Thursday, March 5, 2009

Words and Birds and Work and Music

Scrabble Tournament!   My first job in Unalaska (besides subbing at school) was working at the Community Center.   Along with other duties, I was usually there to help run the after school programs for kids and teens.  The younger kids and older kids alternated between the gym and the "teen room," a rec room containing a big TV, Xbox games, pool, foosball, etc.   Since I am so non-athletic, my gym days were not my favorites and I would often try to trade with another staff member for the teen room.   When the kids complained that they were bored, I would try to get them to play board games rather than Xbox.   At first, they thought I was crazy but somehow we eventually built up a good sized group of kids who really got into playing Scrabble.   We had some very competitive games going, prizes for playing harder-to-use letters or creating longer words or getting a large number of points on one word.   After a while, we were holding regular tournaments and the kids were even going to the Senior Center at night to play Scrabble with the elders.   
After I left the Community Center, it kinda fell by the wayside so I was really excited when I went to the school a few weeks ago and saw some flyers advertising a tournament for this week. One of the 6th grade teachers found out about a school based Scrabble tournament program and set one up for our 5th to 8th graders.

I didn't make it to the first night of the tournament when 44 kids on 22 teams faced off! Wow! Now that's a successful event!
Last night I spent three hours in the school library watching the quarter-finals.   I was proud to note that many of the contestants were the same kids from my old Scrabble playing group.   :)

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend the semi finals and finals tonight but I am sure there were some interesting words being played!   Last night we had to laugh several times at the words that did not get challenged.  :)

This morning, I was getting ready for work while a  juvenile eagle was sitting on our porch railing,  looking in the window.    Ajax and Chuckie (the neighborhood stray cat) were hanging out on the porch and that eagle was twice as big as they were.  I could not get Ajax to come in the house no matter how hard I tried.  He was very interested in the bird and I think he was contemplating his chances of taking it down.  

The eagle did not budge even when I went outside and tried to shoo him off.  I left the cats sitting there and hoped for the best.  Rich went by later and said the eagle had moved to our neighbor's.
It's been a busy week.   Tuesday, I was seriously thinking about calling in to say I was not going to make it to our 8 AM staff meeting, but I got myself together and showed up about 10 minutes late to find that my coworkers had brought a ton of food and planned a little going away party for me.   It was completely unexpected since I still have a week to go and it hadn't even occurred to me that they might do something early.    Thanks, everyone!  I will miss y'all but it's not like I am going very far!

I've been staying up late to watch Letterman since one of my all time favorite bands, U2, is on his show EVERY night this week.  And their new CD came out on the 3rd so I had to get it downloaded.   Great tunes!  Now I am waiting to see if they will be on tour anywhere near where we might be next time we are down south.  :)

Meanwhile, I am loving my new job--I've learned how to download radio shows to insert into our schedule and I'm working on the upcoming membership meeting, trying to track people down to come in and pick up their auction winnings, and even got to pick a few songs to play on the radio yesterday.   I'm sure my family and friends can easily guess at least which artists I chose, if not which songs.  

We had a little snow today so I suppose winter is not quite done with us.  


Suzassippi said...

That is great news about the Scrabble tournament! I loved hearing it, and being reminded of all the cool stuff you did at the Community Center. I find it hard to believe anyone named Chuckie could not take down a juvie. :)

cookie dough said...

Man, my kids didn't say a thing about Scrabble...guess they aren't into it, what a bummer! That is great about all those that are!

Alaska Steve said...

Glad the new job is working out! Cheers!

Bubbe said...

The kids look like they're having a great time- that is so cool! I still can't get over the eagles- it's amazing to me that they roost right on your house. I am looking forward to "meeting" some when I get there. :)