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Down and dirty

August 9, 2008

As I pulled back into Lame Deer, MT, yesterday, I felt a thrill.  It’s a dusty, beat-up, poor little town, but I love it.  I’m excited to be here on my own for the year ahead without 20+ Penn State students and faculty members in tow.  Just me, here to teach math, write grants, and get to know this small reservation community better than is possible during my one-month summer stays.

But first, I have to finish the house I’ll be living in.  It’s a solar-powered, strawbale-and-SIP home on the hill behind the college.  We built it last summer and worked on the interior this summer, and my job is to finish it up so that it will be liveable for an average occupant (average being someone who doesn’t want to live inside a construction site for several weeks!) by next fall, when I will vacate it.  I begin work at Chief Dull Knife College on August 18, so I have from now until then to apply polyurethane to the trim, seal off the back door (it’s currently held in place by shims), assemble the furniture, and clean the hell out of the place. 

I love challenges, and this is certainly going to be a challenging year.  It’ll be like a combo Peace Corps / Teach For America experience, and it’s going to make me feel so much more alive than I did yawning through grad school.  Life is about doing, not studying.


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