Sunday, October 22, 2006

A Day in the Life of an Operations GA (that's me)

Some of you may wonder.. what is a typical day at McMurdo Station like... Well, here is a day for a lowly GA:

Saturday's work schedule:
7:30 Meet with supervisor and other GA's for stretching and the day's plan.
8:00 Make a set of snow stairs.
9:00 Snowmobile operation and troubleshooting training.
10:30 To the waste barn to help sort trash (We have a recycling rate of greater than 60%) 2:00pm Computer work - making forms for the scientist arrivals (the scientists are known as "grantees")
4:30pm Meeting to discuss logistics for the Taylor Dome excursion.

the extracurriculars activities:
5:45pm weight lifting
6:30pm GA meeting/diner to discuss the First Annual Shov-olympics (shovel olympics) that we now have planned for "Ice Stock" which happens every Jan. 1st.
7:30pm Antartic yacht club meeting
8:30pm Banff Mountain Film Festival (First Antarctic showing!)

Today (Sunday) is my one day off. I slept in, which is easy to do in a room with no windows. After brunch and some computer work I climbed Observation Hill, which has a cross commemorating Robert F. Scotts perishing on the return trip from the South Pole. Part of McMurdo can be seen below it.

After the short hike it was time for the second swing dance class. These are one of the highlights of my week. Got lots to practice. And to try to remember. That's the news form the Ice. -13 F yesterday. I walked between buildings with googles on.

And a picture of me in my work clothes in my room. The lower bunk is mine. I have three roomates: a janitor, another operations GA and a carptenter GA. Goodnight.


  1. Yo Ben: One gloved, squash goggled fist back at ya--it looks rough down there. We need to see pictures of swing dancing. Court

  2. Benj, So great catching up on your adventures! Spent the weekend w/ Peske on the cape carving pumpkins and thinking about the last halloween we celebrated together at Sea - us dressed up as a color wheel, you as a ninja? if we remember correctly... anyways the pic of you falling from the yard of the westie into the ocean with the beautiful sky behind you hangs in my bathroom so i think of you often. also saw a little Dispatch-member action last week in boston... will have to write more w/ spanks on thursday when we reunite again. stay warm out there!
    besos, glynn

  3. Ben, That's an impressive recycling rate. What happens to the rest of the waste? You should be a pretty good driver on snow and ice when you return. Do you have some partners for dancing? Tonight we went to hear Bill Gates, Sr. and Bill Ruckellshaus talk on a Global Initiative that they and others have started to eliminate hungar globally. Al Gore (who would be interested in your first hand account) and Barrack Obama have been in town recently. Obama is a breath of fresh air. I hope he jumps in the presidential race. And I am a Republican. By the way do you have an absentee ballot for the November elections? We love your accounts. Keep them coming. Love from all the Seattle U's s.