Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ugly, Ugly Weather

Well, this whole week has been ugly, wet, slushy dirty snow, that freezes and then is slushy again - sound like fun? What can you do? Today we woke to dramatic wind gusts and snow, that turned to freezing rain, snow and then nothing. the gusts have slowed down but are not gone and the sun is trying to come through the clouds. There is a bright streak on the mountain that I can see now from the couch. and now I even see blue sky-

There has been avalanche danger on and off throughout the week. The wet, heavy snow on top of the powder and ice make for prime conditions. One day, the snow was blowing off the roof tops and creating it's own hazard. And today a huge gust just blew ice and snow into our window, ugh.

Jacob and I just watched House and Zelia is asleep in her stroller in the bedroom:)

On Thursday, at Pilates, I had a new student from Peru!!!! Of course I spoke with her after class. she is married to an Icelander and has a baby girl who was born in September. They moved 2 weeks ago from Bolungarvik to Isafjordur, so I invited them to dinner last night. It was a crazy busy day and I cooked while Zelia slept, dahl, tomato chicken masala, saag and cake! Not bad:) It was a nice evening and it was great to meet them. I hope to see Cecilia on Monday for a walk.

Sadly, yesterday was the last Icelandic class, as one by one the students have dropped out and I was the only one left. I will continue to have Dagbjort spend the time with Zelia so that I can use it to study and work online. The teacher said she would be willing to meet with me from time to time when I need help.

I had a fascinating conversation yesterday with Albertina. She took the last class with Jacob's group but otherwise is a sociologist doing a masters in human geography. Her thesis is about people's sense of place, what it means and how people relate to "place". For the class she took with Jacob, which was a conflict resolution class, she has been working on a project concerning the Isafjordur municipality. In 1996, the municipality was created and connects Isafjordur, Pingery, Sudureyri and Flateryri. In 1995, Flateyri suffered losses to the avalanche and then in 2001 further loss due to the closing of a fish factory. The question posed now, is what to do with the schools and whether the municipality should bring all the children (except kindergarten) to Isafjordur. Flateyri, a hurting community, is not pleased with this idea, as losing their school feels like an unsustainable loss. She has been looking at testing scores...until this year, students in the 10th grade have been taking national tests which determine whether they continue on to high school, vocational school or they can choose neither and go get a job. There have been all sorts of issues with the tests, including suspicion that some school systems were not allowing their weakest students to take it. Flateyri's scores are incredibly low in comparison to other villages, and unfortunately, Albertrina reports, that the principal and staff are not willing to be reflective at all and simply blame their students for their poor performance. A simple answer, supported by the economic crisis, is close the school and bring the students to Isafjordur. This is complicated because the children in Sudureyri are doing well - according to the tests, and it is unclear whether politically they can move one village's schools without moving the others'.

I, of course, consulted with my good and wise friend Haley. We had a great conversation about scoring, valid measurements, politics, economics and education. I took the wisdom I gleamed from Hales and met with Albertina. We spoke for an hour and a half, which Albertina said was very helpful. Hopefully we will continue the conversation next week and begin to talk about recreating the school in Flateyri or creating a new system combining Sudureyri and Flateyri. I LOVE this stuff.

We may go and swim today in Sudureyri and tomorrow we hope to head to the flea market with Jukka and Katri.

This week, the dagmamm is going to be away which is too bad, but Terri will be arriving on Friday!


Tzvi said...

Andrea, send my regards to Cecilia, she is wonderful person,we studied Icelandic together in August 2008.
Regards,Tzvi Arieli