Caveat: Tree #223

I forgot to take a picture of a tree today. You’d think, with so many of them around, I’d get around to it. But some days, I get busy with one thing or another, and I forget. Good thing I was taking pictures of trees long before I started the daily tree thing, right? So here is a tree from my archives.

I’ve probably posted this picture more than once before, but not as a “tree” yet, so here it is. This is one of my favorite photos that I’ve taken, at an overlook above Millaa Millaa, Queensland, January 2011.


[daily log: walking, 1.5km; catching, 5salmon]

Caveat: Tree #220

I took a big long test this morning. Over 5 hours staring at a screen and answering a-b-c-d questions, and writing two essays in boxes. I felt like one of my poor Korean students.

Then I collected my bag from the motel and walked back to the ferry. Here is a tree.


I rode the ferry, feeling mentally exhausted. We arrived at Hollis.



I drove home.

[daily log: walking, 4.5km]

Caveat: Wagyaan giina gha naahlingaay da aasgii gwaayaay inggut ll qinsgaayan

Gaaysta ll qayits dluu
haw ising xhitiit ahlaang tsaagudan ghan ll qaattlagan.
Ll sghunsaangan.
Gam tlagw ll naahlingaay qanggaangan,
Stluuttsadang haw suugangan.

Xhitiit ga ghan ll qiingwas
gyaan llaga ttl gwawgangan.
Wadluu llagu ll naahlingaay gaws dluu
gwii tlakkwaan·gan ll xitgwan·gangan.
Wagyaan giina gha naahlingaay da aasgii gwaayaay inggut ll qinsgaayan.

Wadluu hin Yaahl {ll} suudayan,
"Hlaxaayik gha hl xit."
Giina guunaga Hlaxaayit ttaaya gyangan
ahljiiyahlu gha lla ll suudayani.

"Haw giina gunagaay gyans hl kkudii,
dang tsin isis ahla," hin lla ll suudayan.
Wakkyanan llaga ll hlghwagayan.

Llaga ll hlwaagas ghan aa
giina guunagas unsadalan dluu,
"Hahl gwaa ttakkanaay,
dii kkuuk gha hl naa," hin lla ll suudayan.
"Wagyaan dang giidalang gam tsaghagudangghang asga."

Ahljiiyahlu wiid llagha ll naagan
lla ll tsindas ahla.

- Kingagwaaw
When he [the Raven] left that place,
here came another bird with no home of his own.
He was all by himself.
He had no place to live,
the Sapsucker said.

When he perched with other birds,
they drove him away.
And so, having no place to live,
he kept flying all the time.
And he searched the Islands for something to live in.

Then the Raven said,
"Fly to Hlaxaayik."
He said it because
something dead stood at Hlaxaayik.

"Peck the standing dead thing with your beak.
It's alright; it's your grandfather," he said to him.
Nevertheless, he was afraid of it.

When the dead thing understood
that he was afraid of it,
it said to him, "Grandson, come here.
Live in my heart,
and your children will not be left homeless."

That's where he lives even now,
because that is his grandfather.

- Kingagwaaw (Haida storyteller, early 1900s), translated by Robert Bringhurst

The above fragment appears quoted in the footnotes of Bringhurst’s translation of the Qquuna Cycle by the Haida poet Skaay, in Bringhurst’s volume Being in Being.

Caveat: Tree #219

I am in Ketchikan to take my test tomorrow morning, bright and early.

I walked up to the tiny UA-Southeast, Ketchikan Campus (really just an annex behind the high school, though architecturally pleasant enough).

I saw this tree, looking down past one of the buildings.


This was the view in the other direction standing in the same spot.


This is the sign marking the campus.


This is the view from behind the same sign.


And I walked down to my motel.


I walked all over Ketchikan, as it seems better than figuring out buses for what is, actually, a pretty small city. Ketchikan is having a heat wave: it was 72°F (22°C).

[daily log: walking, 8.5km]

Caveat: Praxis

I am off to Ketchikan for an overnight visit. I have to go to a testing center, at the Ketchikan campus of the University of Alaska Southeast, to take a set of standardized tests called the “Praxis Core.” These are essentially entrance exams for the Alaska state teacher certification program. They are actually not that different from the GRE, although I think they’re actually easier than the GRE. Notably, they include an essay writing section that is almost identical to the TOEFL exam that I was teaching to my students in Korea for a decade. This is not surprising, since the same company (ETS) make both tests – ETS is a kind of national standardized test monopoly, which is a bit scary if you think about it too deeply. Anyway, because of this, I feel some degree of confidence about the writing section: I have literally written hundreds of these standardized essays over the years, always in front of an audience of teenagers. That was part of my methodology: write the essay on my computer projected to the front of the classroom, while providing running commentary on what I was doing.

I have been taking some practice tests online over the last few weeks, to make sure I know what I’m getting into. I felt especially pleased by my score on the reading section, yesterday:


Apparently all those years teaching TOEFL in Korea have had a positive result for my own test-taking skill.

Arthur is staying home. He’s threatening to go out in the boat alone. I have no way to prevent that. So that will give me something to feel anxious about, as if the test wasn’t enough.