The roads are icy, icy on the way to Wolseley. I pull into the Professional Development Centre half an hour late, and a little shaky. The meeting has already started. Yvette, my old friend, and the central library keeper is in her glass window office. She sees me, must see my buggy eyes, she meets me with a hug and a how are you?
"I'm okay," I say, but my voice is shaky. She holds the side of my face like a mother with a child. Sends me off to my meeting.
"Sorry, sorry," I say as I sit down.
"You made it someone says."
I nod. I hold my hands up, pretending to be driving, hands shaking a bit.
"We just got here, too."
"The roads were terrible."
"I drive all the time, and if I slowed down, they were really bad."
"Oh good," I say. "I thought it was just me."
The First Nations and Metis Leadership Literacy Project team meeting goes all day. We share our successes and the challenges of the project. I feel I have more set-backs than victories, but listening and relaxing throughout the day, I feel my energy warming me like a rock in the sun. My students have interviewed twelve people and eight interviews are pending. Everyone agrees this is a lot to celebrate. I have sixty kids in the project whereas the other four schools each have somewhere between eight and twenty.
I get my game plan for the next two weeks. I will keep a daily status of the class in which every kid will have a duty related to the project: interviewing, writing articles, proofing, pulling quotes, photograph captions, typing. I will write the kids' names on the board and a duty beside each name. I will edit each article meticulously. Students will fill in the submission template. We will get copy to Lesley within the next three weeks. Game on.
I drive around Wolseley, snap a few pictures in our post-Black Lake-town. This is where we brought Arwen home. Say hello to the swinging bridge over the snowy lake. Wave at the Opera House. Admire the old court house, red door, all standing in fresh snow. I'm wearing my mukluks.
I drive to the Fort on smooth, dry roads. The sun is shining.