6 June, 1999

Sunday, June 5th, 1999


Today went much too quickly, as I finished up last minute packing and contacting family and friends before I left at 1pm. Between counting the number of wool socks and turtlenecks I had packed, I had to make arrangement s for a fellow teacher and friend from Waianae High School to pick up my surfboard from the shop it was being repaired at, since I just didn't have the time. With all this on my mind, it wasn't until I actually reached my departure gate at the airport, that I had time to think about what I was doing. A feeling came over me that I have only felt one time before - when I was at the airport leaving Minnesota to live and teach in Hawaii two years ago. It is a mixture of emotions such as excitement and dread with an overwhelming feeling of "Why am I doing this again?" Suddenly hanging out at home for the summer , and working on my minimal surfing skills didn't seem like such a bad idea. But then I reminded myself how much I was looking forward to doing this - so much so that I couldn't wait for the school year to end ever since orientation to this program (Teacher's Experiencing the Arctic and Antarctica, funded by the National Science Foundation) and meeting Renee Crain , the project coordinator from ARCUS (Arctic Research Consortium of the United States). She was to be the only familiar face on this journey, and my destiny was to be largely in her hands - at least during my few days in Fairbanks, my first stop.


I left Hawaii at 1:30 pm, and arrived in Seattle at 10:30 pm, and there is currently a 3 hour time difference between Hawaii and Washing ton. The sun was just setting in Seattle , which felt very odd as it would have been dark by 8pm in Hawaii. THEN, the plane left at 11:30 pm from Seattle, and arrived in Fairbanks at 2am on Monday, although the plane ride was 3 and a half hours, not 2 and a half hours. This is because I had to set my clock BACK an hour as we traveled back towards the west. As the plane touched down in Fairbanks, the re was a brilliant sunset THERE, so I got to see two great sunsets in one day. It never gets dark in Fairbanks now, though, so by the time I finally went to bed at 3:30 am, it looked like it was about 7am outside.

Hawaii doesn't observe daylight savings time, being so close to the equator, (20 degrees North), so there is only a 2 hour difference (instead of 3) between Hawaii and Washington during the winter. This is enough information for any Earth Science class following this journal to spend a whole day on. Unfortunately, Waianae High School is not in summer session until a week from now, so they will have to tell me what they know then! Probably this is the case with most schools...

My first day at ARCUS (Arctic Research Consortium of the United States). ____________________________________________________________________ Get your own FREE, personal Netscape WebMail account today at http://webm= ail.netscape.com.

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