December 18, 2007
It is now about 1:30 am central time on Wednesday and I just made it to my hotel in Winnipeg, Manitoba. It has been a long day and I am ready for bed but I thought I should take a few minutes to get my journal started.
As I headed out the front doors of Red Hook High School, I could do nothing but smile at the incredible journey that I was about to take. Many of my students in class today asked me if I was nervous about going. I replied "no", but that was only partly true. I was not nervous about heading to the incredibly cold, dark, and remote Arctic for I knew that I would be in good hands. However, I was nervous about something. In a high school chemistry class of thirty 16 and 17-year olds - I am the expert in my field. My word is as good if not better than the textbook that sits in front of them. For the next few weeks though, I will be the least educated person around. I will be surrounded by world-class scientists who are the experts in their fields. I hoped as I left the school, that I would not embarrass myself. I guess insecurities never real go away.
I had not yet made it the airport and I was already tired. I had been up late last night packing, unpacking, and repacking trying to get my baggage under the 20 kilo limit set by the coordinator- I ended up leaving come clothes behind in order to bring my camera. I also came into school early this morning to make sure that everything was organized for the substitute the school had arranged for me. As long as I spent trying to think of everything that had to be done before I left, I'm sure that I missed something. I guess there is not too much I can do about it now.
Everyone in school was excited for my trip. All of the kids and staff I passed in the hall today stopped to wish me well. My 9th period class even baked me cookies and brownies (thanks Morgan and Courtney). It is nice to work in a place that is so supportive. I also received souvenir requests today that ranged from ice and hats to caribou coats and polar bear cubs. They may just have to be satisfied with lots of pictures.
My flight left Albany, NY about 30 minutes late but this did not matter. My connecting flight in Chicago to Winnipeg was delayed for almost 2 hours. Had I known this ahead of time I would not have inhaled my Quizno's sub on the way to the gate. Then it took me about 30 minutes to make it through customs because I put down on the form that I would be in Canada for 30 days. I guess that's a little longer than your average vacation but after a lot of questioning, they let me in anyway. A quick cab ride later, here I am and off to bed I go.