03 August 2010

four weeks

Today marks our fourth week in Sitka. In some ways, it feels like we've always been here. In others, well, there's a lot still sinking in.

JoElle has gone off to work for the first time since before Seren was born. She worked largely out of the home where we last were, but now she's in a job where she's being paid an hourly wage to work somewhere that has a dress code and everything. She's working for the Russian America Company at Random House downtown here, and seems to really enjoy the work and her bosses (although adapting to the hours has been tough on all of us).

Porter seems to be really settling in and enjoying himself. We set his crib up as a daybed, which he hated for one night and then realized that he could roll himself out whenever he gets bored with napping. This has resulted in FAR shorter naps. He's also getting around well enough that he is being a real pain to his sister.

Seren has been loving it here. Whether she's going for short walks to the store or the mail or whether she's heading out to pick salmonberries or play with the daughter of our landlords, she loves where we live. Every couple of days, she begs us to go to the library, which is her favorite spot in town! She also loves the Whale Park.

I've been working on setting up our house since Thursday, when all of our worldly goods were delivered in brown paper wrapping. Almost everything arrived undamaged, and I've been going around seeking out places to store things and trying to figure out where all of our things are (not all of the packing was done in the most logical manner). I've also been working on figuring out a day care/preschool solution for the kids, as Seren is of preschool age (although the cost of sending her may be an issue - is it really $250-$300 a month everywhere for only 10 hours a week?). Since our household showed up, my work getting my classroom and office inventoried and set up has taken a back seat, but I'm glad to have my bike back so that I can start commuting.

Music teachers: Alaska has some of the simplest standards I've ever seen. On the one hand, this is awesome because it means that the bar is set low. On the other hand, there are detailed standards for math, science, social studies, and English. I guess at least I know what the priorities are here?

I know that it's going to sink in at some point that we actually live in Alaska, and the huge distances are going to become a reality instead of just something that I understand intellectually. For now, every time I open up a library book or get a piece of mail and see "Sitka, AK" written, it throws me for a little bit of a loop. In a good way.


  1. i wish all standards were simpler...in my experience they often have negative impacts on teaching because of the way folks want to see them enforced. why standards are enforced instead of instituted and used is beyond me. what kind of job does jo have? doesn't sound like pharmacy. work...way to go. and welcome to america, where it may cost more to have daycare than to go to work. america...land of opportunity. why do people complain so about socializing or other alternatives? and experience tells me that distance is not nearly so important these days (depending on your experience negotiating distance...having had to drive everywhere at one point, mass rapid transit is a nice alternative...there was a time when flying was not reasonable, convenient, or affordable)...what seems to matter is relocating and finding new ways getting from point a to point b. or just getting used to not being at point a any more. continued fun and excitement...

  2. To further advance your transportation needs in AK, I feel you should familiarize yourself with this link. http://theoatmeal.com/comics/polar_bear

  3. I'll quote from my previous response to someone who sent me that same link on Facebook in response to this post:

    "Man, I wish. Have you seen in Planet Earth where the bear dies because he can't find anything to eat because it's too warm? The year-round 50ish degrees here would kill the poor guy."

    Also, " I COULD just go steal one of these guys: http://fortressofthebear.org/"