Sunday, June 04, 2006

177. Goodby Deering

I’ve left Deering.

On one hand, I get to go back to the land of craft stores, smoothies, movie theaters, and running water. On the other hand, now I’ll have to go back to traffic jams, getting lost a lot, and checkout lines in stores.

Teaching in Deering has been a great experience. It gave me an opportunity to work with students that I actually had a chance to get to know. This was not the case in the school where I had worked in the years before Deering, where I had over 150 students at a time.

I am not sure what I will do next year. So far, I am just concentrating on this summer. I need to present my thesis at Portland State University, so I can get another master’s, this one in mathematics. (My paper is on infinity.) I am also going into some month-long inpatient program at Johns Hopkins for chronic pain. (I broke my neck several years ago in a car accident and it has been giving me a lot of pain ever since.)

This also leaves me homeless at the moment, since the house cam with the job. There are several people I can stay with, but one place I where Max can also stay, so I am now staying with a couple of friends in Anchorage.

I’ll miss Deering. This is the first time I have left a place where I’ve lived feeling like I’ll never see it again. I’ve been back to NYC, where I grew up. I’ve also visited Patchogue, LI, where I lived for a while. I never got back to Jerusalem, although I hope to, hopefully the next summer that I don’t have to spend taking classes or looking for a job. I did get back to Portland OR and Phoenix AZ. OK, I never got back to Alvin TX and probably never will, but I wasn’t there for very long.

Anyone out there know of a community college that is looking for a math teacher?

I’m not sure what to do with this blog. Now that I have come down to the 61 degrees latitude, I’m not rally that far north. I think I’ll keep it during the summer, and decide what to do once I know what I am doing next year. Anchorage is just not so far north, and is certainly not “bush”, removing the interesting aspect of this blog. (Of course, I think I am fascinating no matter where I am, but I might not be that objective.)

Maybe I’ll go teach in Unalaska (no, I don’t know where it got that name) or somewhere else on the Aleutians and have a blog called “The Westernmost Jew”. I know nothing at this point. As the saying goes, “If you want to make G-d laugh, tell her your plans.”

I really liked reading your story of life in the bush, even though i don't think i ever commented before. congrats on completing your alaskan adventure and good luck in everything else you do. I hope to get to AK myself some time.
Oh man... I'm kinda bummed. I have been reading your blog from the get-go. I found it while I was doing a search on Kotzebue months ago. We are moving to Kotz at the end of July, and I was hoping to run into you. My dh is going to run a new radio station there, and we are in the process of selling our house here (CA) and buying one there. It has been a joy to read about your adventures, and you have given me some valuable insight.
Dear NJ:

I've really enjoyed your blog, sorry to hear it is coming to an end, at least the Deering part.

I'm a former Kotzebue resident (and a once- or twice-visitor to Deering, way back in the day) who now lives in Anchorage. I actually write mystery novels that are set in a village modeled on Kotzebue; its nom de plume is Chukchi.

Anyway, to come to the point, if you would be interested in a free meal while in Anchorage, I'd be more than honored to buy you lunch just to hear a few more Deering stories.

Good luck wherever you end up.


Stan Jones
273-6230 (work)
677-7237 (home)

P.S. I think Unalaska is called that because it's (close to) what the pre-contact Natives there called it. I don't believe it means, as it might seem, "not-Alaska."
Shoot, move to Kotzebue, nothing like that Southern living after beautiful Deering.

The college in Kotzebue there might have a posting for Math.

Have a great life and thank you for writing about Deering. My grandfather is from there.

Dean NV Westlake
What do you mean about Southern living? Kotzebue is north of Deering.
Dean - I aready checked. The college there does not need a math teacher. :-( . Neither does the college in Nome, which is where I would really like to go, even though I hate their slogan. ("There's no place like Nome.")
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