took the leadership occasion quite seriously. I had asked them to dress up and look 'professional'- and it was awesome to see them really practice over their questions. Although they 'said' how nervous they were, I really think they did an excellent job. Ryan, the student body president had a long script to moderate the evening- and he did a fabulous job. The debate lasted about 1 1/2 hours, with Russell Means and Theresa Two Bulls as the candidates. The debate also aired on KILI radio, which was great as usual. After the event was over, however, I felt a HUGE wave of relief stream through my body- a bit like the feeling of Homecoming being over! :)
So today we had the costume contest at lunch, and we really have some creative students and faculty! The administration all planned and came together as The Addams Family (they looked great!)- so they won the "Most Unexpected". Other categories were "Most Creative" "Scariest" "Cutest" and "Funniest". An inflatable ostrich, a whoopee cushion, a tetris game piece, a crazy man, and a prep-school girl were among the winners. I shall post pictures of this (as long as the computer doesn't eat them like the junior retreat ones) :(
Tonight the Cottage is hosting an all-night scary movie fest, which I shall attend for company, but not the scares. I am also heading to a spook house in the basement of the old P. R. Hospital building. Don't worry, I'm going with a friend. :) And tomorrow I shall release all Halloween anxiety with yoga- some HSers and volunteers are planning on Saturday yoga sessions, which I think is awesome!
Okay, all for now. Gotta go check out the little kids as they parade through our hallways. Oh, and I have to give blood soon. Appropriate for Halloween every year, RCHS hosts a blood drive too! :) I'm sure I'll have a story from that, since my veins generally like to perform unanticipated feats of craziness!
Thanks for tuning in! I don't know why this just changed colors, but I sorta like it! :) Much love and blessings....
Thursday, October 16, 2008
My computer is graciously allowing me to post more pictures, so I've included several from various events this fall. The order is of no consequence, basically since I'm no good at formatting them in these posts. :)
I have been doing really well here the past week. We had a 4 day 'fall break' of sorts this past weekend, and besides the Black Hills Pow Wow on Saturday, I basically chilled at my house, reading and catching up on break time (since I really didn't get a 'do nothing' break this summer...and I seem to enjoy those quite a bit). :)
I shall begin labeling my photos for you, so you're not wondering about the randomness in which they are presented.
My mother and father- after being the super-fans they were during my 1/2 marathon!
Student Body President Ryan at ground breaking.
The Senior Class of '09'- what a marvelous group of students!
So there you have it- all the pictures you've wanted to see plus more! :) That's all I have for now, but lucky for you, the Junior retreat is coming up next week and I shall be in attendance, ready with my camera! :)
This week the Stu. Co. has been busy- (well, I've been busy so far, they soon will be)- in planning for the upcoming O.S.T. (Oglala Sioux Tribe) Presidential Debate for the Tribal Presidential candidates. Every-other year Red Cloud hosts a debate, and evidently it's been pretty successful in the past. I am looking forward to it, especially since I have the great direction and help from our public relations director! Also coming up is the Halloween Carnival, which I don't think will be as big of a deal for the High School as it once was.
Speaking of Halloween, it is a well known fact that Halloween is one of the biggest celebrations of the year around here. Back in August children begin asking what you'll be dressed like for Halloween (I'm still contemplating my response), and several places around Pine Ridge create elaborate spook houses (and some places start out ahead by already being spooky in regular life) :) For example, this year our handgames and dance teams will be decorating the basement of the little gym as a spook house, and they are aided by the many stories which exist of recurring noises and footsteps, etc. often heard throughout the years. I think one story involves a perpetually bouncing basketball as well. Yikes! :)
It has also been a full week with volleyball games- one on Tuesday (in which our JV won against Crazy Horse varsity). It was fun to give them the chance to play a varsity team, but they didn't play as well as expected. The girls sometimes get down on themselves for little things, and even though it doesn't make sense to me, those are simply the dynamics we work with as coaches. :)Today we have both JV and Varsity games against Winner. I hear they're pretty good, but our girls have been playing well together in practice, so let us all hope that translates into the game situation.
It has been an interesting experience, this whole coaching business. I mean- for the most part I enjoy it (like yesterday, when Robin had to conduct a staff meeting and left sole coaching responsibility to me for 2 hours). I get along well with the girls, but at times I get frustrated by the level of play. It's not at all that they're incapable of top quality play, but it matters more what they expect of themselves, and I as a coach can only prod them along so far- I have realized that the player must also possess intrinsic motivation. This is the single reason (as I remember from my coaching methods class) that more "excellent" athletes don't exist. It takes the combination of natural skill and pure desire. And many players have one or the other, but few have both.
Ha, i believe that's one of the first times I've actually sat back to contemplate my learning from the coaching scene thus far. Feels good to share those bits of understanding. We also have a tournament this weekend in Douglas... evidently it's hard, but I always reserve the right to hope that our team will play with excellence!
