So….allow me to explain this situation to you, so you can appreciate
the gravity of it all.
I was living in Chicago. I graduated with my B.A. in Social
Sciences/Secondary Ed. in May, after what I would call a very
successful student teaching experience. I was chosen as the
Outstanding History Student of Saint Xavier Univeristy for 2010.
And then….came time to look for a job.
To make a long story short, I
applied to over 100 schools, without a single nibble. Let’s talk
about a shot to the ego, let alone my wallet. But I kept my spirits
relatively high, and I persevered.
And then I got the call….from Alaska Gateway School District!!!
The job: Teaching 7-12 Social Studies/History at Tok School in Tok Alaska.
Culture shock doesn’t begin to explain things. Not even close.
I went from my beautiful city, with a glorious and bustling downtown
area, with Millenium Park, Museum of Science and Industry, Sears Tower
(Screw you Willis!), Field Museum, Navy Pier, The Bulls, The Bears, The Blackhawks, Grant Park, and
thousands upon thousands of people…..
…………for trees! Lots and lots of trees. Spruce, and Aspen,
and probably a few Birch. I’m not much of a tree hound, but they are
everywhere. And mountains…haven’t seen this many mountains off in
the distance since Afghanistan.
So yes, I have spent time outside of Chicago. I spent a little under
a year and a half in Germany. I then spent 9 months in Afghanistan,
both times in deployments with the US Army National Guard.
But….this is different. So, I was called on August 6th asking to
arrange an interview the following tuesday. That Tuesday, was my
interview. Later that evening, I was called an offered the teaching
position. From there, I was off and running.
Do I sell my crap? Do I put it in storage???
I did a little bit of everything!!! Sold some, stored some, gave some away. Friends came and helped pack, and sort, and keep me somewhat sane. I started preparing on Wednesday, and on the following Monday morning I was at the airport and on my way.
And here I am in Tok, Alaska. Population slightly over 1400 people. There is nothing national corporation owned in the town. No hustle and bustle of traffic, no skyscrapers, no “city”.
This is where I find myself, this is my new home.