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  • We are in Whittier, Alaska. I am a teacher here.

  • You know, Whittier is different than, say, working in the traditional bush community.

  • In that we are on the road, and we're fairly, we're a tourist town in the summer.

  • But it's...yes we all live in the same building.

  • And it does sound strange, but essentially it's a condo association.

  • And it's, you know, you get really cozy with your neighbors.

  • What floor do you guys need?

  • See you later Nathan, have a good night.

  • We have everything we need really. There's a post office downstairs.

  • There's a grocery store downstairs.

  • There's a little video store, that if you want to rent videos or movies,

  • you can go and call her, and she'll come over.

  • City offices are downstairs as well. So all the city managers and everything,

  • and the mayor work down there.

  • So you really, you don't have to leave if you don't need to.

  • I think in a larger community, you go to school. You travel there.

  • Not in Whittier. You just gotta walk over, and it takes 5 minutes, if that.

  • Depending on the elevator, of course.

  • There have been times where we've had to say, our school day starts at 8:45.

  • If we open the school doors at 8 in the morning, or at 6 in the morning,

  • the minute the light's on at the school, they would be there.

  • I think the proximity of the building, where all live, to the school.

  • It's a very seamless relationship. They don't separate that it's school and home.

  • It's just one place to them.

  • I'm your neighbor. We all live in the same building, right?

  • Student: I live two floors under you.

  • Erika: I have been with the same students for 4 years now.

  • So I've literally had some of them since they were in 1st grade, and now they're in 4th.

  • And it's like a family. I don't have discipline issues,

  • I don't have classroom management issues. Because they know me.

  • It's like coming to school with mom. They call me mom have the time anyway.

  • My first year or two, I had such a hard time separating that I was a teacher.

  • And knowing sometimes what was happening in some students lives.

  • But I've always had the rule, that no matter what time of the day,

  • what time of the night, if a student knocks on my door, I will always answer it.

  • You are always welcome. They know that.

  • I've always been a teacher, and in a previous life, I've been a fitness instructor.

  • And my first few years here, my fitness was always my thing.

  • And it was just kind of a private thing I did. I would go to the school gym on Sundays,

  • or wait until everybody left, and work out on my own.

  • And I had a lot of community members asking me to teach classes.

  • Last year, I was convinced by just enough people asking, that I decided to try it.

  • And it has gone really well. And it's really well received.

  • It's hard to stay healthy in a town like this.

  • Our weather is really challenging, we don't have a fitness center or a gym,

  • other than the school. The school does have a full size gym, and a weight room

  • that's available during school hours.

  • But beyond that, between the extreme winds, and the rain, and the snow,

  • that challenges a lot of people.

  • And so I think it just becomes a normal thing, to not move.

  • And to not be healthy. And the weather is always a great excuse.

  • And plus we don't have to leave this building if we don't want to.

  • So a lot of people don't. You know, why would you?

  • The tunnel creates its own sort of isolation, in that it closes every night at 10:30.

  • So if we want to go to dinner in Anchorage, we can't usually go and do that

  • on a school night, because often times, and I've had this happen more than once,

  • you go to a movie, and you just cross your fingers that it's gonna get out

  • by 9:30. Because you have to make the 10:30 tunnel.

  • And it takes an hour to get down here from Anchorage.

  • And if you don't make the 10:30 tunnel, then you're sleeping in your car.

  • Which happens a lot.

  • It would be silly to say that you live a lonely life living in the building.

  • Because, I have friends and neighbors, and students and coworkers,

  • that are right down the hall. If you're having a bad day, if you're having a day

  • when you think, "Gosh I haven't talked to another human being for a while,"

  • you can just walk down the hall, or get in the elevator.

  • What people say when they visit Whittier.

  • Well first they all go, "Ugh, you all live in that same building?"

  • "Isn't that strange?"

  • And I think what people don't realize is that it's just like an apartment building.

  • Or it's just like a high rise condo in a large city.

  • So for me it's not that strange. That's where I grew up.

  • I grew up in a big city, everybody lived in an apartment building.

  • But not the entire town.

We are in Whittier, Alaska. I am a teacher here.


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A2 初級

私はウィットティアの先生です。 (I Am A Whittier Teacher | INDIE ALASKA)

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    angelacao11 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日