Monday, October 13, 2008

Sorry Kids, Christmas Is Cancelled - I Just Ate Rudolf

This is for Ewan, who thinks I am mentioning food far too much - my pizza last night was reindeer and feta cheese and it was delicious, although I feel vaguely guilty about tucking into Rudolf. Lunch today was Alaskan King Crab, halibut, oysters, scallops and salmon at this place, which is a really quaint Alaskan restaurant.

Inside it are lots of stuffed things (including ME by the end of the meal). This, I am sure, is the closest I will come to a bear during this trip. And then for dinner tonight, I had Rudolf sausage, and various cheeses at the presentation thing - of which more later.

Karen came to pick me up this morning and we did a bit of shopping. We went to Office Depot so that I could pick up loads of pens and pencils for the children. I have about 300 now, so, with the chocolate and biscuits, that should be enough for all the children to get something. It was a gorgeous day. Fancy having this scenery as the backdrop to your working day.

This evening was the presentation thingy. I was VERY nervous - which was not improved by getting to the place where it was being held and seeing the size of the screen. But it went OK. People laughed, no one fell asleep, and I only almost cried once during my speech.

One of the older students, Nick, was there along with his family. They have now moved to Anchorage and he was able to come along. During my time in the villages last year, when I had said that I was going to be holding a short story competition, Nick had been dubious about whether he was going to be able to write anything. He had a book on his desk and I asked him about it. It turns out he is a big fan of fantasy and science fiction. So I told him he should write me a story that HE would like to read. So he did. It was a huge, sprawlig epic of a story. And then he wrote me another. And another. And he's still writing me stories.

I gave him a couple of copies of the anthology of the childrens' stories and got him to sign my copy (I'm going to get all the children to sign their stories in my copy). His mum said that she had never read any of his writing so she immediately opened the book and read Nick's story. It was lovely. After I had done my presentation Nick got up and made a short speech. Here is what he said:

"I wish to thank Donna Moore for helping me discover the joy of writing. I have never thought that I would like to write until she challenged me to write a story. I had so much fun with it that I wrote another story. She has been a key to a door that I never knew existed. I can’t thank her enough for showing me what I can do with my writing ability. I have not always liked writing until she showed me that I can do it. When I write I lose myself in the story and everything that is going on. Sometime I don’t even think about what I’m writing I just write. When I write I feel like a part of me is being put on paper. I am almost sure if Miss. Moore hadn’t visited the class I wouldn’t ever have started to write. Thank you Miss. Donna Moore"

How brilliant is that?! I am not ashamed to say that I cried. And I'm not the only one - a couple of the people who were there said that they shed a tear or two. And I am tearing up again just writing it down!

So it was a very memorable and lovely day. But I am sincerely sorry about Rudolf. Please forgive me. On the plus side, I let Donner and Blitzen and Prancer and Dancer and ...errrrr...the other

Tomorrow it's off to Aniak. I am already practising my checking-in speech at the airport. Because it's a small plane they not only weight your luggage, but they weigh you, too. "Hi my name is Donna and I weigh a hideous number of pounds, but look, my boots are huge and really heavy."


sally906 said...

Wow - you are an inspiration :)

One day that kid may win the Pulitzer prize or something and you can take all the credit. At the very least you have given him a place to escape to.

Don't worry about eating Rudolph - Christmas is highly overrated - and I am sure Santa can use a solar powered lamp :)

Paulie Walnuts said...

Glad you arrived OK!

That place looks strangely deserted though...and that kid..where did he come from? he looks like you've dragged him in off the street and has no idea who you are..look into his eyes...pure fear! I reckon hes the reindeer pizza deliver boy!

" Moore..yeh, this book is..err..great..this woman here..sorry i mean Miss Moore, got me ...........that'll be $28 for the pizza plus delivery....Miss Moore.."

did you tip him?

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to the shoes? You have not mentioned footwear in the last three posts. Not feeling well?
U know who.

Ewan said...

STADIUM RRRRRRRROCK! That's some size of screen for the presentation. Did you have to write 'Not Actual Size' below the photos of Alaska? As in, Alaska isn't as big as this screen might lead ye to believe?

