Dreams + Action = Reality

BK called Les at home on a Wednesday afternoon and said she needed the answer by 8:00 a.m. on Monday morning. Four and a half days. I was teaching at the Junior High and when I arrived home that night, Les stepped into the garage as I turned off the car's engine and greeted me with, "BK called. Do you want to go back to the Pole?" It was April 22, 1998.

Did I want to return to the Amundson-Scott South Pole Station for the austral summer of 1998-99? When I worked at the South Pole Station for the austral summer of 1996-97 I thought it was an end, a destination. Little did I realize at that time that it was just the beginning; the beginning of new opportunities, new dreams, new challenges.

Many would say it is an understatement to declare that life is not easy at the South Pole Station. Yes, we knew that from our 1996-97 season on the ice. Yet, it was an awe-inspiring, life-changing learning experience for me. It was something I would never regret and wouldn't have missed for the world. Was the possibility of returning to Antarctica another opportunity not to be missed? Should we return? Wasn't once enough? Finally, in the process of making this challenging decision, Les and I decided to make our individual pro and con lists. We met at the kitchen island over coffee for him and tea for me to compare our lists on Saturday afternoon. To our amazement, they were nearly the same-similar pros and similar cons. The choice was the same. Yes. It was very clear and very quick.

As I drove off to school Monday morning and glanced at the huge round classroom wall clock while I was teaching my first period 9th grade Health class, I knew that Les was calling BK with the affirmative answer that yet again would positively and profoundly impact my life. It seemed like more than mere coincidence, but I was teaching goal setting to my students at that very moment. "If you don't act and work toward your dreams, your goals, then they'll remain just that: Dreams." were the words flowing from my mouth.

And so the rest of this ice story of mine, my second Antarctica, follows in these journals to you. Let me take you with me to the bottom of the world.

Sandra K. Kolb,
TEAntactica 1996-97 and 1998-99