Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Hitting the Hay

I could not resist the pun. I am currently in Hay River, Northwest Territories. The South Slave Divisional Education Council has an annual conference where all of the staff meet to kick off the school year. When I say all, I mean all. Support staff, including people like custodians take part. I must admit that I applaud that kind of thinking. Our smallest school has about a dozen total employees, therefore the staff rely on each other much more than at other schools.

Hay River is a town of about 4,000 people and, given that it is nearly twice the size of Fort Smith, it offers a much wider array of services. The centre of the community boasts a central business area that has stores that sell much more specialized goods. For example, there is a shoe store here. This may sound like a silly thing to point out, but earlier this week I broke the shoelaces in my dress shoes. I went to the three major businesses in Fort Smith and could not find any shoelaces that would be remotely suitable. Only the drugstore had any and they were bright blue and pink. I had begun to worry that I would have to ask my parents to mail some to me.

It’s nice to know that if/when I get a vehicle I can travel to Hay River and find some things that might be harder to acquire in Fort Smith.

My stupid pun-title has another meaning. Given that I am significantly further north the length of the day has shifted somewhat. Sunset in Fort Smith is approximately at 10 pm and sunrise is at about 5 am. I find I am unable to sleep in past 6 am, even on my days off work. I am not sure if this is a product of the jetlag/time zone jumping, or the length of the days. I’m 80% sure that my inability to sleep-in is related to my inability to adjust to the time change, but the fact that light is poking through the curtains of my hotel room is raising doubts in my mind.

The Wood Buffalo Inn, my hotel in Fort Smith.

Other than bizarre sleep patterns I am enjoying my life in Fort Smith so far. I’m finally getting a handle on what my job is, but in all honesty I do not expect to fully understand it until sometime in October or November. Most people assure me that this is normal, and that if anything it takes longer than that.
My office in Fort Smith.

I am meeting with Human Resources later this week and hope to have some firm answers about my blog. Thanks for reading during this interim time.

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