My transition home was abrupt. Only 12 hours after arriving home, still sleep deprived and disoriented, I returned to my normal school routine. I admit that at moments, I didn't feel ready for the end of my summer. That mood evaporated as soon as I walked through the doors of Escalante High School. I received a warm welcome, seeing old students and meeting the new. My mind buzzed the entire day with new ideas for teaching. I love my job.
In the rush of getting back to work, I am still processing my expedition. I miss the Arctic, but am happy to enjoy the comforts of home, to rest and plan and make the most of the experience. PolarTREC challenged me in so many unexpected ways - organization, avoiding procrastination, self promotion, writing, taking selfies. I've emerged a better teacher and scientist, and a stronger, more confident person.
But I couldn't have done it alone. I have so many people to thank:
- CPS and Robbie Score for outfitting me with comfortable and functional gear;
- the PolarTREC staff for their patient assistance and ability to overcome a bad sat phone connection by stitching 18 separate messages into beautiful audio journals;
- NSF for funding opportunities to bring authentic science to teachers and students;
- Escalante High School faculty and staff for dealing with my absence during the first week of school, and getting all of our student to my PolarConnect event;
- Sandra, my substitute, who I knew would make things work, no matter what;
- my students, for inspiring me to take a chance;
- Jon, for being that sort of partner who supports my independence, no matter what crazy adventure I choose;
- most of all, Ellie, along with Darrell, Chris, and the entire Arctic Glacial Lakes project for valuing education and science communication to such an extreme that they brought a total stranger to the Arctic to help with their data collection.