Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Start of an Idea

I get the question quite often as to why I decided to apply to teach in Alaska. People mostly think I'm crazy to completely remove myself from all the creature comforts of the modern world. On demand internet access, cable television, malls, phones that don't echo. It is an interesting thought as to why a person would put his or herself into this type of situation. The answer for me is simply, who wouldn't? I have been given a wonderful opportunity to experience first hand that so many in the world never will be able to. This is a serious adventure, a new beginning, and a look into a whole new culture.

My mother was the one who placed the seed of thought into my head. She had mentioned it in passing sometime after my completion of student teaching back in January. The job market for teachers in America is less than stellar, and I'll admit I'm probably not the most worthy candidate in most cases. I'm really just not experienced and you need experience to get hired. What a wonderful catch-22. After some applying at schools across Minnesota and Wisconsin, I decided to post my resume on the Alaska Teacher Placement website, just for fun. After a mere 24 hours I checked my e-mail and to my surprise a response was waiting for me. I was shocked, to say the least. Who was this woman responding to my post, was this a scam, why would they want to talk to me? I had so many questions and this is the closest I had ever come to a job in my life. The e-mail expressed interest in my resume and asked if I would like to learn more about the small village I could possibly be teaching in. Of course being the eager, young thing I am, I immediately replied. Two e-mails later, I had an interview that evening for the position. Once again, I was nearly blown off my chair.

The interview went extremely well. The interviewer, my future boss, Becky Crabtree, was a wonderful woman, full of gusto. I was pumped! I couldn't believe my luck to finally have the possibility of a job, especially so close after finishing school. One week later I received my official job offer to become a teacher for the North Slope Borough School District in the village of Atqasuk, sixty miles south of North America's most northern settlement. What did I just get myself into?

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