Sunday, June 6, 2010

First 2 Weeks in Alaska - May 24-25, 2010

Well, our first two weeks of teaching in Fairbanks Alaska are behind us.  This place is like a dream.  Still, after being here 2 weeks, and I'm sure my body has aclimated, I am still so aware of the smell of spruce and pine when I step outside.  The air is clear, crisp and light.  Not once, has my asthma bothered me.  If we were at home, I'd be taking antihistamines every 4 hours and inhalers every morning.  Allergy season in the Miami Valley just kills me!

May 24, 2010

Today was our first day of teaching at UAF. I am in the Schaible Auditorium, which is a beautiful room that can hold over 200 people.

I have about 44 students and most of them are over 25. I really like this class. It was 80F today, and I wore a long sleeve tshirt with pants. I was roasting outside, but inside, it is like a fridge, so of course, I was cold!!! We teach from 10am to noon, and then have TAs teaching our labs from 12:30-4:00pm.

I have two TAs, Bonita and Tynan. ‘Nita teaches the T/R labs and Ty has the M/W labs. They have both taught the class before, so I don’t even have to go to lab.

Our office is 305C Bunnell, in a little office suite that we share with the Biology Advisor Carolyn and another faculty member, Gary Laursen, who is a mycologist. Very cool!

Denise, the Biology Dept lab coordinator, helped Dave get organized for his first class. Showed him where all of their supplies are, how to run the copier, etc. He teaches in the classroom right across the hall from our office.

After class, we stopped in at the Summer Sessions office to sign more paperwork – so we will get paid – and picked up our mail. We are having our mail forwarded while we’re here and are just using the SS mailing address. Otherwise it would have cost us over $100/month for a PO Box. We bought a little 14” Weber grill at Fred Myers and Dave made dinner in a light rain.

He said it reminded him of California. Rafael is busily working on his laptop planning his trip to Denali Park.

Still don’t think we have any neighbors. The entire MacLean complex seems to be empty, even though there are bikes locked in the bike rack. Maybe folks are just on vacation.

May 25, 2010

Class was great, and I met Bonita today. She is adorable – much shorter than I had imagined – I think she is only about 4’ tall. But, her personality is everything I thought it would be from our correspondence the past 6 months. I think we will be great friends.

There are a few things that we forgot to bring with us, so we headed over to Fred Myers and bought a blender, toaster and kitchen knives; kitchen, bath and bedroom trash cans, and two 3-drawer plastic cabinets on wheels (one for the bathroom and one for my side of the bed). They’re only about 2 ½ ft high. We thought the prices would be double what they are at home, and are pleasantly surprised to find that Fred Myers is owned by Kroger (or vice-versa) and most of the prices are comparable. In fact, my favorite tequila, Hornitos, is cheaper here than at home!

Dave made dinner on the grill again.  I forgot to show you what the truck looked like once we finally arrived.  Dave still hasn't washed it.  He wants to leave it au naturalle because everyone's truck is dirty up here!  LOL

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