Friday, April 1, 2016

When life gives you lemons...

When life gives your lemons... you watch hockey. Okay, Okay, I know that's not how the saying goes. A couple of week's ago one of my students excitedly found me at school and told me he was going to Alaska for a hockey tournament (he is on the same team as 3 other students of mine). I asked him for details, and while he didn't know a lot of the details he knew the dates of the tournament and I realized that while I would be in Alaska during the tournament, I would be in Nome. I told him it was too bad that I couldn't be there, but I already had tickets to Nome.
After my flight to Nome was canceled for a second time thanks to Mt. Pavlof, I decided it would be better to cancel my trip altogether. Tuesday's morning and afternoon flights were both canceled and I was rescheduled for Wednesday evening. Unfortunately, this flight would put me into Nome basically three days later than I planned. With the danger of the eruptions continuing and my having to be back at work in Los Angeles on Monday, I thought it was a better idea to just cancel altogether (Alaska refunded me the Nome portion of my plane fare). Of course, this meant I now was in Anchorage during the hockey tournament, but I didn't know anything about it. Google to the rescue. I found out the National 14U hockey championships were in Anchorage. I didn't know which team my students played for, but there was only one Los Angeles team on the schedule - LA jr Kings. So I went to the game today.
Not sure why I thought I should take a picture of the welcome to Anchorage sign. I've never in my life been able to truthfully say I've never been to Anchorage.

I quickly figured out which players were my students (with all that gear on it's not as easy as it might seem), but the first period was really sad. Thankfully the second period was better and in the third period, they tied the score at 1-1. Regulation time ended with a tied score and so the game went into a five-minute overtime. After overtime, the score was still tied so the game went to a best of five shoot-out. The first player from the LA jr Kings to shoot was my student and he score a great goal. They won during the shoot-out. It was great fun to watch my students win the game!
After the game, I wanted to see them (among other things so that they would know that I had come) so I went down to the area where they would come out when they left the locker room to wait. As I was waiting I overheard comments at the table run by the Anchorage visitors' center. Being me I chimed into a conversation about Alyeska (a ski resort in Girdwood). The hockey mom in the conversation mentioned the time of her children's game tomorrow and I realized she must be a Kings' mom. I told her who I was and she was super excited. It was kind of funny of the four students (2 are twins) I had only met 1 of the 6 parents (although I had emailed with some of the others). She introduced me to the parents, including one who was one of the coaches. They were all really excited that I was there (not to mentioned puzzled). After explaining that I was from Alaska and what happened with my trip to Nome one of the mom's commented that her son had told her about a teacher from Alaska. I replied, "that's me."
They took pictures of me with the boys and I had them use my phone too, but I'm not going to post that picture on here because it too clearly identifies my students.
I also met with one of my friends from Nome today as she was going through Anchorage on her way to Nome. Thus, while I was sad my trip to Nome didn't work out I have had some good times and neat opportunities (after all it's not every day a teacher in California watches her students play hockey in Alaska).
It's rather difficult to take a clear photo with the speed at which they move.

Preparing to shoot - that's my student

Celebrating after they won!

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