Today our Stu. Co. members will be helping development with thank-you notes for the donors and participants in last month's groundbreaking. Should be fun, since I absolutely love the Stu. Co. members, and anytime we get together is a good time! :)
That's all for now. Thanks for tuning in. Oh yes, I will also mention that I have recently utilized that "blogs I'm following" portion of my dashboard (if you don't blog, disregard this jumble of words)... but if you do blog, I would love to add your blog to my dashboard.... please let me know the URL.
I am smiling from the desk in my office- waiting for Wade to come in and request to wear again the "homecoming queen" sash he found inside the plastic pumpkin on my desk. (He just now returned it, but I think he'll miss it soon enough). :) Ha.
Much love and well wishes,
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Robin (head VB coach), Me, and Danielle (Stu. Co. member, VB captain, and student on my bus route)
There you have it- a few pictures from my collection of Homecoming shots... in case the link wasn't working. For some reason my computer allowed this to happen, and if I was in the habit of thanking inanimate objects, I'd extend my gratitute to my computer. Instead, I'll say "thank God," since God seems to be a more legitimate subject of praise. :)
Lovely wishes on this beautiful Tuesday,
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Whew, okay- all guilt aside now, and I shall begin to share my past two weeks, with you...
I suppose only some of you know of my crazy running ambitions that surface around once a year- and my subject above is in direct relation to my most recent running episode. As of approximately 36 hours ago, I finished my second ever 1/2 marathon, in a glorious time of ... wait... it wasn't a glorious time at all, actually- so I will only share it with the eager individuals who personally ask me! (this is a big step for me, one of the most open sharers in the history of self-news). However, let us draw attention to the good news inherent in this story- I FINISHED! :)
This entire weekend was splendid, actually- being able to run one of the most beautiful trails in the world (only slight bias)... The Mickelson Trail was our primary route for the Crazy Horse 1/2 Marathon, and I loved the sights of fall in the Black Hills along with the almost completely down-hill terrain! Yep, that's right, what a slack 13.1 miles! :):) I was also able to see my parents, who came to be my #1 fans- how gracious of them! We enjoyed the rest of the weekend together, as I not-so-discretely hobbled from restaurant to art gallery to restaurant, eating as much as I possibly desired. Maybe I should run 13.1 miles every day! :)
The past two weeks at Red Cloud have been full of events as usual... I attended the senior retreat last Tuesday at Outlaw Ranch (future pictures will reveal the delight we all experienced), On Monday we had a groundbreaking ceremony for the new addition to the HS building, which will begin soon- We are planning on creating new Lakota studies classrooms and science classrooms with larger (up-to-date) labs. Also included will be a fabulous commons area, to replace our 70s style student lounge. Don't get me wrong, I have come to love the strange decor of the lounge, but it doesn't exactly suit the social desires of our students.
Hmm, what else occurred, well- I didn't mention yet that one of my best friends from college, Denise, came to run the 1/2 marathon with me and (although she is a much more efficient and determined runner than myself) she and I finished together. It was wonderful to have her here at Red Cloud, and it is always my pleasure to share this world in which I currently live with friends. So, a huge thanks to Denise for visiting- and pushing me to my limit during the race.
Also I didn't mention that in visiting with my parents this weekend, I was able to share plenty about my students here at Red Cloud, my limited understanding of the Lakota language (I even interpreted a few signs around the Black Hills which were in Lakota), and my newfound perspectives about living situations and the issue of white privilege. Well, I only shared a little (if my mother is wondering what I am talking about)... but my thoughts were definitely whirling. Overall, I am reminded how dear my roots are to me, and yet how much I have grown according to my many experiences post-living in Eastern SD.
I saw two of my students hiking today around the same area my family and I were exploring in Spearfish Canyon, and it was a wonderful collision of two worlds for me. I love introducing people who are currently in my life to my parents, and my mother would attest that I do in fact seem to know many people wherever I go around here! Gotta love it...and by 'it' I mean PEOPLE! :)
To conclude my post, I shall attempt to share a link to some photos from homecoming here at Red Cloud. I cannot seem to upload any directly to this site, because of technical difficulties... but even though things in the photo department seem much delayed (as many things on the Rez seem also)- I assure you that I am in fact still trying. :)
Oh yes, and I have included an album of pictures from Alison's wedding as well.
This is all for now. I shall resume my normal life once again, collecting various stories to share with you, my gracious audience. I haven't received much response lately, and that is fine... it just makes me curious to know whether three or six or ten people read this- or maybe even 50, in Emily's fantasy world. :) Ha, the more light which is shed on Pine Ridge, the better.
In honor of my German-speaking friends, 'Danke' for reading this... you're all the best.
Peace and love,