Despite not having slept in something like 40 hours, I woke up just before 6am this morning. Maybe it was because I went to bed at 9 last night, or the fact that it was bright as day all night (“sunset” was at 1:47am, “sunrise” was at 4:19am). Either way, I was awake and pumped for my first day of work.
As it turned out, however, nothing went as planned. I got a call right before I left the bunkhouse from my supervisor, saying she wouldn’t be in until later, but I should head over anyway and someone would show me around.
The air hung frozen with a heavy mist as I trudged down the muddy semi-paved road to work. I found the National Park Service office easily and upon entering, I introduced myself to the first person I saw in NPS uniform. “Oh, you must be Andrea!” he said, which immediately put me at ease — I was hoping my arrival wouldn’t be a complete surprise without my supervisor there.
He introduced himself as one of the interpretive rangers, and then introduced me to his colleague, and the superintendent who was carrying around a big chubby baby who smiled a lot.
I was shown around the visitor’s center, which was really a small room with a couple display cases of Native American and paleontological artifacts, and then the office where I’ll be working, a room of about equal size arranged with some computers and shelves full of craft supplies, files, and books. The rangers didn’t really know what to do with me until my supervisor arrived, so they put me to work reading the interpretive guide for the center.
Around mid-morning, a native daycare group arrived for their weekly ranger program, so I sat in to watch. They were absolutely adorable, and extraordinarily well behaved — at least in the beginning. The ranger gave a basic talk about camouflage on the local wildlife, and then I helped them out with a couple activities, like making polar bear masks.
And that was pretty much my day. Not incredibly exciting, but I learned a lot, did a TON of reading, and I can tell that even though this is going to be a REALLY long 9 months, I think I’m going to like this job. Hopefully my supervisor will be better tomorrow and I can get started on things. Overall, first day of work gets a thumb’s up!