Tales from the Living Dead

For the UAS Whalesong
With the zombie apocalypse coming to a close, humans and their less alive companions were able to share together a final night in celebration: the HvZ Apocalypse party. Members of our very own Whalesong staff survived to the final mission: managing  editor Daniel Piscoya, senior staff writer Lexi Cherry, and advertising manager Holly Fisher. Congratulations are in order to them for persevering, as well as to everyone who played this year. This penultimate event saw a shared appreciation for both humans and zombies with stories from the week long game. Continue reading “Tales from the Living Dead”

Study Abroad: Estonia

For the UAS Whalesong
It’s true. I’m proud to say I spent my junior year (last year) studying away in Estonia through the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP). I’ll give you a moment while you silently ask yourself where Estonia is before opening a new tab to a search engine. To save you a bit of time, Estonia is the northernmost Baltic country in Eastern Europe, two hours south of Finland by ferry and sharing an Eastern border with Russia. By the way, “Is that a real place? Where is that?” were the two most common questions I received when I told people I decided to spend a year in Estonia. Followed by “What language do they speak?” which only made people think I was messing with them when I responded with a straight face, “Estonian.” Continue reading “Study Abroad: Estonia”

Happy Trails

For the UAS Whalesong
Did you know that Juneau has over 200 miles of hiking trails? Some trails meander short distances through the forest or along the beach. Others lead you away from civilization, to the top of mountains or the face of glaciers. You don’t have to be super fit or back country savvy to enjoy Juneau’s trails. You just have to know your limits and choose wisely.
Since I moved to Juneau in 1996, I’ve always had a copy of 90 Short Walks Around Juneau, by Mary Lou King on my bookshelf. You can find this book locally at all bookstores. I crack it open almost every time I go out. It’s rich with information – not just the length and elevation of the trail, but with historical information and notes about wildlife. Continue reading “Happy Trails”


For the UAS Whalesong
As you may know, I was a Student Orientation Leader for the Fall 2015 New Student Orientation. And as you may not know, several of the incoming students I interacted with asked me why I had volunteered to be a student leader. If you’re one of those students and already know my answer to that question, feel free to move on to a different article. If, however, you are not, stick around! But don’t worry. I’m not going to talk about just me. I have a blog for that. This is about you, and this past orientation, and why I think orientation is an overall great process. Continue reading “#orientation”

Strange Things to Do: Bumbershoot

For the UAS Whalesong
Friends, my readers, you lovely people: Why are you here in Juneau studying at UAS? I’m here for the simple fact that it was going to be a stepping stone university, and then I started learning Tlingit. Shortly after I began learning Tlingit, I enrolled in the Alaska Native Studies program. So, now I’m here for a while because it’s the most logical place to be in my field of study. Despite my story, I am aware some of you made a big decision to travel far and wide just to attend this university. Why? Well for one, this place is sort of amazing, but at the same time Alaska is also this happy balance of amazing stuff, strange stuff, and crazy weather all rolled into one snowball in the face for anybody who decides to reside here. I am here with this article to talk about an amazing yet strange (and crazy weather as well, I suppose) experience I had recently. Continue reading “Strange Things to Do: Bumbershoot”

Study Abroad: The Island of Enchantment

For the UAS Whalesong
Hello!  My name is Mitchell and I had the pleasure of traveling to San German, Puerto Rico for my National Student Exchange (NSE) experience. I studied there spring semester 2015 to escape the chilly winters we tend to have here in Juneau.
I knew I wanted two things from my exchange: a warm climate and a Spanish speaking location. Puerto Rico just happens to have both as well as a high placement rate for students through the NSE program. So bam, it looks like I was bound for the Island of Enchantment. I was accepted and enrolled in the Interamericana Universidad de San German. Continue reading “Study Abroad: The Island of Enchantment”

There and Back Again: Windfall Lake


On Jan. 23, I arrived at the Lodge on main housing prepared for a relatively leisurely outdoor experience. The “Windfall Lake Cabin” event had been advertised as little more than an overnight camping trip, with a 3.3-mile hike either way that was not, from what I had heard, particularly physically taxing. Having not thought much about it apart from what to pack, I anticipated a pleasant walk that would leave me time for friendly conversation and my own thoughts before we arrived at the cabin.

Some of these expectations were abruptly dashed when I was handed a headlamp and told that we would be hiking to our destination in the dark. After a moment of reflection, I decided that I was okay with that; it would just mean that I had to pay closer attention to where I was going. All seemed well, until we got out of the van at the top of the road leading up to the trailhead and the experience truly started.

Continue reading “There and Back Again: Windfall Lake”