Journey to Alaska

Four trips in four years; fourteen months living/traveling in Europe and one in Mexico. Then stuck stateside, barely leaving Minnesota. The six year marked passed during my student teaching semester in the spring of 2009. My feet itched to go somewhere. Perhaps that’s what drew me to the presentation by the Alaska schools at the job fair. The bush schools offered moving stipends, but I wasn’t ready for that big of a change, so I only gave my contact info to the Anchorage School District.
They called sometime in May and we set the interview for Monday, June 14th, the day after the MS150 (bike ride from Duluth to MSP – 150 miles in two days). Thankfully, the time difference put the interview at 2pm in Alaska, but 5pm in MN, so I was able to fully recover from the ride. Oh, yeah, it might be nice to note the wonders of technology: the interview was through Skype. That first interview went well, and by the end of the month, I received notice that I was ‘eligible for further consideration.’
I had two interviews for specific positions, one in July and one in early August. Not only were they at different schools, but the positions were as different as you could get. Teaching Algebra I, II and Geometry to eighth graders versus teaching remedial Algebra and modified Geometry to tenth and eleventh graders. I wonder how different the year might have gone if I’d gotten the MS position….
Classes started mid-August, and by the middle of September, I hadn’t heard back from either school. I’d given up on getting a job in Alaska, and was tired of going grocery shopping every week, so I spent $90 and filled my freezer and cupboards. I got the call that Wednesday, the 16th. Reluctantly, the principal gave me until Friday to make a decision. Between Dad’s and my prayers, and some ‘seize the day’ type Proverbs, everything seemed to say ‘yes,’ so that’s the answer I gave.
Mom immediately googled Anchorage churches and found First Baptist at the top of the list. The time change was again in her favor, and contact was made. Multiple emails later, I had a temporary place to stay, a car to drive and someone to pick me up at the airport, all thanks to the pastor’s wife.
Once HR officially offered me the position, I booked my plane ticket for September 29th. I don’t know about you, but there was no way I could make all the arrangements I needed to and pack up my apartment in 13 days. I did my best, but Mom did a lot of work after I left. (Thanks!)
To make a long story slightly shorter, with my arrival in Anchorage, my saga of short-term jobs continued, and my short-term housing saga began. (Since college, the only jobs I’ve been at for more than twelve months involve tutoring, and since coming to AK, I have moved—taken all my stuff and not known where or when I was moving next—seven times, staying at most eight months in each place.) The circumstances and issues I found at school are not something to discuss on a public blog, but it was clear by May that God used that job to bring me to Alaska, and had something else in mind for me to do. I’m still waiting for Him to tell/show me what that is.
It didn’t take me long to pick up on some differences between MN and AK, especially once the snow arrived.
However, most of these differences come with pictures, and for whatever reason, wordpress is only giving me the html format of my edit screen, and that is not one of the languages I speak. So, once I figure something out, I’ll add them.


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