In August, I accepted the position as the Snedden Endowed Chair in the Department of Journalism at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. In three weeks, I resigned from my job as higher education reporter at the Corvallis Gazette-Times in Oregon, packed and stored the contents of my adored apartment and headed north to my future.

I’d been in Alaska once–for a weekend, when I ran the Mayor’s Marathon in Anchorage in June 1996. I had to pull out a map to locate Fairbanks. It’s in “the interior,” as it’s called here.

I’m a tropical gal. I like sun, surf and scuba diving. I prefer to wear as little clothing as possible. And I accepted the job knowing I’d be heading to a place that’s 180 degrees the opposite of my preferred environment. Fairbanks will be dark and cold in a few months. The reporter on the local public radio station announces every morning how much light we lose each day; it averages seven minutes a day.

And the locals I’ve met all offer the same advice: dress in layers. Layers! I didn’t have a winter wardrobe; however, I’m quickly acquiring one.

I chose the title for my blog because it’s the state motto and now it’s my motto, too. I chose the template for the blog because I’m a big fan of writing on legal pads and I intend the blog to be a diary of my adventures and observations while I’m in Fairbanks.

I arrived on August 30, so I’m a bit behind in my writing already. I started teaching on September 2; creating a class with my students and finding a place to live took precedence over starting a blog.

Welcome to my Alaskan adventure!