Every other Monday for the last month and a half or so I’ve driven down to Nenana with the one and only Klou. She asked me if would be interested in teaching Improvisational Comedy to some of the students at the Nenana Student Living Center as part of a 4-H program. The website for the Nenana Student Living Center is here: http://nenanalynx.org/nslc/
Nenana is about 55 miles South of Fairbanks, is a small town (less than 1000 people) and lies at the juncture of the Tanana River and the Nenana River. The Nenana Student Living Center is a really cool place, being one of the three statewide boarding schools in the State for high school students from rural Alaska. Roughly 80 students live at the Living Center. The group I teach varies in size and ranges from about 7-20 students. Historically, state-run boarding school have not been a good thing, and you’d have a pretty hard time finding someone to argue the contrary. However, actually being at the Living Center, meeting the students and seeing what a lively, vibrant and supportive community it is, I have to say, my attitude about boarding schools has changed considerably.
This group of kids is really awesome to work with, they’re quick on their feet and happy to learn about improv. I also get to spend roughly 3 hours every other Monday talking with Klou about love-and-stuff, art, sustainability, subsistence and food. I also get paid a small stipend, so all in all it’s a pretty sweet deal.
When Klou and I originally started driving down there were gorgeous sunsets as we drove down to Nenana and cold, crisp starscapes as we drove back. Now that we’re in that final countdown in the Interior til Winter Solstice (averaging roughly 6.5 hours of light right now) the drive down is dark, and the drive back is really, really dark. I was hoping for an Aurora sighting last night but it was super cloudy. Halfway back to Fairbanks we ended up driving right by a Mama and baby moose, we turned around to try to take pictures, but they ran away into the woods.
Instead I contented myself with taking blurry, dark pictures of the Nenana bridge, and a blurry (film noir-esque?) photo of the Nenana Gas Station. The photo of me teaching is by Klou.