Allie’s not here right now, but you can leave a message after the beep.

Howdy. So as you’re reading this, I’m in the car with my family, on the way back to North Carolina. I’ll have been in the car for about ten hours, aka I’m planning how to kill each and every one of my family members. But on a positive note, I’ve got a guest post going on today over at Kayli Wanders talking about how my stupid frustrating old iPhone teaches me how to be more patient!

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Go check it out and give Kayli some lovin’!

 

How a History Major Became a Biology Rockstar! [guest post]

Hello everyone! So today is my first ever guest post in the entire universe, how awesome is that? I was pretty indecisive when I thought about what to write for Allie and all of you wonderful readers, but I FINALLY decided! Today we are going to chat about:

The Life of a Cell and How it Paid my Bills

Like all good stories this one hails back to my undergraduate days when I was working my way through my bachelors degree and living off of top ramen. Yummy! ;) I was in my Sophomore year at the community college I was attending and had some grand plans to transfer to a 4- year university within the year, but in order to do so I had to knock out some science courses.

Boy, was I NERVOUS! I was a history major and so anything math or science related tended to give me hives, but I knew it would be better to attempt the class where I was rather than at a larger school.  So like any good student I enrolled in Biology 101 and waited for the fallout, except that there wasn’t any.

Not a one.

Somehow, something clicked in my brain, and biology and I got along famously! So much so that I even contemplated switching my major to biology, because no matter what I was absolutely fascinated with everything I learned. I knew something was up when I got my hands on a copy of The Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher, because let me tell you, I couldn’t put it down! The Lives of a Cell is a collection of 29 essays written by Lewis Thomas and from the first of it I was hooked. Reading Lewis’ thoughts on the mitochondria, or a how a cell comprised of “ecosystems more complex than Jamaica Bay”(Lewis, 4) was like magic to me.

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My bio-love was the real deal, yo.

Fast-forward a year and I’m at a big’ Ol University by the name of Kansas State University (I love you, Bill Snyder) and I have bills to pay. Going to school out-of-state is always pricey EVEN with an academic scholarship, which I had. I was working at a grocery store and trying to snag another job when the opportunity to work as a peer tutor AND learning assistant for the university came up. Biology, it seemed was a subject that many people had trouble with, so I grabbed both opportunities and never looked back.

Five days a week I moved between working for the athletic department and the university teaching biology to anyone who needed the help. To say that I enjoyed my time as a biology tutor is an understatement because I freaking LOVED it. Biology explains how things live and why things are how they are. I love understanding the world and what makes it work so naturally biology excites me. For a little over 2 years I tutored biology and I was definitely in demand for my skills by students/faculty who even requested me by name.

I had become a biology rock star!

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Me trying to bear hug a massive redwood during a camping trip in the Redwoods National Forest.

A passionate teacher is an effective teacher and teaching biology even strengthened my ability to teach history. So thank you, Biology, for feeding me, paying the light bill, and putting gas in my car. Oh, you little powerhouse mitochondria and semi-permeable cell walls, I could go on forever about how cool you are or how important you are for life. I really wouldn’t have been able to make ends meet or get my degree without my teaching gigs and I’ll be forever grateful for what my knowledge of biology afforded me both physically and mentally.

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At my graduation with my then-fiancée, now husband. Thanks, biology!

 

Was there ever a subject that totally pumped you up and made you ready to take on the world? Were you ever able to use the knowledge you gained in the classroom to better your life outside of it? I know that when I make use of my classroom education I always feel like the school loans are totally worth it, don’t you?

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Wow, thanks for sharing that Crystal! Isn’t she great, guys? Catch up with her more here: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Bloglovin’

The Good & Bad of Living in Alaska [guest post]

Hey nuggets–I’m super duper excited to have Kayte guest posting here today. She’s a rock star! And she lives in Alaska…soooo yeah. I kind of want to be her.

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Hi! My name is Kayte and I write at Floradrenaline. I’m so excited to have a space on Allie’s blog today — she is such a sweetheart! Hi Allie! (:

Something that many people find interesting about me is the fact that I live in Alaska. I was born and raised here, and have lived in a couple different parts of the state. Other than a handful of family vacations and a five-month stint on the Oregon coast, I’ve lived here my whole life.

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Welcome to Kodiak!

Currently, I live in the city of Kodiak. I’ve lived here for almost a year and I completely love it. While there are village communities on the island of Kodiak, I live in the city, so my day-to-day life probably isn’t much different than the day-to-day life of someone living in a small town in any other state. I have a small apartment that I share with my significant other, and since it’s right in the middle of town, I can walk practically anywhere I need to go. My partner works at a locally-owned bulk grocery store and I’m a victim advocate at a local nonprofit. We go to work, we go to the store and the bank and the post office, we take long walks, we visit with our friends. There are lots of beautiful beaches here that I like to go to. On warmer days in summer, I even swim in the ocean!

Kodiak has a reasonable amount of resources for its residents. We have a Walmart, a Safeway, and several fast-food chains. We have a variety of locally-owned stores and coffee shops. There’s a hospital, counseling center, and several different medical clinics. If we need to buy something or access a service that isn’t available on the island, we can order online (in the case of a product) or take a trip to the “mainland” via place or ferry. The plane ride to the city takes a bit over an hour. Usually we fly on smaller planes, accommodating about 40 passengers. As for the ferry, Kodiak residents frequently take the ferry to Homer and drive up to Anchorage. The ferry ride to Homer is about 8 hours and the drive from there to Anchorage is between 4 and 5 hours. Taking the ferry is the only way to get your car to the mainland.

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January.

Temperatures here are not warm. However, in comparison to other parts of the state, they are relatively mild. The further interior (away from the coast) you live, the more drastic the weather changes between summer and winter. For example, Kodiak’s average temperature is 29.9 in January and 54.4 in July. We have an average of 7 days with a temperature 90 degrees or higher, and 133 days where our temperature is below freezing. Fairbanks, which is on the mainland and more in the interior of the state, has an average temperature of -10.1 degrees in January and 62.5 degrees in July. They have an average of 55 days with a temperature 90 degrees or higher, and 222 days where their temperature is below freezing.

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Taken downtown, in Baranof Park.

I’m proud to be an Alaskan girl. This is a tough place to live and to survive it you have to be tough. In winter, we have as little as 6 1/2 hours of sunlight. In summer, the sun is up for 18 hours, not setting until almost midnight. Seasonal depression is a huuuge issue here. If you suffer from chronic illness — as I do — you will probably have to go to Anchorage to see specialist doctors. People get “island fever” after living here for many years. The island is frequently enshrouded in fog and flights out are often canceled or delayed because the pilot is unable to safely land in the weather. I’m convinced it rains 360 days a year.

But, I love it.

Alaska is my home.

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Won’t you be a doll and check out Floradrenaline? And be sure to comment here! Do you think you could ever live in Alaska? 

Hang out with Kayte: Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest

Learn more about Kayte: feature.