Arctic Living: A Truly Shocking Experience

As I’ve been up in Alaska for almost two weeks, I must say that there are a few things to which I still have to adjust. The first is living alone. The second is not having internet at home or good cell service with data capabilities (where I live, not the plan I have). The third is perhaps the most shocking of all: all of the static electricity!


From when I take my hat off at school and my students laugh as my hair sticks up on end to when I flip any light switch in my house at any time of the day, I am constantly victim to a little zap. It wouldn’t be so bad if some of them didn’t hurt, or if it was consistent and I knew to expect it every time I touched the light switch. This is more like a bad game of Bean Boozled where 90% of the jelly beans are flavors like snot or vomit, but the box said there is green apple…and your friend got two.


I’ve taken to only touching outlets and switches through the sleeves of my shirts because both my bedroom and bathroom lights seem to carry a little extra “umph”. A small wave of pride rolls through me when I hear the familiar snap, but there is no shock to go with it.


There’s a good chance that I’m going crazy.


One entertaining aspect to come out of all of the electricity in the air is watching my students drag their feet across the hallway carpet and zap each other, or themselves. Another electrifying aspect would be watching them as they try to touch someone’s arm lightly with just the tip of their finger without getting caught (which may be in hopes of shocking them…or just because they are a wee touchy feely), only to have their presence foiled by a shocked teacher or visiting adult. It’s amazing how no one complains or runs away shrieking as if they have been electrocuted.


All in all. This is not really unusual…or that big of a deal…but it isn’t something I’ve come across in many places as I’ve lived and traveled my way around the world. It is just a little bit shocking and most certainly unexpected.



A quick google for why this happens: Click Here.

Dad, I guess we do have pretty dry winter air.


P.S. You know who you are…all puns intended.