Bet you loved seeing your fizzog up there, all blown up, in the fotos!

Hope you didnae need a change of underwear after the presentation! Know you were touching cloth on it.

Enjoy Anorak, or Parker, or wherever it is you're off to next.


Bobbie said...

I second Sally906's words and here is my WOW. You truly ARE an inspiration, Donna. See, one moment, and his life is changed, and imo for the better and better...writing and reading does that! Or did you just tip the reindeer pizza boy to say all that, ha, funny post by paulie walnuts. But I know you well enough to know, just think you even inspire an old fogey in the cornfields of Illinois. :-)

Donna, I am sure they will laugh about whatever you do in the weight of luggage and yourself incident today. And you go, wearing heavy boots, into the snows and ENJOY yourself and those schools and the scenery! Yay Donna!

Bobbie and Larry

Vincent said...

You should be very proud of yourself for getting out and being a bona fide inspiration.

You should be less proud of eating Rudolf. Though did you know it was Rudolf and not Dasher, Dancer, Donner or Blitzen? I can only imagine it's because you were eating reindeer nose meat, marinaded in reindeer snot. Mmm, reindeer snot.

For some reason I keep trying to type reindoor instead of reindeer. You can tell Nick that's another door he didn't know existed, just like the writing one.

Is the lack of mention of shoes due to the stuffed bear eating them?

Donna said...

Sally - thanks m'dear. But actually HE is an inspiration to me, and to many of the people there. His mum was beaming as he made his speech.

Paulie Walnuts - spooky - how did you know the pizza was $28? And the photo was taken BEFORE. Do you think I would have been smiling so much if there had been PEOPLE there? As Ewan so quaintly put it - by the time the people appeared I was 'touching cloth'. (And no, mum, I'm not going to translate :o) )

Dad - be patient. When I get back to Anchorage there will be more shoes than you can bear. I might even include a picture.

Ewan - the screen was HUGE. And you KNOW my reaction when I saw my big, huge, fat, stupid face in glorious technicolour about 17 times the size it is normally. The only thing I, and the audience can be grateful for, is that there wasn't a picture of my bum. People would have thougt that the Northern Lights had suffered a power cut. X

Bobbie - you're a love. And thank you for the picture of you and Buddy by the way. I know exactly what spot that was taken in in your garden.

Vincent - ewwwwwww. There was a name tag in the middle of one of my sausages that said "Rudolf - North Pole. Please send me home if I get lost."

Paulie Walnuts said...

Well i'm just glad the TV wasn't a High Definition Panasonic 42" Plasma with a 100000:1 contrast ratio, otherwise you'd have been buggered!.... crying on that would have turned the room into chaos as people tried to escape thinking it was a tidal wave coming at them like that movie where earth floods and freezes over and know...what was it....Ice Girls of the PlayBoy Mansion....or summat.....

Anyway, am i the only one who think that kid looks like Harry Potter?..anyone?...on crack?..anyone?..

and why are you wearing 2 watches? is one Alaskan Blog time and one 'Blow kisses to Ewan down the phone" time? don't pester the poor lad! he's having a whale of a time trying all your shoes on at home.

Or is it one of those Medical Bracelets that say 'nil by mouth except cocktails 'n' cheese aye.."


Donna said...

One's a bracelet, but not medical. Although I'm loving the cocktails and cheese idea. Make mine a cheese cocktail please.

YOU are the one on crack.

Julie said...

That's awesome, Donna. I teared up reading it, too. :o)(I'm saying nowt about eating Rudolph, mind... apart from eeeeeek!!!!! ;p) J x

Peter Rozovsky said...

Lovely! Nick's speech, I mean.

I think Nick's was the story that we discussed in Baltimore, yes? If so, please relay my compliments to him.

Eating Rudolph in a post about children stories was just ... just ... mmm, delicious!
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

garywarrenniebuhr said...

You are my hero! GWN

P. S. I have a tear here cause of you.

Donna said...

Jools - you're a big softie :o)

Peter - it was one of those, yes. And yes, I am so mean!

Donna said...

Gary - I made you CRY? AGAIN? Damn, I'm a nasty person :o)