Sunday, October 5, 2008


That's what they call it here, of course; fall rather than autumn. Whatever you call it, it is undeniably a beautiful time of year. I am reminded of John Keats' "Ode to Autumn"...
"Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
Close bosom friend of the maturing sun"

During Mum's recent month long visit, she delighted in checking on the progress of the turning leaves daily, if not hourly. Her knowledge of each yellowing tree in the neighbourhood was truly impressive. Next year she might come in summer when I will have more time to spend with her, or just maybe she will give in to the urge and come in October when fall is in its fullness. Today the maximum was an agreeable 16 Celcius, and the last couple of weeks have generally been in the twenties. Colleagues at work are remarking on how wonderfully mild the season is, as it is not unheard of to have snow already by this time. Stores and front yards are decorated with displays of pumpkins, autumn leaves and other harvest decorations. Before long it will be Halloween and then Thanksgiving.

Kelly and I have been harvesting the bounty of the garden and giving thanks for every delicious bit of it. Today I did some canning with our abundance of tomatoes, boiling them to get the skins off and bottling them with herbs and garlic for later use. We have also had a bumper crop of zucchini, squash (I am a recent convert to squash), cucumbers that have been eaten fresh and turned into the best pickles in the world, Swiss chard (spinach, basically) chillies and Anaheim peppers. We picked our first pumpkin today, and the broccoli will be ready soon too.

On the work front, things are going well. In other words, I haven't stuffed anything up yet. I am adjusting to the multiple choice testing and using a wiz-bang computer program to publish grades constantly. The kids are getting used to me, my accent and my world view. The Friday before the grand final, I played them a short clip of Aussie Rules highlights and explained the game to them. That is a frightening concept, I realise, Glenda as ambassador of anything sporting, but I actually did a pretty good job. All those weekends spent soaking up the mania by osmosis might have been worthwhile because I now have many young converts to our great game.

As I have joined the Drama Club and volunteered to create a 20 minute multi media piece for the Fall Production in 6 weeks time, I will be very busy. It's nothing I haven't done before, but trying to achieve a credible performance without class time (4 afternoons a week from 3.15 till 5.30) is the scary part. I'll let you know how I get on.

The teachers I work with are great, and after this Drama Production is done, I hope to join in with some of the gun teachers on the committees for school improvement and curriculum development etc. I am also required to do some further study, so that might be a college course in Native American history and issues. Mum and I had a wonderful day trip to the Little Bighorn Battlefield, the location of Custer's last stand during the Indian wars. I am eager to deepen my understanding of local cultural perspectives.

That's just a brief update at least. Loving and missing you all,

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