February 20, 2011 What Have I gotten Myself Into?
It’s day one of PolarTREC training in Fairbanks. My body hasn't quite gotten on local time. I fell asleep last night with no problem after 14 hours of travel time between Charlotte, North Carolina and Fairbanks, Alaska but then I woke up at 3:00 A.M. which is 7:00 A.M. on my body’s time. I hope that my body and brain reach an agreement soon on when it's morning.
Our first day of training and getting to know the team of PolarTREC teachers was great. We have a really dynamic group - one that is totally unlike any other group of teachers I've been around. We're all excited about the job ahead of us and especially about being able to share our experiences. The scope of what we've taken on is starting to sink in. It's not just a field trip to Antarctica or to the Arctic, but a journey to a new level of awareness of the world we live in. It's an opportunity to share the journey with an audience of students, friends and peers and let them be members of our team as well. In short, it’s going to be just about the coolest thing I’ve ever done! (No pun intended).
So much was introduced today that I feel as if I’ve been asked to drink from the proverbial fire hose. We had past participants, researchers, and the PolarTREC staff giving us the low-down. They talked about the frustrations of weather delays, kinked cables on drill rigs that threatened the whole project, the intensity of reaching the project goal. They also let us in on the jokes and silliness that comes with working in remote areas – something I can relate to (I’ve jitterbugged on rock outcrops in Utah after a hard day of field work). And finally, they gave us the knowledge that the greatest take-away you can have from an experience like this are the relationships that you build because of the difficulties, the tedium, and the joy when it all comes together.
It’s going to be a wild year!
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