I will never get tired of sunset

DSC02232Luck bestows a lot of twilight on the arctic, but it is migrating rapidly from noon to midnight, and it’s harder and harder to get out to enjoy it. I didn’t come home from this hike until nearly 10:30 on Thursday evening, but it was well worth the lost sleep.



Everything I thought I knew about time and space seems very muddled. Sunset in no way corresponds with bedtime, nor does sunrise align with waking. When I first got here, the sun very determinedly rose and then shortly set again in the south. Now it’s all creeping north, sliding along the horizon.The whole arrangement seems very unreliable for something so cosmic. My classroom windows face north, and my avocado is flourishing there.



It’s very lively, the way the shadows never seem to fall the same way twice.

One of the most fun and strange things about teaching is how it pushes you to do things you never had any interest in before. My students don’t want to put on a play or start a literary magazine or a garden: they want a prom. Consequently, I have been very busy with, of all things, prom planning. What will our theme be? Who can come? How can we arrange for the girls to get their hair done? How can we transport them through the muddy May village without soiling their shoes? Last night was our first fundraiser, a spaghetti dinner and movie night, and the girls carried it off with style: They cooked, they cleaned up, they announced the event over the radio, they handled disasters and complaints like pros. It was so much better than I expected.

I know what you’re thinking: It’s your first fundraiser?! How can you expect to have a real prom if all you have is $120 and a group of wishful teenagers? Well, dear skeptics, we can’t expect to have a real prom. For a real prom, you usually need more than five boys in school, and it doesn’t hurt to have a local band, or a caterer, or a florist and someplace to rent a tux. Oh well. We don’t, and we have to make the most of it. Because I am their sponsor, we are going to try to get karaoke and laser tag, and to hell with your preconceived notions. I have enough cardboard stuffed behind my couch to make some very respectable prom decorations that can double as cover in the likely event of a laser tag shootout. I’m very pleased with the idea. $110 should get us enough glitter, and the rest we can scrounge. It might not look much like a prom, but it will be all kinds of fun.

If you happen to be sitting on a couple of old prom dresses or bridesmaid dresses that you can’t stand to look at anymore, it might be that my girls could put them back in action.

P.O. Box 81153, Venetie, AK

5 thoughts on “I will never get tired of sunset

  1. Oh man, if this had been just one year ago, I would have had 7 dresses to send to you! But, with the moving to AK, the youngest tried on all the dresses and got real about not wanting to keep them, and I didn’t force her to…

    • alas! That would have been so lovely. Some will turn up, I hope. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and I just know the world is full of dresses that haven’t seen anything beyond the back of the closet for years and are ready to take a tour of the arctic!

  2. Keely, we are so excited to have found out about you. Working some magic now to try and get some dresses together to send to you!! What a wonderful blog, wonderful job, and wonderful and dedicated teacher. We are honored to be able to help!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s