The Funnest Day EVER!

by admin on April 12, 2010

Alaska Flight 67, Seat 6-A -- landing in Sitka, Alaska -- Click to enlarge

This was my first glimpse of Sitka landing on Sunday about 7:00 in the evening.   It had been a magical flight from Seattle — crystal clear and sunny (“We have visibility like this maybe 3 days a year,” the pilot reported from the flight deck).

I am a seasoned traveler but I couldn’t take my eyes off the scenery.  Rugged mountains, glaciers, volcano caldera and countless tiny shelter islands each with a unique shape.  I watched the islands like clouds and saw a toaster, a butterfly, and Cecil The Seasick Sea Serpent.
When we landed in Ketchican, the guy sitting next to me pointed out where the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere” was supposed to be.  He was reading Combat Handgun magazine.

… Welcome to Alaska

I was met at the tiny airport by Susan Brandt-Ferguson, Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary’s music teacher and motivating force behind my gig as the school’s Artist in Residence.  “I’ll be the woman in the red polka dot hat,” she’d emailed me.  And true to her word, she was easy to spot.

Susan is on the right -- Click to enlarge

I couldn’t resist a photo op next to baggage claim.  Her willingness to be instantly silly told me we were going to get along just fine …  This was the first of 5 — count ’em 5 — dead bears I’d see that evening.  Hopefully the live ones are still sleeping …
Today I hit the ground running at 8:05 with my first class of third graders.  Each class period is 35 minutes with a break for lunch.  School ends at 2:30.  Altogether I saw 9 classes today grades 2-5 — about 200 kids.  They are ALL WONDERFUL.  There are almost no issues around holding hands, being courteous, following directions, and having FUN.

Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary -- with a few trees in the background

Here’s “my” school.  At the end of the day one of the 5th grade teachers let me know that her class LOVED dancing with me.  She said that one of the boys told her it was the:

“FUNNEST DAY EVER!!!!!!”

I couldn’t agree more!

Right now I am sitting in the room I’ve been given with a lovely Sitka family.  Son Wayne was in one of my 3rd grade classes today.  I can hear him upstairs doing his chores and whistling “Alabama Gal.”

It doesn’t get any better than that!

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