Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Have you seen snow up there?

In two more days I will hop a plane and head out to the frozen abyss that is northern Alaska.
In two more days I once again pick up and skip town.
In two more days I am expected to have everything done.

I have barely started packing.

All around me, littering the living room floor, are piles of my worldly belongings.
And empty suitcases.

But, to avoid the inevitable packing fun, I wish to take a moment to reflect on a few aspects of this summer.

Namely, stupid questions.

Now, I realize all too well that moving to the middle of nowhere to teach in tiny villages is not a road well traveled.
However, the oddity of my life is no excuse to asking the type of questions that make my ears bleed.

Those questions are as follows:

1. Is it cold in Alaska? (asked 247 times)

No, in fact it is rather warm. A veritable tropical heat wonderland. Those silly rumors of, snow, low temps, proximity to the arctic circle, and frost-bite are just ways that the locals keep all you tourists away.
Think of the Vikings and the naming of Iceland.
While little school children learn about the incidence of cooler temperatures as you move farther north, we all know that that is simply propaganda set by the Russians.

2. Do you teach in an Igloo? (asked 182 times)

Yes, yes I do.

3. Do you teach them how to catch seal or make hats? (asked 102 times)

Little known fact. A degree in Middle school education from Northern Kentucky University gives me the authority and know-how to teach native Alaskans how to do something that have been doing long before my Scottish ancestors figured out that trick with the sheep.
Plus, you know me and fish. I just love to gut things.

4. I have a friend in Big City, Billy Bob, do you know him? or Have you ever been to Such and Such Bar? or I went on a cruise to Thatplace, do you know about the Small Random Resturant? (asked 87 times)

That silly educational system is at it again. They have been letting people believe that Alaska is a big place. Really it is about the size of Rhode Island. I have met everyone there and have been just about everywhere. When I tell you that I live 400 miles from the nearest small town I am really just joking. Hoping you’ll be impressed.

5. Isn’t it, like, night all the time? (asked 399 times)

Actually not entirely a stupid question. Though it’s dumb that most people ignore the fact that it’s daylight for three months too. What actually bothers me about this one is the sheer number of times I have been asked it.

6. Do you have a lot of boyfriends up there? (asked 254 times)

First of all, this question always comes after I have described the town I lived in and how few people there really are in it. So, by asking me if I have A LOT of boyfriends they are either implying that I am involved in some sort of crazy swinging village or that I am exaggerating about the size and scope of my position. Neither of which is true, by the way.

7. Why did you go up there? (aksed 1069 times)

I like the fuzzy hats.

There is quite a lot about the job I do and the place that I do it in that most people don’t understand and want to know more about. I just hate how cliché and scripted it all becomes.

For the record, I have officially wasted nearly an hour writing this list of pet peeves. Now it’s time to once again stare at my packing.
I still maintain that if I just stared at it hard enough it will just finish on its own.

I just haven’t tried hard enough yet…

You forgot (and this isn't a question, but rather a very pointless comment)...

Person: "My mother/sister/brother/cousin/friend/self took a cruise up to Alaska."

Me: "Oh."
i want a penquin
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