Alaska to Alabama
March 31, 2011
Alaska to Alabama
By Charlie Potter
Snead State Community College
The distance from Eagle Creek, Alaska, to Boaz, Ala., is over 3,500 miles. That is the distance that Alicia Poole traveled to reach the campus of Snead State Community College, where she currently plays for the Lady Parsons’ basketball team. Being that far away from home, Alicia came face-to-face with several cultural changes.
Obviously, the two states are very different in many aspects, and Alicia was quick to point that out. The climates of Alabama and Alaska each have their own powerful season; Alabama possesses overwhelming summers and Alaska has cruel winters. Alicia experienced a complete turnaround from the weather that she was used to.
Then, in regard to sports, the South is known worldwide for “worshipping” on two days of the week - football on Saturday and Jesus on Sunday. Football is king here in Alabama, and no other sport comes close. On the other hand, Alaska – being so close to Canada – is a hockey paradise; the climate does not allow for many other sports. Frozen ponds make a great location for local pickup games, and every town has an ice rink instead of a recreational center.
With Alaska’s weather being so harsh and cold, there is not much business for fast food restaurants. Alabama is quite the opposite. Alicia is taking advantage of a main road laden with restaurant after restaurant. Having an endless array of meal choices at her fingertips is something that Alicia was not used to in Alaska, but it is something that a newcomer to Sand Mountain can easily become accustomed to.
One common ground that Alabamians and Alaskans stand on is the pastime of fishing. Alicia said that people “fish a lot in Alaska, and people like to fish here too.”
It is always great to find something similar to your home state in an unfamiliar place, but homesickness is inevitable with over 3,500 miles between yourself and your home. Alicia has faced homesickness a lot during her tenure at Snead State.
“I miss the mountains that I was surrounded by every day. They are so beautiful,” Alicia said.
New friends and acquaintances have eased the process for her, but the absence of her Alaskan friends and family make the journey difficult. Nonetheless, Alicia Poole has weathered the storm to continue her athletic career at the collegiate level, and officials at Snead State Community College could not be happier to have her on its team and campus.